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Sat Apr 6, 2019, 06:04 PM

1959 The Year that Changed Jazz

"1959 was the seismic year jazz broke away from complex bebop music to new forms, allowing soloists unprecedented freedom to explore and express. It was also a pivotal year for America: the nation was finding its groove, enjoying undreamt-of freedom and wealth social, racial and upheavals were just around the corner and jazz was ahead of the curve.

Four major jazz albums were made, each a high watermark for the artists and a powerful reflection of the times. Each opened up dramatic new possibilities for jazz which continue to be felt Miles Davis Kind of Blue Dave Brubeck, Time Out Charles Mingus, Mingus Ah Um; and Ornette Coleman, The Shape of Jazz to Come.

Rarely seen archive performances help vibrantly bring the era to life and explore what made these albums vital both in 1959 and the 50 years since."
60 years actually.

"The program contains interviews with Lou Reed, Dave Brubeck, Ornette Coleman, Charlie Haden, Herbie Hancock, Joe Morello (Brubecks drummer) and Jimmy Cobb (the only surviving member of Miles band) along with a host of jazz movers and shakers from the 50s and beyond."


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Arrow 22 replies Author Time Post
Reply 1959 The Year that Changed Jazz (Original post)
Kind of Blue Apr 2019 OP
Recursion Apr 2019 #1
Kind of Blue Apr 2019 #3
Recursion Apr 2019 #6
Kind of Blue Apr 2019 #15
elleng Apr 2019 #2
Kind of Blue Apr 2019 #4
elleng Apr 2019 #5
erronis Apr 2019 #7
Kind of Blue Apr 2019 #11
Paladin Apr 2019 #8
Kind of Blue Apr 2019 #12
NatBurner Jul 2019 #22
Uncle Joe Apr 2019 #9
Kind of Blue Apr 2019 #13
pangaia Apr 2019 #10
Kind of Blue Apr 2019 #14
LudwigPastorius Apr 2019 #16
Kind of Blue Apr 2019 #17
LudwigPastorius Apr 2019 #18
Kind of Blue Apr 2019 #19
Anon-C Apr 2019 #20
Kind of Blue Apr 2019 #21

Response to Kind of Blue (Original post)

Sat Apr 6, 2019, 06:06 PM

1. '59-'61 was just an absolute explosion in jazz

I see LaFaro's tragic death as closing that period out

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Response to Recursion (Reply #1)

Sat Apr 6, 2019, 06:15 PM

3. Thanks, Recursion. I had to look him up.

It's fantastic to me knowing that he was the bassist for the Bill Evans Trio. I adore Evans but now will pay particular attention to LaFargo.

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Response to Kind of Blue (Reply #3)

Sat Apr 6, 2019, 07:11 PM

6. From that period: check Ornette Coleman's "Free Jazz"

LaFaro is the bassist on the right-hand channel.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #6)

Sat Apr 6, 2019, 08:52 PM

15. I sure will!

Thank you, Recursion.

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Response to Kind of Blue (Original post)

Sat Apr 6, 2019, 06:07 PM

2. The Dave Brubeck Quartet - Time Out

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Response to elleng (Reply #2)

Sat Apr 6, 2019, 06:37 PM

4. Thank you, Dear! I was trying to find the incredible

PBS Brubeck documentary of a few years ago. But it seems like PBS has gotten a little stingy to include even a clip of it at their site. The doc was produced while Brubeck was alive so it was wonderful for me hearing him speak of Miles Davis, and that he actually started the practice of college tours when he couldn't get booking anywhere.

Got a cool Brubeck story. Back in the '60s/'70s, my late mother-in-law was the secretary in the music department at Palomar College here in North County, San Diego. Her boss was Howard Brubeck, Dave's older brother. And the theater at Palomar is named for him, The Howard Brubeck Theater. She left when he retired in the '70s.

She would always hold her hands in a prayer position and squeeze her shoulders together when she'd talk about Dave's visits. So cute! She loved the brothers to pieces.

Rediscovering Dave https://www.pbs.org/brubeck/talking/talkingWithDaveBrubeck.htm


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Response to Kind of Blue (Reply #4)

Sat Apr 6, 2019, 06:42 PM

5. Nice story.

I recall that documentary.

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Response to Kind of Blue (Reply #4)

Sat Apr 6, 2019, 07:29 PM

7. Beautiful. Thank you for making my day. I miss those greats so much.

It seems there is always a fallow period followed by some breakout new music. I'm looking forward (and backward).

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Response to erronis (Reply #7)

Sat Apr 6, 2019, 08:47 PM

11. I miss them, too. I remember a time

when everybody was alive. Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie to name a few.

In looking forward and backward, in the short documentary of the same year "The Cry of Jazz, 1959," one of the young musicians exclaims "Jazz is dead" in response to the future of jazz. It's about at 1:38. I remember reading that the statement was very controversial at the time. Eerily to me, another innovation in jazz was just about to drop.

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Response to Kind of Blue (Original post)

Sat Apr 6, 2019, 07:50 PM

8. Brilliant work by brilliant artists.

I still listen to "Kind Of Blue" and "Time Out."

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Response to Paladin (Reply #8)

Sat Apr 6, 2019, 08:48 PM

12. Me to, Paladin.

They are woven in the tapestry of my life!

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Response to Paladin (Reply #8)

Fri Jul 12, 2019, 07:04 PM

22. ditto. those are my two favorite jazz albums

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Response to Kind of Blue (Original post)

Sat Apr 6, 2019, 08:24 PM

9. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread Kind of Blue.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #9)

Sat Apr 6, 2019, 08:49 PM

13. You're very welcome, Uncle Joe!

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Response to Kind of Blue (Original post)

Sat Apr 6, 2019, 08:24 PM

10. I still have KIND OF BLUE...

I was 16 at the time.

"All but one of the tracks were first takes."

HOLY COW !!!!!!!!!!!

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Response to pangaia (Reply #10)

Sat Apr 6, 2019, 08:52 PM

14. I couldn't believe it, either.

I remember seeing some photos of the session and all of the musicians look so serious. I don't think I saw a pic of any of them smiling. So I thought this album must have taken forever to get just right.

Holy Cow, one take!

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Response to Kind of Blue (Original post)

Sat Apr 6, 2019, 09:10 PM

16. Should be 5 albums...

Parts of the "Giant Steps" album (including the title track) were being recorded the same day as "Mingus Ah Um".
Coltrane started recording it just two weeks after he participated in the "Kind of Blue" sessions with Miles, and it couldn't have been further from what Miles was doing.

The fact that Atlantic didn't release "Giant Steps" until 1960 doesn't make it any less a 1959 album...at least in my opinion.

It was just as pivotal as the other four because it was a transitional album that pointed to an organized way for an improviser to go "outside" the chord changes without completely abandoning them, as Ornette was doing. After "Giant Steps", Coltrane quickly realized that the rhythm section didn't need to pound out all of the "Trane changes" that made up a lot of the harmonic material on the album. Coltrane quickly moved toward simplifying the harmony of the piano and bass, leaving him to play his chord substitutions on top of them. This created the sound that he was playing outside, but with logical harmonic intent.

So, while technically not a 1959 release, "Giant Steps" was being created at the same time, and was equally as important, as the four albums mentioned in the documentary.

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Response to LudwigPastorius (Reply #16)

Sun Apr 7, 2019, 11:34 AM

17. I agree, LudwigPastorius, that "Giant Steps" is the 5th monumental

album of 1959. But I don't think it's a coincidence "The Cry of Jazz, 1959" semi-doc was selected for preservation by the National Film Registry in 2010 and "1959: The Year that Change Jazz" came out the same year. I think someone remembered the highly controversial Jazz is Dead statement and discussion in "The Cry." It caused an uproar and divided intellectuals from Ralph Ellison to young LeRoi Jones (Amir Baraka) at the time.

I feel "1959: The Year" was in reaction to the "The Cry" about to hit the National Archives and the producers wanted to keep the time-line constrained to the same year to prove jazz was far from dead.

If that makes any sense


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Response to Kind of Blue (Reply #17)

Sun Apr 7, 2019, 08:16 PM

18. I haven't seen 'The Cry of Jazz'.

Will seek it out to watch it.

Thanks.

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Response to LudwigPastorius (Reply #18)

Mon Apr 8, 2019, 12:08 PM

19. At your leisure...

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Response to Kind of Blue (Original post)

Tue Apr 9, 2019, 02:59 PM

20. Great post, thank you!

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Response to Anon-C (Reply #20)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 04:03 AM

21. You're so welcome, Anon-C!

My pleasure for sure.

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