Playlist: Fall into works of classic jazz sideman

As I walked out of the Austin Public Library’s used book sale recently, I set my books down on a table by the music books to assess my haul. Sitting there right beside where I set my books down was “Jazz: The Rough Guide.”

The timing was about perfect. I bought the book, and it helped propel me into the jazz mood that comes every year as the leaves turn and fall.

The jazz guide got me looking at several of my favorite jazz albums, and on many I noticed a common name in the backing bands: Paul Chambers playing bass.

Chambers was a member of Miles Davis’ band for some of his classic albums, like “Kind of Blue” and “Milestones,” and he played with John Coltrane on several of his classics like “Blue Train” and “Giant Steps,” just to name a few.

With a lazy Sunday afternoon ahead of me, I took to Spotify seeking a playlist of the classic bass player’s music. But to my surprise, I found nothing.

Determined not let the failings of past playlist makers quell my desire for a good jazz playlist, I set to making my own Spotify playlist of the albums Chambers played on.

It was a taller task than I’d envisioned. Chambers was one of the preeminent bass players from 1954 to 1969, playing on dozens of albums for numerous musicians.

While I spent more of my Sunday making a Spotify playlist than I planned, it was a nice excuse to kick back, listen to great jazz and relax on a Sunday afternoon (believe me, people have wasted time on far less productive endeavors).

All told, my playlist came in at 1,262 songs and more than 126 hours long — and several albums weren’t available on Spotify.

Here are some of the great jazz albums featuring Paul Chambers:

“Kind of Blue” by Miles Davis

“Blue Train” by John Coltrane

“The Garland Trio” by the Red Garland Trio

“Statements” by Milt Jackson

“Miles” by Miles Davis

“On Green Dolphin Street” by Bill Evans

“Gil Evans and Ten” by Gil Evans

“Piano” by Wynton Kelly

“Brilliant Corners” by Thelonious Monk

“Full House” by Wes Montgomery

“Dexter Calling …” by Dexter Gordon

“Cannonball Adderley Quintet in Chicago” by Cannonball Adderley

“Curtis Fuller with Red Garland” by Curtis Fuller

“Inventions and Dimensions” by Herbie Hancock


Listen to Paul Chambers playlist online through Spotify



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