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Abe Beeson's Top 100 Jazz Songs

4 Jan

As you know, KPLU is currently asking our listeners to help us rank the Top 100 Jazz Songs of all time. You can vote for your Top 5 at this very website!

http://www.kplunews.org/post/jazz-100-one-hundred-quintessential-jazz-songs

In case you’re struggling to remember your favorites, I’ve put together a list of my Top 100, in a very loose order (Monk’s “‘Round Midnight” is my #1!) to remind you of great songs that I hope will find their way onto a few ballots.

So peruse, discuss, frown, laugh, feel free to comment… and vote today!

1) “’Round Midnight” THELONIOUS MONK

“Take Five” DAVE BRUBECK

“All Blues” MILES DAVIS

“St. Thomas” SONNY ROLLINS

“My Funny Valentine” CHET BAKER

“Take the ‘A’ Train” DUKE ELLINGTON

“God Bless the Child” BILLIE HOLIDAY

“Lush Life” JOHNNY HARTMAN/JOHN COLTRANE

“Summertime” MILES DAVIS

10) “Stolen Moments” OLIVER NELSON

“Chitlins Con Carne” KENNY BURRELL

“Sugar” STANLEY TURRENTINE

“Birdland” WEATHER REPORT

“Spain” CHICK COREA/RETURN TO FOREVER

“Parker’s Mood” CHARLIE PARKER

“Love Supreme Pt 1: Acknowledgement” JOHN COLTRANE

“Waltz for Debby” BILL EVANS

“Chealsea Bridge” BEN WEBSTER

“April in Paris” COUNT BASIE

20) “Moanin’” ART BLAKEY/JAZZ MESSENGERS

“Work Song” NAT ADDERLEY

“Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” CANNONBALL ADDERLEY

“Oye Como Va” TITO PUENTE

“Four on Six” WES MONTGOMERY

“Midnight Special” JIMMY SMITH

“Girl from Ipanema” STAN GETZ/JOAO & ASTRUD GILBERTO

“A Child is Born” THAD JONES/MEL LEWIS ORCHESTRA

“St. Louis Blues” ART TATUM

“Central Park West” JOHN COLTRANE

30) “I’m in the Mood for Love” JAMES MOODY

“Jump, Jive & Wail” LOUIS PRIMA

“Sing, Sing, Sing” BENNY GOODMAN

“Song for My Father” HORACE SILVER

“Let’s Get Lost” CHET BAKER

“My Baby Just Cares for Me” NINA SIMONE

“Body and Soul” SARAH VAUGHAN

“Sweet Georgia Brown” ANITA O’DAY

“Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” E. FITZGERALD/L. ARMSTRONG

“The ‘In’ Crowd” RAMSEY LEWIS

40) “Cast Your Fate to the Wind” VINCE GUARALDI

“Hit the Road Jack” RAY CHARLES

“Seven Steps to Heaven” MILES DAVIS

“The Sidewinder” LEE MORGAN

“Infant Eyes” WAYNE SHORTER

“Watermelon Man” HERBIE HANCOCK

“Salt Peanuts” DIZZY GILLESPIE

“Flying Home” LIONEL HAMPTON/BENNY GOODMAN

“Bouncing with Bud” BUD POWELL

“Your Mind Is On Vacation” MOSE ALLISON

50) “Canadian Sunset” GENE AMMONS

“It Don’t Mean a Thing…” D.ELLINGTON/L.ARMSTRONG

“Lester Leaps In” COUNT BASIE/LESTER YOUNG

“Everyday I Have the Blues” JOE WILLIAMS/COUNT BASIE

“Mood Indigo” DUKE ELLINGTON

“Straight, No Chaser” THELONIOUS MONK

“Fever” PEGGY LEE

“Joy Spring” CLIFFORD BROWN/MAX ROACH

“Minnie the Moocher” CAB CALLOWAY

“Georgia on My Mind” RAY CHARLES

60) “Haitian Fight Song” CHARLES MINGUS

“Misty” ERROLL GARNER

“Route 66” NAT ‘KING’ COLE

“My Favorite Things” JOHN COLTRANE

“Someday My Prince Will Come” MILES DAVIS

“Cold Duck Time” LES McCANN/EDDIE HARRIS

“Very Early” BILL EVANS

“Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered” ELLA FITZGERALD

“Night Train” JIMMY FORREST

“Senor Blues” HORACE SILVER

70) “The Peacocks” STAN GETZ/JIMMY ROWLES

“A Night in Tunisia” DIZZY GILLESPIE

“Twisted” JONI MITCHELL

“Cantaloupe Island” HERBIE HANCOCK

“Listen Here” EDDIE HARRIS

“Misterioso” THELONIOUS MONK

“Tuxedo Junction” ERSKINE HAWKINS ORCHESTRA

“You Go To My Head” BILLIE HOLIDAY

“Poinciana” AHMAD JAMAL

“Killer Joe” THE JAZZTET

80) “Blues in the Night” QUINCY JONES

“Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby” LOUIS JORDAN

“Doodlin’” HORACE SILVER

“What’s Your Story, Morning Glory?” MARY LOU WILLIAMS

“Java Jive” MANHATTAN TRANSFER

“Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” CHARLES MINGUS

“Django” MODERN JAZZ QUARTET

“Bernie’s Tune” GERRY MULLIGAN/CHET BAKER

“Bloomdido” CHARLIE PARKER

“The Summer Knows” PHIL WOODS

90) “I Could Have Danced All Night” OSCAR PETERSON

“Bohemia After Dark” OSCAR PETTIFORD

“I’ll See You in My Dreams” DJANGO REINHARDT

“Afro Blue” MONGO SANTAMARIA

“I Loves You Porgy” NINA SIMONE

“One for My Baby” FRANK SINATRA

“Tea for Two” ART TATUM

“Soul Bird (Tin Tin Deo)” CAL TJADER

“Lover Man” SARAH VAUGHAN

“Ain’t Misbehavin’” FATS WALLER

100) “This Can’t Be Love” DINAH WASHINGTON

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Abe Beeson’s Top 100 Jazz Songs

4 Jan

As you know, KPLU is currently asking our listeners to help us rank the Top 100 Jazz Songs of all time. You can vote for your Top 5 at this very website!

http://www.kplunews.org/post/jazz-100-one-hundred-quintessential-jazz-songs

In case you’re struggling to remember your favorites, I’ve put together a list of my Top 100, in a very loose order (Monk’s “‘Round Midnight” is my #1!) to remind you of great songs that I hope will find their way onto a few ballots.

So peruse, discuss, frown, laugh, feel free to comment… and vote today!

1) “’Round Midnight” THELONIOUS MONK

“Take Five” DAVE BRUBECK

“All Blues” MILES DAVIS

“St. Thomas” SONNY ROLLINS

“My Funny Valentine” CHET BAKER

“Take the ‘A’ Train” DUKE ELLINGTON

“God Bless the Child” BILLIE HOLIDAY

“Lush Life” JOHNNY HARTMAN/JOHN COLTRANE

“Summertime” MILES DAVIS

10) “Stolen Moments” OLIVER NELSON

“Chitlins Con Carne” KENNY BURRELL

“Sugar” STANLEY TURRENTINE

“Birdland” WEATHER REPORT

“Spain” CHICK COREA/RETURN TO FOREVER

“Parker’s Mood” CHARLIE PARKER

“Love Supreme Pt 1: Acknowledgement” JOHN COLTRANE

“Waltz for Debby” BILL EVANS

“Chealsea Bridge” BEN WEBSTER

“April in Paris” COUNT BASIE

20) “Moanin’” ART BLAKEY/JAZZ MESSENGERS

“Work Song” NAT ADDERLEY

“Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” CANNONBALL ADDERLEY

“Oye Como Va” TITO PUENTE

“Four on Six” WES MONTGOMERY

“Midnight Special” JIMMY SMITH

“Girl from Ipanema” STAN GETZ/JOAO & ASTRUD GILBERTO

“A Child is Born” THAD JONES/MEL LEWIS ORCHESTRA

“St. Louis Blues” ART TATUM

“Central Park West” JOHN COLTRANE

30) “I’m in the Mood for Love” JAMES MOODY

“Jump, Jive & Wail” LOUIS PRIMA

“Sing, Sing, Sing” BENNY GOODMAN

“Song for My Father” HORACE SILVER

“Let’s Get Lost” CHET BAKER

“My Baby Just Cares for Me” NINA SIMONE

“Body and Soul” SARAH VAUGHAN

“Sweet Georgia Brown” ANITA O’DAY

“Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” E. FITZGERALD/L. ARMSTRONG

“The ‘In’ Crowd” RAMSEY LEWIS

40) “Cast Your Fate to the Wind” VINCE GUARALDI

“Hit the Road Jack” RAY CHARLES

“Seven Steps to Heaven” MILES DAVIS

“The Sidewinder” LEE MORGAN

“Infant Eyes” WAYNE SHORTER

“Watermelon Man” HERBIE HANCOCK

“Salt Peanuts” DIZZY GILLESPIE

“Flying Home” LIONEL HAMPTON/BENNY GOODMAN

“Bouncing with Bud” BUD POWELL

“Your Mind Is On Vacation” MOSE ALLISON

50) “Canadian Sunset” GENE AMMONS

“It Don’t Mean a Thing…” D.ELLINGTON/L.ARMSTRONG

“Lester Leaps In” COUNT BASIE/LESTER YOUNG

“Everyday I Have the Blues” JOE WILLIAMS/COUNT BASIE

“Mood Indigo” DUKE ELLINGTON

“Straight, No Chaser” THELONIOUS MONK

“Fever” PEGGY LEE

“Joy Spring” CLIFFORD BROWN/MAX ROACH

“Minnie the Moocher” CAB CALLOWAY

“Georgia on My Mind” RAY CHARLES

60) “Haitian Fight Song” CHARLES MINGUS

“Misty” ERROLL GARNER

“Route 66” NAT ‘KING’ COLE

“My Favorite Things” JOHN COLTRANE

“Someday My Prince Will Come” MILES DAVIS

“Cold Duck Time” LES McCANN/EDDIE HARRIS

“Very Early” BILL EVANS

“Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered” ELLA FITZGERALD

“Night Train” JIMMY FORREST

“Senor Blues” HORACE SILVER

70) “The Peacocks” STAN GETZ/JIMMY ROWLES

“A Night in Tunisia” DIZZY GILLESPIE

“Twisted” JONI MITCHELL

“Cantaloupe Island” HERBIE HANCOCK

“Listen Here” EDDIE HARRIS

“Misterioso” THELONIOUS MONK

“Tuxedo Junction” ERSKINE HAWKINS ORCHESTRA

“You Go To My Head” BILLIE HOLIDAY

“Poinciana” AHMAD JAMAL

“Killer Joe” THE JAZZTET

80) “Blues in the Night” QUINCY JONES

“Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby” LOUIS JORDAN

“Doodlin’” HORACE SILVER

“What’s Your Story, Morning Glory?” MARY LOU WILLIAMS

“Java Jive” MANHATTAN TRANSFER

“Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” CHARLES MINGUS

“Django” MODERN JAZZ QUARTET

“Bernie’s Tune” GERRY MULLIGAN/CHET BAKER

“Bloomdido” CHARLIE PARKER

“The Summer Knows” PHIL WOODS

90) “I Could Have Danced All Night” OSCAR PETERSON

“Bohemia After Dark” OSCAR PETTIFORD

“I’ll See You in My Dreams” DJANGO REINHARDT

“Afro Blue” MONGO SANTAMARIA

“I Loves You Porgy” NINA SIMONE

“One for My Baby” FRANK SINATRA

“Tea for Two” ART TATUM

“Soul Bird (Tin Tin Deo)” CAL TJADER

“Lover Man” SARAH VAUGHAN

“Ain’t Misbehavin’” FATS WALLER

100) “This Can’t Be Love” DINAH WASHINGTON

Pat Metheny's Robot Army

8 Feb

Guitarist Pat Metheny’s new CD Orchestrion is a modern take on an old attempt at futuristic musical mechanics. Originated in the late 18th century, utilizing music rolls or pinned cylinders, the complex machinery would tap on drums, “blow” wind through pipes or other wind instruments, “play” piano keys and “pluck” strings. Indeed, these were some of the most complex machines in the world more than two centuries ago.

Pat Metheny has taken these concepts and developed a new form of orchestrion, still using acoustic instruments and complex machinery, but with the ability to trigger the “band” from his own guitar. Frankly, I’m not that familiar with this concept, so maybe you should just check out this video of Pat putting the album together. Comments encouraged!

Pat Metheny’s Robot Army

8 Feb

Guitarist Pat Metheny’s new CD Orchestrion is a modern take on an old attempt at futuristic musical mechanics. Originated in the late 18th century, utilizing music rolls or pinned cylinders, the complex machinery would tap on drums, “blow” wind through pipes or other wind instruments, “play” piano keys and “pluck” strings. Indeed, these were some of the most complex machines in the world more than two centuries ago.

Pat Metheny has taken these concepts and developed a new form of orchestrion, still using acoustic instruments and complex machinery, but with the ability to trigger the “band” from his own guitar. Frankly, I’m not that familiar with this concept, so maybe you should just check out this video of Pat putting the album together. Comments encouraged!

And the Jazz Grammys go to….

31 Jan

Here are your Grammy winners in the main jazz categories, as announced Sunday, January 31st:

Best Contemporary Jazz Album: Joe Zawinul & the Zawinul Syndicate – 75

Best Jazz Vocal Album: Kurt Elling – Dedicated to You: Kurt Elling Sings the Music of Coltrane and Hartman


Best Improvised Jazz Solo: Terence Blanchard “Dancin’ 4 Chicken” from CD Watts (Jeff “Tain” Watts)


Best Jazz Instrumental Album: Chick Corea/John McLaughlin Five Peace Band – Five Peace Band – Live


Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album: New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (led by Irvin Mayfield) – Book One


Best Latin Jazz Album: Bebo Valdes/Chucho Valdes – Juntos Para Siempre


OTHER WINNERS:

Best Instrumental Arrangement: Bill Cunliffe – Resonance Big Band Plays Tribute to Oscar Peterson

Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocals: Claus Ogerman – Diana Krall – Quiet Nights

Best Album Notes: Dan Morgenstern – The Complete Louis Armstrong Decca Sessions (1935-1946)

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album: Michael Buble – Michael Buble Meets Madison Square Garden

A few surprises here? I sure expected Allen Toussaint to win Instrumental Album, and underestimated Kurt Elling’s latest as well. Let us know what you think!

Dave Brubeck Honored at Kennedy Center

6 Jan

Dave Brubeck was recently among the honorees at the Kennedy Center Honors – televised on December 29th – along with superstars of the American arts scene  Robert DeNiro, Mel Brooks, Bruce Springsteen and opera singer Grace Bumbry. Since I’m guessing few people caught the televised special – hello, it’s the holiday season, we’re with family at the movies! – I thought I’d share a video clip of the Brubeck portion of the program.

Dave is handsome in his tux, on the day of his 89th birthday, surrounded by fellow honorees and President & Mrs. Obama, watching an all-star band play some of his best known songs.

Pianist Bill Charlap leads the group as they begin with “Unsquare Dance”, bassist Christian McBride gets the intro as the quintet is introduced. As they start into the classic “Take Five”, the US Army Field Band is revealed – Brubeck formed the Army’s first integrated jazz band during World War II, where he also met his future collaborator, saxophonist Paul Desmond. Saxophonist Miguel Zinon & trumpeter Jon Faddis have nice solo moments.

The group then moves into Dave’s tune “Blue Rondo A La Turk” and a few bars in, his four musician sons are revealed to be playing the tune on the other side of the stage – Darius on piano, Dan on drums, Chris on trombone & Matthew playing cello – all the kids got solo time as Dave looked on from the balcony, obviously moved.

As the performance wraps up, the audience stood in appreciation and Herbie Hancock – arranger for the set? – stepped onto the stage to applaud as well. Hey, enough description, check it out yourself!

A Music Lover’s Compulsion: listening notes on Diana Krall

4 Sep

diana-krall(At Chateau Ste Michelle Winery, Woodinville 8/30/09 by Bellamy Pailthorp: KPLU News)

I’m someone who likes to separate work and play. When I’m off the clock from my job as a news reporter at KPLU, I try not to think too much about covering the events of the day, unless there’s an obvious big breaking story. Everyone needs the chance to turn off the left side of the brain, relax, and recharge their batteries now and then — especially heading into the work week after a busy and eventful summer weekend.

Nonetheless, out came my notebook and a pen last Sunday night and I found myself taking detailed notes as I watched – and most of all listened to –Diana Krall performing on the last stop of her latest tour.

In case you somehow didn’t know, Krall is one of my generation’s most famous jazz pianists and vocalists. She’s the only artist I would trust to cover Joni Mitchell’s 1971 song “A Case of You” — and that song was a highlight of my evening. She was in Woodinville playing the picturesque Chateau Ste. Michelle winery – a venue where she’s appeared a few times over the past decade. I sat on the lawn with my date behind a group of people who were celebrating a birthday party. They were really nice, and I didn’t have to pay for my tickets, so I didn’t get too grumpy when I realized their furniture was rendering useless the binoculars I had rented for $5. Maybe I could have found a better spot on the hill, but it was too late to move. I don’t like craning my neck. So I decided to relax instead and concentrate on what I could hear.

Don’t get me wrong: Diana Krall is someone I’d love to watch for hours. I even purchased her latest DVD after the concert. It’s hard not to wonder what that stunning blonde with the quirky deep voice actually looks like in person on stage. But live outdoor performance includes more than visual stimulation – it’s about experiencing a unique moment in time and sharing it with people around you. Despite not actually seeing much of her show, four days later I’m still relishing memories of what I heard – and of how often Krall’s comments and interaction with the audience made me laugh.

Many people in the crowd had been there for a while tasting wine before the show – it’s a great place to have a picnic and you can bring your own everything (excluding cameras)…so I think it’s safe to assume the most vocal people in the crowd had tied a few on by the time Krall started singing, a little after 8pm. During a break after the third song, she turned to the audience and introduced her trio (Anthony Wilson on guitar, Robert Hurst on bass, Jeff Hamilton on drums.) Then she greeted everyone there as if they were friends she hadn’t seen in while.

“How’ve you been?” she asked as the sun was setting in a picture perfect clear blue sky, complete with brightly colored hot air balloons circling overhead. “The weather’s been good, aye?”

She told us how much she loved this corner of the continent (she’s from Nanaimo, BC, which at one point she described as “just up the street” from Woodinville, eliciting lots of laughs). She added that the end of summer is her favorite time of year. Then someone I couldn’t hear, in the expensive seats up close, seemed to have yelled out a question. Krall, who gave birth to twins three ago in December (12/6/06,) responded with as much mischievous soul as she plays the piano.

“How are my boys?!” They’re good, thanks for asking,” she replied. “They’re back at the hotel smoking cigars and playing gin rummy.”

Someone else yelled something and she said: “How’s Elvis?” (That would be Elvis Costello, her husband of six years, who was also touring this summer and played the winery just a week earlier.) She said she didn’t know; she wasn’t even sure where he was that night: “I think he’s in Austin?” she guessed, adding, “I have a picture of him in my dressing room with lipstick kisses all over it – most of them are mine.” And she said something about throwing lingerie on stage at him when she heard him play earlier this summer. As much fun as she’s been having on tour, she was happy that this was the last night.

Later in the concert, (I think it was after she sang “Walk on By” by composer Burt Bacharach, who she called “a great person with fabulous hair” and said she thinks he’s as great as Gershwin,) she mentioned that her twins had started talking recently. That’s been great, she said, but it’s meant not getting a lot of sleep at night, especially in the wee hours – and for different reasons than at other points in her life. Someone yelled out another question and somehow, the subject again turned to lingerie: would she please toss some of hers into the crowd? She said she would if she could, but she had run out on this long tour.

“Honey, I would, but, I’m a mother of twins now. We’re all up here performing without underwear.”

I’m guessing the band members were all blushing. That’s the image that remains in my mind – even though I couldn’t actually see it.

[editor’s note: Diana Krall’s latest CD is Quiet Nights, her tour continues in Hamburg, Germany on Sept. 14th)

Diana Krall Live in Paris

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