Give me a list of ten jazz albums you should have before you die.It was probably a month ago, and yet I still can not make up my mind what to include (and to exclude) in that list. Ten is obviously too small number for the entire history of jazz, but the main problem is, contrary to my microeconomics training, I can not easily rank my preference. In more technical jargon, the transitivity property (A over B, B over C, therefore A over C) of my utility function turns out to be difficult when it comes into jazz.
One thing for sure, though, Bill Evans' and Miles Davis' albums would be there. Kind of Blue is definitely in, so is Bill Evans' Paris Concert Vol. 1 and 2.
This time I am not gonna write about those magnum opus, but a less known underrated gem of Miles Davis that I just bagged for just one buck: Miles by The New Miles Davis Quintet. There you have Miles himself on trumpet, John Coltrane tenor sax, Red Garland piano, Paul Chambers bass, and, my favorite drummer, "Philly" Joe Jones. When this album was released in 1955, those jazz giants had not earned their big names yet, and the peak performance of Miles had not yet arrived.
Yet, if you want to know how jazz giants are made --and you think that formative years and works are at times more interesting than subsequent establishment and magnum opus--, then this album might fit you. Now have a sit, relax, and enjoy your espresso, while I am working on that stupid list.