DJ Elyte and I made this Jazz mix in 1999 and gave it to all of our friends for the winter holidays. It’s a collection of our favorite tunes hosted by Rahsaan Roland Kirk. All vinyl, all borrowed from our fathers.
Words from Rahsaan
Dexter Gordan- A Night in Tunisia
Eric Jackson- A Tribute to Miles
Miles Davis- ‘Round Midnight
Sonny Rollins- St. Thomas
John Coltrane- In A Sentimental Mood
Brown & Roach- Take the A Train
Thelonius Monk- Well You Needn’t
Nat Adderley- Work Song
Charlie Parker- Ornithology
Carmen McRae- I Didn’t Know
Not too long ago DJ Elyte gave me one of the rare copies of this mix on tape so that I could transfer it to digital and upload it onto my podcast. As you can tell from listening to this mix it was obviously transferred from tape and I wasn’t able to get rid of the underwater sounds that resulted from wear and tear. However, the soul of the tape is very much intact and most of the songs still sound very good.
Elyte and I were into some very heady Jazz when we were in high school and we obviously had a liking for the saxophone as many of the most famous saxophone artists dominate this mix. We liked sax and piano solos that were considered a little out there or were even sometimes intentionally off key. We were into Be-Bop that was trying to be different and set itself aside from the mainstream jazz that was messing up the scene. Monk and Coltrane were pioneers in the Be-Bop movement and were a big part of our lives in high school. They made us realize that Jazz was an art of true geniuses and we could only hope to play it at a very basic level. Nonetheless, Jazz and DJing were important creative outlets in our adolescence and have shaped the people that we are today.
I have to give thanks to my drum teacher in elementary school, Keith Gibson, for introducing me to Jazz and hooking me up with discounted lessons at the Longy School of Music. Wayne Miller, my first piano teacher for encouraging my interest. Peter Casino, my first real Jazz piano teacher for teaching me most of what I still know. And of course, Bob Ponte, the Jazz Ensemble teacher in High School who was mostly an asshole but was truly dedicated to his students.