Maximus Stephens – Jazz Legends Part 1

For this week’s post we are looking at some jazz legends, don’t worry if your legend is missed, this is only part one, more will come. There is a range of different backgrounds and instruments this week, so hopefully there will be an artist for everyone. Throughout the post I will try to include some well known tracks for each artist, but also some less well known tracks for any jazz veterans reading.

Ella Fitzgerald

Photo credit – GreenLight Rights

To start this week, we are looking at the incredible Ella Fitzgerald. She was a jazz singer who was famous for her bright and engaging vocal tone. She was born in Newport News, Virginia in the United States in 1917 and recorded all the way up to 1980 – achieving a total of 13 Grammy awards. – It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing) – technically another Duke Ellington as well. – All Of Me – One Note Samba – Full 1969 Montreux set

Duke Ellington

Photo credit – uDiscover Music

Up next is Duke Ellington, arguable one of the great jazz composers of all time. He was born in 1899 in Washington, D.C., United States and was active on the jazz scene between 1914 and 1974 and led his own orchestra, aptly known as the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Some of his most famous compositions include; Mood Indigo, Take the A Train and Satin Doll – to name only a few! – Take the A Train – C Jam Blues – Caravan – Duke Ellington & His Orchestra Tivoli Garden 1969, full set.

Charlie Parker

Photo credit – All About Jazz

Next up is the legendary saxophonist Charlie Parker. Parker was born in Kansas City in the United States in 1920 and sadly died aged only 34 in New York CIty (1955). Although he had a relatively short career in comparison to the other greats on the list, he is still one of the most important jazz figures ever. In the mid 1940’s, along with trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, he started the Bebop movement and created a new way of playing over chord changes – drastically changing the way many musicians play. – Summertime – Donna Lee – Koko – Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, The Legendary Town Hall Concert New York 1945

Miles Davis

Photo credit – Miles Davis Official

Finally, we have yet another key figure in the stylistic development of the jazz genre, trumpeter Miles Davis. He was born in Alton, Illinois, United States in 1926 and was active between 1944 and 1991. His most famous work was arguably his album, Kind Of Blue, released in 1959 in conjunction with Columbia Records. – Autumn Leaves – My Funny Valentine, live in Milan, Italy (1964) – One For Daddy-O – Kind of Blue full album, Definitely a must listen.

Thank you for taking time to read through this blog post! A new post will usually be uploaded every Monday/Tuesday and will be around the topic of music in some form. If you have any feedback or suggestions please feel free to leave a comment, or visit my website!

2 thoughts on “Maximus Stephens – Jazz Legends Part 1

  1. Miles Davis for me. Bitches Brew in my top 5 fav records of all time.
    Any chance of sneaking Sun Ra into part 2!!


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