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5 Favorite Conns to recommend

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I love it: one man's non-fave is another's fave. That's what makes the world go round. :g

Come on Rooster: let's get a poll made. Since there are so many Conns and we can list only ten in a poll, how about a couple of polls or three of them; then we move the top three winners of each bracket to a final poll to determine the best Conn!

That means we will have to come up with 30 Conn candidates to start the polls. Any ideas anyone?

I vote for Tina Brooks, TRUE BLUE; Andrew Hill, JUDGMENT, SMOKESTACK; Larry Young, INTO SOMETHING; Pete LaRocca, BASRA; Grant Green, SOLID; Wayne Shorter, ETCETERA, SCHIZOPHRENIA; Booker Ervin, IN-BETWEEN; Byrd, Watkins, TRANSITION SESSIONS. There's ten for poll one. I selected them as some of the Conns which were repeat mentions on this thread.

Now we need another twenty for polls two and three. Then we will take the top four of this poll to advance to the next round. Six more winners will come from the next two polls.

I will set up this initial poll (or will try to do so.)

Good idea everyone?

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Good to see all the votes for 'True Blue', but, excellent as it is, 'Back to the Tracks' is even better, IMHO. This is tough, but my top five at the moment are:

Tina Brooks 'Back to the Tracks'

Bobby Hutcherson ' Patterns'

Jack Wilson 'Something Personal'

Hank Mobley 'Slice of the Top'

Pete La Roca 'Basra'

I suspect 'Etcetera' would be there if I could find a copy.

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Some put it at the head of the list... others don't mention it... I have got nearly all the conns since the series started... and I have no doubt that True Blue is my favorite and the one I play the most. If I pick a second it will be Minor Move... but TRUE BLUE! Hard to find now, I suppose, and I doubt it will see light of day as an RVG. If you haven't heard this one I suggest you make a point of picking it up!

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I keep thinking that many of my faorite conns (and obviously some of yours) are from rare or unreleased sessions. There also seems to be a "pleasantly surprised" factor involved. I mean, probably few of us had ever heard of Tina Brooks before the Mosaic and then the conns came out. When we finally heard "True Blue," how could we react in any other way than "wow!" after all the mystery and hype. It was a legendary session kept from us for years and finally brought to light. The same was true, for me at least, with "Basra." I had never heard of this disc until I discovered that the conn of it was fetching big bucks on Ebay. So I was thrilled when I found a used copy for cheap. The fact that I really love this session is a bonus, but i wonder if i still would have considered it one of my top five just because of its scarcity and legendary value?


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PS: My favorite "Rare Groove" CD's are also previously unreleased sessions, that didn't ever come out until the 90's...

John Patton - Boogaloo

Donald Byrd - Donald-Kofi

Alright, who wants to now start a Favorite Rare Grooves poll? ;)

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PS:  My favorite "Rare Groove" CD's are also previously unreleased sessions, that didn't ever come out until the 90's...

John Patton - Boogaloo

Donald Byrd - Donald-Kofi

Alright, who wants to now start a Favorite Rare Grooves poll? ;)

This is what we would call simultaneous thinking. See the new thread I just posted :party:

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  • 3 months later...

I've been listening a lot lately to two Mobley Conns--A Slice of the Top and Straight No Filter. They're both fantastic. I really love Mobley as a composer and he does some wonderful stuff with the larger ensemble on SLice of the Top. Billy Higgins is electric.

DOn't have enough Conns to really list a non-favorite.

Btw, After reading this thread, I need to find True Blue.

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The list game — always a favorite! Here are six Connoisseurs (had to add one more) that I have an inordinate affection for:

• Ken McIntyre: The Complete United Artists Sessions

• Andrew Hill: Lift Every Voice

• Teddy Edwards: Sunset Eyes

• Booker Ervin: The In Between

• J.R. Monterose: J.R. Monterose

• Gil Mellé: The Complete 50's Sessions

I'm less moved by:

• Howard McGhee: Volume One

• Bob Brookmeyer: Traditionalism Revisited

• Harold Vick: Steppin' Out

• Baby Face Willette: Stop, Look, and Listen

• Bud Shank: With Bill Perkins

Overall, of course, this is a great series. I'm especially excited that Malcolm Addey has joined the mix in this series (— as I believe he's done the remastering for Andrew Hill's Passing Ships), and I hope he gets the opportunity to do a lot more. There's still plenty of room for a number of unissued or unreleased gems to find their way into this particular catalog.

Edited by Late
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I'm pretty sure the McIntyre Sessions wasn't a Conn but it's great nonetheless.


Wayne Shorter-Schizophrenia ('Speak No Evil' and others are flawless but there's something real special about this one)

Ike Quebec - It Might as Well be Spring (I really like the mood on this one)

Tina Brooks - Back to the Tracks (I think this one will be one of the most sought out sessions after it goes out of print. I like it better than True Blue.)

Hank Mobley - A Slice of the Top (GREAT)

Lee Morgan - Infinity (I don't see copies of this beauty anymore and think it will be well sought after in a couple years)

Honorable mention:

Andrew Hill - Grass Roots

Dizzy Reece - Comin' On

Larry Young - Into Something

Jackie McLean - Vertigo

Not my favorites:

Don Wilkerson - Complete BN

Bobby Hutcherson - The Kicker (Good, not great)

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Wow, I cannot believe everyone dissing the Wilkerson, certainly not among the upper sphere, but it's quality nonetheless.

anyways, I had these Conn's in the past but sold them away...they didn't really connect with me:

Shorter - Etectera, All Seeing Eye

Cherry - Symphnoy For Improvisors

Hill- Judgement

Sonny Red- Out of the Blue

I really want to give the Shorters another chance, and I picked up the Spanish Out of the Blue and am happy with it! It's a good thing there are more Conns that I've owned and have liked.

I am staying away from the Braith and the Corea!

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Great Conns (don't know if they are "the best" but certainly ones I have really enjoyed):

Grant Green - SOLID

Hank Mobley - A SLICE OF THE TOP

Jackie McLean - DESTINATION...OUT!

Bobby Hutcherson - well, any of them, but probably COMPONENTS is favorite


Tina Brooks - TRUE BLUE

Freddie Hubbard - READY FOR FREDDIE

Wayne Shorter - ETCETERA

Andrew Hill - JUDGEMENT!

OK, way more than 5, but these are all "must haves" in my view.

There are no Conns I think are truly dogs, but probably Sonny Red's OUT OF THE BLUE is the weakest, redeemed somewhat by the added previously unreleased material (which is far better than the original album to my ears as far as Red's playing is concerned - especially his intonation). This album actually totally soured me on his playing, and as a result I never gave him a fair chance for a long time. After coming around, I have to say he's a much better player than reflected on that album - for example, check him out on Bill Hardman's Savoy date.

Edited by DrJ
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The best of the ones I've got:

1. Vertigo (I haven't a clue why Alfred Lion didn't release this one, unless he felt there was just too much Jackie on the market already.)

2. Basra

3. The Complete Blue Hour

4. Solid

5. Cliff Craft

(Honorable mentions: Destination Out, Byrd In Flight, Shades of Redd)

The less good:

1. Jutta Hipp with Zoot Sims. I'm sorry, but the trumpeter sucks, and I feel like Zoot is the only one in the band who was really "on" that day.

2. Ummm...I can't think of any others in my collection that I have real problems with. McGhee's volume 1 is a bit lackluster, but for me the session is more than redeemed by the presence of JJ and the super Kenny Drew trio session paired with it on the Conn version. I can see how the Wilkerson is not some people's cup of tea, but I enjoy it for what it is (though admittedly I do have trouble listening to both discs together, all the way through). Initially I was nonplussed by the Melle set, but I haven't really given it enough listens to let it sink in.

I do tend to pass on the Connoisseur titles of "previously unreleased" material, so that could explain why I don't have too many problems with most of the series. I seem to remember that Man With a Horn and Redd's Blues in particular have been panned.

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One of my favorite Conns is well, Jacknife!

The absolute worst Conn for me is Dodo Greene, I can only listen to it for about a minute or two before I hit the eject button!

Of course, JK, you know my opinions of Dodo.

She lasted 2 days in my collection!

Felt myself wishing she would shut up for a bit so Ike and Grant could stretch out a bit. ;)

Thanks for the disk, JK, I'll get you back someday! ;):g

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