The State of Sound

AUDIO EXPERIENCE FROM FRANCE

Jazz Collection

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“I am Jazz…it’s my life”: a sentiment beautifully expressed by Archie Shepp (this quote of his is also the name of a lovely film made by Franck Cassenti about the saxophonist). This week I have compiled a list of ten albums that I want to recommend to you. These works offer up an enticing sample of authentic jazz. I would never claim that this list spans the immense diversity of the musical genre. Quite the contrary; it demonstrates a bias towards an acoustic style of jazz. However, all the artists that I have included show enthusiastic creativity and, from my perspective, have proven themselves capable of creating an intimate relationship with their listeners; the quality of the recordings is also remarkable. From this mix of musicians—small acoustic jazz groups and creators of intimate jazz—from whom music unfurls in all its splendor, I have collected a solo artist, a duo, a trio, without forgetting to handpick some vocals. I have also added a spoonful of live recordings, slowly simmered, and a pinch of some indispensable exotic spices, such as “Social Studies,” a seminal work by Carla Bley (see the photo below). With that introduction, here is a play list of ten albums that are not to be missed. Enjoy!

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Eric Watson  solo  
“Sketches of Solitude”(Night Bird Music – 2002)
An intense inner monologue of great beauty

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Lee Konitz & Michel Petrucciani ‘Toot sweet” (OWL – 2001)
A sublime duo who are completely in tune with one another; the way in which the two
instruments complement each other is simply amazing

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Mal Waldron & Jeanne Lee “
After Hours” (OWL – 2001)
The extremely deep voice of Jeanne Lee is emotive and stripped of all artifice;
it is perfectly suited to tackle demanding melodies.

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Henri Texier  trio ” The scene is clean” (Label Bleu – 1991)
Unquestionably a ruler of European jazz, the “Master Texier” is majestic as he saunters through a musical
repertoire that displays openness, generosity, and pure authenticity!

Wes Montgomery with Wynton Kelly Trio Smokin at the Half Note 1965 V1
Winton Kelly Trio + Wes Montgomery 
“Smoking at the Half Note” (Verve -1965)
A classic album from 1957…did I mention that it is an analog recording?
Imported from Japan, a work that is a feast for the ears!

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Carla Bley
“Social Studies”(WATT/ECM -1981)
The bold brass will take you back to the jazz of the early 80s; Carla Bley’s orchestral lyricism
paints a creative and melodic universe that draws you in to set you free!

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Dizzy Gillespie
“at Montreux 1980” (Pablo Live – 1981)
The energy radiated by the masterful Guillespie on stage at Montreux, this jazz concert is one of the classics;
the recording allows you to become part of the crowd


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Ray Brown Trio “Live from New York to Tokyo”
(Concord Music – 2003)
In particular, listen to the second of the two CDs in this set, the one recorded in Tokyo (also released under the title Bam Bam Bam);
the acoustics of the concert hall come across in a strikingly realistic way

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Chet Baker
sings It Could Happen to You (Riverside 1958)
How can anyone resist the breath of fresh air that is the voice of young Chet Baker?

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Madeleine Peyroux ” Careless Love” (Universal 2004)
Her voice is stirring, and it cannot help but remind you of Billie Holliday;
its emotional depth, reminiscent of years past, will not fail to move you instantly

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You can listen to this playlist on Qobuz, Spotify  or Deezer

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