BCB's Favourite Jazz Albums Poll 2011 - The Results, 1-50!

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Re: BCB's Favourite Jazz Albums Poll 2011 - The Results, 1-5

Postby never/ever » 03 Jul 2011, 03:38

I guess I've been the real odd duck amongst the fine plumage discussing jazz here....

As often as I've said that I'm not a jazz fan I really discovered that in a lot of ways I am. After all, a lot of the prog(ressive) music I listen to have got connotations with jazz. Going through my collection I did have plenty of albums that answered to Ange's description of jazz so I was happy to sort them out and list them. I ended up with this list:

1. Soft Machine- Third
2. Billy Cobham- Spectrum
3. Jon Hassell- Last Night The Moon Dropped Its Clothes On The Street
4. Mahavishnu Orchestra- Inner Mountain Flame
5. Guru- Jazzmatazz
6. Cachao- Cuban Jam Session vol. 2
7. Ray Barretto- Hard Hands
8. Mahavishnu Orchestra- Birds Of Fire
9. Joe Zawinul- Dialects
10. Miles Davis- In A Silent Way
11. Mongo Santamaria- Watermelon Man
12. Dexter Gordon- Round Midnight
13. Supersilent- 1-3
14. Herbie Hancock- Head Hunters
15. Miles Davis- Sketches Of Spain
16. Passport- Passport
17. Dif Juz- Extractions
18. If- If
19. Ginger Baker's Air Force- GBAF 1
20. Machito & His Afro-Cubanos- Tremendo Cuban


A couple of notes:
If any of these choices do not exactly fit the description of jazz by any of the regular visitors of Jazz Corner then I'm sorry. For me these albums represent jazz in any form.
Soft Machine 3 did answer the call the most closely for me. It's such a sprawling, superb album. Cobham is a master and this album is fantastic- an amazingly nice guy too when I met him a few years ago. Mahavishnu , Zawinul & Passport have been faves for a long time- Weather Report just fell short but is another band I really dig.
Another genre that I'm very much into is Latin jazz/salsa, I have run a big Latin music-department in a big music shop in Amsterdam and listened to a lot of classic material then and still do. Gran maestros like Cachao, Eddie Palmieri, Pucho, Mongo Santamaria, Tito Puente, Barretto or the traditionalists like Fania All-Stars are still great to listen to. I could've also included the Brazilian contingent (Airto, Sergio Mendes. Gil Gil, Simone, Nascimento, Buarque) but they fell a little short of my final list.

One album I forgot about which should have been there is Nina Simone's The Amazing NS. Got that as a gift from a friend and it is a gem. Stupidly enough forgot I had that one.

Then for some of the oddities- yes, I included Supersilent which has pushed the boundaries of jazz to the outer limits. The Necks would have been a good second choice as well. I love albums like Jon Hassell's Last Night which is more electronic noodling then real jazz but it's such a perfect moody album, one I play a lot when traveling very late at night by train to my home, giving me that hazy smoky city-feeling, wandering around like a barfly through a neon city....just perfect.
Guru grabbed me from the beginning. Seeing it live was even better. Man, this is pick-me-up-music and the acid jazz-stream that followed brought a lot of great artists/DJs around. (just thought about Dream Warriors...yes!)
Dif Juz was the first real jazz-rock-album I bought (on 4AD which I collected at the time) and still liked what the group tried to do. If and GBAF I got into courtesy of Mr. Carlsson- thanks!

As for the 'classics'- I love Sketches Of Spain and Round Midnight and In A Silent Way was one I got into a few years ago when I watched a documentary on Chick Corea. I haven't really spend too much time exploring anything else. I have heard classic albums like Out To Lunch, Jazz Messengers, Love Supreme etcetera but it's something I'm not quite connecting to.

I am not gonna be so bold as to make the statement that I'm going to listen or improve my jazz-collection here based on the list here, simply have got too much to listen to. But I listened to a few clips that Ange posted here, some of it was nice, some of it I didn't care for. I guess that will be my definitive statement on jazz then.
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Re: BCB's Favourite Jazz Albums Poll 2011 - The Results, 1-5

Postby king feeb » 03 Jul 2011, 09:55

Great work, Ange. There is lots to explore on this list, as well as the individual lists.

Here is my somewhat odd list, which hews to my usual "no more than one selection per artist" criteria:

1 Sun Ra- Angels And Demons At Play
2 Mingus- The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady
3 Miles Davis- Tribute To Jack Johnson
4 Monk-Straight No Chaser
5 Herbie Hancock- Sextant
6 Eric Dolphy- Out To Lunch
7 John Coltrane- Giant Steps
8 Rahsaan Roland Kirk- The Case of the 3 Sided Dream in Audio Color
9 Ornette Coleman- Science Fiction
10 Stan Kenton- City Of Glass
11 Kenny Wheeler- Gnu High
12 Duke Ellington Orchestra- Jazz At The Plaza Volume II
13 Albert Ayler- Spiritual Unity
14 Count Basie- Atomic!
15 Cannonball Adderly- Radio Nights
16 Eddie Harris & Les McCann- Swiss Movement
17 Art Ensemble Of Chicago- Les Stances à Sophie
18 Ramsey Lewis- Maiden Voyage
19 Weather Report- Sweetnighter
20 Gene Ammons/ Sonny Stitt- Boss Tenors
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Re: BCB's Favourite Jazz Albums Poll 2011 - The Results, 1-5

Postby Jeff K » 03 Jul 2011, 14:30

One of the albums which intrigues me the most is Count Basie's Atomic!. What makes it so special aside from the music, that is? I must confess to having never heard of it before.
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Re: BCB's Favourite Jazz Albums Poll 2011 - The Results, 1-5

Postby fange » 03 Jul 2011, 14:49

never/ever wrote:I guess I've been the real odd duck amongst the fine plumage discussing jazz here....

As often as I've said that I'm not a jazz fan I really discovered that in a lot of ways I am. After all, a lot of the prog(ressive) music I listen to have got connotations with jazz. Going through my collection I did have plenty of albums that answered to Ange's description of jazz so I was happy to sort them out and list them...


I'm really glad you joined in, Maarts. I'm sure there are heaps more on BCB like yourself, who start out thinking they're not really into jazz, but when they look closer they start picking their Mahavishnu or Guru cds or the Tito Puente disc they've loved for years, and it just clicks how much stuff they actually like which has every right to go under the broad banner of jazz.
Cheers for that super list, which i'll be investigating further - a couple of the latin artists there look right up my alley.
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Re: BCB's Favourite Jazz Albums Poll 2011 - The Results, 1-5

Postby Nolamike » 03 Jul 2011, 14:50

Brer Baron wrote:
Copehead wrote:Not even one vote for King Oliver.


There's not much between Louis Armstrong and Thelonious Monk, is there.
Proof that Ken Burns wasn't wrong to focus on what he did.


I'm shocked that you and I are the only ones who voted for the Blanton/Webster band, and that later Ellington albums got more votes than that set. The Blanton/Webster era Ellington is, for my money, the best jazz band ever created. Ellington at his very peak, with a well-tuned machine to back him up.
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Re: BCB's Favourite Jazz Albums Poll 2011 - The Results, 1-5

Postby T. Willy Rye » 03 Jul 2011, 15:59

hookfinger wrote:First off, thanks for compiling this list ange. And now a few thoughts...
If I had to compile a list of my 20 favorite records today, it would be different than it was a week ago. Mainly because it is sometimes very hard to pick you one record out of an artist's catalog. Plus in this week I have discovered a few records that I will play to death for the next few months. As I said my favorites is a list with a revolving door.

When I read things like the next two quotes (and don't take it personally guys), I realize why I don't bother to post so much in the threads. It's like beating your head on the wall.
T. Willy Rye wrote:I'm disappointed by the large number of non- Blue Note artists in this list, but what are you gonna do?



For the record here is my list...
Hot Fives sessions - Louis Armstrong
Original 1945 Bebop Sessions - Dizzy Gillespie/Charlie Parker
Mingus Mingus Mingus - Charles Mingus
Monk's Music - Thelonious Monk
Somalia - Billy Harper
Free At Last - Mal Waldron
Of Blues and Dreams - Anthony Davis
Bob's Pink Cadillac - William Parker Clarinet Trio
Smack Up - Art Pepper
You Know The Number - Henry Threadgill
Blues and Abstract Truth - Oliver Nelson
Light Blue - Arthur Blythe
Stick Up - Bobby Hutcherson
Changing Seasons - Billy Bang
Another kind Of Groove - Kahil El Zabar
Today and Now - Coleman Hawkins
Capricorn Moon - Marion Brown
Indo Pak Coaltition - Rudresh Mahanthappi
Lady Time - Ella Fitzgerald


I thought it was pretty clear that I was joking here, but maybe not :roll: Even my list had more than a few non BN dates. I hope my blue notecentric perspective hasn't caused you to not post because I've always enjoyed your insights and love your blog. There's some truth to your observations about BN and probably some of your characterizations of the label are reasons why I love it- many dates are just a little easier to listen to than Anthony Braxton (though, there is a pretty significant range of music on the BN catalog) Before I met my wife, got a demanding job and had children- E.S. P. really sparked my interest as a label, but times change. Great list, btw.

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Re: BCB's Favourite Jazz Albums Poll 2011 - The Results, 1-5

Postby Spec » 03 Jul 2011, 18:48

never/ever wrote:I guess I've been the real odd duck amongst the fine plumage discussing jazz here....

As often as I've said that I'm not a jazz fan I really discovered that in a lot of ways I am. After all, a lot of the prog(ressive) music I listen to have got connotations with jazz. Going through my collection I did have plenty of albums that answered to Ange's description of jazz so I was happy to sort them out and list them. I ended up with this list:

1. Soft Machine- Third
2. Billy Cobham- Spectrum
3. Jon Hassell- Last Night The Moon Dropped Its Clothes On The Street
4. Mahavishnu Orchestra- Inner Mountain Flame
5. Guru- Jazzmatazz
6. Cachao- Cuban Jam Session vol. 2
7. Ray Barretto- Hard Hands
8. Mahavishnu Orchestra- Birds Of Fire
9. Joe Zawinul- Dialects
10. Miles Davis- In A Silent Way
11. Mongo Santamaria- Watermelon Man
12. Dexter Gordon- Round Midnight
13. Supersilent- 1-3
14. Herbie Hancock- Head Hunters
15. Miles Davis- Sketches Of Spain
16. Passport- Passport
17. Dif Juz- Extractions
18. If- If
19. Ginger Baker's Air Force- GBAF 1
20. Machito & His Afro-Cubanos- Tremendo Cuban


Then for some of the oddities- yes, I included Supersilent which has pushed the boundaries of jazz to the outer limits. The Necks would have been a good second choice as well. I love albums like Jon Hassell's Last Night which is more electronic noodling then real jazz but it's such a perfect moody album, one I play a lot when traveling very late at night by train to my home, giving me that hazy smoky city-feeling, wandering around like a barfly through a neon city....just perfect.



I find that a really interesting list. May I ask, on the Supersilent 1-3 is my least favourite. Were you only picking one by each artist and if so would the others have made it anywhere near your list if you were not restricted to one choice?

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Re: BCB's Favourite Jazz Albums Poll 2011 - The Results, 1-5

Postby Balboa » 03 Jul 2011, 19:34

hookfinger wrote:
I am not suggesting any sort of conspiracy voting towards BN if that is what you mean. But 16 out of 50 does constitute a majority. Without doing the math I suspect no other label came in even close.
Nor am I suggesting that BN is a pop label, I only compared it to The Beatles because oftimes around here they are considered the mountaintop to which all else pales. I refute that.

I grew up with the BNs. I love them still. But I think that with BN, you know ahead of time exactly what you are gonna get. Great ensemble recordings that have been scrubbed free of any of the imperfections that make improvised music so much fun. Not just in the performances but the recordings themselves. At least by the time you hit all those 50's sessions.
I guess when I see too many BN's in the NP parts of the thread, I wonder why every one can't be as enlightened as me. ;)


A pedant writes - 16 out of 50 is not a majority. ;)

Oh, I totally get your point - that people should branch out more, and I agree (your list looks great - I'm, going to have a few questions about it). But at the same time there is some incredible music made on BN - it's kinda like the Motown or Stax of jazz. Without derailing this thread, I posted this on the Jazz thread last week:

The label has (in some ways correctly) been pigeonholed as this one dimensional cool jazz/hard bop label famous for the likes of Mobley, Morgan, Blakey, Silver et al - at the same time, they turned out some incredible albums that didn't play it safe (and I like those other guys a lot before anyone gets excited! ;) ). Dolphy, Hutcherson, Hill, Shorter, McLean, Rivers, Williams...what a great, great roster. And McLean never seems to get his props - I think he was one of the first guys to challenge the orthodoxies of the BN sound (some good writing here - viewtopic.php?f=1&t=85509&hilit=jackie+mclean - I had completely forgotten about that thread).


I know they never reached the real far end of skronksville, but they did get out there form time to time.

And I second T.Willy.Rye's comments - you should post more on the jazz thread. There is a lot more going on on there than just BN, and sometimes I find that someone posts something that changes the direction of the thread (like your Mal Waldron post - I'll go listen and post some soon).

Never/Ever - I like your list, and kudos for putting Supersilent in there. I thought about them a lot and decided against it - kinda like Spec, I like a different one to you though (and I need to catch up some of their more recent stuff).

Re. Blanton/Webster - I love that stuff, but I couldn't hand on heart place it in my Top 20. My favourite jazz era is roughly '62-'75, and I think the bulk of my albums came from then.

I don't know about everyone else, but I have enjoyed seeing people's lists - it's good to see things that nearly made my list pop up unexpectedly ('Gnu High'! I nearly put it in!). Following on from The Baron's comments, I need to fish out 'Giant Steps' and listen again.

And I almost put Jackie McLean in my list - same session as Fangedango - but for some reason didn't. He REALLY is the forgotten man of BN!
Of course, I was mostly stoned at the time.

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Re: BCB's Favourite Jazz Albums Poll 2011 - The Results, 1-5

Postby Brother Spoon » 03 Jul 2011, 19:52

Got the Andrew Hill and Bobby Hutcherson records yesterday.

'Point of departure' is dense! Maybe a little too advanced for me.
I'm giving it a couple of tries.

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Re: BCB's Favourite Jazz Albums Poll 2011 - The Results, 1-5

Postby never/ever » 03 Jul 2011, 21:54

Spec wrote:
I find that a really interesting list. May I ask, on the Supersilent 1-3 is my least favourite. Were you only picking one by each artist and if so would the others have made it anywhere near your list if you were not restricted to one choice?



It's the only one I have! It was one of those albums I picked up on the back of reviews I read and even if not everything resonated as much at first listen I did think the loud/quiet-dynamics and use of pink noise a la Merzbow was very interesting. Since then I went through phases listening to their music (I have heard 5 and 6 but don't have them) but never seemed to have the time to investigate properly- partly because their release-rate is/was pretty high (especially if you include Deathprod's solo-material) but also because this is music you have to listen to if you are in the mood for such and considering my restlessness for the last few years it's not something I listen to often these days. Putting this on my list was not a case of showing off though, I do like noisefests a lot!
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Re: BCB's Favourite Jazz Albums Poll 2011 - The Results, 1-5

Postby Balboa » 03 Jul 2011, 22:23

Brother Spoon wrote:Got the Andrew Hill and Bobby Hutcherson records yesterday.

'Point of departure' is dense! Maybe a little too advanced for me.
I'm giving it a couple of tries.


I've listened to nothing but the Bobby Hutcherson, Dave Holland ('Conference of the Birds') and Eric Dolphy ('Iron Man' funnily enough) for 3 or 4 days now.

Stick with the Andrew Hill - it's incredible; the compositions are really, really great. I see you voted for Mingus - in some ways, Hill's talent isn't form his playing (which is great), but his composing skills, which are incredible.

And the Hutcherson is just jam packed with great playing - some of it is pretty free, but keep listening and it will stick.

Those 2 plus Dolphy's 'Out To Lunch' are some of my favourite jazz sounds.
Of course, I was mostly stoned at the time.

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Re: BCB's Favourite Jazz Albums Poll 2011 - The Results, 1-5

Postby fange » 04 Jul 2011, 02:20

never/ever wrote:
Spec wrote:
I find that a really interesting list. May I ask, on the Supersilent 1-3 is my least favourite. Were you only picking one by each artist and if so would the others have made it anywhere near your list if you were not restricted to one choice?



It's the only one I have! It was one of those albums I picked up on the back of reviews I read and even if not everything resonated as much at first listen I did think the loud/quiet-dynamics and use of pink noise a la Merzbow was very interesting. Since then I went through phases listening to their music (I have heard 5 and 6 but don't have them) but never seemed to have the time to investigate properly- partly because their release-rate is/was pretty high (especially if you include Deathprod's solo-material) but also because this is music you have to listen to if you are in the mood for such and considering my restlessness for the last few years it's not something I listen to often these days. Putting this on my list was not a case of showing off though, I do like noisefests a lot!


I've been spinning Arve Henriksen's solo album Cartography recently and have been really impressed with it - it pushes the line beautifully on where jazz stands in the 21st century, without sacrificing an enjoyable listen to style or sterile experimentation. There are plenty of soft but indelible melodies amidst the hypnotic background loops and studio effects that Henriksen loves, and the acoustic instruments fit smoothly with the electronics to create a very natural blend that can often be so hard to find when this approach is tried.

A couple of you guys who enjoy that modern ECM sound will enjoy checking Cartography out i think.
I might play it again now in fact, having a light day at work so can give it the attention it deserves.
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Re: BCB's Favourite Jazz Albums Poll 2011 - The Results, 1-5

Postby algroth » 04 Jul 2011, 03:08

Balboa wrote:
Brother Spoon wrote:Got the Andrew Hill and Bobby Hutcherson records yesterday.

'Point of departure' is dense! Maybe a little too advanced for me.
I'm giving it a couple of tries.


Stick with the Andrew Hill - it's incredible; the compositions are really, really great. I see you voted for Mingus - in some ways, Hill's talent isn't form his playing (which is great), but his composing skills, which are incredible.


This, and also give Black Fire and Compulsion!!!!! a try. Both stand well above Point Of Departure, in my opinion.

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Re: BCB's Favourite Jazz Albums Poll 2011 - The Results, 1-5

Postby Count Machuki » 04 Jul 2011, 03:13

I neglected a lot of good stuff, and gave very little thought to rankings and therefore points. I don't know if that skewed anything, but at any rate, I love all these records dearly. Great poll, this one...one to bookmark, I think!

1. A Love Supreme - John Coltrane
2. On The Corner - Miles Davis
3. Out to Lunch - Eric Dolphy
4. Pithecanthropus Erectus - Charles Mingus
5. See No Evil - Wayne Shorter
6. The Blues Book - Booker Ervin
7. Space is the Place - Sun Ra
8. Song for My Father - Horace SIlver
9. Root Down - Jimmy Smith
10. Swiss Movement - Eddie Harris & Les McCann
11. Hot 5s & 7s - Louis Armstrong
12. The Atomic Mr. Basie - Count Basie
13. Jazz at Massey Hall - Charlie Parker
14. Blues and the Abstract Truth -Oliver Nelson
15. Birth of the Cool - Miles Davis
16. Moanin' - Art Blakey
17. Jazz Guitar - Eddie Lang
18. The Genius of Art Tatum - Art Tatum
19. The Kicker - Joe Henderson
20. Sunday at the Village Vanguard - Bill Evans
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Re: BCB's Favourite Jazz Albums Poll 2011 - The Results, 1-5

Postby fange » 04 Jul 2011, 03:28

algroth wrote:
Balboa wrote:
Brother Spoon wrote:Got the Andrew Hill and Bobby Hutcherson records yesterday.

'Point of departure' is dense! Maybe a little too advanced for me.
I'm giving it a couple of tries.


Stick with the Andrew Hill - it's incredible; the compositions are really, really great. I see you voted for Mingus - in some ways, Hill's talent isn't form his playing (which is great), but his composing skills, which are incredible.


This, and also give Black Fire and Compulsion!!!!! a try. Both stand well above Point Of Departure, in my opinion.


Great calls on the Hill albums guys - in truth i could have a tossed a dart at any of the albums mentioned above, as well as Passing Ships, Dance With Death and Judgement! as my fave Andrew Hill at any particular time, but i don't know if i could agree with any of those being well above Point Of Departure. Not only are the compositions on POD brilliant, all the band play with incredible feeling and chemistry, well enough to rival anything being done in jazz at the time in my book.
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Re: BCB's Favourite Jazz Albums Poll 2011 - The Results, 1-5

Postby algroth » 04 Jul 2011, 03:30

Fangedango! wrote:Great calls on the Hill albums guys - in truth i could have a tossed a dart at any of the albums mentioned above, as well as Passing Ships, Dance With Death and Judgement! as my fave Andrew Hill at any particular time, but i don't know if i could agree with any of those being well above Point Of Departure. Not only are the compositions on POD brilliant, all the band play with incredible feeling and chemistry, well enough to rival anything being done in jazz at the time in my book.


Yes, I was overstating my case, but I do feel both to be better albums overall. In any case, all three are fantastic.

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Re: BCB's Favourite Jazz Albums Poll 2011 - The Results, 1-5

Postby fange » 04 Jul 2011, 03:33

Count Machuki wrote:10. Swiss Movement - Eddie Harris & Les McCann


Thanks for bringing this one to my attention, Count, and king feeb too. A soulful gem indeed.
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Re: BCB's Favourite Jazz Albums Poll 2011 - The Results, 1-5

Postby fange » 04 Jul 2011, 03:40

algroth wrote: In any case, all three are fantastic.


Hell yeah - that definitely ain't no overstatement... ;)


Oh, and here was my list...

1. Miles Davis – ‘Round About Midnight
2. John Coltrane – Giant Steps
3. Thelonious Monk – Genius of Modern Music Vol. 1 & 2
4. Jackie McLean – Destination Out!
5. Eric Dolphy – Out To Lunch
6. Charles Mingus – The Black Saint & The Sinner Lady
7. Chet Baker – Chet Baker Sings
8. Grant Green – Idle Moments
9. Herbie Hancock – Empyrean Isles
10. Roland Kirk – The Inflated Tear
11. Lee Morgan – Search For The New Land
12. Big John Patton - Let 'Em Roll
13. Lee Morgan - The Sidewinder
14. Ornette Coleman – The Shape Of Jazz To Come
15. Horace Silver Quintet – Song For My Father
16. Andrew Hill - Point Of Departure
17. Louis Armstrong - Complete Hot Fives And Sevens
18. Bennie Maupin - The Jewel In The Lotus
19. Dexter Gordon - Go!
20. Stan Getz/Charlie Byrd - Jazz Samba
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Re: BCB's Favourite Jazz Albums Poll 2011 - The Results, 1-5

Postby Spec » 04 Jul 2011, 06:44

Fangedango! wrote:
never/ever wrote:
Spec wrote:
I find that a really interesting list. May I ask, on the Supersilent 1-3 is my least favourite. Were you only picking one by each artist and if so would the others have made it anywhere near your list if you were not restricted to one choice?



It's the only one I have! It was one of those albums I picked up on the back of reviews I read and even if not everything resonated as much at first listen I did think the loud/quiet-dynamics and use of pink noise a la Merzbow was very interesting. Since then I went through phases listening to their music (I have heard 5 and 6 but don't have them) but never seemed to have the time to investigate properly- partly because their release-rate is/was pretty high (especially if you include Deathprod's solo-material) but also because this is music you have to listen to if you are in the mood for such and considering my restlessness for the last few years it's not something I listen to often these days. Putting this on my list was not a case of showing off though, I do like noisefests a lot!


I've been spinning Arve Henriksen's solo album Cartography recently and have been really impressed with it - it pushes the line beautifully on where jazz stands in the 21st century, without sacrificing an enjoyable listen to style or sterile experimentation. There are plenty of soft but indelible melodies amidst the hypnotic background loops and studio effects that Henriksen loves, and the acoustic instruments fit smoothly with the electronics to create a very natural blend that can often be so hard to find when this approach is tried.

A couple of you guys who enjoy that modern ECM sound will enjoy checking Cartography out i think.
I might play it again now in fact, having a light day at work so can give it the attention it deserves.


Balboa and I are big Henriksen fans both within Supersilent and outside.

Have you heard Rob Mazurek? He operates in a similar area but a bit less "ambient".

The Modernist

Re: BCB's Favourite Jazz Albums Poll 2011 - The Results, 1-5

Postby The Modernist » 04 Jul 2011, 07:46

Sorry I didn't manage to get my list through on time - connection problems combined with being a bit busy.
My vote wouldn't have made much difference...it would have propelled 'Ole' higher and perhaps got Gary Bartz into the chart. Would like to have seen "Speak Like a Child" by Herbie Hancock in there, but I've enjoyed reading the results.
Well done Fan.