Tag: Cool Jazz

1977, Music

The Lee Konitz Nonet (1977)

Perhaps it’s because I was just listening to Duets but this almost feels like a spiritual sequel to that album – Konitz’s band tackles a variety of jazz styles and performs them all very well. It’s compelling music and it’s easy for me to see why this is considered one of his better albums.

1968, Music

The Lee Konitz Duets (1968)

Konitz presents a series of duets, plus some brief solo playing a one full band track, that explore a wide variety of jazz styles available in 1968. Konitz is excellent throughout and the guests are all great (even though not all of them are as famous). It works really well as a survey of jazz …

1949, 1950, 1955

Subconcious-Lee (1955) by Lee Konitz

Because it was released half a decade after it was recorded, this album’s revolutionary status gets overlooked or ignored. Instead it’s Birth of the Cool this and Miles Davis’ Nonet that. And that praise is deserved. Those sides went a long way to establishing cool jazz, but this band was doing remarkably similar things at …

1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1998, Music

Cross Country Tour: 1958-1961 (1998) by Ahmad Jamal

This is an excellent survey of the live music of Ahmad Jamal and his trio in the late ’50s and very early ’60s. Jamal’s playing is so far from Monk – to my ears – that it’s rather incredible. His individuality in that sense is rather fantastic. Monk utterly changed piano playing and it must …

1992, Music

Lush Life: The Music of Billy Strayhorn (1992) by Joe Henderson

People are weird. Apparently Henderson toiled in relative obscurity for decades and then one day, in the early ’90s, people lost their shit over him, though stylistically he is, you could argue, a pre-Trane player, or a least one who never followed Trane through the door when Trane finished removing the frames around it. So, …

2008, Music

Earfood (2008) by the Roy Hargrove Quintet

Hargrove is significantly more confident – more his own man – and more “modern” (in the sense of “modern jazz” rather than in the sense of modern) on this set than he was in his early days. He certainly takes (relatively) more risks, his band is significantly more out there than in the past, and …

2009, Music

Emergence (2009) by Roy Hargrove Big Band

So Hargrove tackles big band and the results aren’t that different from early in his career, when he was way too in love with tradition. (You might say he was drowning in it.) Well here we are again: Hargrove’s big band touches on numerous previous jazz big bands. And the whole thing is really conventional. …

1995, Music

Family (1995) by Roy Hargrove

This albums starts out a lot cooler than what I’m familiar with from Hargrove. But by the third track it gets hot again, briefly, which is, for me, a good thing. On the plus side, Hargrove is writing all his own music now, instead of relying on standards and other tunes which have been done …

1993, Music

Roy Hargrove Quintet with the Tenors of Our Time (1993)

This record should really be called the Roy Hargrove Quintet with the Tenors of Another Time or the Roy Hargrove Quintet with the Tenors of Our Parents’ Time. I didn’t know Wynton had discovered Hargrove; had I, I wouldn’t have borrowed six of his cds from the library. Oops. At the time of this record’s …

1962, Music

Undercurrent (1962, 2002) by Bill Evans and Jim Hall

This is an excellent duo outing which shows off both Evans’ sort of left field brilliance and Hall’s kind of safe, kind of conservative, but still very pleasant and exceptionally played lines. (I feel like I’m a little hard on Hall and I really shouldn’t be.) It’s a perfect example of how greatness can be …

1999, Music

Jim Hall and Pat Metheny (1999)

I am not a fan of Metheny, though I’ve never really given him a chance beyond his debut. But I like Hall, now that I know him. And the two fit really well. Someone made a point about how the improvisations sound as “organized” as the standards and originals, and its kind of true. And …

1976, Music

Live! (1976) by Jim Hall

Jim Hall is an excellent guitarist. I had never heard him before, but he’s fantastic. And, on this date, he’s backed by a great band, again made up of two guys I don’t know. And they are excellent as well. And the whole thing is fantastic. But I can’t shake one feeling, and that is …

1964, Music

Idle Moments (1964) by Grant Green

Sometimes great music happens by accident. Apparently that’s what happened with the title track – it was never supposed to be so insanely long but somebody messed up and the band played the melody too many times. The result is pretty wonderful, if you love your cool jazz.And you know I don’t really. But I …

1994, Music

Officium (1994) by Jan Garbarek and the Hilliard Ensemble

I often have a hard time with “ECM” jazz. On the whole I prefer my free jazz loud and intense, not quiet and not so “cool”. In fact, ECM often just sounds to me like second wave cool; a little freer but that’s about it. Frankly, I don’t enjoy it much of the time. That …

2001, Music

Young Miles (1945-50, 2001) by Miles Davis et al. (1945-50, 2001)

For die-hard fans of Miles Davis, or for people really interested in how cool came out of bop, this is probably pretty nearly essential.

1995, Music

The Heavyweight Champion: the Complete Atlantic Recordings (1959-60, 1995) by John Coltrane

If Coltrane had died before he moved to Impulse, I still think he would be ranked as one of the two greatest jazz saxophonists ever. His Impulse recordings may have moved him into first place, but his Atlantic recordings are still a marvel.

1957, Music

Round About Midnight by Miles Davis (1957, Columbia)

Convention has it that this is a hard bop landmark, but I still here a fair amount of cool on the record. That’s just nitpicking I guess; but I just find it odd that people discuss this in terms of one genre not the other.