Cincinnati Babyhead

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Jazz

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Out of all the music I talk about Jazz is the genre I listen to the most. I’ve popped a few albums on my chronological takes and a few singles as well. It’s such an overwhelming music for me. I wasn’t real late to the party.  I seriously started picking up albums when I was in my teens. It started to accelerate and away I went into the big world of Jazz. So much good stuff.

So where do I start with my first official Jazz take? I think I’ll start with one of my favorite musicians and human beings, Duke Ellington. I have more of his music than anyone else in my pile. His music struck a chord the first time I heard it and it continues to deliver so much great listening for me.  The music comes first. It introduced me to the man. He is one of my favorite interviews. His class, wicked sense of humor, humanity and just his love for what he does (did) pulled me in.

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Yeah I do love the Duke. How do I pick an album to feature? Well pretty much close my eyes and grab one. He was there when this music first started to get going in the 20’s and was still doing it in the 70’s. He had some of the very best players in his band (and hard livers) and collaborated with his friend Billy Strayhorn to write some of the best music we have. He played with the young boppers and influenced so many people.  I can’t listen to Mingus or Monk without thinking of Ellington. Big bands, orchestras, small combos, solo it all works for me. Oh yeah before I forget, I love his piano playing too.

Is CB an Ellington expert? Not even close. Am I a lover of his music? Yes I am. Absolutely!

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19 comments on “Jazz

  1. Vinyl Connection
    April 14, 2019

    Funny, just yesterday I was thinking, ‘Must play me some Ellington’. Now I definitely will. Thanks CB!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Jim S.
    April 14, 2019

    I knew that CB was a jazz (and cigar) aficionado but I didn’t know it was his primary go-to. (It’s third for me after rock and blues. But it is by no means a distant third.) I’ll check the Ellington out later. Listening, at the moment, to CB’s neighbor’s “favorite” pianist – Keith Jarrett. (How that guy can not like him is incomprehensible to me.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      April 14, 2019

      You thought CB was swillin beer and wearing cowboy boots. Well, you’re right but I’m listening to jazz also.
      Yesterday I was listening to an “Impulse label” comp (really good shit). It finishes up with a Jarrett tune. Just a reminder how much I like him. My neighbor is a real good guy but if you color over the lines, like Jarrett, Ellington, Monk it’s too much for him. He lives and dies with Don Shirley on the keys.
      If you check out the cut I posted on the ‘Newport” gig listen to Duke drive the band. Sam Woodyard just pushes it. Also think Big Man on Gonsalvas’s solo.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jim S.
        April 14, 2019

        Now I can’t get the image of CB wearing cowboy boots and hocking into a spittoon while listening to Monk out of my head. As to Ellington, I’ll give that one a listen on my return. The better half and I are headed down to New Orleans for a few days of R ‘n R. Talk about jazz.

        Like

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        April 14, 2019

        If the better half backs out I’ll meet you there. Have a great time fella. I have a buddy who says NO is his favorite city for so many reasons. Later.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Yeah, Another Blogger
    April 14, 2019

    Hey there. The Duke is one of my favorite jazz people too. I tend to think that he’s the greatest jazz musician ever. What can you say. He was an astounding talent. Do you have the album he did with Ray Brown called This One’s For Blanton? I like that one a lot. Also, Masterpieces By Ellington. Bye till next time!

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      April 14, 2019

      Neil baby. What are you doing to me? I don’t have either one of those albums (but have heard cuts off both). Listening to ‘Blanton’ right now. How can two people make such great music? Easy CB, get Ray and Duke together. My afternoon listening is booked with your suggestions. Man, I can’t lose.
      It’s really hard for me to commit to one guy as the “greatest” but (long pause) I can’t argue with you. Gotta go fella, I’m gonesville right now, couple of jazz guys got my attention. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. christiansmusicmusings
    April 14, 2019

    It’s probably not a coincidence that one of my favorite music artists of all time Stevie Wonder wrote a beautiful tribute to the Duke and included it on his gem “Songs In The Key Of Life.” I think that album is going to be next on my list for today!

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    • cincinnatibabyhead
      April 14, 2019

      For years I didn’t know that song was about Ellington. Thats how out of touch I am. Duke has influenced so many. Miles Davis did a haunting cut on his ‘Get Up With It’ album called ‘ He Loved Him Madly’. Good listening to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. J.
    April 15, 2019

    I would never have guessed jazz was your number one, CB. I don’t know a lot of jazz, but when I started exploring further a few years ago I bought myself three albums – Kind of Blue (which I already knew and served as the gateway), a Django compilation, and The Popular Duke Ellington. That one’s had a lot of spins over the years and I keep meaning to pick up some more. Very accessible.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      April 15, 2019

      I like all “good” music as you know. I just seem to play jazz the most. Good start on your jazz listening. I’m a Grappelli (Django’s buddy) freak. Hey there’s some “real out there off the map” stuff that I think you would actually like. Yeah Another Blogger had me listen to ‘This Ones For Blanton’ with Duke and Ray Brown. Just piano and bass (Brown one of the best ever) fantastic music. Being a musician I think you would appreciate the simplicity and the skill on that one. Go nuts J it is a whole new world.
      (Hows this jazz groove from a band I think you like)

      Like

      • J.
        April 16, 2019

        It was a pal of mine that told me about Grappelli and Django and so I got the Gypsy Of Jazz LP when I saw it. Terrible cover, but some good liner notes and the music is great.

        (And believe it or not, other than their last album I don’t really Faith No More! How much of a shocker is that?)

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        April 16, 2019

        Yeah it’s a style I go for when in the mood. Staying on the Ellington train, I have a recording called ‘DE’s Jazz Violin Sessions’. You gotta know how I feel about that baby. Grappelli is on it.
        ( Someone on my travels in this blog thing is a big ‘Faith’ fan. I thought that cut was pretty solid).

        Liked by 1 person

      • J.
        April 17, 2019

        Grappelli with Ellington!? Well there’s something!

        (I know a few Faith fans and while I like a fair few of their tunes, I’ve never really latched on to them… though I do really like their last album a lot).

        Like

  6. greenpete58
    April 15, 2019

    Never knew jazz was your favorite genre, CB. I’d pegged you more outlaw country/rockabilly. Thanks for helping carry the torch for this great music. You’d have liked my dad. A couple times a year, late at night, he’d turn the lights off, put on Duke, Basie, or Stan Getz, and light up a good cigar. Like you, he had taste.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      April 16, 2019

      I listen to it a lot. There is so much to like and i figure i owe it to myself to listen to as much of it as I can before the big sleep.
      That’s a pretty good line up your dad was spinning. I could sit there with him and take that evening in for sure. Some people don’t get it. Your dad and i did.
      I am a “country/rockabilly” guy, usually Saturday nights. My ear has a mind of it’s own and i just follow where ever it takes me. Thanks for piping in Pete. Good stuff and a great memory about the old-man.

      Like

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This entry was posted on April 14, 2019 by in Duke Ellington, Jazz and tagged , , .

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