Monday, July 7, 2008

Top Tan List: Ten Artists

10) Dave Matthews Band
Mr. Matthews has written many a great song, from the uplifting "Everyday" to the symphonic ballad "Crash Into Me". His band's mellow sound paved the way for fine artists like John Mayer and Jack Johnson. Must-hear albums: Crash, Busted Stuff

9) Twiztid
And because I'm insane, I'm following the quintessential mellow band with two hardcore rappers. Don't dismiss these guys as I.C.P. knockoffs - their lyrics, rapping, and beats set them apart as a more mature and adventurous act. Must-hear albums: Freek Show, The Green Book

8) Count Basie
Band leaders can't get any better than this guy. Whether he was showcasing Joe Williams, great horn players, or himself and the rest of his rhythm section, he always produced a tight, clean product. Must-hear albums: The Greatest! Count Basie Plays, Joe Williams Sings Standards, Basie at Birdland

7) Bill Evans
This virtuoso was a key player in the landmark album Kind of Blue. Besides backing Miles Davis, he could write songs and solo with the best of 'em. Must-hear albums: Kind of Blue, The Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Album

6) Duke Ellington
Duke's compositions helped create jazz while transcending classification. He proved that improvised works could be just as textured as classically composed ones, opening the door for all the American musicians who came after him. Must-hear album: The Essence of Duke Ellington
Click here for the top five!

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