please help a jazz newbie

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grsimmon

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please help a jazz newbie
« on: 8 Mar 2015, 04:56 pm »
Though I'm no expert,   I've gotten to know a lot about classical music -  what composers I tend to like,  labels,  begin attending concerts, etc,  and I've been able to build up my collection.   It started in my teens,  I got a away from it for a long time,  and it's nice to come back.

But when it comes to jazz,  I know NOTHING and never have.  ZIP.  I've heard of Miles Davis   :duh:   At a thrift store yesterday I bought a cd of Peter Leitch Quartet called "Say What you Mean," brought it home and liked it.   Oh no,  this might turn into something :)  But where to start?   I use Pandora to learn about music that's new to me......but there's like 7 different categories just for Jazz.

A book I should read like Jazz for dummies?  The desert island sticky for this circle?   Just start wading through at Pandora?

Any information, advice,  etc.  anyone can provide would be greatly appreciated.    Thanks, - GR


jimdgoulding

Re: please help a jazz newbie
« Reply #1 on: 8 Mar 2015, 05:15 pm »
For an introduction to John Coltrane, get his "My Favorite Things" album.  He plays soprano sax on the title cut in 3/4 time.  I mention this because it is very accessible.  Appreciation of some jazz, like the second side, has to be acquired.

For a live jazz date- jazz is a spontaneous art form- get Miles Davis' "Miles In Tokyo".  Mostly it flies, but his ballad playing on this album is very special.  Indeed, in the entire world special.

Report back when you've listened . .


ZLS

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Re: please help a jazz newbie
« Reply #2 on: 8 Mar 2015, 08:41 pm »
    In your enjoyment of Classical Music, is there a particular instrument that you enjoy?

    Perhaps the key to your learning/enjoyment of Jazz will be to focus on the artists that

    preform on an instrument that you prefer. 

    Everyone will have suggestions as to what artist represents a particular instrument.

terry parr

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Re: please help a jazz newbie
« Reply #3 on: 8 Mar 2015, 10:28 pm »
just off the top of my head, a good way to start is to go a site like this:
http://www.allmusic.com/album/trio-quartet-91-mw0000269885
and then click on "similiar albums" which will lead you to music which will be in a similiar vein as to what you already like.  and from there, you begin to build upon that.   

other music sites, which have jazz offerings like spotify or the itunes site also have this feature where they recommend similiar-sounding choices.

to me, this is a much better, and much more enjoyable way of digging deeper into the jazz idiom (which will be based upon what appeals to you), rather than taking a "jazz study" approach, as if you're pursuing a masters in fine arts degree. 

by taking the approach that i've suggested, you'll find that "one thing leads to another, which leads to another, which leads to another,"  which is one of the things that i've found so enjoyable over the years in discovering "new to me" musicians, both old and new. 

one of the main differences that you'll find enjoyable between jazz and classical is that while with classical, it's most important for the musicians to remain true to the original intent of the composer that wrote the piece.  with jazz, improvising and re-harmonizing or even playing a well-known jazz tune in a different key is one of the things that make jazz so enjoyable to listen to. 

for now, that's just my "quick take."  hope it helps.

by the way, i'm not completely dismissing the idea of taking a more serious approach by looking into the more well established, popularly regarded "masters" of jazz.  i just don't think that's a good place to start.   

happy hunting!  there's a whole world to discover out there as far as interesting music.     
     




mresseguie

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Re: please help a jazz newbie
« Reply #4 on: 8 Mar 2015, 11:22 pm »
Hi, GR.

I'm something of a newbie, too. Among other possibilities, I've found my Public Library to be a great source of CDs - Jazz as well as Classical. I can take 20 (more even) CDs home; listen at my leisure, and jot down which performers and which styles appeal to me. I also subscribe to a streaming service called Radio Tunes. It is not quite CD quality, but I have access to several different channels of Jazz. It's great for casual listening and for background music. I'll probably upgrade to Tidal very soon.

The following title just played: Oscar Peterson "Blues of The Prairies" on the Piano Jazz channel. I really enjoyed it.

Good luck!

Michael

megabigeye

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Re: please help a jazz newbie
« Reply #5 on: 8 Mar 2015, 11:27 pm »
The library is a good idea.  Potentially overwhelming if you don't know what you're looking for.  I'd also give something like the Ken Burns Jazz Box Set a try.  It doesn't get very in depth with the more recent stuff, but it's a decent introduction.

ACHiPo

Re: please help a jazz newbie
« Reply #6 on: 9 Mar 2015, 12:45 am »
You can also try searching AllMusic--they have samples and reviews of a lot of music.  Also, Michael Fremer's Analog Planet has reviews of LPs for both content and sound quality.  Many are available in CD, so vinyl doesn't need to be a limiter.

There are a few "gateway" albums that are very accessible.  Here's a list to get you started in rough order of accessibility (albums lower on the list may take a few listens to appreciate, or you may never like them.  I'd suggest Dave Brubeck Take Five, Getz/Gilberto, and Miles Davis Kind of Blue to get started, but all the top ones are pretty likeable.  I left out a bunch of albums that are critically acclaimed that I still haven't learned to appreciate like Miles Davis' Bitches Brew):

Dave Brubeck Quartet – Time Out
Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto – Getz/Gilberto
Miles Davis – Kind of Blue
Weather Report – Heavy Weather
Louis Armstrong – Best of the Hot 5s and 7s
Sarah Vaughan – With Clifford Brown
Benny Goodman – At Carnegie Hall 1938
Sonny Rollins – Saxophone Colossus
Bill Evans Trio – Waltz For Debby
Bill Evans – Sunday at the village Vanguard
Art Pepper +11
Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers – Moanin’
Count Basie – the Original American Decca Recordings
Dexter Gordon – Go
John Coltrane – Blue Train
Duke Ellington – Ellington at Newport
John Coltrane – My Favourite Things
Hank Mobley – Soul Station
Cannonball Adderley – Somethin’ Else
Wes Montgomery – The incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery
Thelonious Monk – Monk's Music
John Coltrane – Giant Steps
John Coltrane – A Love Supreme

Finally, spend some time in the What Jazz Album are you Listening to circle--you can get exposed to a lot of great music and knowledgeable people.
« Last Edit: 9 Mar 2015, 01:05 pm by ACHiPo »

rockadanny

Re: please help a jazz newbie
« Reply #7 on: 9 Mar 2015, 04:40 pm »
Quote
Dave Brubeck Quartet – Time Out
Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto – Getz/Gilberto
Miles Davis – Kind of Blue
Weather Report – Heavy Weather
Louis Armstrong – Best of the Hot 5s and 7s
Sarah Vaughan – With Clifford Brown
Benny Goodman – At Carnegie Hall 1938
Sonny Rollins – Saxophone Colossus
Bill Evans Trio – Waltz For Debby
Bill Evans – Sunday at the village Vanguard
Art Pepper +11
Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers – Moanin’
Count Basie – the Original American Decca Recordings
Dexter Gordon – Go
John Coltrane – Blue Train
Duke Ellington – Ellington at Newport
John Coltrane – My Favourite Things
Hank Mobley – Soul Station
Cannonball Adderley – Somethin’ Else
Wes Montgomery – The incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery
Thelonious Monk – Monk's Music
John Coltrane – Giant Steps
John Coltrane – A Love Supreme

+1 ... Excellent starter series  :thumb:

bladesmith

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Re: please help a jazz newbie
« Reply #8 on: 9 Mar 2015, 07:20 pm »
Count Basie and his Orchestra made some really fine quality recordings. And he ran a very tight group. Just a great era and the Count had a great group of talent backing him up. Very tight. Very accurate and very low background noise. Some recordings were just amazing quality.

Enjoy...

jhm731

Re: please help a jazz newbie
« Reply #9 on: 9 Mar 2015, 07:32 pm »
grsimmon,

Get yourself a subscription to Jazziz Magazine:

http://magazine-order.com/jazziz.html?adt=327118&kw=jazziz

brother love

Re: please help a jazz newbie
« Reply #10 on: 9 Mar 2015, 08:35 pm »
Lots of good advice/ recommendations so far, particularly using streaming services & the local library for source material.  :thumb:

I'll echo Cannonball Adderley - Somethin' Else (incl. Miles on trumpet), Miles Davis- Kind of Blue, Dave Brubeck- Time Out, Art Blakey- Moanin' as good introductions. Lee Morgan- The Sidewinder is another consumer-friendly choice for jazz beginners.

A top 100 type of list is a good jump-off point to sample different artists & favorite ranked albums:  http://jazz100.sffjazz.com/top100.html

In addition to above, some of my personal faves are Django Reinhardt, Thelonious Monk, & Jelly Roll Morton. But YOU need to determine what "floats your boat" (& what does not), then you can start refining your searches to which jazz genres/ artists that you prefer.

Have fun with it & don't get too caught up in the whole jazz purist thang. Just enjoy a new musical direction to add to your others!


 

Kenneth Patchen

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Re: please help a jazz newbie
« Reply #11 on: 9 Mar 2015, 08:37 pm »


Dave Brubeck Quartet – Time Out
Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto – Getz/Gilberto
Miles Davis – Kind of Blue
Weather Report – Heavy Weather
Louis Armstrong – Best of the Hot 5s and 7s
Sarah Vaughan – With Clifford Brown
Benny Goodman – At Carnegie Hall 1938
Sonny Rollins – Saxophone Colossus
Bill Evans Trio – Waltz For Debby
Bill Evans – Sunday at the village Vanguard
Art Pepper +11
Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers – Moanin’
Count Basie – the Original American Decca Recordings
Dexter Gordon – Go
John Coltrane – Blue Train
Duke Ellington – Ellington at Newport
John Coltrane – My Favourite Things
Hank Mobley – Soul Station
Cannonball Adderley – Somethin’ Else
Wes Montgomery – The incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery
Thelonious Monk – Monk's Music
John Coltrane – Giant Steps
John Coltrane – A Love Supreme


Truly great starter list!!

I'd add Miles Davis Birth of the Cool, as well as any of his Quintet sessions, (Relaxin', Steamin', Workin' and Cookin'). Chet Baker's "Chet", Charlie Parker Savoy Sessions, and Gerry Mulligan Quartet: Pleyel Concerts.

And no respectable household should be without "Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim". In fact, I think I'll go listen to it now!

grsimmon

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Re: please help a jazz newbie
« Reply #12 on: 10 Mar 2015, 03:17 pm »

Thanks for all the helpful responses.   I now have this bookmarked and I'm sure will keep me busy for awhile   :thumb:

Gzerro

Re: please help a jazz newbie
« Reply #13 on: 10 Mar 2015, 04:02 pm »
That list by ACHiPo is really good.

If you are into vinyl check out the current Music Matters 33RPM Blue Note Re-issues. They are truly amazing pressings from RTI and top notch all analog remasters.

Several of these re-issues are on ACHiPo's list including:

Cannonball Adderly - Something Else (with Miles Davis)
Art Blakeley and the Jazz Messengers - Moanin'
Dexter Gordon- Go
John Coltrane - Blue Train
Hank Mobley - Soul Station

Good luck!

wendelltate

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Re: please help a jazz newbie
« Reply #14 on: 10 Mar 2015, 06:42 pm »
Truly great starter list!!

I'd add Miles Davis Birth of the Cool, as well as any of his Quintet sessions, (Relaxin', Steamin', Workin' and Cookin'). Chet Baker's "Chet", Charlie Parker Savoy Sessions, and Gerry Mulligan Quartet: Pleyel Concerts.

And no respectable household should be without "Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim". In fact, I think I'll go listen to it now!

+1 on everything above.  I love the Sinatra/Jobim album as well.  I would add:
some of my favorite vocals
Johnny Hartman and John Coltrane - only 5 or 6 songs but you they are all wonderful
Shirley Horn - You Won't Forget Me
any of the three Gregory Porter cds (Water, Liquid Spirit, Be Good)
The Sinatra Live at the Sands with the Count Basie Orchestra is wonderful as well.

instrumental jazz
Bill Evans trio - Portrait in Jazz
Bennie Green Trio - Live at the Village Vanguard
Sonny Rollins - Saxophone Colossus

The public library can be very useful for these.  That was how I did it.

You could also use Spotify and use the similar artists feature. I have been using this lately to discover many new artists that I would have never heard of otherwise.
Good luck

jimdgoulding

Re: please help a jazz newbie
« Reply #15 on: 11 Mar 2015, 11:47 pm »
Shirley Horn - You Won't Forget Me is a fine album, material and recording. 

ACHiPo

Re: please help a jazz newbie
« Reply #16 on: 17 Mar 2015, 12:57 pm »
Thanks for all the helpful responses.   I now have this bookmarked and I'm sure will keep me busy for awhile   :thumb:
GR,
What seemed to work for me when I started expanding my jazz section was to keep a list on paper or on my phone of interesting artists and records, then rifle through the used record/cd bins.  The stuff on the lists here will be tough to find in good condition used--they get snatched up quickly--but you may find other titles for a bargain that will give you a taste of the artist and may turn out to be some of your personal favorite records.  You may also see some artists/records that you want to research here or on Discdogs or AllMusic.  I have about a 10% hit rate--about 10% of the records I pick up on a lark turn out to be ones I love--but I enjoy at least 80% and it's fun.

AC

S Clark

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Re: please help a jazz newbie
« Reply #17 on: 17 Mar 2015, 02:21 pm »
GR,
What seemed to work for me when I started expanding my jazz section was to keep a list on paper or on my phone of interesting artists and records, then rifle through the used record/cd bins.  The stuff on the lists here will be tough to find in good condition used--they get snatched up quickly--but you may find other titles for a bargain that will give you a taste of the artist and may turn out to be some of your personal favorite records.  You may also see some artists/records that you want to research here or on Discdogs or AllMusic.  I have about a 10% hit rate--about 10% of the records I pick up on a lark turn out to be ones I love--but I enjoy at least 80% and it's fun.

AC
AC has a good point that the classics are not going to be easy to find in used bins.  However, you may find Ahmad Jamal, Jimmy Smith, Stanley Turrentine, Zoot Sims, Bud Shanks, along with the aforementioned Montgomery and Mulligan. 

mcgsxr

Re: please help a jazz newbie
« Reply #18 on: 17 Mar 2015, 03:22 pm »
I am digital only, and have many of that list of the suggested ones early in the thread.  Buying files or cd's usually means predictable outcomes with respect to sound quality - at least that the media will deliver whatever was originally recorded vs vinyl that may have become scratched or pitted etc.

I am very new to jazz, having only really started in the past year or two.

My entry was through picking an instrument I liked the sound of, and then exploring the origins of jazz with that instrument.

For me it was the sax.

Have fun!

ArthurDent

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Re: please help a jazz newbie
« Reply #19 on: 17 Mar 2015, 04:27 pm »
GR, all good suggestions & information proceeding. Appears most of the recommendations are what would be considered 'classic' jazz, with the exception of Weather Report. So I'll offer some slightly more 'modern' jazz artists, and a label which I believe most will agree has maintained a very high level of production quality since it's inception. The label is ECM, the man/founder Manfred Eicher has been recording top notch music since 1969. I've only dipped into a portion of their library, but with rare exception have not been disappointed in any respect.

Artists: guitar - John Abercrombie; albums - Timeless & Night,  Ralph Towner; Batik, Blue Sun. Terje Rypdal:  Oydessy, Waves     These will give you a feel for their work.
            bass - Eberhard Weber; Silent Feet, The Following Morning
            vibes - Gary Burton; Dreams So Real, Crystal Silence
            drums/piano - Jack DeJohnette - Rarum ~Selected Recordings & Pictures.

The list goes on, and as noted earlier you'll find artists playing with these folks that you may want to track down separately. More in the 'classic' jazz vein, Jimmy Smith (organ), Oscar Peterson (piano), Lionel Hampton (vibes). It all depends on what tickles your fancy, and as with any genre of music there's lots that will, and a good bit that won't. If you want to journey somewhat off the 'beaten path' check out Bela Fleck & the Flecktones. In particular the Live At The Quick DVD, which should convince anyone that the Banjo can indeed be a jazz instrument.

Enjoy the search and let us know when you find an artist that provides that tickle. Someone can probably point you to something else they've done, or someone similar.   :thumb: