Downbeat: My Favorite Big Band Album

25 ESSENTIAL RECORDINGS by Frank-John Hadley

แปลบางส่วนจาก Frank-John Hadley, My Favorite Big Band Album “25 ESSENTIAL RECORDINGS”, Downbeat, April 2010 p40-45.

My Favorite Big Band Album

My Favorite Big Band Album, Downbeat

Cornet player and composer Taylor Ho Bynum, who leads the little big band Positive Catastrophe in New York, was candid in his response to a question about what big band jazz albums he valued the most. “It’s so hard to nail down just five favorites since there’s so much spectacular stuff out there.”


1. Miles Davis – Porgy And Bess (Columbia, rec. 1958)

“Gil Evans was a true impressionist. He used the instruments in a way that no other arranger ever had. On Porgy And Bess, his innovative arrangements retain the essence of Gershwin’s original opera, but the resulting music is a true three-way collaboration between Gershwin, Evans and Davis. Gil called Miles one of the greatest ‘singers,’ and that couldn’t be truer throughout this recording.” —Renee Rosnes


2. Thad Jones & Mel Lewis – Live At The Village Vanguard

(Solid State, 1967)

“The whole album is incredible. But to this Midwestern boy, the live version of ‘A-That’s Freedom’ made New York City seem like a wonderful place, so within a few years I packed up and went East. Thad’s three choruses of tutti are probably the greatest of his many hair-raising short choruses.”
—Jim McNeely

3. Thad Jones & Mel Lewis – Consummation (Solid State, 1970)

“Virtually all of these charts became staples in the big band tradition, and with good reason. Thad’s writing was fresh and innovative, and the performances by his band were enthusiastic yet controlled, honed by all those Monday nights at the Village Vanguard. I’m especially fond of the fluid saxophone work, text- ured background lines, occasional full band unisons, attention to subtleties and the fact that the charts always swing even when they’re complex.” —Gary Urwin

4. Miles Davis – Miles Ahead (Columbia, 1957)

“For me, it was one of the most important albums as far as large ensembles and big bands. All the tunes, the way Miles played throughout, had such a beautiful and incredible lead trumpet player without being a screamer. Just that whole concept of lead trumpet—the way you express a melody within a large ensemble, keeping it intimate.” —Joe Lovano

5. Count Basie – The Complete Atomic Mr. Basie (Roullette, 1957)

“Basie is Mr. Swing. Each sideman is a star all on his own, whether it be Joe Newman, ‘Lockjaw’ Davis or just the top sound in the sax section that tells you it’s Marshall Royal.”
—John Burnett

6. Duke Ellington-And His Mother Called Him Bill

(RCA 1967)

7. Count Basie – Chairman Of The Board (Roullette, 1958)

8. Duke Ellington – Ellington At Newport (Columbia, 1956)

9. Duke Ellington – The Far East Suite (Bluebird,1966)

10. Duke Ellington – Never No Lament— The Blanton-Webster Band

(RCA, 1940–’42)

11. Duke Ellington – Such Sweet Thunder (Columbia/Legacy, 1956–’57)
12. Frank Sinatra & Count Basie Sinatra – At The Sands (Reprise, 1966)
13. Kenny Wheeler – Music For Large & Small Ensembles (ECM, 1990)
14. Dizzy Gillespie – The Complete RCA Victor Recordings (RCA, 1937–’49)
15. Thad Jones & Mel Lewis – Central Park North (Solid State, 1969)

16. Maria Schneider – Evanescence (enja, 1992)

17. Woody Herman – Woody Herman 1963 (Philips, 1962)
18. Gil Evans – The Individualism Of Gil Evans (Verve, 1963–’64)
19. Duke Ellington & Count Basie – First Time! Count Meets The Duke (Columbia, 1961)

20. Maria Schneider – Concert In The Garden (ArtistShare, 2004)

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21. Don Ellis – Electric Bath (Columbia, 1967)

22. Count Basie – Breakfast Dance & Barbecue (Roullette, 1959)
23. Count Basie – April In Paris (Verve, 1956)
24. Duke Ellington – The Great Paris Concert (Atlantic, 1963)

25. Charles Mingus – Let My Children Hear Music (Columbia, 1971)

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