Any traditional jazz fans out there?
I've got a fairly good collection of jazz from the 50's, 60's and early 70's and love each and every one of them.
After viewing the Ken Burns "Jazz" series I decided to expand and figure I'll begin with the early end; late 30's and the 40's. I sort of gave up past '75 - seems like jazz started going downhill about then.
I like Lester Young a lot so I guess I should be looking at Basie (before Billy Holiday joined, thank you, as I'm not particularly keen on vocals).
Can't forget Coleman Hawkins.
Louis Armstrong of course.
Maybe some Chick Webb, before Ella please.
And something featuring Mary Lou Williams.
I'd really appreciate some good, solid recommendations from all you knowledgeable cats out there.
My ideas of musical perfection from that era (aside from what you've mentionbed):
The small Benny Goodman groups (Charlie Christian!).
The Ellington bands with Blanton. I'd rate Duke the finest composer of the 20th century.
And, of course, Diz with Bird. The birth of bop was momentous.
I agree with your additions.
Seems I wasn't as clear as I should have been. I'm looking for recommendations of specific recordings - artist and title of the album would suffice - label and # if one is so inclined.
I'm not very knowledgeable about the music from this era, I guess mostly because I haven't found a lot of stuff in this time frame I can relate to. But I've always been a fan of Fats Waller. One song I love is "Honeysuckle Rose A la Bach-Beethoven-Brahms-Waller" which is a brilliant fusion of classical and jazz. Another fun listen is Louis Jordan of "Saturday Night Fish Fry" fame http://www.heptune.com/ljsaturd.html BTW, at the bottom of that page, they got the pronunciation of "sandwiches" wrong. It's actually pronounced "sammiches" in the song :)
Like you, I'm a '50s-'60s-'70s jazz kind of guy, so I'd be interested in whatever you find too.
Gracing my living room these past few evenings:
Benny Goodman Sextet with Count Basie, Columbia G-30779
Don Byas with Slam Stewart, Atlantic SD-310
Bud Powell Trio, Roost 2224
Duke Ellington with Jimmy Blanton, RCA LPM 1364
another highly recomended jazz guitarist is django reinhardt. he arived a bit earlier in the jazz scene than the late thirties, but he is still amazing, and in my opinion he is one of the true pioneers of the style and it's harmonic development. i don't think you can get specific recordings of his now, but you can buy boxed sets... i have a 3CD set... if anything, get something with 'nuages' on it. this is one of his most famous tunes, and for a good reason... it is such a beautiful song.
i don't want to recomend specific recordings... i think the best way to start is to buy compilation CD's of these artists, and see what you like best, and from there, look at the date of recording, and chase up stuff from the era you like. also, find out the people they were playing with, as this can make a huge difference. like Sy said about smaller benny goodman groups, and then mentioned charlie christian...
he also recomended duke ellington... for example, when duke played with a singer/trumpeter/violinist/whateverist (a very talented man in other words) called Ray Nance, he did some amazing recordings.
a good one is 'duke ellington plays standards' - ColumbiaCK-65056
this has a broad range of his works from about the mid 30's until the mid 60's.
for goodman, a good compilation is '16 most requested songs'... this is of goodman with his bigger bands, but also has a couple of tracks from his sextet from the charlie christian era. it has all the goodman favourites on it... sing sing sing, why don't you do right, and so on... you've probably heard of all the songs on there at sometime before, but it's still good.
more recently however, jazz has started going up hill again, and the level of creativity of artists has shot up too. I realised this especially seeing as recently we had the melbourne international jazz festival, and there was many new and amazing artists there. Any canadians around heard of Quincin Narchoff??? I saw him and was very impressed.
I am only young, but am absolute freak for jazz, so much so that about 80% of the times i use my fake ID is so i can get into jazz clubs (yeah, i'm bad, but it's for a good reason i use it most of the time)... so in my opinion, your heart is in the right place as far as music goes.
Anyone else care to suggest?
Bill, one thing I don't have, but maybe you can dig up, is some recordings of Fletcher Henderson's big band during the time when Sonny Blount was doing his arrangements. This would have been in the late '30s.
Blount later had a makeover and became Sun Ra, one of my all-time favorite musicians, but I'd love to explore his roots a bit more.
Thanks to everyone who have made suggestions. It's hard to believe though that there are so few early jazz fans on this forum willing to provide input.
I will add 2 of mine:
The Popular Duke Ellington, RCA LPM-3576, 1966
Ella Fitzgerald - Whisper Not, Verve V-4071, about 1966.
I bought them when I was in the US for the 1st time and they still remain one of my best - both music and very natural sound ...
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