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Intro to Jazz??

Discussion in 'Entertainment, Culture, and Sports' started by Gatsby, Jun 20, 2005.

  1. Gatsby

    Gatsby Senior member

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    In a nutshell, I want to listen to, learn more about, appreciate, and engage in (i.e., go to live performances of) Jazz, without looking like a completely poser. Like many, I've listened to Jazz, but more as interior backdrop music. Does anyone out there have any CD/performer/book recommendations, or can point to a decent site that has good basic knowledge? In particular I want to know more about leading present day performers and good lives to attend. My goal isn't to learn the intricacies of musicality, improvisation, etc., but to grasp the greater landscape of important jazz works, artists, and more importantly WHY they were/are important.

    Any help would be much appreciated..
     
  2. bachbeet

    bachbeet Senior member

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    Gatsby: Anyone who listens to jazz (or music, in general) will tell you that Miles Davis's Kind of Blue is probably the best jazz record ever. You MUST have it. And, John Coltrane's stuff is terrific. He played with Miles for a while. Today, the Marsalises (Wynton and Branford) are excellent. They also do classical works. Keith Jarrett. Stan Getz. Joe Pass. Kenny Burrell. John Abercrombie. Pat Metheny. Richie Beirach. Bill Frist. Jan Garbarek. Paul Winter's ECM stuff. Oregon. So many more. Enjoy.
     
  3. yanks2182

    yanks2182 Senior member

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    There's a great website www.allaboutjazz.com. It has a forum, some jazz guides, and a special section devoted to the beginning listener. There are many types of jazz. It might help to determine if you like a certain instrument being the lead instrument in the ensemble. Another great beginner jazz album is "Time Out" by the Dave Brubeck quarter.
     
  4. Buster

    Buster Senior member

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    for some contemporary good jazz: Terence Blanchard will visit Tokyo at the end of August. One of best trumpeters (just went to a session in the Blue Note this weekend that was amazing).

    I think "Kind of Blue" is kind of good entry point, but you will be probably more intrugued with albums from the second quintet when he played with Herbie and Wayne. John coltrane: start with " A Love supreme".

    my 2cents.

    B
     
  5. Matt

    Matt Senior member

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    be high on my list of best record ever - and im not especially a jazz lover.

    its amazing

    ps - cool avatar gatsby
     
  6. romafan

    romafan Senior member

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    The Smithsonian put out a historical retospective (maybe 6 or 7 CDs) which is well worthwhile, and is periodically updated. From ragtime through ??? it gives a nice overview of jazz - obviously the genre is too broad and deep to be thoroughly covered by any sinlge collection, but it's a start. If you can find a copy Leonard Feather's 'Encyclopedia of Jazz', grab it. This will abe an invaluable resource as you discover new musicians and styles you enjoy listening to.
     
  7. AlanC

    AlanC Senior member

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  8. Buster

    Buster Senior member

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    And I thought Gatsy wrote
     
  9. romafan

    romafan Senior member

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    Gatsby said: "My goal isn't to learn the intricacies of musicality, improvisation, etc., but to grasp the greater landscape of important jazz works, artists, and more importantly WHY they were/are important." You need a historical perspective to achieve this, otherwise you're listening to leading present day performers in a vacum...
     
  10. Eric

    Eric Senior member

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    I'm also starting to listen to more jazz. Though the only thing I own is Gato Barbieri's "Complete Last Tango in Paris" soundtrack, which I love.

    Eric
     
  11. AlanC

    AlanC Senior member

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    In particular I want to know more about leading present day performers and good lives to attend
    Yes, he said "in particular". He also said he didn't want to look like poseur, and wanted an "introduction" to jazz. I don't really know about the usefulness of an introduction that doesn't discuss foundations and origins. And I figured he might actually want to listen to good jazz. But I could be wrong. Â [​IMG] Get a couple of CDs by Don Stiernberg. He's not dead yet, so you can see him live. If you can find them live, worth seeing would be John Jorgenson, Angelo DeBarre, and Jimmy Rosenberg. I'd love to see Harmonious Wail and The Royal Garden Trio, but they're more localized.
     
  12. Dakota rube

    Dakota rube Senior member

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    A bit better than yesterday, all day vomiting for
  13. Buster

    Buster Senior member

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    It seems that all of you suffer from the same problem that tje Jazz documentary by Wynton Marsalis suffers (even tought it's a real gem): you fail to recognize the importance of the Jazz in the 60's to contemporary Jazz. Django (with all due respect) isn't as important for contemporary jazz as Miles, Art Blakey, Coltrane and Minugus. I am not saying that you have it explicitly, but that was the main theme of your posts. I think in order to have a full landscape you have to listen and know both (or most) streams, but it seems that your recommendations are somewaht stuck 80 years ago.

    B
     
  14. bachbeet

    bachbeet Senior member

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    Eric: Another good one by Gato is his album with his version of Santan's Europa (Earth's Cry, Heavens weep; something like that).
     
  15. Gatsby

    Gatsby Senior member

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    Thanks to all for all the recommendations. I guess I was a little too general and specific at the same time... I obviously DO want the whole historical background and context but at the same time be able to be "˜up to date' with contemporary artists, etc. Essentially I feel like I'm in the boat where "I know enough to know that I know nothing." [​IMG] Anyway, everything here has been of great assistance. I actually just picked up "Kind of Blue" yesterday. Haven't had a chance to listen to it yet, but will definitely give it a spin tonight.
     
  16. bachbeet

    bachbeet Senior member

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    Gatsby: You'll be very pleased. And, I'll bet you'll say "Hey. I've heard that somewhere." When the two main guys in Steely Dan were asked what their favorite album was, they didn't hesitate - Kind of Blue.

    Buster: If you read some of our posts, you'll notice a lot of us recommended Miles, et al.
     
  17. modsquad

    modsquad Senior member

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    Gatsby,

    I'm not sure if it's still in print but if you can get yourself copies of the Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz (there were two put out; the second updates the first) it'll walk you right through the canon, Jelly Roll Morton to the Art Ensemble of Chicago.
     
  18. bachbeet

    bachbeet Senior member

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    Dakota: Thanks a lot for the link. I put it in my favorites. I have several on the first couple pages I looked at. I'm gonna take a look at the Sage of Tippo. I have several Mose Allison. In fact, I had one that is now out of print. The LP called Retrospective (I think). It was a great one. Problem is that I recorded it on tape. And sold the LP. Notusually a problem, but the tape was Memorex. Lousy tape. It stopped working long ago and I can't find the cd version anywhere. Maybe the sage will replace it.
     
  19. musiczone

    musiczone Member

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    I would recomend McCoy Tyner since he was part of the "classic" Coltrane quartet, he's still alive and he travels to Japan.
     
  20. 4Mica

    4Mica Senior member

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    There was a good article on Sonny Rollins in the New Yorker not too long ago. Â There are also some good jazz stations on the internet, here is a site for KKJZ that has a listener voted top 88 jazz songs that covers a pretty good mix of material. kkjz
     

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