Grant Green an underrated artist whom recorded almost exclusively for Blue Note. He had a very recognizable style in which he didn’t like to play chords. His favorite artist who he listened to were horn players, Lester Young, Charlie Parker, and Miles Davis. His single note playing style mimics the horn playing giving him his own unique sound. The Complete Quartets with Sonny Clark is a 1962 double album from Blue Note and a great place to start listening to him. Idle Moments is a 1963 Blue Note release featuring Bobby Hutcherson, a great pair. Early in his music he played the Gibson ES330TD Full Body guitar. Matador, another very interesting release on the Blue Note label from1964 pairs him with Coltranes rythm section, MCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones and Jimmy Garrison. Grant Green played Hardbop, Bebop, and Soul Jazz with a virtuosity, and his signature sound is a jazz guitarist who needs to be represented in your Jazz library.
Kenny Burrell a leader and sideman for 40 years, known as “Ellingtons favorite Guitarist” appearing on several hundred albums. A few albums that are classics of his are, the 1967 Midnight Blue album he did for Blue Note. This features Stanley Turrentine on tenor, a masterpiece of a album. The Rudy Van Gelder remaster is fantastic. Kenny Burrell and John Coltrane the 1958 Prestige album is another classic, a duet album full of sensitivity instead of heavy blowing. The playing is excellent by all means, own it. Finally I have to say A Night At The Vanguard a 1959 Verve session that’s a trio set with Richard Davis on bass, and Roy Haynes on drums. This is a great example of Jazz guitar in a “Live” Jazz club setting.
The Amazon Exclusive is a JOY!!! I down loaded the MP3 2 CD set last night and I enjoyed some of my favorite music from the label. Then as a bonus only from Amazon they give you the 8 original tracks. It was really neat to hear this great new group perform these classics and then be given the originals to compare to. A Great BUY!!! Amazon’s downloader works well and will load it right into Itunes along with the cover. Give this a try, a great addition to any size library.
This is the Vanguard’s house band, originally they were known as the Thad Jones and Mel Lewis big band of 1966 ,they have performed at the Village Vanguard jazz club ever since. They play the music of Thad Jones, Slide Hampton, and Bob Brookmeyer. Recently they won a Grammy for their Monday Night Live album on the Planet Arts Label. I have 3 of their albums:
They are a great modern jazz big band and I highly recommend their music.
Round Midnight is a 1944 jazz standard with the distinction of being recorded by a jazz artist more than any other jazz composition. Thelonious Monk grew up in New York and could play anything he heard. He was influenced by the early stride Piano players. His best known composition has a definite “after hours sound“. Monks original version on The Best Of The Blue Note Years album is the most historically significant. His Himself album contains his most intimate take on the song. Thelonious Monks playing is really different. He literally turned the jazz world upside down with his sound when he came on the scene as a leader. You have to expose yourself to some of his albums.
This goes out to a good friend of mine Jack Engle who once met a jazz legend. New York City, 1959, in the spring of the year. It was my first visit. Fresh out of collage and I was excited. Country boy in the big city. I was staying at the Larchmont hotel on West 11th. street. A tiny little room right out of a B&W James Cagney movie. After arriving by taxi and getting cleaned up, I decided to take a stroll, My first night on the town, I walked up 11th and was encountered by all walks of life. Block by block colors and sounds… I thought “The City That Never Sleeps”. At 7th Avenue I took a left and saw a large awning right out to the street. It drew me in. Village Vanguard it said, I had heard of it but it didn’t really register with me what lay ahead. I entered and stepped up to the bar. To my left was a black gentleman in oxford cloth shirt and slacks. He was not happy. I glanced at him as he sipped a drink and he was talking to someone on the house phone. The place was typical, All bar noises, laughing, glasses going tink tink , the place was full of life. I looked at this guy next to me again cause he had just gotton off the phone. I said hullo, He glanced my way, still seeming very upset or angry and didn’t say a word to me. He stood there for a minute more and left the bar. I asked the bartender for another and turned around to look the place over. Toward the back in a corner I see a bandstand…this guy is stepping up on the stand and picks up a trumpet, says something to a couple of other guys on stage and they all take their places. I slowly started to realize that I was seeing something special. I had heard of Miles Davis but wasn’t really into jazz. Miles was standing up front with his head down and his horn in his right hand and at his side, long enough for me to wonder what’s he doing? The piano player whom I was later to learn was Wynton Kelly started to slowly play a tune followed by the bass player Paul Chambers and the drummer Philly Joe Jones. Miles lifted the horn to his lips and this is what I heard. So What, I had never heard of anything like this before. John Coltrane and his sax came in for a solo after Miles. This sound was New York. It was what I was feeling. It was COOL. That night I stood in rapt attention, listening and absorbing the intricate sounds. I walked out after the set and the band had left the stage. I turned to the bartender and asked about the band. He said buddy? This here club has seen many cats that can play, but we have never heard anything like this. I walked back to my hotel room. I enjoyed my week in Newyork, but that night I became a jazz fan and I stood beside the great Miles Davis.
James Moody has been performing for six decades. A hard bop sax and flute man who is best know for his improvisational piece Moodys Mood For Love an instrumental solo on the song Im In The Mood For Love a 1935 jazz standard. I have heard some of his music but recently picked up his 2008 album Our Delight with Hank Jones on piano. Great music by legends in their own time. Two of the last surviving jazz greats.