It is New Year’s Eve and no one should be reading or writing blogs but here is something anyway (but I wrote this a few days ago). I am up in Quebec as you read this going to a club in the railroad station that has dinner and a dance band but more on that later. A NY Times music critic, Ben Ratliff, recently wrote in “Jazz Gem Made in '57 Is a Favorite of 2005” about two of his favorite jazz CDs that were released this year. One was "Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall" (Blue Note). This was the official nominee as it was first released this year. The other, John Coltrane's "One Down, One Up: Live at the Half Note" (Impulse), had many prior bootleg versions. Ben provides some nice background to his two selections in the story. One of his main points is that the live venue brings out the best in these guys.
I am a great fan of John Coltrane and have a number of his CDs. The only jazz guy I have more of is Miles Davis. I think that Miles has more range while John has more pure beauty. I never tire of listening to either one. I am going to add these two to my collection if I can get some more work in the new year. Contributions and suggestions are appreciated. Perhaps I will finally do the Amazon link thing as I am always using their links as I did this time. In the buy two thing, they lumped the Monk CD with Miles’s Kind of Blue – my all time favorite jazz CD. Smart algorithms they got. I am listening to the Coltrane Half Note CD samples on Amazon as I write this.