Month: June 2012

My 10 Favorite Jazz Recordings From 1958 – 1962

If I was forced to only listen to jazz music from 1958 through 1962 for the rest of my life I wouldn’t be happy, but I wouldn’t consider it a death sentence. I love jazz of all eras (indeed, my favorite single recording is of Lester Young and the Kansas City Six’s version of “I Got Rhythm”) but for whatever reason the music of these four years really speaks to me. The hazy, speed-of-light bebop of Parker and Gillespie was mellowing out, and we weren’t yet faced with the tribulations of “free jazz.” It’s a really sweet spot. Here are my 10 favorites. Are they the BEST? I don’t fuckin’ know. They’re my 10 favorite. 10 – The Dave Brubeck Quartet – Countdown from the album “Countdown: Time in Outer Space” (1962) I’m sure some part of me likes this because it is dedicated to John Glenn. I love the big tympani-ish drums and once things kick in it has a fantastic stride. 9 – Lee Morgan – Mogie from the album “Here’s Lee Morgan” (1960) It’d be a few years until Lee would really start to kick ass as the flag-bearer for shake-shakin’ hard bop. But you can hear it start to come into play here. This track has swagger, but a little bit of an unexpected dissonance in the harmonies. Plus Lee’s really blowing here. 8 –...

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Jordan Hoffman is a New York-based writer and film critic working for The Guardian, Vanity Fair, Thrillist, Times of Israel, NY Daily News and elsewhere.

He is the host of ENGAGE: The Official Star Trek Podcast, a member of the New York Film Critics Circle and challenges you to a game of backgammon.

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