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    1. Kind of Blue
    $11.99 $8.98 list($12.97)
    2. Saxophone Colossus
    $11.99 $9.43 list($12.97)
    3. Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane
    $13.99 $13.07 list($17.98)
    4. Jumping the Creek
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    5. Mingus Ah Um [Bonus Tracks]
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    6. Moanin'
    $14.99 $14.98 list($19.98)
    7. Playboy Jazz After Dark
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    8. Smokin' at the Half Note [Bonus
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    9. Bridge
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    10. Round About Midnight [Bonus Tracks]
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    11. Night Train
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    12. The Ultimate Blue Train
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    13. The Incredible Jazz Guitar of
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    14. Stan Getz & The Oscar Peterson
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    15. The Very Best of John Coltrane
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    16. Sidewinder
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    17. My Favorite Things
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    18. Alfie
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    19. Song for My Father
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    20. The Essential Charlie Parker

    1. Kind of Blue
    list price: $11.98
    our price: $8.99
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    Asin: B000002ADT
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 134
    Average Customer Review: 4.77 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential recording

    This is the one jazz record owned by people who don't listen to jazz, and with good reason. The band itself is extraordinary (proof of Miles Davis's masterful casting skills, if not of God's existence), listing John Coltrane and Julian "Cannonball" Adderley on saxophones, Bill Evans (or, on "Freddie Freeloader," Wynton Kelly) on piano, and the crack rhythm unit of Paul Chambers on bass and Jimmy Cobb on drums. Coltrane's astringency on tenor is counterpoised to Adderley's funky self on alto, with Davis moderating between them as Bill Evans conjures up a still lake of sound on which they walk. Meanwhile, the rhythm partnership of Cobb and Chambers is prepared to click off time until eternity. It was the key recording of what became modal jazz, a music free of the fixed harmonies and forms of pop songs. In Davis's men's hands it was a weightless music, but one that refused to fade into the background. In retrospect every note seems perfect, and each piece moves inexorably towards its destiny. --John Szwed ... Read more

    Reviews (495)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Music for the ages
    I've must have listened to this recording many times over the last thirty years and I've never gotten bored with it. This recording can be enjoyed by casual jazz fans and jazz fanatics and musician types like myself.

    The music is very "accessible" as opposed to the heavy hard bop that turn non-jazzers off. Yet, for all its accesibility, the music swings from the first beat of the crash cymbal that starts "So What" to the cool "All Blues". The haiku-like "Blue in Green" is the closest to a Jazz tone poem I've ever heard before or since. If i were to characterize this recording with one word it would be "understatement"(maybe that's two words).

    The personnel: Miles Davis,trumpet;John Coltrane,ten. sax;Cannonball Adderly,alto sax;Paul Chambers, bass; Wynton Kelly and Bill Evans on piano; J. Cobb on drums, have all been freed from the strictures of chord fragments and progressions to create and develop any improvistional idea they could dream up. This was some revolutionary stuff in the pop song dominated hard bop repertoire of that era. With the exception of "Blue in Green" all the tunes are based on modal scales. Which freed the musicians to play anything they wanted within that scale.

    Coltrane is superb. It's one of his last dates with Miles before recording exclusively as a leader. His ideas are muted, inventive and never tired. Cannonball complemented the horn section with bright,exuberant and rapid fire phrasing. Miles' "less is more" approach to playing on all of the tunes tie the whole album together into a seamless masterpiece, yes masterpiece. The spaces between his notes are as much of the music as the notes played.

    If you are a musician and want to play with the CD, I would suggest you purchase versions that correct for the original pressing being recorded at a slightly faster speed than the music was actually performed. This resulted in the tones being a half step higher resulting in slightly sharper tones. If your ear won't or can't detect that, it really doesn't matter which version you pick up just as long as you add this to your collection. You won't be disappointed.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Miles Revelation!!
    Admittedly, I was a latecomer to the genius of Miles Davis. On several occasions, I was told of the level of greatness in his music. Kind Of Blue was the first album I heard - thanks to two family members who might have been trying to tell me something; I received the album twice, on the same Christmas Day! Is this the epitome of cool/love ballad jazz? Complex enough to feel the aesthetic, modal harmonies- Concise enough to blend into the accessible rhythm. The clarity is powerful enough to validate that these notes, initially written down on scraps of paper and subsequently distributed to each established musician. Delicately chosen, Miles was always secure in knowing what type of sound he wanted. I listen to 'All Blues' and love the fact that the song is quite the odyssey, performing a complete three-sixty, ending up right where we started. As are all the tunes a myriad of the melancholy, (Blue In Green) across the gamut, displaying the bouncy-hip style of, "Freddie Freeloader" named after a real-life character. Miles Davis crossed definitive boundaries purposely, creating a timeless sound.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This album is the jazz's quintessential !
    This album is incredible , amazing . It doesn't happen very often one recording reachs so cosmic heights .
    You may consider a simple account about this statement.
    Think in I love Paris (Michel Legrand)(see my review) . In this case Davis is present in the recording session , and we are just talking about the supreme jewel of the instrumental music in any time . I mean , if I love Paris (made in 1954) reached this status (years before A kind of blue) , you must agree with me that Miles Davis owned the magic playing , moreover, the poetic level (and when I talk about poetry , I mean the greek sense of the term , which is creation ).
    Specifically , Davis was a very illustrated man , with a strong introspective approach . The notes are there , but the scope is the difference , the velvet touch , the exact expressiveness and the precise instant in what the note must sound vibrato or languish . Davis played music as he would be making a film, writing a book or painting , his trumpet was a brush , a pen or a script according the case .
    Notice for instance the Davis sound . I mean Davis was original because he goes to the origin , and transforms the notes , making them "sing" . There are other examples in jazz such as Stan Getz in the saxophone , Wes Montgomery in the guitar or Bill Evans in the piano .
    In Davis there was a deep sense of the expression and the wholeness meaning about jazz represents : this sense of freedom , and also a wide spectre of changing sensations , loneliness , happiness , sadness , anguish , desperation or seduction . This gradual sense of the tonal color about every note he played , you may find in the classical music giants , like Casals in the cello playing the Bach suites , Sandor Vegh conducting Mozart or Furtwangler conducting Beethoven or Bruckner , or Lipatti playing Chopin waltz . The sense of the expression and the real presence of commitment to achieve one specific sound and no other one.
    A Kind of Blue will be a reference standard not only for many years but also centuries .
    I have not any kind of doubt about that.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Worth listening to once.
    I wasn't too surprised to see that no-one's reviewed this item yet. I'll admit this is not a good album, but the trumpet player on here (Miles Davis) has an interesting style that's reminiscent of Orville Reddenbacher's playing during his final "consumptive" period. This album has been out of print for a long time, but as you can see there are a couple of used copies available, both for less than the price of a cup of coffee. So you might want to ChEcK iT oUt.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Only rated it one star so that everyone will read it
    Okay- here goes,
    Now, first of all there is NO ONE that can possibly even doubt Davis' ability as a player. You listen to ANY OTHER trumpet player then listen to him and you will right a way be able to tell how he has his own unique voice whenever he plays his instrument. It is so different than anyone else, and his soundis INCREDIBLY hard to reproduce, most trumpet players can only dream of having a sound and dynamic control like his. Being able to play stuff like this that isn't just fast lound and flashy, and keep it MUSICAL is true genius. You listen to anything on this cd and it is all GENIUS. It really takes a true genius to come up with the stuff he does. After hearing the album Davis makes it extremely clear the mood he was trying to convey to us because thats what music is....a language and he definately says something with this album. No matter if you like it or not, NO ONE can disagree thathe does not get what he wants to say said through this album, because Jazz truly is a great artform- where someone like him can actually do something like this and say so much through music. So honestly, whether you as an individual likes it or not does not matter, because this album besides being hailed as the greatest jazz album of all time, and just plain being insanely amazing, is a true statement of Davis' genius, and this album is truly the greatest piece of art and mastery ever to be created, even though some may not like the music- he gets what he wants said. ... Read more


    2. Saxophone Colossus
    list price: $12.97
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    Asin: B000000YG5
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1007
    Average Customer Review: 4.85 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Though he lacked the improvisational fire of John Coltrane and the restless curiosity of Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins played with a rich, round tone that complimented his melodic inclinations, making him the most accessible of the post-bop musicians. Saxophone Colossus is the most successful of the late '50s albums that made his reputation. Rollins' playing never falters; he's backed by the redoubtable Max Roach on drums, Tommy Flannagan on piano, and Doug Watkins on bass. Rollins is equally at home with the lilting Caribbean air of "St. Thomas," standards ("You Don't Know What Love Is"), blues ("Strode Rode," featuring a driving Tommy Flannagan solo), and a smoldering version of Brecht-Weill's "Moritat" (better known as "Mac the Knife"). If you are new to jazz, there is no better place to start than Saxophone Colossus. --Steven Mirkin ... Read more

    Reviews (52)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A classic!
    Sonny Rollins solidified his claim to the top tenor spot of the late 1950's with albums like, "Way Out West" and this one. His tone is warm, full, and flawless as he swings his way through this set with Max Roach on drums, Tommy Flanagan on piano, and Doug Watkins on bass. The calypso flavored "St Thomas" opens the disc and is a textbook example of what makes Rollins great. His playing is effortless, relaxed, and flawless. He displays a soft touch with sensetive interpretation of the standard "You Don't Know What Love Is", and kicks it back into high gear with the hard charging uptempo "Strode Rode". He displays his talent for uncovering unconventional material with a selection from a German musical here titled "Moritat". The final track is the jazz masterpiece "Blue7". Featuring masterful solos by Roach and Rollins this track leaves one feeling Sonny is cooler than most people could hope to be. Saxophone Colossus is one of those rare albums that is packed with legendary performances and future standards, flawless from top to bottom. This cd is essential and is guaranteed to delight.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A jazz milestone....
    Without a doubt, one of the five best jazz albums ever made is this 1956 masterpiece. Recorded in a single day at Rudy Van Gelder's living room/studio, Sonny Rollins earned his place as a legend with "Saxophone Colossus". Aided and abetted by powerhouse drummer Max Roach, pianist Tommy Flanagan, and bassist Doug Watkins, the quartet plays with the precision of a chamber orchestra, and swings just as hard. It's not very often that you hear an album where the musicians are so in tune with each other. From the breezy sway of "St. Thomas" to the final notes of "Blue 7", Rollins and company shows how it should be done. This newly remastered edition finally sounds as great as the original vinyl pressing but without the hefty price you'll shuck out for an original copy. No serious jazz fan should be without a copy of this amazing album in their collection.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Colossal sounds
    I bought this CD in steaming hot Singapore last summer and the Carribean melody to St. Thomas was like a cool breeze that made me forget about the heat! I knew that I was gonna love this album. All tracks here a great. There's no filler.

    Rollins' tone is impeccable, big and warm and fat.

    I like Miles and Coltrane because they can go very deep and bluesy in their approach, but I like people like Sonny Rollins and Horace Silver because they put the fun in the music. I can almost see them playing with a smile on their face.

    My fave track is still St. Thomas... I know it's a simple tune, but it's an effective one. Even on wintery nights I get transported into Island moods when I put this CD on.

    Definitely in my top 3 of all-time favourite jazz albums, which are at the moment:

    1) Relaxing with the Miles Davis Quintet
    2) Saxophone Colossus
    3) Burrell Coltrane

    5-0 out of 5 stars a must have classic
    This is truly one of the "must have" classic jazz albums. Sonny Rollins' tone and technique is masterful. Don't miss St. Thomas, Strode Rode and the classics you see in the "Real Books". These are now jazz standards. Every jazz student today plays these tunes - listen to the originals and be inspired.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Saxophone Colossus
    The question of who was the greater tenor sax player--Rollins or John Coltrane--continues even today. Let's look at it this way...in 1956, Coltrane was gaining prominence in Miles Davis' quintet, but he was far from being a great player. He did not yet have the technique to express the wild ideas in his brain. A year later, however, he went to play with Thelonious Monk's quartet, and the experience liberated him and his style. Only at that point could he truly hold his own against Rollins, who was already a mature player by 1956. Compared side by side, it seems Coltrane recorded more bona fide classic albums than Rollins, but I don't believe any of them are as consistently great as "Saxophone Colossus" ("Giant Steps" comes closest). Rollins' playing throughout the album is extraordinary, especially on the last number, "Blue 7", a strange blues improvisation which features one of Max Roach's fiercest drum solos. Tommy Flanagan plays piano, and he is known to double the quality of any album he plays on. Doug Watkins plays the bass, and he's got a nice sense of swing...one wonders why he only solos on one tune--"Moritat". But the star is Rollins, who is on fire from the word go. Clarity, coherence, speed, imagination and unpredictability are his weapons, and they make this probably the best saxophone record ever. ... Read more


    3. Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane
    list price: $12.97
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    Asin: B000000Y2F
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 546
    Average Customer Review: 4.96 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential recording

    Among Thelonious Monk's long stays at New York's legendary Five Spot was a six-month period in 1957 with possibly his most brilliant band, with John Coltrane finding fuel in Monk's music for his harmonic explorations. The quartet only recorded three studio tracks: a sublime reading of Monk's ballad "Ruby, My Dear"; a loping version of "Nutty"; and a stunning version of "Trinkle Tinkle" on which Trane's tenor mirrors Monk's piano part. The CD is completed with outtakes from an octet session that joined Coltrane and Coleman Hawkins and an extended solo version of "Functional." --Stuart Broomer ... Read more

    Reviews (23)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Two Misunderstood Jazz Geniuses in Perfect Sync
    In 1957, eccentric piano genius Thelonious Monk was on the verge of breaking into the jazz mainstream. He formed a quartet featuring tenor saxophonist John Coltrane, another musician who was no stranger to controversy. Their legendary collaboration (and gigs at the Five Spot Cafe) only lasted a few months, but the few recordings that it produced are classic. This studio CD (recently remastered in clear 20-bit sound) contains three great tunes by the Monk Quartet, two "leftovers" from the octet session (with Art Blakey and Coleman Hawkins) that produced _Monk's Music_, and a solo piano feature. All the tunes mix Monkish angularity with catchy melodies as only Monk could write them. It's hard to pick a favorite on an album this good, but if I have to: "Trinkle, Tinkle" really stands out for both Monk and Trane's playing (you can hear some of the earliest traces of his "sheets of sound") and Monk's unaccompanied playing on "Functional" is outstanding. But that's not to say that the tender playing on "Ruby, My Dear", or the octet versions of "Epistrophy" and "Off Minor" aren't fantastic in their own right. If you like this album, you must pick up the lower-fidelity recording of the band live at the Five Spot, as well as the aforementioned _Monk's Music_ album.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Lyrically speaking, a perfect Ten!
    In the Fifties, jazz artists like John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk were among a handful of musicians who shaped the future of modern American music for several decades. The fact that they played together and that their sessions at The Five Spot Cafe were recorded is nearly a miracle, since they were under contract to different record labels. They both appear on another record ( Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Giants- Prestige LP 7150 ), but they don't play together! So this disc is the sole representation of their musical collaboration.

    Ruby My Dear shows the young 'Trane playing mostly in the upper register of his tenor sax, with much vibrato, punctuating the sentiment in the tune. We can hear instantly the facility with which he deals with Monk's harmonic structure in this poignant ballad. Ironic piano solos are commonplace for Monk, but here he is more straighforward, with a half chorus that veers away from the polysyllabic phrasing of 'Trane's tenor. Monk's comping under Coltrane's restatement of the melody is unobtrusively perfect!

    On Nutty, Monk's solo echos lines that 'Trane has drawn, showing that the conversation between sax and piano is between equals. The high point of this disc is that Monk and 'Trane clearly speak each other's musical language. Over and over, you can hear the attention they pay to the phrasing of one another, such that they complement rather than compete.

    Two of the tunes add several other horns, including Coleman Hawkins, who gives forth with a taut chorus on Off Minor. The drummer here is Art Blakey, whose touch is very different from Shadow Wilson, more cymbal oriented, except for the characteristic press rolls that add exclamation points to solos.

    The disc ends with an unaccompanied piano solo -- Functional -- by Monk. It's very sad that there isn't a cellar in Lower Manhattan with a box of tape from other Five Spot session waiting to be discovered. This is the sort of music I never tire of hearing.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great...for what little there is of it.
    I'm giving this disc 5 stars, because it features Jazz greats in their prime, with amazing talent. However, I guess I should have paid closer attention to the song listings, because with so few tracks, this disc has only about 37minutes of music. I was hoping for more. It would act as a great introduction to Jazz for the novice, I would highly recommend it in that. For the real fan, there are lenghtier discs which would better serve your cashflow.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Just three tracks
    I was a little dissapointed with this one, it should have a label saying: historic 3 tracks, the other tracks are just fillers. The 3 tracks of Trane and Monk are amongst the best I have ever heard in jazz, electryfing. But theres also two outtakes from the Monks music album that you dont need if you already own that album and that do not show the chemistry between Trane and Monk. And then there is a track with Monk playing by himslef. I cannot help but feeling a litlle .... off, sorry.

    5-0 out of 5 stars jazz greats
    Ultra-hypnotic grooves; interweaving of diverse styles; a rollercoaster of emotions served up on an audible silver platter.

    With the downturn in American pop, there's never been a better opportunity to re-explore the true magic of jazz by ones who really know their stuff.

    Great jazz is this: it stimulates the mind, body and soul and takes you on a spiritual journey.

    It also rocks pretty ... hard! ... Read more


    4. Jumping the Creek
    list price: $17.98
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    Asin: B0007KIGIQ
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1390
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    While this is a quartet recording, some of the most thrilling moments on the disc are when the four members are interacting in pairs. The title track opens with drummer Eric Harland and Lloyd, the bass enters briefly, and then only the trap set continues in duet with pianist Geri Allen. Lloyd's compositions move from post-bop melodicism ("Ken Katta Ma Om") to the seemingly ancient bearing of folk-like figures ("Angel Oak Revisited"). Allen in particular is a stimulating springboard for the leader. She has played with him since the beginning of this decade, and the breadth of playing is showcased in the new writing. The sheer variety of this set is stunning, as the quartet steps from continent to continent with intoxicating confidence. --David Greenberger ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars If You Love Charles Lloyd - See Him Live
    I had the honor of seeing Charles Lloyd at Scullers in Boston recently as he opened his world tour. He was magnificent. In addition to doing material from this magnificent album, he added "Sombrero Sam" and "Forest Flower, Sunrise, Sunset" to the second set. Geri Allen was amazing and to watch Charles beam as she soloed on "Forest Flower" was a delight.
    The tour is on www.charleslloyd.com along with a full discography. Don't miss it!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Charles Lloyd brilliant as ever
    I was somewhat surpised after listening to this album, probably, because I have been listening to Lloyd's "safer" records lately (Water is Wide and Hyppernion with Higgins - two highly recommended albums).

    Nonetheless, I was shocked after I listened to first track. Lloyd's take on Brel's "Ne Me Quitte Pas" is absoultely stunning. There are no good words to describe it. You will just have to listen to it.

    Perhaps a good preparation for this album is Lloyd's last year release "Which way is east". Much like that recording, "Jumping the creek" is on the experimental side. Lloyd improvises on the seemingly endless shores of his imagination, and members of his quartet are understanding and willing to go on the journey. Allen does some outstanding playing on "Ken Katta Ma Om".

    For a personal favorite I select "The Sufi's Tears". Lloyd plays tarngato, evoking the oriental motives and bringing the listener to a completely different place. "Jumping the creek", the title composition, brings the musicians together in a whirlwind of improvisation.

    This album definetely marks a new high in Lloyd's career. Beautiful and evocative- stunning, "Jumping the creek" is a marvel.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of Charles Lloyd's Best Albums Ever
    This brand new album is a welcome addition to the Charles Lloyd collection. Ever since he first rose to prominence in the 1960s with his groundbreaking quartet, he has continued to move listeners of all different backgrounds with culturally diverse and spiritually moving music. Unfortunately, Mr. Lloyd dropped out of the music scene in the 1970s to pursue other interests. In the 1980s he re-emerged as a musician recording for the ECM label, which is the record label of this CD "Jumping the Creek." His style has changed, more reserved and brooding, but his pitch is the same and he still has loads of fresh new ideas.

    On this April 5, 2005 release, Charles Lloyd seems to have continued his creation of groundbreacking music. He is surrounded by three musicians who understand his music: pianist Geri Allen, basssist Robert Hurst(former bassist for the SF Jazz collective), and drummer Eric Harland(current drummer for the SF Jazz Collective). Each are dynamic in their own right, but when these three combine with Charles Lloyd, the sound is floating, hard driving, striking, and meditative.

    The album begins with the best thing on the whole album, "Ne Me Quitte Pas". Geri Allen begins by playing chords and the group enters to state the melody. "Ne Me Quitte Pas" is quite possibly one of the darkest pieces Mr. Lloyd has ever recorded. The melody is bleak, painting a picture of ominous, dark clouds ready to storm rain. Mrs. Allen develops her solo until she forcefully pounds (in a musical way) the main chords of the composition, climaxing her brilliant solo. Mr. Lloyd returns by restating the melody and develops the solo to an unbelievable climax where he screams in the upper altissimo range of the tenor saxophone. Eric Harland smashes the symbals with sticks, as oppossed to the delicate yet driving brushwork he uses for most of the composition. Robert Hurst plucks the bass with vigour, and Geri Allend accents with her rich chords. This breathtaking climax sent chills down my spine and clearly this performance and composition rank among Charles Lloyd's best.

    The rest of the album is very good, although not quite living up the epic perportions of the first composition. There are many duets between different members of the band. For instance, the title track begins with just drums and saxophone and later piano and drums. There are ballads and swing and meditative pieces. In addition to his tenor Lloyd plays alto on some tracks and the taragato, adding to the ethnic feel.

    This is an amazing album nevertheless and worth entirely every penny - even for the first piece, but the rest of the album is excellent. This and "Voice In the Night" to me represent the best of the new Lloyd that I have heard on ECM and there is everything in this album to confirm that Charles Lloyd is one of the greatest saxophonists alive, still fresh with new ideas and experiences to share with the listener. ... Read more


    5. Mingus Ah Um [Bonus Tracks]
    list price: $11.98
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    Asin: B00000I14Z
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1029
    Average Customer Review: 4.84 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Mercurial bassist and bandleader Charles Mingus was signed to Columbia Records for the briefest of time during 1959. His Columbia recordings, however, remain some of the most inspired, mood-jumping jazz in history. The flowing sadness of "Goodbye Porkpie Hat" (unedited here for the first time on CD!) rings like a funeral chorus that pitches headlong into a celebration of Lester Young's life and improvising flexibility, rather than his death. And there's the funky furnace blast of "Boogie Stop Shuffle" (also unedited!), which reaches its glory with Booker Ervin's Texas tenor sax, wrapped tight in bluesy tone. With the index of emotions captured, these songs nail why Mingus is possibly the most relevant jazzer for the '90s generation. He swings and shouts and hollers and somersaults. His tunes either induce foot-stomping with their intensity or reach for poignant yearning with their lyrical tapestry of orchestral colors. --Andrew Bartlett ... Read more

    Reviews (31)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Completely Satisfying¿A Work of Genius
    The first track says it all: "Better get it into Your Soul." This is soul-stirring, head-thumping, body-shaking stuff. Insistent, penetrating, simply inspired. Hard to compare it to anything, really, although it has elements of bebop, blues, gospel, and that crazy no-holds-barred spirit of funk. One of my top ten jazz cuts.

    The famous "Goodbye Porkpie Hat," a tribute to Lester Young, is a quieter blues-based piece, centered around soulfully played sax. Emotionally, it's both sad and affectionate. "Boogie Stop Shuffle" sounds like the soundtrack to some weird 60's spy movie --with Mingus, expect the unexpected! Excellent piano by Horace L. Parlan, Jr. driven along by the lionesque Mingus on bass. Self-portrait in "Three Colors" and "Open Letter to Duke" feature brilliant Ellingtonian arrangements and warm colors. The latter piece has superb boppish sax-riffs, settles into a richly colored niche, and then breaks into some rhythmic and melodic audacity.

    Mingus' brilliant, daring "Fables of Faubus" retains its mocking tone, but is less political than the vocal version on the magnificent "Live at Antibes." It's an interesting contrast to his bold (courageous, even) attack on Governor Faubus in the live version, and, again, shows Ellington's influence in its beautifully complex arrangement. "Pussy Cat Dues" and "Jelly Roll" deliver a New Orleans laid-back sound. On 'Dues,' Mingus lays down some languid, monumental bass effects. It's thick luxurious sleaze, sliced through with the purity and strength of the sax.

    One of the best of the studio albums, although, frankly, I like them all. An innovator, an explorer, a trailblazer, he is truly a genius. You'll find more and more to appreciate with every listening. Most highly recommended to the Mingus fan as well as the most hesitant newcomer

    5-0 out of 5 stars First Great Mingus Album
    This album is a classic, containing some of Mingus' best known compositions. Good By Pork Pie Hat is a deeply felt tribute to Lester Young, Better Get It In Your Soul raises the roof like a gospel revival meeting. Fables of Faubus is quirky and menacing.

    The band is full of good hard bop players. While not as adventurous as Mingus' bands from the 60s and 70s they play with style and passion. Horace Parlan in a wonder, especially considering that he worked with only three fingers on his right hand.

    A must have for any jazz fan.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the great jazz albums
    This is a wonderful album from the volatile genius of bassist, composer and arranger, Charles Mingus. The songs are all either classics or deserve to be--
    'Better git it in your soul' is a swirling, bubbling act of creative inspiration; 'Goodbye Pork Pie Hat' is a lovely introspective tribute to the then recently deceased tenor sax giant Lester Young; 'Fables of Faubus' is a satirical dig at a racist politician; 'Self Potrait in 3 colours' written though never used, for a film, is beautiful, etc etc.
    The playing is very good, especially the whole ensemble-individual playing not as striking individually as the great jazz players, although Mingus was a great bassist, Jimmy Knepper a wonderful trombonist, and Danny Richmond a phenomenal drummer.
    This shows what jazz can, and should do. Unmissable.

    5-0 out of 5 stars As Vital As Anything Recorded In Its Day
    There are three albums that make up my introduction to jazz records. Time Further Out by the Brubeck Quartet was first. Next was Monk's Underground LP. Then I'm diggin' this great album cover with the cubist painting and what a great title Goodbye Pork Pie Hat, a selection from the Mingus Ah Um masterpiece. In no time I'm so crazy over Mingus, I start buying everything I can find by him and shortly after that I caught him live at 2-Saints, a small...No, make that a tiny club on St Marks Place. During intermission I even found myself standing next to this jazz titan at the pizzaria on the corner of St Marks & 3rd...Having a slice with Mingus....Man, what a night that was!!!

    Back to Ah Um...It's a seminal jazz recording. In my opinion as vital as anything by Elington, Monk or Miles. Pork Pie Hat is at least as great as Round Midnight, Sophisticated Lady or Funny Valentine. If you don't own this one in your jazz collection...you've got a lot of explaining to do!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Euphoric
    If traditional jazz can be compared to arithmetic, you might say that Charlie Parker composed algebra, Monk worked in geometry, and Mingus entered the realms of calculus. The songs on this album have the cerebral quality of the best be bop, and the swing of Duke Ellington. For those unfamiliar with Mingus, don't be put off by the fact that he was a bassist. He does solo, but he knew enough not to expect non-musicians to sit through extended bass passages. While the music is complex, layer upon layer of rich sounds, it is also extremely accesable to anyone who loves jazz. ... Read more


    6. Moanin'
    list price: $11.98
    our price: $10.99
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    Asin: B00000I8UF
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1786
    Average Customer Review: 4.76 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential recording

    This is truly one of the great classics of hard bop, with drummer Art Blakey leading arguably his greatest Jazz Messengers lineup through a driving program that never lets up. Tenor saxophonist Benny Golson (whose composition "Along Came Betty" is heard here, subsequently becoming a jazz classic), brilliant trumpeter Lee Morgan, and funky pianist Bobby Timmons (who wrote the hit title cut) each take some of the best solos of their great careers, and Blakey was never greater. No jazz record collection should be without this disc. It remains one of the premier items in Blue Note's catalog, and rightfully so. As part of Blue Note's 1999 60th anniversary celebration, original session producer Rudy Van Gelder's done a smash job remixing Moanin', adding warmth in the low end and far greater color across the spectrum. And the booklet opens like a gatefold LP with vintage black-and-white photos of the original session. --Skip Heller ... Read more

    Reviews (33)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A true blowin' session from one of the best drummers in jazz
    One of the most well known jazz recordings for the title track, there is no doubt in my mind why it was so successful. This is by far one of the essential jazz albums of all time. The different styles, that cover standards, like Come Rain or Come Shine, bluesy material like Moanin', to real hardcore bop like The Drum Thunder Suite, all make this album so unique and make it stand out above the rest. Just the line-up guarantees this to be a good album. Art Blakey one of the finest drummers during the 1950's and 60's recruited a new trumpeter that got his debut in Dizzy's Big Band, Lee Morgan on trumpet, Benny Golson, a major key in the success to this album because he was the one that wrote most of the songs, on tenor, Bobby Timmons, a prime leader in the soul jazz movement, on piano, Jymie Merritt, a long time companion to Art, on bass. f you simply can only have one Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers disc (and why would you stop there?), it absolutely must be MOANIN'. That's all there is to it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I'm No Jazz Expert, But I Know What I Like...
    AND I LIKE THIS ALBUM A LOT!!!! Moanin' has got to be one of the most enjoyable albums I've ever heard, in jazz or any other genre for that matter. The tracks: memorable. The playing: extraordinary. The vibe: infectious! Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers manage to knock one out of the ballpark on this Blue Note date and the remastering job done by original recording engineer Rudy Van Gelder is all the more reason to pick this one up for your collection. The title track is truly classic (just listen to the inventive solos by trumpeter Lee Morgan and pianist Bobby Timmons on the original version if you don't believe me!) Along Came Betty just swings like nobody's business and the Drum Thunder Suite might as well be the highlight of the entire album, showcasing the explosive, polyrhythmic style that has since become Blakey's calling card (check out the work he pulls off with the mallets, MINDBLOWING STUFF!).

    As I've stated before, I don't claim to know all there is to know in the world of jazz, but I took a chance on Moanin' based on several recommendations and found it to be a legitimate keeper. Hell, you don't even have to like jazz to get into this album. GOOD MUSIC IS GOOD MUSIC, PERIOD!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fundamental, Basic
    I'm going to convert to Islam for a couple of minutes for the purpose of writing this review, and then I'm going to convert back to atheism. Let's see... what name should I adopt? How about "Aladdin"? I do not like this album. It will probably be a while before I buy another Art Blakey album. However, I don't know anything about jazz, so I'm in no position to appreciate it. I do know a little bit about pyscholllogy though. I do not think that you like this album. I don't think that you really like anything. When you listen to this you're bored silly, but you think that you're doing yourself a big favor and you're patting yourself on the back for it so hard that your hand hurts. Enjoy it. Aladdin Out.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Fabulous Classic!!!!!!!!!!
    This album has the hard grooves of Art Blakey's classic powerful, forcefull, hard drive playing, and the arrangements of The Modern Jazz Quartet. This album is a Blue Note Classic. One thing I like about Art Balkey's albums are his arrangements and ways to feature his drumming. Although, it was usually the horn man who created all the arrangements, and all the breaks. But, Blakey always delivered a fantastic contribution with his forceful solos and backing behind his soloists. This album starts off with the swinging classic, Moanin', written by pianist Bobby Timmons, who plays here. If jazz made the charts, this one would be on the top of it, for the year it was made. Blues March is another song, that would make number one if there was a jazz Billboard Charts. The real gem here, is Drum Thunder. This is what I mean as the great arrangements Blakey had on his albums. Every movement is differen't, and every movement is great! If you love classic 1950's hard bop and Blue Note, you'll love this album, and especially drummers will too. You can't go wrong with this album.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A great place to start
    You cannot deny how great this record is. This is THE record that got me into jazz 5 years ago and ever since, i have been hunting down every Blue Note albums. Moanin is highly recommended. Get this now ! ... Read more


    7. Playboy Jazz After Dark
    list price: $19.98
    our price: $14.99
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    Asin: B00008J2JF
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1453
    Average Customer Review: 4.91 out of 5 stars
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    Album Description

    The ultimate 2-CD collection of late-nite, mood-settingjazz, featuring classic performances by Miles Davis, JohnColtrane, Diana Krall, Tony Bennett, Duke Ellington, EllaFitzgerald and Billie Holiday! Playboy Jazz label. 2003. ... Read more

    Reviews (11)

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is an exellent jazz sampler... for late night romance
    Weather you want to relax after a long day at work, and get into your cumfy chair and read, or you want to romance that special someone with great jazz and a roaring fire, and a bottle of pink champaigne, this is the 2 cd set to do it with(sure there are cd's like "John Coltrane+Johnny Hartman" and "Charlie Parker With Strings", but this gives you a variety). This cd is not like msot hophodged cd jazz compilations(which I normally despise), this is not a sampler for your average bozo who doesn't know the difference between Kenny G & Eric Dolphy, this cd gives a difinitive overview of good jazz singers and solosits, and the songs flow and create a beautiful and at times exotic mood. Such great yet obscure singer like Ernestine Anderson and Miss Mary Stallings are featured here as well as great intrumentalists like Joe Pass and Gene Harris, and the newer but great Ken Keplowski. This 2 cd set will introduce you to not only yhe popular singers and soloitst but the greater obscure ones too. A great set of jazz, for any occasion waether in be a sophistocated cocktail party or a romantic date for two, or just you, a great cd, buy one for yourself and get one for a friend... A truly wonderful buy.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful romantic and moody album
    This 2 cd set is essential for all hep cats! Normally I skip compilations, however this cd creates a perfect mood for an intimate evening of dinner and who knows what else... This cd combines vintage retro jazz with newer artists, but the music blends well and has high artistic quality thuoghout. This cd is recomended even if you already have these songs on other cd's or by other artists, because they flow so nicely on this exellent and well thought thru two cd set. Hugh Heffner must have personally selected these himself, this cd is worthy of the almight Bunny logo that adorns the cover. Another plus is taht such unknown but great singers liek Mary Stallings, and Ernestine Anderson are included in this great set. This is a cool , hip and swingin' cd, for lovers in a romantic mood, a great addition to anyone's cd collection with any clas or taste at all.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Smoooooooth Jazz, with extra oooooo.
    This set deserves 7 out of 5 stars. I really couldn't praise this two disk collection enough. It has been described as a sampler, and that's accurate enough. If you like (lounge) jazz enough to start a collection, but don't know WHO you like, this is an excellent place to start. As a musical genre, jazz is as diverse, if not more, than any other type. It contains Blues, Swing, Dixieland, Lounge, Ragtime, and a throng of others. These disks are primarily what I would call Lounge Jazz - the type you'd hear played on an ebony baby grand piano, from across a dark room, sewn with swirls of grey-blue smoke and perfume, as the redhead in the sparkling rhinestone gown, sitting next to you at the bar, orders a dry martini, and winks at you playfully. Got the picture? The first CD is all instrumental. Deep base, sultry horns / reeds, and a tickling of the ivories. I was almost afraid to put the second CD in, for fear that I'd be disappointed. Number two blew me away. I couldn't believe I liked it better than the first. My favorite track was 13. Solitude - Billie Holiday. I would recommend this set to anyone who wants to start a jazz collection, but doesn't know where to begin.

    5-0 out of 5 stars JAZZ-JUNKIE's delight!!!
    For all you JAZZ-JUNKIES like me,(that doesn't sound so irregular), you will want this cd, especailly for the late night hours with that special someone. Yes all of us jazz junkies, already have this stuff in it's original context, but it's nice to have a variety at your fingertips, and this will introduce the novices to new artists liek Miss Ernestine Anderson(not too many people know about her), so buy this and if you love it, you may be a future "JAZZ JUNKIE", and there's nothing wrong with being a JAZZ-JUNKIE. So buy this cd you'll love it(& I love the "Beach house" humor, whoever wrote that original review must feel dumb). Just get this cd it's AWESOME. And one more thing... Jazz junkie, jazz junkie, jazz junkie, jazz junkie, jazz junkie, jazz junkie, jazz junie
    J-A-Z-Z J-U-N-K-I-E!!! That's for the guy who wrote never say Jazz junkie(we exhist and you can't shush us up). You wil llvoe this cd, jazz junkie or not.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I keep a dozen of these at each of my Texas beach condos
    Hi I'm erin, the Zillionaire stousee. I gave 20 of these away to all of my lovers, they all loved it. Just give this and an expensive bottle of wine to any jazz lover, or any lover(HAHAHA HAHA HAHAHA !!!!!!, nothing like rich person beach house humor). I love this cd and I have been searching for the perfect jazz CD with everything on it, and this is it! I have one at my beach condo and one at home, and I recommend it highly! Thansk for reading my review. Did i mention I'm a bragging annoying rich person, who has to mention my beach house. Wait a minute did I say beach condo(I'm from Texas?), oh well. Buy the cd you'll love it. ... Read more


    8. Smokin' at the Half Note [Bonus Tracks]
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $14.99
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    Asin: B0006VXF4G
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 2902
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Wes Montgomery brought the art of the electric guitar to new heights in the 1950s and 1960s before his untimely death at 43. His vaulting style employed octaves much as his main influence, Charlie Christian, did in the Benny Goodman Sextet. Montgomery's crowd-pleasing facility with the fretboard was best employed in live performance when he could stretch out and really be heard. Smokin' is a thoroughly satisfying live album recorded in 1965 and 1966 at the New York nightclub, with co-leader Wynton Kelly and his trio--Kelly on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, and Jimmy Cobb on drums. Montgomery and Kelly are in perfect sync here, especially on "No Blues" and "If You Could See Me Now." --John Swenson ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The best just got better
    The orginal version of this album has been available on CD for some time, but until now the complete live recording wasobtainable only as a pricey import. This re-release adds bonus tracks as well as stage announcements that make the listener feel as if he or she is actually present to hear Wes Montgomery and the Wynton Kelly trio in an intimate club setting. If you have the older CD, this new version is definitely a worthwhile upgrade. If you have never owned this album before and love good jazz guitar, there has never been a better time to start "smokin'."

    5-0 out of 5 stars A fire that won't go out.
    This remastered, expanded edition of the classic Wes Montgomery-Wynton Kelly session is essentially an economy-priced version of the import, "The Complete Smokin' at the Half Note."If you have the original "Smokin' at the Half Note" and are not a Wes completist, the audio quality of this version is not sufficiently superior, imo, to justify purchase.Still, it's reassuring to see that Wes' popularity continues to be supported by new editions of his work.

    Wes did not receive widespread public recognition until he was 35, and he was barely 44 when he died.Still, it's unlikely any other guitarist (including Christian and Django) has had a greater impact in the history of this music. By the time he had moved on from Riverside to this session for Verve, he had little to prove to musicians and was beginning to accept more accessible, popular assignments that would broaden his appeal to the general public. "Smokin'," despite lacking any tunes as challenging as "Airegin" ("The Incredible Guitar Artistry of"), can stand alongside his Riverside work as an example of creative, inspired playing. And the presence of Wyn Kelley along with Chambers and Cobb definitely raises the swing factor a notch.

    What sets Wes apart from the field is not pyrotechnical legerdemain or bold innovation but every "little" thing that he does so well so effortlessly so much of the time. The sound he gets out of the instrument is of itself a marvel. It has a deep and meaty, utterly natural, resonance, almost as if the tone is doubling itself, reminding me less of other guitarists than of Bird and Clifford. Additionally, there's never a microsecond of doubt in his playing or solo constructions. Nothing is tentative--in terms of notes, phrases, or choruses. It's all so completely lyrical and logical that the listener's biggest challenge can be not to take it for granted.

    His solo on Sam Jones' "Unit 7" might serve as a touchstone to all of his playing. He starts with inventive single note melodic ideas, then moves to octaves without the faintest suggestion of slowing down to accommodate the extra note, then finally kicks it into high gear with a fully chorded "out" chorus that feels as forceful as a shout chorus by the whole Count Basie Band.

    I never caught Wes live, but I've heard that visually he was the mirror image of his music--efficient, composed, resourceful, economical--not the least hint of wasted motion, just like Bird and Tatum. Genius requires a level of concentration that the rest of us probably have little to no experience with. Wes Montgomery is one of those artists who can take the listener beyond the music, offering a glimpse of the creative process itself as practiced by a true master. ... Read more


    9. Bridge
    list price: $16.98
    our price: $13.99
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    Asin: B00009PJRN
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 7907
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Widely acknowledged as the most significant and accomplished tenor saxophonist in the world, Sonny Rollins's recording legacy is nothing short of extraordinary. Beginning as a sideman in the late-'40s, he worked with Charlie Parker, Fats Navarro, Bud Powell, Max Roach, Clifford Brown, Thelonious Monk, Art Blakey, and Miles Davis. Since recording his first date as a leader in 1954, Rollins has recorded dozens of albums for numerous labels, eventually settling in for a long stay on Milestone. The Bridge, recorded in 1962 for RCA Records, is one of Rollins's most dramatic recordings: it marks a return from three years of self-imposed retirement and its title track is a nod to the stories that Rollins had spent much of that time practicing by himself on the Williamsburg Bridge. The lineup for The Bridge is unusual for the time, a quartet featuring guitar (Jim Hall) instead of piano. The rest of the band serves simply to frame Rollins, whose time off only improved his already awesome abilities. Along with the title track, the album's standouts include "Without a Song" and "God Bless the Child." --Fred Goodman ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Underrated Sonny
    A great Rollins recording, and unique in many ways. Here is Sonny playing with a guitar player, Jim Hall, who plays beatufifull both as an acompanist and taking good mellow solos. This recording is underated, because at the time this was supposed to be Sonny's big comeback after Ornette and Coltrane took the world by surprise. So everyone was expecting this to be a new sound, an avant gard session, and it wasnt. It was Sonny, with a more mellow sound, playing a mix bag of originals and standards. But time has proven that this is a masterpiece.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Classic, indispensable
    There's simply nothing more important than Sonny's work on this piece of American Art.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Bridge is pure jazz.
    I bought the 1996 BMG Music version after hearing it at a book store. I can't believe the quality of the music. I very seldom buy music but bought this instantly. "You Do Something To Me" is one of my favorite tracks. Great music to set a mood. I highly recommend Sonny Rollins and in particular this CD.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Sonny and Jim Hall in an atounding set
    THis is a fantastic recording with Sonny Rollins sounding rich and melodic accompanied by the amazing Jim Hall on guitar. The very first cut ,Without A Song, is an absolute knockout. The quality of the mix is fabulous..sounds like it was recorded yesterday. A wonderful set that I will enjoy hearing again and again. ... Read more


    10. Round About Midnight [Bonus Tracks]
    list price: $11.98
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    Asin: B00005B58W
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 2154
    Average Customer Review: 4.88 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    In 1955, Miles Davis signed on with jazz powerhouse Columbia Records. With alto and tenor saxophonists Cannonball Adderley and John Coltrane, drummer Philly Joe Jones, bassist Paul Chambers, and pianist Red Garland, Davis released 'Round About Midnight, which evinces even more clearly what a phenomenal unit Davis was nurturing. Stylistically, Midnight encompasses standards (or soon-to-be standards) such as "Dear Old Stockholm," "Bye-Bye Blackbird," Tadd Dameron's "Tadd's Delight," and Jackie McLean's forward-thinking composition "Little Melonae." Miles and company reprise "Budo" from the historic Birth of the Cool sessions. The standout track is Davis's Harmon-muted reading of Thelonious Monk's ballad, "'Round Midnight, which is still a Miles standard bearer. Three alternate takes round out the session: "Two Bass Hit" and "Sweet Sue" feature adventuresome solos by Coltrane that preview his masterpiece "Giant Steps." And Garland moves away from his Ahmad Jamal pianisms with his introspective ivory ticklings. If you want to hear the origins of post-bop modern jazz, this isit. --Eugene Holley Jr. ... Read more

    Reviews (25)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Cool and stylish album from Miles' first great quintet.
    'Round About Midnight' is the first album Miles Davis would record during his long tenure at Columbia, and is the beginning of the most prolific and consistentally impressive output in jazz music history. You can see where the level of sophistication and innovation is flourishing in these recordings, even though this is still more or less considered "traditional" jazz. But the improvised lines, and the cool, muted playing are already becoming apparent as a Miles standard. The album opens up with 'Round Midnight', which is a rich and stirring late-night ballad, starting out with Miles' brooding, muted trumpet playing over Paul Chambers' slowly rolling basslines, then changing pace slight with Coltrane's reflective tenor sax smoothing out the edges, and making it into a smoky nightclub classic. Truly a work of art. 'Ah-Leu-Cha' is a throwback to the classic bebop style of jazz, and is more uptempo, with some impressive soloing from Coltrane and Davis. Red Garland's piano work is great here as well, as he manages to keep up with every chord change being thrown at him. 'All of You' is an old pop standard that the quintet plays through easy and relaxed. The same goes for the cool and subdued interpretation of 'Bye Bye Blackbird'. This is one of the best renderings of this old standard that you will find, and Davis varies his playing softly and then brings it back up to higher notes to compilment Coltrane's tenor sax. The musicianship all blends together seamlessly on this song as Garland's excellent piano solo brings Davis back in to close it out with a final sweet, muted refrain; just beautiful. 'Tadd's Delight' is another nice throwback to hard bop, with rollicking drumming from Philly Joe Jones, and more impressive piano playing from Garland. The final song on the original album 'Dear Old Stockholm' is a strange and haunting number, particularly Paul Chambers' long bass solo, which is low enough to get your heart racing. This reissue contains four titles from these sessions that were not featured on the original album, but all of them are slighty subpar in comparison, the only real standout, to me, being the slightly upbeat interpretation of 'Little Melonae', with its interesting arrangements and Davis' cool and perfectly-timed trumpet interjections.

    This is one of the essential recordings from Miles Davis' Columbia Years and anyone who is only familiar with the cool and stylish sophistication of 'Kind of Blue' and wants to know where to go next in Miles' HUGE catalog should check this album out. This quintet's musicianship are the perfect compliment to each other and smooths out all the rough edges that had previously marred some of Miles' work prior to this. It is especially interesting to note that this is the only album that was recorded by the quintet who would break up this same year over inner tensions. But the beauty is, they would reform a year later in 1957 with Cannonball Adderly as a sextet, and then would continue on an uphill journey making some of the greatest and most reputed recordings in jazz history.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Classic Miles, yet another great album by him.
    This album's beauty knocked me out when I first heard it. It swings better than almost any other combo album I've ever heard. This attributes greatly to Coltrane and Red Garland. Miles leads the way and stays impressive throughout, seemingly never missing a beat. Coltrane usually follows with wonderful intonation and technique, and then Red Garland comes out with that beautiful light touch. Most of the songs from this era follow the solo order of Miles, Coltrane and Garland. "'Round Midnight" is Miles's muted trumpet feature, in which he performed that previous year at the Newport Jazz Festival and brought his name back into the public eye. Coltrane sounds great here too. "Ah-Leu-Cha" is a Charlie Parker tune and was recorded with Miles in the 1940's. Now it sounds even fresher, and everyone swings and sounds great on it. "All Of You", Cole Porter's chesnut is a fast-paced tune with Miles playing beautifully on muted trumpet. Coltrane and Garland interact really well here, and Philly Joe Jones's brushwork is very prominent here, as it also is on the standard "Bye Bye Blackbird". Garland takes a most amazing solo here, and you can tell he's really enjoying himself, and Miles is at his muted best as usual. "Tadd's Delight" is another throwback to the old days of Tadd Dameron's bebop compositions. The playing is very clean and once again Miles, Coltrane and Garland follow suit interacting perfectly. The runs are all clean and fluid. Finally is the traditional that Stan Getz originally made famous, "Dear Old Stockholm". This opens up with Miles's muted trumpet, followed by a bass solo by Paul Chambers which is impeccably played. Then Coltrane comes in with his clean arpeggios and great ideas, and Miles closes it out nicely.

    This was the first album for Columbia from the first great Miles Davis Quintet. There were also other songs added to the remaster, which I have heard from an album I have called "Miles & Coltrane". These tunes are "Little Melonae" and "Sweet Sue, Just You". There is also an interesting recording of Bud Powell's "Budo". They are great to hear, but slightly interrupt the flow of the 'Round About Midnight album, so I prefer the original version. Get your hands on the "Miles & Coltrane" album too if you can, because that has some worthy lesser known performances also.

    5-0 out of 5 stars second best Miles Davis after Kind of Blue
    The Miles Davis I listen to most, after Kind of Blue. All time best recordings of Round Midnight and Blackbird. You feel like Miles is there in the room with you, Harmon mute and all. You feel his loneliness, melancholy and great joy. Communicates true emotion like no other Miles recording.

    Miles Davis first record with a major label.

    The SACD is much better.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best, if not the best
    This record is one of those rare records that you can put on from the first song and to the last and never get bored or want to skip a song.
    'Round Midnight is a perfect song, from start to finish. Both Miles and Trane express what they want with gorgeous melodies and tone.
    Ah-Leu-Cha is a great rendition of the classic Charlie Parker tune, especially with the intertwining melodies at the beginning.
    All of You shows the depth of Miles' Harmon mute, and is the best take of this song I've heard (better than the Blackhawk recording or some of the Plugged Nickel stuff).
    Bye Bye Blackbird contains what I think is Miles' best solo ever. His use of the Harmon mute is gorgeous and the entire song is unbelievable. Listen specifically to Philly Joe Jones brush strokes and Garland's comping skills on this one.
    Tadd's Delight is a great bop-style tune with one of Coltrane's best solo's on the disc. Jones' drumming is also unbelievable on this track.
    Dear Old Stockholm is the baddest jazz track ever. Period. That track is just bad as sh*t, from the first note to the end. And the highlight of this track is Paul's rare extended solo and Coltrane's solo. If there is a "best" song on this album, this is it. And Miles probably put it at the end purposely to make sure every listener knew that his band was the baddest there was and will ever be.
    Although there are extras which are great, I'm not going to talk about them because they weren't in the original album (even though Budo is awesome).

    If you should get anything out of this album, it should be this: this group was the tightest group there ever was and listening to this album proves it. Everyone is right in time and right on top of the music--no one one this record even though about doing a half-ass job when it came to producing some of the best music ever laid down on record. Enjoy

    5-0 out of 5 stars The first and best quintet.
    This is my personal favorite of Miles' small group records, and his first for Columbia. It's simply a matter of taste whether you prefer the first quintet or the second. Those who tend a little more towards the free jazz choose the second, but I prefer the delicate swing of the earlier one, even though Coltrane was not yet fully formed as a sax player. Still, their rendition of Cole Porter's "All of You" has to be one of Davis' most perfect recordings, where Red Garland's piano block chords work to irresistible effect (as they do on "Bye Bye Blackbird"). Miles told Red that he wanted Ahmad Jamal's style transplanted into his band, and a good argument could be made that it was Garland's swing that set the tone for the direction of the band. At the very least, Miles always turned to Red for suggestions of which standards to play. The other highlight is the downright otherworldly performance of Monk's "Round Midnight" (of which Monk apparently did not approve), where Coltrane shows early signs of breaking through. Not very surprising that it was Coltrane's brief stint with Monk that finally set him loose for good. Also worth noting is a fantastic version of "Dear Old Stockholm" which features an extended and brilliant bass solo by Paul Chambers, who very rarely got any soloing time on Miles' studio records. Great, great music. ... Read more


    11. Night Train
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $14.99
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    Asin: B0000047D4
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1923
    Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential recording

    This 1962 recording represents Oscar Peterson at his most commercially accommodating, yet his trio with Ray Brown and Ed Thigpen never fails to swing. The program includes such familiar melodies as the title track (which began life as Duke Ellington's "Happy Go Lucky Local"), "Georgia on My Mind," and "The Honeydripper." With the notable exception of the gospel-like original "Hymn to Freedom," most of the tracks clock in at around three minutes. This reissue contains several alternate takes that were wisely left off the original LP, including such unlikely jazz vehicles as "Volare" and "My Heart Belongs to Daddy." --Rick Mitchell ... Read more

    Reviews (31)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding and essential jazz piano
    Night Train is one of the best jazz piano albums I have yet to hear. Oscar Peterson is spellbinding -- both at breakneck and leisurely speeds -- and the ensemble is tight. Favorites here include Ellington's C-Jam Blues (only two notes!), The Honeydripper, Moten Swing, a definitive Band Call and of course a memorable rendition of the title track. I am a huge fan of Dave Brubeck, but one ride on the Night Train and it's obvious Peterson was something special. If you like exciting jazz piano -- this isn't background music -- Night Train is essential.

    The bonus tracks? I don't like to complain about getting something for nothing, but it would not be hard to argue that the original album is a classic that needed no embellishment. Even with lesser songs, Peterson turns in a convincing performance and these pass muster. 'Now's the Time' is an amazing bit of keyboard athleticism -- a performance more worthy than the tune. 'This Could Be the Start of Something' is similarly a superior performance of a not-so-superior number.

    The jury is still out on Verve's cardboard CD jackets. It looks nice but is destined to fall apart long before the CD fails. Perhaps Verve thought they were doing us a favor. Still a five-star album, but packaging is (a small) part of the equation.

    5-0 out of 5 stars All Time Great Jazz Album
    It's a pretty safe bet that if you put on pretty much any Oscar Peterson album you're going to have a good time. "Night Train" is probably his best known (and most accessible) album and it's easy to see why.

    Even if you aren't a jazz fan (or if you are looking to get into jazz) you should enjoy this. It's hard not to. It really swings. I would defy anybody not to be tapping along pretty much the minute "Happy Go Lucky Local" kicks in. The whe whole album has a great bluesy feel to it. You also get a number of extra tracks on the end of the album, none of which are up to the standards of the original cuts (which themselves set a very high standard to live up to) but which are interesting and add value to the package. It's also an excellent showcase for Peterson's piano-bass-drum trio, with Ed Thigpen on drums replacing Herb Ellis's guitar.

    This is a classic jazz album in its own right. It's also a great jazz album for people who don't like jazz. Just get it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars THE Oscar Peterson Proverbial Desert Island CD!
    Well, this is it! If I could only have ONE of the dozens of Oscar Peterson CDs to play on the proverbial desert island, THIS would be the one! Recorded in 1962.....post-Herb Ellis (guitar) era; Ed Thigpen (drum) era. So much pleasure, of course, to be heard from BOTH eras!....but this one tops 'em all for me. THE definitive versions (by any swinger!) of Georgia on My Mind, Moten Swing, Easy Does It, Things Ain't What They Used to Be, I Got It Bad (and That Ain't Good), and two I wasn't familiar with which I fell in love with: Band Call, and Hymn to Freedom. The chordal progressions alone are ear candy, and if your heart doesn't respond, call 911 ASAP!

    2-0 out of 5 stars VERY BAD!!!!!!!!!
    I have to say, I was very dissapointed with this album. Peterson, has not yet made an album that is up to the standard as THE WIGGLES!!!!!!!!!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best of the best
    Unlike many jazz piano lovers, I have never thought Oscar Peterson was showing off or playing too many notes, though I also love Count Basie, whose sparse playing goes in the opposite direction.

    This album is wonderfully appealing and, could be a great place to start with Oscar if you aren't yet acquainted with his music.

    I love every track [but only have the original CD], and appreciate the variety on the recording, from C Jam Blueswith its distinctive percussion and piano and double bass solos, to slow ballads like Hymn To Freedom and Things Ain't What They Used To Be through rollicking songs like Night Train and Moten Swing.
    Another terrific album is Tracks, which is one of few solo recordings. ... Read more


    12. The Ultimate Blue Train
    list price: $16.98
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    Asin: B000005H7D
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1642
    Average Customer Review: 4.93 out of 5 stars
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    Blue Train is one of those ineffable sound recordings that actually seems to capture a moment of perfect artistry. Coltrane was in the midst of a Prestige recording contract but was able to honor a previous commitment to Blue Note and release this one album. With four Coltrane originals, including the haunting theme of the title track, and one standard, this recording showed Coltrane was becoming the complete package: player, composer, and bandleader. What distinguishes this session from the Prestige dates of the same time is the easy, relaxed, and obviously well-rehearsed playing of the group, and the usual masterful recording by Rudy van Gelder. This enhanced CD-ROM also features two alternate takes. The well-designed multimedia elements, including musician interviews and pictures from the famous van Gelder studio, round this stellar session into an experience that informs and delights over and over. --Michael Monhart ... Read more

    Reviews (45)

    5-0 out of 5 stars My All-time Favorite Coltrane
    This album (CD) is without a doubt my favorite all-time Coltrane work. I can't seem to get enough. The greatest Coltrane song ever written - "Blue Train" - is on this CD. This song has been featured in several movies (e.g. 'Singles')and has a style and rhythm that is like no other jazz song in the history of jazz music. In fact, 'Blue Train' is the consummate jazz song.

    What's even greater than the above is the fact that every remaining song on this CD follows suit. 'Moment's Notice' has a nice friendly flow to it, and Curtis Fuller has some great trombone work on this song. Other songs like 'Locomotion' -which gives a locomotion feel to it - and 'I'm Old Fashion'- a lazy, flowing romantic melodious tune which draws the listener into the music - are also great additions. In fact, there's not a bad song on this CD. I Love this CD.

    If you are a big fan of Coltrane's, a big fan of jazz music or just someone who would like to get introduced to Coltrane - this is the best album to begin your journey through the land of Coltrane (where many other great CDs exist). I highly recommend this CD.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An hour of perfect music, and video as a bonus...
    If you want the Blue Train album, and you have a computer available, it is worth it to get "Ultimate" and spend 30-40 minutes watching and listening to the enhancements. There is a video clip of Trane playing "So What" with Miles Davis (from a black and white TV special around 1959) and a wonderful segment on Rudy Van Gelder. He's the engineer par excellance who was first an optometrist. He began recording jazz artists almost accidentally in the living room of his parents' house in Hackensack, NJ. That success led to getting a separate studio built in nearby Englewood Cliffs and to the abandoning of RVG's day job with eye exams. There are also interviews with six or seven men who played with Coltrane on various projects, and some audio clips from '50's albums in which Trane was not the leader. You can even listen to the music on this CD through your computer speakers if you wish. Read six or seven of the other reviews which describe the tunes and the playing in detail, then buy this. Along with "Kind of Blue" and a handful of other classic recordings, "Blue Train" is the cream of '50's jazz. Seeing and hearing the added features via computer, even just once, will help you understand why.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Solid session, overrated because it's Blue Note
    The music is good, the cover is iconic, and it was recorded for the most famous jazz label. So, why three stars? Mainly because compared to the truly masterful Trane of just a few years later, this sounds tame and boring. It could be called "Coltrane For Squares." The title tune and the solo he plays on it are first rate, and show how he was evolving toward his later style. But there is still a long way to go. The rest of the album is pretty standard Blue Note bop material. Again, not bad, but not nearly as special as everyone makes this album out to be. If you are looking to start digging into Coltrane, this is a totally safe album in which to do so. But, if you end up going further with him, you will hardly ever come back to this one.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Riding that Train, high on Coltrane
    Ok, that is really bad.

    But this cd is amazing. Right now I am in my Coltrane period. And I find Jazz to be the most personal of music. The players seem more human, more vulnerable, and there is a connection to the music that I get out of no other, classical is nice, but a little more removed. This is music of nightclubs, of angst and wonder.

    I have written before about the small moments of Jazz being heartstopping. And there are great moments, a song called Moments Notice for one, but much has been written for good reason about the inspired playing of Coltrane. He is a man on fire, a true combination of flame, passion and melody.

    It is also said that Coltrane played way above his sidemen, but I think the other work here is amazing.

    Like most instrumental music, it is visceral, subjective and alive.

    You should give it a try.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Requisite Jazz
    This is another Album in the vein of Miles Davis' Kind of Blue, that belongs in everyone's music collection regardless of whether they like Jazz or not. Echoing the sentiments of others, it is not the revolutionary work characteristic of Coltrane's other works, but it remains just plain cool. From the opening measures of the title track, you know that you are in for a fun, very chill ride. The album is kinda like Errol Flynn, James Dean, or even Paul Newman... cool without trying to be. ... Read more


    13. The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery
    list price: $12.97
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    Asin: B000000Y27
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 2019
    Average Customer Review: 4.73 out of 5 stars
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    This 1960 record solidified Montgomery's reputation as the mostimportant jazz guitarist to emerge since Charlie Christian in the1930s. His two most-distinguishing traits---the mellow thumb-pickingapproach and the soft and round use of octaves--are in full bloom here.Montgomery tackles two standards, one tune each from Sonny Rollins andDave Brubeck, plus four originals, including the classics "WestCoast Blues" and "Four on Six." His solos are remarkablyfluid and melodic while still capturing the essence of the blues idiom.He achieves a near-perfect balance of technique and emotion. On"Polka Dots and Moonbeams," his approach is unhurried anddelicate; on the original "Mr. Walker," he produces lengthy,bop-inspired runs without ever losing control. Tommy Flanagan'sgracefully understated piano proves a perfect match. Rather thancompete with horn players and their styles, Montgomery relished thedistinct and unique qualities of the guitar. --Marc Greilsamer ... Read more

    Reviews (22)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Legend
    There is probably none who has done more for jazz guitar than Wes Montgomery, except maybe Charlie Christian. Listening to this album you can hear why this man has influenced nearly every guitarist that has ever picked up an axe. Montgomery's style of play came about from playing late at night when his family was in bed. He used his fingers to keep the guitar quiet, and his trademark sound was born.

    This album showcases some great songs from the master of the jazz guitar. The album opens with "Airegin", an upbeat tune that shows off some great chord comping and powerful melodic runs. "D-Natural Blues" intros with "Heartbreak Hotel", but turns into run after run of powerful soloing from Montgomery. The quietly soulful "Polka Dots and Moonbeams" is nothing but beautiful. His solos are full of the octave-doubled notes that give his sound such a rich color.

    Even though Montgomery is gone, he still lives on not only through his own music, but through the music of others that have been touched by him. His soulful and innovative way of playing the guitar has earned him much respect in the guitar and jazz world. If you're a guitar fan, you owe it to yourself to check out Wes Montgomery, and this album is a good place to start.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Birth of Modern Jazz Guitar
    I owned this recording long before ever hearing a lick from the likes of Grant Green, John Scofield, Pat Metheny, Andreas Pettersson, or Peter Bernstein (just to name a few of my axe heroes aside from Wes), and I don't think I ever fully appreciated it until reading an interview with Metheny in which he names Montgomery as his all-time guitar influence, in terms of Wes's phrasing. It then dawned on me that this record not only sounds great, but it represents an *original* work that set a standard that has influenced thousands of jazz guitarists over the past 40 years. The simplest way to describe this recording is that throughout each track (and they all sound great) Wes makes his guitar sing in a way that few at the time thought possible. Moreover, he shows a very diverse range of melodic capabilities, from the ballad "Polka Dots and Moonbeams", to the jam "Four on Six". The rhythm section also seems superb here (how can one go wrong with Tommy Flanagan and the Heath Bros.?).
    Most impressive about this recording, however, is the feeling I get that Wes is not breaking much of a sweat here. The notes just seem to flow out in a very natural way and the music seems very unpretentious. If I could afford it, I would buy the entire box set representing all of Wes's Riverside recordings.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Terrible sound
    This is a great, great album. You need to buy this album if you are interested in jazz guitar or guitar at all. But the sound on this CD is just plain awful. Spend the extra bucks and get the Hybrid SACD version or at least the 24 bit remastering, its worth it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Jazz Guitar Landmark
    All jazz fans, especially jazz guitar fans, should have this album in their collection. This recording highlights Montgomery's sweet tone and lyrical phrasing, and after one listen it is easy to see how his playing influenced legions of guitarists. He is one of the giants of jazz, and he may be the greatest jazz guitarist of all time. If nothing else he is certainly in the jazz guitar pantheon that includes Joe Pass, Kenny Burrell and Charlie Christian -- and this is his finest album.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The first from th father of Jazz guitar
    OK, so the father of Jazz guitar is Charlie Christianson, but Was is his son, who, ummmm, had a baby , and it was Jazz guitar. Shut up. LOl. Ok, the sound quality is not as good as some others, and the playing is second best (next to Smokin at the Half Note.) Wes is not the most technical player, but he sure is the most emotional and soulful, and that more than makes up for it. I like Smokin better, but this album is great too. ... Read more


    14. Stan Getz & The Oscar Peterson Trio: The Silver Collection
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    Asin: B0000046ZJ
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1735
    Average Customer Review: 4.91 out of 5 stars
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    Stan Getz and Oscar Peterson were both consummate performers, comfortable at any tempo, when they met for this 1957 recording, and they're clearly enjoying one another's skills on ballads and uptempo tunes alike. The group is one of the finest editions of Peterson's trios, with bassist Ray Brown and guitarist Herb Ellis. It's virtually a machine for quiet swing, and the absence of a drummer lets Getz's silky sound come to the fore with all its details intact. For all his fame as a virtuosic pianist, Peterson is an underrated accompanist. He complements a soloist with deft fills and unobtrusive propulsion, and the backgrounds he supplies here are as subtle as his solos are extroverted. The program is a good mix of standards and Getz originals, including the joyous "Tour's End," while the extended ballad medley could define jazz lyricism. There's also a brief but infectious version of Ellis's "Detour Ahead," the guitarist's early and highly successful foray into songwriting. --Stuart Broomer ... Read more

    Reviews (11)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A dream quartet.
    This CD presents a very important collaboration. Stan Getz may be the most lyrical tenor saxophone player to have ever graced the face of the earth. Only Lester Young comes close. Prez modeled his sound on that of Frankie Trumbauer's C-melody saxophone, and Getz' model is Prez. Both of them transcend Trumbauer's syrupy improvisations. Getz' tone and the lyricism it supports are evident. All of this is for context, of course. This recording is truly a major musical event. It was on a par with Lester Young's famous collaborations with Teddy Wilson and Oscar Peterson. During this 1957 recording session, all of which is on the CD, Peterson's trio and Getz were more than comfortable with one another, and their mutual musical respect yielded classic performances . The cooperation is evident in Getz' solo on "I Want to Be Happy," a model of precision and lyrical invention. Peterson's solos are equally impressive; there's no unnecessary embellishment or decoration, and he swings powerfully. The long ballad medley--"Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered," "I Don't Know Why, I Just Do," "How Long Has This Been Going On?", "I Can't Get Started," and "Polka Dots and Moonbeams"--features fine solos by Getz and Peterson as well as Herb Ellis on guitar and Ray Brown on bass. In the interplay between the trio and Getz in such numbers as Getz' "Bronx Blues." the quartet sounds like a permanent group. In "Three Little Words" Ellis sets down a solid rhythm and Peterson comps behind Getz' opening solo before delivering an eloquent statement of his own which Getz answers with equal grace. The Getz-Peterson collaboration is particularly appealing on Ellis' "Detour Ahead," a prime instance of their treatment of ballad material. On "Sunday" Ray Brown's persistent bass and Ellis' percussive guitar support Getz admirably. The quartet even approximates a rhythm 'n blues song with Getz' "Blues for Herky." It's not every day that you hear Herb Ellis playing blues guitar with Oscar Peterson doing boogie woogie and Stan Getz blowing like he was in a jump band. But here it is, and it comes as a surprise bonus with some really superb jazz.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable jazz gem
    The Oscar Peterson Trio never sounded so good. What a beautiful blending of melody and rhythm this group has. An atomic clock could be set with what Oscar, Ray and Herb do. The addition of Stan Getz's melodic ideas makes this CD a true joy. One gets the impression from how Oscar sometimes starts his solos by quoting the previous soloist that the guy can play almost anything that happens to enter his head.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Heavenly hour of swingin' sax and piano from 1957...
    This is the most enjoyable of the three Getz CD's I own, and of course, Oscar and his playing partners are superb, whether soloing or supporting. This has a great mix of uptempo and ballad tracks, and gives Herb Ellis on guitar and Ray Brown on bass some shining moments as well as the principals. There are ten earlier reviews posted here, and most of those folks agree with me that this is one of best albums to come out of what I consider the golden age of jazz...the second half of the '50's. I'm not sure why the 1955-'60 period produced such music, but rock was good, Broadway was good, classical LP's sold well, comedy records were hot, there still was a "pop" music segment distinct from rock, and rhythm and blues and country had their share of crossover hits as well. It just was a creative time in a fairly affluent culture, and all forms of music benefitted. There is not a minute on this Getz/Peterson outing which is boring. The menu is mostly standards, but played in quite interesting style. I can't imagine any general music lover not enjoying this one---you don't already have to be well-versed in jazz.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Oscar Peterson Trio - at work. Quality counts!
    The Oscar Peterson Trio did a number of these releases featuring artists of the day. Stan Getz is another one who, with the help of the OPT, shines. Check out the OPT with Louis Armstrong... excellent craftmanship, and so is Stan Getz. The OPT set a standard for this type of collaboration. The sound quality is good, during periods of quiet some hiss is evident, this is probably caused by the tape quality and lack of effective filters for this white noise back when these recordings were put down on acetate. As always with OPT...Very enjoyable.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable
    Check all of the other reviews for the technical talk of keeping time or the lack of a percussion session. Let me just add that many times during the album, I found my foot stomping to the beat. To me, that is the best litmus test out there!! The ballad medley can only be bettered by the swing of the blues numbers on this album. Truly an exceptional meeting of exceptional artists. ... Read more


    15. The Very Best of John Coltrane [Rhino]
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    Asin: B000046PVI
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1935
    Average Customer Review: 4.88 out of 5 stars
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    With his inexhaustible technique, trademark sound, and limitless imagination, tenor and soprano saxophonist John Coltrane was one of jazz's most dominant musicians. This collection covers his important Atlantic Records sessions recorded from 1959 to 1960 (chronicled in their entirety on Heavyweight Champion). The tunes signal an important transitional phase from Trane's stints with Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk to his emergence as a leader in his own right. "Giant Steps" "Naima," and "Cousin Mary"--featuring pianist Tommy Flanagan and drummer Art Taylor--crystallized Trane's supersonic "sheets of sound" style. "Like Sonny," an Afro-Latin dedication to his friend and contemporary Sonny Rollins with Wynton Kelly on piano, reveals Trane's stylistic debts to Charlie Parker and Coleman Hawkins. His historic renditions of "My Shining Hour," "Body and Soul," "Summertime," and "My Favorite Things" highlight Coltrane's ability to remake a song into his own image, as well as introduce his influential sound on the soprano sax. These landmark recordings show the development of Coltrane's "great" quartet as well as forecast his iconoclastic excursions into the outer limits of rhythm and tonality, which grew during until his death in 1967. --Eugene Holley, Jr. ... Read more

    Reviews (8)

    5-0 out of 5 stars great music from a giant's great,, great period.
    Eleven tracks from the Atlantic recoding era. There are five recording sessions represented here from May 1959 through October 1960. The packaging is very nicely done and the music is, really, heavenly. Favorite tracks include Central Park West, Body and Soul, Mr. Syms and Giant Steps. One note of interest is that the song Giant Steps was not "released" by Atlantic/Rhino to Ken Burns' Coltrane collection which was released on Columbia. For this reason alone, this is probably a better choice, although the Ken Burns' collection covers virtually Coltrane's entire recording career. I like this collection more. You cannot go wrong with this selection.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Good Intro To This Sax Giant
    A comprehensive sampling of the style of John Coltrane and his supporting band mates. The man good really genenerate some creative tones out of his saxophone. I tend to prefer his slower more tuneful pieces like Central Park West, Mr. Syms, and Equinox. That last track really creates a mood.

    However, the show stopper on this puppy is My Favorite Things. Not a wasted moment as Coltrane really makes this song his own. The piano accompanyment McCoy Tyner is stunning. But the varying interpretations on the theme are performed with perfecion.

    Give this one a spin as it won't dissappoint you.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A PERFECT SAMPLER
    By carefully avoiding his most risqué music( ASCENSION,EXPRESSION)of the very last years,this collection is the perfect start for the future discovery by new listeners of the great legacy that COLTRANE left to us.By featuring three numbers from GIANT STEPS,the compiler choose right,since that was the time that COLTRANE started to record his own stuff.Experiences with MILES and MONK,both rewarding,were now behind him.This cd might have been titled THE FEW STEPS TOWARD FREE JAZZ.MY FAVORITE THINGS and SUMMERTIME demonstrate the full range of what critics of the time called his torrent of notes becomming an avalanche.What you have here,is simply 75 minutes of pure jazz.Liner notes written by someone who knew him, tells a lot about the man.

    5-0 out of 5 stars you must ride this trane
    It simply gets no better than this. Perfection being unacceptable, Coltrane reached for a point just beyond perfection. And he makes it. Listen for the sounds of Lester Young, Bird Parker and Sonny Rollins, as they are in there. Listen for the saxophone infusions of Donald Fagen and Walter Becker (Steely Dan), as they are predicted here.

    This is a great wine, sip slowly and enjoy.

    5-0 out of 5 stars the one collection that is needed
    if it does not disturb you that coltrane worked on albums as collective wholes and that any 'greatest hits' thus dissipates that power, this is the one collection that has the high points ... Read more


    16. Sidewinder
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    Asin: B00000IL26
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 3312
    Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
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    The Philadelphia-born trumpeter and superb bop stylist Lee Morgan apprenticed with Dizzy Gillespie and Art Blakey before emerging as a leader in his own right in the early '60s for Blue Note Records. Although Morgan owed a stylistic debt to both Gillespie and Clifford Brown, he quickly developed a voice of his own that combined half-valve effects, Latin inflections, and full, fluid melodies. While many of Morgan's later sessions for Blue Note would find him paired with saxophonist Hank Mobley, The Sidewinder features then up-and-coming tenor player Joe Henderson, plus Detroit pianist Barry Harris, bassist Bob Cranshaw, and drummer Billy Higgins. Along with the title track, an unconventional 24-bar blues, the album's compositional standout is "Totem Pole," a minor Latin groove featuring an outstanding solo by Henderson. This is the kind of relaxed blowing date, invigorated by thoughtful performances, that forms the backbone of the Blue Note catalog. --Fred Goodman ... Read more

    Reviews (21)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Blazing trumpet
    This is probably Lee Morgan's best album as a band leader, as most of his best work seems to have come earlier in his career as a member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. This CD really swings- there is not a slow track on the album- all the numbers are upbeat, and Lee Morgan's trumpet solo on the title track is known to be his best on record. Joe Henderson plays sax- this is one of his first recording dates. Lee Morgan's music was more popular than the average jazz musician because he played a lot of blues songs with a commercial appeal. Originally released in 1964 the Sidwinder became an instant classic. I have the original CD issued in the late 1980's that is not remastered, but it sounds clear and bright- a good recording. Along with Freddie Hubbard and Miles Davis, Lee Morgan was one of the best trumpet players in the 1960's, with immaculate technique- if you have not heard him then you are missing something for sure.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Classic Blue Note Recording by A Legendary Trumpeter
    Although all knowledgeable jazz fans know about Lee Morgan, had he not been murdered over thirty years ago, it is likely that today his name would be as recognizable in popular culture as that of Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie. He was a superbly fine player who made consistently strong sides in the 60s for Blue Note and Vee Jay, among other labels. Whether as a leader or a sideman, his musical contributions were extremely formidable and should be deeply investigated by any jazz fan or students of the trumpet.

    "The Sidewinder" is perhaps Morgan's best known recording, and it is indeed a good listen. The recording also features Joe Henderson (tenor), Barry Harris (piano), Billy Higgins (drums), and Bob Cranshaw (bass). The main title track that opens the recording is a pretty well-known, funky vamp that is so catchy that it is easy to miss the fine interplay between Henderson and Morgan throughout the track. The remaining tracks on the recording are a little more in the hard bop vein and really showcase Morgan's underrated skills as a composer--it should be noted that all of the tracks on the recording were written by Lee Morgan. As with the case of Hank Mobley, Morgan should be given a lot more credit for crafting intricate jazz compositions. They are excellent, particularly the gorgeous "Totem Pole" which features beautiful improvisational interludes, novel changes, and a tight, melodic head.

    Basically, this is not a bad place to start a Lee Morgan collection, if you are interested in hearing his work. However, with an artist of this magnitude, you can't really go wrong getting anything by him.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The cure for people who think they don't get jazz
    Some musicians do a particularly good job of expressing their personality through their instruments. On this album, Lee Morgan's trumpet expresses both sheer confidence and the absolute joy of playing music.

    This album is the cure for everyone who thinks they don't get jazz. The music is funky,bluesy, brash and extroverted. Fans of pretty much any popular music genre will be able to react to the groove here. Yet this is no dumbed down, watered-down piece of pandering. Instead, this was a group of highly accomplished jazz musicians playing their butts off on a really good day.

    The re-mastering of the original Blue Note recording sessions is also excellent. Blue Note was famous for having being best recorded sessions in jazz and this album is a good example of everything that made the label great. You can really here the interplay between the musicians on this very clean recording, without ever having to sacrifice the soulfulness of the music.

    Lee Morgan was one of several jazz trumpeters in the 1950s who died in a relatively young age. Play this disc and find out just what we all missed.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Underated jazz trumpeter
    This a desert island jazz disc. Any true jazz fan either has or had this disc in their collection and with good reason. The title track is the seminal jazz formula rooted in hard bop that was progressing into the formation of a free wheeling post bop generation of new players to carry on the torch. The brilliant then young, now long gone trumpeter Lee Morgan assembled a tight group of musicians to record his original compositons. This disc demonstrates the talent Lee Morgan had as a composer and soloist, unfortunately his time amongst us was short. The cast of musicians was outstanding with extra props going out to bassist Bob Cranshaw and veteran tenor sax man Joe Henderson. The rhythmic and harmonic structure of these songs played on this session are exceptional examples of a cohesive jazz unit playing as one whole. The duet by Henderson and Morgan is a rare beautiful interchange by a lead and sideman on "Totem Pole" as each plays in harmony, in unison as one instrument then suddenly gives way for the other to add a solo within the framework and continuing the pattern hitting all registrars and shattering perception of what notes can do. Certain discs that have been resurrected from the archives sound better with a sonic cleansing and this is one of those. The music is hot jazz played with a cool demeanor, it is simply one of the best in it's genre. It is about as tight a recording session as you'll ever hear. Originally recorded in the sixties this disc is the perfect backdrop as you make your way through a day in the concrete urban jungle. This is music to put your top down and cruise with the wind blowing through your hair as you leave the golden triangle and head up the coast to your hideaway. If you don't have this in your collection check it out and file it under perenially hip and classic right next to Miles Davis. Highly recommended for straight-ahead jazz aficionados.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Briliiant
    Lee Morgan was a true giant of bop and his trumpet playing on this record is representative of this man's amazing talent. Morgan's trumpet style was clean and hot . Every track on this CD is a winner.I love Morgan's work with Art Blakey too but this is the best work Morgan did as a bandleader. Joe Henderson compliments Morgan's searing trumpet style perfectly. It is impossible in my opinion to rank the great bop era trumpet players - Morgan, MIles, Clifford Brown, Fats Navarro and of course Dizzy are all stars in the firmament. Lee Morgan deserved his place in that company and the work he did on this collection assurred it. ... Read more


    17. My Favorite Things
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    Asin: B000002I53
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1071
    Average Customer Review: 4.92 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential recording

    This 1960 recording was a landmark album in John Coltrane's career, the first to introduce his quartet with pianist McCoy Tyner and drummer Elvin Jones and the first release on which he played soprano saxophone. It also provided him with a signature hit, as his new group conception came together wonderfully on the title track. It's an extended modal reworking in 6/4 time that brought the hypnotic pulsating quality of Indian music into jazz for the first time, with Coltrane's soprano wailing over the oscillating piano chords and pulsing drums. The unusual up-tempo version of Gershwin's "Summertime" is a heated example of Coltrane's "sheets of sound" approach to conventional changes, while "But Not for Me" receives a radical harmonic makeover. This is an excellent introduction to Coltrane's work. --Stuart Broomer ... Read more

    Reviews (25)

    5-0 out of 5 stars I like this!
    I was first exposed to Coltrane's later avant-garde work, like A Love Supreme, the weird Selflessness and the sonic nightmares Om and Ascesion, but then I got a copy of My Favorite Things, a song from a musical I HATE w/ a passion (The Sound of Music). Coltrane's version of the song is much better than the original one, because it omits the goofy and pretentious lyrics, added Eastern flavored styles to jazz and Coltrane and his band mates reworked it in an unusual but interesting time signature (6/4 I believe). Plus the solos by Coltrane on the song are absolutely amazing. The entire 10+ minutes of the track keep you interested and satisfied. The other 3 songs on this album are awesome as well. My Favorite Things may be Coltrane at his most accessible, but it certainly will appeal to more people than his later works, and is an esential to any jazz collection, or any CD collection, just like A Love Supreme or Miles Davis' Kind of Blue.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Coltrane's most stellar effort between bop and free-form
    Many would be quick to tell you that "A Love Supreme" is the unquestionable Coltrane masterpiece, but "My Favorite Things" deserves consideration. Recorded when Coltrane was moving away from hard-bop and closer to his own free-form compositions, this album is a literal representation of Coltrane in the middle of his career, and the playing shows an all-around gorgeous band exploring the beauty of these standards. The most impressive contribution is the bright work of pianist McCoy Tyner. Some view jazz albums not as a collection of songs but as one whole suite; this is an example of an albums that flows in such a way. The band carefully waves in and out of the melodies without ever drifting away from them. Coltrane does some of his most gentle sorprano sax playing here that is wonderfully offset by the energetic trio behind him.

    Those of you interested in Coltrane who don't know where to begin and are hesistant about Coltrane's free-form albums that began with "A Love Supreme" should start with this album. A beautiful gift to all of us.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Three stars is Fair, Five is too much!
    If you only own 20 jazz albums you probably feel that you have covered the many bases of this music. But just listen to Coltrane's Impulse, or Prestige recordings!! It's as though John's Atlantic material was the precursor to his greatest work- Love Supreme, Crescent, w/ Duke .E, all on Impulse. His work with Miles for Colombia Records isn't too bad either! This record is OK, more for the romantic listener than the seasoned jazz collector. As another reviewer said, it's an easy introduction to jazz music; enough said. cheers- jb

    5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect
    This is a wonderful CD in so many ways. If you are not a lover of jazz, this would be a great introduction to the genre. Coltrane is one the greatest jazz musicians of all time and Elvin Jones is arguably in the top two or three greatest jazz drummers. Really a perfect CD.

    5-0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Things; My Favorite Album!!!
    My Favorite Things is my favorite album. The first track, My Favorite Things cooks. McCoy takes the first solo, but soon after comes in Trane takin down the house. The first song is 15 minutes of swingin avant garde jazz. Trane and his men take a whole new spin on But Not For Me, and Summertime just plain swings. (there's a ballad isn't there?) This is also the album that gave drummer Elvin Jones the recognition that he needed to soon be one of the most influential drummers of the sixties. This a landemark album, with killer material. Two words for you- BUY IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ... Read more


    18. Alfie
    list price: $14.98
    our price: $13.99
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    Asin: B000003N9Q
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 18022
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    While Sonny Rollins's saxophone solos epitomized his best free-flowing improvisational ideas, he let the story of Michael Caine's philandering character determine the mood of this 1966 soundtrack. But knowing the movie's plot is not essential to hearing how this disc is a unique part of Rollins's oeuvre. A long-standing individualist, Rollins worked with director Lewis Gilbert to devise a narrative, and then conductor Oliver Nelson wrote arrangements based on his charts. Rollins is famous for his small groups, but here he leads an 11-piece band and gives considerable space to guitarist Kenny Burrell. The collaboration embellishes Rollins's playing, which was as strong in the mid-'60s as in his more celebrated years. And "Alfie's Theme" has become an unlikely jazz standard. --Aaron Cohen ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars fantastic
    This is one of the great jazz albums period, in my opinion. This is because of Sonny Rollins' playing. The music is not the same as what you hear in the movie, so there may be more unreleased stuff from this session in the vaults. It would be great if they released all of it, along with other Sonny Rollins stuff from the mid sixties.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Soundtrack
    This is an extrordiary albumn from Sonny Rollins. It truly defines jazz in the sixties. The first song introduces you to this great piece of work. With Kenny Burrell on guitar and the amazing Sonny Rollins on sax, this albumn will grasp the attention of your friends and guests. I personally enjoyed this albumn because it has the ability to make you feel good about yourself. ... Read more


    19. Song for My Father
    list price: $11.98
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    Asin: B00000IL27
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 3169
    Average Customer Review: 4.72 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential recording

    Since its title track provided the inspiration for Steely Dan's "Rikki, Don't Lose That Number," Song for My Father has become known as the jazz recording that launched a thousand bad rock records. Yet whatever pretensions Steely Dan and their legion of desperately hip imitators had shouldn't be laid at pianist Horace Silver's door: this is one of Blue Note's warmest and most satisfying collections--and that's saying something. A pioneer of the hard-bop style, which combined gospel and R&B with jazz, Silver authored many outstanding compositions, including not just "Song for My Father," but "Opus de Funk," "Nica's Dream," "Senor Blues," and "The Preacher." His quintets, which featured tenor sax and trumpet, spotlighted such up-and-coming talents as trumpeters Woody Shaw, Art Farmer, and Donald Byrd. On Song for My Father, the band features tenorman Joe Henderson, who contributed one of his own signature tunes, "The Kicker." Along with the strong quintet work, the album includes a fine trio feature for the pianist in "Lonely Woman." --Fred Goodman ... Read more

    Reviews (18)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Horace Silver-Songs for my Father
    Wow! I grew up in a small town. I studied music, and travelled for several years with my band. I am a jazz pianist, so it isn't too surprising that I used to see Horace Silver at a lounge in Los Angeles called Shelly's Manhole. It had the finest jazz players in the world. Famous people vied for the chance to be on stage. Art Blakey's loss was our win! In the early 1950's Horace worked briefly with Art and the Jazz Messengers.

    Well, I think Art has a fine sound, but I'll buy Horace first every time! This CD has a song that filled many a 'kitty' (tip jar) in the 1960's and '70's. 'Songs for my Father' is one I wish I had written! It is a sentimental favorite for me. It reminds me of friends, jam sessions, and jazz concerts.

    I saw Horace on a few occasions with his quintet. The money was well spent! If you love jazz, just get it! This is the sound of the Blue Note label at it's best!

    Thank you Amazon for bringing this wonderful artist to your CD collection! Five stars for Horace Silver-Songs for my Father!

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the Greatest Jazz Albums of All-Time
    Long-time jazz pianist Horace Silver released this gem in 1964 on Blue Note. It is an unusual session as it is a split one. Part of the album contains Silver's classic quintet of Blue Mitchell on trumpet, Junior Cook on tenor sax, Gene Taylor on bass, Roy Brooks on drums, and of course, Silver on piano. The other part has Silver on piano, Carmell Jones on trumpet, Joe Henderson on tenor sax, Teddy Smith on bass, and Roger Humphries on drums. It is a "cut and paste" effort, but once you listen to the music, you can't tell a difference in their personnel. That is how flawless this album is. The remastered version by Rudy Van Gelder is awesome in its sound quality.

    The title track is obviously one of jazz's all-time great pieces, but "Calcutta Cutie", "Que Pasa?", "The Kicker", and "Lonely Woman" are all outstanding, heck the whole album is great. Henderson, in particular, is at the top of his game and he absolutely gives the best tenor sax solo of all-time in the title track.

    This is a perfect album to get into jazz and should be one of your first buys after "Kind of Blue" and "Blue Train". It is also a good introduction to Horace Silver, one of the great underrated artists in jazz history.

    If you like this Silver album, check out "Blowin' the Blues Away" and "Horace Silver and the Jazz Messengers".

    5-0 out of 5 stars Simply a hard bop classic record!
    This is right up there with Blakey's Moanin' and Clark's Cool Struttin'. This cd reissues one of bops greatest sessions by pianist Silver, who is as funky as he can be, the title track is swinging, funky and ever so slightly latin, hard bop! A great cd every track a gem.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the All-time great Jazz Cds....
    Originally a 1964 recording, this is one of the timeless jazz albums that although not as well known of "John Coltrane's - A Love Supreme" or "Mile Davis - Kind of Blue", it has earned its place amongst Jazz's truly defining albums. Title track "Song for my father" performed by Horace & his quintet is easily his most recognised work and the truly awe-inspiring bossa nova track that it is, but it's important not to forget what else is included here, bearing in mind it's troubled creation process (Horace is was in the middle of disbanding one Quintet & assembling another), yet the brilliance of "The Kicker" & "Que Pasa" shine with a positively sparkling sophistication that it seems unbelievable that such joyously organic music can spring from a unstructured creation process. In fact the whole album has a magnificent coherence and an incredibly warm & inviting feel throughout, and also one of 'Blue Note's' most pivotal releases.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Jazz Piano
    The opening piano part of "Song For My Father" is instantly recognizable as a Steely Dan song, but Horace Silver of course came first. The album achieves the jazz Holy Grail of excellent songs and excellent playing. The playing is wonderful throughout, especially in Horace's piano on "Lonely Woman". Even though Horace isn't one of the bigger jazz names of his era, this album is certainly one of the bigger jazz albums of the era. ... Read more


    20. The Essential Charlie Parker
    list price: $11.98
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    Asin: B000001E03
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 2164
    Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (6)

    5-0 out of 5 stars tight
    one of the First Albums by Charlie Parker that I Got&Needless to say I couldn't stop there.but this is a Great place to start just on the fact of Bird's Tone&Range.The Man was such a Musical Force.thinking of all the Great Talent that came from him is Incredible&Yet He had his own Musical Aura.truly One of a Kind.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The One and ONLY
    Many Jazz saxophone players say they got Bird "figured out". Even 47 years after his death they still try to play like him.

    Listening to Bird on this CD you just know that no one can figure Bird out, nobody played like him and nobody will.

    The music here is from the late 40's early 50's. Miles Davis is no longer the sideman. The rhythm section is sometimes not quick enough to pick up on Bird's rhythmic changes - for Bird had a sense of rhythm I only heard in Armstrong's early solos.

    The genious that overflowed from Bird is evident in his sound, rhythm, melodic invention and harmonic explorations. Listening to Bird has been one of life's pleasures for me, and this CD is no exception.
    This is music that should be listened to by all music lovers, regardless of their favorite genre.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Minor Correction.
    Just to correct a mistake I made, #7 is the song called My Little Suede Shoes w/the Cuban drummers.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is truly the one to Have...
    I'm surprised that not many people have reviewed this cd, it is wonderful. It has an excellent variety of songs so you hear Bird playing w/strings, big band, quintet and solo. I just love Mango Mangue the song performed with the Cuban bongo and congo players. Plus it has the classics (Now's the Time, Confirmation, etc). A great collection of songs and the SOUND QUALITY is great.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Sunday in the Park with Bird
    It's October. The leaves are falling. I'm walking in Lincoln Park at sunset. The sky is a brilliant red-orange. I'm holding hands with the girl I love, as we laugh and play like little children. I realize that the moment is perfect.

    That moment is this CD. I listen to this music and I can't help but imagine myself in that park, in that moment. It's just a wonderful collection of songs. ... Read more


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