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Favorite Discovery 2020


Dan Gould
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This can be a new release, an old recording that you purchased and couldn't stop listening to, or maybe an artist/band.

I've had quite a few "instant favorite" purchases this year but I think the favorite discovery that I think others should check out is saxophonist Arnold Sterling.

He had about a 5 year run in the early 1980s on records, but only one as a leader (Here's Brother Sterling, on JAM). Otherwise he worked for Jimmy McGriff and was one of, but not always the only, feature saxophonist.  But all of the recordings by McGriff w. Sterling are very fine, especially The Groover which was also on JAM and is almost all Sterling's show as he is the only saxophonist. He otherwise kept plying his trade in Baltimore and I believe he died just a couple of years ago.

He had a great, hard-as-a-diamond tone and could really blow on just about anything.  These recordings aren't expensive to find and I'd recommend them without hesitation.

What did you find that brightened the otherwise shit-storm that was 2020?

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1st Joe Castro box set.

Not a lot of "new" players (although I had a limited exposure to Castro himself), but just a delightful collection of players and circumstances that happened around his axis.

the New Music String Quartet box (if that was 2020...

I hate to say this, but....I don't know what all I heard for the first time in 2020, or what was in 2019 or 2018...it's all kind of blurring together right now...hope that's normal?

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Two bassist/leaders who I heard back in the halcyon days of live music at Winter Jazzfest, both of whom released recordings this year: Michael Olatuja/Lagos Pepper Soup, and Gregg August/Dialogues on Race.

Michael Olatuja is a Nigerian bass guitar player whose music is a combination of Afrobeat and jazz. This recording is also available through Bandcamp. and guest artists include Brandee Younger, Lionel Loueke, Joe Lovano and Dianne Reeves.

Gregg August plays acoustic bass, and he composed the music for this small big band recording, whose musicians include John Ellis, JD Allen, Marcus Rojas, Luis Perdomo, Frank Lacy and Donald Edwards. Somewhat inexplicably, this privately issued CD (available on Bandcamp) has been nominated for a Grammy.  

Edited by kh1958
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31 minutes ago, Steve Reynolds said:

Too Many to Count

That's a good year.  (Unless that's actually just a title like "Standing on Minnows Looking for Whales" or whatever you used to quote. :g )

BTW Everybody, it would be nice if there were some description of the artists you are suggesting. Joe Castro is the only name I recognize so far ... :unsure:

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This year, I spent a lot time poking around in the world of Hammond B3 organists.  

I'm sure these three discs are old hat for many of you -- but I heard them for the first time in 2020, and they're most definitely new favorites:

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Larry Young - Of Peace and Love (Blue Note, 1967)

 

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Stanley Turrentine featuring Shirley Scott - Common Touch (Blue Note, 1968)

 

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John Patton - Accent on the Blues (Blue Note, 1969)

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If you're not in an organ mood, you might try this:

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Mal Waldron - A Touch of the Blues (Enja/Solid Japan, rec. 1972)

Superb!  On the same exalted level with Waldron's other Enja releases... One-Upmanship, Hard Talk, Black Glory, Plays the BluesMoods, and the rest. 

 

Edited by HutchFan
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58 minutes ago, HutchFan said:

This year, I spent a lot time poking around in the world of Hammond B3 organists.

Hutch, do you have Larry Young’s Mother Ship? - on BN from 1969.  If not, you need it! I’ve always likened it to being a cross between Unity and Don Cherry’s Complete Communion.

It’s not hyperbole to say that Mother Ship changed my perspective on jazz organ nearly 100%. Before that I had’t heard much of any Big John Parton, and the only Larry Young I knew was Unity (and my focus way back then was more on Unity’s horn front line).

Suffice to say that jazz organ meant “Jimmy Smith” (stylistically) for my first 10 years of listening. Then Mother Ship completely blew my mind when it first got it, circa 1998-99 iirc.

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38 minutes ago, Rooster_Ties said:

Hutch, do you have Larry Young’s Mother Ship? - on BN from 1969.  If not, you need it! I’ve always likened it to being a cross between Unity and Don Cherry’s Complete Communion.

It’s not hyperbole to say that Mother Ship changed my perspective on jazz organ nearly 100%.

Yep, I do have Mother Ship.  It's another Larry Young record that I just "discovered" this year.  :P  Tracked it down after hearing Of Peace and Love

I dig Mother Ship.  But I think my two favorite Larry Young records are Of Peace and Love and Lawrence of Newark.  They're both strange... in a good way.

 

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