Number one, good for you. Number two, I have no idea what the correct selections are for you to impress your friends.
I do know what you should pick up if you want to impress me with your findsense of taste and hip & cool sense of style. Here are five collections
that aren’t deep in the catalog but they’ll set you winging towards the stars:
As I’ve said many times, “If there is a God, it kissed John Coltrane deeply.” I use this music to free my soul when it needs it.
This music makes me smarter. Just by listening to it. I turn it on and suddenly I can kick Immanual Kant’s ass. It’s at turns beautiful, disturbing or beautifully disturbing. I bought the complete sessions version recently and I regularly listen to it all the way through in one sitting. That’s how powerful it is.
I don’t know what it is, but when I listen to Monk I feel like life has no creative boundaries and I can do it (no matter what IT happens to be). His songs are filled with magic and no matter what stories are told about his eccentricity, or illness, I know where the magic came from.
Not only do you get the Duke but you get Hawk (aka Bean) as well. Not only is this absolutely beautiful but let me tell you… if you’re going to invite someone over for a spaghetti dinner and maybe a couple of glasses of wine, put this on. Someone’s gonna do the walk of shame tomorrow. Or maybe you could put it on again, if you know what I mean.
This was a really hard choice, because I love “Mingus music” so much, but I settled on this because it has concise, kick ass versions of some of my favorites, including “Theme for Lester Young” (also known as “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat”). Mingus was born in AZ but lived in Los Angeles for a great while. One of my adventures as a young man was to try and find the houses, clubs (and in the case of Charlie Parker asylum) etc where my heroes lived, played and generally tore it up.
Well there’s a start. I’ve left so many of my idols off the list I’ll be sick about it for months. But you, you’re on your way. Oh, and you’ll have fulfilled your quest, jazzhopper, when you purchase and adore At Basin Street with Clifford Brown and Max Roach.
Skeebop Ozwald, Skeebop.