What I’ve been listening to lately

  • Charlie Parker – A Studio Chronicle 1940-1948. My first loves in jazz were 1930s swing and 1960s avant-garde, so it took me a while to get around to really listening to 1940s bebop and 1950s mainstream. Guess what, Parker is a genius; I know that’s not an original opinion, but I didn’t really appreciate how true it was before.
  • Bud Powell – The Complete Bud Powell On Verve. More bebop immersion. Five CDs worth of piano trios is not normally the kind of listening experience I would seek out, as there’s a big risk of stuff just sounding the same. But Powell’s vigorous, forceful playing stands out.
  • Bobby Hutcherson – Patterns. In honor of his passing I have been listening to a lot of his stuff again; I love the vibes and Hutcherson is one of the great masters. That said, his recordings under his own name tend to be a little soft-edged for my taste; he is responsible for one undisputed jazz classic, Dialogue, but it really sounds more like an Andrew Hill record. But Patterns is a good and often overlooked session, with lovely flute from James Spaulding.
  • Prince Buster – Fabulous Greatest Hits. The King of Ska is dead, long live the king; too many obituaries of late. This greatest hits record is in fact the only readily available recording by Prince Buster; to hear much, much more, don’t miss Steve Barker‘s great four-part radio tribute.

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