John Coltrane, Miles Davis & More: My Albums of the Week #22

I would consider myself an “albums guy” and my taste in music is very varied. In this new feature, I list the albums that I listened to most intensely during the week. The list will include albums old and new, and the number of albums listened to every week will most likely vary on a week-to-week basis.

 

Cultura Profética
La Dulzura
(La Mafafa, 2010)

TRACKLIST (favorite tracks underlined): 1 – Rimas pá seducir // 2 – La complicidad // 3 – Amante luz // 4 – Para estar // 5 – En la oscuridad // 6 – Baja la tensión // 7 – Illegal // 8 – Somos muchos // 9 – Del tope al fondo // 10 – Me faltabas tú // 11 – Verso terso // 12 – La espera

I wasn’t familiar with this band before hearing the record. Since then, I’ve read some were disappointed with the departure from their reggae-heavy sound and political lyrics this album represented. But hearing it from fresh ears, I can tell you that I quite liked this sweet fusion of Latin music, pop and jazz. The melodies are catchy and I’m particularly fond of “Baja la Tension.”

 

Marquis Hill
Love Tape
(Black Unlimited, 2019)

TRACKLIST (favorite tracks underlined): 1 – Roy’s Intro // 2 – Beautiful Us // 3 – Won’t You Celebrate With Me // 4 – To You I Promise // 6 – I Believe in Love // 7 – Confessions of the Heart (Interlude) // 8 – A New Life // 9 – Wednesday Love

Heavenly soul jazz with beautiful ambient aesthetics from one of today’s most original voices in jazz. Love Tape is based on women’s reflections on the theme of love and interestingly features voice recordings of women’s thoughts on said theme. The tracks blend into one in a suite-like form.

 

Marquis Hill
Love Tape: With Voices
(Black Music Group, 2020)

TRACKLIST (favorite tracks underlined): 1 – The Say Ths Is Love // 2 – Skyfall // 3 – Just Forever // 4 – A Glimpse of You (Interlude) // 5 – Loving and Healing // 6 – Be Love // 7 – Recreation (Interlude) // 8 – Mantra 8 (The Writer Is Me) // 9 – For You // 10 – Wednesday Love

The vocal version of Love Tape, with vocal versions of the instrumentals from that album. It is different but almost as beautiful, liquid, fluid and heavenly.

 

John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman
John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman
(Impulse!, 1963)

TRACKLIST (favorite tracks underlined): 1 – They Say It’s Wonderful // 2 – Dedicated to You // 3 – My One and Only You // 4 – Lush Life // 5 – You Are Too Beautiful // 6 – Autumn Serenade

The only album that John Coltrane recorded as a leader with another vocalist. Johnny Hartman’s voice of the old-fashioned crooners’ type. Yet, it matches the warmth of Coltrane’s saxophone wonderfully as they bond over their shared love of melody and standard ballads – some even receiving their definitive versions here, like “My One and Only Love” and “They Say It’s Wonderful.”

 

Miles Davis
Porgy and Bess
(Columbia, 1959)

TRACKLIST (favorite tracks underlined): 1 – The Buzzard Song // 2 – Bess, You Is My Woman Now // 3 – Gone // 4 – Gone, Gone, Gone // 5 – Summertime // 6 – Bess, Oh Where’s My Bess // 7 – Prayer (Oh Doctor Jesus) // 8 – Fisherman, Strawberry and Devil Crab // 9 – My Man’s Gone Now // 10 – It Ain’t Necessarily So // 11 – Here Come de Honey Man // 12 – I Loves You, Porgy // 13 – There’s a Boat That’s Leaving Soon for New York

Miles Davis’ second collaboration with Gil Evans, with whom he basically masterminded the cool movement. Somewhat overshadowed by the release of Kind of Blue, released that same year, this is the definitive rendition of George Gershwin’s blues-based opera Porgy and Bess. Evans creates beautiful orchestral settings for Davis to shine, as the latter undoubtedly takes the center stage on trumpet and flugelhorn. There are standout tracks. However, this album is best when heard all the way through, as it is both musically and emotionally moving.

 

Pretenders
Hate for Sale
(BMG, 2020)

TRACKLIST (favorite tracks underlined): 1 – Hate for Sale // 2 – The Buzz // 3 – Lightning Man // 4 – Turf Accountant Daddy // 5 – You Can’t Hurt a Fool // 6 – I Didn’t Know When to Stop // 7 – Maybe Love Is in NYC // 8 – Junkie Walk // 9 – Didn’t Want to Be This Lonely // 10 – Crying in Public

Alternating rockers with heartfelt ballads, the Pretenders find new life by harkening back to the raw sound of their earlier recordings. Chrissie Hynde’s songwriting is still fresh and superb; “The Buzz,” for example, is a stellar track. In fact, by now it should be recognized that Hynde has been consistently recording great music for five decades. Few others ever have.

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