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Keith Jarrett: The Top 25 pearls in Jazz history

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    Keith Jarrett: The Top 25 pearls in Jazz history

    Born on May 8, 1945, in Allentown, PA; son of Daniel (a real estate salesman) and Irma Jarrett; married Margot while in high school; children: two sons. Education: Attended Berklee School of Music for one year.

    In the February 1989 issue of Down Beat, Josef Woodward described the unique artistry and career of Keith Jarrett: “Like an unruly, self-determined river, Keith Jarrett’s pursuit of musical truth has taken him in a multiplicity of directions, either coursing a wide swath or branching off into tiny tangential reivulets. Similarly, his audience has been alternately swept up by the current, carried into the sidestreams, or has been left behind on the riverbanks.” Celebrated for his virtuosity and eclecticism, Jarrett has continued to experiment with the possibilities of the keyboard.

    Jarrett was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in 1945. When his parents’ marriage dissolved, Jarrett and his four brothers were raised by Irma Jarrett, his mother. A child prodigy who became a professional while still in grade school, he began to play the piano as a child, and started formal composition training at 15.

    Keith Jarrett spent a year at the Berklee College of Music in Boston but moved to New York to perform. Participation in Monday jam sessions at the Village Vanguard led to his first engagements. He toured with many of the most important ensembles in 1960s jazz, including Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and experimental saxophonist Rahsaan Roland Kirk, and became the acoustic pianist for the Charles Lloyd Quartet on its successful tours of Western and Eastern Europe, the centers of popularity for American jazz.

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    Played with Jazz Innovators

    Jarrett’s compositions “Days and Nights Waiting” and “Sorcery” were given premieres in Europe by Lloyd’s Quartet. His own experimentation in these early years included one album of songs, Restoration Ruin, on which he played and overdubbed parts on the soprano saxophone, recorder, harmonica, guitar, piano, organ, electric bass, drums, bongos, tambourine, and sistra.

    When Lloyd’s group disbanded in 1969, Jarrett played with other jazz innovators, most notably Miles Davis, but he also travelled and recorded with his own trio-Ornette Coleman veteran Charlie Haden on bass, and Bill Evans sideman Paul Motian on drums–adding saxophonist Dewey Redman in 1971 for their first album, Birth.

    The quartet’s second album, Expectations, was awarded the French Grand Prix du Disque for Jazz in 1971. Jarrett began his recording collaboration with German producer Manfred Eicher and Editions of Contemporary Music (ECM) Records in 1971. As of 2002, Jarrett, Eicher and ECM had produced over 50 records together.

    Remaining devoted to the acoustic piano, despite the contemporary fashion for the electronic keyboard, Jarrett continued to write music for his own group. He has also composed for larger numbers and has integrated existing classical music ensembles into his works, as he did with the American Brass Quintet and the string section of the Stuttgart Philharmonic on his double album In the Light. His most popular albums are the solo piano recordings Facing You, Solo Concerts, and The Koln Concert, which was the best-selling piano record in history as of 1995, according to the Keith Jarrett official website.

    Jarrett’s reputation grew during the 1970s in Europe and the United States. His honors included a Guggenheim Fellowship for composition and being named Rolling Stone‘s Jazz Artist of 1973 and Down Beat‘s Composer and Pianist of the Year in 1975. Solo Concerts–recorded in 1974–was named record of the year by Down Beat, Stereo Review, Jazz Forum, Time and the New York Times. Jarrett began to split his time between his American quartet and the group of Scandinavian musicians–Jan Gabarek, Jo Christensen, and Palle Danieslsson–with whom he recorded Belonging. He brought them to New York in 1979 and sold out the venerable jazz club, the Village Vanguard, for five nights.

    Returned to Classical Piano Performance

    A return to classical piano performance began in the early 1980s as he performed the solo parts of concerti with orchestras. His repertory included the classics of twentieth-century composition, such as Concerti by Samuel Barber, Bela Bartok (2nd and 3rd) and Igor Stravinsky (Concerto for Piano and Woodwinds), as well as commissioned works by Lou Harrison and Peggy Glanville-Hicks.

    He has also given piano recitals of the classical repertory, favoring Bach, Handel, Scarlatti, and Shostakovich; and has recorded Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier. Crossover critic John Rockwell wrote of Jarrett’s first recital in the New York Times:

    “His interpretations had much to recommend them…. He has a venturesome musical mind, eager to embrace new music and new ways of playing familiar music.”

    In addition to Barber, Bartok, and Stravinsky, his classical repetoire has also included Hindemith and his billings include performances with the San Francisco Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra, the Brooklyn Philharmonic and the Beethovenhalle Orchestra Bobb, as well as with well-known classical performers and conductors.

    In a 1989 Down Beat article, Jarrett analyzed the differences between playing the fully realized Bach compositions and the jazz standards. “In the case of the Well Tempered Clavier, I can see so clearly the process. The logic and motion of these lines makes beautiful sense…. I’m just more or less following his weave. He’s woven this thing and I’m reproducing it by hand…. In standards, there’s only a sketch, this single line with harmony. So I have to invent the rest of the rug.”

    He described “My Song,” which Down Beat called his “most hummable” work, this way: “If somebody can write ‘My Song,’ then either they have [a] brainstorm and wrote this deceptively simple piece that everybody likes when they hear it, or they know what they’re doing.”

    In 1983, Jarrett grouped with bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Jack DeJohnette to form the Standards Trio. The group has stuck over the years, playing mostly standards for both large crowds and small houses, and recording in the studio. Their work resulted in two Grammy Award nominations, eleven critically-acclaimed recordings, the Pris du President de la Republique in 1991, and birthed 1996’s critically lauded Keith Jarrett at the Blue Note, a live recording of 37 songs with only three repeats on the whole album.

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    Describing the way in which the group successfully plays together, Jarrett told John Ephland of Down Beat, “We need pro, con and mediator; otherwise, everything falls apart.” When asked by Ephland if they communicated through their instruments–and not through vocal commands or hand signals–Jarrett replied, “That’s right.”

    While their communication onstage and in the recording studio makes them technically superior as a group, there’s more to it. “Every time we play, we might be playing the same material, but it’s a new planet.” Jarrett told Ephland. DownBeat.com said, “[the] acoustic trio … remains one of the most durable and dynamic in jazz today.”

    Struggled with Illness

    In 1996, Jarrett was struck with a severe case of chronic fatigue syndrome, a debilitating bacterial disease. He caught the airborn parasite while on a tour of Europe. He said that “Playing the piano has been my entire life,” according to Down Beat‘s Dan Ouellette, but Jarrett was forced to cancel all his engagements and even seriously consider whether or not he would ever play again.

    And for over two years, he didn’t. He was, in fact, confined to his house during those two years, unable to play the piano even inside. Still unable to give the type of “athletic” performance he was known for when he returned to a trimmed-down touring scene, Jarrett learned to exist under a “roof” of physical ability, forever knowing he could hit that roof and relapse back into chronic fatigue. In 1999, Jarrett recorded The Melody at Night with You, an album for his wife as a Christmas gift, and his return to the music world.

    Jarrett is best known for his improvisational performances; a musical genre that owes much to Baroque keyboard composers such as Bach and Scarlatti and to the traditions of jazz. In an article by James Lincoln Collier in the New York Times Magazine, Jarrett described the depth of his “Tabula-rasa approach to jazz improvising” as “I like to turn off the thought process. I’d like to forget that I even have hands. I’d like to sit down as if I’d never played the piano before.”

    He got this idea when he was in his teens, and he heard his brother play the piano in a way that inspired him to play freely. He told Ted Panken of Down Beat, “Practicing usually gets in the way of my performing. It’s like it sets up patterns or makes my ears less open. I’ve often said the art of the improviser is the art of forgetting.”

    And he claims to have had to work long and hard to put imperfections–“soul”–in his music. He told Ephland, “If I’m filled up, then all I can do when I play is throw up. But if I can get to some place and be real empty, then I can be available.” It’s a philosophy that has taken him far. He told Ephland, “If you own anything, you’re not free.”

    Jarrett’s jazz–of a style and a level of talent all his own–has made him what the Keith Jarrett official website called “an improviser of unsurpassed genius and a master of jazz piano.” He performs and records music solo, with other musicians, and with his Standards Trio, improvising at the top of his game and growing even more influential. He has had more than 30 years of important accomplishments, working with the “imperfect instrument” to create the stuff that improvisation is made of.

    by Barbara Stratyner

    Keith Jarrett plays a solo improvisation at “Molde Jazz Festival” in Norway, August 2, 1972.

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    Top 25 icons in Jazz history

    Bill Evans: The Top 25 icons in Jazz history

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    Bill Evans: The Top 25 icons in Jazz history

    More than 25 years after his death, Bill Evans remains one of the most important pianists in modern jazz. His introspective lyricism and subtle Western classical flourishes have echoes in a legion of fellow keyboard players. As a leader and composer, he introduced an influential, highly interactive approach to trio and small-group performances.

    Born William John Evans on Aug. 16, 1929, in Plainfield, N.J., Evans was fascinated by music from an early age — as a toddler, he would eavesdrop on his older brother’s piano lessons. By the time he was 6, he was taking lessons himself and displaying an uncanny ability to read and absorb music.

    Evans followed his brother to Southeastern Louisiana University. He left college for a brief stint in the Army, and in 1955 enrolled at New York City’s Mannes College of Music. The New York jazz scene allowed him to hone his craft and mingle with pianists such as Bud Powell, Horace Silver, Lennie Tristano, and George Shearing. Evans soon landed a recording deal with Riverside Records, and his debut album (New Jazz Conceptions) came out in September 1956.

    More than 25 years after his death, Bill Evans remains one of the most important pianists in modern jazz. His introspective lyricism and subtle Western classical flourishes have echoes in a legion of fellow keyboard players. As a leader and composer, he introduced an influential, highly interactive approach to trio and small-group performances.

    Born William John Evans on Aug. 16, 1929, in Plainfield, N.J., Evans was fascinated by music from an early age — as a toddler, he would eavesdrop on his older brother’s piano lessons. By the time he was 6, he was taking lessons himself and displaying an uncanny ability to read and absorb music.

    Evans followed his brother to Southeastern Louisiana University. He left college for a brief stint in the Army, and in 1955 enrolled at New York City’s Mannes College of Music. The New York jazz scene allowed him to hone his craft and mingle with pianists such as Bud Powell, Horace Silver, Lennie Tristano, and George Shearing. Evans soon landed a recording deal with Riverside Records, and his debut album (New Jazz Conceptions) came out in September 1956.

    The Best of Bill Evans

    Tracklist:

    00:00:00​ Minority 00:05:22​ Young and Foolish 00:11:12​ Lucky to Be Me 00:14:49​ Night and Day 00:22:02​ Epilogue, Pt. 1 00:22:41​ Tenderly 00:26:12​ Peace Piece 00:32:47​ What Is There to Stay?

    00:37:37​ Oleo 00:41:43​ Epilogue, Pt. 2 00:42:19​ Come Rain, or Come Shine 00:45:40​ Autumn Leaves 00:51:05​ Witchcraft

    00:55:39​ When I Fall in Love 01:00:35​ Peri’s Scope 01:03:49​ What Is This Thing Called Love? 01:08:25​ Spring Is Here

    01:13:31​ Some Day My Prince Will Come 01:18:25​ Blue in Green

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    Bill Evans Biography, Life, Interesting Facts

    Bill Evans was born on August 16th, 1929. He earned his fame for being a brilliant jazz pianist. During his youth years, he got his first piano training from his mother. He later went on to school in Southeastern Louisiana University before joining Mannes School of Music. At the school of music, his area of focus was in composition.

    He migrated to the New York City in 1955 and collaborated with George Russell, a bandleader. Three years later, he joined a group of six members headed by Miles Davis. The band group recorded Kind of Blue which was released in 1959. This album went on to become a commercial success while being given credits for leading best-selling jazz album ever. 

    Early Life

    Bill Evans was born on August 16th, 1929. His place of birth was in Plainfield, New Jersey. His parents were Mary and Harry Evans. Evans faced a difficult time when he was young as his father was an alcohol addict. Aside from this, he practiced gambling and frequently abused Evans’s mother. Evans had an elder brother named Harry. 

    Evans began his piano lessons when he was only six years old. Together with his brother, Harry, they took piano lessons from Helen Leland. When he was aged 7, he took lessons for other musical instruments including violin, piccolo, and flute. These instruments would later have a profound impact on his expertise on the keyboard. With the experience that he had gained by the time he was 13 years old, Evans had the confidence to play in big events such as weddings. His pay rate was only $1 for an hour of play at this period. 

    Career 

    After completing his studies at Southeastern Louisiana University in 1950, Bill Evans continued with his performances in different concerts. Around this period, he also worked with one of the bands headed by Herbie Field. He went on a tour with them before later receiving a draft notice to join the army. He served in the army for three years. After this service, he was back to the city of New York where he could easily pursue his music career. He also joined Mannes College of Music where he studied musical composition for three semesters. At this time, he performed in small gigs including weddings and dances.

    With time, he landed on better opportunities which gave him the advantage of showcasing his talent. 

    During the 1950s, Evans partnered with a band headed by Miles Davis which consisted of six members. After playing for the band for some time, he joined the group in 1958. A year later, Kind Kind of Blue was recorded. This album recording was released in August the same year. It was a commercial success with the credits of being the best-selling album. 

    Personal Life

    Bill Evans tied the knot with Nenette Zazzara in 1973. Their marriage lasted for seven years and ended in 1980. The couple had a son named Evan. 

    Death

    Bill Evans passed away on September 15th, 1980. He was aged 51 at the time of his death. 

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    Top 25 icons in Jazz history

    Carla Bley: The Top 25 icons in Jazz history

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    Carla Bley: The Top 25 pearls in Jazz history

    One of the finest and most productive of all female jazz instrumentalists, bandleaders and composers is Carla Bley. From her sprawling jazz opera Escalator Over The Hill to her arrangements for Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra, and from her Big Carla Bley Band to her trio with saxophonist Andy Sheppard and bassist Steve Swallow, she has made her mark on all sizes of composition and ensemble. This ten-piece band toured in the 1980s and catches her iconoclastic reworking of gospel and big band jazz.

    Carla Bley: a life in Music

    Carla Bley (born Lovella May Borg, May 11, 1936) is an American jazz composer, pianist, organist and bandleader. An important figure in the free jazz movement of the 1960s, she is perhaps best known for her jazz opera Escalator over the Hill (released as a triple LP set), as well as a book of compositions that have been performed by many other artists, including Gary Burton, Jimmy Giuffre, George Russell, Art Farmer, John Scofield and her ex-husband Paul Bley.

    Every jazz fan knows the name of Carla Bley, but her relentless productivity and constant reinvention can make it difficult to grasp her contribution to music. I began listening to her in high school when I was enamored with the pianist Paul Bley, whose seminal nineteen-sixties LPs were filled with Carla Bley compositions. (The two were married.) My small home-town library also had a copy of “The Carla Bley Band: European Tour 1977,” a superb disk of rowdy horn soloists carousing through instantly memorable Bley compositions and arrangements. Some pieces change you forever. The deadly serious yet hilarious “Spangled Banner Minor and Other Patriotic Songs,” from that 1977 recording, celebrates and defaces several nationalistic themes, beginning with the American national anthem recast as Beethoven’s “Appassionata” Sonata. From the first notes onward, I was never quite the same again.

    The novelist and musician Wesley Stace has a similar story: “Aged sixteen, and full only of rock and pop music, I came upon Carla Bley by chance through a Pink Floyd solo project, Nick Mason’s ‘Fictitious Sports,’ which I only bought because the vocals were by my favorite singer, Robert Wyatt, once of Soft Machine. It’s a Carla Bley album in all but name: her songs embellished with brilliant and witty arrangements. I wanted to hear more. ‘Social Studies’ (also from 1981) thus became the first jazz album I ever bought, opening up a whole world I knew nothing about. ‘Utviklingssang’ is perfect, all gorgeous melody and abstraction, no words required. She’s everything I want from instrumental music.”

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    In the last half decade, many of Bley’s remaining peers from the early years have died: Paul Bley, Charlie Haden, Roswell Rudd, Ornette Coleman, Paul Motian. At eighty-two, Bley is still composing and practicing the piano every day. But it also felt like it was high time to rent a car, visit a hero, and try to get a few stories on the official record.

    Bley and her partner, the celebrated bassist Steve Swallow (and another living link to the revolutionary years of jazz) live in an upstate compound tucked away near Willow, New York. When I drove up, Bley and Swallow were just coming back from their daily walk through the woodland. Their lawn boasts an old oak tree and a massive chain-link dinosaur made by Steve Heller at Fabulous Furniture, in nearby Boiceville.

    The home offers enough room for two powerful artists and their personal libraries, not to mention striking paintings by Dorothée Mariano and Bill Beckman. Bley’s upstairs study is stocked with hundreds of her scores and an upright piano, on which she played me her latest opus, a sour ballad a bit in the Monk tradition, with just enough unusual crinkling in the corners to prevent it from being too square. When we sat down to talk, Bley proved to be witty and surreal, just like her music. (Swallow is the house barista and fact checker.)

    Bley’s early development as an independent spirit is well documented in the excellent 2011 book “Carla Bley,” by Amy C. Beal. I began a little further along, and asked her about Count Basie in the late nineteen-fifties. “Count Basie was playing at Birdland, Basin Street, and the Jazz Gallery when I was working as a cigarette girl,” she said. “I got to hear him more than anyone else, and it was an education.” Basie is still her favorite pianist: “He’s the final arbiter of how to play two notes. The distance and volume between two notes is always perfect.”

    At the end of the decade, her husband, an associate of Charles Mingus, Ornette Coleman, and Sonny Rollins, wanted to play more as a trio pianist but lacked material. One day Paul Bley came to Carla and said, “I need six tunes by tomorrow night.” There’s an obvious thread of European classical music in early Bley compositions, and this fit perfectly with the sixties jazz avant-garde. Ornette Coleman’s “Lonely Woman” is closer to a Mahler dirge than to Duke Ellington; Charles Mingus gave a deconstructed blues composition the European-style catalogue number “Folk Forms No. 1.” Many of Bley’s own pieces from that era have atonal gestures and abstract titles like “Ictus” and “Syndrome.”

    Among the many musicians listening carefully was Keith Jarrett, who told me that Paul Bley was, “Sort of like Ahmad with certain kinds of drugs.” Ahmad Jamal’s biggest hit was the D-major dance “Poinciana,” a bland old standard given immortality by Jamal’s rich jazz harmony and the drummer Vernel Fournier’s fresh take on a New Orleans second-line beat. Paul Bley’s recordings of Carla’s famous melody “Ida Lupino” have a G-major dance with a new kind of surreal perspective. When comparing “Poinciana” and “Ida Lupino” back to back, Jarrett’s comment—“certain kinds of drugs”—makes sense.

    However, while Ahmad Jamal had to use plenty of imagination when rescoring “Poinciana,” Paul Bley just needed to get the paper from his wife and read it down: Bley’s piano score of “Ida Lupino,” with inner voices and canonic echoes, is complete. Like many jazzers, I first heard of the film-noir icon Ida Lupino thanks to Bley’s indelible theme. I finally got to ask her about the title. “I just saw a few movies she did, and I thought she was sort of stripped and basic,” Bley said. “She didn’t have all the sex appeal that a female star should have. She was sort of serious. Maybe I felt a bond with her for that reason. I wanted to be serious. It wasn’t anything to do with her being the first female director. I learned that later.”

    Another significant early Bley work is “Jesus Maria,” first recorded by Jimmy Giuffre with Paul Bley and Steve Swallow for Verve, in 1961. Among the listeners inspired by this trio was Manfred Eicher, who reissued these recordings for ECM, in 1990. The reissue leads off with the rather classical “Jesus Maria,” where the pretty notes seem to suspend in the air, suggesting the famous “ECM sound” several years before the label was founded. I asked Eicher about Bley’s early compositions and he said, “There are so many of them, each as well crafted as pieces by Satie or Mompou—or Thelonious Monk for that matter. Carla belongs in that tradition of radical originality.”

    Bley was a radical, but she also sought structure. She told me about the early-sixties avant-garde: “In free playing, everybody played as loud as they could and as fast as they could and as high as they could. I liked them, but there was also what Max Gordon said about a bunch of guys screaming their heads off: ‘Call the pound.’ I think the music needed a setting. Just as it was, I thought free jazz needed work.”

    A key turned in the lock when Bley heard the roiling, church-inspired experimental tenor saxophonist Albert Ayler, who she says was, “Maudlin! Maudlin in the most wonderful way. He gave me license to play something that was really corny and love it.” Another watershed was “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” by the Beatles, a suite of songs that form a bigger picture. “An artist friend of mine came over one day with this album,” Bley told me. “He said, ‘Jazz is dead. All the artists are listening to this. We don’t listen to jazz anymore. This is it.’ ”

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    Carla Bley Big Band – Festival de Jazz de Paris 1988

    Track List

    00:00:09​ – Song of the eternal waiting of canute 00:10:24​ – The girl who cried champagne – I 00:18:05​ – The girl who cried champagne – II 00:21:50​ – The girl who cried champagne – III 00:29:29​ – Real life hits 00:40:53​ – Fleur carnivore 00:52:48​ – Lo ultimo 01:00:51​ – end credits

    Personnel

    Carla Bley – piano

    Christof Lauer – saxophone-soprano

    Wolfgang Puschnig – saxophone-alto Andy Sheppard – saxophone-tenor

    Roberto Ottini – saxophone-baryton

    Lew Soloff – trompette

    Jens Winter – trompette

    Gary Valente – trombone

    Frank Lacy – cor

    Bob Stewart – tuba

    Daniel Beaussier – oboe, flute

    Karen Mantler – orgue

    Steve Swallow – bass

    Buddy Williams – batterie

    Don Alias – percussions

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    Top 25 icons in Jazz history

    John Coltrane: The Top 25 icons in Jazz history

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    John Coltrane: The Top 25 pearls in Jazz history

    23 Sept. 1926 – 17 July 1967

    John Coltrane. Courtesy of the John Coltrane Media Library.John William Coltrane, modern jazz saxophonist and composer, was born in Hamlet, the son of Alice Blair and John W. Coltrane, Sr. By the time of his death, he had achieved international eminence as one of the most talented, creative, and controversial figures in the history of jazz. His training in music began in high school, where he studied the E-flat alto horn, clarinet, and saxophone.

    He continued his musical training at the Granoff Studios and Ornstein School of Music in Philadelphia, making his professional debut in 1945 as a member of a cocktail party combo. He served in Hawaii with the U.S. Navy Band in 1945–46 and, upon returning to civilian life, toured as a sideman with Eddie Vinson’s rhythm and blues band in 1947–48. He played in Dizzie Gillespie’s big band from 1949 to 1951 and then with Earl Bostic in 1952–53 and Johnny Hodges in 1953–54.

    In 1955, Coltrane joined the Miles Davis Quintet, which was to become the outstanding jazz group of its day. With Davis’s group, Coltrane first attracted public and critical attention for his distinctive style of saxophone jazz. In the summer and fall of 1957 he worked with Theolonious Monk at the Five Spot in New York City. In January 1958 he rejoined Davis’s quintet, remaining with the band until April 1960, when he organized his own quartet.

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    The Coltrane band was one of the most original and influential groups in jazz during the period 1961 to 1965. Coltrane reached the peak of his public acclaim in 1965, winning the Down Beat award John Coltrane. Courtesy of the John Coltrane Media Library.as America’s best tenor saxophonist, Hall of Fame selection, and Jazzman of the Year, while his composition and recording of A Love Supreme was voted Record of the Year. From 1965 to 1967, he experimented broadly in the instrumentation of his group and developed a growing predilection for modality and multihorn group improvisation.

    Coltrane’s music, although influenced by Indian, Oriental, and African forms, was unique in its development and exploration of sixteenth notes as a rhythmic base for jazz. His superb technical skill on the saxophone enabled him to experiment freely with the broadest improvisation in avant-garde jazz, thus making him a central and controversial figure in the field.

    Coltrane recorded for numerous companies, including Columbia, Riverside, Blue Note, Prestige, Atlantic, and Impulse. Among his important recordings are Straight, No Chaser, Blue Train, Kind of Blue, Giant Steps, My Favorite Things, Impressions, Chasin’ the Trane, Crescent, A Love Supreme, Ascension, Naima, Locomotion, In a Sentimental Mood, Expressions, Soultrane, and Kulu Se Mama.

    He was married to Alice McLeod, a jazz pianist who performed with his group on many occasions. He died in Huntington, N.Y., with memorial services at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in New York City.

    The legendary saxophone virtuoso John Coltrane continues to influence modern jazz even from the grave. Coltrane’s death more than two decades ago only enhanced his reputation as an artist who brought whole new dimensions to a constantly innovative musical form. The “sheets of sound” and other bizarre stylistic elements that characterize Coltrane’s jazz sparked heated debate at the time of their composition.

    Today his work is still either hailed as the very pinnacle of genius or dismissed as flights of monotonous self-indulgence. In an Atlantic retrospective, Edward Strickland calls Coltrane “the lone voice crying not in the wilderness but from some primordial chaos” whose music “evokes not only the jungle but all that existed before the jungle.” The critic adds: “Coltrane was attempting to raise jazz from the saloons to the heavens. No jazzman had attempted so overtly to offer his work as a form of religious expression…. In his use of jazz as prayer and meditation Coltrane was beyond all doubt the principal spiritual force in music.”

    Andrew White, himself a musician and transcriber of many of Coltrane’s extended solos, told down beat magazine that the jazz industry “has been faltering artistically and financially ever since the death of John Coltrane…. Besides being one of our greatest saxophonists, improvisors, innovative and creative contributors, Coltrane was our last great leader. As a matter of fact, he was the only leader we’ve had in jazz who successfully maintained an evolutionary creative output as well as building a ‘jazz star’ image. He merged the art and the money.”

    What Coltrane called “exploring all the avenues” was essentially the quest to exhaust every possibility for his horn in the course of a song. He devoted himself to rapid runs in which individual notes were virtually indistinguishable, a style quickly labeled “sheets of sound.” As Martin Williams puts it in Saturday Review, Coltrane “seemed prepared to gush out every conceivable note, run his way a step at a time through every complex chord, every extension, and every substitution, and go beyond that by reaching for sounds that no tenor saxophone had ever uttered before him.”

    Needless to say, this music was not easily understood–critics were quick to find fault with its length and monotony—but it represented an evolution that was welcomed not only by jazz performers, but by composers and even rock musicians as well.

    Selected discography

    (With Miles Davis and others) Kind of Blue, Columbia.

    (With Davis) ‘Round Midnight, Columbia.

    (With Davis) Straight, No Chaser, Columbia.

    (With Thelonious Monk) Trinkle Tinkle, Riverside.

    (With Monk) Ruby My Dear, Riverside.

    Blue Train, Blue Note, 1957.

    Bahia, Prestige, 1958.

    Coltrane Jazz, Atlantic, 1959.

    Giant Steps, Atlantic, 1959.

    Ballads, Impulse, 1962.

    My Favorite Things, Atlantic.

    Impressions, Impulse, 1963, reissued, 1987.

    A Love Supreme, Impulse, 1964, reissued, 1986.

    Crescent, Impulse, 1964.

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    The Best of John Coltrane

    Tracklist:

    Part I – Acknowledgement 0:00​ Part II – Resolution 7:42​ Part III – Pursuance 15:02​ Part IV – Psalm 25:44

    Personnel:

    John Coltrane — bandleader, liner notes, vocals, soprano and tenor saxophone

    Jimmy Garrison — double bass

    Elvin Jones — drums

    McCoy Tyner — piano

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    Top 25 icons in Jazz history

    Horace Silver: The Top 25 icons in Jazz history

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    Horace Silver: The Top 25 pearls in Jazz history

    Horace Silver biography

    From the perspective of the 21st century, it is clear that few jazz musicians had a greater impact on the contemporary mainstream than Horace Silver. The hard bop style that Silver pioneered in the ’50s is now dominant, played not only by holdovers from an earlier generation, but also by fuzzy-cheeked musicians who had yet to be born when the music fell out of critical favor in the ’60s and ’70s.

    Silver’s earliest musical influence was the Cape Verdean folk music he heard from his Portuguese-born father. Later, after he had begun playing piano and saxophone as a high schooler, Silver came under the spell of blues singers and boogie-woogie pianists, as well as boppers like Thelonious Monk and Bud Powell. In 1950, Stan Getz played a concert in Hartford, Connecticut, with a pickup rhythm section that included Silver, drummer Walter Bolden, and bassist Joe Calloway. So impressed was Getz, he hired the whole trio. Silver had been saving his money to move to New York anyway; his hiring by Getz sealed the deal.

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    Silver worked with Getz for a year, then began to freelance around the city with such big-time players as Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, and Oscar Pettiford. In 1952, he recorded with Lou Donaldson for the Blue Note label; this date led him to his first recordings as a leader. In 1953, he joined forces with Art Blakey to form a cooperative under their joint leadership.

    The band’s first album, Horace Silver and the Jazz Messengers, was a milestone in the development of the genre that came to be known as hard bop. Many of the tunes penned by Silver for that record — “The Preacher,” “Doodlin’,” “Room 608” — became jazz classics. By 1956, Silver had left the Messengers to record on his own. The series of Blue Note albums that followed established him for all time as one of jazz’s major composer/pianists. LPs like Blowin’ the Blues Away and Song for My Father (both recorded by an ensemble that included Silver’s longtime sidemen Blue Mitchell and Junior Cook) featured Silver’s harmonically sophisticated and formally distinctive compositions for small jazz ensemble.

    Silver’s piano style — terse, imaginative, and utterly funky — became a model for subsequent mainstream pianists to emulate. Some of the most influential horn players of the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s first attained a measure of prominence with Silver — musicians like Donald Byrd, Woody Shaw, Joe Henderson, Benny Golson, and the Brecker Brothers all played in Silver’s band at a point early in their careers. Silver has even affected members of the avant-garde; Cecil Taylor confesses a Silver influence, and trumpeter Dave Douglas played briefly in a Silver combo.

    Silver recorded exclusively for Blue Note until that label’s eclipse in the late ’70s, whereupon he started his own label, Silveto. Silver’s ’80s work was poorly distributed. During that time he began writing lyrics to his compositions, and his work began to display a concern with music’s metaphysical powers, as exemplified by album titles like Music to Ease Your Disease and Spiritualizing the Senses. In the ’90s, Silver abandoned his label venture and began recording for Columbia.

    With his re-emergence on a major label, Silver once again received a measure of the attention his contributions deserve. Certainly, no one ever contributed a larger and more vital body of original compositions to the jazz canon. Silver died in New York on June 18, 2014 at the age of 85.

    He had a son, Gregory – now a rap musician under the name of G Wise – from his marriage to Barbara, which ended in divorce.

    Horace Ward Martin Tavares Silver, pianist and composer, born 2 September 1928; died 18 June 2014.

    Selected Discography

    Horace Silver and the Jazz Messengers, Blue Note, 1954
    Blowin’ the Blues Away, Blue Note, 1959
    Song For My Father, Blue Note, 1964
    Cape Verdean Blues, Blue Note, 1965
    The Hardbop Grandpop, GRP, 1996

    Sheet Music and biography download here.

    Horace Silver – Blowin The Blues Away (1959) {Full Album}

    Track listing (all compositions by Horace Silver):

    00:00 – 01. “Blowin’ the Blues Away” 04:45 – 02. “The St. Vitus Dance” 08:55 – 03. “Break City” 13:52 – 04. “Peace” 19:56 – 05. “Sister Sadie” 26:16 – 06. “The Baghdad Blues” 31:09 – 07. “Melancholy Mood”

    Personnel:

    Horace Silver – piano Blue Mitchell – trumpet Junior Cook – tenor saxophone Gene Taylor – bass Louis Hayes – drums

    Categories
    Top 25 icons in Jazz history

    Count Basie: The Top 25 icons in Jazz history

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    Count Basie: The Top 25 pearls in Jazz history

    Cunt Basie Biography

    Count Basie was among the most important bandleaders of the swing era. With the exception of a brief period in the early ’50s, he led a big band from 1935 until his death almost 50 years later, and the band continued to perform after he died. Basie’s orchestra was characterized by a light, swinging rhythm section that he led from the piano, lively ensemble work, and generous soloing. Basie was not a composer like Duke Ellington or an important soloist like Benny Goodman. His instrument was his band, which was considered the epitome of swing and became broadly influential on jazz.

    Both of Basie’s parents were musicians; his father, Harvie Basie, played the mellophone, and his mother, Lillian (Childs) Basie, was a pianist who gave her son his earliest lessons. Basie also learned from Harlem stride pianists, particularly Fats Waller. His first professional work came accompanying vaudeville performers, and he was part of a troupe that broke up in Kansas City in 1927, leaving him stranded there. He stayed in the Midwestern city, at first working in a silent movie house and then joining Walter Page’s Blue Devils in July 1928.

    The band’s vocalist was Jimmy Rushing. Basie left in early 1929 to play with other bands, eventually settling into one led by Bennie Moten. Upon Moten’s untimely death on April 2, 1935, Basie worked as a soloist before leading a band initially called the Barons of Rhythm. Many former members of the Moten band joined this nine-piece outfit, among them Walter Page (bass), Freddie Green (guitar), Jo Jones (drums), and Lester Young (tenor saxophone). Jimmy Rushing became the singer. The band gained a residency at the Reno Club in Kansas City and began broadcasting on the radio, an announcer dubbing the pianist “Count” Basie.

    Basie got his big break when one of his broadcasts was heard by journalist and record producer John Hammond, who touted him to agents and record companies. As a result, the band was able to leave Kansas City in the fall of 1936 and take up an engagement at the Grand Terrace in Chicago, followed by a date in Buffalo, NY, before coming into Roseland in New York City in December. It made its recording debut on Decca Records in January 1937.

    Undergoing expansion and personnel changes, it returned to Chicago, then to the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Boston. Meanwhile, its recording of “One O’Clock Jump” became its first chart entry in September 1937. The tune became the band’s theme song and it was later inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

    Basie returned to New York for an extended engagement at the small club the Famous Door in 1938 that really established the band as a success. “Stop Beatin’ Round the Mulberry Bush,” with Rushing on vocals, became a Top Ten hit in the fall of 1938. Basie spent the first half of 1939 in Chicago, meanwhile switching from Decca to Columbia Records, then went to the West Coast in the fall.

    He spent the early ’40s touring extensively, but after the U.S. entry into World War II in December 1941 and the onset of the recording ban in August 1942, his travel was restricted. While on the West Coast, he and the band appeared in five films, all released within a matter of months in 1943: Hit Parade of 1943, Reveille with Beverly, Stage Door Canteen, Top Man, and Crazy House.

    He also scored a series of Top Ten hits on the pop and R&B charts, including “I Didn’t Know About You” (pop, winter 1945); “Red Bank Blues” (R&B, winter 1945); “Rusty Dusty Blues” (R&B, spring 1945); “Jimmy’s Blues” (pop and R&B, summer/fall 1945); and “Blue Skies” (pop, summer 1946). Switching to RCA Victor Records, he topped the charts in February 1947 with “Open the Door, Richard!,” followed by three more Top Ten pop hits in 1947: “Free Eats,” “One O’Clock Boogie,” and “I Ain’t Mad at You (You Ain’t Mad at Me).”

    The big bands’ decline in popularity in the late ’40s hit Basie as it did his peers, and he broke up his orchestra at the end of the decade, opting to lead smaller units for the next couple of years. But he was able to reform the big band in 1952, responding to increased opportunities for touring. For example, he went overseas for the first time to play in Scandinavia in 1954, and thereafter international touring played a large part in his schedule.

    An important addition to the band in late 1954 was vocalist Joe Williams. The orchestra was re-established commercially by the 1955 album Count Basie Swings – Joe Williams Sings (released on Clef Records), particularly by the single “Every Day (I Have the Blues),” which reached the Top Five of the R&B charts and was later inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

    Another key recording of this period was an instrumental reading of “April in Paris” that made the pop Top 40 and the R&B Top Ten in early 1956; it also was enshrined in the Grammy Hall of Fame. These hits made what Albert Murray (co-author of Basie’s autobiography, Good Morning Blues) called the “new testament” edition of the Basie band a major success. Williams remained with Basie until 1960, and even after his departure, the band continued to prosper.

    At the first Grammy Awards ceremony, Basie won the 1958 awards for Best Performance by a Dance Band and Best Jazz Performance, Group, for his Roulette Records LP Basie. Breakfast Dance and Barbecue was nominated in the dance band category for 1959, and Basie won in the category in 1960 for Dance with Basie, earning nominations the same year for Best Performance by an Orchestra and Best Jazz Performance, Large Group, for The Count Basie Story.

    There were further nominations for best jazz performance for Basie at Birdland in 1961 and The Legend in 1962. None of these albums attracted much commercial attention, however, and in 1962, Basie switched to Frank Sinatra’s Reprise Records in a bid to sell more records. Sinatra-Basie satisfied that desire, reaching the Top Five in early 1963. It was followed by This Time by Basie! Hits of the 50’s and 60’s, which reached the Top 20 and won the 1963 Grammy Award for Best Performance by an Orchestra for Dancing.

    This initiated a period largely deplored by jazz fans that ran through the rest of the 1960s, when Basie teamed with various vocalists for a series of chart albums including Ella Fitzgerald (Ella and Basie!, 1963); Sinatra again (the Top 20 album It Might as Well Be Swing, 1964); Sammy Davis, Jr. (Our Shining Hour, 1965); the Mills Brothers (The Board of Directors, 1968); and Jackie Wilson (Manufacturers of Soul, 1968). He also reached the charts with an album of show tunes, Broadway Basie’s … Way (1966).

    By the end of the 1960s, Basie had returned to more of a jazz format. His album Standing Ovation earned a 1969 Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Jazz Performance by a Large Group or Soloist with Large Group (Eight or More), and in 1970, with Oliver Nelson as arranger/conductor, he recorded Afrique, an experimental, avant-garde album that earned a 1971 Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Performance by a Big Band.

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    By this time, the band performed largely on the jazz festival circuit and on cruise ships. In the early 1970s, after a series of short-term affiliations, Basie signed to Pablo Records, with which he recorded for the rest of his life. Pablo recorded Basie prolifically in a variety of settings, resulting in a series of well-received albums: Basie Jam earned a 1975 Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Performance by a Group; Basie and Zoot was nominated in the same category in 1976 and won the Grammy for Best Jazz Performance by a Soloist; Prime Time won the 1977 Grammy for Best Jazz Performance by a Big Band.

    And The Gifted Ones by Basie and Dizzy Gillespie was nominated for a 1979 Grammy for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance by a Group. Thereafter, Basie competed in the category of Best Jazz Instrumental Performance by a Big Band, winning the Grammy in 1980 for On the Road and in 1982 for Warm Breeze, earning a nomination for Farmer’s Market Barbecue in 1983, and winning a final time, for his ninth career Grammy, in 1984 for 88 Basie Street.

    Basie’s health gradually deteriorated during the last eight years of his life. He suffered a heart attack in 1976 that put him out of commission for several months. He was back in the hospital in 1981, and when he returned to action, he was driving an electric wheel chair onto the stage. He died of cancer at 79.

    Jazz sheet music download here.

    Count Basie was admired as much by musicians as by listeners, and he displayed a remarkable consistency in a bandleading career that lasted long after swing became an archival style of music. After his death, his was one of the livelier ghost bands, led in turn by Thad Jones, Frank Foster, and Grover Mitchell. His lengthy career resulted in a large discography spread across all of the major labels and quite a few minor ones as well.

    Count Basie: Best Small Groups 1936-1944 (ft: Lester Young, Buck Clayton, Don Byas…)

    Tracklist:

    COUNT BASIE BEST SMALL GROUPS 1936-1944 featuring: Lester Young, Buck Clayton, Don Byas, Dicky Wells, Jimmy Rushing, Jo Jones… and others

    JONES-SMITH INCORPORATED: Carl Smith (tp), Lester Young (ts), Count Basie (p), Walter Page (b), Jo Jones (dm), Jimmy Rushing (voc*) – October 9, 1936 1 Oh, Lady Be Good (Gershwin) 2 Boogie Woogie* (Smith) 03:05 3 Shoe Shine Boy (master take)(Chaplin – Cahn) 06:18 4 Evenin’* (White – Parish) 09:15

    COUNT BASIE SEXTET: Shad Collins (tp) repl. Smith, Freddie Green (g) added – February 2, 1939 5 You Can Depend on Me* (Hines -Carpenter – Dunlap) 12:10

    BASIE’S BAD BOYS: Buck Clayton & Shad Collins (tp), Dickie Wells (tb*), Lester Young (ts, cl), Count Basie (p, org), Freddie Green (g), Walter Page (b), Jo Jones (dm), Jimmy Rushing (voc) – Feb. 13, 1939 6 I Ain’t Got Nobody (Williams) 15:18 7 Goin’ to Chicago* (Basie – Rushing) 18:15 8 Live and Love Tonight (Johnston – Coslow) 21:21 9 Love Me or Leave Me (Donaldson) 24:25

    COUNT BASIE’S KANSAS CITY SEVEN: Buck Clayton (tp), Dickie Wells (tb), Lester Young (ts), Count Basie (p), Freddie Green (g), Walter Page (b), Jo Jones (dm) – September 5, 1939 10 Dickie’s Dream (master take)(Basie – Young) 26:57 11 Lester Leaps In (master take)(Young) 30:05

    COUNT BASIE AND HISALL-AMERICAN RHYTHM SECTION – Buck Clayton (tp*), Don Byas (ts*), Count Basie (p), Freddie Green (g), Walter Page (b), Jo Jones (dm) – July 24, 1942 12 Bugle Blues*(Mares – Rappolo) 33:19 13 How Long Blues (Carr) 35:45 14 Sugar Blues*(Fletcher – Williams) 38:48 15 Cafe Society Blues (Basie) 41:48 16 Royal Garden Blues* (Williams) 46:00 17 Way Back Blues (Basie) (48:17) 18 St. Louis Blues* (Handy) (51:50) 19 Farewell Blues (Schoebel – Mares – Rappolo) (55:13)

    KANSAS CITY SEVEN: Buck Clayton (tp), Dickie Wells (tbn), Lester Young (ts), Count Basie (p), Freddie Green (g), Rodney Richardson (b), Jo Jones (dm) – March 22, 1944 20 After Theater Jump (Wells) (58:34) 21 Six Cats and a Prince (Clayton) (01:03:17) 22 Lester Leaps Again (Clayton) (01:07:26) 23 Destination K.C.(Clayton) (01:11:51)

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    Top 25 icons in Jazz history

    Red Garland: The Top 25 icons in Jazz history

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    Red Garland: The Top 25 pearls in Jazz history

    Biography

    William “Red” Garland (pianist) was born on May 13, 1923 in Dallas, Texas and passed away on April 23, 1984 in Dallas, Texas at the age of 60.

    Garland’s family was not particularly musical, and his father worked as an elevator technician. Garland’s first instruments were the clarinet and the alto saxophone. He studied with saxophonist Buster “Prof” Smith, who had been an early mentor of alto saxophonist Charlie Parker in Kansas City.

    He joined the United States Army in 1941 and began to learn the piano while stationed in Fort Huachuca, Arizona. At this time, he was also an amateur boxer. He fought the legendary Sugar Ray Robinson, but he lost the bout.

    After being discharged from the military in 1944, Garland played locally around Texas until 1946 when he was chosen to join trumpeter Oran “Hot Lips” Page’s band. Garland toured with Page that same year, ending the tour with the band in New York. Garland decided to stay in New York and soon found work there and also in Philadelphia. While in New York, Garland was recommended to singer Billy Eckstine, who hired him for several weeks.

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    In 1947, Garland began a long stint as the house pianist at the Down Beat club in Philadelphia, where he backed Charlie Parker and Fats Navarro among others, and played with drummer Charlie Rice in the house band. Garland also recorded that year with Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, appearing on the song Ravin’ At The Heaven. By the early 1950s Garland’s stature as a pianist grew to the point that he found regular work with saxophonists Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young, and led his own trio.

    Garland was still playing with Young when Miles Davis approached him to record for his Prestige album, The Musings of Miles, on June 7, 1955 at Rudy Van Gelder’s studio.

    This album was the start of an association with Davis that lasted from the summer of 1955 through 1958. Garland was as integral part of Davis’s first great “quartet,” which featured bassist Paul Chambers, saxophonist John Coltrane, and drummer “Philly” Joe Jones.

    When Miles Davis signed to Columbia Records in 1955, the quintet released the album Round About Midnight. Davis also released several albums for Prestige in 1955 and 1956, which included Working With the Miles Davis Quintet, Steamin’ With the Miles Davis Quintet, The New Miles Davis Quintet, and Relaxin’ With the Miles Davis Quintet. Garland played on all of these releases.

    Red Garland’s playing on these sessions can best be described as being heavily rooted in the old traditions of jazz piano. He at times has a strong sense of swing while his solo lines are very rich and profound. His style is very lyrical while his right hand clusters contrast the chordal movements of his left hand, which can give a listener goose bumps. Garland’s style is also very rooted in the stylistics of show tunes and Broadway songs.

    The right hand block chord device, which he strongly employed on nearly every solo, had the effect of locking in the rhythm section with a strong sense of swing and synchronization. Garland’s playing at times was bluesy as he was much more comfortable in this capacity than in a modal setting, which he didn’t embrace after leaving Miles Davis, who strongly embraced it during Garland’s tenure with the trumpeter.

    On Relaxin’ With the Miles Davis Quintet, Garland can be heard on saxophonist Sonny Rollins’ composition Oleo, and There Is No Greater Love. On Steamin, Garland can be heard on Surrey With the Fringe On Top. Garland can also be heard on Rollins’s 1956 album Tenor Madness.

    While performing and recording with Davis, Garland also released several trio albums. In 1956, Garland released the Prestige album A Garland of Red, which featured Paul Chambers on bass and Art Taylor on drums. The same personnel appeared on the Prestige albums Groovy in 1956, and The P.C. Blues in 1957.

    Garland recorded with saxophonist Art Pepper in 1957, having appeared on the Contemporary release Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section along with his fellow band mates Paul Chambers and “Philly” Joe Jones. This album featured the band on the You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To.” Garland also recorded with trombonist Curtis Fuller in 1957, yielding the album Curtis Fuller With Red Garland.

    By April of 1957, Garland was a mainstay in Davis’s working band, whose rotating cast of musicians included saxophonists Cannonball Adderley, Sonny Rollins, and John Coltrane. Garland stayed with Davis through the trumpeter’s 1958 release of Milestones, which proved to be very influential in establishing the trumpeter’s shift towards modal jazz.

    Garland and Davis had some confrontations during their time together. On the song Sid’s Ahead, from Milestones, Davis is the pianist because Garland got mad at him and left the studio during the recording session.

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    By the middle of 1958, Garland was no longer playing with Davis, having been replaced by Bill Evans. He did record two albums with John Coltrane that year, Soultrane and Settin’ the Pace.

    In 1959, Garland along with drummer Art Taylor and bassist Sam Jones released the album Red In Bluesville, which featured the song He’s a Real Gone Guy, As the jazz industry faced declining record sales during the 1960s, Garland’s performance and recording schedule slowed. In 1968, Garland returned to Dallas to care for his ailing mother and remained there until the mid 1970s.

    Garland returned from semi-retirement in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In 1978 he released the album Feelin’ Red, which featured drummer Al Foster and bassist Sam Jones. That same year, Garland recorded Equinox with drummer Roy Haynes and bassist Richard Davis. In 1979, Garland recorded with bassist Ron Carter and guitarist Kenny Burrell, and maintained an active performance schedule over the next few years.

    In 1983, Garland recorded My Funny Valentine live at the Keystone Korner in San Francisco. Garland died of a heart attack on April 24th, 1984 at the age of sixty, leaving behind a legacy that influenced the many pianists who followed in his footsteps.

    Sheet Music download here.

    Red Garland: the Best of

    Track List:

    01 Soft Winds – Red Garland 00:00 02 So Sorry Please 06:17 03 See See Rider 10:23 04 Satin Doll 18:26 05 Ralph J. Gleason Blues 28:18 06 On Green Dolphin Street 35:04 07 Love Is Here To Stay 40:15 08 Lil’ Darlin’ 45:01 09 It Could Happen To You 52:25

    10 Excerent! 58:08 11 Baby, Won’t You Please Come Home 01:04:16 12 Avalon 01:08:27 13 You’ll Never Know 01:14:52 14 You Better Go Now 01:20:22 15 Winter Wonderland 01:25:36 16 We Kiss In A Shadow 01:31:00 17 Trouble In Mind 01:37:49 18 ‘Tis Autumn 01:43:42 19 Stormy Weather 01:52:50 20 Sonny Boy 02:03:28

    Red Garland’s Partial discography

    As leader

    • A Garland of Red (Prestige, 1956)
    • Red Garland’s Piano (Prestige, 1956)
    • Red Garland Revisited! (Prestige, 1957 [1969])
    • The P.C. Blues (Prestige, 1956-57 [1970])
    • Groovy (Prestige, 1956–57)
    • All Mornin’ Long (Prestige, 1957)
    • High Pressure (1957)
    • Dig It! (Prestige, 1957–58)
    • It’s a Blue World (Prestige, 1958)
    • Manteca (Prestige, 1958)
    • Can’t See for Lookin’ (Prestige, 1958)
    • Rojo (Prestige, 1958)
    • The Red Garland Trio (Moodsville, 1958)
    • All Kinds of Weather (Prestige, 1958)
    • Red in Bluesville (Prestige, 1959)
    • Coleman Hawkins with the Red Garland Trio (Moodsville, 1959) – with Coleman Hawkins
    • Satin Doll (Prestige, 1959 [1971])
    • Red Garland Live! (Prestige, 1959)
    • The Red Garland Trio + Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis (Moodsville, 1959)
    • Soul Junction (Prestige, 1960)
    • Red Garland at the Prelude (Prestige, 1960)
    • Red Alone (Moodsville, 1960)
    • Alone with the Blues (Moodsville, 1960)
    • Halleloo-Y’-All (Prestige, 1960)
    • Bright and Breezy (Jazzland, 1961)
    • The Nearness of You (Jazzland, 1961)
    • Solar (Jazzland, 1962)
    • Red’s Good Groove (Jazzland, 1962)
    • When There Are Grey Skies (Prestige, 1962)
    • Lil’ Darlin’ (Status, 1963)
    • The Quota (MPS, 1971)
    • Auf Wiedersehen (MPS, 1971)
    • Groovin’ Live (Alfa Jazz, 1974)
    • Groovin’ Live II (Alfa Jazz, 1974)
    • Keystones! (Xanadu, 1977)
    • Groovin’ Red (Keystone, 1977)
    • Red Alert (Galaxy, 1977)
    • Crossings (Galaxy, 1977)
    • Feelin’ Red (Muse, 1978)
    • I Left My Heart… (Muse, 1978 [1985]) with Leo Wright
    • Equinox (Galaxy, 1978)
    • Stepping Out (Galaxy, 1979 [1980])
    • So Long Blues (Galaxy, 1979 [1984])
    • Strike Up the Band (Galaxy, 1979 [1981])

    Compilations

    • Rediscovered Masters (Prestige 1958-1961; released 1977)
    • Soul Burnin’ (Prestige 1959-1961; released 1964)

    As sideman

    With Arnett Cobb

    • Sizzlin’ (Prestige, 1960)
    • Ballads by Cobb (Moodsville, 1960)

    With John Coltrane

    • John Coltrane with the Red Garland Trio (Prestige 1957; reissued as Traneing In)
    • Soultrane (Prestige 1958)
    • Lush Life (Prestige 1961)
    • Settin’ The Pace (Prestige 1961)
    • The Believer (Prestige 1964)
    • The Last Trane (Prestige 1965)

    With Sonny Rollins

    • Tenor Madness (Prestige 1956)

    With Miles Davis

    • The Musings of Miles (Prestige 1955)
    • Miles: The New Miles Davis Quintet (Prestige 1955)
    • Cookin’ with The Miles Davis Quintet (Prestige 1956)
    • Relaxin’ with The Miles Davis Quintet (Prestige 1956)
    • Workin’ with The Miles Davis Quintet (Prestige 1956)
    • Steamin’ with The Miles Davis Quintet (Prestige 1956)
    • ‘Round About Midnight (Columbia 1957)
    • Milestones (Columbia 1958)

    With Curtis Fuller

    • Curtis Fuller with Red Garland (Prestige 1957)

    With Jackie McLean

    • McLean’s Scene (Prestige 1956)

    With Art Pepper

    • Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section (Contemporary 1957)

    With Phil Woods

    • Sugan (Prestige Status, 1957)
    Categories
    Top 25 icons in Jazz history

    Wes Montgomery: The Top 25 icons in Jazz history

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    Wes Montgomery: The Top 25 pearls in Jazz history

    Wes Montgomery Biography

    Full name, John Leslie Montgomery; born March 6, 1929, in Indianapolis, Ind.; died June 15, 1968, in Indianapolis, Ind.

    When reading Wes Montgomery Biography, you see that many writers respected him…”Listening to [Wes Montgomery’s] solos is like teetering at the edge of a brink,” composer-conductor Gunther Schuller asserted, as quoted by Jazz & Pop critic Will Smith.

    Wes Montgomery: The Top 25 icons in Jazz history free sheet music & scores pdf

    “His playing at its peak becomes unbearably exciting, to the point where one feels unable to muster sufficient physical endurance to outlast it.” Legendary guitarist Joe Pass simply says this about Montgomery’s place in musical history: “To me, there have been only three real innovators on the guitar–Wes Montgomery, Charlie Christian, and Django Reinhardt,” as cited in James Sallis’s The Guitar Players.

    Throughout the Wes Montgomery Biography you see that this high praise is a testament to the ability of a dude of contradictions: Montgomery was a musician who never learned to read music, and he enjoyed commercial success rarely afforded to jazz musicians during the 1960s, while suffering critical–and personal–disapproval.

    Born John Leslie Montgomery on March 6, 1923, in Indianapolis, Indiana, Montgomery showed no early musical aptitude or desire. At the age of nineteen, shortly after he was married, Montgomery heard a recording of “Solo Flight” by the Benny Goodman Orchestra with Charlie Christian on guitar.

    The impression was such that Montgomery immediately purchased an electric guitar, an amplifier, and as many Christian recordings as he could find, listening carefully to the guitar solos and learning to play them note for note. Montgomery’s neighbors complained about the noise, however, so he abandoned the guitar pick in favor of plucking the strings with his thumb.

    He found the resulting sound mellow and pleasing. Later, while experimenting with different styles and approaches, he discovered the technique that would become his signature. Gary Giddins, in Riding on a Blue Note, explains: “Almost as an extension of that dulcet, singing tone, he began to work in octaves–voicing the melody line in two registers.”

    Within a year, Montgomery played in local clubs, imitating Christian solos. Exposed to other musicians and musical ideas, he developed his own concepts, and in 1948 was asked to join Lionel Hampton’s big band.

    As a sideman, Montgomery toured and recorded with this group until 1950 when, having missed his wife and children, he returned home to work as a welder for a radio parts manufacturer.

    However, as Rich Kienzle pointed out in Great Guitarists, “His desire to play music…was strong. His shift was from 7 A.M. to 3 P.M.; he’d rest for a while, then play at the Turf Bar from 9 P.M. to 2 A.M., moving to a second gig at another club, the Missile Room, from 2:30 A.M. to 5 A.M.” Montgomery continued this pace for six years, joining the group Mastersounds, composed of his brothers Monk (on bass) and Buddy (on piano and vibraphone), in 1957. A few recordings were made by the group on the West Coast, but they failed to attract much attention, and Montgomery returned home to play in clubs.

    In 1959, Montgomery received his big break. While performing at the Missile Room, he impressed saxophonist Cannonball Adderley, who subsequently contacted Orrin Keepnews of Riverside Records. Montgomery was immediately signed and traveled to New York to record his first album, The Wes Montgomery Trio.

    “From the beginning of his belated ‘discovery,’ the critical reception ranged from euphoria to hyperbole,” Giddins explained. “No one had ever heard a guitar sound like Wes Montgomery’s.” This critical euphoria reached a fevered pitch with the release of Montgomery’s follow-up album, The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery (1960). It was not just the sound that Montgomery produced, but, as Sallis says, “the intensity of his music one responded to, the power and personality of it.

    When Wes hit a string you felt it, and it wasn’t just a note, a C sharp or a B flat, it was part of a story he was telling you.” This recording won Montgomery the down beat critics’ New Star Award for 1960, and he topped the guitar category in both down beat readers’ and critics’ polls in 1961 and 1962.

    For the next couple of years, Montgomery performed and toured with various groups, including his brothers, John Coltrane, Wynton Kelly’s trio, and his own trio. Kienzle remarked that “by this time Wes had gained the eminence due him in the jazz world, producing a steady, high-quality level of music regardless of the context. His flow of ideas, soulful articulation, and effortless technique confronted other influences.”

    But in 1964, Riverside Records went bankrupt (following the death of president Bill Grauer), and Montgomery signed with Verve Records, headed by Creed Taylor. This move precipitated Montgomery’s fall from grace with the jazz world and concurrent rise in the popular music world. Giddins explains: “Creed Taylor realized something about Montgomery’s talent: it was octave technique and lyric sound, not his audaciously legato eighth-note improvisations with their dramatic architectural designs, that appealed to middle-of-the-road ears.

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    So he set Montgomery on a course of decreasing improvisation and increasingly busy overdubbed arrangements, while the octaves, once used so judiciously, became the focus of his new ‘style.'” Montgomery’s 1965 release, Goin’ Out of My Head, was a huge popular success, went gold, and earned him a Grammy award as the best instrumental jazz performance of the year.

    Commercial success continued to escalate with subsequent albums on the Verve label, and in 1967, after having moved with Taylor to A&M Records, Montgomery recorded A Day in the Life. The title track not only became a popular hit, but the album became the best-selling jazz album of 1967 and one of the best-selling jazz albums of all time.

    Remaking pop hits with a jazz feel increased his audience, but decreased his acclaim in jazz circles. Adrian Ingram, in an article for Jazz Journal International, noted that “hard core jazz fans began to desert him, complaining bitterly of over-orchestrated arrangements, sub-standard material (pop tunes) and constricted solo space.” Sallis offered an explanation for his decline: “He was a victim of his own popularity, or of the trivialization of his talent, depending on how you perceive it, and as a result that talent went largely unheard for the last years of his life.”

    Montgomery was aware of the growing dissatisfaction in the jazz community with his supposed commercialization, and he tried to make a distinction between his earlier work and his more popular work. “There is a jazz concept to what I’m doing, but I’m playing popular music and it should be regarded as such,” Montgomery said, as quoted by Giddins.

    His approach to music had always been one of feeling rather than one of technique. His inability to read music led to his development of a fine ear; he heard music rather than saw it on a page. And this was most important in his relation with his audience. “Wes believed that the music should be communicated, that the audience was part of the band, and the feeling of the music was more important to him than playing every note correctly,” Jimmy Stewart wrote in Guitar Player.

    Regardless of the style of, or the audience for, the music, Montgomery played with feeling and conviction. Of Road Song, his last recording for A&M before his death, down beat ‘s Pete Welding said, “He couldn’t play uninterestingly if he wanted to. Time and time again throughout this collection his supple sense of rhythm, his choice and placement of notes, his touch and tone raise what might have been in lesser hands merely mundane to the plane of something special, distinctive, masterful.”

    Even with his quoted defense of playing popular music, Montgomery, as Ingram noted, “began to feel trapped by both the music business in general and non-jazz audiences who would tolerate only note perfect renditions of the most popular tunes from his Verve albums.”

    Montgomery longed to return to the playing of his earlier style. This was no more evident than when he performed live. A month before Montgomery’s death, Giddins saw him perform and described what he heard: “Surrounded by four rhythm players, his regular group, he immediately shot off a single chorus of ‘Goin’,’ and followed it with the most fiery, exquisite set of guitar music I’ve ever heard…. Clearly, he had compromised only on disc and would eventually be recorded more seriously.” Unfortunately, this did not occur. At the peak of his career, Montgomery suffered a fatal heart attack in his hometown on June 15, 1968.

    “While Montgomery’s place in jazz history was earned through his early recordings–his jazz recordings–his talent was encompassing enough to enable him to take on the requirements of ‘commercial’ music and execute it with utter elan, unerring taste, musicianship, and true distinction,” Welding wrote.

    In a review for down beat of a posthumous release, Don DeMicheal offered this statement on Montgomery’s lasting ability: “Montgomery could do no wrong when his muse was hot upon him, and it often led him to try and accomplish things that few others could even conceive.”

    But it is perhaps this quote from Ingram that succinctly defines the achievements and losses of Montgomery: “Even when he was immersed in blatantly commercial surroundings, Montgomery never lost his ability to create sophisticated, tasteful jazz. He could turn tap water into vintage wine, though it is sad he was forced to do so, so often.”

    Wes Montgomery – Wes’ Best / Wes Montgomery and his Brothers (Full Album)

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    Top 25 icons in Jazz history

    Sarah Vaughan: The Top 25 icons in Jazz history

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    Sarah Vaughan: The Top 25 icons in Jazz history

    Sarah Vaughan free sheet music & scores pdf download

    Jazz vocalist Sarah Vaughan performed with big bands before becoming a solo artist. She is known for singing “Send in the Clowns” and “Broken-Hearted Melody.”

    Who Was Sarah Vaughan?

    Jazz singer Sarah Vaughan grew up with a love of music and performing. Winning a talent competition held at Harlem’s Apollo Theater launched her singing career. She worked with bandleaders Earl Hines and Billy Eckstine before becoming a successful solo performer who commingled pop and jazz. At age 66, Vaughan died in Hidden Hills, California, on April 3, 1990.

    Early Life

    Sarah Lois Vaughan was born in Newark, New Jersey, on March 27, 1924. Outside of their regular jobs—as a carpenter and as a laundress—her parents were also musicians. Growing up in Newark, a young Vaughan studied the piano and organ, and her voice could be heard as a soloist at Mount Zion Baptist Church.

    Vaughan’s first step toward becoming a professional singer was taken at a talent contest held at Harlem’s Apollo Theater, where many African American music legends made their name. After being dared to enter, she won the 1942 competition with her rendition of “Body and Soul.” She also caught the attention of another vocalist, Billy Eckstine, who persuaded Earl Hines to hire Vaughan to sing with his orchestra.

    Songs and Career

    In 1944, Vaughan left Hines to join Eckstine’s new band. Also working with Eckstine were trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and saxophonist Charlie Parker, who introduced the group to a new form of jazz, known as bebop. An inspired Vaughan brought bebop into her singing, which can be heard in the 1945 recording of “Lover Man” that she made with Parker and Gillespie.

    After performing with Eckstine’s orchestra for a year, Vaughan briefly worked with John Kirby before leaving big bands behind to become a solo artist (though she often reunited with Eckstine for duets). Having already been given the nickname “Sassy” as a commentary on her onstage style, it was while striking out on her own that she was dubbed “The Divine One” by a DJ in Chicago. In the late 1940s, her popular recordings included “If You Could See Me Now” and “It’s Magic.”

    The next decade saw Vaughan produce more pop music, though when she joined Mercury Records she also recorded jazz numbers on a subsidiary label, EmArcy. She sang hits like “Whatever Lola Wants” (1955), “Misty” (1957) and “Broken-Hearted Melody” (1959), which sold more than a million copies. Vaughan gave concerts in the United States and Europe, and her singing was also heard in films such as Disc Jockey (1951) and Basin Street Revue (1956).

    Later Career

    After the 1950s, shifting musical tastes meant that Vaughan no longer produced huge hits. However, she remained a popular performer, particularly when she sang live. In front of an audience, her emotional, vibrato-rich delivery, three-octave vocal range and captivating scat technique were even more appealing. Though her voice took on a deeper pitch as Vaughan got older—likely due in part her smoking habit—this didn’t impact the quality of her singing, as could be heard on “Send in the Clowns,” a staple in her repertoire.

    Vaughan’s later recordings include interpretations of Beatles songs and Brazilian music. Over the years, she collaborated with people like producer Quincy Jones, pianist Oscar Peterson and conductor Michael Tilson Thomas. Vaughan won her first Grammy thanks to her work with Thomas and the Los Angeles Philharmonic on Gershwin Live! (1982).

    Death and Legacy

    Vaughan’s final concert was given at New York’s Blue Note Club in 1989. She passed away from lung cancer on April 3, 1990, at age 66, in Hidden Hills, a suburb of Los Angeles, California. Married and divorced four times, she was survived by her adopted daughter.

    Throughout her career, Vaughan was recognized as a supremely gifted singer and performer. She was invited to perform at the White House and at venues like Carnegie Hall, was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 1989 and was selected to join the Jazz Hall of Fame in 1990. She also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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    Thelonious Monk: The Top 25 icons in Jazz history

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    Thelonious Monk: The Top 25 icons in Jazz history

    Recognized as one of the most original musicians in American history, Thelonious Sphere Monk fashioned a startlingly unique, inimitable playing and composing style that influenced virtually every succeeding jazz generation.

    His playing technique offered a percussive approach to the piano, identified by sparse, complex, sometimes dissonant harmonies, developed from unusual intervals and rhythms, and imbued with warmth and playfulness. (His motto was “There are no wrong notes on the piano.”)

    Monk‘s name is synonymous with the creation of modern jazz; many of his compositions are jazz standards including, “Round Midnight,” “Well You Needn’t,” “Straight, No Chaser,” and “Epistrophy.” His bold musical conceptions sought to bind harmony and rhythm seamlessly to melody. A classically trained pianist, he was deeply influenced by Harlem’s stride piano tradition. Monk‘s Blue Note recording sessions between 1947 and 1948, and 1951 and 1952, netted two volumes, numerically titled Genius of Modern Music. He cut outstanding albums for Riverside and Prestige in the ’50s (Brilliant Corners), and Columbia in the ’60s (Monk’s Dream).

    On-stage, he was in constant motion: he’d leave his piano to dance during another player’s solo, wiggle on his piano bench to emphasize a rhythm, and even bash elbows and forearms onto the keys in search of different tones. Monk released the charting Criss-Cross and Monk’s Dream in 1963 and landed on the cover of Time a year later. After leaving Columbia in 1971, he recorded and played live only sporadically. From 1976 until his death in 1982, Monk lived at the home of longtime friend Pannonica de Koenigswarter. In 1978, he was honored by President Jimmy Carter during a White House jazz party.

    Monk was born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina in October of 1917. His family moved to New York City when he was five. He started playing piano a year later and received formal classical tutoring from age 11. He also received rigorous gospel training accompanying his church choir (in which his mother sang), and attended Stuyvesant High School, where he excelled at physics and math. Near his home were several jazz clubs, as well as the residence of Harlem stride pianist James P. Johnson, from whom Monk learned a great deal. By age 13 he was playing in a local bar and grill with a trio. A year later he was playing rent parties.

    Monk gained distinction while performing at the Apollo Theater’s weekly amateur contests: He won so often, he was ultimately banned from the competition. Subsequently, he accompanied a faith healer and preacher for a year-long tour that revealed to him the subtleties and intricacies of rhythm & blues accompaniment. During the late ’30s he toured as a pianist with a gospel group, then began playing stride and swing in clubs where drummer Kenny Clarke heard and hired him for the house band at Minton’s Playhouse in 1941.

    Minton’s was home to the late-night jam sessions frequented by young lions Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Max Roach, and Bud Powell; the club served as an incubator for the emergent bebop. Monk was hired by Lucky Millinder‘s orchestra in 1942 and he also worked with the Coleman Hawkins Sextet between 1943 and 1945, making his recording debut on the 78 “Flyin’ Hawk.” Monk was a member of Dizzy Gillespie‘s big band in 1946, and started leading his own groups in 1947.

    The period between 1945 and 1954 was difficult for Monk. Because his rhythmic solos reflected an uncommon use of space, and a somewhat percussive technique, some musicians and critics erroneously thought him an inferior pianist. His compositions were so harmonically and rhythmically advanced — even when employing a 12-bar blues or 32-bar ballad architecture — they confused lesser and/or lazier players.

    Add to this the systemic racism of the era, his unusual name, his large physical stature, and iconic fashion sense: He wore a stylish goatee, and had a constantly changing array of colorful hats, bamboo sunglasses, and sharp cut suits. His personality that rendered him an occasionally uncommunicative introvert but also the ultimate hipster who spoke in the jazz vernacular.

    All served to brand him an outsider. A trumped-up charge for drug possession (he took the rap for Powell) didn’t help, either, as it deprived Monk of his New York cabaret license in 1951, forcing him to seek work in Brooklyn and elsewhere for six years. He was also forced to rely on the freely offered financial assistance of his patron, Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter.

    Blue Note’s Alfred Lion paid no mind to critics. He believed in Monk and recorded him extensively between 1947 and 1948 and again in 1951 and 1952. His singles were eventually compiled onto two 10″ vinyl LPs released as Genius of Modern Music, Vols. 1 & 2. The initial release, issued when Monk was 35, offered eight originals including “Epistrophy” “‘Round Midnight,” “Well You Needn’t,” Ruby My Dear,” and “Off Minor”; the second featured “Criss-Cross,” “Four in One,” and “Straight, No Chaser.”

    Each of these titles reflected Monk’s trademark playing style, which incorporated silence and dissonance as forms of self-expression. Soon after that first recording session, Monk married Nellie Smith, who gave birth to his two children Barbara and T.S. Monk II.

    During his time with Blue Note, Monk recorded a host of titles for Prestige including Thelonious Monk Plays and Sonny Rollins and Thelonious Monk. In 1955, Prestige sold his contract to Riverside where he released Plays the Music of Duke Ellington to appease the label. By 1956, Monk had come into his own with Brilliant Corners, considered to be his first masterpiece (due in part to its complex title track). It proved so technically demanding and harmonically complex that the album version had to be edited together from separate takes.

    In 1957, he recorded Mulligan Meets Monk with Gerry Mulligan; the release helped expose him to a wider audience. With the Riverside release of the solo Thelonious Himself and Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane, the artist received belated but well-deserved acclaim. In 1957 and 1958, he won the Down Beat Critics Poll as Best Jazz Pianist. Monk also worked with classical composer Hall Overton to present his music orchestrally for 1959’s At Town Hall.

    The pianist signed to Columbia in late 1961 and toured Europe for the first time with a quartet that included saxophonist Charlie Rouse, drummer Frankie Dunlop, and bassist John Ore. (Later rhythm sections would include bassists Butch Warren or Larry Gales, and drummer Ben Riley). He issued two long-players in 1962, Monk’s Dream and Criss-Cross, both compiled from EP and single sessions.

    They both charted and were received enthusiastically by critics. In 1964, Monk, at the peak of his popularity, appeared on the cover of Time Magazine: He is one of only five jazz musicians to have done so. (The others were Louis Armstrong, Dave Brubeck, Duke Ellington, and much later, Wynton Marsalis.)

    Columbia issued two charting titles by him that year, including Big Band and Quartet in Concert and It’s Monk’s Time. 1965 saw the release of Monk, comprised of a pair of striking originals (Teo” and “Pannonica”) and standards. It’s one of the artist’s most unjustly underrated offerings, and it’s still a radical album.

    Critics complained that he wasn’t writing new music, but Monk re-recorded tunes to reinvigorate them using fresh harmonic and rhythmic approaches. His approach to standards here was to strip them to basic harmonies and rhythms then rebuild them in his own musical image. In 1965, the release of Solo Monk appeased them.

    A standout in his catalog, most of its sides were cut during breaks on a 1964 West Coast quartet tour in October and November. The jaunt netted two masterful live quartet releases as well: Live at the It Club and Live at the Jazz Workshop (unreleased until the ’80s).

    By 1965, Columbia had become enthralled with rock and R&B artists on its roster thanks to administrative vice-president and general manager Clive Davis, who took the helm in 1966. Jazz was losing its place of import. Still, Monk continued to record and tour for the label. The seminal Straight, No Chaser was released in 1967.

    Underground, Monk‘s last Columbia record to receive acclaim during his lifetime was released in 1968 at the pinnacle of the counterculture, its iconic Norman Griner cover shot featured Monk in a makeshift bunker (actually an upscale New York photo studio) with a rifle strapped to his back and assorted grenades and handguns on a table, a cow, a tied-up Nazi, and a broken piano that he played for 90 minutes. Monk spoke only to the cow during the entire shoot.

    1969’s Monk’s Blues was his last outing for the label. Recorded by Monk‘s quartet with a big band in Los Angeles, it was deemed a commercial failure. Columbia‘s disinterest, combined with Monk‘s deteriorating mental and physical health, kept him out of the studio. In January of 1970, Rouse left the band, and less than two years later, the label quietly dropped Monk from its roster.

    In 1971, Japan’s Express signed him and issued Monk in Tokyo with a pick-up quartet comprised of saxophonist Paul Jeffrey, bassist Larry Ridley, and drummer Lenny McBrowne on one side, and with Toshiyuki Miyama & His New Herd Orchestra on the flip. He recruited saxophonist Pat Patrick and son Thelonious, Jr. for his quartet. Monk toured widely in 1972 with the “Giants of Jazz,” a bop supergroup consisting of Dizzy Gillespie, Kai Winding, Sonny Stitt, Al McKibbon, and Art Blakey, resulting in the Atlantic-issued live set Giants of Jazz.

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    That said, he accepted ever fewer live engagements. Monk cut two outings for Black Lion in London, comprised of solo and trio recordings with Blakey and McKibbon. Commercially they appeared as Something in Blue in 1972 and The Man I Love in 1973. (A final recording from these sessions appeared as Blue Sphere in 1977.)

    This material, all but ignored during his lifetime, was collected for a box set by Mosaic after his death and acclaimed for the inspiration and quality in his playing. After appearances at both Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in 1974 and 1975, and the Newport Jazz Festivals in 1975 and 1976, Monk quit performing altogether.

    With the full approval of his wife Nellie, he retired to a single room in Baroness Pannonica’s New Jersey mansion. The room contained a piano, but he seldom touched it. He spoke even less. Monk, seriously ailing, would rise, shower, put on a fresh suit, and return to bed where he spent the day watching television. In 1979, Columbia issued the two-fer Always Know, a compilation of unreleased material from his tenure with the label.

    Monk died from a stroke in 1982. Having lived in the same ground floor apartment on West 63rd St. for years, New York City named it “Thelonius Monk Circle” (sic). The spelling wasn’t corrected until 2013. The year of his death, Columbia issued two stellar double-length live offerings from its vaults: Live at the It Club and Live at the Jazz Workshop.

    Two years later, producer Hal Willner‘s seminal tribute to the musician, That’s the Way I Feel Now, was issued by A&M. Its track list included performances by jazz musicians such as the Carla Bley Big Band with Johnny Griffin; Steve Lacy with Elvin Jones or Gil Evans, and many others, but it also included rock and funk musicians like Was (Not Was), Joe Jackson, and NRBQ interpreting Monk‘s tunes. Mulligan Meets Monk was released by Milestone that same year.

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    It contained the original album appended with alternate takes — including a 21-minute version of the title tune in the process of being recorded. Mosaic, the jazz collector’s label, offered The Complete Blue Note Recordings of Thelonious Monk as its debut release. It sold out almost instantly. A few years later they followed with The Complete Vogue Recordings/The Black Lion Sessions, fomenting a major critical reappraisal of the work; they were once maligned as inferior.

    In 1988, director Charlotte Zwerin‘s biographical documentary Straight, No Chaser appeared to thunderous acclaim and awards; Clint Eastwood was a executive producer.

    Virtually all of Monk‘s officially released recordings have been remastered and reissued several times. In 2005, Blue Note released The Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall to unanimous critical acclaim and chart success. Recorded during a benefit concert in 1957, the tape sat untouched in the Library of Congress until recording lab supervisor Larry Appelbaum unearthed it for restoration by Michael Cuscuna and T.S. Monk.

    In 2013, Robin D.G. Kelley’s award-winning biography Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original, was published. In 2017, the release of Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960 contained 30 unreleased minutes of Monk‘s music cut in a single day by his quartet for Roger Vadim‘s film of the same name. In 2019, a long-lost 1968 recording of the Thelonious Monk Quartet (with Rouse, Gales, and Riley) at Palo Alto High School by Danny Scher emerged. Simply titled Palo Alto: Live at Palo Alto High School, it was set for release by Impulse! during the summer, but a dispute between Monk‘s estate and the label delayed its issue indefinitely.

    The best of Thelonious Monk

    Tracklist :

    00:00 – Gil Evans – Straight No Chaser 06:16 – Gerry Mulligan – Rhythm-A-Ning 11:33 – Thelonious Monk – We see 14:08 – Bud Powell – Monk’s Mood 21:15 – Chet Baker – Round’ Midnight 26:22 – Donald Byrd – 52nd St Theme 32:52 – Kai Winding & Jay Jay Johnson – Blue Monk 37:20 – Thelonious Monk – Off Minor 39:51 – Clark Terry – Pannonica

    45:27 – Barney Wilen – Mysterioso 49:35 – Thelonious Monk – Crepuscule With Nellie 52:07 – Johnny Griffin – Well You Needn’t 01:00:29 – Junior Mance – Ruby My Dear 01:06:30 – Jimmy Raney – Round’ Midnight 01:11:50 – The Modern Jazz Quartet – Round’ Midnight 01:14:48 – Barney Wilen – Epistrophy