The Weekly Mixtape: 3/4/11 (Five-Star Jazz)

The concept behind this week’s mixtape should be self-explanatory. This is a set of some of the best jazz music I’ve ever heard. The trouble with jazz, as most fans would agree, is that it’s really not something that should be experienced at home. Jazz is a living, breathing art and really should be heard live. That said, it’s a damn good thing that these recordings exist.

I’ve tried with this mixtape to be inclusive of different eras and different styles. Although I tend to gravitate toward hard bop from the ’50s and ’60s, I realize that every age has music of great value. I’ve also tried to include some lesser-known artists alongside the legends. Whether you’re a long-time jazz fan or you’ve been curious about jazz but intimidated by its sheer scope, I hope you’ll find at least one song here to enjoy.

“All the Things You Are” by the Dizzy Gillespie Sextet, from Groovin’ High (2000)

“Misirlou” by Vince Guaraldi, from In Person (1963)

“Rise and Shine” by Robert Glasper, from Canvas (2005)

“Blue in Green” by Miles Davis, from Kind of Blue (1959)

“San Lorenzo” by Pat Metheny Group, from Pat Metheny Group (1978)

“Swingmatism” by Jay McShann, from An Anthology of Big Band Swing 1930-1955 (1993)

“Interface” by Hank Jones, from Favors (1997)

“Love for Sale” by Stan Kenton, from Jazz Master Files (2002)

“Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” by Charles Mingus, from Mingus Ah Um (1959)

“Bird Feathers” by Charlie Parker, from Jazz Master Files (2002)

“Three Mice Blind” by the Bob James Trio, from Straight Up (1996)

“Charity Rag” by Bud Shank, from Jazz Master Files (2002)

“The Young Rabbits” by the Jazz Crusaders, from Lookin’ Ahead (1962)

“Airegin” by Wes Montgomery, from The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery (1960)

“Brilliant Corners” by Thelonious Monk, from Brilliant Corners (1956)

“Drethoven” by Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, from One Day in Brooklyn (2009)

“Rumpelstiltskin” by Andy Summers, from The Last Dance of Mr. X (1997)

“Haunted Heart” by the Bill Evans Trio, from Explorations (1961)

“Blue Rondo à la Turk” by the Dave Brubeck Quartet, from Time Out (1959)

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  • kshane

    Thanks for classing up the place Chris.

  • Chris Holmes

    I’m nothing if not classy.

  • Anonymous

    Just beautiful. Really looking forward to absorbing these.

  • Anonymous

    Just beautiful. Really looking forward to absorbing these.

  • Anonymous

    Some excellent songs here! Thanks. I definitely like that Robert Glasper (new to me) and the Wes Montgomery, Hank Jones, and Bud Shank.

  • Dan

    Tasty. I was going to sample, but now I am grabbing the entire thing. Hey, how ’bout a zip?

  • Michael Parr

    I love this mix, but I am disturbed at the utter lack of Coltrane.

    Yes, I realize he’s featured on “Blue in Green.”

  • DwDunphy

    Nice. I could inquire why the lack of “Salt Peanuts,” but that would suggest this list is anything but complete… and I think it totally is.

  • Chris Holmes

    I thought about including “My Favorite Things”, but had to stop somewhere.

  • Chris Holmes

    Almost anything from those famous Dizzy/Parker mid-’40s sessions would be worthy.

  • alice


  • Ted

    I’m looking forward to hearing these as well. I do like the Andy Summers CD, and have heard it a number of times, but I’m a little perplexed as to why you didn’t include this classic:

  • Eric

    This was a wonderful listen.

  • Chris Holmes

    I didn’t want to make all the other artists seem amateurish in comparison. Derek Smalls taught Jaco all he knew.

  • Julia S

    Love the mood on the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey track, had never heard them before.

  • redthreat