Reminiscing in Tempo: Memories and Opinion/Volume Eleven: What were five of your favorite record albums (or CD’s) when you were twenty years old, and what are five of your favorite CD’s today?

March 5th, 2008

 

 

Reminiscing in Tempo

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Memories and Opinion

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“Reminiscing in Tempo” is part of a continuing effort to provide Jerry Jazz Musician readers with unique forms of “edu-tainment.” As often as possible, Jerry Jazz Musician poses one question via e mail to a small number of prominent and diverse people. The question is designed to provoke a lively response that will potentially include the memories and/or opinion of those solicited.

Since it is not possible to know who will answer the question, the diversity of the participants will often depend on factors beyond the control of the publisher. The responses from the people who chose to participate in this edition are published below with only minor stylistic editing. No follow-up questions take place.

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What were five of your favorite record albums (or CD’s) when you were twenty years old, and what are five of your favorite CD’s today?

Originally published March, 2008

 


Let’s see …when I was 20 years old (a scant 3 decades ago), I was busy touring with the Stan Kenton big band. There was plenty of opportunity to listen to albums during those long bus rides; I’m afraid that those listening sessions involved cassette tapes, however. Any break in the band’s touring schedule would allow me to go home with LPs I had purchased during my travels and dub those records onto cassette. In any event, if memory serves correct, these were 5 artists/albums that I recall listening to a lot in hotel rooms and while traversing the USA’s Interstate system as a passenger on the Kenton bus …

1. Weather Report “Mysterious Traveler”

2. Keith Jarrett “Expectations” and “Facing You”

3. Aretha Franklin “Young, Gifted & Black”

4. Claude Debussy piano music (a 5 album compilation on the Vox label, played by pianist Peter Frankl)

5. John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” and “Kulu Se Mama”

I also listened quite a bit to Chick Corea’s “Now He Sings, Now He Sobs” and ECM piano improvisation albums, plus the big band albums of Thad & Mel, Dizzy Gillespie (“New Continent” composed & arranged by Lalo Schifrin, w/ Mel Lewis on drums), Stan’s “Cuban Fire” album (again, with Mel), The Kenny Clarke/Francy Boland album “Latin Kaleidoscope” (featuring a wonderful suite written by Gary McFarland), Miles Davis’ “Live/Evil,” Sergio Mendes “Primal Roots” and the Mahavishnu Orchestra album “Birds of Fire,” Billy Cobham’s “Spectrum” and “Crosswinds” albums, Herbie Hancock’s “Crossings” plus Jerry Goldsmith’s “Planet of the Apes” soundtrack score!

Favorite CDs today? I could still include “Mysterious Traveler” and “A Love Supreme” as well as “Cuban Fire.” Other candidates, according to my iPod, are Count Basie’s “Breakfast Dance and Barbecue,” Glenn Gould’s second “Goldberg Variations” recording, and several of Mahler’s symphonies. I must also mention the Mosaic compilation of Elvin Jones’ Blue Note recordings!

 

 

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THEN

EDDIE HARRIS — “THE IN SOUND”

THE THREE SOUNDS — “THE BLUE HOUR”

MITCHELL /RUFF DUO — “LITTLE GIRL BLUE”

OSCAR PETERSON TRIO — “AFFINITY”

MILES DAVIS — “WALKIN'”

TODAY

JIM MCNEELY/SWISS JAZZ ORCHESTRA — “PAUL KLEE”

BELÅ BARTOK — “THE WOODEN PRINCE”

MARIA SCHNEIDER — “ALLEGRESSE”

OLIVIER MESSIAEN — “TURANGALILA SYMPHONIE”

MILES DAVIS — “PLUGGED NICKEL” (BOX SET)

 

 


I can honestly say that several of my favorite albums when I was 20 remain embedded as favorites of mine today. Eric Dolphy’s “Out To Lunch,” Miles’ “In A Silent Way,” John Coltrane and Don Cherry’s “The Avant Garde” and Cherry’s “Symphony for Improvisers” are on both lists. I think at 20 I was enamored of Jefferson Airplane’s “After Bathing At Baxter’s”; less so today, though it still gives me chills. But today I would add Cecil Taylor’s “Air Above Mountains” among my five favorites. Or Wes Montgomery “Live at the Half Note.”

It feels SO unfair to name only five. At 20 I also was crazy about Cherry’s “Complete Communion,” “Eddie Palmieri Live at Sing Sing,” Tony Williams’ Lifetime “(Emergency!),” John McLaughlin’s “Devotion,” Chick Corea’s “Now He Sings Now He Sobs,” “Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus” and “Mingus Presents Mingus,” “Unit Structures “and “Conquistador,” Coltrane’s “Impressions” (with Dolphy), “Rip Rig & Panic “(Roland Kirk, pre-Rahsaan days), Joseph Jarman’s “Song For,” Miles Davis Quartet “In The Beginning, “Speckled Red’s “The Dirty Dozens,” Junior Wells’ “Hoodoo Man Blues,” Sam Rivers’ “Contours,” “This Is Jeremy Steig,” “Monk’s Music” (with Coltrane, Coleman Hawkins, Ray Copeland), Roscoe Mitchell’s “Numbers One and Two,” and “Maiden Voyage.”

Today I would add Jelly Roll Morton’s “Red Hot Peppers,” “Inside Betty Carter,” “Solo Monk,” “Science Fiction” and “Of Human Feelings,” “The Best of Little Walter,” “The David Murray Big Band Live at Sweet Basil Vol. 1,” any collection of solo James P. Johnson, Fats Waller and Donald Lambert, Herbie Nichols’ trios on Blue Note, “Electric Ladyland,” The Meters and The Wild Tchipitoulas, Anthony Braxton’s “Three Compositions of the New Jazz,” Professor Longhair “New Orleans Piano” (on Atlantic), Dewey Redman’s “Ear of the Behearer,” Olivier Messiaen’s “Turangalîla Symphony,” King Sunny Ade’s “Syncro System,” “On The Corner” and “Bitches Brew,” James Newton’s “African Flower” . . . I know these seem decades old, mostly, and I DO listen to music that’s come out more recently but fewer of those lodge into “favorites” status — maybe those places are already taken. Ah, I know two: Herbie Hancock’s “Gershwin’s World” and “River: The Joni Letters, “which just won a Grammy. Maybe it will lose its luster, but it sounds quite good to me currently.

 

 

 

 

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Then…

Miles’ “Four and More”

Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme”

Joan Armatrading — “Secet Secrets”

Joni Mitchell — “Wild Things Run Fast”

Sweet Honey In The Rock — “The Other Side”

And now…

Maxwell — “Now”

Rachelle Ferell — “Individuality”

Missy Elliot — “Miss E So Addictive”

Shirley Horn — “Here’s to Life”

Meshell Ndegeocello– “Cookie: The Anthropological Mixtape”

 

 

 

 

 


At 20:

1) Wayne Shorter — Atlantis

2) Miles Davis Quintet — E.S.P.

3) Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers — Caravan

4) Bob Marley & the Wailers — Rastaman Vibration

5) Wynton Marsalis — Black Codes from the Underground

These days:

1) Shirley Horn — You Won’t Forget Me

2) Sonny Rollins — The Bridge

3) Astor Piazzola — Anos De Soledad (Boxed Set)

4) Lester Young — The Complete Lester Young Studio Sessions on Verve

5) Bob Marley & the Wailers — Exodus

 

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