A few weeks back, I wrote a post about the five best hip-hop albums to throw on for a good ol’ fashion make-out session. In that post, I casually mentioned a love for jazz. Almost immediately people in the comments and friends I talk to offline said I should do a similar guide with jazz albums, but I was hesitant.
So instead of playing the role of jazz tourist, I reached out to someone who knows the music both as a fan and a player. Jason Moran (pictured below) is one of the most renowned jazz pianist playing today. His latest album Ten, was hailed by many critics and fans as the best jazz album to come out in 2010 (I’d have to agree), and his contributions to jazz were recognized with a MacArthur Genius grant last year as well.
When Jason and I talked, it was not only about jazz music, but the way it functions in our day to day life. A lot of people like the idea of jazz more than the music itself, and therefore only use it when they want to get romantic or soften the mood. As I told Jason, people take to jazz like wine, where the theater of it is more important than the actual substance. But what to make of the guy who wants to mix things up every now and then? Instead of throwing on some R&B or dorm-room rock, put on a jazz record or go see a jazz show instead of a Maxwell concert (although, that’s not bad).
Today’s post is for that person, the one who is curious about jazz but only has a copy of Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue in their album collection.
Jason took the time to list five essential albums a man should own. The twist? Every one of the artists listed is alive, so not only can their albums be bought, but for those looking to check out some good jazz on date night, a man can buy tickets to see them.
“The way I chose, I thought these albums would represent a good record collection,” said Jason. “If you had these five things in it, you would look kind of thorough and, all these people are visually captivating. I could watch them without even hearing them.”
Just one more thing before we get into Jason’s list. The man was modest enough to not put down his own album, but honestly people, if you don’t own a copy of Ten your record collection is missing something special. Click here to listen to some of it, and click here to buy all of it.
Now, onto the Until I Get Married Guide to Jazz as selected by Jason Moran.