Monday, February 23, 2009

Top 20

These recollections of an aspiring jazz trumpet player in the 50's and early 60's are meant to add to the folklore of this period of great advances in bebop.

My nephew David Thompson, an excellent jazz guitarist and all around fine person asked me to list the 20 albums that helped create that love of the music that has permeated the life of a septuagenarian.

"Think of 20 albums, CDs, LPs ....  that had such a profound effect on you they changed your life. Dug into your soul.  Music that brought you to life when you heard it.  Royally affected you, kicked you in the wazzo, literally socked you in the gut, is what I mean."

I guess he never thought that the first album - a compilation of Paul Robeson songs - would be an album of 78 rpm  records.  I used to listen to it in the early 40's  on a wind-up RCA Victor phonograph at my grandfather's house in Trois Rivières Québec.

 1.) Mah Lindy Lou - Paul Robeson (1944)single
 2.) Blue Flame - Woody Herman (1945)single
 3.) Well, Git It! - Tommy Dorsey (1946)single
 4.) Don't Roll Those Bloodshot Eyes at Me - Wynonie Harris (1950)single
 5.) I Stay in the Mood For You - Billy Eckstein big band (1950)single
 6.) Miles Blue Note Vol. 1 -  Miles Davis (1952)
 7.) Miles Blue Note Vol. 2 -  Miles Davis (1952)
 8.) 'Round Midnight- Miles Davis (1955)
 9.) Miles Ahead - Miles Davis & Gil Evans (1955)
10.) Art Blakey Live at Birdland Vol. 1 - Art Blakey & Clifford Brown (1957)
11.) Art Blakey Live at Birdland Vol. 2 - Art Blakey & Clifford Brown (1957)
12.) Daddy Plays The Horn - Dexter Gordon (1958)
13.) The Genius of Bud Powell - Bud Powell (1958)
14.) Genius + Soul = Jazz - Ray Charles (1959)
15.) Bird with Strings - Charlie Parker (1959)
16.) Lady in Satin - Billie Holiday (1959)
17.) Somethin' Else - Cannonball Adderly & Miles Davis (1960)
18.) Thelonius Monk at Town Hall - Thelonius Monk Orchestra (1960)
19.) Pier Gynt Suite - Duke Ellington (1962)
20.) Evidence - Steve Lacey & Don Cherry (1962)


  1. I've never heard the Blakey & Clifford records. I'll check them out. I saw Brecker at Birdland in the 90s. That's as close as I get :)

  2. I am most impressed, you put a lot of work into this, now I am going to read it


  3. Hey!

    Sorry about the late reply. Just wanted to leave a comment. Hopefully your computer is up soon!

    See you sometime at work,