March 18: Miles Davis released “Round About Midnight” in 1957

 

There’s little else to say except that ‘Round About Midnight is among the most essential of Davis’ Columbia recordings.
~Thom Jurek (allmusic.com)

An absolute classic of modern jazz, with brilliant solo work from the leader and from Coltrane, who was preparing for his own solo career at this point, plus subtle backing from the rhythm section. Tunes range from Monk’s famous title track to the ancient standard “Bye Bye Blackbird.”
~Wilson & Alroy’s Record Reviews

Stylistically, Midnight encompasses standards (or soon-to-be standards) such as “Dear Old Stockholm”, “Bye-Bye Blackbird”, Tadd Dameron’s “Tadd’s Delight”, and Jackie McLean’s forward-thinking composition “Little Melonae.” Miles and company reprise “Budo” from the historic Birth of the Cool sessions. The standout track is Davis’s Harmon-muted reading of Thelonious Monk’s ballad, “‘Round Midnight”, which is still a Miles standard bearer… If you want to hear the origins of post-bop modern jazz, this is it.
~Eugene Holley, Jr.

‘Round Midnight:

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January 17: Aretha Franklin released Soul ’69 in 1969

One of her most overlooked ’60s albums, on which she presented some of her jazziest material, despite the title. None of these cuts were significant hits, and none were Aretha originals; she displayed her characteristically eclectic taste in the choice of cover material, handling compositions by Percy Mayfield, Sam Cooke, Smokey Robinson, and, at the most pop-oriented end of her spectrum, John Hartford’s “Gentle on My Mind” and Bob Lind’s “Elusive Butterfly.”

Her vocals are consistently passionate and first-rate, though, as is the musicianship; besides contributions from the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, session players include respected jazzmen Kenny Burrell, Ron Carter, Grady Tate, David Newman, and Joe Zawinul.
– Richie Unterberger (allmusic) Continue reading “January 17: Aretha Franklin released Soul ’69 in 1969”

December 23: The late Chet Baker was born in 1929

“People said I’d never make 35, then I’d never make 40, 45; now I’m almost 50, so Im beginning to think maybe they might be wrong.”
– Chet Baker

“An Evening with Chet Baker” (aka “Live at Le Dreher 1980”) Director: Leon Terjanian (43min video):

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1962: 20 songs released in 1962 you must hear

The year 1962 – short summary

  • France transfers sovereignty to new republic of Algeria (July 3)
  • Cuban Missile Crisis: USSR to build missile bases in Cuba; Kennedy orders Cuban blockade, lifts blockade after Russia backs down (Aug.-Nov.)
  • Cuba releases 1,113 prisoners of 1961 invasion attempt (Dec. 24)
  • James H. Meredith, escorted by federal marshals, registers at University of Mississippi (Oct. 1)
  • Marilyn Monroe dies of a drug overdose at age 36
  • Johnny Carson takes over hosting duties of The Tonight Show
  • The first transatlantic television transmission occurs via the Telstar Satellite, making worldwide television and cable networks a reality
  • Movies: Lawrence of Arabia, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Manchurian Candidate, Divorce-Italian Style
  • Deaths: Niels Bohr, William Faulkner, Ernie Kovacs & Eleanor Roosevelt

Rules:

  • Only one song per artist/group
  • The song must be released that specific year
  • Songs from live albums not allowed (that’s another & more complicated list)
  • Please feel free to publish your own favorite songs from 1972 in the comments section…

AND lists like this are supposed to be fun! Don’t take it too seriously.

Here we go…

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September 15: John Coltrane – Blue Train (1957)

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Without reservation, Blue Train can easily be considered in and among the most important and influential entries not only of John Coltrane’s career, but of the entire genre of jazz music as well.
~Lindsay Planer (allmusic.com)

“Blue Train” is the best thing that could have possibly come out of Coltrane’s first attempt at leading and composing his own group. His later works such as “Giant Steps” and “A Love Supreme” may be well-known, but this album is on the same scale if not greater considering his inexperience as a leader and a composer. Its influence on jazz is extraordinary. This band’s and this album’s sound is different from most of jazz and revolutionary and the title track is commonly used as an audition piece. Highly recommended for anyone who even remotely likes jazz.
~Sputnik Music

Blue Train (title track):

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August 29: The late Charlie Parker was born in 1920

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You’ve got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail.
~Charlie Parker

I realized by using the high notes of the chords as a melodic line, and by the right harmonic progression, I could play what I heard inside me. That’s when I was born.
~Charlie Parker

All the things you are:

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