Vinyl Spotlight: Thelonious Monk, Misterioso (Recorded on Tour) (Columbia 2416)

April 25, 2017 /

As big of a Thelonious Monk fan as I am, I don’t collect original pressings of Monk LPs. There are several reasons for this: 1. Some of Monk’s most inspired recordings were for Blue Note in the late ’40s and early ’50s. As a result, they are not high-fidelity and I don’t find myself seeking out older recordings like this on vinyl. 2. Though Monk’s… More→

Vinyl Spotlight: John Coltrane, Blue Train (Blue Note 1577)

April 18, 2017 /

I’m surprised by how many people recommend this album to jazz novices because I don’t necessarily find it to be an “accessible” listen. Slowly it has become one of my top jazz albums but I didn’t like it initially and ignored it for quite some time. Coltrane’s solos here can be “difficult”, and this may not be something most people can identify… More→

Vinyl Spotlight: Hank Mobley with Donald Byrd and Lee Morgan (Blue Note 1540)

April 4, 2017 /

It’s been a while since I first discovered this album but I’m pretty sure I first heard it on Spotify back when they had that cool Blue Note app that allowed you to sift through the albums like actual records. This album mesmerized me instantly; the thunderous chorus of horns that introduces the album alerts the listener to the arrival of jazz royalty. More→

Vinyl Spotlight: Horace Silver, Song for My Father (Blue Note 4185)

March 21, 2017 /

It makes sense that Song for My Father is part of many people’s introduction to the jazz genre. It is not only an essential part of the classic jazz canon, it is also a very accessible album. The minimalist structure of “Calcutta Cutie” and “Que Pasa” should cause just about anyone’s ears to perk up and listen. The album has… More→

Vinyl Spotlight: Andrew Hill, Black Fire (Blue Note 4151)

March 14, 2017 /

First and foremost, I think this is one of the greatest album covers of all time. I love the juxtaposition of the bold strips of various hues of red with the cartoony black-and-white illustration of fire beneath. Reid Miles’ cover design speaks volumes and yet again complements the music incredibly well. More→

Spotify Playlists: Rudy Van Gelder Studios

March 3, 2017 /

Rudy Van Gelder is one of the most recognized audio engineers to have ever lived. He has recorded hundreds of the most celebrated jazz albums the world has ever heard. His recordings are so characteristic, “the Van Gelder sound” has become a catchphrase known to jazz fans the world over. … More→

Vinyl Spotlight: Herbie Hancock, Empyrean Isles (Blue Note 4175)

February 28, 2017 /

This is one of my favorite Herbie Hancock albums. It has a soft, gentle vibe that I return to time and time again when I want to listen to something quiet. The quartet with trumpet seems like the perfect minimal arrangement for this album, and even though I’m not the biggest Freddie Hubbard fan, I find that he fits in with the rest of the group… More→