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The 50 most collectable records of the 1950s

Not only the most gifted jazz drummer of his generation, bandleader Sebastian Rochford crafted sublimely original chamber music. Groundbreaking, it gave young British jazz bands the guts to label themselves like rock bands and to stretch beyond their comfort zones. Very few jazz groups today set out to mess with your head.

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You know, get inside there, push the furniture over, chuck things out of the window and generally make a nuisance of themselves. A pied piper who led British jazz out of the trough of despond after its brilliant flowering in the s, he was compared to the charismatic Wynton Marsalis in the USA as a spokesman for a new breed of technically accomplished young jazzers. Figuring in the Top 40, an unprecedented achievement for a British jazz album, it went silver, helping to trigger the s jazz boom.

It also contributed to the growing awareness outside Europe, particularly in the United States, that important music was coming out of the old world. In their own way this Hammond B-3 organ trio of the sort that has been around in jazz for at least 50 years pushed at the boundaries of jazz with rollicking grooves and extended keyboard improvisations.

As they reveal here, they delight shaking up mainstream values by going back to the chicken shack, 21st century style. This first batch of musical territory had already been trampled underfoot by various members of the Miles Davis and John Coltrane ascendancy, including both leaders, but Marsalis brings his own considerable musical personality to bear on the situation and plays with great invention throughout.

He would shift from this base in future but this sets out his aesthetic stall nicely. That she has more or less continued on that path suggests it works for her on every level. It also points the way for those who follow. Jan Johansson p and Georg Riedel b. SN Heptagon CD reissue. Nestled in a sympathetic small-group setting, Sassy simply blossoms into an overwhelmingly seductive artist whose complete abandonment to her own idea of line and sound gives the listener a level of ecstatic pleasure delivered only by — well, by Sassy, Ella and Billie, truth be told.

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She may later have equalled this in other settings, but here the gauntlet was well and truly thrown down. Aug MIC represents the point of separation between free jazz and free improv. It marks a shift away from the creation of powerful, huge sonic edifices or of nature-imitating shapes and textures for a journey, with only a little exaggeration, into the DNA of sound itself.

Less concerned with the global or cosmic, MIC explored the micro-universe through the concept of non-idiomatic improvisation. Strange, disturbing yet oddly attractive.

The 100 Jazz Albums That Shook The World

Sentiments of any persuasion are no proof of quality, but the compositions — from Haden, Bley and Ornette Coleman, among others — are uniformly strong and the supporting cast fiercely inspired. For 40 minutes you could believe, if you wanted to. He went on to make more completely satisfying albums but this one broke the mould. Transfers from the original 78rpm singles are magnificent and the selection of titles is absolutely on the money, from earliest Hot Club sides to his post-war experiments with shifting personnel and electrified guitars. Yet promoters would still say why not just play a bar blues?

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Staggering really for such a perfectly poised jazz chamber group, that can take your breath away. Anthony Braxton as. Through brilliant dynamics, lyricism, harmonic invention and pure sound trickery, Braxton showed a single horn could be a complete orchestra, paving the way for similar undertakings by Sonny Rollins among others years later. An imponderable, perhaps, especially when so many undistinguished vocalists currently populate the landscape. Love Scenes was a trio album and presaged her massive with-orchestra crossover, but it contains all the essential Krall ingredients and is a thorough convincing artistic manifesto.

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No wonder people listened. Coleman had already made a splash with his JMT label output yet his playing and writing are more penetrating and focused here. Snappy, stabbing, staccato rhythmic and melodic lines are repeated to trance giving the impression of a giant musical pinball machine on a rotating floor.

As well as exerting a decisive influence on anyone from the F-IRE collective to Omar Sosa, Coleman has always managed to reflect something of his times. Here he captured the hyperactivity of the burgeoning Internet age and the brash self-assertion of the hip-hop generation.

Completely devoid of any of the fashionable Americanisms of the day, its music was full of light and colour derived from European modernist classical and film traditions. As such, it offered a completely fresh pool of delights to fish in. Using his sinuous bass technique to articulate melody as no-one else had before, Weber alternated a sumptuously severe string backing with little keyboard and percussion patterns to huge atmospheric effect.

So many UK jazz albums could fill this slot but this gets the vote for its ecstatic, exuberant playing from Surman and company and amazing, challenging writing from Warren. This was a glorious testament to the new-found confidence of British jazz. An absolute and indisputable joy.

Nightfall: Cool & Smooth Jazz From the 20s 30s & 40s (Past Perfect) [Full Album]

This is the exception. To say this is one of the finest jazz vocal albums ever made is limiting; it numbers among the great contemporary jazz albums. Art Tatum p.

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This first of the series is a solo recital. However, this was the album that first got tongues wagging, echoing the free spirit of the psychedelic s and landing them an early slot at The Fillmore. Miles noticed too, quickly snatching Jarrett and DeJohnette for his own jazz-rock experiments that ushered in the dawn of a new era. Hancock soars and Brecker burns.

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Yet while the playing is exemplary, the choice of repertoire makes this album stand apart. Yet they all end up as impeccable, burning New York-style jazz of the highest order and press the green light for other artists to follow suit. Yet the miraculous Blakey is at his early best. Herbie, of course, would do it without him a few months later on Maiden Voyage. Why not discover why we are the UK's biggest jazz magazine? This album was one of the very first to be made in America and its impact was immense, its melodicism, warmth and simplicity brought something new and refreshing to the often overheated, testosterone-filled gladiatorial pit of small group improvising to established harmonic patterns.

As Jelly Roll Morton had shown 50 years earlier, sometimes the best comes from a truly group effort. Here he showed how much could be achieved within the basic jazz quartet format. Reaction at the time seems to have been along the lines of where on earth did this come from? After this, there would always be more to jazz than just blowing. It took the UK, who habitually look to the USA for its jazz heroes, longer than most European countries to come under their spell, but this is the album that did it.

Their attachment to deeply felt melody, unhurried intensity, framed with the Nordic Tone, and the comparatively unconventional, pop-like structures of their compositions endeared them to jazz and non-jazz fans alike, in the honest humanity of their playing. Seamlessly featuring soloists like Wayne Shorter, Johnny Coles and Phil Woods, this album is pure musical alchemy from a total original. The CD is a happily expanded version of the original vinyl, adding 27 minutes of excellent previously unreleased new music. West coast jazz in its infancy and at its most joyously infectious.

This is a Japanese CD reissue which more than doubles the original vinyl playing time. In the process they lay to rest Bill Evans soundalike comparisons once and for all. Four For Trane demonstrates not only a shift in allegiance to Coltrane but a real gift for arrangement and a thoroughly original approach to his own playing at a time when everyone was copying Trane or Rollins.

He may have got more radical later, but this was a per cent proof shot of the new on its initial release. Some of the charts wear better than others, but the overall feel is timeless. The first time was with Charlie Parker, but by the time he landed a contract with Capitol for some modern jazz sides with an augmented group, he was able to operate freely, pulling in the restless writing talents of Gil Evans, John Lewis, Gerry Mulligan and John Carisi to create a unified and superbly subtle backdrop for his emergent lyricism.