music manager - Barnes & Noble; jazz fanatic
1. Miles Davis "Kind of Blue"
- I know, I know. Everybody picks "Kind of Blue". It's not really my favorite jazz recording. It's not even my favorite Miles Davis record. However, if I were stranded on a desert island, and I could have only *one* album with me, this would be it. Why? Because I've listened to it hundreds of times, and yet it's still fresh. Because it's the kind of album a seasoned jazz fan AND a total jazz neophyte can listen to and enjoy. And because it's the only place you can find Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, Bill Evans, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers, AND Jimmy Cobb. Because it's THAT sort of jazz album (the same way Winnie the Pooh is THAT sort of bear).
2. John Coltrane "Giant Steps"
- I choose this album for one simple reason: "Niama".
3. Bill Evans "Waltz for Debbie"
- I love Bill Evans. He's got a beautiful sound. I never get tired of him. His trio with Scott LaFaro and Paul Motian was one of the finest ensembles in jazz history. The communication between them bordered on telepathy. LaFaro remains my favorite bassist (sorry Dave Holland, Ray Brown, Oscar Pettiford, Jimmy Garrison, etc.), and it's a shame that he recorded so little in his short life. Both albums recorded at the Vanguard (just ten days before LaFaro's death) are wonderful, but "Waltz for Debbie" is my favorite. I sing that song to my daughter before bed at night (even though her name is Samantha).
4. Bud Powell "The Amazing Bud Powell V.1"
- Amazing is right! Just listen to him with Sonny Rollins and Fats Navarro! Bud shone in any setting, but the trio tracks are among my favorites. "Parisian Thoroughfare" still knocks me out, abrupt ending and all.
5. Joe Henderson - "So Near, So Far: Musings for Miles"
- Another record I never get tired of. Joe was truely a giant among tenors, and the group he assembled for this recording is of equally titanic proportions. It took me a long time to appreciate John Scofield, and this performance is one of his best. Dave Holland is arguably the best living bassist, and Al Foster is superb on drums. Made during a period when tribute albums were seemly a dime a dozen, "So Near, So Far" stands apart as one of the most thoughtful. Each musician had spent time with Miles Davis, and this album shows the extent of the trumpeter's influence. It's a moving experience each time I listen to this disc. This is love and respect made audible.