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Essential album recommendations?


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Looking to add some music, and looking for opinions for essential releases. So here's my artificial criteria for the sake of this thread.


Four artists:

George Duke


Bill Evans



1) Five essential albums

2) Looking for introduction to different phases of each player's work

3) Doesn't matter if I already own a title you list, I'm looking for the 5 essential in your opinion


Any comments, reasons for selection, etc. welcome.





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I have been enjoying listening to George Duke on the Cannonball Adderley Quintet album Black Messiah, which dates back to about 1971 I think, and is very hard to obtain. Wonderful early Rhodes work, with echoplexes, etc. Very funky album. I also like his solo keyboard album from the mid-70s.


Zawinul's early album 'Zawinul' is wonderful - atmospheric and understated.


Sorry I haven't produced the required five, but these would certainly be on my list for each musician.

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Bill Evans - Live at the Village Vanguard (or let's face it... pretty much anything he did). The Village Vanguard recording had the magic of Scott LaFaro, who died in a car accident only a couple of weeks after the recording. Hard to follow the five essential rule of the post but you could start with Bill Evans with his performance with Miles on Kind of Blue, then Everybody Digs Bill Evans, Village Vanguard, and that would be a very good start. I also like Live at Shelly's Manhole but perhaps because I live in the Bay Area and it was recorded in Half Moon Bay...

Korg CX-3 (vintage), Casio Privia PX-5S, Lester K, Behringer Powerplay P2, Shure 215s


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George Duke - Don't Let Go (funk), Brazilian Love Affair (latin). Have still to dig into his 'Faces of Reflection' era.


Herbie - Always liked his work on Miles' My Funny Valentine album (also released as pt 1 of 'The Complete Concert')


Bill Evans - don't know that much, would pick the not so surprising Kind Of Blue


Zawinul - WR's Mysterious Traveller, or the 'Live at Offenbach' (Rockpalast) live set, or Night Passage. Maybe even more for the total sound. I think his 90s 'World Tour Live' set gives a fine impression too.


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Bill Evans:


Portrait in Jazz

Sunday at the Village Vanguard



The Paris Concert: Edition One (or Two)


Picked to highlight the different eras of bassists: Scott LaFaro, Eddie Gomez, and Marc Johnson.



Herbie Hancock:


Miles Smiles + Sorcerer (Miles Davis albums)

Maiden Voyage

Speak Like a Child

Head Hunters



Alright, technically that's 6. Narrowing down Herbie's discography is hard. I'd want to include albums like V.S.O.P, Sextant, and something somewhat more recent like The New Standard, but...what can ya do.

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