Well, here I’ve selected eight albums of the genre – some of them not so well known –, that are, nevertheless, very pleasurable to hear, at least according to my own musical preferences. You can say I have a predilection for Miles Davis, since four albums of this Jazz icon were selected, but allow me the honesty to explain that this was totally accidental. Of course Miles Davis was a great musician – and a legendary artist of immensurable status –, but my main goal for today is to open your mind for this genre of music, leaving you to appreciate this marvelous albums entirely by yourself. I don’t have the pretension to teach you anything about jazz. As I wrote above, I appreciate the genre only on a sporadic basis, and I’m not a specialist on the subject. I’m only presenting to you some possibilities, followed by relevant information, and minor personal impressions about each record. I hope you enjoy the albums I selected; I sincerely expect they could open your horizons to this interesting genre, especially if you are not used to appreciate this type of music.
1) Monk's Dream, by Thelonious Monk
Despite the linear glances conceived by a candid set of harmonies, the smooth structure of the sound conceals a complex level of arrangements, that are discreetly inserted beneath a thin layer of improvisational melodies, that are driven by a moderate, though concomitantly majestic level of emotional rapture, despite the fact that – in a general evaluation – Monk’s abrasive, but graceful technicality seems to prevail all the way throughout the record.
A primary example of classic jazz, Monk’s Dream displays very effusive and latent harmonies, with an amazingly preponderant chemistry between the instruments. Definitely, it’s a fabulous musical experience, that hardly any other genre could provide, with precisely the same substance.
2) ’Round About Midnight, by Miles Davis
With an imperiously extravagant and consistent organic flow that combines the cohesiveness of the harmonies with the spontaneous synergy of a versatile musical axis, the melodies inundate the mandatory space of its own dilated, but captivating sensibility, with a breathtaking and salutary easiness. With a vivacious glory that wanders over the notes of its surreptitious tenderness, ‘Round About Midnight juxtaposes the serenity of its continuous flow with the inflexibility of its plausible intensity, being an amazingly simple and accessible jazz album, at the same time that its technical proficiency instigates the wonderful densities of its own dynamic playfulness.
3) Blue Moods, by Miles Davis
With a serene, but despondent atmosphere, this brief musical effort interchanges melodies reminiscent of a melancholic, lugubrious and solitary dawn, with more urban, sentimental and melodramatic soundscapes. With a technical proficiency that nevertheless wanders softly over the shadows of exponentially diluted harmonies, Blue Moods circumnavigates around the peripheries of the traditional style of Miles Davis, with all the virtuous strength that became recognizable as his sound signature: an uncompromised, expansive and latent sonorous universe of playful easiness, whose practical densities fluctuates above the graceful sensibilities of one’s soul.
4) Bags’ Groove, by Miles Davis
Following the more conventional standards of the genre, nevertheless, this album presents some rapturous grooves, and proverbially dense harmonies, that ingratiates its smooth tonalities with fantastically serene, but sometimes abrasively skilful melodic lines. With a concentrated synergy, that exhales the ecstatic atmosphere of its diffusive gracefulness with the vivacious restlessness of its imponderable vitality, Bags’ Groove reveals itself a modest treasure of classic jazz, that discreetly disseminates beneath the veracious sensibility of its mordacious level of artistry the lucid cohesiveness of an improvisational conjuncture of methodic intuition, perfectly aligned with the smooth easiness of a sober, but vast sonorous diagram.
Bags’ Groove had Miles Davis on trumpet, Percy Heath on bass, Kenny Clarke on drums, Milt Jackson on vibraphone and Thelonious Monk on the piano. The other tracks featured Miles Davis on trumpet, Sonny Rollins on saxophone, Kenny Clarke on drums, Percy Heath on bass and Horace Silver on piano.
5) Kind of Blue, by Miles Davis
Containing in full projection and abundant lines the most virtuous and spectacular elements of the authorial Miles Davis’ style, Kind of Blue has consistent and agglutinated, but at the same time fully expanded dissonant notes, that nevertheless carry on the epicenter of its delightful harmonies all the aggrandizing sensibilities of a fragmented symphony, whose mosaic of discreet, though ever increasing melodies eventually collide with the graceful hyperboles of its own dilated artistic intuition. Displaying an elegant, though tangential atmosphere of fully consecrated dimensional sagacity – whose core ambitions travel in line with the anatomy of the sound –, the salutary inventiveness that rises with the methodic vivaciousness of the artist reveals a mordacious sensibility, whose vitality lives by the technical consistency of a fascinating, but at the same time, exceedingly original creative disposition.
6) Best of Chet Baker
I Married an Angel, Round Midnight, Line For Lyons, What’s New, When I Fall in Love, My Funny Valentine and You Go to My Head. With an exceedingly smooth and melancholic style – engraved with a classic harmonious diligence that made his style a typically American feature, Chet Baker was also a singer, and some songs on this albums have vocals, which make this record unique on this list. With a crystalline, sometimes almost opaque sensibility that makes the melodies incredibly soft, but persistently cohesive at the same time, the musical output of Chet Baker is indebted to a relentless pursue of elegance, whose sonorous content expands randomly to several directions, though the general alignment of the harmonies obey to a distinctly pervasive methodic conjuncture, that dissipates its notes throughout a vast ocean of creative liberties.
Tough its style can be stagnant at times, the life that hides inside each one of its notes revisits an undermined, but upgraded melancholy, that seems to reside indefinitely within the invisible scale of the harmonies. Despite its apparently frivolous intensity, there is a genuine sensibility that seems to revolve around the particles of all the disruptive musical framework present in the artist’s mindful restlessness. Unconsciously, he seeks to resign from the general resentment of life, never to contemplate again the darkness and the reluctant despondency that hides within the aggressiveness of his own dilapidated sensibilities. This creative strength would be better described as an impenetrable fortress of painful and hazardous emotional veracity, something that would made obvious the fact that Chet Baker’s music was always an expression of his depressive state of mind.
Regardless of its impenitent serenity, that seemed to constantly overflow from a creative paradigm – whose downplayed narrative reinvented its peculiar waves of sadness from a very personal perspective – the melodies arise to be the redemption of the artist’s own livid and graceful musical dispositions, though permanently looking in the direction of a horizon that never deviates from its own introspective resolutions. So, to conclude in a sincere, but graceful simplicity, Chet Baker is pure melancholic poetry, ascending directly from the dawn, until the early cold morning.
7) Windflower, by Herb Ellis & Remo Palmier
With some extraordinary harmonious tonalities – and a very colorful musical disposition –, whose natural flow integrates the easiness of a rapidly vanishing sonorous rainbow that permeates the fugacious revenue of its creative labor with a vast, but lyrically diluted and pristine musical cosmogony, Windflower reveals itself to be a simple, yet profoundly lurid, splendid and dimensional album.
Displaying a more cool jazz vibration that definitely delivers to the audience a sensationally graceful and sincerely resplendent audacious musical tenacity, the charismatic sound that emanates from this amazing record definitely embraces a formal vitality that anticipates its own intrinsic and fugacious artistic reality. With a sound and a style whose overwhelming beauty fluctuates underneath the density of its own oblique atmosphere, Windflower is an astoundingly proverbial and authorial album, whose deeply imaginative and intricate level of originality definitely deserves to be majorly highlighted, and appointed as one of the more lucid, vivacious and authentic of its kind, to come out of the American jazz scene of the seventies.
8) My Favorite Things, by John Coltrane
A very light-hearted album, with some groovy melodies that circulates within a very tenacious, but consistent musical diagram – though precisely technical in its overall sensibilities –, My Favorite Things is a testimony on Coltrane’s versatile and complex rendering of the work by other artists. With an impenetrable vitality that reaches the center of the soul of the rhythm, the effusive musical framework dispersed by each note played by Coltrane highlights the visceral virtuosity of his style, that departs from an instinctive ability to display a sober, yet restless enthusiasm, that has no fear in exhibiting with a fervent mordacity its majestic, though precisely sculpted sonorous grandiosity.
And yet, it’s interesting to observe that Coltrane is modest in his personal interpretation of these tracks, in the sense that he does not deliver indiscriminately while playing all his formidably creative and intuitive musical skills, but stays on a more moderate zone of restrained confluence, arguably displaying a deliberate control and a technical gracefulness whose calculated pragmatism definitely conceives this work as a dynamic conjuncture of intricately cohesive sonorous elements. Coltrane’s unique splendor and exceedingly peculiar perspective about the genre certainly makes this album a singular treasure in the history of jazz music.