Tuesday, July 22, 2014

"Must-Hear" Alto Recordings

JazzTimes recently asked a number of well-known alto players to list the recordings that, in their views, "helped shape the jazz alto saxophone tradition." Their responses are here and here

Any list of "must-hear" alto recordings that doesn't include Charlie Parker, Lee Konitz, and Jackie McLean should be regarded as highly suspect. Of these twenty-six players, only Michael Attias and Andrew D'Angelo included all three. 

The must-hear album by Jackie McLean, by the way, is The Jackie Mac Attack Live for the track, "Cyclical." For Lee Konitz it's Live at the Half Note and Motion, but really anything Lee plays is essential. 

Benny Carter and Rab, Bostic and Ornette should all appear, of course (as they do here, though not all on the same list.) But the criterion is "great performances that helped shape the...tradition"---where are "Trumbology" and "Beebe?" Where's Willie Smith? Rudy Williams

Snidero is right that the must-hear Kenny Garrett is African Exchange Student, for the eponymous track. Essential Gary Bartz is Roy Hargrove's Of Kindred Souls for "My Shining Hour." Abraham Burton's Closest to the Sun is also required listening. 

But the most glaring omission? Jug's Groove Blues; "Tranesonic" from Stellar Regions; and Live in Japan---John Coltrane on alto! 

Good try, prominent alto players---keep listening.  

No comments:

Post a Comment