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bluesbro

Help me choose my next Ellington purchase

My next Ellington should be:   35 members have voted

  1. 1. On my wish list:

    • Great Times! Piano Duets with Billy Strayhorn
      1
    • This One's for Blanton
      5
    • The Intimate Ellington
      4
    • Masterpieces by Ellington
      8
    • Latin American Suite
      6
    • Intimacy of the Blues
      0

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71 posts in this topic

a sewing machine swings. now ask ya'llselves this: why is it none (or almost none) of these tinkly dink "beautiful" pianists ever ** compose ** worth a damn? don't say John Lewis bc tho' he could wham it when he wanted... i'm trying to think of an exception. now ya'll can say "pretty" this & "swingin'" that & it ain't objectively wrong but it's a perilous road & really... when there's SO much more... & this is from a dude who loves Hampton Hawes & Phineas Newborn. we might say, well, ok, Tommy Flanagan is cocktail excelsior, the best there could be but perhaps that only points out that we undervalue cocktail pianists? ok, so let's say the modern day composer IS dead, that still leaves Hank, Tommy (Marcus Roberts) ad nauseum w/a rather limited interpretive palette, at best two-dimension & edc question's whether even that. for tonal beauty, why not top notch Debussy (say), where we also get so much more?

edc, You seem to put very narrow limits on what is acceptable jazz. You are entitled to do so if that floats your boat, but I view things quite differently. One of the great pleasures of jazz for me is the great diversity of styles, genres, etc.

Being able to dig Jelly Roll, Hines, Teddy Wilson, Tatum, Duke, Horace Silver, Hank Jones, Barry Harris, Cedar Walton, Bud Powell, Sonny Clark, John Lewis, Tommy Flanagan, Kenny Barron, Thelonious Monk, Al Haig, and Basie (along with many other pianists) is one of my great pleasures.

Given your comments, it would seem logical that you consider Teddy Wilson to be a cocktail pianist too?

If you are unable to distinguish between Tommy Flanagan and Debussy, things are worse than I suspected. Pardon me while I go look to see if I can locate that wonderful Debussy CD where he plays "Relaxin' At Camerillo", "Confirmation", and "Oleo". Wonder who Claude has in the rhythm section on that CD?

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I find the term "cocktail pianist" to be one of those terms that is so vague and subjective as to be useless. I have read on another major jazz forum that McCoy Tyner and Chick Corea are cocktail pianists, in the poster's firm opinion. It seems to me that whenever a poster does not like a pianist who plays with any amount of lyricism, the dreaded "cocktail pianist" insult is trotted out.

I tend to agree that Duke Ellington explored areas of music which were far more ambitious than those explored by a great number of other pianists, and that some of the areas that Duke explored were more dissonant and dark than those explored by many other pianists.

However, that does not make all of the other pianists "cocktail pianists."

This strikes me as a well known logical fallacy. "Duke Ellington is dissonant. Cocktail pianists are not dissonant. Therefore any pianist who is not dissonant is a cocktail pianist." That is like "Dogs are mammals. Birds are not mammals. Therefore any animal which is not a mammal is a bird."

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"Cocktail pianist" is a supreme compliment in my book. Duke is definitely a cocktail pianist.

Edited by Teasing the Korean

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Or else it's maybe "Duke was into some stuff that is generally not acknowledged/confronted by a lot of his fans, who tend to think of "jazz piano" within certain parameters, parameters which Duke himself hardly ever observed, "impressions" to the contrary".

Or maybe not.

Hey, I dig Flanagan, et al, really I do, no attempts here to disparage or otherwise undervalue the special and real art/craft of what he does. Same for others in that same game. Plenty love and full respect here.

But...

When I die, I want the aural representation of my life to more resemble Ellington than Flanagan, and by no small margin.

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Or else it's maybe "Duke was into some stuff that is generally not acknowledged/confronted by a lot of his fans, who tend to think of "jazz piano" within certain parameters, parameters which Duke himself hardly ever observed, "impressions" to the contrary".

Or maybe not.

Hey, I dig Flanagan, et al, really I do, no attempts here to disparage or otherwise undervalue the special and real art/craft of what he does. Same for others in that same game. Plenty love and full respect here.

But...

When I die, I want the aural representation of my life to more resemble Ellington than Flanagan, and by no small margin.

To me, Flanagan is a highly skilled craftsman who sometimes raised his performance to a higher level of artistry. Ellington is God.

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I'm not going to look down on someone of Flanagan's accomplishments, but Ellington was absolutely a diety in comparison. Flanagan did some elegant scrimshaw on a whale's tooth, but it was Ellington who landed that damn whale in the first place.

On piano alone, disregarding his other numerous and even more important contributions to music, the man was a giant with an incredible range, from the poignant lyricism of "The Single Petal of a Rose" to the joyously savage effusions of "Ko-Ko."

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What's the Latin American Suite? What year?

Geez, Ihave SO much Ellington, and there's STILL SO MANY I don't have.

Features the utterly fabulous and stupendous The Sleeping Lady and the Giant Who Watches Over Her.

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I daresay it's unfair to compare the genius of Ellington to just about any other musician, let alone Flannigan.

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All of a sudden this thread has become a comparison of Ellington and Tommy Flanagan. That strikes me as absurd. Jazz has a large enough tent to include a broad range of musicians and styles.

Why should a player be downrated because he/she is not the greatest innovator or MOST creative improvisor.

Taste is the utimate factor for those who have some experience in listening to jazz. edc prefers Harold Mabern to Tommy Flanagan and Hank Jones. To my ears there is no comparison. Mabern is a solid journeyman piano player who at times I find tedious, but Flanagan and Hank are far more creative and interesting players in my opinion. I find Flanagan's solos to be among the brightest sparkling parts of almost every recording on which he appears.

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What's the Latin American Suite? What year?

Geez, Ihave SO much Ellington, and there's STILL SO MANY I don't have.

Features the utterly fabulous and stupendous The Sleeping Lady and the Giant Who Watches Over Her.

I love this session!

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Clem - Check out these outstanding pieces:

Original music:

Eclypso (Enja ENJ 2088) - Eclypso

Beyond The Bluebird (Timeless SJP 350) - Beyond The Bluebird

Interpetations:

The Super Jazz Trio (Baystate BVCJ 6033) - Pent Up House

Giant Steps (Enja [G] ENJ 4022) - Mr. P.C.

Sunset And The Mockingbird (Blue Note CDP 7243 4 93155-2 - Sunset And The Mockingbird

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I like Keith Jarrett so I'm staying out of this discussion. ;)

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:lol:

At least Keith exhibits emotions on some recordings. :ph34r:

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While it is by no means the only factor, I wonder what such outstanding players as Coleman Hawkins, Sonny Rollins, Benny Carter, Wes Montgomery, and Kenny Dorham would say about edc's opinion of Tommy and Hank?

While we will never know for sure, I have a strong suspicion they would consider his views peculiar at best.

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On e of my favorite late Ellington recordings is "And His Mother Called Him Bill" -beautiful renditions of some of Strayhorn's masterpieces.

Blue Trane

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So Tommy Flanagan and Hank Jones are on the firing lines!

Who's next Johnny 'Plays Pretty' Hodges?

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On e of my favorite late Ellington recordings is "And His Mother Called Him Bill" -beautiful renditions of some of Strayhorn's masterpieces.

Blue Trane

Desert island material!

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On e of my favorite late Ellington recordings is "And His Mother Called Him Bill" -beautiful renditions of some of Strayhorn's masterpieces.

Blue Trane

Certainly, this is one of Ellington's finest albums, but I think bluesbro may already have it.

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Who's next Johnny 'Plays Pretty' Hodges?

my money is on Booker 'Two Solos' Ervin

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Who's next Johnny 'Plays Pretty' Hodges?

my money is on Booker 'Two Solos' Ervin

How bout Harry 'Same Few Notes' Edison?

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Who's next Johnny 'Plays Pretty' Hodges?

my money is on Booker 'Two Solos' Ervin

How bout Harry 'Same Few Notes' Edison?

:rofl: You guys are killing me.

Maybe we can add Mal "pentatonic" Waldron to the list?

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On e of my favorite late Ellington recordings is "And His Mother Called Him Bill" -beautiful renditions of some of Strayhorn's masterpieces.

Blue Trane

Certainly, this is one of Ellington's finest albums, but I think bluesbro may already have it.

Yep, that one is included in the RCA box

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Y'know, I hear what clem is saying, and he's saying it articulately. What it boils down to is preference: do you like Tommy Flanagan? If so, why? What do you hear that I'm not hearing? That's all clem is saying.

Me personally, he's too dry for my tastes. I can think of very few CDs I have that feature Flanagan. But that's my taste. You like him? Good for you, I'm glad you enjoy him!

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While it is by no means the only factor, I wonder what such outstanding players as Coleman Hawkins, Sonny Rollins, Benny Carter, Wes Montgomery, and Kenny Dorham would say about edc's opinion of Tommy and Hank?

While we will never know for sure, I have a strong suspicion they would consider his views peculiar at best.

This is a valid point, but otoh, owning as many Hawk & Rollins sides as I do that feature Flanagan, I gotta say that on those albums he comes across more as "quality breathing room" than somebody to listen to with the same interest/intensity as the leader.

But another point - pianists aren't valued just for their solo abilitiies. They're often hired because of their accompanying skills, sometimes primarily because of their accompanying skills. And on that score, both Jones & Flanagan are more than merely competent.

It's still a group music, even when it's solos + accompaniment.

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Who's next Johnny 'Plays Pretty' Hodges?

my money is on Booker 'Two Solos' Ervin

Which one?

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