Sunday, February 11, 2007

Grammy Inspired Jazz Awards (for fun, but serious music)

Inspired by the institution known as the Grammys, I hereby create the Curmudgeon Classic Awards for greatest jazz musicians and album--not limited to contemporary musicians.

Jazz musicians:

1. Saxophone: John Coltrane.
2. Small combo: John Coltrane Quartet.
3. Big Band drummer, soloist: Buddy Rich. No one else is close.
4. Small combo drummer: Elvin Jones, Tony Williams.
5. Piano: Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, Keith Jarrett.
6. Trumpet: Miles Davis (pre-electric).
7. Bass: Jimmie Garrison.
8. Circular breaching champion (saxophone and a lot of other things): Roland Kirk

Jazz albums:

1. John Coltrane, "A Love Supreme."
2. John Coltrane, "Crescent."

Contemporary favorites:

1. Alto Saxophone: Kenny Garrett, Greg Osby.
2. Tenor Saxophone: Joshua Redman, Branford Marsalis, Charles Lloyd, Wayne Shorter, Sonny Rollins (living legend category, just below Coltrane).
3. Drums: Brian Blade, Dave Stewart, Jeff Watts, Roy Haynes (living legend).
4. Guitar: Pat Metheny, Pat Martino.


Craig Fletcher said...

Pat Martino!!

I was happily surprised to see him on this list. Not that I am a jazz buff (rather a casual fan), but a good friend of mine's father is Bill Goodwin who is a famous living jazz drummer in his own right. He reccomended Pat Martino to me 15 years or so ago and told me about how "back in the day" there would be lines of people for blocks to see Pat Martino, and most of them were fellow jazz musicians. Pat didn't have nearly the "public" following that he deserved, but he was considered one of the very best in the world in the jazz community. Bill used to say similar things about Howard Alden, you should check him out. I have a few of his albums... maybe I'll make you a sampler compilation.

I am not sure if I am remembering correctly, but I believe Bill also told me a story about how Pat Martino had some sort of an accident many years ago (after already having become an acclaimed guitarist) and he lost all memory of playing the guitar (among other things) and had to start over from scratch using a new "method" for playing. Bill knew Pat, and he said that Pat used to always talk about how the "perfect number twelve" was what helped him learn to play again. I recall discussion of the twelve notes in an octave - and more significantly the many disivibility options of the number twelve that taught Pat how to solo again in remarkable fashion and recovery time.

Doug, I own PM's "The Maker" - do you have that album?

Well that's my Pat Martino story for the day.

hobie said...

Not that I think I can alter your Coltrane obsessed list, but regarding your choice of bassist: if Jimmy Garrison didn't exist, Coltrane would have invented him. My two-word rejoinder to your choice: Dave Holland. Consider yourself trumped.

Becky Vartabedian said...

And in the avant-outside category (I couldn't resist), with deference to the masters, of course:

1. Saxophone: Ornette Coleman
2. Small Combo: Masada
3. Big Band Drummer: Milford Graves -- he is his own big band.
4. Small Combo Drummer: Susie Ibarra, Jim Black, Han Benink
5. Piano: Sylvie Courvosier, Jamie Saft, Brad Mehldau
6. Trumpet: Miles Davis (electric)
7. Bass: Ben Perowsky
8. Circular Breathing Champion: John Zorn, Mike Patton (although Kirk is hard to beat)

Also, we've tracked down *Sonny, Please!* after months (literally) of searching -- let me know if you would like to borrow it.

And what about Keith Jarrett, trio style? I realize there's no trumping Coltrane, but they're fantastic!

The Daily Fuel said...

I humbly suggest the addition of the late Michel Petrucciani to the list of memorable jazz pianists.

Vitamin Z said...

Brad Mehldau has to be on the list somewhere. Bill Evans needs a mention as well.

In terms of contemporary drummers, I think that Bill Stewart is one of the best.

Scott Lafaro on bass is pretty unreal with the Bill Evans trio.

I would also add Clifford Brown to the list somewhere.

Personally I think the Keith Jarrett Trio is the best jazz band ever.

Your student Eric Weaver is a good friend of mine.


Cecdaddy said...

What, no Kenny G?

couldn't resist!

john alan turner said...

No jazz composers (Mingus?) or vocalists (Sarah Vaughan?)?

I think Thelonius Monk ought to be on the list somewhere. And Bill Evans. And Dexter Gordon.

And I'm a big fan of the West Coast sound, so I think there are some big names missing:

Dave Brubeck
Chet Baker
Gerry Mulligan
Stan Getz

For current faves I'd add Jeremy Pelt and Roy Hargrove for trumpet and Marcus Roberts for piano.

I could go on and on and on....