“…tell me you “grew up” just a little bit after listening to this album and admit your foot was keeping time with that awesome snare…This may be called “Kind of Blue” but it is all jazz…”
…I listened to this album on a walkman (of all devices) lying back on my sleeping bag alone in a tent in the Indian Grinding Rock State Park Campground listening to it pour outside my tent all day. The contingency of skiers had abandoned me telling me I was crazy to camp in what they predicted would be snow so they kept going to Kirkwood where I would end up a day later – but I would not have missed that 24 hours in an empty campground with Miles Davis, a moody rainy day in a tent, a soggy fire that kept going out because “So What”.
Thanks for the share Meri G.
Tom Waits conjures up the spirit of Louis Armstrong in his classic 1970s Club Crest style. Small Change is steeped in poetry, jazz and blues, perfect to throw back a few stiff ones and contemplate misfortune, love lost and days of auld lang syne.
Sonny Rollins is joined by Tommy Flanagan on piano, Doug Watkins on bass and the drums of the great Max Roach on this, perhaps his finest set from the 50’s – Saxophone Colossus. Here we are introduced to St Thomas, given a killer version of Mack the Knife (titled Moritat) and then Rollin’s rips his classic solo style on the album closer Blue 7.
You Don’t Know What Love Is
The 1951 All-Star team of jazz was Miles Davis, Lee Konitz, Stan Getz and Gerry Mulligan all of which played on that year’s landmark album of “cool” Conception. Each delivered a tune or two to create this now classic release. Guitarist Billy Bauer delivered tonal color to Indian Summer one of two Saxophone duets he played with Lee Konitz and pianist Al Haig shines on two Stan Getz originals Intoit and Preservation. Hell, who isn’t on this record! Art Blakey, Max Roach, Roy Haynes and Stan Levey work the drums; Jackie McLean throws in some Alto Sax along side Sonny Rollins and Zoot Sims on Tenor. Kal Winding and J.J. Johnston add some bebop slid trombone while Gene Ramey and Arnold Fishkin keep time. By the end of the decade, they all would become big names in the world of Jazz.
Conception finds Miles Davis painting the broad soundscapes he Mulligan and Konitz first constructed during the Birth of the Cool sessions recorded in the late 40s. He would go back to this big band classical style several times in the 50’s with the help of arranger Gil Evans. Together they created the classic albums Miles Ahead, Porgy and Bess, and Sketches of Spain, which earned both Davis and Evans a Grammy in 1960.
Miles gets a lot of well deserved credit for the birth of the “cool style”, but the real stars on this record are Konitz, Getz and Mulligan, each of which were instrumental in the idiom’s conception, and its burgeoning popularity. If you ever wondered where the slang term comes from, here you go. Cool huh?
In 2002 Nora Jones released her debut album, Come Away With Me. It was categorized as Jazz, and Jone’s smoky voice had a soft peaceful calming pulse perfect for soothing and unwinding. Every night for the first year of my daughter’s life, I danced her to sleep to this record. Sometimes it would only take a song or two to put her down, other times it would take the entire album. After 12 months of listening to this same record every night, I was finally relieved when she released her follow up, Feels Like Home, which was more of the exact same. To this day, the instant I hear any cut from either of those two records, I get really tired fast and have to lie down.
That’s the great thing about music. There’s a different sound for every occasion and emotion. And those voices have different effects on each person. Roxy Music’s Avalon from 20 years earlier is sleepy-time tea for my brother and his daughter, but to others, like myself, it embodies passion and desire. On the other hand, Nora Jones’ Come Away With Me? It’s my lullaby. My ether. It’s a knock out punch!
That daughter is now a teenager. Happy Birthday Sweety. I want you in bed by 10!
Born Eleanora Fagan Gough on April 7, 1915 in Baltimore MD to unwed teenaged parents, and raised by uncaring relatives, Billie Holiday was sentenced to Catholic reform school at the age of ten and sexually abused before moving to NJ and then Brooklyn with her young mother in 1927. Working as a prostitute while singing and dancing in the early 30’s, she was discovered by record producer John Hammond (only 3 years her senior) in 1933. Holiday joined a small group led by Benny Goodman and played the NY club scene with names such as Teddy Wilson, Roy Eldridge, Johnny Hodges and Ben Webster before teaming up with the Count Basie Orchestra and her long time musical collaborating partner Lester Young whom she affectionately nicknamed “Pres”.
Holiday’s vocal style and range were limited compared to some of her contemporaries such as Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald, but her unique phrasing, melody and beat (especially early on) was often compared to the spirited vocals of Bessie Smith and the horn of Louis Armstrong. Her career and life was riddled by a series of abusive relationships, substance addictions, depression and a short period spent in prison, but what made her one of the greatest American vocalists of the 20th Century was her unique style and refusal to conform or compromise her art at any time or for anyone. She was an accomplished musician and performer with a deep understanding and connection to the blues. She not only sang it, she lived it.
Billie Holiday died in New York on July 17, 1959 at the age of 44.
Enjoy, Lady Sings The Blues.
01. Lady Sings The Blues 03:46
02. Come Rain Or Come Shine 04:25
03. Blue Moon 03:31
04. Good Morning Heartache 03:31
05. God Bless The Child 04:00
06. Baby Won’t You Please Come Home 03:06
07. Ill Wind 06:16
08. Autumn In New York 03:43
09. Don’t Worry ’bout Me 03:11
10. I Don’t Want To Cry Anymore 03:55
11. Willow Weep For Me 03:08
12. It’s Not For Me To Say 02:29
13. My Man 02:38
14. Stormy Weather 03:43
15. When Your Lover Has Gone 05:00
16. I Must Have That Man! 03:05
17. One For My Baby (And One More For The Road) 05:41
18. I’ll Never Smile Again 03:27