Suggested Listening ’19: Art Cromwell

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Every year WOUB Culture spotlights what music-centric folks in the region have been listening to all year round right in time for the holidays in a series of best-of lists. 

Radio Free Athens’ host of Out of the Afternoon, Art Cromwell

Suggested Listening:

At the end of the year (particularly during the holidays), we’re usually inundated with list; Must-haves; Classic Recordings; the Newest-Hippest, etc., etc. My list, while eclectic, and subjective, were specifically chosen because of their significance to the art form. No recordings were obtained through contacts-contracts-or any corporate largess. All sides have either been, or soon will be, purchased during the ensuing year.

2019 CD Selections

Art Ensemble of Chicago – Art Ensemble and Associated Ensembles (21 CD set)

art ensemble

All of the AEC recordings and the related ensembles from these important artists on ECM records.


Black Composers Series 1974-1978 (10 CD set)

black composers

Reissues of the important ’70s nine LP series that surveys three centuries of Black symphonic music.


Betty Carter, The Music Never Stops

Betty carter

Always incredible, in top form in this piece of previously unheard history. An archival recording (’92) with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. Kris Davis, Diatom Ribbons. A prodigious young pianist, joined by an eclectic group of artists performing in unique ensembles.


Eric Dolphy, Eric Dolphy Musical Prophet

Eric Dolphy

An expanded reissue of his 1963 New York studio recordings.


Ahmad Jamal, Ballades

Ahmad Jamal

The first solo recording by the 88-year-old legendary pianist.


Frank Kimbrough, Monk’s Dreams: The Complete Compositions


As the title states, all of Monk’s compositions performed by a quartet of seasoned artists. No esoteric performances-just straight-ahead (as much as Monk’s tunes allow) intelligent expositions of Monk’s tricky constructs.

Philip Levine, The Poetry of Jazz, Vol. Two

poetry of Jazz

The passing of Dalachinsky reawakened my interest in poetry read to Jazz in the ’50s and the recordings of Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Jack Kerouac, Kenneth Patchen and my discovery of Philip Levine, Poet Laureate /Pulitzer Prize winner, and poet of Detroit.


Charles Mingus, Jazz in Detroit/Strata Concert (5 cd set)


Unreleased music ’73 ed. of Mingus’ Jazz Workshop.


William Parker, Voices Fall From the Sky (3 CD set)

Voices Fall From the Sky

A second set of vocal music from the incredibly prolific bassist composer.

Woody Shaw, Woody Shaw Quintet-Basel 1980 3 CD Set

Woody Shaw

This is actually the third unreleased set from Woody Shaw’s excellent early ’80s unit, with the under recorded tenor saxophonist Carter Jefferson.

Wayne Shorter, Emanon (3 CD set)


Large ensemble work connected to an included graphic novel.

Sun Ra, The Singles Vol. 2, Exotica, In the Orbit of Ra

Sun Ra

Selections of ’50s-’60s recordings (45s, EPs) and the specially curated selections by long-time Arkestra member-now leader, leader Marshall Allen.

Fay Victor, Wet Robots

Wet Robots

Uncompromising vocalist debut as a leader with the group SoundNoiseFunk (Sam Newsome, Joe Morris, Reggie Nicholson) Not for the faint-of-ear!!!

We lost many artists last year-including three pianists in one month (Larry Willis, Harold Mayburn, Richard Wyands). Their music remains available, and each a distinct garden of their own pianistic delights.