Jazz Bucket list.
Jazz Albums Bucket list or albums highly recommended for listening . Heres a list of some of my favorite jazz recordings as you read through the list you’ll notice a pattern. I like a lot of hard bop jazz and groups influenced by that era. The list will be updated as I hear something new or remember something that I forgot to put down. The list is not necessarily in order of preference, more so how I remember them. Theres a lot of great albums to listen to, and a lot more to be learnt from the masters appearing on them. Buying a record is like getting a lesson from John Coltrane, Steve Grossman or Jackie Mclean for $10 bucks. Who wouldn’t want to do that.
Giant Steps – John Coltrane. This is the album that changed my life and I will be forever grateful for hearing it. While it is not the album I listen to mostly these days I would have to put it at number one without question.
Coltranes Sound – John Coltrane. Another classic album. Coltrane reharmonizes a lot on this album using the Coltrane matrix or giant steps changes on tunes like body and soul, and contracts of how high the moon, and confirmation. Coltrane will come up on this list a lot. Ive made the following statement many times before, but ill say it again if you missed it. “if Coltrane, Jackie Mclean or Steve Grossman are on it, you can’t go wrong.”
Blue Minor – Sonny Clarke. This is a classic hard bop recording with Jackie Mclean and Art Farmer Philly Joe Jones and Paul Chambers. Great arrangements and original compositions and of course there swinging hard.
Consequences – Jackie Mclean. Jackie Mclean and Lee Morgan are right on the money on this date. The combination of Jackie and Lee during this period of the 1960’s is hard to beat. Exceptional compositions and great sidemen Harold Mabern Herbie Lewis Billy Higgins. Herbie Lewis, now theres a name worth checking out. Many bass players don’t know that name but he was on some of the finest albums recorded by Jackie McLean for the Blue Note label. He plays good lines, swings and has a great sound. so he’s pretty much got it all. But then Jackie hired him, that says it all.
Swing Swang Swingin – Jackie Mclean . This another great Jackie Mclean album, more straight ahead with who would become the trademark of the classic Coltrane era albums, Mr Jimmy Garrison on bass.
Steve Grossman Live at Cafe Praga – Steve Grossman. This is a great album, recorded live in Italy. Steve Grossman is my favorite jazz artist. Its hard to beat Coltrane or Jackie but after seeing him live a number of times in New York and Europe theres something about his sound and the way he plays. Grossman is the real deal, theres no doubt about it. Miles hired him to replace Wayne Shorter in the band while still a teenager, he then went on to play with Elvin Jones. Steve had some pretty big shoes to fill and he stepped up every time.
My Second Prime – Steve Grossman. This is a great album for the Red Records label. Check out the track extemporaneous. This is Steve Grossman doing what he does best.
A Night at the Village Vanguard – Sonny Rollins. Sonny Rollins, Wilbur Ware and Elvin Jones. it doesn’t get much better than that. Also has a couple of tracks with Pete la Roca playing drums.
More to come….
Time to Smile – Steve Grossman. This is another top album from Steve Grossman with Elvin Jones Larry Willis Cecil McBee and Tom Harrell. Great to hear Steve with a top notch rhythm section. Great tune selection and swingin.
Let Freedom Ring – Jackie Mclean. Jackie Mclean at the top of his form, the band is stretching out on this one. This was the first Jackie Mclean date I listened to. Needless to say it turned my head inside out. His sound is something else, and the way he puts his lines together, man it really doesn’t get much better. Check out the track Omega or the hard swinging Rene. Hats off to Herbie Lewis once again.