• The Delightful 50 of the 50's! (Best Albums 1950-1959)

    27 Dec 2010, 10:15 by thomas10
    1 Miles Davis - Kind of Blue
    Kind of Blue isn't merely an artistic highlight for Miles Davis, it's an album that towers above its peers, a record generally considered as the definitive jazz album, a universally acknowledged standard of excellence. Why does Kind of Blue posses such a mystique? Perhaps because this music never flaunts its genius. It lures listeners in with the slow, luxurious bassline and gentle piano chords of "So What". From that moment on, the record never really changes pace -- each tune has a similar relaxed feel, as the music flows easily. Yet Kind of Blue is more than easy listening. It's the pinnacle of modal jazz -- tonality and solos build from the overall key, not chord changes, giving the music a subtly shifting quality. All of this doesn't quite explain why seasoned jazz fans return to this record even after they've memorized every nuance. …
  • Desert Island Five

    11 Aug 2007, 22:53 by nilb

    Earlier this summer, as I prepared to travel to the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico, I wondered what my five indispensable albums would be were I to ever be stranded on a desert island. It took me a while to come up with just five out of an ever groing list of great music I have been listening to over the years.

    Without much ado, here they are, just five:

    1. Sunday At The Village Vanguard - Bill Evans Trio, 1961
    Without a doubt one of the most beautiful albums to come my way in a long while. And by far the greatest live recording I have heard. This represents IMO the best of this trio or any trio that comes to mind. These guys play like nobody, their sense of musical interplay, timing, emotion is just top notch. Highlights in the album include My Man's Gone Now the most impressive re-work of any Gershwin work I have heard, Gloria's Step, Jade Visions, both Scott Lafaro's (bass) compositions. History was made on that sunday. I just can't praise enough the work these guys did on My Man's Gone now. …