I was in the car listening to the radio the other day. I complain about jazz sometimes having once been a serious jazzhead and semi-serious gigging jazz bassist.
But every once in a while I’ll hear some straight ahead combo stuff that is just swingin’. Swangin’! I mean, on the money and in the pocket.
Like Billy Higgins said, “If the music doesn’t make people move, there’s something wrong with it.”
“Love for Sale” from Cannonball Adderley’s “Somethin’ Else” came on. Cannonball, Miles Davis, Hank Jones, Sam Jones, Art Blakey. And that mess was so swingin’. Cannonball’s solo had me groovin’.
For pure swing factor I’d say that Wes Montgomery’s “Smokin’ at the Half Note” CD is up there at the top. Driving.
I’ve been doing a little homework on some jazz guitarists lately. Maybe that’s why I’m in this mode. Been trying to figure out some of George Benson’s moves. I’m not so into some of his smooth jazz releases, but that’s more about the smooth jazz sound in general. Very processed. There are usually a few gems on all of his releases, though. But regardless of my preferences, he is a baaaaaad man. Doesn’t matter what he’s playing.
I’ve been digging his version of Stevie Wonder’s “Lately” from his “Absolute Benson”(?) release. Check out those color notes in his fills and solos (2:40). Arpeggiating on the dominant 7th, 9th and 4th. Players, particularly blues players, who use those colors are considered to have a “sweet” sound. B.B. King is another one.
Check it. (If the video doesn’t embed you can click this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIUcrpgXATw)
Hey, that’s Joe Sample on piano! Lordy, check that series of runs at about 3:52.
So I’d like to get some other opinions. Hit me with the hardest, drivingest, swingin’-est jazz tracks you know of.
What say you.