Eric Dolphy, Modern Jazz Quartet & More: My Albums of the Week #32

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.

Jacques Loussier
Play Bach N.1
(Decca, 1959) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

TRACKLIST (favorite tracks underlined): 1 – Prelude No. 1 // 2 – Fugue No. 1 // 3 – Prelude No. 2 // 4 – Fugue No. 2 // 5 – Toccata // 6 – Prelude No. 8 // 7 – Prelude No. 5 // 8 – Fugue No. 5

The more accessible branch of Third Stream music. But don’t let that fool you — there’s a real ambition to be heard on this record. Pianist Jacques Loussier’s jazz arrangements of Back works were quite popular and his trio from the time was known as “Le Trio Play Bach.”

 

André Hodeir
Jazz et Jazz
(Philips, 1963) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

TRACKLIST (favorite tracks underlined): 1 – Jazz et Jazz // 2 – Trope à Saint-Trop // 3 – Jazz Cantata // 4 – Osymetrios // 5 – Flautando // 6 – Le palais idéal // 7 – Osymetrios II

A beautiful gem from the French Third Stream jazz scene. And one of the most legitimate blends of jazz and classical music I have ever heard, complete with “cantatas” and “flautandos.” To me, the title track even appears to predate the art of music sampling by several years.

 

Modern Jazz Quartet
Django
(Prestige, 1956) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

TRACKLIST (favorite tracks underlined): 1 – Django // 2 – One Bass Hit // 3 – La Ronde Suite // 4 – The Queen’s Fancy // 5 – Delaunay’s Dilemma // 6 – Autumn in New York // 7 – But Not For Me // 8 – Milano

Beautiful music from John Lewis and his Modern Jazz Quartet. The record compiles a selection of recordings from ’53 to ’55. Its sophisticated sonorities and Milt Jackson’s vibraphone work is sublime. Aside from that, it predates the official beginning of Third Stream jazz by some years.

 

Eric Dolphy
Out There
(New Jazz, 1961) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

TRACKLIST (favorite tracks underlined): 1 – Out There // 2 – Serene // 3 – The Baron // 4 – Eclipse // 5 – 17 West // 6 – Sketch of Melba // 7 – Feathers

One of Eric Dolphy’s finest recordings, showcasing his idiosyncratic and visionary style. The music shows affinities with the Third Stream and free jazz innovations of the period, while also sounding completely original and at times downright surreal. Four Dolphy originals, plus covers, each one a window to another world.

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