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What are your favorite instrumental jazz ballad performances. Please include album names if possible for those of us who want to track down your recommendation.

I love two from Duke Ellington and John Coltrane: My Little Brown Book and In a Sentimental Mood.

I have also always loved Sam Rivers's original recording of Beatrice on Fuchsia Swing Song.

Many more, of course.
 

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"Nature Boy" by Ike Quebec from his great album Heavy Soul.
 

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What are your favorite instrumental jazz ballad performances. Please include album names if possible for those of us who want to track down your recommendation.

I love two from Duke Ellington and John Coltrane: My Little Brown Book and In a Sentimental Mood.

I have also always loved Sam Rivers's original recording of Beatrice on Fuchsia Swing Song.

Many more, of course.
The Ellington/ Coltrane album is IMHO some of the best of Trane along with Ballads and the Hartman album.
 

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Tenor: Eastman 52nd St, Alto: P. Mauriat 67RDK, Soprano: Eastern Music Curvy
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Johnny Hodges on pretty much every ballad he plays (how has he not been brought up in the ballad conversation yet?). Here's my favorite: Album: Gerry Mulligan Meets Johnny Hodges, Song: What's The Rush?


Definitely needs to be heard by everyone. The fun note of this song, Gerry Mulligan and Johnny Hodges were supposed to play a duet. But when Gerry heard what Hodges was playing, he just let it go.
 

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A Child is Born
Thad Jones/Mel Lewis -

'Round Midnight
Miles -
McRae -
Monk -

Infant Eyes
Wayne Shorter -

P.S. Played rubato, this is my favorite substitute for long tones.
 

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Ben Webster - "Time After Time" - Album Ben Webster and Associates 1959:

Joe Thomas - "Don't Blame Me" - Album The Complete Recordings 1945-1950:

Coleman Hawkins - "Body And Soul - 1939:
 

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VENDOR "Innovation over imitation"
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Hard for me to name one so here are a few of my favorites:

Ben Webster and Harry Edison —My Romance

Gene Ammons—-That’s All

Dexter—- I guess I’ll hang my tears out to dry

Paul Desmond—— My Funny Valentine, you go to my head

Cannonball—- I cant get started, Stars fell on Alabama

Hawk—-Body and soul

Coltrane—-Naima

Bird—Laura



Man, I could go on all day!
 

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Arnett Cobb - "Willow Weep For Me" - Album Ballads by Cobb 1960:


Full album:

Side A:
00:00 A1 Willow Weep For Me
07:07 A2 Hurry Home
12:01 A3 P.S. I Love You

Side B:
17:11 B1 Blue And Sentimental
22:34 B2 Darn That Dream
27:23 B3 Why Try To Change Me Now
30:15 B4 Your Wonderful Love
 

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Paul Gonsalves - "I Surrender Dear" - Album Gettin Together 1960:

Jimmy Forrest - "That's All" - Album Out Of The Forrest 1961:

Johnny Griffin - "Isfahan" - Album Introducing Johnny Griffin:
 

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No shortage of really good tracks on here so far, for sure. I'll bookmark a lot of these for later. Awesome.

I don't have a singular favorite track, I don't think, but out of modern players I think Mark Turner is probably my favorite on ballads. Here's one of my very favorites of his, "You Know I Care" by *Duke Pearson off of Mark's "In This World" album.


This is also simply one of my favorite albums by a saxophonist-bandleader ever. It's pretty incredible. Mark's "Ballad Session" album is no joke, either, and there are many tracks off that record that would make my list of favorites, particularly "I Loves You Porgy" and "Some Other Time."

*EDIT: "You Know I Care" is a Duke Pearson tune, not a Herbie tune as I'd originally erroneously typed! I was confusing it with Herbie's tune "Alone and I" which Mark plays on the "Ballad Session" record. My B.
 
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