JOHN D’EARTH – LEARNING THROUGH LISTENING

FIVE JAZZ MASTERPIECES EVERYONE SHOULD HEAR

 1. “West End Blues” by Louis Armstrong—”An archetypal statement. The opening cadenza, by itself, answers the question, ‘What is jazz improvisation?’”
2. “Every Tub” by the early Count Basie Band featuring Lester (Pres) Young—”The band swings as one and Pres presages Coltrane on this cut.”
3. “Fine and Mellow” by Billie Holiday—”Jazz is about singing (wailing, crying, burning) through your voice or through your instrument … that and ‘telling your story.’ ‘Fine and Mellow’ tells that story.”
4. “You Don’t Know What Love Is” by Sonny Rollins on the album Saxophone Colossus—”Sonny is the master improviser. He can seem to reinvent music each time he plays, without sacrificing tenderness and lyricism.”
5. “My Funny Valentine” by Miles Davis on Cookin’ and also on Live at Philharmonic Hall—”Miles’ trademark ballad, recorded several times in the course of his career. Each one is different, a new self-portrait by a master musical painter.”

 

Reference: The University of Virginia Magazine, Fall 2006, Published by the UVa Alumni Association

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