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posted on 09.08.09


Note: This post is part of September's Curator's Corner Theme: Anniversaries, celebrating great artistic legacies.  

The final year of a decade is always an interesting one, culturally speaking, straddling between the ending decade and the decade yet to come. 2009 marks the anniversaries of many great jazz albums. Here are several notable highlights.


1959 (50th anniversary) - Dave Brubeck’s Time Out

Brubeck’s album combined odd meters, exotic influence, and the gorgeous sounds of saxophonist Paul Desmond. The album featured “Take Five,” one of the most well-know jazz songs ever, which broke through a rock-dominated market.


NPR’s tribute to the album’s 50th anniversary


This was a great year for jazz albums; others iconic albums released in 1959 include: Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue, John Coltrane’s Giant Steps, Ornette Coleman’s The Shape of Jazz to Come, and Charles Mingus’ Mingus Ah Um.


1969 (40th anniversary) – Miles Davis’ In a Silent Way

Davis was one of the original pioneers of fusion – which combined rock and jazz. While this album was surpassed in notoriety by Bitches Brew (released a year later), this marks Davis’ first full foray into an electronic fusion sound. The album features many then up and coming musicians who would go onto shape the course of fusion jazz such as saxophonist Wayne Shorter (Weather Report), guitarist John McLaughlin (Mahavishnu Orchestra), and keyboardist Herbie Hancock (Headhunters).


1999  (10th anniversary) – Pat Metheny Trio, 99 – 00

Guitarist Metheny’s career spans 4 decades and includes collaborations with artists ranging from Ornette Coleman to Joni Mitchell. This album, which was primarily recorded in 1999 but released in 2000,  remains one of the Metheny’s most popular albums and marks his return to the more subtle fusion of his early career in the 1970s after  partially succumbing to the musical excesses of the 1980s.  


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Unknown User says:
“Brubeck's Time Out album remains a milestone in the development of jazz - unique, different and fantastic 'listening music' to this day. Think "Take Five", "Blue Rondo ALa Turk" or any of the others, and you are taken to a brand of jazz that has not been heard again, but remains immortal. ”
Posted over 5 years ago
“wow - 1959 WAS a great year for jazz!”
Posted over 5 years ago
“I totally agree with you! Jazz music is just unbelievable.”
Posted over 4 years ago
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Miles Davis