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What is your least favorite album by a favorite musician?

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I'm sure every one here has a number of favorite ,musicians and likely each of us has a number of recordings made by those favorite musicians.  Many of those recordings we love, some we like, some leave us feeling indifferent.  But every once in a while, a favorite musician, some one whose work we really love and admire, puts out an absolute clunker of an album.  There's all kinds of threads here to discuss favorite albums, so how about a thread to discuss the clunkers.

A few ground rules:

1)  It must be an album by a musician whose work you love overall.  If you don't like Kenny G, don't complain about a Kenny G album. ;)

2)  The album must be an officially released album, not a bootleg over which the musician had no control.

3)  The album should have been released during the musician's lifetime.  After exiting this veil of tears, the musician again has no control over what leftover alternate takes, miscellaneous unreleased material found in some record label's vault or some "re-imagined" remixing of their work might get released under their name.

4)  It must be an album you have actually listened to (in its entirety -- no fair bailing out after a disastrous track or two) and not just heard about.

I'll start off with one which features two of my favorite musicians.

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At first glance this would seem to be an unlikely pairing, that these two musicians come from very different backgrounds & eras and that they would have little in common musically.  Listening to this album only proves those assumptions to be correct.  The two never mesh musically and McCoy Tyner really sounds like he was holding back to try to make this session work somehow.  Stephane Grappelli just goes about his usual business.  A complete stone cold dud of an album.

So who else has some notable duds by favorite musicians they would like to share?

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Some of you still remember me as the Gene Harris Fanatic. Well I am here to tell you to stay far away from:

Yesterday, Today Tomorrow (Blue Note)

Now I could certainly have gone with Astral Signal or In a Special Way, but just looking at the credits gives you all the proof you need that those will be bad examples of Gene, and hopelessly indicative of the era they were recorded in. And no, I don't want to hear from fans, thank you very much.

But YTT is a special case, as the tracks that are indicative of "Yesterday" are perfectly OK, far from the greatest Three Sounds but not that far off. But when we get into the Today tracks and then the Tomorrow tracks its a total :bad: storm.

Also, I believe it was Tony Jerant who put "Something" on an early BFT, which I hated, and also whiffed on the fact it was Gene Harris. So I hated YTT before, but I really hated it after. 

Now if you'll excuse me I am going to revisit those "Yesterday" tracks. I think I particularly dug Hymn to Freedom, IIRC.

 

:g

Edited by Dan Gould

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Duke Ellington and Teresa Brewer

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The Hawes set has many fans, and I'm a Hawes fan otherwise, but these have always struck me as near lifeless, rhythmically logy performances. Never have been able to figure out just why, but I think it has something to do with Jim Hall's role or mood on this occasion.

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Agree re: the McLean but not about the Hawes.

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Pres at or near the end of his rope; the potent frontline of "Ben Webster and Associates" (Ben, Coleman Hawkins, Budd Johnson, Roy Eldridge) is sabotaged by the trance-like comping of Jimmy Jones (who can be perfectly fine). 

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Ben Webster & Associates.webloc

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Here it's the comping of Oscar Peterson that sabotages "Gee Baby." Compare it to "Sweets" with the same front line and (on that day) a near sublime rhythm section (Jimmy Rowles, Barney Kessel, Joe Mondragon, Alvin Stoller).

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Attractive lineup (Braff, Pee Wee Russell, Benny Morton, Dick Hafer, Nat Pierce, Steve Jordan, Walter Page, Buzzy Drootin), but something went wrong.

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1 hour ago, Larry Kart said:

The Hawes set has many fans, and I'm a Hawes fan otherwise, but these have always struck me as near lifeless, rhythmically logy performances. Never have been able to figure out just why, but I think it has something to do with Jim Hall's role or mood on this occasion.

...

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I agree with you on the Hawes. Didn't think of posting it here, and would have hesitated to bring up the subject, but this set never did anything for me (and I own a lot of HH recordings).

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Seem to be in a mainstream bag. "For Basie" is great; its successor "Basie Reunion", with much the same people, is not even close. For one thing, Jack Washington was out of sorts on the latter. For another, Walter Page, in superb form on "For Basie," died in the seven months between the two dates.

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Hot Water - Jimmy Buffett

Doo Bop - Miles Davis

Fillmore East June 1971 - Frank Zappa

I'mmsure there are more, but thise immediately sprang to mind. 

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Ok, the "worst" Sonny Rollins album is The Way I Feel, but that's ok, it's just a failed attempt at a bad idea. Shit happens, hey, that's business.

But my least favorite Sonny Rollins album is Horn Culture. That was a great band, they were ready to deliver (side one of The Cutting Edge grooves like fuck!) and Next Album had really primed my pump for the next Sonny Rollins next album, but for whatever reason, Sonny was not there like he could have been. There has never been a "real" Sonny Rollins album tht I still feel as badly about as this one, not even Reel Life, which is just mediocre - but consistent within itself. Horn Culture, otoh, sounds like a record that should have never been released, at least not those takes.

The myth of the "succession of uninspired Mainstream albums" is not without some non-scrutinized simplistic populist justification, but there was always at least one cut (sometimes a lot more than one) where shit at least sorta happened, and sometime really did happen (there's more of those than the myth realizes). But on Horn Culture, it doesn't seem uninspired or held back or anything like that, it just sounds...wrong. And it's not the band's fault, not at all.

 

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2 hours ago, JSngry said:

Ok, the "worst" Sonny Rollins album is The Way I Feel, but that's ok, it's just a failed attempt at a bad idea. Shit happens, hey, that's business.

But my least favorite Sonny Rollins album is Horn Culture. That was a great band, they were ready to deliver (side one of The Cutting Edge grooves like fuck!) and Next Album had really primed my pump for the next Sonny Rollins next album, but for whatever reason, Sonny was not there like he could have been. There has never been a "real" Sonny Rollins album tht I still feel as badly about as this one, not even Reel Life, which is just mediocre - but consistent within itself. Horn Culture, otoh, sounds like a record that should have never been released, at least not those takes.

The myth of the "succession of uninspired Mainstream albums" is not without some non-scrutinized simplistic populist justification, but there was always at least one cut (sometimes a lot more than one) where shit at least sorta happened, and sometime really did happen (there's more of those than the myth realizes). But on Horn Culture, it doesn't seem uninspired or held back or anything like that, it just sounds...wrong. And it's not the band's fault, not at all.

 

what about Sonny's The Solo album? I have a hard time listening to that in its entirety. I even have more from this concert that was not included on the album. I am not a fan of The Way I Feel either. 

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Solo album is fine by me, it's essentially Sonny practicing, and I get a lot from that. I get that mileages can vary on that, though, totally get that.

But you say there's more?

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Sir Roland Hanna is one of my very favorite musicians -- and he was remarkably consistent. 

But this LP is a stinker.

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Even the cover art is bad.

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I may have more Lee Konitz albums than I have of any other artist, but these two with the trio Minsarah (Jeff Denson - bass. Ziv Ravitz - drums. Florian Weber - piano) are ... well I keep them around for documentary reasons only.  Lee is in faltering shape at times, and Minsarah should be drowned in a mikveh.

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5 hours ago, JSngry said:

Ok, the "worst" Sonny Rollins album is The Way I Feel, but that's ok, it's just a failed attempt at a bad idea. Shit happens, hey, that's business.

But my least favorite Sonny Rollins album is Horn Culture. That was a great band, they were ready to deliver (side one of The Cutting Edge grooves like fuck!) and Next Album had really primed my pump for the next Sonny Rollins next album, but for whatever reason, Sonny was not there like he could have been. There has never been a "real" Sonny Rollins album tht I still feel as badly about as this one, not even Reel Life, which is just mediocre - but consistent within itself. Horn Culture, otoh, sounds like a record that should have never been released, at least not those takes.

The myth of the "succession of uninspired Mainstream albums" is not without some non-scrutinized simplistic populist justification, but there was always at least one cut (sometimes a lot more than one) where shit at least sorta happened, and sometime really did happen (there's more of those than the myth realizes). But on Horn Culture, it doesn't seem uninspired or held back or anything like that, it just sounds...wrong. And it's not the band's fault, not at all.

 

Complete disagreement on Horn Culture. It's a wonderful album.

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Bird near the end of the road.

Still Bird, mind you.

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Although the cream of Austrian jazz musicians of the early 70`s participates this is unfortunately going nowhere ....

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Since Coltrane is my largest collection, I'll say Om. Which I find simply dreadful. 

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14 hours ago, kh1958 said:

Complete disagreement on Horn Culture. It's a wonderful album.

I'm with you, kh.  I like Horn Culture too.

I'm also thinking of the old saw, "One mans trash is another man's treasure."  One of the glories of music is its subjective value.

 

 

Bobby's only dud (imho):

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Much of the blame goes to Wade Marcus.  I'm no fan of his arrangements here.

 

Edited by HutchFan

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Probably those Horace Silver "United States of Mind" albums. 

Edited by rdavenport

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11 hours ago, soulpope said:

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Although the cream of Austrian jazz musicians of the early 70`s participates this is unfortunately going nowhere ....

I quite like it. :)

Have to add Cedar Walton ‘Mobius’ to this thread. A rare lapse for an otherwise exceptionally consistently good artist.

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1 hour ago, sidewinder said:

I quite like it. :)

Have to add Cedar Walton ‘Mobius’ to this thread. A rare lapse for an otherwise exceptionally consistently good artist.

Good call ....

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Been eons since I've heard it, but I don't recall Joe Henderson's take on Porgy & Bess for Verve being any sort of great thing (one of his very last recordings, and maybe his last leader-date - ?).

Others might suggest something weird from his Milestone years, but I love all that stuff - every bit.

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6 hours ago, HutchFan said:

 

I'm also thinking of the old saw, "One mans trash is another man's treasure."  One of the glories of music is its subjective value.

 

Absolutely.  All of these will be a matter of taste.  But hearing about what music other folks find to be lacking is kind of interesting too.  I for one will have to go back and listen to the Hampton Hawes All Night Session! recordings again.  I liked them, but maybe I will listen with a more critical ear now to see if I can hear what Larry Kart and T.D. found wanting in them.

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This thread got me to pull and play my 'All Night Session-1' and I enjoyed the listen.  It isn't deserving of curses such as "workmanlike" or "serviceable", nor is it cocktail jazz just goin' through the motions.  The album was engineered by Roy DuNann and recorded at Contemporary's L.A. studio, so the audio quality is there.      

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