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Ten 40-year-old Jazz Albums

Blog
Ten 40-year-old Jazz Albums

14.06.2017

Text: Cem Kayıran

40 years ago.... While it was the end of 70’s and all of the music genres worldwide were sailing towards new trends and changes, what was going on in the jazz scene? Here are 10 albums from 1978 to help us understand the jazz map of the period.

Sun Ra - Lanquidity
(Philly Jazz)

One of the most interesting recordings of Sun Ra’s huge discography, Lanquidity is a limited edition album that came out from a small time record company from Philadelphia. Playing with a fusion aesthetic on repeating motifs, a familiar characteristic of the period’s popular jazz bands, Sun Ra also features unique sounds and pays tribute to different trends of jazz genre.

Chick Corea – Friends
(Polydor)

Chick Corea managed to release three studio and two live albums in 1978. Friends, the album that brought him a Grammy nomination in the following year, was recorded with a jazz quartet and featured more fusion than the previous Corea albums. We should also note that the cover, which included figures from The Smurfs, got Corea into a some trouble.

Keith Jarrett – My Song
(ECM)

Keith Jarret’s My Song, which featured six of his own songs, was recorded with Jan Garbarek, Jon Christensen and Palle Danielsson, also known as European Quartet. One of the most impressive examples of Jarrett - Garbarek collaborations, My Song is an album with a dignified and passionate atmosphere, creating a sense of witnessing the communication between the musicians and staying fresh every time you listen to it.

Quincy Jones – Sounds… and Stuff Like That!!
(A&M)

While disco was having its golden age and scorching the Earth with its fever, Quincy Jones’ Sounds.. and Stuff Like That!! came out and changed the rules of the game. Modern jazz, disco, pop, soul... All found their place in Quincy Jones’s sound palette, and the album also became a pioneer with some innovations on the production stage. The album featured many musicians and the rendition of Herbie Hancock’s “Tell Me a Bedtime Story” became an instant classic with its airy atmosphere.

Evan Parker – Monoceros
(Incus Records)

Monoceros, Evan Parker’s four chapter solo improvisation album, managed to deliver the virtuoso musician’s impressiveness at live performances in an album format. While Parker sometimes makes us wonder if those sounds really come from a saxophone, he also created a milestone album for acoustic experimental music.

Andrew Cyrille – Metamusicians’ Stomp
(Black Saint)

One of the iconic drummers of avant-garde jazz, Andrew Cyrille’s album with Ted Daniel, David S. Ware and Nick DiGeronimo, Metamusicians’ Stomp, was recorded during 1978 summer with a general theme of “being part of the moment”. With its rich rhythmical structures and highlighting of every song with a different feeling, Metamusicians’ Stomp is an album that every free jazz fan can happily get lost in.

John McLaughlin – Electric Guitarist
(Columbia)

Featuring legendary names like Carlos Santana, Jack DeJohnette, Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke on different songs, John McLaughin’s Electric Guitarist is the fifth instalment of the musician’s solo discography. With magnificent grooves and unique solos on spiraling melodic structures, Electric Guitarist easily becomes one of the most important virtuoso albums of 1970’s. 

Weather Report – Mr. Gone
(ARC / Columbia)

Alex Acuña’nın ayrılışının ardından hala davulcu arayışlarını sürdürmekte olan Weather Report, farklı davulcuların kendilerine eşlik ettiği dokuzuncu stüdyo albümü Mr. Gone’la müzik otoriteleri arasında tartışmalar yaratmayı başardı. Söz konusu albümü bir Weather Report albümünden ziyade Jaco Pastorius ve Joe Zawinul ikilisinin bir caz-funk-rock füzyonu olduğunu öne sürenlerin sayısı pek de az değil.

Max Roach & Anthony Braxton – Birth and Rebirth
(Black Saint)

What happens when Max Roach and Anthony Braxton, two special figures from 20th Century jazz history, are left alone in a studio with a drum set and various wind instruments? Birth and Rebirth, recorded in Milan, is a documentation of how these two talented musicians improvise upon a plot and a concept, while feeding off of each other.

Pat Metheny Group – Pat Metheny Group
(ECM)

Being the first studio recording of Pat Metheny Group, this album is a delicious example of fusion, produced by one and only Manfred Eicher. Featuring folk melodies with references to rock, jazz and many other music genres, the album also includes the group’s classic hit “Phase Dance” as well as “Jaco”, a tribute to Jaco Pastorius.

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