In the twentieth century, the genre of popular music that showed the most creativity and innovation is jazz. Unfortunately, the popularity of jazz after 1970s has slowly dwindled and has something of a niche existence today. My discovery of jazz has been a slow process, with my record collection growing incrementally with sporadic purchases of classic jazz records. But my adoration of the genre and its stellar musicians, composers and arrangers is ever growing. The diversity and quantity of the genre can make it difficult to enter or know where to start. Therefore, it is my hope and intention that this mix tape serves as an entry point to find the ears and grab the attention of listeners who have yet to discover the wonderful world of jazz.
Arguably the second biggest name in jazz, Coltrane was one of the great virtuosos and innovators. One of the defining works of the pre-free jazz era, ‘Blue Train’ always pays out to its listener.
There is something cheeky and playful about the rhythm of ‘Cheese Cake’ that makes it endlessly enjoyable. The ‘Sophisticated Giant’, Dexter Gordon was one of the finest tenor saxophonists there has ever been.
A massive hit when it was released that made Dave Brubeck one of the most famous jazz musicians, ‘Take Five’ is one of the coolest compositions you are likely to hear.
Throughout Mingus’s landmark record Mingus Ah Um, tributes to past masters and musical inspiration are packed in. ‘Better Git It In Your Soul’ plays on and pays tribute to the gospel music on which Mingus was raised.
A classic of hard-bop, ‘Song For My Father’ witnesses Silver adopting South American influences into his sound, with amazing results.
1959 was the defining year for jazz music. Mingus, Brubeck, Ornette Coleman and Coltrane all released seminal records that would forever change the shape of jazz. Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue is often considered the greatest, and it is understandable why.
The international mega-hit ‘The Girl For Ipanema’ has held the test of time and fame remarkably. Astrud Gilberto’s voice is divine and Getz and Gilberto’s arrangements lilting. An absolute classic.