JazzTimes Top 50, 1970-2005

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New 35th Anniversary issue (September cover date, orange Herbie Hancock photo) just came out, with 50 contributors writing up one favorite album from the mag's lifespan apiece. Interesting stuff; here's the list:

John Abercrombie, Timeless (ECM, 1974)
Azteca (Columbia, 1972)
Back Door (Blakelg, 1972)
Chet Baker, Chet's Choice (Criss Cross, 1985)
Django Bates, Quiet Nights (Screwgun, 1997)
The Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Album (Fantasy, 1975)
Arthur Blythe, Lenox Avenue Breakdown (Columbia, 1978)
Lester Bowie, The Great Pretender (ECM, 1981)
Dollar Brand + 3 with Kippie Moeketsi (Soultown, 1973)
Benny Carter 4, Montreux '77 (Pablo Live, 1977)
The Audience with Betty Carter (BetCar, 1979)
Stanley Clarke, School Days (Epic, 1976)
Ornette Coleman, In All Languages (Caravan of Dreams, 1987)
Chick Corea, Three Quartets (Stretch, 1981)
Miles Davis, A Tribute to Jack Johnson (Columbia, 1971)
Miles Davis, Tutu (Warner Bros., 1986)
Jack DeJohnette, Special Edition (ECM, 1980)
Roy Eldridge 4, Montreux '77 (Pablo Live, 1977)
Stan Getz & Jimmy Rowles, The Peacocks (Columbia, 1977)
Charlie Haden, Liberation Music Orchestra (Impulse!, 1970)
Graham Haynes, Transition (Verve, 1996)
Joe Henderson, The State of the Tenor: Live at the Village Vanguard Vols. 1 & 2 (Blue Note, 1985)
Woody Herman, Brand New (Fantasy, 1971)
Dave Holland, Conference of the Birds (ECM, 1972)
Keith Jarrett, Death and the Flower (Impulse!, 1975)
Rebecca Kilgore, I Saw Stars (Arbors, 1994)
Love Cry Want (Newjazz.com, rec. 1972/rel. 1997)
Nellie McKay, Get Away From Me (Columbia, 2004)
Jill McManus, Symbols of Hopi (Concord, 1983)
Herbie Mann, Push Push (Embryo, 1971)
Branford Marsalis, Crazy Music People) (Columbia, 1990)
Wynton Marsalis, Tune in Tomorrow (Columbia, 1990)
Pat Metheny, Secret Story (Geffen, 1992)
Pat Metheny Broup, Still Life (Talking) (Geffen, 1987)
Charles Mingus, Changes One & Changes Two (Atlantic, 1974)
Bob Mintzer, Papa Lips: Horn Man Band (CBS/Sony, 1983)
Jason Moran, The Bandwagon (Blue Note, 2003)
Mark Murphy, Bop for Kerouac (Muse, 1981)
Oregon, Winter Light (Vanguard, 1974)
Evan Parker, Derek Bailey & Han Bennink, Topography of the Lungs (Incus 1, 1971)
Joshua Redman, Spirit of the Moment: Live at the Village Vanguard (Warner Bros., 1995)
Hal Russell NRG Ensemble, The Finnish/Swiss Tour (ECM, 1991)
Santana, Lotus (Columbia, 1974)
Shakti (Columbia, 1975)
Woody Shaw, Little Red's Fantasy (Muse, 1978)
Woody Shaw, Rosewood (Columbia, 1977)
Wayne Shorter, Atlantis (Columbia, 1985)
Henry Threadgill Sextet, Easily Slip Into Another World (Novus, 1987)
James Blood Ulmer, Odyssey (Columbia, 1983)
Randy Weston & Melba Liston, Volcano Blues (Antilles, 1993)

Matos-Webster Dictionary (M Matos), Tuesday, 16 August 2005 04:38 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Nellie McKay? Good but Weird Choice.

Voodoo Child, Tuesday, 16 August 2005 04:41 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

worth noting: frequent ILM poster and all around good guy Dave Segal did the (sharp) Love Cry Want writeup

Matos-Webster Dictionary (M Matos), Tuesday, 16 August 2005 04:42 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

no arcade fire? too jazzy maybe?

Nick Sylvester, Tuesday, 16 August 2005 04:44 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

no norah jones or goldfrapp or annie from norway either! the shame!!

Marcello Carlin (nostudium), Tuesday, 16 August 2005 04:44 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

sorry. no Motorhead either

Matos-Webster Dictionary (M Matos), Tuesday, 16 August 2005 04:44 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I kind of like the way it was compiled--it doesn't (to jazz-naive me) seem very "canonical" at all, just the fruit of individual passions, which is a bit more fun to read. plus my jazz naivete means I'm hearing of a lot of these for the first time, so investigating them will be fun, I expect.

Matos-Webster Dictionary (M Matos), Tuesday, 16 August 2005 04:46 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Jordan to thread, of course

Matos-Webster Dictionary (M Matos), Tuesday, 16 August 2005 05:04 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

An interesting list: many albums I haven't heard of by people I have heard of.

Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Tuesday, 16 August 2005 10:52 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

actually, for the time period, it does seem kind of "canonical" in as much as you can say jazz from that time has been ingratiated into the canon. it's kind of heavy on straight ahead stuff for my tastes, and leaves out some seemingly obvious stuff (Zorn? Dave Douglas? Joe Lovano? cover guy Hancock?) but it is cool to see Hal Russell and Love Cry Want on a mainstream jazz top-whatever list. I also think that getting 50 different people to just choose records is a neat way to compile this list.

Dominique (dleone), Tuesday, 16 August 2005 11:22 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Love Cry Want's a great record - IMO cuts both Lifetime and Mahavishnu.

Marcello Carlin (nostudium), Tuesday, 16 August 2005 11:23 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Bitches still afraid of On The Corner.

pdf (Phil Freeman), Tuesday, 16 August 2005 14:28 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

this list is too American.

This week's challenge for Marcello - 50 Great European Jazz Albums 1970-2005.

DJ Martian (djmartian), Tuesday, 16 August 2005 14:40 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

It's a cool list for the reasons Matos mentions, and because there are a lot of records I haven't heard on it. I also would have picked different albums for most of the artists chosen (I'm not a huge Jason Moran fan for ex., but Black Stars is pretty awesome while The Bandwagon was, eh, kind of annoying), but whatever.

Still, since almost half the list is 1970's, I'd rather see a '70s list and an '80s - 00's list. I like a whole lot of 90's - 00's jazz and the handful of picks here don't cut it.

Jordan (Jordan), Tuesday, 16 August 2005 14:49 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I kind of like the way it was compiled--it doesn't (to jazz-naive me) seem very "canonical" at all, just the fruit of individual passions, which is a bit more fun to read. plus my jazz naivete means I'm hearing of a lot of these for the first time, so investigating them will be fun, I expect.

-- Matos-Webster Dictionary (michaelangelomato...), August 16th, 2005.

I think in general there's less of a "canon" for this period in Jazz. Maybe there's a fusion canon by now (Electric Miles, Return to Forever Weather Report some Lifetime stuff, etc.) but even that isn't overrepresented here.

Hurting (Hurting), Tuesday, 16 August 2005 14:53 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Bitches still afraid of On The Corner.

I wouldn't say that at all--Segal for sure isn't. (besides, Jack Johnson is fiercer, if not as chaotic, to my ears, and that's on there.) I'd even wager if they'd done something like an attempt at a balanced list of "important" jazz albums OTC would almost certainly be on it. The criteria for this one is different from that.

Matos-Webster Dictionary (M Matos), Tuesday, 16 August 2005 19:09 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I.e. "shit people like"? :> Hence two Woody Shaw albums, Shakti over Mahavishnu, Graham Haynes over a million great 90's records, and the lack of lots of obvious stuff as Dom mentioned.

Jordan (Jordan), Tuesday, 16 August 2005 19:19 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

no, i.e. "one personal favorite each from 50 different writers" vs. "50 albums decided upon by a small editorial staff."

Matos-Webster Dictionary (M Matos), Tuesday, 16 August 2005 19:21 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Cool, I didn't even read that bit at the top.

Jordan (Jordan), Tuesday, 16 August 2005 19:26 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Nonetheless, I really want to read some decade-by-decade Top 50's now.

Jordan (Jordan), Tuesday, 16 August 2005 19:35 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I'd love those too--school me, motherfuckers!

Matos-Webster Dictionary (M Matos), Tuesday, 16 August 2005 20:39 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

So it shall be:

ILM POLL: Best Jazz Albums of the 90's!

I hope this doesn't crash & burn.

Jordan (Jordan), Tuesday, 16 August 2005 21:32 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I actually did the Nellie McKay one. I posted it on an ILM McKay thread somewhere, but I'm not sure where anymore.

Forksclovetofu (Forksclovetofu), Tuesday, 16 August 2005 21:57 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Incidentally, the editor just told all the writers to make a list of their top five choices that they'd like to write about, then he picked the one he wanted to see.
I also submitted Digable Planets first album. That woulda been fun.
I think mine's the most recent by, oh, about twenty years or so.

Forksclovetofu (Forksclovetofu), Tuesday, 16 August 2005 21:59 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Not 20 years certainly, but a few. A few late-'90s things in there. I'm surprised a bit there wasn't anything from the Blue Series, but then I don't need to be told those are (often) good (and I'm a jazz ignorant).

Matos-Webster Dictionary (M Matos), Tuesday, 16 August 2005 22:05 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Worth noting that, in the same issue, there is an excellent, though altogether too brief, story on Mingus's last days, with great accompanying photos of him and Sue.

Roger Fidelity (Roger Fidelity), Tuesday, 16 August 2005 23:12 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Bitches still afraid of On The Corner.

I recommended this one, too, along with some other hotass titles, but the editor assigned me Love Cry Want, which honestly really made my month. But, lordy, I'd love to go 33 1/3 length on OTC.

Thanks for the kind words, Matos.

Dave Segal (Da ve Segal), Wednesday, 17 August 2005 02:20 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

This week's challenge for Marcello - 50 Great European Jazz Albums 1970-2005.

-- DJ Martian (altmartinu...), August 16th, 2005.

I sort of did something like this over here...

Marcello Carlin (nostudium), Wednesday, 17 August 2005 07:08 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Shakti is a great album to be sure, but rather far from what most would call "jazz." (L Shankar's intonation was totally phenomenal, though, omg.) As for Hal Russell, yes I agree, it's lovely to see him here, he was quite the musical monster. Used to love to watch him at the legendary performance art club Lower Links, in Chicago circa 91-92. Check the Vietnamese choir on the opening track of Metheny's Secret Story too for some serious, serious heartbreaking beauty.

Tate (Tate), Wednesday, 24 August 2005 04:02 (thirteen years ago) Permalink


ILM Best Jazz Albums of the '90s - voting thread!

Jordan (Jordan), Wednesday, 24 August 2005 14:26 (thirteen years ago) Permalink


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