When thinking of desert island choices, I tend to be a bit conservative; something that might blow my mind right now may not wear well a couple of years down the road.
1. Count Basie "Super Chief" (Columbia)
- Issued in the 70's, part of the "John Hammond" collection. Basie recordings from the 30's with all the great names, Lester, Jimmy Rushing, Freddie Green etc. Hilarious liner notes by Michael Brooks and Jo Jones. Swing with an almost rock n roll attitude.
2. Charlie Parker - Yardbird Suite (Rhino)
- As good a collection of seminal Bird that's out there. Good sound, nicely packaged. All the basic Parker/Gillespie is here. Can't ask for more than that.
3. Louis Armstrong - Hot 5's & 7's (JSP Box)
- Where it all began. This budget JSP box sounds better than the recent Columbia set.
4. Miles Davis "Cookin'" (Prestige)
- Actually the other albums from this session(Workin', Steamin', Relaxin') are just as good, take your pick. The first quintet. I especially like the piano of Red Garland, who doesn't get much credit for the success of these sessions. I don't know if these are as important as "Kind of Blue" or "Bitches Brew", I just think it's sublime.
5. Django Reinhardt/Stephane Grappelli "Hot Club" (HMV/Swing sessions - Mosaic)
- I love the sound, the joy, the enthusiasm of these recordings. Django never fails to amaze; his playing is jazz but there's something beyond too. It's hard to describe.