Duke Ellington and Django Reinhardt–“A Blues Riff”

Listen to this amazing collaboration between Duke Ellington (jazz composer, pianist, and bandleader) and Belgian-Romani jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt shared by Ben Anderson!
The two musicians toured together during Reinhardt’s American tour in 1946. Reinhardt’s accomplishments in jazz guitar are particularly impressive considering that when he was 18 an accident permanently paralyzed two fingers on his left hand.

Source: “Django Reinhardt” PBS.org http://www.pbs.org/jazz/biography/artist_id_reinhardt_django.htm

John Coltrane–A LOVE SUPREME

“No road is an easy one, but they all go back to God.” –John Coltrane, A Love Supreme Liner Notes 1964

A Love Supreme, jazz saxophonist John Coltrane’s 1965 modal jazz album, is often understood as an expression of the composer’s faith. Jazz historian Lewis Porter notes that in the motif for which the composition is named, Coltrane changes keys 12 times–playing the theme in every possible key. He believes that this is reinforcing Coltrane’s message that all roads lead to God.

Source:
Open Culture.com http://www.openculture.com/2013/09/john-coltranes-handwritten-outline-for-his-masterpiece-a-love-supreme.html
and NPR’s “All Things Considered”

Bill Evans–WALTZ FOR DEBBY

NPR calls jazz pianist and composer Bill Evans (1929-1980) “one of the giants of jazz piano.” Evans is noted for his role as a member of the sextet that recorded Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue as well as for recording “over 50 albums as band leader” in the course of his career. This album, WALTZ FOR DEBBY, was among the last collaborations of his first jazz trio; the bassist Scott LaFaro died just days after the recordings were made.

Source:
“Bill Evans on Jazz Piano” NPR http://www.npr.org/2010/10/08/92185496/bill-evans-on-piano-jazz

Charlie Parker–BIRD AND DIZ

As the title implies, this album was a collaboration between jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker (Bird) and jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie (Diz). Theolonious Monk can be heard on the album as well. Recorded mostly in 1950, it was released in 1952. Samuel Chell says that the album is characterized by the “singularly aggressive and competitive playing” of Parker and Gillespie and that energy comes through!

Source:
Samuel Chell “Charlie Parker: Bird and Diz” All About Jazz
http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=25266#.UvpSkBbNCwI