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The Must Haves 

Taylor Barnett on the jazz that should be in everyone's collection.

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Louis Armstrong "Hot Fives and Sevens"

"These were a series of 78 rpm records released from 1925 to '28 that have since been released on a boxed set. They were the first recordings of Louis as a leader and were the first great example of jazz soloing as we think of it today (one featured player improvising over a rhythm section). The song 'Heebie Jeebies' was the first recorded example of scat singing, which has become the standard way for vocalists to improvise in many genres."



Charlie Parker "Charlie Parker With Strings"

"This was Bird's favorite recording that he ever made and highlights his genius so well. The tempos were slower than a lot of his small band recordings, and the more lush setting allowed Parker to open up and play with even more rhythmic and melodic freedom. The way he uses improvisation within the framework of the compositions and the arrangements is one of the finest examples in recorded music. 'Just Friends' is considered one of the best cuts."



>Miles Davis "Bitches Brew"

"I really hate to leave out Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Ornette Coleman and the Count Basie Band, but I just can't ignore Miles' mixing of rock and jazz. 'Bitches Brew' is his most famous endeavor (though not necessarily his best) in the fusion genre. Fusion of different styles (and world-music traditions) is the direction that creative music (classical, jazz, R&B, bluegrass, rock, etc.) has been taking for the last 30 years, and Miles was a pioneer in that way. He did this in spite of harsh reaction from musical conservatives. People are still trying to catch up to what he did in the '70s." S



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