Posted on: January 13, 2009 12:04 am

Keith Jarrett - The Koln Concert

The Koln Concert by Keith Jarrett was recorded on January 24, 1975 and released as a double-album with one piece for every side, that is, Parts I-IV. It was during the period when Jarrett would come out on stage, sit down behind the keys and improvise an entire show. Sure, he came with pre-conceived melodic and harmonic ideas but then, doesn't all music build on what's come before? There's the old jazz proverb: you can't play a note that hasn't been played.

It's snowing outside and this is a perfect record to fall asleep to.

Posted on: December 31, 2008 1:02 pm
Edited on: January 12, 2009 10:13 pm

Herbie Hancock - Thrust

I'd like to give you another Jazz Record For The Day. Return of the Blog. Today's album is Thrust by Herbie Hancock. It was the go-to CD while I was in LA, perfect for crusing around the valley with nowhere to go. Also sets nice to Lake Shore Drive back here in Chicago, even with the lake frozen over. Herbie put out Thrust as a follow-up to Head Hunters - not an easy task. The record starts with a Mike Clark beat, one of the funkiest in recorded history, proceeds to add a nasty Paul Jackson bassline and continues funkiness throughout. There are only 4 tunes on this album, so it's a good idea to listen to it over and over and over and over again. The second tune, Actual Proof, was done in one take and got its name subsequently, after the Buddhist concept. The third cut, Butterfly, showed up in the 5th edition Real Book - you cats know what I'm talking about. It is a beautiful funk-ballad, ideal for melting into the couch. The album wraps up with Spank-A-Lee, another up-tempo funktastic mind-blower. Thrust came out in 1974, right after 73's Head Hunters. It has become my belief that all western popular music peaked in 1973, there are plenty of examples to support the argument, i.e. Dark Side Of The Moon, Innervisions, The Payback..., I'd like to know what other folks think.

Here are some other stylistic peaks:

Baroque - 1720

Jazz - 1959

Rock/Pop/Funk/R&B - 1973

Hip Hop - 1993

Posted on: October 9, 2008 8:10 pm

Miles Davis - Kind Of Blue

To kick things off, I'll go with the first jazz album I ever bought, the first for many. There are more copies of Miles' Kind Of Blue in circulation than any other jazz record so you can pick up a copy for maybe $5. If you are unfamiliar with the record, it is absolutely necessary that you check it out. Released in 1959, at the pinnacle of jazz, it features modal compositions that Miles wrote in the cab on the way to the studio. His sextet at the time included John Coltrane on tenor, Cannonball Adderley on alto, Bill Evans or Wynton Kelly on keys, Paul Chambers on bass and Jimmy Cobb on drums. Instead of using then-tired ii V's (the most common chord progression in jazz) Miles wrote modally (using scales begun on notes other than 1) to generate entirely new improvisations from his sidemen.

For those who play instruments, Kind Of Blue is a wealth of language, and it wouldn't hurt to transcribe every solo note for note. Folks who don't dig jazz, check out this record and tell me what you think - most importantly, though, LISTEN.

Let me know if you can dig.

Category: General
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