Jazz appreciation

by Paul Burmeister

Most jazz fans probably keep a number of lists in their heads, of favorite lineups, favorite musicians, favorites styles, favorite albums, etc. But jazz's emphasis on individualized stylistic expression and improvisational modes and jazz's wide range of instrumentation and combinations challenge list-making.
It's one thing to say Elvin Jones is my favorite drummer and another to say Jack DeJohnette is my favorite living drummer and Tony Williams is my favorite Miles Davis drummer and Jon Christensen is my favorite ECM drummer and Lenny White is my favorite fusion drummer and Joey Baron is my favorite "young" drummer, etc.
What's more productive for me is to think of combinations I really enjoy, such as vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson paired with pianists like Chick Corea (listen to 1968 Blue Note Total Eclipse), or such as trumpeter Kenny Wheeler paired with electric guitarists like Bill Frisell (listen to 1997 ECM Angel Song.)