Widely considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, Davis was at the forefront of almost every major development in jazz from World War II to the 1990s: he played on various early bebop records and recorded one of the first cool jazz records; he was partially responsible for the development of hard bop and modal jazz, and both jazz-funk and jazz fusion arose from his work with other musicians in the late 1960s and early 1970s; and his final album blended jazz and rap. Many leading jazz musicians made their names in Davis's groups, including pianist Herbie Hancock, saxophonist John Coltrane, saxophonist Kenny Garrett, and guitarist John McLaughlin.
As a trumpeter, Davis had a pure, round sound but also an unusual freedom of articulation and pitch. He was known for favoring a low register and relatively sparse playing that served the song rather than display flashy playing, but Davis was also capable of highly complex and technically demanding trumpet work.
A Love Supreme is often listed amongst the greatest jazz albums of all time. It was also quite popular for a jazz album, selling about 500,000 copies by 1970, a number far exceeding Coltrane's typical Impulse! sales of around 30,000. As further testimony to the recording's historic significance, the manuscript for the album is one of the National Museum of American History's "Treasures of American History", part of the collection of the Smithsonian Institution.
In 2003, the album was ranked number 47 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. The publication called it a "legendary album-long hymn of praise" and stated "The indelible four-note theme of the first movement, 'Acknowledgment,' is the humble foundation of the suite.
Take Five is a jazz piece written by Paul Desmond and performed by The Dave Brubeck Quartet on their 1959 album Time Out. Recorded at Columbia's 30th Street Studios in New York City on June 25, July 1, and August 18, 1959, this piece became one of the group's best-known records, famous for its distinctive, catchy saxophone melody and use of the unusual quintuple (5/4) time, from which its name is derived.
While "Take Five" was not the first jazz composition to use this meter, it was one of the first in the United States to achieve mainstream significance, reaching #25 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #5 on Billboard's Easy Listening survey, the precursor to today's Adult Contemporary charts, in 1961, two years after its initial release.
Mingus pays homage to jazz history through tracks laced with gospel, soul, blues, swing, hard bop and a touch of the avant-garde. The bassist would go on to record at least three more great records in the coming decade. This album, however, is the best place to start for listeners looking for a soulful introduction to this great musician's work.
Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's albums from the late-50s all had one thing common - a great supporting cast. In this case the backup includes Miles Davis on trumpet and pianist Hank Jones, with Sam Jones and drummer Art Blakey driving the rhythm section. A true classic of hard bop, the remastered CD release sports an extra track.
New kid on the block Rollins was an original from the start. This early record is a jazz masterpiece. Classic original compositions 'St. Thomas' and 'Blue Seven' bookend three other fine tunes, highlighted by drummer Max Roach and pianist Tommy Flanagan faultlessly plying their crafts. Overall, there isn't a wasted moment in sight
Miles Davis disciple Hancock shows he learned his lessons well on this outstanding set of original tracks. With Davis' band in support it is no surprise that the album's modal hard bop is played with faultless precision and efficiency. The added bonus of Freddie Hubbard on trumpet allows the record to hum with a true spirit of adventure.
Drummer Blakey's third incarnation of the Messengers is generally considered the best, despite the fact tenor Benny Golson only lasted a few months with the group. Band members contribute most of the tunes, including the hit title track by pianist Bobby Timmons. Trumpeter Lee Morgan - still only 20 - continues his march to stardom.
The album's title says it all. While still with Miles Davis' group, Trane managed to push bop to the limits and beyond. His all-original compositions here are built around solos, which was a deconstruction of the modal jazz he was playing with Davis at the time. Most won't notice too much, as it all sounds conventionally pleasing. Essential.
With Max Roach and Sonny Rollins on board, this record is fraught with all the eccentricities and tensions that one might expect from such a gathering of iconoclasts. Nevertheless, it works brilliantly. Despite the complex mathematical nature of Monk's playing, Corners possesses more than enough to satisfy even the toughest of critics.
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