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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.

Categories
Jazz Music

Yusef Lateef.

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

Categories
Jazz Music music videos

Pianists, of Note.

Monk: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.
Herbie Nichols: The Spinning Song.
Wildflower.
The Gig.
Herbie Nichols: Lady Sings the Blues.
Mal Waldron: Blues for F.P.
Way In.
Cecil Taylor: Bemsha Swing.
Indent: Second Layer.
Cecil Taylor: After All.
Bud Powell: Monopoly.
John’s Abbey.
Buster Rides Again.
Bud Powell: Un Poco Loco.
Paul Bley: Mr. Joy. {Turning Point}

A sampler/primer of some of the greats. Some neglected gems. Some masterworks. Some __________.

Categories
Cecil Taylor Instrumentalists Jazz John Coltrane Lee Morgan Music music videos Roland Kirk

The Jazzes.

“Untitled”: Rick Olson; Mark Henderson.
Transition: John Coltrane.
Equinox: John Coltrane
Coltrane/Miles 1960. Bye Bye, Blackbird.
Coltrane w/Miles 1960: All Blues. Amsterdam.
John Coltrane: Spiritual {w/Dolphy}.
1960: All Blues: Miles Davis/John Coltrane Quintet. Stockholm.
Compassion: John Coltrane.
Roland Kirk: No Tonic Pres
Roland Kirk: Rip, Rig, and Panic.
Yusef Lateef: See Line Woman.
Kongsberg: Yusef Lateef.
Pools. Michael Brecker.
Cecil Taylor: Live in Bologna. 1988
Abdullah Ibrahim: African Dawn.
Dollar Brand: The Moon.
Dollar Brand: Tintinaya.
Ben Webster: Sunday.
Charlie Parker: Anthropology.
Mr. Joy: Paul Bley.
Paul Bley: Mr. Joy. from Turning Point. 1975.
Henry Threadgill: I Can’t Wait Till I Get Home.
Just B: Henry Threadgill.
The Sidewinder: Lee Morgan with Joe Henderson.
Herbie Nichols: The Gig.
Lew Tabackin: Jitterbug Waltz.
Viper’s Drag: Fats Waller.
Julius Hemphill: The Hard Blues.
Albert Ayler: Spirits {from Spiritual Unity}

Titans of improvised music display their immense powers.

Pat Martino: The Great Stream.
Valse Hot: Sonny Rollins, Clifford Brown.
Coltrane/Hartman: They Say It’s Wonderful.
Miles Davis: The Leap. Blue Note.
Ray’s Idea: Miles Davis {alt take}.
Lee Morgan {with Jackie McLean}: Miss Nettie B.
Leon Thomas: Song for my Father.
David Murray: Abel’s Blissed Out Blues.
David Murray: Spooning.
Mal Waldron: Blues for FP.
John’s Abbey: Bud Powell.
Julius Hemphill: Dogon A.D.
Herbie Nichols: The Spinning Song.
Go Power: Arnett Cobb, and the great Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis.
Planet Earth: Adderley/Lateef sextet.
Leon Thomas : One.
One For Eric: Jack Dejohnette ensemble, w/David Murray.