A normblog reader suggests to me that I may be 'the man to run a series of posts selecting the best CDs from key figures in jazz'. I'm not that. I don't have the musical expertise and I don't know how to write music criticism. No matter. I'll take up a version of the suggestion anyway. The conceit will be that you want to build a jazz collection from nothing, and I'll recommend CDs which I'm confident should belong in a jazz collection of excellence. I'll make ample use of The Book to support my view. I follow no order other than that this is what I'm playing at home today, played yesterday, etc.
I introduce the new series with Charlie Haden and Kenny Barron's album, Night and The City (1996 - 71 minutes). Recorded at The Iridium in New York City, and dedicated to Manhattan, it opens with Barron's 'Twilight Song', a ballad of melting lyricism that establishes the tone of the whole album. As Cook and Morton tell it:
Haden is playing exquisitely and in Barron he has a partner who knows the repertoire with the intimacy of a genuine creator.It's a quiet start to the series, but through more than an hour the precision and clarity of Kenny Barron's melodic playing do not flag. (See the review at Allmusic.)
[Links to the rest of the series.]