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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Six Best Jazz Records For People Who Hate Jazz

Posted By on Tue, Mar 12, 2013 at 10:09 AM

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2. John Coltrane, A Love Supreme Of all entries on this list, A Love Supreme is the one a jazz-curious listener is most likely to have heard. It is one of the most emotionally powerful instrumental records ever made, with the music coming directly from John Coltrane's loves of God and heroin. Coltrane plays as if heaven is dangling a few inches in front of him and he is in search of the key to the front gate. The support system -- pianist McCoy Tyner, drummer Elvin Jones, and bassist Jimmy Garrison -- doesn't as much keep him grounded as enable his journey. Some jazz classics (Miles Davis' Kind Of Blue comes to mind) can be underwhelming gateways for outsiders, but A Love Supreme is powerful and immediate and lives up to its own hype.

1. Eric Dolphy, Out to Lunch! Eric Dolphy has a way of playing that makes the world seem as though it is ending, like he is triggering the apocalypse with whatever instrument he happens to be holding -- alto saxophone, flute or bass clarinet. Out to Lunch! is his masterwork, thanks to a beyond solid band of trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, drummer Tony Williams, bassist Richard Davis and vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson. The musicians' interplay feels less like communication cues and more like they're egging each other on. Out to Lunch! is disjointed but contained, with a pulse underlying even the moments that crashed in from space (i.e., the majority of opener "Hat and Beard"). Eric Dolphy passed away within a year of Out to Lunch!, which contributes to the record's notoriety. Judging by his playing and the overall accomplishment of assembling the album, I bet Dolphy died happy.

See also: -Ten Bands You Never Would Have Thought Used to Be Good -The Ten Biggest Concert Buzzkills: An Illustrated Guide -The 15 Most Ridiculous Band Promo Photos Ever -The Ten Worst Music Tattoos Ever

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