Must Have Jazz

Thanks to John Frederickson, my cool brother-in-law trumpet player, now also arranger and band leader, that pointed me in the right direction and took me to my first club – The Cave in Vancouver. 

This list of mainstream jazz is based on a few personal criteria.

  1. Selected randomly from my memory without checking or looking up on Wiki or Google.
  2. I must own some music by the artists and the albums on the album list.
  3. It is as good as it gets in its genre and I have to have kept listening to the artists and the albums since their purchase.
  4. The music is still available even if you may have to look for it – and the vinyl is a good reason to bring the belt or direct drive turntables out of storage.  See Columbia Radio on Sanford ST in Winnipeg to repair any stereo equipment from back in the day and the new needle(s) you’re going to need.
No better time than Christmas to give the gift of jazz. Cds are fine, as not everyone has three turntables in the basement unless they’re used by DJ’s, hip-hop artists,and the like, of which, like Sargent Schulz, “I know nothing!” So here we go.

Bessie Smith
Jelly Roll Morton
Django Rhinehart (Hot Club of France) (Stephane Grapelli has had an amazing career starting in the 1920s, and played with Django on occasion.)
Louis Armstrong   (Hot Fives and Sevens)

Coleman Hawkins
Lester Young
Charlie Parker
John Coltrane
Sonny Rollins
Stan Getz
Fraser McPherson
Jo Lavano
Branford Marsalis

Louis Armstrong
Miles Davis
Clark Terry
Wynton Marsalis
Jeremy Pelt

Art Tatum
Errol Garner
Oscar Peterson
Thelonius Monk
Bill Evans
Dave Brubeck
Oliver Jones
McCoy Tyner
Keith Jarrett



Ray Brown
Charlie Mingus
Dave Young
Ron Carter
Charlie Hayden
Dave Holland

Lenny Breau
Herb Ellis
Joe Pass
Ed Bickert
Pat Metheny

Stephane Grapelli
Regina Carter

Max Roach
Art Blakely

Band Leaders, arranger
Gil Evans
Michel Legrand 

Jazz Singers
Billie Holiday
Ella Fitzgerald
Cassandra Wilson

 Jazz/Pop Singers
Lena Horne
Sarah Vaughan
Frank Sinatra
Dianna Krall
Madeline Peyroux

Jazz Albums
Birth of Cool – Davis
Kind of Blues  – Davis
Bitches Brew – Davis
My Favourite Things – Coltrane
Blue Trane – Coltrane
Love Supreme – Coltrane
Take Five – Dave Brubeck
Legrand Jazz – Michel Legrand
Saxophone Colossus – Sonny Rollins
Freedom Suite – Sonny Rollins
Passions of  a Man – Mingus

Ah Um- Mingus
Monk – Monk
Gil Evans – Great Jazz Standards
Night Train – Oscar Peterson (also love Oscar’s work with Stephane Grapelli)
Bird Songs – Joe Lovana
Travelin’ Miles– Cassandra Wilson
Aspects of Oscar – Dave Young
Guitar Sounds From Lenny Breau

Jazz/Easy Listening
In the Wee Small Hours – Frank Sinatra
Beneath the Missouri Sky – Pat Metheny and Charlie Haden
The Look of Love – Dianne Krall
The Girl in the Next Room – Dianne K

Bold = First Chair, Italic = Canadian

I will likely rework the list , but primarily for more great album covers and improved presentation. As I get better at WordPress, and have more time.

A Note on Modernism
I’m a fan. I started thinking about this again when we saw the West Cost Modern film on Sunday. I love mid-century modern as its called now in most of its forms. Architecture, Literature, Design, Furniture, Photography, Visual Art, Film;  and if you look at my jazz list the most artists I’ve chosen are post world War II, though I did go through a swing phase when I was learning A shot from "Contempt," My favourite Jean-Luc Goddard film, released in 1963 starring Brigitte Bardot. and wanting to dance. I did see Count Basie live in the old Civic Auditorium and I could be lynched for leaving Duke Ellington off this list.  I’m just not listening to them any more. But maybe once I can stand up and consider shuffling my feet I’ll go back to it. Though I have contemporary favourites, with Dave Young at the top of my list since I heard him lead a Mingus tribute at the Rex in Toronto, my major jazz listening interests pretty much finish by 1972, the same year John Berryman jumped off a bridge in Minneapolis. It  may also be a clue to my current poetry collection in progress called Music for Men Over Fifty. 

When I emailed my sister to let her know her husband John might be interested in my jazz list, I realized I had pretty much skipped the big band stuff though of course Louis Armstrong, Billy Holiday, and Coleman Hawkins worked with big bands at various times. I thought for a minute and realized I do have two fantastic big band albums I like very much and still listen to a lot. I have the album covers of both up above – they are Gil Evans’s Jazz Standards, and Michel Legrand’s Jazz album which features a whole swack of the musicians already on my list, released  I think in 1959. I hope to return to the subject of modernism across the arts, as time allows.

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