Cene’s Naxos Jazz Picks

In this post, I highlight five great recordings on Naxos Jazz. All links should work seamlessly for users on-campus. If you’re off campus, you’ll have to log in to Aladin before being allowed access. Remember to click ‘Log-Out‘ when you’re done listening.

Sarah Vaughan - Copacabana Sarah Vaughan – Copacabana: Exclusivamente Brasil

This is the second of Vaughan’s three albums of Brazilian music (along with I Love Brazil and Brazilian Romance). It was recorded in Rio with a Brazilian chorus and a great band featuring the great Brazilian guitarist, Hélio Delmiro. “The Smiling Hour” and “Double Rainbow” are warm and cheerful – perfect for these final warm days.

Stephane Grappelli/Stuff Smith - Violins No EndStephane Grappelli / Stuff Smith – Violins No End

Two of the great jazz violin players of all time with a crack band featuring Oscar Peterson (piano), Herb Ellis (guitar), Ray Brown (bass), and Jo Jones (drums). They take a swinging, continental approach to some great standards, such as “Moonlight in Vermont” and “the Lady is a Tramp.”

McCoy Tyner - Sahara

McCoy Tyner – Sahara

Almost universally regarded as one of Tyner‘s finest albums as a leader, Sahara is adventurous without being inaccessible. The quartet on this recording is Sonny Fortune (saxes, flute), Calvin Hill (bass), and Alphonse Mouzon (drums, percussion). Check out the title track and “Ebony Queen.”

Shirley Scott & Stanley Turrentine - Blue FlamesShirley Scott & Stanley Turrentine – Blue Flames

Organist Scott and tenor player Turrentine (a married couple at the time) recorded some of the best soul jazz records of the ’60s, but even among those this one stands out. The tunes and players (Bob Cranshaw on bass and Otis “Candy” Finch on drums round out the quartet) are soulful, with an easy-grooving feel throughout. Listen to the Scott original, “The Funky Fox” and Benny Golson’s “Five Spot After Dark.”

Attila Zoller - Common CauseAttila Zoller – Common Cause

Hungarian-born guitarist Zoller brings his Gypsy-tinged playing to a quiet trio setting with Ron Carter (bass) and Joe Chambers (drums), which really allows him to stand out. Try the title track and “Conjunction.”