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KPLU's Jazz Starter Kit

Compiled By
The KPLU Jazz Programming Staff

KPLU 88.5FM Although we were originally asked to put together a list of our "Top Ten Jazz Releases of All Time," we soon found that it was an impossible task. No two people will ever agree on a jazz top 10. There are too many styles of jazz and too many opinions among jazz listeners. So, instead, we offer a "Jazz Collection Starter Kit" -- 10 CDs that cover several areas (and eras) of jazz and serve as a starting point for further exploration of the music. In other words, this kit has something for almost everybody.

1. Kind of Blue - Miles Davis
One of the finest jazz groups ever assembled (including John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley and Bill Evans), and this is their only recording.

2. Time Out - Dave Brubeck Quartet
Includes the song "Take Five," one of the most popular jazz records ever made.

3. Pure Ella - Ella Fitzgerald
Just Ella Fitzgerald and pianist Ellis Larkins. Pure, indeed.

4. Turn on the Heat - Fats Waller
Solo piano recordings from one of the most gifted and entertaining performers in jazz. Includes "Ain't Misbehavin."

5. The Louis Armstrong Hot Five and Hot Seven Recordings
These recordings are available on several CDs released by Columbia Jazz Masterworks. Very affordable, consistently delightful, absolutely essential.

6. Soular Energy - The Ray Brown Trio with Gene Harris
A great example of the jazz/blues piano trio sound. Harris is one of today's most popular jazz pianists.

7. The Bossa Nova Years - Stan Getz
A three-CD set of the best of saxophonist Getz and his exploration of Brazilian music. Includes "The Girl From Ipanema."

8. Blues For Fred - Joe Pass
Solo jazz guitar from the man many consider to be the master. Jazz versions of songs introduced by Fred Astaire in his films.

9. The Complete Decca Recordings - Billie Holiday
Lady In Autumn - Billie Holiday
The Decca recordings are the best of Billie early in her career. The Verve recordings were made toward the end of her life. Both collections are well worth your while.

10. John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman
Saxophonist Coltrane and baritone vocalist Hartman only recorded one album together. It's one of the most romantic jazz releases of all time. Mood music of a very high order.

If you would like to order any of these CDs, you can call the Public Radio Music Source at 1-800-75-MUSIC. Their prices are competitive with those of CD stores in the area, they'll send the music right to your home and part of your purchase price will benefit KPLU. Enjoy.

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Source: Pacific Lutheran Scene, Spring 1997
Edited by: Janet Prichard, Senior Editor (prichajd@plu.edu)
Maintained by: Webmaster (webmaster@plu.edu).
Last Update: 03/10/97