Jazz 100
Stringin' Along
The Best Jazz Ever Released Digitally


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Time on My Hands
John Scofield
1990 [Blue Note]


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John Scofield's first album for Blue Note finds the guitarist in a straight-ahead jazz groove, with stellar support in tenor Joe Lovano, bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Jack DeJohnette. The music moves through a range of tempos and, in places, is improvisionally creative. The move to Blue Note has done Scofield the world of good.





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Ask the Ages
Sonny Sharrock
1991 [Axiom]


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Sonny Sharrock's last album before his premature death in 1994 is a searing avant-garde masterpiece of freedom and adventure. Sharrock's electric guitar combines with Pharoah Sanders' tenor on six stirring originals, the highlights being 'Who Does She Hope To Be?' and the roof-raising 'Many Mansions'. Not for the meek and mild.





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Beyond the Missouri Sky
Charlie Haden & Pat Metheny
1997 [Verve]


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Some of the most wondrously intimate jazz guitar ever put to disc. Missouri natives Metheny and Haden decided to explore their roots together, aiming to put together a set of allusive melodies that would allow for plenty of scope. The result is an album peppered with folk, country and even a couple of themes from Cinema Paradiso.





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A Go Go
John Scofield
1998 [Verve]


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Scofield seems to be relishing his teaming with the Medeski, Martin & Wood trio on this enjoyable late-90s set. Often straying into funk-rock territory, Scofield's impeccable jazz credentials shine through. Lots of ultra-fun groovin' and jammin' ranks this as Scofield's best set, although 1990's 'Time on My Hands' isn't far behind.





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Good Dog, Happy Man
Bill Frisell
1999 [Nonesuch]


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Bill Frisell's 'Good Dog, Happy Man' is a terrific jazz album in country clothing. Contributions from Greg Leisz on pedal steel, Dobro, lap steel, Weissenborn, National steel guitar and mandolin provide the record's unifying sound, while Ry Cooder helps out on 'Shenandoah'. It even gets funky when Wayne Horvitz steps in on organ.





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Anthem
Ralph Towner
2001 [ECM]


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This may not be the Ralph Towner you know, but it's a good bet it will be the one you like. Towner dispenses with the trimmings and plays through a mostly original set on classical and 12-string guitars. Anthem is jazz at its most intimate, finishing with the most sublime version of Charles Mingus' 'Goodbye, Pork-Pie Hat' ever recorded.





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Blues Dream
Bill Frisell
2001 [Nonesuch]


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The Americana of 1999's 'Good Dog, Happy Man' is back, but this is hardly a part two repeat for guitarist Bill Frisell. This time around, sideman Greg Leisz limits himself to steel guitar and mandolin. The real difference, however, is the addition of trumpeter Ron Miles, whose restrained notes leave plenty of room for Frisell to work with.





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Metheny/Mehldau
Pat Metheny & Brad Mehldau
2006 [Nonesuch]


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A decade before this album's release the teaming of guitarist Pat Metheny and pianist Brad Mehldau might have seemed unlikely. One listen to this mature record and it is a wonder it didn't happen sooner. Metheny has discovered the use of space, while Mehldau is more than happy to fill out the adventure. There is a lot to like here.


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