Wednesday Jun 26


On many levels, I'm highly pleased with my recent purchase of Original Album Classics by Sonny Rollins. Let me count the ways.

Rollins Box


Fantasy Records surprised me [in 2002] with a double-barreled blast of (officially) previously unreleased live recordings by the Duke Ellington and Stan Kenton Orchestras.  They are, respectively Duke Ellington at the Alhambra: Pablo PACD-5313-2 and Stan Kenton Orchestra: Stompin' at Newport. Pablo PACD-5312-2).

Ellington at the AlhambraKenton at Newport

Jazz singing has largely degenerated into an ill-considered revival of swing era pop-jazz chirping and cabaret performances that masquerade as jazz. Female singers are mostly at fault, but there are male practitioners who equally confuse the matter of singing jazz with jazzy singing. So does the listening public, of course.

Here are ten recent [2008] favorites in no particular order. As usual, if I were to construct a similar list next week, it could differ considerably.

Fantasy Records [now part of Concord Music Group] says that it holds "The World's Mightiest Jazz Catalog" and has been releasing a series of Original Jazz Classics samplers to support the claim. Three are based on '50s and '60s recordings that came out on smaller and subsidiary labels like Jazzland, New Jazz, Specialty, and HiFiJazz.  Those three are, to me, the most interesting so far. That's probably because most of the performances and even a number of the performers are less well known than the relatively big names and familiar performances that the earlier Fantasy, Prestige, Riverside, and Contemporary compilations quite naturally present.

OJC Jazzland

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