Magazine article The Spectator

Kurt's My Man

Magazine article The Spectator

Kurt's My Man

Article excerpt

This week I am handing over the column to David Vick, who has contributed what I regard as the best (so far) of all the Top Tens I have received. Sound in judgment and admirably wide-ranging, Vick has in particular introduced me to Kurt Elling, an amazing jazz vocalist, still only in his early forties, of whom I had never previously heard. Having checked Elling out on Spotify, it's clear that he is a superb artist, and I have now ordered several of his CDs. Trust me, trust David Vick.

This guy is sensational and I cannot understand why he is so little known. Now, over to you, Mr Vick.

Charles Spencer

First up must be, of course, Dylan. He and I have been, in the words of his latest album title, together through life. The man is, quite simply, the greatest genius of our generation. I have 783 Bob Dylan tracks on my iPod, which pretty much conveys the enormity of his contribution to music and to my life. If I have to choose just one of his albums to represent his life's achievement, it will have to be:

1. Blonde on Blonde, Bob Dylan (1966) The two other greatest rock albums of all time, both of which completely blew me away the first time I heard them (I can still remember the hairs on my neck standing up when I first listened to Astral Weeks, in the Rainbow Records shop in West Drayton, and realised that I was in the presence of something quite extraordinary), still sound just as good over 40 years later. They are:

2. Astral Weeks, Van Morrison (1968) 3. Forever Changes, Love (1967) These days, I listen mainly to jazz, which I first got into while still at school in the 1960s, and I have no doubt whatsoever that the two most seminal figures are Miles Davis and John Coltrane, in all of their various incarnations. I listen to the music of both of them, and from all phases of their musical evolution, all the time.

It is a measure of the calibre of jazz fans as a subset of humanity that, quite remarkably, the accepted view of what is the greatest jazz album of all time (and is also the bestselling jazz album of all time) is one that I can wholeheartedly share:

4. Kind of Blue, Miles Davis (1959) Choosing my favourite Coltrane album is a lot more difficult, so here I'm going for a compilation album containing some of his loveliest and most mellow tracks, first released by Impulse in 1991:

5. …

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