This week I went on a much-needed Jazz binge. For the end of high school and the first few years of college I listened to Jazz almost exclusively, but much of my listening over the past 4 years or so has been focused on rock/pop. I got a bunch of new Jazz records lately, so it was time for the calculated commercial music to have it’s turn on the shelf. Here’s what I’ve had in the cue this last week…

1) John Coltrane – Ballads …A more reserved side of the famous Coltrane Quartet. Elvin Jones on drums. His feel is so elastic and interpretive. He puts so much of HIS stamp on everything he plays. You can transcribe and learn Elvin’s patterns, but nobody can play them quite like he did.

2) Keith Jarrett – Live at the Blue Note …This is a box-set of the Keith trio, with Gary Peacock on bass and Jack DeJohnette on drums. All the tunes are standards, but with the signature Keith Jarrett Trio expansions. This group improvises so well together – often the tune itself finishes at around the 6-minute mark but the outro-vamp builds and morphs into it’s own thing for another 6 minutes.

3) Lee Konitz – Alone Together …One of my absolute favorite records. Interestingly enough, there’s no drummer. It’s Konitz on saxophones, Brad Mehldau on piano, and Charlie Haden on bass. They play so musically together, such that you really don’t even miss the drummer.

4) Jackie McLean – It’s Time! …A great post-bop album with Roy Haynes on drums. I love Roy Haynes’ energy on this recording.

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