A Jazz Library

My hometown, Detroit, was a nexus for great music, especially jazz and gospel. I was allowed to sneak in the back door of the famed Baker’s Keyboard Lounge when I was twelve to hear the great musicians who came through the city. I was fortunate to have heard the Miles Davis Quintet with John Coltrane, the Cannonball Adderley Quintet with Detroiter Barry Harris on piano. Ron Carter went to my high school. Yusef Lateef studied oboe and flute in the same music school where I studied. Living down the street from me was the legendary Rev. Charles Nicks Sr. and his brilliant son, Charles Nicks, Jr. with whom I went to high school. The Rev. Charles Nicks Jr. became a titanic figure in the history of contemporary gospel music.

I am often asked to share a list of my own “desert island” albums. This admittedly skewed list includes much from the Miles Davis oeuvre. Miles Davis was an unremitting form-giver and fearless innovator, always pushing both his own limits and that of the music. With an unfailing eye for talent, his bands – particularly those from the mid 50’s and mid 60’s- extended the boundaries of group improvisation, achieving levels of collective artistry rarely matched.

Much of the evolution of modern jazz from the late 1940’s through the early 2000’s goes through Miles and his bands. In those groups were established musicians, pioneers, and pioneers-to-be: John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, Paul Chambers, Philly Joe Jones, Bill Evans, Wynton Kelly, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams, Ron Carter, John McLaughlin, Joe Zawinul, Keith Jarrett, Marcus Miller, and literally dozens of others. Remarkable, too, is that many of Miles’s band members, given almost limitless creative freedom, arguably played their best music in his groups.

The “’Best Of’ on Blue Note” compilations are excellent; they are not the usual assemblages of third and fourth takes. They are great introductions to the music of Bud Powell, Wayne Shorter, Horace Silver, and Art Blakey.  Wallace Roney was Miles Davis’s protege. He is, without doubt, the most original and uncompromising of the new generation of trumpet players.

Brazilian music and jazz http://healthsavy.com/product/soma/ have long influenced each other. Apart from its infectious rhythms, the rich harmonic patterns of Brazilian music appealed to jazz musicians. And few Brazilian musicians are unaware of the traditions of American jazz improvisation. Baden Powell, Vinicius de Moraes, Joao Gilberto, Rosa Passos, and Daniela Mercury are but a few of the remarkably passionate Brazilian musicians whose work is truly extraordinary.
I hope music from this list provides you with as much enjoyment as it has me.

Miles Davis
Birth of the Cool
Walkin’, Cookin’; Steamin’; Relaxin’; Workin’ (all five collections on Prestige)
Miles on Blue Note, Volumes 1 and 2
Kind of Blue
Round About Midnight
Sketches of Spain
Someday My Prince Will Come
Complete Town Hall Concert (formerly two albums: My Funny Valentine and ‘Fore’ and More)
Miles Smiles
Filles de Kilimanjaro
In a Silent Way
Bitches Brew
Tribute to Jack Johnson (soundtrack)
Siesta (sound track)
Get Up With It

John Coltrane
My Favorite Things
A Love Supreme
Giant Steps
Ole Coltrane

Julian ‘Cannonball’ Adderley
Live in New York
Live in San Francisco
Live at the Lighthouse
Them Dirty Blues
Know What I Mean?
Best of Cannonball on Mercury

Chet Baker
Best of Chet Baker Sings
Let’s Get Lost
Complete Quartet Recordings with Gerry Mulligan
Chet Baker in Paris, Volume 2

Horace Silver
Best of Horace Silver on Blue Note; Vols 1 and 2

Wayne Shorter
Best of Wayne Shorter on Blue Note

Thelonius Monk
Genius of Modern Music; Blue Note; Vols 1 and 2

Bill Evans
Complete Riverside Recordings
Live at Town Hall
The Last Waltz

Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers
Best of Art Blakely on Blue Note

Clifford Brown and Max Roach
Study in Brown
Clifford Brown and Max Roach (Emarcy)

Herbie Mann
Live at the Village Vanguard

Eric Dolphy
Out There
Live at the Five Spot, Volumes 1 and 2
Out to Lunch

Herbie Hancock
Maiden Voyage
Speak Like a Child

Bobby Timmons
This Here is Bobby Timmons

Lalo Schifrin
Dissection and Reconstruction of Music from the Past

Tony Williams
Native Heart
Foreign Intrigue

Charlie Parker
Plays Standards (Verve)
The Savoy Recordings (master takes)
Best of the Dial Years featuring Miles Davis

Bud Powell
Best of Bud Powell on Blue Note

Wallace Roney
The Standard Bearer
The Wallace Roney Quintet


Baden Powell
Afro Sambas

Joao Gilberto
The Legendary Joao Gilberto (World Pacific)

Daniela Mercury
Feijao Com Arroz

Rosa Passos
Me and My Heart
Entre http://nosubhealth.com/product/kamagra/ Amigos (with Ron Carter)

Ornella Vanoni, Vinicius deMoraes
La Voglia, La Pazzia

Brazil: A Century of Song (4 CD set)
various artists

Samba Bossa Nova (Putumayo collection)
various artists

Black Orpheus (soundtrack)