Categories
Top Ten of Ten

Top Ten of Ten: #2 Benny Goodman’s historic 1938 Carnegie Hall concert

205694413In the mid-1930s, Benny Goodman was a leader of one of the most popular musical groups in America. His January 16, 1938 concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City is described by critics as “the single most important jazz or popular music concert in history: jazz’s ‘coming out’ party to the world of ‘respectable’ music.” Benny Goodman’s January 1938 jazz concert at Carnegie Hall was important because it was actually one of the first rock ‘n’ roll concerts! If you are thinking “how this could be?”, you can either watch old clips of young folks at the concert that night, swaying and rocking in their seats, in an excitable manner… or you can just listen to the power exploding from your stereo speakers when you put this 2 CD-set into your player! This is an amazing album; a small slice of American music history. The fact that this kind of madness could be wonderfully caught in a single night just before WWII America simply amazes me. I also enjoyed the crackles.

Categories
Top Ten of Ten

Top Ten of Ten: #1 Louis Armstrong: Ken Burns JAZZ (The Definitive)

232758539No CD will truly cover a career of Louis Armstrong in just 25 tracks, but this one is probably as good as it gets. This is honestly the essence of Armstrong. Every track  is awesome. If someone is new to collecting Louis Armstrong, I highly suggest picking this one up. This spans most of his life (beginning in the early 1920’s) with all the best cuts. It features some of his finest and creative trumpet playing. There really isn’t a bad song here. Actually, the sound of his horn and his singing makes it impossible for Louis to ever have made a bad track, but this one is a must have for any music enthusiast out there. Armstrong was an American jazz pioneer and an icon. Ken Burns has done a wonderful compilation here. This CD truly deserves to be one of my top 10 favorites of all time! Overall it represents the birth of “cool” from the 1920’s. Louis was a creative genius, and his horn playing was one of the most beautiful and joyous things ever recorded.

Categories
Top Ten of Ten

Top Ten of Ten: Criteria

The following list of musicians and albums represent what I feel to be the ten greatest albums to be released in ten consecutive decades in a row. It is based on my education and classroom experiences. Through friends, family and my obsessions I found inspiration. Some factors in determining these albums and/or compilations are: I can listen to them numerous times. Some of these artists have stand out performances. Some are based on artist’s best albums, which fall into place with the decade that they originated in. Ultimately this ends up being the top ten albums/artists in my humble opinion. Sometimes the artists pay tribute other times it is just considered their peak performances. In many ways you could say that all decades since the 1920’s are represented but more than that it is also my favorite musicians as well as simply amazing albums and a sample of the best list I could think of that demonstrates the BIG 10 spectacular pieces of music ever……