I’ve been wanting to start a thread about the “greatest unknown albums” for a long time but haven’t had an excuse to do it. I guess now is as good a time as any!
Here are my criteria: The album has to be amazing, perhaps one of your favorite recordings of all time. Are there any “unknown” groups that crack your top ten list? Has anyone blown you away who doesn’t show up in any of the famous magazines or festivals? Spread the word so that the rest of us can check them out!
I’ll go first…
Clare Fischer: Alone Together (solo piano album)
I never knew that Clare Fischer was a pianist until I heard this album, and it blew me away. His rendition of “Everything Happens to Me” is unbelievable-I’ve been listening to it for years and the harmonic content and motific development still get me every time.
Bill Carrothers: Excelsior (another solo piano album)
Bill is still one of my favorite pianists out there, and this album flies under the radar a little bit. It’s all free improvisations that are surprisingly cohesive, simple, and profound. Some sound like hymns, others sound like impressionistic compositions. Ridiculous it was all completely out of his head.
Pete Kelly: Pete Kelly’s Blues (New Orleans-style band)
I still have no idea who Pete Kelly is, but this album is an amazing compilation of dixieland tunes and old standards. “Smiles” is one of the most enjoyable tracks I have ever listened to.
I’d love to hear what some of your greatest “unknown” albums are!