Jazz (3): difficult to explain

Jazz music is impenetrable rubbish. Discuss.

Well, a lot of people take that view, and I can understand why. It’s actually quite hard to say why I like jazz. Part of the problem is the existence of “classic” albums, that you’re obliged to like, the big two being Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue, and John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme. Both great records, but they’re not the best of jazz, they’re not even the best of Miles and Coltrane.

Which is why this article by Jon Wilde, from the Guardian a few months ago is so good. Wilde makes the case for Louis Armstrong’s very early Hot Five and Hot Seven recordings, and he makes it brilliantly. Read the article, and if you’re intrigued, try this.

Don’t expect these 85 year old recordings to sound pristine, but they certainly sounds fresh, and supremely musical.  Or as Stravinsky said of Beethoven: contemporary for ever.

The Hot Five, making history
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