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5 Albums That Cast a Spell

There are jazz albums I can't stop listening to once I put them on. It's an emotional thing. My soul won't let me do it. The quality of the art is so overwhelmingly beautiful that removing the album would shatter the mood the artists are spinning. These albums include Bill Evans at Town Hall, Erroll Garner: Concert by the Sea, The Gerry Mulligan Songbook, Rollins Plays for Bird and Paul Desmond and Jim Hall's Glad to Be Unhappy.

If you think I'm being overly dramatic, I'm not. In fact, let's see how you do. Here are tracks from all five of these albums. Trust me, your feet are going to go up before your hand has a chance to reach the computer mouse. Or just listen to the albums one after the next in front of the fireplace this weekend:

Here's Paul Desmond and Jim Hall playing Stranger in Town in 1964 with Gene Cherico (b) and Connie Kay (d)...

Here's Gerry Mulligan's Venus de Milo with Lee Konitz (as), Allen Eager, Zoot Sims (as,ts), Al Cohn (bar,ts), Gerry Mulligan (bar), Freddie Green (g), Henry Grimes (b), Dave Bailey (d) and Bill Holman (arr) in 1957...

Here's Erroll Garner playing Will You Still Be Mine, from Concert by the Sea in 1955 with Eddie Calhoun (b) and Denzil Best (d)...

Here's Bill Evans at Town Hall in 1966 playing Who Can I Turn To, with Chuck Israels (b) and Arnold Wise (d)...

And here's a medley of Parker's Mood, I Remember You, Star Eyes, My Melancholy Baby, They Can't Take That Away From Me, Old Folks, Just Friends and My Little Suede Shoes on Rollins Plays for Bird in 1956, featuring Sonny Rollins (ts), Kenny Dorham (tp), Wade Legge (p) George Morrow (b) and Max Roach (d)...

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