Sketches of Spain – Miles Davis (1960)

Sketches of Spain - Miles Davis (1960)

I love Kind Of Blue, and Miles Davis’ follow up Sketches Of Spain, is just as good. What started off as a normal jazz album with one jazz version of a classical Spanish composition turned into this interesting mixture of jazz and classical music. I can’t really call this “fresh” or “new” seeing how the album is 54 years old, but I but it was “fresh” and “new” in 1960. Considering  that Kind of Blue had came out only 11 months earlier, this was a huge stylistic change for Miles. Although, Miles wouldn’t be Miles if he stayed the same.

Choice Cut: Concierto De Aranjuez (Adagio)

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You’re Dead! – Flying Lotus (2014)

You’re Dead! - Flying Lotus (2014)

I’ve already covered how Flying Lotus is the grand nephew of jazz greats John and Alice Coltrane, so when I say that this album is a jazz album, that shouldn’t come as a surprise. You’re Dead! is primarily about death, which usually comes with connotations of darkness and heaviness. This album isn’t really dark or heavy though. Sure, this album can get a little slower at times, but I would never say it’s depressing like a lot of music about death is. This album is jazzy, full of life, and experimentation. Kind of an interesting paradox really.

Choice Cut: Dead Man’s Tetris

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Somethin’ Else – Cannonball Adderley (1958)

Somethin' Else - Cannonball Adderley (1958)

The amount of jazz albums we recommend is not commensurate to how much we love the genre. But there’s one advantage to that oversight: we can always recommend the most bomb-ass jazz albums. I’m partial to the swingy groove of Somethin’ Else, but some may prefer the delicate piano of Love For Sale. I certainly can’t fault you for that, because all six of the songs on this album are pretty great. I imagine this made quite the atmosphere for socialites to enjoy at swanky late-50s parties. It works well for the holiday season, too!

Choice Cut: Somethin’ Else

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III – BADBADNOTGOOD (2014)

III - BADBADNOTGOOD (2014)

III is the first BADBADNOTGOOD album that is all original work. As much I love  jazz covers of alternative hip-hop songs, hearing BADBADNOTGOOD branch off into their own compositions is far more interesting as a listener. III obviously stays more on the jazz sides of instrumental jazz hip-hop, but there’s still plenty of hip-hop inspired moments to be heard on this album. Although III lacks the energy of its predecessors, it’s nothing to be brushed aside. BADBADNOTGOOD takes this album to explore more of the trio’s talents, and the result are extended jams and jazzy beats that do not disappoint.

Choice Cut: Since You Asked Kindly

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Sunday at the Village Vanguard – Bill Evans Trio (1961)

Sunday at the Village Vanguard - Bill Evans Trio (1961)

Today, I’m thankful for jazz. Well, more so than usual, anyway. Good jazz knows how to push the boundaries of music, while still remaining classy. That’s how we get good but weird stuff like BBNG2. But sometimes, you need jazz that feels like what you think of when you think of jazz. That’s what this album is: class act jazz. I’d put it up there with Kind of Blue, which Alex and I could both gush about.

Choice Cut: My Man’s Gone Now
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Cowboy Bebop – The Seatbelts (1998)

Cowboy Bebop - The Seatbelts (1998)

Man, Cowboy Bebop… there’s a good reason why pretty much everyone agrees it’s one of the best anime ever made, maybe even the best. Great writing, awesome characters, gripping action scenes, fantastic animation… and the music. The music was a big mix-up of everything – jazz, blues, rock, soul, folk – and you can bet that every style that Yoko Kanno and her band tried was a runaway success. Especially of note for me is Bad Dog No Biscuits, which covers the Tom Waits composition Midtown. It’s the most badass soundtrack known to mankind and works just as well outside of context as it does in.

Choice Cut: Choosing a favorite song from this is like choosing your favorite Cowboy Bebop episode.
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Come Away with Me – Norah Jones (2002)

Come Away with Me - Norah Jones (2002)

Looks like I’ve tapped into the “impress women” side of my collection. My reasons for liking this album are not so superficial, though. This is a beautiful blend of jazz, country, and blues, all with a touch of pop. The vocal delivery is from a divine plane of existence, I swear. This album exudes classiness and feels like a smooth, delicate listen. It’s also a very good way to broaden your horizons from adrenaline-soaked music to something more musically demure.

Choice Cut: Don’t Know Why
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