Tag: Big Band

1976, Music

Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band (1976)

I’m really not sure what to do with this strange record. It’s extremely critically acclaimed and had a minor hit. It’s also stuck in the distant past while trying, at least a little bit, to be contemporary. In many ways, it feels like a dress rehearsal for the sequel band, which I just happen to …

1959, Music

The Genius of Ray Charles (1959)

I genuinely love musical left turns, they are among my favourite experiences when handled well, especially when I’m around to experience them. (Obviously I was not around for this one.) But I am much more ambivalent about musical left turns towards the mainstream – it’s a lot harder to get excited by a drastic change …

1963, Music

Ingredients in a Recipe for Soul (1963) by Ray Charles

This record was a big success but, despite some positive reviews, doesn’t have the greatest reputation. (Example: the Allmusic review is 4 stars but really feels like a 3 star review.) The idea is that its source material is [i]too[/i] diverse. I call bullshit.

2000, Music

Ken Burns Jazz (2000) by Fletcher Henderson

This is a decent one-disc compilation of Fletcher Henderson’s big bands, which are more notable for the featured performers than for anything Henderson did (with an exception or two). Like all single disc compilations of a productive artist, it doesn’t give us the greatest picture of his work. But what it does function as is …

1993, Music

Birks Works: the Verve Big Band Sessions (1956, 1957, 1993) by Dizzy Gillespie

I recently listened to this band’s performance at Newport and was underwhelmed. It just goes to show you the power of mood. I guess just wasn’t in the mood and I imagined the Newport show as some kind of semi-modernist response to Ellington’s Newport show of the year before. I think I was over-thinking.

1995, Music

The Complete RCA Victor Recordings 1937-1949 (1995) by Dizzy Gillespie

Gillespie is probably the greatest trumpet player ever, but this is the first time I’ve really gotten into his discography, a major oversight on my part.

1956, Music

Ellington at Newport 1956 (1956, 2009)

Though Ellington is one of the most famous leaders in jazz, and probably the greatest composer in the music’s history, this is the first set I have ever heard (deliberately) by his band. The reason for that is simply because I got into jazz through Miles Davis, whose entire career has been played in the …

1998, Music

Women in Jazz (1998, Retro Music) by Various Artists

The cheapie box set is an interesting phenomenon: Gather some recordings from major artists where the copyright has lapsed (or never existed), Put the recordings in any arbitrary order you choose, Use more discs than are necessary to convince the buyer they are getting a great bargain, Give it a catchy title.