Friday, May 04, 2007

Erik's Random 10

Truth be told, I've just started listening to a lot of Dizzy Gillespie lately. In fact, it's only been in the last year that I've began fully indulging in the classic players of jazz. I've been a fan of mid-60s to the present jazz, particularly the more experimental stuff for the last decade or more, but, with a limited budget, I've not invested in these classics.

Related to this, I wonder why more people don't listen to Gillespie today. The jazz canon is kind of weird. For hard-core jazz fans, Gillespie is core. But for a lot of people who are getting into jazz but also buy in a lot of other genres, Gillespie gets left behind. So does Lester Young, Sonny Rollins, even Ornette Coleman. It's all about the Miles and Coltrane. Why is that? Especially Coltrane. Miles is great beyond words, at least until the 1970s. And I recognize that John Coltrane is a key person in the history of jazz and he made some great music. But is his work really better than that of Ellington? Armstrong? Rollins? No, I don't think so. Yet, Coltrane, at some undetermined point, became the first person the jazz novice turns to. When did this start? And why?

1. Dizzy Gillespie, Bye Bye Blues
2. The Grateful Dead, Candyland/Cumberland Blues
3. John Prine, Paradise
4. The Allen Brothers, Midnight Mama
5. Byron Berline, Ragtime Annie
6. Willie Nelson, Bloody Mary Morning
7. Jose Antonio Ramos w/Pancho Amat, De Isla La Isla
8. The Who, Behind Blue Eyes
9. Joe Ely, Jericho (Your Walls Must Come Tumbling Down)
10. Tommy Jarrell, Dance All Night With A Bottle In Your Hand