Thursday, November 03, 2005

Elle B's Hall Of Fame: Jazz Albums

Today's Hall of Fame is dedicated to my favorite Jazz albums. Instead of giving tribute to one person or giving tribute to individual jazz songs (which I really wanted to do in the first place), I decided that it would be more informative to give homage to the collective works from which these songs belong.

Mile Davis:
Kind of Blue

Released: 1959

My favorite song from this album is "Blue In Green." I first listened to this song on the Summer of 2002 on the 4th of July. On one of our trips to Amoeba Music that summer, my best friend introduced me to the quintessential jazz albums, Kind of Blue was one of them. I hadn't yet committed to listening to the album, until I was asked by an old acquaitance to perform at this coffee house with him and a couple of his buddies - all jazz musicians. My favorite band member was the trumpet player - how appropriate. Anyways, I remember listening to Blue in Green on repeat for the length of my drive from Pomona to Pasadena.

*I love this song because of its intensity and its communicative emotion that leaves the theme open enough to the interpretation of the listener, but is instructive enough that makes you recall a story, any story about love, love lost, or love unrealized*

Duke Ellington and John Coltrane:
Duke Ellington and John Coltrane
Released: 1962

My favorite song from this album is "In A Sentimental Mood." I've loved this song since I first heard in Love Jones. It is used as the music over the montage of Darius and Nina doing various things (running through the park, listening to poetry, ect). I'd always wondered what the title of this song was until I had heard Sarah Vaughn sing it on a compilation of Jazz standards I have. Most jazz musicians prefer jazz with no words (meaning sans the jazz singer), but I love both versions equally. I give deference, however, to Duke Ellington and John Coltrane because theirs is the version I fell in love with first.

*In A Sentimental Mood is famous for Duke Ellington's piano that starts off the song*

Nina Simone
Little Girl Blue
Release: 1957

"He Needs Me" is one of my favorite songs ever. Nina Simone had some of the greatest lyrics and her delivery is what I continuously refer to when I reference great singers. I was introduced to this song fairly recently, as my old college roomate BW let peruse her music library. Most people of my generation know Nina Simone from "Just To Get By" by Talib Kweli, where Kanye West sampled and looped a the piano section from "Sinner Man." Other famous Nina Simone songs are "Four Women," "I Love You Porgy," "I Ain't Got No/I've Got Life," and "To Be Young Gifted and Black."
Here the lyrics of He Needs Me:
He Needs Me
He Needs Me,
He Doesn't Know It But He Needs
Though I ain't very bright
Just to tag along
Oh but right or wrong
I'm here and I'm his
I'm gonna be his friend or his love
Cus my one ambition is
to wake him and make him discove
that he needs
I've got to follow where he leads me
Or else, he'll never know
that I need him
that's why he needs me.


That's the end of today's Hall of Fame.


Blogger Rell said...

so what and all blues are my joints...

7:48 PM  
Blogger Elle B. said...

Yes, Rell, So What is a classic!

9:38 AM  
Blogger Berry said...

Can never get enough of Kind of Blue....Perfect Sunday morning music.

7:36 AM  

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