Build me a Jazz CD Collection

Or at least start one for me.

Due to family changes, I am losing 75% of previously jointly owned CD’s. That doesn’t bother me much, as I am not a huge fan of my wife’s musical tastes. I am left with a lot of classical stuff and the various albums that I bought because they stuck out from my vinyl collection or because they fitted in with particular memories of mine. Anyway, I tend to use music mainly for background purposes, and in looking through what I have left, I notice a total absence of jazz. The thing is, I actually like jazz, though I know next to nothing about it.

So, if I was to be buying jazz CDs over the next few months (especially once work starts), and was looking to end up with say 30 of them for starters, what would y’all recommend? The perfect thing would be a broad ranging exposure so I can be put in a position to pick for myself after that. Kind of a teach me to fish concept, really.

How about Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane? An amazing CD.

Well, Kind of Blue is obvious.
The Quintet at Massey Hall.
Ellington Live at Newport.

Anything you can get by Dave Brubeck. Start with Time Out, Time Further Out, Time In, Jazz Impressions of New York, Jazz At Oberlin, etc.

Herbie Hancock-Headhunters
Cannonball Adderly-The Capitol Years
Charle Hunter-Ready…Set…Shango!
The Dirty Dozen Brass Band-Buck Jump

Thelonious Monk’s Underground

Billie, Sarah, Ella and Dinah. Throw in Carmen and Betty. Don’t forget Dianne Reeves, Patricia Barber and Diane Schuur.

Gotta second Kind Of Blue. Absolutely essential. Another Miles Davis that I dig a lot is Cookin’ at the Plugged Nickel. I think that they’ve released a box set of the Plugged Nickel sessions that I need to pick up someday when I have some more expendable income.

Coltrane. Any Coltrane, but I’m kinda partial to Giant Steps if you must limit it to just one (but you also get a good dose of Coltrane on Kind of Blue).

Some Classics and a couple of favorites:

Charlie Parker: Yardbird Suite

Chales Mingus: Ah Um

Cannonball Adderly: Capitol Years (as mentioned above) or Live In San Fransisco

Miles Davis: Kind of Blue is a MUST. Complete Birth of the Cool is awsome also

Dave Brubek: Time Out is a MUST (as mentioned above)

Louis Armstrong: Hot 5’s and 7’s

Horace Silver: Blowing the Blues Away

Clifford Brown and Max Roach : Same title (one of my favorite trumpeters and my hands down favorite drumer)

John Coltrain: Giant Steps

Thelonious Monk: Brilliant Corners

Wes Montgomery: Movin Wes

Oscar Peterson Trio: Night Train

McCoy Tyner. Maybe The Real McCoy. Tyner played with John Coltrane on a lot of recordings, including, I think, My Favorite Things.

I’m partial to Sonny Rollins for saxophonists.

Eric Dolphy is a multi-instrumentalist that I like.

One of my favorite albums, with a little Brazilian flair is Jazz Samba with Charlie Byrd and Stan Getz (who I think was from Maryland).

Except for Kind of Blue, probably my most-played Miles Davis album is Sketches of Spain.

Excellent suggestions so far, and I’ll try not to repeat. Seeing you’re from Nashville, you might start listening to WMOT (Jazz 89.5 FM) and get ideas from them. There are quite a few local players (most notably Beegie Adair, Bela Fleck, Edgar Meyer, Mark O’Connor and the Wooten Brothers just to name a few) whose CD’s are on display as a group at Davis Kidd in Green Hills (perhaps elsewhere, too.)

As for background type jazz, I’d suggest:

Pat Metheny Group: Travels
Stan Getz: Focus and People Time (and any of his Bossa Nova things)
Rob McConnell and the Boss Brass: (several good titles)
Chick Corea: ** Rendezvous In New York** (may not be exact title)
Larry Carlton: (almost anything he’s done)
Harold Land: ** Lazy Afternoon **
Gerald Wilson Orchestra: (any title)
Dizzy Gillespie: On The French Riviera
Joe Pass: (any title)
Oscar Peterson: (any title)
and Mr. Nashville himself, Chet Atkins: Sails and Stay Tuned

If these (more than half anyway) meet your approval, I can offer another dozen or so.

and I’ll add …

Dexter Gordon esp for background his Ballads CD. It’s all instrumental.

this is actually the first Jazz CD that I owned myself. it’s what I like to call “smoky sax” music.

A group that many don’t think of is The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. They play a lot of Ellington and have some extremely talented musicians. Also, try some Modern Jazz Quartet (who aren’t modern anymore, but back in the day…). For some mellow standards, try Chet Baker, one of the more prolific trumpet players.

Ah, but I am only in Nashville for three more weeks. And I am hooked on 1430 AM as they give me the BBC World Service.

Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I am heartened by recongizing most of the names, but did not want to slip into the habit of getting greates hits CDs. I imagine I will be frequenting Amazon when the pay checks start.

Get the 2 volume Manhattan Transfer collection.

Getz/Gilberto (Stan Getz, Joao Gilberto).

Gotta go, more later.

(P.S. Seconded on Sketches of Spain)