Alex Stephenson

Reviews 43
Approval 92%

Soundoffs 30
News Articles 1
Band Edits + Tags 57
Album Edits 394

Album Ratings 2844
Objectivity 80%

Last Active 07-26-19 7:57 pm
Joined 04-17-17

Forum Posts 10
Review Comments 865

08.08.19 Long Shot's Top 75 Albums of 196407.03.19 Sam Cooke -- RANKED
06.27.19 Long Shot's Top 60 Albums of 196306.05.19 Long Shot's Top 60 Albums of 1962
05.19.19 Long Shot's Top 50 Albums of 196105.06.19 Sputnik Users with 2000+ Album Ratings
04.25.19 Long Shot's Top 50 Albums of 196004.13.19 Long Shot's Top 100 Albums of the 1950s
04.12.19 Long Shot's Top 50 Albums of 195903.26.19 Long Shot's Top 50 Albums of 1958
03.20.19 Billie Holiday -- RANKED03.17.19 Long Shot's Top 40 Albums of 1957
03.05.19 Long Shot's Top 30 Albums of 195602.26.19 Clifford Brown -- RANKED
02.25.19 Long Shot's Top 15 Albums of 195502.24.19 Long Shot's Top 10 Albums From Pre-1953
02.24.19 Long Shot's Top 15 Albums of 195402.22.19 Long Shot's Top 10 Albums of 1953
More »

Long Shot's Top 10 Albums From Pre-1953

Albums from before the LP era are difficult to compare with those released at the beginning of the LP era, but I've done my best here. Unfortunately, many of the popular releases from this era come from late WWII/the immediate aftermath, which I've always felt was an abnormally dry spell as far as recorded music is concerned (certainly connoisseurs of live jazz music would disagree). As such, 7 out of 10 releases here come from after 1948, as well as all but one of my honorable mentions that will appear in the comments.
1Woody Guthrie
Dust Bowl Ballads


The first concept album. (Take that, Sinatra.)

Track pick: "Tom Joad (Parts 1 and 2)"
2Stan Kenton
City of Glass


Gershwin meets '50s America meets late tonality.

Track pick: "Thermopolae"
3Lead Belly
Negro Sinful Songs


An album so good that I can forgive Lead Belly for introducing "Black Betty" into the world.

Track pick: "The Gallis Pole"
4Josh White (USA-NY)
Southern Exposure


Blues fans take note, this is some of the best blues music of the era and you're missing out if you've ignored Josh White's music until now.

Track pick: "Defense Factory Blues"
5Duke Ellington
Ellington Uptown


Big band was very much on its last legs in the early 1950s, but if nothing else, this Ellington record captures some of the very best of what the genre had to offer during that time period.

Track pick: "Take the 'A' Train"
6Sonny Stitt and Bud Powell
Sonny Stitt & Bud Powell


An underrated early example of a bop record, featuring heavily Parker-inspired saxophone playing and great piano riffing underneath.

Track pick: "Sonny Side"
7Duke Ellington
Masterpieces By Ellington


Perhaps the first LP that takes advantage of the lengthier format, with Ellington extending ruminating instrumental jams to 15 minutes and beyond. Excellent stuff.

Track pick: "Mood Indigo"
8Charlie Parker
Jazz at the Philharmonic, 1949


Terrific saxophonist who never recorded a truly "classic" album, but this live recording is as close as we're going to get, so appreciate it for all it's worth.

Track pick: "Lester Leaps In"
9Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday Sings


'30s/early '40s Billie >>>> '50s Billie for me, but this is a nice portrait of a time before the great voice was slowed down by rampant substance abuse.

Track pick: "These Foolish Things'
10Milt Jackson
Wizard of the Vibes


The title speaks for itself, really.

Track pick: "Eronel"
Show/Add Comments (3)


Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Site Copyright 2005-2019
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy