This week he tackles 1959, which was kind of a transition year for rock 'n pop music, but one of the best years ever for jazz music. Probably the best. What can you say about a year that included these five albums (all selected by Scott this week)?
- Miles Davis - Kind Of Blue
- John Coltrane - Giant Steps
- Ornette Coleman - The Shape of Jazz To Come
- Charles Mingus - Mingus Ah Um
- Dave Brubeck Quartet - Time Out
Kind Of Blue is among the handful of records that should be owned by everyone with the slightest interest in music. The band (Davis, Coltrane, Evans, Adderly) has some of the best players ever at their respective instruments, who were all on top of their game during the sessions. A few months later, John Coltrane made his first album as a bandleader with Giant Steps, almost as impressive an achievement as Kind Of Blue. I still don't "get" Ornette Coleman, but he's one of the true innovators of our time, and he's still alive! Mingus is another musician I'm still learning to appreciate, but Ah Um has some of the best bass playing ever.
Dave Brubeck's Time Out was one of the dozen or so records that my parents owned when I was a kid, so I grew up listening to it, and reading the liner notes long before I knew what the 9/8 in "Blue Rondo ala Turk" and the 5/4 in "Take Five" actually meant. I think Time Out was the one record that all the kool kids owned back then, even the ones who didn't like jazz. It was the Tapestry or Rumours of 1959! And fifty years later, the first side of Time Out("Blue Rondo", "Take Five", and "Strange Meadow Lark") still radiates the essence of cool, especially if you spin it at 45rpm.
Even after a lifetime of listening, I still don't know a whole lot about jazz, so whenever I listen to it, I always feel like Elvis's character in the cocktail party scene from Jailhouse Rock.
First Guest: I think Stubby’s gone overboard with those altered chords.
Second Guest: I agree. Brubeck and Desmond have gone just as far with dissonance as I care to go.
Third Guest: Someday they’ll make the cycle and get back to pure old Dixieland. I say modality is just a passing phase in jazz music. What do you think,Mr Everett?
Vince (Elvis): Lady, I don't know what the hell you talkin’ about!