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吳靄儀小姐說,她不懂爵士樂,但欣賞樂手的即興和自得其樂。張繼高更緯言,爵士是精緻文化結晶。誠然,欣賞爵士樂從不是鎖自己在房裡,用Hi-Fi就能自我陶醉,還要現場感受,隨節拍搖擺,分享樂手的即興和汗水!

以下全是個人心水,當然少不了世紀好碟如《Kind of Blue》,亦有滄海遺珠像Stan Getz的《People Time》、Charles Haden的《Night and The City》。如果爵士樂在你心目中仍是進餐時可有可無的伴奏,或者屬於「華人與狗」不得欣賞之流,現在是推翻這謬論的時候了。

為嚴格品評,我們把碟分為Tier 1 & 2。Tier 1毫無疑問是真正極品,Tier 2整體成績不及Tier 1,但仍佳句紛陳,值得推介。要更詳細欣賞樂手的風格,不容錯過。


Lisa Ekdahl- Back to Earth
Ekdahl's own unique voice is fresh, soothing, and never too intense. Her territory is Astrud Gilberto meets Chet Baker, bakced by a superb Scandanavian trio. details>>

   

Patricia Barber- Nightclub
Barber's piano playing is just expressive as her throaty voice. Demonstrated ostentatiously in a piano solo in "Bye Bye Blackbird," hers is the most intriguing version of the song I have heard since the Miles Davis era.
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Charlie Haden- Silence
The historical meeting of jazz's two prodigal sons is underwhelming yet powerful. Haden brings out the best and most upbeat of Chet Baker, while close to his death. details>>

   

Stan Getz, Chet Baker- Quintessence 2
兩位阿伯臨終前的遺作。越老越有味道。兩者一齊,玩得開心、死得過癮。
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Larry Willis- Steal Away
Larry Willis has very many things to say through his music. This album is as expressive as water, like three architects who have known each other for life and are constructing a building together.
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Guy Le Claire Trio- Live at the Jazz Club
Le Claire and his team play so spontaneously we can feel that they are actually enjoying the process of playing - one of the greatest assets in jazz! A unique Hong Kong product (no pun intended).
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Hans Ulrik- Shortcuts
All the other players contribute to the compositions. An all-star lineup, like Weather Report, where the players don't steal from each other. They play with heart and wait for their solos. details>>

   

Karl Denson- Dance Lesson #2
This album shows that Denson may be a better studio artist than a live one, where he takes advantage of all his strong suits. Use of DJ makes funky sounds more funky. details>>

   

Robert Walter's 20th Congress- Money Shot
Wow, what a treat! Stereophile Magazine calls this album "Recording of the Month." We call it "Recording of the Year."
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Greyboy Allstars- West Coast Boogaloo
This is truly a great band which doesn't receive too much publicity. Covers most ranges of funk including a smashing remake of Kool & The Gang's "Let the Music Take Your Mind."
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Fred Wesley- Swing & Be Funky
These guys are real cool and it's interesting how Wesley starts off this fantastic live performance with the song "For The Elders," an ironic title to mock the recording industry today. The 21-minute version of "On Green Dolphin Street" is a bonus.
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Jacky Terrasson- Jacky Terrasson
Terrasson has total control of the keyboards when he plays ballads he has total control of them. His melodic and sincere style will kill you softly. It's both heartbreaking and heartwarming.
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Flip Phillips- Swing is the Thing
Flip has been in the jazz business for a long time, played with the big players and survived to this day. Celebrating his 85th birthday, Verve summons several young talented jazz musicians and shows no generation gap. details>>

   

Bennie Wallace- Old Songs
Bennie Wallace may be the best saxophonist alive these days. He blows the thing with style and guts. He is the one and only and is closest the Coltrane's free form.
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Joe Lovano Nonet - 52nd Street Themes
Lovano's sax is warm and less innovative, which I like. And the nonet doesn't produce redundant noise if that's what you worry about. The recording quality is surprisingly on Blue Note's strong side.
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Joshua Redman- Spirit of The Moment: Live At The Village Vanguard [LIVE] [2CD]
Finally, an album that proves Joshua Redman actually has soul. Maybe it's because it is live, but maybe it's because he's good. Check out "Jig-A-Jug" and "St. Thomas."
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James Leary- James II
The Freudian adventure of obtaining this CD plus the wonderful sound of Leary's bass and Eddie Harris's free sax playing makes the listening experience a blast. Leary plays with a dedicate heart. details>>

   
Sonny Stitt- Moonlight in Vermont
Jazz is about collaboration, not just personal ostentatiousness. This album does it and does it to the fullest. details>>
   
Teddy Edwards- Sunset Eyes
None of Edwards' sidemen are superstars, but they do a great job backing up Edwards and make him stand out without stealing the whole scene. details>>
   

Scott Hamilton- Plays Ballads
"Embraceable You" and "Body and Soul" remind me of great tunes from Woody Allen movies. Hamilton's playing is as sweet as it can be.
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John Slate - Standard Persona
Slate's sax playing is straight, but no tricks involved - no weird stuff, just straight-ahead, but passionate, sax playing. Sort of like Stan Getz.
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Andy Summers- Green Chimneys
This album, having the roots in Monk, departs in a very reasonably different direction.
Summers is grabbing onto something here, might as well call it style. details>>

   

Mile Davis- Round Midnight [REMASTERED]
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Mile Davis- Someday My Prince Will Come [REMASTERED]
This is a low-key version of "Kind of Blue." Miles uses more mute in this one, so each song really sounds like a ballad. There are some good blues on this one, too.
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John Coltrane- Ballads [REMASTERED]
Coltrane is capable to transgress the most basic and simple jazz into something grand, elegant and sophisticated. In other words, he's a magician.
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McCoy Tyner Trio- Infinity
A fun album to own. McCoy Tyner works magic here with Michael Brecker, who is an expert on the sax. McCoy's mesmering solo on "Blues Stride" will take your soul away..
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Joe Pass- I Remember Charlie Parker
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Bill Evans Trio- Explorations
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Bill Evans Trio- Portrait In Jazz
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Chet Baker- Silent Nights
This is in no way on earth a conventional Christmas album. None of the songs sound like Christmas songs under the interpretation of Chet Baker. Of course, Baker is a controversial figure who often tries to change the tradition.
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Chet Baker- It Could Happen To You: Chet Baker Sings
Chet continues to charm and seduce us with his mysterious voice. Chet carefully construes every note, be it trumpet or vocal and he brings us mystical ecstacy. Even his humming in a few tracks is just so pleasurable. details>>

   

Kenny Burrell- Midnight Blue
Burrell never tries to hurry the music, unlike Herb Ellis. Stanley Turrentine knows how to use the instrument to his fair advantage. The two of them create some unforgettably bluesy moments in all of jazz's history.
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Sonny Rollins- Alfie Soundtrack [ORIGINAL RECORDING REMASTERED]
Sonny Rollins wrote an appropriate score for this movie and fits the Michael Caine-Alfie character really well. So from now on, every time I see Michael Caine, I think of this theme song.
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