Tuesday, July 08, 2008

100 Essential Jazz Albums, According to The New Yorker

David Remnick's list of 100 Essential Jazz albums.

There are five Miles Davis albums on the list, three Louis Armstrong albums, five by Duke Ellington and at #55 is the Mount Everest of vocal jazz albums, "Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Cole Porter Songbook".

Tabula Rasa probably owns all these albums in CD, mp3 and vinyl formats...


Tabula Rasa said...

heh! not really.

can't believe some of the omissions, though. miles smiles / filles de kilimanjaro / headhunters?

km said...

So you are out-snobbing the New Yorker's editor? :)

//I think any "essential albums" list should be broad, not deep. Great as all those albums are, having eight albums from one artist would be a bit too much.

Falstaff said...

I think any "essential albums" list should be broad, not deep.

True, but I can't help thinking the list overrepresents early Miles. I mean you have five Miles albums and three of them are pre-1964, and the one Shorter-Hancock quintet recording he picks (Highlights from the Plugged Nickel), is, to me, the least interesting and least representative of that quintet's work. So other than Bitches Brew you're not really hearing the more experimental side of Miles. Which is a shame.

To be fair though, the introduction does make it pretty clear that they're focusing on pre-1970 Jazz, and if you go through the list it's pretty much pre-1965 Jazz. Looked at that way, it's a pretty good list.

Also, isn't it interesting how many of these 'albums' are multi-CD sets? There must be 300+ CDs here. Sigh. I need to get a job that pays me real money.

km said...

Falstaff: Many of these albums each require several weeks of solid attentive listening. That's an equally serious problem :)

Tabula Rasa said...

agree with the several weeks comment. it's been several years an a million listens and i still haven't gotten through the last four miles prestige albums (smokin' cookin' steamin' relaxin'). and that's just one evening's work.


Falstaff said...

km / tr: tell me about it. I've owned that Coltrane Village Vanguard set for over a year now, and I still haven't *listened* to all of it.

And that's just 1% of this list.

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