Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
sonnyhill

"Commercial" Albums by "Serious" Jazz Musicians

15 posts in this topic

Arthur Blythe's death prompted me to listen to his Put Sunshine In it for the first time on You Tube.  I had avoided it previously because it had received unfavorable reviews.  Upon listening to it, I find that I appreciate it for what it is and that I like it -- a lot.  Not too long ago, I would have scoffed at the "commercial" nature of the recording and probably not listened to much of it after the first few notes.  Arthur's great tone on his instrument and musicianship might have something to do with it, but I also hear precursors to elements used by Stereolab in several of their recordings and Wayne Shorter in High Life.  Are there any other examples of "serious" jazz musicians releasing albums in a similar style -  e.g.  using pop elements with original compositions, synthesizers, and drum machines?

R.I.P. Arthur Blythe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two artists immediately come to mind. Coincidentally, both are alto saxophone players too.  Gary Bartz and Kenny Garrett.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And, of course the Abomination of Desolation, by another certain alto player:

Image result for jackie mclean monuments

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seriously?

9f4a0d29402fc756eef222bb6a327ef0.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Fields In Clover" by Herbie Fields (Fraternity 1011, 1958)

Quite a handful of albums by Georgie Auld and Sam The Man Taylor from the same period would also qualify

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A run through the various Material/Bill Laswell outputs will yield literally tons of, uh...material...that meet these criteria. This one's a favorite.

518fc5Mi1UL.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps not universally beloved, but meets the criteria, and will have merit for people looking for that in this type of thing.

Herbie_Hancock_1994-Dis_is_Da_Drum.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

0e4e6ee3a1.jpg

Probably even earlier albums would qualify - this one certainly does ....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Ted O'Reilly said:

I'll always remember this one...

Image result for chet baker album covers

Ted, I remember that we talked about this one a number of years ago.  For an easy listening album, I think it's terrific.  Didn't this one have the theme for the Dating Game on it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An attempted commercial album is McCoy Tyler's 1982 album on Columbia, Looking Out. It has synthesizers, vocalist Phyllis Hyman, and musicians such as Carlos Santana and Stanley Clarke. It was not a commercial success. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a huge Garrett fan and a word on "Simply Said" since it was mentioned.  Aside from the title track which is really a short sweet pop tune (which gets a bit cheesy) and "Sounds Like Winter", it's not really a smooth jazz album at all, it's worth it to me for "GTDS", "Charlie Brown Goes to South Africa", "Third Quadrant" and "Organized Colors".  "Prisoner of Love" is a way worse offender, but it shows that from the beginning how wide Garrett's interests are and that's a good thing. I say this while listening to Jason Miles: "To Grover with Love" which has players I don't even normally have interest in like Eric Darius playing their butts off aannd it largely avoids the flush of getting too smooth with a heavy dose offf funk, and hey it's Ralph McDonald's last recording.

Since I recently bought and been through the Herbie Columbia box,  I think "Feets Don't Fail Me Now" (which is just bad), "Monster" (even worse) "Magic Windows" and "Lite Me Up" are the most commercial, to me "Magic Windows" and "Lite Me Up" aren't half bad for what they are.  Because I like electonic music, my views on "Future Shock", "Sound System" and "Perfect Machine" as being the worst Herbie have changed, does it rank with my favorite BN or Columbia's of his? no, but the willingness for something at the time fresh, was great, and there's some pretty good electro on them.

Dizzy's "Closer to the Source" besides "Dizzy's Party" and "Free Ride" are probably the most commercial things he ever made, and "Source" just sucks. 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh hell, listen to it ALL!!!!

Now THAT sucks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, JSngry said:

Oh hell, listen to it ALL!!!!

Now THAT sucks!

Still better than "Closer to the Source"!  Leo Parker back there on "Let the Sunshine In"?  IDK bop licks over that groove and progression is just corny

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.