The Stupid List
I was watching that Clifford Brown autograph (as well as Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, et al), but didn’t have enough interest to actually bid on it. To my surprise, there were only five bidders altogether, which would seem to indicate minimal interest at that price, which turned out to be $482.11. I did casually mention when I wrote the earlier post that Clifford was probably among my top five musicians of all time and that I would ponder that and do another post on it this weekend. Sometimes, as we all do, I say and do stupid things. It was stupid to even suggest that I could create a list of top five favorite musicians, when there are so many musicians I love and each musician brings something different and special to my life and my enjoyment of music. Last night I was listening to the Dexter Gordon record, Getting’ Around, Blue Note 4204, and I was thinking about how much I love Dexter and how much I treasured seeing him as often as I did in the early and mid-1970s, particularly his very first club date when he began playing again in the United States. And, goodness, what an amazing ballad performance on “Who Can I Turn To.” And then I put on two Miles Davis records, Kind of Blue and Sketches of Spain, and I thought
how could I ever leave Miles off a list of favorites. And then I put on a Bill Evans record, and then an Art Tatum record, and then a Paul Desmond record, favorites all. And yet, still, I thought about that post I did the other day and what would I do if someone put a gun to my head and said I had to name five jazz musicians that were my “favorites.” So now I am going to compound the stupid mistake I made the other day by promising to think about this silly task, and I am actually going to make a Stupid List of the five musicians that emerged from my pondering. This is jazz only, so it leaves out The Beatles or James Taylor or other musicians I also revere in different genres. Anyway, my Stupid List is this: John Coltrane, Charlie Parker and Sonny Rollins. Those are easy, no thought, no questions. Next is Miles Davis. Also pretty easy. The last one is hardest. Clifford is among the contenders, as are Bill Evans, Dexter Gordon, Cannonball Adderley and Thelonious Monk. My final choice: As I suggested the other day, it is Clifford Brown. Before anyone gets wacky and talks about other musicians, say how can I even compare Clifford Brown to Louis Armstrong, as an example, I say this: This is my Stupid List. If you don’t like it, make your own Stupid List.