Also at The New Yorker
you can find "100 Essential Jazz Albums
" - a list drawn up by David Reminick and "meant to provide a broad sampling of jazz classics and wonders across the music’s century-long history." Fair enough, I suppose. But I have to say that I hate this list. Why? Because Remnick didn't actually pick albums. He picked a bunch of sides from collections and reissues and greatest hits ~ "The Complete ... or Best of ... X," "The Genius of Y," "The BBB Sessions ... or Years ... or Whatever" - and so forth. Almost always such "albums" are littered with "alternate takes," previously unissued tracks, and other detritus from the company vaults. The result is a sort of nerdy revivalism.
These are a handful of the actual albums from Remnick's list:
16. Duke Ellington, “Money Jungle” (Blue Note Records, 1962).
43. Miles Davis, “Kind of Blue” (Sony, 1959).
53. Charles Mingus, “Mingus Ah Um” (Columbia, 1959).
74. John Coltrane, “Ascension” (Impulse!, 1965).
96. Charlie Haden and Hank Jones, “Steal Away” (Polygram, 1995).
Way too much of the rest of the list is an indiscriminate compilation of canonical figures from the more or less distant past. Why not try to actually make choices? And then try to justify what you've included and why ~ however briefly? Remnick missed an opportunity. Too bad.
Labels: jazz, Music