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Recommendations wanted for these jazz artists...

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by DaveBeny, Jun 26, 2002.

  1. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    Thelonious Monk: Have not got a clue where to start - there's a huge amount of stuff available (albums and compilations), all across various record labels.

    Art Ensemble of Chicago: Am really interested in hearing something by this group. I'm thinking of going for the new ECM compilation which has been selected by the musicians themselves.


    Sun Ra: See reasons for Monk.
  2. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I can't help you, Dave.
    I'm interested in Sun Ra & his sax player(John Gilmore)...I have Space Is The Place & maybe Atlantis tucked away somewhere. I need more Ra, that's a fact! ;)

    The AEC-
    ...I'll tell you this, their drummer(Don Moye)is a serious hard-hitter.
    I'm gonna look into that ECM compilation disc.
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I've just got the Blue Note "Best of Monk" which has a lot of his most famous tunes and an album of Monk with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers.

    I was tempted by the ECM release you mentioned - saw it in the shops - I remember the NME, giving then great reviews at around the time of Punk - when they only reviewed punk stuff. It was like - you really like noise music, well until you've tried this you aint heard nothin'!!! ;)
  4. I can only tell you what I enjoy for Monk.
    In no order.
    You could always start with the soundtrack, Straight no chaser but . . .

    Thelonious Monk Trio
    Brilliant Corners
    Plays Duke Ellington
    Monk's Music
    Thelonious Monk With John Coltrane
  5. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    I've found this review of the new ECM :rarum compilation:

    Alone among the first eight albums of the ECM Rarum series, the Art Ensemble of Chicago edition is a group effort, with surviving members Roscoe Mitchell, Malachi Favors, and Don Moye offering only a brief greeting in the booklet. There were only four Art Ensemble of Chicago albums over only a half-dozen years (1978-1984), so listeners get two tracks from the initial offering, "Nice Guys" and "Full Force," and one apiece from Urban Bushmen and The Third Decade. The nearly 20-minutes-long "Megg Zelma" and 11-minute "Folkus" have an abundance of the free abstract playing, Dada theater, percussion circuses, sound effects, and freaky humor that might be part of a live Art Ensemble of Chicago concert — recorded with breathtaking clarity and sounding sharper than ever in the 96khz/24-bit digital remastering. Yet there is also a sample of the more ethereal side of the Art Ensemble of Chicago in "Prayer for Jimbo Kwesi," with flutes, trumpet, and soprano sax repeating a haunting modal tune in triple meter. To fill out the CD, ECM includes a fine 1981 Latin-flavored Lester Bowie solo track, "Rios Negroes" (the Bowie ECM solo discography is actually the same size as that of the Art Ensemble's) and reaches all the way to 1997 for a chaotic Roscoe Mitchell free-form solo session, "Nine to Get Ready." Despite the cool, genteel ECM image, the Art Ensemble of Chicago's renegade madness comes through in this reissue in full force — with great sound to match — so it can be recommended as an introduction to their freewheeling soundworld.

    Sounds alright doesn't it? I think I'll buy this tomorrow, along with Miles' 'Nefretiti',, and Herbie Hancock's 'Mwandishi' and 'Crossings' (They're £4.99 in the HMV sale - I can't pass them up at that price!)

    Also, (I may have asked this before) I'm looking for recommendations for Keith Jarrett. There is an ECM :rarum Jarrett compilation out as well now, but it seems a little too diverse to be a good introduction to his music. I may get 'The Koln Concert' (Tower Records has it on special offer at the moment) or something by his trio with Peacock/DeJohnette. Comments/ideas, anyone?
  6. For Monk, I particularly like "Live at the It Club," the live record at the Five Spot with Coltrane, and the record where he plays Ellington.

    For Sun Ra, I wouldn't know where to start--there's just too much stuff. I seem to recall that recently some guitarist--was it Trey Anastasio of Phish?--was involved in a project of playing Sun Ra's music. Seems to me he might have had John Gilmore and or Pat Patrick on this too, but I can't swear to it.

    For the AEC, I've only ever seen them live--and yes, Don Moye is/was a monster--and so can't help much there. As I recall, "People In Sorrow" is considered to be one of their seminal records, but from what I understand it can be tough to listen to.

    For Jarrett, he has a ton of albums out, but I particularly like "Belonging" with a Norwegian group(this has the tune that Becker and Fagen sorta borrowed for "Gaucho") and "Tribute" with the Peacock/DeJohnette trio.
  7. TBONE64

    TBONE64 Guest

    Feb 22, 2002
    Chesterfield, VA
    I would agree Monk and Trane is a great side in my opinion on the best. Miles and Monk has some nice tracks.

    As for Keith Jarret my favorite is Live at the Blue Note. It was originally available as a boxset with 5 discs, but now you can get Disc 1 separately. I also like Live at the Deerhead Inn.

    When it comes to Jarret IMO the best sides are the live ones.

    Happy Listening.
  8. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    I have found on Amazon a Sun Ra 'Greatest Hits', released in 2000. I will keep an eye out for this.


    The review from Amazon:
    Sun Ra didn't really have "greatest hits," or hits at all to speak of, producing scores of LPs on his own Saturn label in editions numbering in the hundreds, primarily for bandstand sales. These albums sported cover art handcrafted by band members, and the records have become rare collector's items. Whatever the title, Jerry Gordon, the person responsible for Evidence Music's ambitious reissues of the Saturn recordings, has constructed an excellent introduction to Sun Ra's cosmic empire of big-band swing, free-jazz improvisation, electronic sound effects, science fiction, and ancient Egyptian mysteries with this Greatest Hits.
    While the strange trappings of Sun Ra and the Arkestra--the names, costumes, homemade percussion, and space rap that seemed suspended between vaudeville and cult--remained constant, the music was always in development, picking up approaches from the surrounding world and the inner workings of its own processes. The 18 tracks here are drawn from 15 Saturn LPs, a film soundtrack, and two 45 rpm singles, and they range from the earliest Sun Ra recordings in 1956 to 1973, covering the band's odyssey from Chicago to New York to Philadelphia. It was a period that saw the Arkestra evolve from a hard-swinging, modern-jazz big band that was already rhythmically and tonally adventurous to a unique orchestra incorporating large-scale collective improvisation and ritual, then moving on further to a multilayered transformation of funk.

    Through it all, Sun Ra maintained a nucleus of brilliant and loyal musicians, with a saxophone section that rivaled Ellington's for durability and sheer brilliance, however different the musical context could be. Its members--including John Gilmore on tenor, Marshall Allen on alto and oboe, and Pat Patrick on baritone--supply highlights throughout this collection. Virtually every track is of special interest, another dimension of Sun Ra's fertile creativity. Trumpeter Hobart Dotson adds a crisp brassiness to the intensely swinging "Saturn," and there are Ellingtonian touches in the plunger-muted trombone of "Medicine for a Nightmare." Early versions of "'Round Midnight," with a vocal by Hattie Randolph, and "I Loves You, Porgy" show Sun Ra's faithful and moving handling of other people's music. The episodic space chant "Rocket Number Nine," from 1960, has a Gilmore tenor solo that parallels period Coltrane and a Ronnie Boykins bass solo that uses bowed upper harmonics in a way that was otherwise unheard of at that time. Sun Ra's lyrical solo piano on "The Alter Destiny" compresses his decades of jazz experience (he began playing with Fletcher Henderson), while "Yucatan" is an episode of dense, propulsive drumming. The concluding "A Perfect Man," originally a 1973 Saturn 45, sounds like a slightly tilted theme for an espionage thriller. For those seeking entry into the sometimes daunting world of a great original, this CD is a good first choice. Identification of key soloists in the liner notes, though, would have been a nice touch. -- Stuart Broomer
  9. misterk73


    Apr 11, 2002
    Flagstaff, AZ
    I can't help with suggestions, but want to hear what others have to say...
  10. for Monk I like 'Live at the It Club', 'Monk's Music', and 'Monk's Dream'.
  11. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...the Anastasio project is called Surrender To The Air.
    No John Gilmore(died in '95)...Marshall Allen & Michael Ray from Ra's band are present & accounted for, as are the Burbridge brothers(Oteil & Kofi), John Medeski, Marc Ribot, etc.
    Saying this disc is 'difficult' would be an understatement.

    I received a Mosaic/True Blue Music catalog today.
    There's a box set called The Art Ensemble Of Chicago 1967/68. FIVE cds...the original recordings by the Roscoe Mitchell Art Ensemble(w/ Bowie & Favors) as it evolved into The Art Ensemble Of Chicago(w/ Jarman).
    Originally issued on 3 LPs, this 5-cd box is 'limited issue'.
  12. Nice Avatar, thanks for the tips, I got sick of renting Straight no chaser so I bought it.
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I looked up the AEoC in my Penguin guide to Jazz on CD (5th Edition) and it really recommends this boxed set - but it does say in the text that the experience of listening to them on CD is very tame compared with their live perfromances!

    They say that the ECM stuff is particularly tame and doesn't really represent them at all, although it is "easier listening". ;)
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well I went against my own advice and bought the ECM compilation of the AEoC - I'm listening to it now! ;)

    I bought JazzWise magazine and read their review in a Cafe and thought it sounded a reasonably good purchase for the price (a lot of music) and I really wanted to hear what they actually sounded like after reading so much!

    First track sounds like Mingus - second is getting more unusual ......
  15. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    Keep us posted Bruce. I didn't buy it today as I planned, but I did pick up 'The Koln Concert' by Keith Jarrett. I listened to the soundclips at www.cdnow.com last night and thought it sounded great. I haven't had a chance to listen to the full album yet though.
  16. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I should know 'the deal' next week...
    I ordered both.
    (& your capsule review of the ECM disc sounds good to me!).

    I don't know if Dusty Grooves ships overseas...in any event, they have some very nice stuff.
    I finally copped a copy of Moncur's Evolution & MacLean's One Step Beyond & Gil Evans Into The Hot from DG.
    ...and they stock a lot of the OKKA discs(a pretty decent Free Jazz label operating out of Chicago).

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