What's the best jazz song ever
For today's World Jazz Day: These are the 10 best jazz albums for beginners
April 30th - this is the International Jazz Day, which UNESCO launched in 2012. Among other things, UNESCO is committed to the preservation and preservation of important cultural achievements, and this naturally includes jazz music. In the USA, where jazz is even more relevant in terms of cultural history than in Germany, April is Jazz Appreciation Month, and International Jazz Day closes this month. The perfect occasion to take a look at this genre of music - but not an easy undertaking for laypeople. That's why we've put together a few accessible classics here that give you a feel for the genre.
The best jazz albums for beginners are also available on Spotify
Just open the Spotify app and go. Because the following jazz albums should be heard.
1. The Dave Brubeck Quartet - Time Out (1959)
Photo: Sony Music
Must have heard: The Dave Brubeck Quartet
This record was the first jazz album that sold over a million times - even though it was released in the same year as THE jazz album par excellence: Kind of Blue by Miles Davis. But even today it is still perfectly understandable why Time out was so commercially successful. Because even though it is kept almost entirely in odd time signatures (a trademark of the quartet), the melodies, the feeling of the compositions and this perfect mix of cool and west coast jazz immediately captivate you. In particular, the springy drums by Joe Morello and the pointed alto saxophone playing by Paul Desmond make it easy for beginners to find immediate access to the album. Not to forget: With Take Five there is a flawless super hit on the record. And if you want to hear a piece in 9/8 time, listen to the also great opener Blue Rondo à la Turk at.Best piece: Take Five
2. Miles Davis - Miles Ahead (1957)
Photo: Sony Music
King in his thing: Miles Davis
Miles Davis is probably the best known and most important jazz musician in the world. Point. When it comes to his best and most groundbreaking album, everyone agrees: Kind of Blue. But it is only suitable to a limited extent for beginners. There offers Miles Ahead, which Davis recorded two years earlier with the Gil Evans Orchestra, had a slightly easier approach. This accessibility is primarily due to the arranger and pianist Gil Evans, who managed to keep Miles Davis' playing from getting out of hand without robbing him of his joy in playing. The big band Evans put together for the recordings harmonized perfectly and especially the swinging rhythms of Paul Chambers on bass and Art Taylor on drums drive the whole album deep into your heart. Miles Ahead is a rather calm album, quite reduced, almost static, but that's exactly where its charm loves - especially since Davis - who incidentally doesn't play trumpet but flugelhorn on the record - is completely at the service of the big band. Super chilled album.Best piece: The Duke
3. Billie Holiday - Billie Holiday (1947)
She got a right to sing the blues: Billie Holiday
That voice alone. This urgency, this pain that it brings with it, this melancholy - all of this is unparalleled, even if you can hear it all in some exceptional contemporary artists, for example Beth Gibbons from Portishead. But Billie Holiday was special. Especially in the melody, with which she made songs that mostly did not come from her pen, into hers. That included the one included on Billie Holiday Strange Fruit, one of the most important pieces of the Afro-American civil rights movement and the musical demand for human dignity for blacks. Holidays life itself was anything but easy - you can see that in the current biopic The United States vs. Billie Holiday Take a picture: raped at the age of eleven, stay in a reformatory, work in a brothel, drug addiction, violence, plus constant discrimination - it must have been hell. And all of these painful experiences, Billie Holiday put into her voice on how to get on Billie Holiday can hear wonderfully.Best piece: Strange Fruit
4. Sonny Rollins - Saxophone Colossus (1956)
Photo: Concorde / Universal
Kollossal am Sax: Sonny Rollins
Yes, the jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins has always had self-confidence - as can be seen easily from the record title. But he's also right, as he proves with this album. Because Saxophone Colossus is one of the best jazz albums in the world. It starts with the irresistible calypso St. Thomas, named after his mother's Caribbean place of origin, which soon became the jazz standard. What many do not know: There is also on the record Morality also a slightly dark version from Berthold Brechts and Kurt Weills Threepenny Opera, which was very popular at the time. The energetic, sometimes somewhat exaggerated, but always very melodic and challenging playing of Sonny Rollins rightly makes him one of the most important tenor saxophonists alongside John Coltrane.Best piece: St. Thomas
5. Nina Simone - I Put A Spell On You (1965)
Photo: Verve / Universal
The sun came with her: Nina Simone
In addition to Billie Holiday, from whom she was heavily influenced, Nina Simone is also considered one of the most influential and important protagonists of jazz and blues. To get closer to her work, one might as well look at the live album Nina Simone In Concert which contains some of their best pieces. But also I Put A Spell On You is a perfect start because it is considered to be their most poppy and accessible studio album and with the title track and Feeling good, whose sample can be taken from the song New Day from Kanye West and Jay-Z, contains some of their most famous songs.Best piece: Feeling Good
6. Charles Mingus - Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus (1964)
Photo: Impulse / Universal
The jazz choleric: Charles Mingus
Anyone who knows a little about jazz will immediately notice Charles Mingus' masterpiece Mingus Ah Um think; an album whose class should in no way be questioned here. But: Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingusis a little more accessible compared to this classic and therefore appears in its place in this list. Especially since this album shows impressively why the great improviser is one of the greatest (contrabass) bassists and composers of modern jazz. But as first-class as his bass playing was, his demeanor was just as wicked. Mingus was considered a choleric man who regularly messed with bandmates and the audience, smashed club inventory and instruments and was temporarily admitted to a psychiatric clinic. Maybe he came up with this album title.Best piece: II B.S.
7. Duke Ellington - New Orleans Suite (1970)
Photo: Rhino / Warner
Sweet, this suite: Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington is also one of the most important jazz musicians of all time. The gifted composer and Stride pianist has composed almost 2000 pieces in the course of his life, around 100 of which have become timeless jazz standards. All his life Ellington had committed himself to upgrading jazz socially by giving it a concert hall seriousness - which never really worked because he was constantly on tour. His solution: The invention of the suites, in which his pieces often remained a little sketchy. But that is exactly what made them so charming, because Ellington and his musicians had to improvise and thus sounded more experimental, unconventional and courageous. One of the best: the New Orleans Suite. Ellington then leads jazz back to its place of origin. That's what makes this fairly accessible suite so special - especially since Ellington was absolutely in top form when it was recorded. As a result, he was awarded a Grammy for his admission in 1971.Best piece: Portrait Of Louis Armstrong
8. Cannonball Adderley - Somethin ’Else (1958)
Photo: Blue Note / Universal
His nickname was originally Cannibal: Cannonball Adderley
This record is considered a milestone in hard bop and one of the best jazz records ever. After Miles Davis became aware of Adderley in 1957, he brought him into his band, resulting in some of the most innovative jazz recordings of the time: Milestones, Kind of Blue and just Somethin ‘Else. You can hear the influence of Davis, but also Charlie Parker. Still sounds Somethin ‘Else absolutely unique and shows Cannonball Adderley in absolute top form. The famous Austrian jazz pianist Joe Zawinul once described Cannonball as the most underrated musician of the century - and there's something to it. Unfortunately, he died much too early in 1975 as a result of a stroke. He was just 46 years old.Best piece: Autumn Leaves
9. John Coltrane - Blue Train (1957)
Photo: Blue Note / Universal
The blue hour has struck: John Coltrane
When you think of John Coltrane, the first thing you think of is A love supreme, that next to Miles Davis ‘ Kind of Blue for many as the best jazz album of all time. But not only that Blue train Considered a masterpiece today, it is also a lot more accessible. That may be because the record is on the traditional label Blue note was released and you can definitely hear an orientation towards its label sound. On the other hand, Coltrane was not quite that advanced as a musician either, in particular with regard to the harmonization of the wind section, he did not lean as far out of the window as on later recordings, which makes the record a little less bulky for beginners.Best piece: Blue Train
10. The Modern Jazz Quartet - The Complete Last Concert (1974)
Photo: Atlantic / Warner
Four wins: The Modern Jazz Quartet
At the time, the Modern Jazz Quartet succeeded in luring people into the concert halls who were previously not interested in jazz (the best prerequisite for appearing on this list). There were many reasons for this: On the one hand, it was due to the fact that the group combined their cool jazz with European chamber music and other classical forms, which made them heard especially in Europe - on the other hand, the sound, for which the saxophone or trumpet was deliberately avoided . Instead, it keeps dinging and dinging; the two main protagonists Milt Jackson (vibraphone) and John Lewis (piano) always pushed each other to top performance with their opposing play. The perfect introduction to the world of the Modern Jazz Quartet is The Complete Last Concert. Best piece: Summertime
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