Music Library Staff Pick 5: Ryan

Nightshift – Dave Brubeck

Here is one Dave Brubeck album that actually doesn’t have Paul Desmond on it, and I think it’s better for it. As well as those two musicians worked together, the forceful and energetic reed playing by Bobby Militello provides a welcome contrast on this album. This also contains my favorite Brubeck tune, “Thank You,” which was originally debuted in Poland in order to thank the nation for giving us Frederick Chopin.  — CD 1443

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CD 2087Corea.Concerto – Chick Corea

This is a really exciting album. It’s Chick Corea with a full orchestra at his disposal. The recording contains both an original concerto and a colorful arrangement of one of his most famous and infectious tunes, “Spain.” — CD 2087

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CD 589Protosynthesis: Jazz Classics, Classical Jazz – Protosynthesis Ensemble

Not every track on here is solid gold, but I included it because you’ll hear completely unique re-imaginings of familiar jazz tunes. It’s a meld of classical and jazz writing, but it doesn’t sound anything like traditional “third-stream” writers such as Dave Brubeck. The CD contains arrangements of two of my favorite tunes of all-time: Gillespie’s “Con Alma” and Miles’ “Blue in Green” — CD 589

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CD 5093Thelonious Monk Orchestra At Town Hall – Thelonious Monk

This album is simply amazing. All Monk originals, all great arrangements, all great players. If you like jazz arranging at all this album is required listening. — CD 5093

(ed. — I came across a recent interview with Orrin Keepnews about the recording of this album, which I thought might be of interest as well. — Part I and Part II.)

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CD 4102Da Pacem – Arvo Pärt

Arvo Pärt is a “minimalist” composer of sacred music. He pioneered a unique technique in which most voices stay on the tonic chord for the entire piece, while individual voices move mostly step-wise. The one track that really deserves a listen is “Magnificat,” one of his more well-known works. You’ll be amazed at the colors and moods Pärt can squeeze out of just an F minor triad. — CD 4102

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