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JoeWhip

Article: Music and Sonic Favorites: Jazz Piano

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What a wonderful list, JW!  I'd like to add a few tunes that (at least, for me) define the spirit of a few of your (and my) favorites.

 

Oscar Peterson was truly other worldly, and he could do it all with class and control - drive a band, cry the blues, accompany a vocalist, or hold down a house with solo playing for hours on end.  Going back to his pre-drummer days really gives you a feel for what he could do.  I strongly recommend "at the Stratford Shakesperean Festival": OP with Ray Brown and Herb Ellis - who could ask for anything more?

 

 

My favorite Bill Evans albums are Undercurrent ('62) and Intermodulation ('66), both duets with Jim Hall:

 

 

One of Brubeck's most exciting recorded performances was captured live and issued as "Newport 58".  And if you go back from there, you'll love the college series - Jazz at Oberlin and Jazz at the College of the Pacific are both fantastic.  Brubeck's early rhythm section was described as a revolving door, and many people never heard of his early sidemen in the DBQ. But they were all seasoned musicians who played very well.  As I recall, bass players and drummers came and went because of military service, illness & such more so than personal or musical differences, and he finally stabilized with Joe Morello on drums and Joe Benjamin on bass (replaced after a few years by Eugene Wright).  These early performances really highlight Brubeck's humorous, whimsical, and inventive approach to improvisation.  But most of all, they're a continuing education course in how to structure and build a solo.

 

 

 

 

 I'd also like to add two more who belong in this rarefied air.  Listen to Denny Zeitlin, a California psychiatrist who's one of the most wonderful players ever.  He's on top of my list of stranded-on-a-desert-island discs!

 

 

 

And then there's the great Sir Roland Hanna, who drove the Thad Jones - Mel Lewis Big Band for years.  He's another Peterson - encyclopedic knowledge of all music, killer chops, great taste, and a true sense of humor.  Here are examples of each.  Sir Elf (his nickname) is a fabulous solo album filled with astonishing modulations, note-perfect runs, and harmonies that range from Gunther Schuller to Bach.

 

 

And here he is pushing Thad, Mel et al over the top on one of my favorite albums.  Along with Barry Galbraith on guitar and Richard Davis on bass, this rhythm section is the greatest thing since Freddie Green and Walter Page drove Basie along.

 

 

 

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I have the Strafford, great album. Only have it on vinyl. Need to remedy that! Ha! I easily could have extended this list to 20 easily but didn’t want to drive Chris crazy. I was trying to include my favs that were well known to lesser known new guys who really deserve your consideration like the last three. Mega talents all.

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2 minutes ago, audiobomber said:

No mention of McCoy Tyner or Herbie Hancock? I don't understand.

 

Tyner's work with the John Coltrane Quartet and Hancock's with the Miles Davis Quintet (1964-68) is enough to land them on any list of greatest pianists, IMO. Their solo recordings are icing on the cake. e.g. 

McCoy Tyner - The Real McCoy, Reaching Fourth, Tyner Plays Ellington 

Herbie Hancock - Maiden Voyage, Empyrean Isles, The New Standards

I believe this is a list of favorites, not necessarily greats.


Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing Polestar | Quick Community Reviews and Ratings

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JoeWhip,

 

I often feel like an ingrate reading a really nice article like yours and then saying "But you should have included . . ."

 

So with sincere appreciation for your work (and I think I speak on Chris' behalf as well when I say) . . . what, no Tsuyoshi Yamamoto? 🙂

 

Joel

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Just now, joelha said:

JoeWhip,

 

I often feel like an ingrate reading a really nice article like yours and then saying "But you should have included . . ."

 

So with sincere appreciation for your work (and I think I speak on Chris' behalf as well when I say) . . . what, no Tsuyoshi Yamamoto? 🙂

 

Joel

Joel, I agree.
 

Joe is no longer welcome around these parts :~)


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4 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

I believe this is a list of favorites, not necessarily greats.

OK, I get it. Judging from the last article and this one, I think I like jazz with a little harder edge than @JoeWhip.

 

I'm sure there are some recs I will love here, so I will have a listen. Aren't internet streaming services wonderful? 


“The best sounding audio product is the one that exhibits the least audible flaws.”

 Dr. Floyd Toole

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Audio bomber, it is OK to like jazz with a harder edge. I have been fortunate enough to have met Messrs Tyner and Hancock, two great guys and phenomenal musicians who belong on any lists of greats. They are just a bit further down my list of favs than yours. I will address them on the next one. After male jazz vocalists. Now that one should be interesting!

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9 minutes ago, audiobomber said:

Aren't internet streaming services wonderful?

it's a great time for a music lover to be alive. 


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1 hour ago, JoeWhip said:

I have the Strafford, great album. Only have it on vinyl. Need to remedy that! Ha! I easily could have extended this list to 20 easily but didn’t want to drive Chris crazy. I was trying to include my favs that were well known to lesser known new guys who really deserve your consideration like the last three. Mega talents all.

Oh, man, we could extend this to hundreds!  But as it is with wives, instruments, equipment, wine etc we each find a few lifetime keepers (except for wives - one's fine for my lifetime).  And I'd be fine with those above - I've listened to some of each at least a few times a month for decades.  I actually have all of the above on vinyl, bought new by me and kept lovingly pristine.  The music is a lifetime treasure!

 

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As an aside, I did not include George Shearing on this list as I was going to touch on him with the great set of recordings he did with Mel Torme on Concord. Just in case anyone was wondering. 

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Waltz for Debby - FTW!


[Home Digital] Bricasti M12 > McIntosh MC60 > Zu Druid V + Undertone (BHSE + Voce)

[Home Analog] Technics SL-1200G > K&K Audio Phono Amp (Zu DL-103/Benz Glider-SL/Denon DL-301 II)

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Bandcamp has waived fees for artists today, and Marc Cary, one of the very best pianists out there, has a bunch of new releases. He has stated that he will donate the waived fees to the Jasmine Floyd fund in honor of her father.

 

I haven't yet checked out the three releases that he posted today, but I can highly recommend his duet album with Sameer Gupta.9771FDB8-B82B-4348-8411-A595F73EE5DE.thumb.jpeg.bc53165403e674298a2c88bc209fbf4a.jpeg

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Thanks for the article. Will listen to some albums that are new to me. 


Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>RPi4 (dietpi)>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: (1) CAPS Pipeline>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)>Schiit Freya>Kii Three .(2) CAPS>ifi iDAC SPDIF>Kii Control.

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup. Living Room/Kitchen: RB Pi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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