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Trying to get back into jazz

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Posted on July 5, 2012 at 10:08:28
magiccarpetride
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Joined: March 31, 2010
I used to be a big jazz lover. That changed abruptly after I bought Dave Holland Quintet "Prime Directive" CD some 12 years ago. At first, I loved that album, but after a while it started getting on my nerves, and I began spotting chinks in the armour. All of a sudden, what used to sound so engaging and daring to my ears, turned into this cold, stillborn music.

Needless to say, I was in shock. Then I went out and attended some live jazz performances to see if Holland was only an exception. I've attended Wayne Shorter's show, Herbie Hancock's show, etc. Much to my chagrin, I came to the conclusion that all these celebrated jazz luminaries were merely going through the motions. All that semi-free, semi-experimental music sounded completely stillborn to me. There was no real content in there, none that I could detect. Just some jazz celebrities ripping it up and down their instruments while juggling arpeggios, exotic scales, trying very hard to play on the "outside". Very acrobatic without any trace of emotions.

That sad discovery forced me to completely abandon jazz. However, after more than a decade of sabbatical, I think I feel ready to get back into jazz. In my recent attempts I was only able to stomach some old recordings, usually from the '50s, such as Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, a little bit of Cannoball Adderley, you know, the melodic stuff. Tried to revisit Miles Davis's "Kind of Blue" (which I used to adore), found it too hollow and shallow sounding (except for Cannoball's amazing melodiousness, of course). Coltrane especially failed to impress me. Sounded like he was trying too hard.

So now I'm asking if someone could recommend a good way for me to ease back into jazz without the danger of souring on those hollow, 'experimental' masturbators. I don't want to be put off again by some muscular athletic musicians who approach jazz the way chess players approach the checkered board. Jazz, to me, is not an intellectual challenge, it's a joyous expression of the human condition. Or so I've heard...

 

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Stick to geniuses., posted on July 5, 2012 at 10:18:08
mwhitmore
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Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, Coleman Hawkins, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Clifford Brown, Sonny Rollins, Charles Mingus. A lifetime of listening right there. Don't blame you at all about the soulless post-modernists.

 

I am not going to recommend something just to have you disappointed....., posted on July 5, 2012 at 10:36:16
Mike B.
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I will recommend listening to many of the fine jazz oriented radio shows available. I know of two shows locally where the hosts are very well versed in the genre and play a wide variety of new and old recordings. I imagine you have similar offerings in your area? And you can always stream them on the net.

 

Easier solution:, posted on July 5, 2012 at 10:36:40
Enophile
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Posts: 25268
Location: Northern Californistan
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Trade all your jazz albums for Teresa's classical albums and it will be win win!

Her dilemma is in the link...



 

RE: Trying to get back into jazz, posted on July 5, 2012 at 10:43:23
lord addleford
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listen to the chet baker/gerry mulligan sessions. also chet baker/russ freeman sessions. solid representatives of the the west coast sound.

 

I've heard it said that you are either a "jazz person" or a "blues person.", posted on July 5, 2012 at 10:45:40
David S.
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Now, I don't like being categorized, pidgeon-holed, or otherwise limited.

That said, I'm a blues person.

Sure, there is some jazz I like, and there is some jazz I LOVE, but I'd skip it all for the blues that struck a chord in my heart.

Perhaps your listening preferences have moved along a similar line?

 

Why?, posted on July 5, 2012 at 10:56:08
M3 lover
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mcr, no offense intended but I wonder why you are interested in "getting back into jazz"? It sounds like your musical tastes have moved elsewhere.

I can understand that some jazz fans might not care for Dave Holland's work. But jazz remains such a broad field that should hardly disqualify anyone from a total interest in any of it.

I could be snide and suggest listening to some of the "smooth" jazz artists. But in my perspective that would include the danger of your falling asleep.

"You canít know what the ďbestĒ is unless you have heard everything, and keep in mind that given individual tastes, there really isnít any such thing." HP

 

RE: Stick to geniuses., posted on July 5, 2012 at 10:57:48
magiccarpetride
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"Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, Coleman Hawkins, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Clifford Brown, Sonny Rollins, Charles Mingus."

Great list. The only one of those geniuses I could never get into is Duke Ellington. To this day, I remain mystified as to why is he so revered as a jazz genius. True, he was very prolific, but most of his tunes sound to me half-baked. Some of his pieces are even overly ambitious to the point of sounding contrived. Can someone enlighten me?

 

RE: Why?, posted on July 5, 2012 at 11:00:37
magiccarpetride
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"mcr, no offense intended but I wonder why you are interested in "getting back into jazz"? It sounds like your musical tastes have moved elsewhere."

I often find it very seductive to put on some jazz, because most of those performances have been recorded with musicians in the same room, one take, warts and all. Very little post-production doctoring. I love the sonics of those.

Now, if only the content would match the brilliant soundscape...

 

RE: Why?, posted on July 5, 2012 at 11:02:48
magiccarpetride
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"I could be snide and suggest listening to some of the "smooth" jazz artists. But in my perspective that would include the danger of your falling asleep."

Like I said, I'm more into 'melodic' jazz. That does not necessarily have to imply 'soft' jazz, does it? Thelonious Monk is one of my all time favourite jazz cats, very melodic, but he could hardly ever be labeled 'soft' jazz, no?

 

RE: I've heard it said that you are either a "jazz person" or a "blues person.", posted on July 5, 2012 at 11:04:06
magiccarpetride
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I am definitely a "blues" person, however I am of the opinion that jazz is just another variety of blues. Unless we're talking Oscar Peterson.

 

Oh, crap! It's an audiophile thing!, posted on July 5, 2012 at 11:05:46
Enophile
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In that case, just switch over to audiophile recordings of female vocalists and be done with it.

If the content don't fit, and all that's enjoyable is the 'quality of the recording,' maybe some single mic'd "books on tape" will get ya there.

This does not bode well for you experiencing a jazz renaissance.












 

RE: Oh, crap! It's an audiophile thing!, posted on July 5, 2012 at 11:17:35
magiccarpetride
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"In that case, just switch over to audiophile recordings of female vocalists and be done with it."

Maybe it's just me, but I was never able to find those audiophile recordings as sounding good at all. It's always as if something's missing from those recordings. My nagging suspicion is that they're typically doctored and tortured to death in the post-production phase. There seems to be a lot of sanding off and polishing going on during the mix-down of these recordings, to remove any rough edges. But it's precisely those rough edges that result in exciting listening experiences. And those rough edges have been thankfully preserved in those honest-to-god jazz recording sessions from the late '50s.

 

Bad luck, posted on July 5, 2012 at 11:19:37
jedrider
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I must say that my experience with Live performances:

Sometimes the greatest.

Sometimes a big let down.

Most of the time, better than popping in your own CD. Although, a pre-digital vinyl album will up your chances here of giving one a taste of the magic.

I don't think you can expect a musician to give his all everyday of the year. You have to be lucky sometimes. That said, if you do happen upon a great concert, you will never forget it.

I am not into the advante guard type of music so much anymore as I once was, but neither do you want to hear the same music all over again always.

[I also think that the venue is of critical importance. You may want to try some alternative places to see if the chemistry is better.]

 

"Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny." F. Zappa. "No, it is dead." Kenny G., posted on July 5, 2012 at 11:54:25
Jazz died in the 1960s.

Jazz went weird with Roland Kirk, Keith Jarrett's grunting on a piano, Sun Ra.

An artform needs a "scene" to thrive. There is no Jazz scene anymore.

 

Too bad. , posted on July 5, 2012 at 12:17:24
Rick W
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"......hollow, 'experimental' masturbators."

As a jazz musician, I'm sorry you no longer appreciate a lot of newer jazz (I'd guess you'd dislike my music too). But your characterization of guys like Holland/Hancock etc. is just plain ignorant. Shorter and Hancock "just going through the motions"? Kind Of Blue "hollow"? GMAB. Jazz is ".....a joyous expression of the human condition."? Yes, that and every other emotion known to mankind, and open to every nuance imaginable.

Many artists (in every art form) continuously evolve, leaving some of their audience behind. Obviously musicians like Dave Holland are working on their art every day. He's an artist 24 hrs. a day, year after year. Most of the jazz audience are not, including you. Its not weird that the evolution/change/growth of a jazz artist can leave some of their previous audience behind.

My mom once went to a Stan Getz concert around 15 years after his bossa nova recordings came out. She and apparently quite a few others in the audience were disappointed with what Getz's group was playing. There were shouts of "Play Ipanema" from the audience. Getz had to explain that time marches on, artists change and grow, and he hoped they'd give what he was currently playing a chance. BTW - he was hardly playing off the wall or soulless music with that group (which included Kenny Barron on piano).

Its a shame you fall into negative raps like "Just some jazz celebrities ripping it up and down their instruments while juggling arpeggios, exotic scales, trying very hard to play on the "outside"." IMO your post is just a bullshit troll. If you were into jazz for years and were listening to the likes of Wayne Shorter/Monk/Miles/Cannonball etc. I'm sure you could find several thousand jazz recordings you'd enjoy without help from anybody on this forum.

Meantime, my condolences.

 

Hey!, posted on July 5, 2012 at 12:18:43
musetap
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Sun Ra was weird starting in the 50's!

Credit where credit is due!

"Once this was all Black Plasma and Imagination"-Michael McClure



 

RE: Too bad. , posted on July 5, 2012 at 12:22:48
magiccarpetride
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"Meantime, my condolences."

Hey, no need to feel defensive. It's true, artists change and evolve, but arguably not always for the better (Miles Davis anyone?)

You haven't offered anything constructive in your reply. Can you name a few young jazz musicians that you'd recommend I listen to? Of course, I have no problem going back and enjoying the old masters, that's a given. But I would like to get back into jazz by discovering new formidable players and then going to see them live. Can you recommend any?

 

Don't waste your time, Rick., posted on July 5, 2012 at 12:48:18
Dave Pogue
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He even disses Duke Ellington down below :-)

 

RE: Bad luck, posted on July 5, 2012 at 12:50:42
Chazro
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Not to sound like an elitist but Jazz is advanced musicology, definitely not for everybody. IMO very much like Classical which also, is not for everybody. But like Classical, being a genre that encompasses such an extraordinary wealth of choices, one should be able to find SOMETHING! I think the knee-jerk answer (that you've already been given) is to go back to the classics, but this does a huge disservice to the Jazz of today. The problem with trying to find new stuff is it's often too much work for a casual listener. Who to listen to? Where to listen to it? In YOUR case, a person that swears off a genre completely for 10 yrs based on a handful of negative experiences (hold a grudge much?!;), it's impossible to tell how deep you're willing to dig. Sometimes you gotta know when to fold your hand! I own over 7000+ recordings, I'd say maybe 2 dozen are Classical music, I folded my hand on Classical a long time ago!

Here's a modern (recorded this century) recommendation for you:
Waverly 7 - Yo Bobby! Accessible, extremely well-played, and well recorded. Good luck!

 

RE: Too bad. , posted on July 5, 2012 at 13:12:32
middleground
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Have to agree. My condolences are also extended to the OP.

 

RE: Stick to geniuses., posted on July 5, 2012 at 14:34:21
soulfood
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"Can someone enlighten me?"

Yes, you're a troll. An extremely shallow one but a troll nonetheless.

 

Bill Evans, Dave Brubeck, Chet Baker, Stan Getz, Sonny Rollins , posted on July 5, 2012 at 14:37:09
morricab
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and the like. Still my preferred Jazz... Some Keith Jarret/Jan Garbarek from the early ECM days.

 

RE: Trying to get back into jazz, posted on July 5, 2012 at 14:38:01
steven d
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I'll add some names here who in their own right were fantastic musicians with a LOT of soul, IMO, but we're never considered in the same league as some of the pioneers:

Art Pepper, stuff on Contemporary is very smooth
Sonny Stitt, Prestige/Muse recordings are fantastic; I would say he's the sax version of Oscar Peterson. Which brings me to...
Oscar Peterson, the trio with Brown and Thigpen is the best era for me
Zoot Sims, pretty fly for a white guy
Stan Getz, amazing tone and soul and a clever improviser

There are more but these artists stand out for me.

There is no better blower of the sax than Coleman Hawkins.
Opinions don't affect facts. But facts should affect opinions, and do, if you're rational..
- Ricky Gervais, 2012

 

RE: Trying to get back into jazz, posted on July 5, 2012 at 14:55:13
Raymond Leggs
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The sound of those audio recordings is as palid and dry as the music your trying to get back into. No way a recording can sound THAT polished through natural recording.

Audiophile Equipment manufacturers are paid to demo and promote this "music" at thier shows and in magazines. They even "voice" the equipment to sound thier best on these recordings.

Free yourself from trying to get back into music that no longer satisfies you get out of the Audiphile music only mentality and try some good modern music.

Listen to some, Iron and wine, Isobel Campbell, Sleigh bells, The cults, Florence and the Machine, Propellerheads, Massive attack, Chemical brothers, crystal method, Gotye, Kimbra, MGMT, Minus the bear, Armin van burren etc..

 

If it makes you feel any better and helps you branch out from your limited genre thinking..., posted on July 5, 2012 at 15:12:33
musetap
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Duke Ellington is considered by most to be a musical genius who worked in the "jazz" field.

You either get it or you don't- enlightenment is in the the music; it won't find you through explanation, no matter how detailed or articulate.





"Once this was all Black Plasma and Imagination"-Michael McClure



 

Me too..., posted on July 5, 2012 at 16:13:02
mkuller
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...I love blues and blues oriented rock.

But if I had to pick one album for that desert island it would be Getz/Gilberto.

No one plays the sax like Stan.

 

RE: Me too..., posted on July 5, 2012 at 16:21:07
magiccarpetride
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"No one plays the sax like Stan."

Yeah, I can listen to him playing on Gilberto's bossa nova album till the cows come home.

But is it jazz?

 

RE: Don't waste your time, Rick., posted on July 5, 2012 at 16:22:37
magiccarpetride
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"He even disses Duke Ellington down below :-)"

What do you mean "down below"?

 

RE: Easier solution:, posted on July 5, 2012 at 16:23:35
Inmate51
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"Trade all your jazz albums for Teresa's classical albums and it will be win win!"

See, you're a thinker!

:)

 

RE: Trying to get back into jazz, posted on July 5, 2012 at 16:25:20
magiccarpetride
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"Listen to some, Iron and wine, Isobel Campbell, Sleigh bells, The cults, Florence and the Machine, Propellerheads, Massive attack, Chemical brothers, crystal method, Gotye, Kimbra, MGMT, Minus the bear, Armin van burren etc."

Now this is what I was hoping to get from the esteemed members on this forum. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You're a true gentleman.

 

Of course it is..., posted on July 5, 2012 at 16:27:32
mkuller
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...there are many different types and styles of jazz, like with any broad musical genre.

 

RE: If it makes you feel any better and helps you branch out from your limited genre thinking..., posted on July 5, 2012 at 16:32:02
magiccarpetride
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"You either get it or you don't- enlightenment is in the the music; it won't find you through explanation, no matter how detailed or articulate."

True, however sometimes all one needs is a nudge and a push. Sort of like John Lennon couldn't get into Dylan until George Harrison forced him one sunny day, back in 1964, to sit down and listen to the entire Freewheeling album. It was only THEN that Lennon got it!

So far, I've tried to listen to some Ellington tunes, but couldn't get into it. It all sounded too calculated to me. I watched the Burns Jazz special episode on Duke, and it all looked more like setting up a case to have one and only God of jazz, like a central father-figure, rather than really showcasing his musical genius (unlike the Burns episode dedicated to Charlie Parker, which was all about Parker's undeniable musical genius).

So what I'm asking here (actually, more precisely, what I'm trolling for here) is if someone can recommend a CD by Ellington that will blow me away and bust open the doors to the Ellington kingdom. Any takers?

 

RE: Of course it is..., posted on July 5, 2012 at 16:34:58
magiccarpetride
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"...there are many different types and styles of jazz, like with any broad musical genre."

One could put it that way. However, I've just attended a 10 day local jazz festival, where I was listening to all kinds of R&B, soul, funk, dub, hip-hop, world music, even pop, but barely any jazz (unless you count George Benson's brand of soft pop as being 'jazz'?) So one natural question comes to mind: why do they bill it as 'jazz'?

 

Everything..., posted on July 5, 2012 at 16:38:48
mkuller
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...has to be called something.

If Kenny G is considered part of jazz, so should George Benson, who has a couple of songs I like.

Don't know what else you would call them in general terms.

 

RE: Bad luck, posted on July 5, 2012 at 16:42:23
magiccarpetride
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"Here's a modern (recorded this century) recommendation for you:
Waverly 7 - Yo Bobby! Accessible, extremely well-played, and well recorded. Good luck!"

Thank you. You are a true gentleman too. You're not trying to attack me and call me names and insist that I am feeble minded for not liking anything and everything in jazz. Just because I don't like what Herbie Hancock is playing today doesn't mean that I do not adore his work from the '60s (his "Maiden Voyage" is still one of the most intensely satisfying jazz records I've ever heard).

But I'm more interested in learning about contemporary jazz right now, and if there is a way to get back into it, or if it's a lost cause (i.e. if it smells funny).

 

RE: Everything..., posted on July 5, 2012 at 16:45:51
magiccarpetride
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"Don't know what else you would call them in general terms."

George Benson walked up on the stage and started playing "Breezin'". Brilliant, kick-ass music, but I'd never call it jazz. It was pure unadulterated pop, which I've enjoyed immensely. Honestly, I could listen to him play forever.

 

Currently 24 posts down below this one., posted on July 5, 2012 at 16:49:10
Dave Pogue
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If you're reading this in classic format. Subject to change as the posts increase.

 

LOL. Those groups are about as related to jazz as Davis S. Ware is to Baroque. nt , posted on July 5, 2012 at 16:54:23
Rick W
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nt

 

RE: "Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny." F. Zappa. "No, it is dead." Kenny G., posted on July 5, 2012 at 16:55:47
Inmate51
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Hahahahaha! That's hilarious, especially given that Kenny G helped to kill it.

:)

 

Count Basie The Decca Recordings: 3 CDs of 'joyous Jazz' no question. nt, posted on July 5, 2012 at 17:21:55
.

 

A lot of great Jazz was in the 30's and 40's. NO audiophile 'golden ears' need apply?, posted on July 5, 2012 at 17:27:08
Tons of really great jazz from the 1930's and 1940's. All based on 78 transcriptions or really old tapes. Wonderful music. sound quality? WHO CARES!

 

RE: Trying to get back into jazz, posted on July 5, 2012 at 17:42:06
tamule
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tried any recent Charles Lloyd like Voice In the Night? - my favorite.

 

RE: Trying to get back into jazz, posted on July 5, 2012 at 18:17:41
lesleymorley@yahoo.com


 
I remember once, probably 35 years ago, I smoked some pot and was listening to Cannonball Adderley's "Something Else" (with Miles) and it sounded like a lot of jive to me.
That has never happened before or since, straight or stoned. I love jazz, and find that I can follow the soloists' thinking better now than when I was younger.
Maybe you're already doing this, but jazz is the kind of music that needs close attention on the part of the listener. A lot of kinds of music just create a sound or ambience, but jazz needs close following of the soloists' lines to be properly appreciated.
I was a classical musician when I was working, but I believe that the great jazz musicians are the greatest musicians of all. Most have wonderful mastery of tone and technique on their horns, along with a deep understanding of harmonic changes, astoundingly musical ears, and extremely quick minds for improvising. Quite impressive, IMHO.

 

RE: Trying to get back into jazz, posted on July 5, 2012 at 19:44:49
Bill the K
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To discover the joyous expression of human condition, get off that magic carpet first.

Cheers
Bill

 

From your OP I felt a bit sorry for you,, posted on July 5, 2012 at 20:45:29
M3 lover
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but since I read this response I can see I misinterpreted your intent completely.

Now I don't feel sorry at all.

"You canít know what the ďbestĒ is unless you have heard everything, and keep in mind that given individual tastes, there really isnít any such thing." HP

 

RE: If it makes you feel any better and helps you branch out from your limited genre thinking..., posted on July 5, 2012 at 20:50:13
photok
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Try "Duke Ellington meets Coleman Hawkins" or Duke Ellington - Money Jungle.

 

Brother, I hear you, and I feel your pain, posted on July 5, 2012 at 20:57:09
Mike K
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The jazz musicians who have consistently turned me on and spoken to me
over the years have been:

Fats Waller
Teddy Wilson
Benny Goodman Trios, Quartets, Quintets
Lionel Hamptons late 30s'-early 40s' jam sessions on RCA
Count Basie big band up thru the mid 60s
Duke Ellington from the beginning to the end
Johnny Hodges' recordings under his own name
Soprano Summit (Bob Wilber and Kenny Davern)
Budd Johnson - his recordings under his own name, and with Earl Hines in
the 60s are all worth seeking out
Roy Eldridge - it is always a joy to listen to Roy.
Anita O'Day - her Verve recordings are especially good, as are some of
her recordings from the 40s with Gene Krupa's band
Ella Fitzgerald - some of her non-songbook albums are just amazing
Louis Armstrong - his whole career was just amazing
Cannonball Adderly - more soul than I would think possible
Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson - not only a great blues shouter/singer, but an
pretty damn fine bop alto player to boot.
Charlie Parker - enough said
Sonny Stitt - soul, swing, bop, he could and did do it all and he made
it very interesting in the process.
Tommy Flannagan - he's been called a jazz poet, and rightly so.
Paul Desmond - either with Brubeck or on his own, he's wonderful.

Happy re-discovering.

 

Appreciate the past, look forward to the present, posted on July 5, 2012 at 20:57:30
jedrider
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Many of us who lived throught that era will offer our opinions that that was the best era for new music. But there is more new music today, just that it may not seem to break new ground to us. It is probably more difficult to find, though, as there is a lot more of it being generated. If you can listen to a regular jazz station such as KPFA, you would get a lot of leads. They also publish their playlist.

Follow up on this on the Music board and I really ought to post more over there, but often we just lock ourselves into our 'hardware only' personas ;-)

 

I call it 'PNA'... 'pointless noodling around', posted on July 5, 2012 at 21:49:46
mbnx01
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Yeah, modern jazz is full of it.







"We are all in God's hands... and God is a malign thug."

-Mark Twain

 

OK..., posted on July 5, 2012 at 22:07:53
musetap
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January 28, 2004




Listen to the Fargo concert in whichever format works best for you.Certainly NOT an "audiophile" recording but decent sound quality none the less. Stellar band playing just another gig on just another night in just another hodunk town. The variety of tunes, from forgotten pop hits of the day to newer Ellington tunes (that are now classics) the band (one many consider his best ever) is rockin' in rhythm.

That said there is a WIDE variety of Ellington to discover and explore since his recording career spanned so many decades and he explored so many different voicings, colors and textures through his band and writing.

So, there has to be something there that will ring your bell. Or maybe not. Who knows? But give Fargo a shot.




"Once this was all Black Plasma and Imagination"-Michael McClure



 

RE: Trying to get back into jazz, posted on July 6, 2012 at 02:32:37
jimmyjames
Audiophile

Posts: 4277
Location: Raleighwood
Joined: February 20, 2001
A friend of mine says jazz has too many notes. I think you either love it or hate it. My wife tolerates it. The 4 best seller jazz albums of all times: Miles Davis Kind of Blue, Dave Brubeck Time Out, John Coltrane Giant Steps and The Jazztet Meet the Jazztet (still unexplainably, kinda out of print...thanks Verve).

 

RE: Trying to get back into jazz, posted on July 6, 2012 at 03:07:42
"Red"
Audiophile

Posts: 556
Location: Central Ohio
Joined: January 18, 2005
Dude, I don't understand your mindset at all! I'm a Hard Bop guy and modal jazz guy. The first thing that comes to my mind is to buy the CD box set "Miles Davis Second Quintet 1965-68,"(6 CD set)and just listen to it. If that doesn't bring you around, maybe nothing will.

 

Same as your acronym. -nt, posted on July 6, 2012 at 04:14:07
soulfood
Audiophile

Posts: 3533
Joined: August 9, 2001
Contributor
  Since:
July 18, 2011
nt

 

I like to play my father's old jazz lp's, posted on July 6, 2012 at 05:47:08
10" and 12" LP's from the 40's and 50's. You can't go wrong with Louis Armstrong, Jonah Jones, Bix Beiderbecke, Oscar Peterson, Lionel Hampton, Jack Teagarden, Pee Wee Russel, Muggsy Spanier etc.

That's where it all started. Sometimes it helps to go back to the roots of the music to rediscover it.

Stephen

 

RE: Trying to get back into jazz, posted on July 6, 2012 at 06:49:35
petertg
Audiophile

Posts: 368
Location: Maryland
Joined: April 6, 2007
If you want to be a successful listener you need start with humility, openness and respect. Great art is not created to please an audience but to engage in a conversation; popular art is created to please, and there is nothing wrong with that. The language you use to describe some of these people is deeply disrespectful both to the artist, who has made sacrifices and become vulnerable in ways most of us will never understand, and to the supreme musician who inspires both creator and listener alike. If you want "to ease back into Jazz" to have to become receptive again, something that you may have lost over the years. You also state in your bio that you are a musician, so maybe it is time for you to climb the same mountain and see how far get. In any case, the attempt will make you more appreciative and help you connect again.

 

RE: OK..., posted on July 6, 2012 at 07:03:13
Inmate51
Audiophile

Posts: 5713
Joined: July 6, 2005
Since you're a Duke Ellington fan, I'll just mention that he carried an electronic piano with him on the road, so that he could doodle and compose while in the hotel room.

It's currently in the Sherman Jazz Museum in Sherman, TX.

:)

 

RE: Don't waste your time, Rick., posted on July 6, 2012 at 07:35:52
soulfood
Audiophile

Posts: 3533
Joined: August 9, 2001
Contributor
  Since:
July 18, 2011
Forget "down below"! The point is, it's quite apparent nothing is sacred to you. You can't differentiate between being objective and plain silly.

 

Perhaps wrong format: try the printed page, posted on July 6, 2012 at 08:43:53
madisonears
Audiophile

Posts: 836
Location: midwest
Joined: September 6, 2006
When I read about an artist or a type of music, I find I become much more interested in hearing the subject music, and approach it with new insights. Maybe you just need to read a good book about jazz.

Also, give Cyrus Chestnut a try. His music isn't "deep", and it has some elements of gospel which give it a swinging fervor. Maybe you'll be converted!

Peace,
Tom E

 

RE: Don't waste your time, Rick., posted on July 6, 2012 at 09:24:12
magiccarpetride
Audiophile

Posts: 1114
Joined: March 31, 2010
"Forget "down below"! The point is, it's quite apparent nothing is sacred to you. You can't differentiate between being objective and plain silly."

It is obvious that you know me quite well. Have we ever met? Do you have any more insults to hurl in my direction?

 

RE: Trying to get back into jazz, posted on July 6, 2012 at 09:40:42
magiccarpetride
Audiophile

Posts: 1114
Joined: March 31, 2010
"A friend of mine says jazz has too many notes. I think you either love it or hate it. My wife tolerates it. The 4 best seller jazz albums of all times: Miles Davis Kind of Blue, Dave Brubeck Time Out, John Coltrane Giant Steps and The Jazztet Meet the Jazztet (still unexplainably, kinda out of print...thanks Verve)."

I love jazz, I grew up listening to it, it's just that I've simply O.D.-ed on it after many years of listening. Many people here find that to be a sacrilege (I can't understand why would it be so bad to reach a level of saturation?)

Play me anything by Thelonius Monk or Dave Liebman, and I'll instantly melt. But I've tried listening to many of the newer jazz 'lions', and frankly they left me cold. There just doesn't seem to be any emotion in their music, it feels to me as if they're playing a well studied, brilliantly executed game of chess. A well oiled jazz machinery that doesn't go anywhere.

So here I'm asking for some guidance. Many people on this forum seem upset about the fact that someone is asking for a bit of a nudge, but those people probably have a lot of problems at home or at work, so I understand their anguish.

 

RE: Don't waste your time, Rick., posted on July 6, 2012 at 10:09:59
soulfood
Audiophile

Posts: 3533
Joined: August 9, 2001
Contributor
  Since:
July 18, 2011
"It is obvious that you know me quite well. Have we ever met?"

Only what you write.

"Do you have any more insults to hurl in my direction?"

Your OP, from beginning to clueless end, is an insult! But oh no, you don't stop there.

 

Have you heard this?..., posted on July 6, 2012 at 10:43:27
musetap
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Posts: 13588
Location: San Francisco
Joined: July 8, 2003
Contributor
  Since:
January 28, 2004




It's a GREAT addition to the set you mention. The advent of the Columbia MD Bootleg Series should pretty much guarantee "new" MD releases for the rest of my life!

"Once this was all Black Plasma and Imagination"-Michael McClure



 

Yes musetap, I have "Live in Europe " set too, posted on July 6, 2012 at 13:24:49
"Red"
Audiophile

Posts: 556
Location: Central Ohio
Joined: January 18, 2005
I don't care for the recording quality however.

 

RE: Yes musetap, I have "Live in Europe " set too, posted on July 6, 2012 at 14:52:46
Raymond Leggs
Audiophile

Posts: 661
Joined: November 25, 2007
The only jazz I like is the swing-style big band stuff and the old Etta james stuff (RIP) those ladies could really Blow in those days!

 

RE: Yes musetap, I have "Live in Europe " set too, posted on July 6, 2012 at 15:00:55
musetap
Audiophile

Posts: 13588
Location: San Francisco
Joined: July 8, 2003
Contributor
  Since:
January 28, 2004
Yeah, the recording quality is certainly not up to prime snuff,
though IS slightly better than some of the actual bootlegs I've heard.
I can listen past it well enough to enjoy the incredible performances.
Hope this will be true of future releases in the series.


"Once this was all Black Plasma and Imagination"-Michael McClure



 

nah..., posted on July 6, 2012 at 16:21:52
RGA
Reviewer

Posts: 9094
Joined: August 8, 2001
Kenny G was unfairly ripped because corporate types lumped him in with jazz. He's not jazz - he should have been put in the "get laid" section. But since execs are politically correct they "ahem" snorted and said well he plays a jazzy instrument so let's put him the jazz section.

Jazz fans probably would not dump on him as much if he was put in mood music or "adult contemporary" or "new age" where they put the likes of Enya.

 

RE: Stick to geniuses., posted on July 7, 2012 at 07:19:38
Hi-Fidelity
Audiophile

Posts: 1500
Location: Mid-Michigan Area
Joined: October 14, 2008
I'm not a big band fan, but I do like this Ellington album recorded in 1958.






Here's a few artists you may want to sample:

Richard "Groove" Holmes
Jimmy Smith
Charles Earland
Grant Green
Barney Kessel and The Poll Winners
Annie Ross
Clark Terry
Gabor Szabo
Willie Bobo
Sonny Clark
Yusef Lateef
Les McCann
Stanley Turrentine

 

I second Blues In Orbit, posted on July 7, 2012 at 18:11:35
Teresa
Audiophile

Posts: 2462
Location: Western
Joined: June 24, 2009
All the Ellington stereo recordings I have heard were great, especially the two made with Louis Armstrong. Blues in Orbit is a favorite.

I haven't heard any of Ellington's mono recordings though.

 

RE: Trying to get back into jazz, posted on July 7, 2012 at 22:34:42
the old school
Audiophile

Posts: 745
Location: marin county
Joined: April 9, 2011
If you think that Cannonball was even light years close to Coiltrane on Kind of Blue, you simoly are hopeless!!!

 

RE: Trying to get back into jazz, posted on July 10, 2012 at 10:49:42
magiccarpetride
Audiophile

Posts: 1114
Joined: March 31, 2010
"If you think that Cannonball was even light years close to Coiltrane on Kind of Blue, you simoly are hopeless!!!"

This is like saying: "If you think that sushi is even light years close to cheese burger, you simoly are hopeless!!!"

My personal tastes cannot be judged. Not under any circumstances. Same goes for yours. If you prefer tacos to pizza, no one in the world can claim that you're hopeless. Same goes for music.

 

Hey, everybody doesn't like something . . ., posted on July 11, 2012 at 16:10:42
caspian@peak.org
Audiophile

Posts: 1043
Location: Oregon
Joined: January 12, 2008
. . . and Sara Lee doesn't play music!

It's perfectly OK for personal tastes to differ, and no reason to bog down the board with mudslinging and personal insults. C'mon, folks, 'nuff already!

My jazz tastes these days definitely run to sweet, melodic, soulful "old school" stuff. Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Kenny Burrell, Grant Green, Jimmy Smith, Bill Evans, Horace Silver, Adderly Bros., Oscar Peterson, MJQ, and so on. And of course Mingus, Monk, Brubeck, and Roland Kirk, to cite four of the great jazz COMPOSERS. My two favorite Duke albums are "The Great Summit" with Louis Armstrong, and his collaboration with Coltrane. Vocal jazz doesn't get any nicer than Louis and Ella. There are enough "golden age" reissues from Blue Note, Impulse, Verve, Columbia, etc. out there to keep me happy forever.

I do find a lot of recent stuff either sterile and over-intellectualized, or conversely trite and commercial (the whole "smooth jazz" genre makes me gag), but there IS some really nice newer jazz the OP should try out:

Allen Toussaint's "Bright Mississippi" is a wonderful set of trad New Orleans music, with superb musicianship throughout.

John Zorn is one of the most prolific composer/arrangers working today. Some of his stuff is harsh, ugly, and violent, but some is just lovely, incorporating Latin and Klezmer flavors along with other influences. I particularly like some of his records featuring guitarist Marc Ribot. Current favorites include "O'o," "Alhambra Love Songs" (piano trio), "Circle Maker," "The Present," and the "Book of Angels" series.

Guitarist Bill Frisell, in my book, can do no wrong. I really like the way he incorporates folk Americana into a jazz context. "In a Blues Dream," "Good Dog, Happy Man," and his collaboration with Dave Holland and Elvin Jones are in frequent rotation. He contributes heavily to Ron Carter's "Orfeu," which is a really nice collection of Brazilian-influenced tunes.

I'll undoubtedly think of some more later, but my point is that there is some recent jazz that is warm, sincere and expressive. You just have to seek it out.

 

RE: Trying to get back into jazz, posted on July 12, 2012 at 08:02:06
slippers...
Audiophile

Posts: 272
Location: UNITED STATES
Joined: June 20, 2011
What always does it for me was to go back and read the history of some of the Jazz musicians or rent the move by Ken Burns "Jazz" to see what actually took place in Jazz history. That will light a fire under ya for sure!

 

RE: I am not going to recommend something just to have you disappointed....., posted on July 12, 2012 at 08:18:23
nairb


 
"I will recommend listening to many of the fine jazz oriented radio shows available."

+1

 

I try to get away from it, posted on July 12, 2012 at 13:27:14
jedrider
Audiophile

Posts: 10470
Location: No. California
Joined: December 26, 2003
but it keeps drawing me back in!

No matter how irrelevant and passe I may think it is at times, it draws me back in. Classical music can do the same. Pop music has nice rhythms, but only so many times I can replay something on YouTube ;-)

 

RE: Too bad. , posted on July 12, 2012 at 14:47:55
slippers-on


 
How about Eric Alexander....a great Sax player..

http://www.ericalexanderjazz.com/

 

RE: Trying to get back into jazz, posted on July 12, 2012 at 14:54:31
slippers...
Audiophile

Posts: 272
Location: UNITED STATES
Joined: June 20, 2011
You're wrong...they are listed with the greats along with the pioneers.

 

RE: Trying to get back into jazz, posted on July 12, 2012 at 15:03:32
slippers...
Audiophile

Posts: 272
Location: UNITED STATES
Joined: June 20, 2011
Well if you go listen to "Iron and wine" you will be running back to Jazz as fast as you can!

 

Listen to Kenny G, posted on July 12, 2012 at 16:03:09
J Harris


 
Thats right..I said it! Put on some Kenny G on a friday evening when you come home from work. Listen to him non stop thru the weekend till sunday evening. Trust me, you'll appreciate the "great ones" after that. If you eat steak all the time IT WILL get boring/bland and it wont be the meat that has changed. Got to toss in some lesser cuts from time to time.

If you think I'm being flip, try it, then get back to me.

Take care

 

RE: Trying to get back into jazz, posted on July 12, 2012 at 16:21:39
Roastaman
Audiophile

Posts: 412
Location: Seattle
Joined: July 18, 2000
Why not venture into jazz-fusion unless you don't consider it "Jazz".
Early Charnet Moffett and Stanley Clarke's recent dbl album are great choices. I have to admit that now that I buy mostly LP's I've gotten more into earlier jazz. But for me "fusion" hits the endorphine button like no other.

 

I know they are greats, posted on July 12, 2012 at 16:28:39
steven d
Audiophile

Posts: 430
Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: June 21, 2002
To me, these guys are up there with the best. OPT is, IMHO, THE BEST jazz trio ever. Period.

I've got albums from Parker, Webster, Hawk, Getz, and Rollins... but Stitt gets the most rotation on my rig.
Opinions don't affect facts. But facts should affect opinions, and do, if you're rational..
- Ricky Gervais, 2012

 

RE: Brother, I hear you, and I feel your pain, posted on July 13, 2012 at 06:02:24
slippers...
Audiophile

Posts: 272
Location: UNITED STATES
Joined: June 20, 2011
Mike K "The jazz musicians who have consistently turned me on and spoken to me
over the years have been"


How you have a list like that and no Billie Holiday?

 

RE: Trying to get back into jazz, posted on July 13, 2012 at 09:18:39
magiccarpetride
Audiophile

Posts: 1114
Joined: March 31, 2010
Why not venture into jazz-fusion unless you don't consider it "Jazz".

I like to listen to select fusion. By that I mean something like Herbie Hancock's Headhunters "Thrust" from 1974. I mean, "Palm Grease"? Isn't it just fantastic?

Also, Billy Cobham's "Spectrum" from 1973. That's gotta be one of the best fusion albums ever.

Chick Corea's "Leprechaun" from 1976 is also amazing.

One of the best fusion albums for my money is Dave Liebman's "Drum Ode" as well as "Lookout Farm". I've never heard Liebman play a non-musical phrase on his horn.

Finally, some George Duke material from the '70s is also great.

But let's be honest, most other fusion stuff is atrocious. Aimless noodling, doodling and meandering over some 'exotic' (read: messed up) rhythmic patterns overlaid by weird, broken harmonic progressions. Alan Holdsworth anyone? Put on any Holdsworth track and try to play along -- you'll quickly realize that you can play absolutely any random sequence of notes that come under your fingers, and it will fit in without a problem with Holdsworth's meanderings. That type of a stream-of-consciousness fusion is utter garbage in my book.

 

RE: Trying to get back into jazz, posted on July 13, 2012 at 18:16:12
Raymond Leggs
Audiophile

Posts: 661
Joined: November 25, 2007
dont go back to jazz for a while try some indie music instead. It worked for me. I got into jazz for a month and decided to go back to or find more inde alt. rock/pop...

 

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