Saturday, November 1, 2014

Great Jazz Albums from 1973 to 1990

So now I'm going to quote myself, from my older post of thoughts about perfect jazz recordings :
Years ago, there was a similar discussion somewhere about great jazz albums of the '70s, and I put together my own list and posted it on New Loft's old Myspace page. I went back to the Myspace graveyard to see if it was still there; they've revamped the site, and while some of our old content is still there, it looks like they blasted the blog portion. So I need to do some archaeology and find out if I've got that list floating around anywhere (hopefully with some link back to the original list that prompted it--it may be been some jazz board discussion).
Turns out it wasn't that hard at all to find it in my old files. The list was made back in 2006, as a response to an article/list by Ethan Iverson on great jazz records issued between 1973 and 1990. (That original article is no longer available on the web; at least, the link I had for it is dead, and the Wayback Machine from didn't have it either. However, in my 2006 post, I also referenced two other responses, which are still available and are quite nice: Night After Night's, and Darcy James Argue's.)

It looks like I was restricting myself to vinyl, as you can tell from my older comments:
I've been enjoying the discussion of great jazz recordings from 1973 to 1990 that's been going on recently in various blogs. It started here, at "Do The Math": Then he asked for more, and got tons of responses, including these: ...Unfortunately, he closed down the invitation before I got a chance to respond! Well, since I love lists, and I also have a lot of vinyl from this era, when I really started getting into jazz in earnest, I'm just gonna go ahead and post my list here. I am not gonna have enough time to write comments on every single album, and this list is far from complete, it's just some faves. And it's vinyl only, and since I've sold a fair amount of records over the years as I've gotten them on CD (heresy? yes, probably), it's really far from complete. As you can see, my list starts to taper off in the mid-'80s, because that's when I started buying more CDs.
So, here's my 2006-compiled list of great jazz LPs that I have from 1973 to 1990:

1973 Art Ensemble of Chicago  Fanfare for the Warriors
1973 Ornette Coleman  Dancing in Your Head
1973 Santana  Welcome
1973 Joe Henderson  Multiple
1973 Dave Holland  Conference of the Birds
1973 Human Arts Ensemble  Under the Sun
1973 Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath  Live at Willisau  I was thrilled to see this on a couple of other lists.  This is a great live album, brimming with ideas and energy.  I loved Mongezi Feza's work with Robert Wyatt, and it's great to hear him in this out-big-band context.
1973 Eberhard Weber Colours of Chloe
1974 Anthony Braxton  New York Fall 1974
1974 Santana  Lotus
1974 Bennie Maupin  The Jewel in the Lotus
1974 Charles Mingus  Changes One Great examples of the push-and-pull of in and out tendencies in Mingus's small group recordings.
1974 Charles Mingus  Changes Two
1974 Paul Motian  Tribute
1974 Dewey Redman Coincide
1974 Sam Rivers Crystals
1974 Archie Shepp  Kwanza
1975 Anthony Braxton  The Montreux/Berlin Concerts
1975 Julius Hemphill  Coon Bid'ness
1975 Keith Jarrett Shades
1975 Keith Jarrett Mysteries
1975 Don Pullen  Jazz a Confronto
1975 Don Pullen Capricorn Rising  w/Sam Rivers
1975 Sam Rivers  Sizzle
1975 Archie Shepp  Mariamar
1975 Weather Report Tale Spinnin'
1975 Anthony Braxton  Five Pieces 1975
1976 Anthony Braxton  Creative Orchestra Music 1976
1976 360 Degree Music Experience  In: Sanity
1976 Ornette Coleman  Body Meta
1976 Charlie Haden  Golden Number  Ornette on trumpet
1976 Sam Rivers  The Quest
1976 Sun Ra Live in Montreux  Damn, I don't have any Saturns on vinyl.  But I do have Live at Montreux, one of his best live albums, not the least because he combines well-recorded piano with moog so fluidly and effortlessly in the out pieces here. And Gilmore's solo on "Take the 'A' Train" is top-notch!
1976 Wildflowers: The New York Loft Jazz Sessions vol. 1, 2, 4, 5
1977 Billy Hart Enchance  "Corner Culture" (Redman, Oliver Lake, Hannibal Peterson, Don Pullen, Dave Holland)
1977 Hamiet Bluiett Orchestra, Duo & Septet
1977 Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath  Procession: Live at Toulouse
1978 Anthony Braxton  NW5-9M4: For Trio
1978 Muhal Richard Abrams  LifeA BlineC  I saw Amina Claudine Myers in the '80s and, like the stupid star-struck geek that I am, went up to her and asked "What key are we in?"  She looked at me like I was  crazy...and I was, and still am, crazy for this fantastic record!
1978 Art Ensemble of Chicago  Nice Guys
1978 Lester Bowie  The 5th Power
1978 Bill Bruford Feels Good to Me
1978 Pete Christlieb/Warne Marsh Quintet  Apogee
1978 Charles Mingus  Cumbia & Jazz Fusion
1978 Louis Moholo Octet Sprits Rejoice
1978 David Murray Quartet The London Concert
1978 Sun Ra The Other Side of the Sun
1978 Cecil Taylor  One Too Many Salty Swift and Not Goodbye
1978 Cecil Taylor Unit
1978 Cecil Taylor 3 Phasis
1978 James Blood Ulmer  Tales of Captain Black
1978 David Murray 3D Family
1979 Henry Threadgill X-75 Volume 1
1979 Air  Air Lore
1979 Ornette Coleman  Of Human Feelings
1979 David Murray Trio Sweet Lovely
1979 Amina Claudine Myers  Song for Mother E
1979 Max Roach  The Long March
1980 Art Ensemble of Chicago  Full Force
1980 Art Ensemble of Chicago  Urban Bushmen
1980 Ronald Shannon Jackson & the Decoding Society  Eye on You
1980 Roscoe Mitchell and the Sound Ensemble  Snurdy McGurdy and Her Dancing Shoes
1980 David Murray Octet  Ming
1980 Music Revelation Ensemble  No Wave  Kudos to Amin Ali!  My old band Tad Thaddock used to play a twisted version of "Baby Talk"
1980 James Blood Ulmer  Are You Glad to Be in America?
1980 Bill Dixon In Italy Volume 1
1980 Bill Dixon In Italy Volume 2
1981 Ronald Shannon Jackson & the Decoding Society  Nasty (mainly for the 11-minute extravaganza "When We Return")
1981 Joseph Jarman/Don Moye  Earth Passage/Density
1981 Material Memory Serves
1981 Roscoe Mitchell and the Sound Ensemble  3 X 4 Eye
1981 David Murray Octet  Home
1981 James Blood Ulmer  Free Lancing  It's a damn crime that this, and Black Rock, haven't been re-released on CD.
1981 World Saxophone Quartet W.S.Q.
1982 Kip Hanrahan  Coup de Tete
1982 Kip Hanrahan  Desire Develops an Edge
1982 Ronald Shannon Jackson & the Decoding Society  Mandance
1982 Henry Threadgill Sextet When Was That?
1982 James Blood Ulmer  Black Rock
1983 Dave Holland  Life Cycle  solo cello
1983 Ronald Shannon Jackson & the Decoding Society  Barbeque Dog
1983 Roscoe Mitchell and the Sound and Space Ensembles
1983 Cecil Taylor Calling It the Eighth
1984 Cecil Taylor Segments II  Winged Serpent (Sliding Quadrants)
1984 Henry Threadgill Sextet  Subject to Change
1985 Ornette Coleman  Opening the Caravan of Dreams
1985 Ornette Coleman  Prime Design/Time Design
1985 Butch Morris Current Trends in Racism in Modern America
1986 Sonny Rollins  G-Man
1986 Last Exit  Last Exit My introduction to Brotzmann.  Boy, have I had fun catching up to his work over the years! And I'm still way behind.
1987 Ornette Coleman  In All Languages
1988 Last Exit  Iron Path
1989 Art Ensemble of Chicago  The Alternate Express

From my 2014 eyes, what'd I leave out? Miles, Pangaea and Agharta.  Not sure how that happened, since I was way into those albums when they first came out. Oh, well, the beauty of lists....

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