Saturday Night Tunes: Someday My Prince Will Come

You may have noticed that I’ve been on kind of a pattern where I alternate what you might call standard, or mainstream, jazz (bebop, hard bop) and more experimental jazz week-to-week. Last week we looked at Eric Dolphy’s Out to Lunch!, which is definitely in the experimental realm, but the week before that it was… Continue reading Saturday Night Tunes: Someday My Prince Will Come

Saturday Night Tunes: Out to Lunch!

Eric Dolphy is one of the most unique and therefore divisive voices in jazz history. A ridiculously accomplished multi-instrumentalist, Dolphy’s avant garde style — further out on the edge than Thelonious Monk, not quite as far out there as Ornette Coleman — is instantly recognizable and influenced the sound and style of every group he… Continue reading Saturday Night Tunes: Out to Lunch!

Saturday Night Tunes: The Blues and the Abstract Truth

Oliver Nelson, not unlike Clifford Brown, had a tragically short career that really only got started around 1960 and ended with his sudden death of a heart attack in 1975, at the age of 43. His career as a saxophonist and bandleader seems even shorter than those ~15 years would suggest, since he was such… Continue reading Saturday Night Tunes: The Blues and the Abstract Truth

Saturday Night Tunes: Brilliant Corners

There’s really no duplicating the music of Thelonious Monk, which I find that people either love or hate with little in between. He bridged the bebop and hard bop eras, but his music doesn’t slot neatly into either of those categories, nor is it exactly in line with what would come to be called “free… Continue reading Saturday Night Tunes: Brilliant Corners

Saturday Night Tunes: Somethin’ Else

Julian “Cannonball” Adderley gets overlooked, it seems to me, by virtue of the fact that his highest profile gig was as the third horn in a three-horn band. Now, when the other two horns in that band are Miles Davis and John Coltrane, there’s no shame in being the third man in, but it still… Continue reading Saturday Night Tunes: Somethin’ Else

Saturday Night Tunes: Giant Steps

Since I missed the chance to post something nice for John Coltrane’s birthday on Tuesday, let’s take the opportunity to look at maybe his greatest album, and certainly his most famous one, Giant Steps (recorded 1959, released 1960). It’s fair to put Giant Steps up there alongside any album in jazz history in terms of… Continue reading Saturday Night Tunes: Giant Steps

Saturday Night Tunes: The Eminent Jay Jay Johnson, Volume 1

J. J. Johnson (or Jay Jay, if you like) may not be as widely known as Miles Davis or John Coltrane, but he’s quietly one of the most influential musicians in the development of bebop and post-bebop jazz, because he as much as anybody can be credited with bringing the trombone back. Anybody who’s heard… Continue reading Saturday Night Tunes: The Eminent Jay Jay Johnson, Volume 1