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Coltrane, Mingus, Monk or Davis?

Poll Results: Coltrane, Mingus, Monk or Davis?

 
  • 12% (5)
    Charles Mingus
  • 24% (10)
    John Coltrane
  • 2% (1)
    Thelonious Monk
  • 46% (19)
    Miles Davis
  • 14% (6)
    (other; discuss in thread)
41 Total Votes  
post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 

Jazz of course.

 

I think in terms of quality and quantity of contribution to jazz, it doesn't get better than these four. Who do you think is the best though?

 

TBH I only added Monk as an afterthought and planned to make this only about Mingus, Davis and Coltrane, but I figured he's put out a solid body of work anyway and some people might find him superior to the other three.

 

Anyway. Discuss. And vote on the poll

 

(of course an "other" option is provided for anyone with a different opinion)

 

I vote Mingus, btw. Ah, um...

post #2 of 54

Voted for Miles Davis. Bitches Brew, Kind of Blue and In A Silent Way instantly hooked me the first time I heard them before. Coltrane comes in a close second. TBH, I really need to check out more Mingus.

post #3 of 54

Man, this IS tough. Mingus is a bit outside the box for my taste a lot of the time, but Mingus (x5) was a heck of an album. Coltrane wouldn't be where he was without Miles. I think in that regard Miles gains importance because it is through him 2 of the greatest sax players of that era got big. Then you have to consider Monk's HUGE library of compositions, many of which are still arranged and played to this day.

 

As long as we're discussing it, can you imagine these 4 with someone like Art Blakey on drums forming a combo? Maybe all of their incredible creativity would interfere with one another, but that'd be something.

 

Like I said, it's a hard decision, but I think I'll have to go with Miles. He played every era from Bop to Fusion, and was the epitome of the straight jazz style. Plus, I'm a trumpet player, and I feel some responsibility to vote for him.

post #4 of 54

All of the above

post #5 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by rehabitat View Post

All of the above


Cheater. :P

post #6 of 54

To be honest I think all the artists listed in the poll are great. 

 

I'm into the mroe estoteric jazz sounds, so I have to go with my man Mingus...

post #7 of 54

Monk made the biggest contribution, compositionally. Range of intensity and darkness to the most quirky sense of humor of anyone on this list.

 

Coltrane was the most god-bothered, focused soloist. Actually my favorite on this list if I'm to judge by what I reach for in my CD collection, but I think a tighter range than the others. (That's too facile -- I know there's a lot of distance between "Ballands" and "Ascension", for example).

 

Miles was also a great soloist, more conceptual changes as a bandleader, trying to find cutting edge of the music all the time. Led and schooled more than one stable band of geniuses, and had a totally unique timbre that became so influential as to become one of the standard approaches to the instrument.

 

Mingus was also a great composer, clearly Ellington-based but generally, more modernized, with a freer sense of time. Absolutely the pinnacle as an instrumentalist, too, like Coltrane on his instrument.

 

It's hard to pick anyone, given love for all of their music, and given differences in what they had on offer as composers, soloists, bandleaders. Couldn't really compare Duke Ellington to Charlie Parker either, y'know?

post #8 of 54

Of the four, I'd probably say Miles, but I'm gonna buck all this and throw in Duke Ellington, without whom not one of them would exist in the forms we know them.

post #9 of 54

then probably gotta throw in Billy Strayhorn too!

post #10 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Choronzon View Post

then probably gotta throw in Billy Strayhorn too!


While I understand the suggestion, I'm not sure it would be totally accurate. In the case of Thelonious Monk, for example, Ellington's influence came through via his piano style rather than his orchestrations. And Duke had already scored quite a few hits before Strayhorn came aboard—in 1940-1 I think it was. That early stuff clearly left its mark on Mingus.

post #11 of 54

So Monk would exist without Strayhorn? Is that the argument? Probably true. Not one of them would "exist in the forms we know them" without Jelly Roll Morton.

 

I suppose I was thinking of Mingus being VERY influenced by Ellington's orchestrations, however. 

 

Then again, I'm with you that my suggestion isn't "totally accurate".  Conceded. I don't think this sort of discussion lends itself so much to total accuracy, though.

post #12 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Choronzon View Post
Not one of them would "exist in the forms we know them" without Jelly Roll Morton.


No argument there, but what's funny is that even though hiring cats from New Orleans altered Duke Ellington's early sound for the better, he reputedly hated Jelly Roll Morton. Ellington's band was on the West Coast when Jelly died out there, and legend has it that Duke forbade his band to attend the funeral. Yikes!!

post #13 of 54

Whoa, that's crazy.  I didn't know that.  I've had a cinderblock of an Ellington biography on my shelf for 12 or 15 years, I think... just one of those things to get to. I wonder if that story is in there?  Thanks for sharing.

 

The hatreds and rivalries are interesting -- especially given how easy it is to be a fan of all, at this remove.  I think of Armstrong and Bechet, too. And I'm sure lots of other examples.

post #14 of 54

Louis Armstrong for his output but I read his chops were inconsistent at times.

 

Didn't Dizzy Gillespie say "no Pops, no me"?

post #15 of 54

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by rehabitat View Post

Louis Armstrong for his output but I read his chops were inconsistent at times.

 

Didn't Dizzy Gillespie say "no Pops, no me"?


Miles Davis used to say that you can't play anything on a horn that Louis hadn't played already. That was probably true until someone like Don Cherry or the recently departed Bill Dixon came along.

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