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Abdullah Ibrahim composers Dollar Brand Jazz Keyboardists Music photography pianists

Supreme Being: Dollar Brand, aka Abdullah Ibrahim.

Tintinyana (African Piano 1969).
Bra Joe from Kilimanjaro.
The Moon.

The great South African pianist Abdullah Ibrahim, a keyboard giant, is here featured. Though his work reflects the gospel and traditional works of his ancestral home, as well as that of jazz legends Thelonious Monk and Duke Ellington, he is much more than their sum. Ibrahim is a master of improvisational high-wire acts that leave the listener spellbound. His is a unique, powerful, mesmeric musical vision.

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composers Jazz Music photography saxophone Sonny Rollins

Jazz Titan: Sonny Rollins.

Tenor saxophone colossus Theodore WalterSonnyRollins is responsible for a great many of the most monumental jazz tracks ever produced. With John Coltrane, he’s unquestionably at the top of the mountain as far as tenor sax is concerned. As an interpreter of ballads, he remains unsurpassed. Those included here are dramatic, monumental. Given the apparent relaxation with which Sonny plays, the cliff-hanging tension he creates is uncanny. His work with calypso material was groundbreaking. Presented here is but a minute offering from the great man’s catalogue. A premier pantheon inhabitant.

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composers Eerie Spatiality epoch-defining Geniuses Jazz Keyboardists Music music videos photography pianists Thelonious Monk

The Mysteries of Monk.

Unquestionably one of the titanic figures of 20th century music, Thelonious Monk composed and performed mountains of material that now has classic status, but during his initial heyday in the 40’s, it was often dismissed as too quirky, too dissonant, too…weird. Well, Monk’s work is indeed all of those things, but in just the right amount. There is an uncanny air of ineffable mystery that permeates his playing that is striking. His style is angular, uses silence beautifully, and is deeply personal and idiosyncratic. Although hugely influential, no one has ever sounded remotely like him.

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Allan Holdsworth Fusion Jazz Miles Davis Music music videos photography

Electric Jazz.

Great moments in so-called Fusion. Miles pretty much invented it, then along came Mahavishnu Orchestra. The latter’s John McLaughlin is a towering instrumentalist, and is featured also in Davis’s Jack Johnson. Belew and Fripp are gods. But perhaps this music’s most brilliant practitioner might be guitarist Allan Holdsworth. A titan of the instrument, revered by Eddie Van Halen, Frank Zappa, and countless others, Holdsworth’s improvisations induce breath-holding and goosebumps.

Addendum: as this post evolves, more will be revealed. Inserting now some Weather Report, featuring Wayne Shorter. And *now*, Jeff Beck.

And furthermore: Pat Martino. And Larry Coryell.

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Bass Clarinet Eric Dolphy Jazz Music performers photography

Eric Dolphy.

Eric was simply otherworldly in his approach, especially on bass clarinet and alto saxophone. A number of jazz titans held him near and dear, including Charles Mingus and John Coltrane, with whom some of his most stunning work was achieved. No one sounds remotely like Eric Dolphy. In his improvisations, he could be intensely intimate and tender, or utterly explosive and groundbreaking, or both, often in rapid succession.

Upon hearing of Eric’s death, at 36, Mingus said:
” Usually, when a man dies, you rememberβ€”or you say you rememberβ€”only the good things about him. With Eric, that’s all you could remember. I don’t remember any drags he did to anybody. The man was absolutely without a need to hurt.”

Dolphy’s shocking death came shortly before the release of his masterpiece Out to Lunch. He was supposedly very interested in playing in Albert Ayler’s group, and was even preparing to play with Cecil Taylor.

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composers David Murray Henry Threadgill Jazz Music photography

David Murray and Henry Threadgill.

David Murray: Abel’s Blissed-Out Blues.
One For Eric. {w/Jack Dejohnette’s Special Edition}
Spooning.
Henry Threadgill: Just the Facts and Pass the Bucket.
I Can’t Wait ’til I Get Home.
Cremation.
Just B.

Two of the most important and enthralling creators in jazz.

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Jazz John Coltrane Music music videos performers photography

John Coltrane.

Transition.
Spiritual.
Liberia.
Amen.
Mr. P.C.
Equinox.
Bye Bye Blackbird. (Live, 1960, with Miles Davis)
All Blues. (Live, 1960, Stockholm. w/Miles Davis)
So What. (Stockholm, 1960)
Out of This World. (Live in Seattle)
Your Lady.

Saxophonist John Coltrane’s impossible power as an improviser simply cannot be described. He provided one of the high water marks in music history with his ground-and-everything-else-breaking work in the 1960’s.

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Jazz Keyboardists McCoy Tyner Music music videos pianists

McCoy Tyner.

Enlightenment Suite, part 1: Genesis.
Walk Spirit, Talk Spirit.
Wave.
Impressions: Trident version.

The great McCoy Tyner, a phenomenal, electrifying pianist, first came to prominence as the keyboardist for John Coltrane’s quartet, in 1960. He went on to bedazzle countless listeners as a bandleader himself. Born December 11, 1938, Tyner died today, March 6, 2020. He will be mourned by millions.

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Jazz Music

Yusef Lateef.

Sister Mamie.
Like It Is.
Happyology.
Morning.
Woody ‘n’ You.
Planet Earth.
See Line Woman.
Kongsberg.

The great Yusef Lateef was an important composer and tenor sax player that also contributed greatly in terms of bringing multi-instrumentalism {including “exotic” choices like the oboe and shehnai…} to jazz. He was also a major figure as far as incorporating “Eastern” sounds to Western music. Fundamentally, though, his massively full-toned, idiosyncratic tenor work alone catapults Yusef into the uppermost echelons.

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Audio Jazz Music vocalists

Vocalists, of Note.

Johnny Hartman: They Say It’s Wonderful.
Al Hibbler: After the Lights Go Down Low.
Arthur Prysock: Ain’t It Funny.
Leon Thomas: One.
Leon Thomas: Song for my Father.
Jimmy Scott: All The Way.
Irene Kral: Small Day Tomorrow.
Peggy Lee: I Think It’s Going to Rain Today.
Peggy Lee: Don’t Explain.
Chris Connor: All About Ronnie.

A sampler, from upper-echelon practitioners of the art.