Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Jazz in the Seventies

When I think of Jazz during the Seventies, my reflexive thought is of a time when fusion ruled the planet, leading to an abuse of power and numerous excesses. Of course, there were a few jewels among the dross, but I think the tendency is to write off much of the work during that decade, as we waited for the Eighties to set us all straight (ahead).

A recent post by Pete C on Jazz Corner's Speakeasy got me thinking about the accuracy of my recollections, however. He opined that "Tyner's Milestone output is one of the great bodies of work in jazz, and is one of many proofs that the 1970s was far from a jazz wasteland." I also dug out Dexter Gordon's Homecoming set from 1976, and I had forgotten how great it sounded. So, here is the start of a list of all that was great about Jazz in the Seventies, from a non-fusion perspective: 

- McCoy's Milestone albums

- Dexter Gordon's return to the U.S., including the Homecoming album

- Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra's albums

- The golden age of ECM: many classic albums during this time

- Several albums on CTI that successfully navigated between commercial accessibility and sufficient Jazz content

- The series of albums on Horizon

- The series of albums on Artist's House

- The emergence of Anthony Davis and the "New Haven" scene, including the albums on India Navigation

- The loft jazz scene: Studio Rivbea et al

- Anthony Braxton's series of albums for Arista

- The new West Coast players like David Murray 

Anyone care to add?

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