Recommended Albums

A friend of mine asked me to suggest some albums to educate her since her knowledge of Jazz was in her own words "zero". I decided to post one album per month as a suggestion.

January 2015:

"What a wonderful world", Louis Armstrong
Get it on Itunes or Amazon
I feel it is harder and harder to see beauty and joy in our world. Every day brings its atrocity. It's harder and harder to be optimistic and look forward the future. Well, for this reason, today I encourage you to get the album "What a wonderful world" by Louis Armstrong.

Written by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss, Tony Bennett turned down the offer to record it and it's Louis Armstrong who recorded the song first in 1967. The tone of this song is optimistic and hopeful, talking about friends, rainbow and babies growing up. Louis Armstrong (called Satchmo or Pops) was a trumpeter and singer and became a foundational figure in the history of Jazz. Before him Jazz music was basically a collective improvisation and Armstrong made it more soloist oriented.

February 2015:

Kind of Blue, Miles Davis
Get it on Amazon or Itunes

Recorded in 1959. I feel from that album you can go forward in time and see how influential that recording was, or backward and understand the evolution of jazz up to that year.
Miles Davis picked jazz giants for that band: pianist Bill Evans (Wynton Kelly on "Freddie Freeloader"), Julian Cannonball Adderley on alto sax, John Coltrane on tenor sax, Paul Chambers on bass and Jimmy Cobb on drums.

That album was an eye opening for me, or an ear opening should I say.

March 2015:
Focus, Stan Getz
Recorded in 1961
Get it on Amazon or Itunes

I remember being in total amazement when I heard that album for the first time. The sound of Stan Getz is so beautiful and the writing for the string orchestra is so great, I've listened to that album hundreds of times.

April 2015:
I remember Duke Hoagy and Strayhorn, Ahmad Jamal
Recorded in 1993
Get it on Amazon or Itunes

I will probably mention pianist Ahmad Jamal more than once, he is one of my all times favorite. The first time I heard him was on that album. It's a live recording in Chicago and everything is just great on that disc. Ahmad Jamal's playing is so swinging! And powerful, complex but always classy!

1 comment

  • Stéphany

    Stéphany Paris

    J'ai quand même acheté Kind of Blue ;-) Thx!

    J'ai quand même acheté Kind of Blue ;-)

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