1961 Briefly Revisited: AotY

Playlist(s) of music in this post: Spotify
If you only listen to one song: "Fever", Elvis Presley

Two (more) of the Four Titans of 1959

When we revisited 1960, we talked about the documentary 1959: The Year That Changed Jazz, which is about the following four albums:

  • Mingus Ah Um, Charles Mingus
  • Kind of Blue, Miles Davis
  • The Shape of Jazz to Come, Ornette Coleman
  • Time Out, Dave Brubeck

The Shape of Jazz to Come and Time Out are the two albums that would have been included in the 1961 ceremony. Neither are Album of the Year nominees, nor do they win any of the jazz categories. That said, surprisingly, the winners of the jazz categories seem mostly okay:

  • Best Jazz Performance Solo or Small Group
    West Side Story Soundtrack, André Previn
  • Best Jazz Performance Large Group
    Blues and the Beat, Henry Mancini
  • Best Jazz Composition of More Than Five Minutes Duration
    Sketches of Spain, Gil Evans & Miles Davis

West Side Story is great, Miles Davis is Miles Davis, and who knows how big you have to be to qualify as a "Large Group"... maybe Mancini is super competitive in that division.

Elvis Is Back!

I'm starting to see the anxiety surrounding Elvis' sex appeal a touch more clearly.

When I was listening to Elvis Is Back! and "Fever" came on, I could feel the transgressiveness. In my kitchen, just moments prior, Bob Newhart had been telling cutesy jokes about Abraham Lincoln (Abe in a cardigan??? Ha!!) and Sinatra had been singing about the utter importance of taking it nice and easy, when one is on the road to romance.

Then Elvis comes around, with his seductive finger snapping, whisper singing about a fever that lasts all

It was quite the juxtaposition, let me tell you.

Three More Albums

Nothing to say, really, other than they're good and you should consider listening to them.

  • Sketches of Spain, Miles Davis
  • Blues & Roots, Charles Mingus
  • Giant Steps, John Coltrane