I read somewhere that according to at least one study, most people’s favorite music is what they liked in their late teens and early twenties.
I don’t know if that’s true or not. For me, it’s only true in the sense that most of my favorites are lps—long playing record “albums”—a format that came into popularity when I was in my late teens and early twenties, and remained so well into my forties, when CDs began to replace them.
I suppose young people today, who mostly download music one song at a time, will have individual tunes as their favorites, much the way the WWII generation got their music on individual 78 recordings, and when I was in my early teens, like most kids in the 1950s I bought my favorite songs on 45s.
Anyway, I was making the little trinity lists I tend to walk around concocting in my head, and remembered having read about that study and realized my three favorite jazz albums all came from that time. And that got me started.
Here are 3 categories that occurred to me, and my 3 favorites in them.
1. Miles Davis’ KINDA BLUE (often voted the best jazz album ever made, so I’m not unique in that choice, it’s certainly one of the most well recorded, let alone played)
2. Bill Evan’s WALTZ FOR DEBBIE (in my musical pantheon, this one’s a tie with the above as greatest jazz album ever recorded, just for the perfectly captured live sound it has—and in a club performance—every note is beautifully clear! I can play this anywhere anytime and am transported to a place of complete satisfaction, it makes me so happy I could fly, despite the blues tone of some of the tunes on it and the fact that the great bassist, Scott LaFaro died not long after this was recorded)
3. Eric Dolphy’s LAST DATE (recorded in Europe before he passed, a perfect mix of virtuoso performances demonstrating Dolphy’s unique musical gifts)
Soundtracks (after jazz, my favorite musical “genre”) from movies that aren’t musicals:
1. Leonard Bernstein’s music for ON THE WATERFRONT
2. Pete Seeger’s for INDIAN SUMMER (none of that rinky tink stuff of his, mostly pure instrumental music that sounds more raw and spontaneous than anything else he ever did)
3. Mason Daring’s for THE SECRET OF ROAN INISH
Movie musicals soundtracks:
1. Antonio Carlos Jobim’s music for BLACK ORPHEUS
2. Richard Peaslee’s for THE PERSECUTION AND ASSASSINATION OF MARAT AS PERFORMED BY THE INMATES OF THE ASYLUM OF CHERENTON UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE MARQUIS DE SADE
3. The Beatles’ for A HARD DAYS NIGHT.