Friday, March 16, 2012

Les Sabler's Top 10 Favorites Jazz Albums

Here's another installment from our recent Top 50 Jazz Albums poll. This time we venture into the heart & mind of smooth jazz guitarist Les Sabler - whose top 10 list is marvelously diverse.

Les is originally from Canada, where several of his releases have gone #1 in the smooth jazz charts there. His 2007 release "Sweet Drive" was nominated for album of the year at the Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards and featured players like Jeff Lorber, Eric Marienthal, Ricky Peterson, Vinnie Colaiuta and Alex Acuna; and was produced by Brian Bromberg. Les is now a Tampa resident - where he roots for Florida hockey team the Tampa Bay Lightning. His latest album "Crescent Shores" - has rave reviews from critics all over the world. His list below has some nice, forgotten surprises!

1.  Miles Davis - Kind of Blue  "Many will agree that this is the finest jazz recording of all time and it is my personal favorite."

2.  Seawind - Light The Light  "Jerry Hey in my opinion is the best arranger of the past 30 years and I was very fortunate to record with him on my CD, Sweet Drive.  I also met Bob Wilson several years ago and Follow Your Road is one of my all time favorite songs."

3.  Gal Costa - Canta Tom Jobim  "The best arrangements of Jobim's music I have ever heard and Gal is my number one favorite singer.  I was fortunate to see her perform at Carnegie Hall last year.  She is amazing!!!"

4. George Benson - Beyond The Blue Horizon
  "When I want to hear GB burn it up on the guitar this is where I go.  I first saw him perform around the time of this release and he inspired me to play like no other."

5.  Larry Carlton - Last Night  "LC and Benson are my two most important guitar influences and this is my favorite recording of his although I love all of them.  I met him several times and as great a musician he is, he is a greater person." 

6.  Kenny Burrell and John Coltrane  "I transcribed one of Kenny's solo's and learned it note for note when I was in University.  I also saw Kenny perform back then and his style made me feel the music.  Coltrane was beyond genius."

7.  Oliver Nelson - Blues and the Abstract Truth  "My favorite big band album and my favorite arrangements from any recording I have ever listened to."

8.  Les McCann and Eddie Harris - Swiss Movement  "This music makes me feel great when I listen to it.  Les was so nice when I met him in New Orleans in 1991."

9. Wes Montgomery and Winton Kelly
- Smokin' at the Half Note  "When I listen to Wes on this recording, the master and innovator's spirit comes alive and I feel like  I am sitting in a jazz club listening to him." 

10.  George Benson - White Rabbit  "When I was getting serious about playing guitar, this is a recording I studied and listened to a lot."

"I am leaving out so many other great recordings, I wish I could list more!"

Thank you Les for participating in our poll!

You can pick up a copy of the beautiful "Crescent Shores" album at Les' website! - PCJ

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