(in no particular order)
1. Pat Martino "Live" & "East" (tie)
- I choose "Live" for Pat's solo on the old Motown hit "Sunny" and I choose "East" for his solo on "Lazybird". That solo on "Lazybird" is what bebop guitar should be, period, hands down. As far as "Sunny" goes, well, it just grooves harder than almost anything else I can think of.
2. Joe Henderson "Inner Urge"& "Big Band" (tie)
- "Inner Urge" for the small group intensity and the "Big Band" record for the arrangements. Good stuff.
3. Oliver Nelson "The Blues And The Abstract Truth"
- Dolphy, Bill Evans, Freddie Hubbard, Roy Haynes ... C'mon! How bad could that possibly be? Seriously though, there is a pretty fascinating juxtaposition going on throughout this record between the classical background of Dolphy, Nelson and Evans and the organic, overtly "rootsy" nature of the tunes. Under different circumstances you might think it would sound contrived but as it is I think it stands on it's own as one of the most well executed "concept" albums ever recorded.
4. John Coltrane "Giant Steps"
- It's "Giant Steps" fer cryin' out loud! 'Nuff said.
5. Wes Montgomery "Full House"
- In my opinion this is one of the most underrated guitar records of all time. Having said that though, Johnny Griffin plays his tail off as well and the Kelly/Cobb/Chambers Rhythm section is, well, the Kelly/Cobb/Chambers rhythm section.
Whaddya mean I can't have more than five?! What Kind of a Desert Island is this?!
5b. Dave Holland Quintet "Not For Nothin'"
- For two reasons; One is that I happen to be listening to it right now, and the other is that it is such an incredible record. It is so "now". This is not a record that could have been recorded at any other point in the history of jazz and that alone gets it on the list.
5c. (Yeah I'm pushing it) Miles Davis something or other
- Just because it seems unthinkable to contemplate jazz for the remainder of a lifetime without listening to at least some Miles.
Ditto Chick Corea "Now he sings, Now he Sobs" What an amazing record, Small group jazz at it's very best.
That was only five right? Good I thought so :-) Ask me in six months for a somewhat different version of this list.