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What Album Was Most Responsible For Turning You On to Jazz?

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In reply to an earlier post on Jun 21, 2012 7:15:34 AM PDT

Pacific Stereo - where we ALL bought our equipment prior to some paradigm shifts that eventually also took out Tower Records.

BTW - the Tower Records in Karmiel, Israel closed last month.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 21, 2012 7:23:43 AM PDT
S. U. Cohen says:
FAH, of good burgers ever...Steff

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 21, 2012 7:25:12 AM PDT
S. U. Cohen says:; Tower....'oy vey'...Steff

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 21, 2012 11:16:44 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 22, 2012 6:20:39 AM PDT
RCB says:
Not sure about the Hippo's but I used to hang out at Van's Billiards on Van Ness and Eddy street. The stereo store was Pacific Stereo and they sold me on Klipsch Loud Speakers and Oscar peterson at the same time. Ill never forget the sound of the piano coming from those speakers. Years later I purchased my first Klipsch and have upgraded them over the years.
Food wise...we used to go to either Munchies or Mel's Drive in which were in the same vacinity. Happy listening to all 8)

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2012 6:42:54 AM PDT
RCB says:
Hi Frank..Its been years since the Tower stores closed in the Bay Area.Not sure if they still sell online. There was a small cluttered record store known as "The Jazz Quarter", and when Tom passed away his family decided to close up shop. A few used record stores are still around; the main one being Amoeba.
Mom and Pop record stores are loosing out to online ordering, Goodwill and Purple Heart are even selling their donations online.
Stay safe and happy listening 2ya.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2012 8:51:06 PM PDT
willm says:
ALRIGHT JG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted on Jun 24, 2012 8:54:48 PM PDT
a couple that i heard almost back to back in the space of a few days: miles' "seven steps to heaven" eric dolphy "outward bound" and mingus' "mingus ah um"

Posted on Jun 27, 2012 7:04:26 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 29, 2012 3:38:52 PM PDT
Joe Anthony says:
"What Album Was Most Responsible For Turning You On to Jazz?"

I began with Classical music as a teenager and stayed with Classical music for over thirty years, to this day. Even so, there was a period, that seemed to peak while I was in college when I went BIG into jazz. After college, I went in and out of jazz and it's sort of petered out a bit as artists who I was so crazy about started dying off; those would include people such as Woody Herman, Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, the Modern Jazz Quartet and Sun Ra. It also seemed difficult for me to find anyone who was doing anything new, original or cutting edge in jazz. The new musicians were, technically, better than ever, but everything seemed to sound the same: sophisticated, smooth and slick and, worst of all, humorless.

Indeed, eventually I gravitated to artists such as Gil Evans, Charles Mingus, Roland Kirk, Sun Ra, Ornette Coleman and others who, to me ears, had a personality and a desire to stretch the imagination, challenge the intellect, and express a freedom of thought and soul. My brother who I lived with at the time, used to call it "jazz from hell"; but I loved those artists and still do. While I enjoy everything from big band, to swing, to Latin jazz, to the more refined David Brubeck and George Shearing; there is a special place for the more abstract and, perhaps, "militant" among jazz artists.

Ironically, my first jazz album was not even a jazz album, it was a Classical record of Benny Goodman playing jazz-inspired recordings by Igor Stravinsky, Leonard Bernstein, Morton Gould and Aaron Copland. I was so taken with Leonard Bernstein's "Prelude, Fugue and Riffs", that it inspired me to go out and purchase jazz albums. In those days, it was hit or miss; just go to the record store and browse through the jazz section and buy whatever looked interesting. I learned from reading liner notes and a couple of books. Unfortunately, I've found very few really good books on jazz appreciation.

My first true jazz album was from a budget Italian line called "I Gigante del Jazz". It was "Volume 1: a sampler of Duke Ellington, Loius Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Ray Charles. Right away I became captivated by jazz, especially after hearing "The Mooche" by Ellington.

My first introduction to artist such as Charles, Mingus, Roland Kirk, Ornette Coleman, and others was a sampler from "Atlantic Jazz" called "Avant-Garde". I was confused by some of it, but after giving it an even chance, I became captivated, especially by Charles Mingus' "Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting".

Some time later, a made a dear friend who has since passed away. It was a strange relationship because I was a young White guy in college and he was a much older African American who didn't have very much formal education. I'd go to his house and we'd listen to jazz albums and we'd tape record one another's stuff. He's the one that introduced me to "Sketches of Spain" by Miles Davis and Gil Evans. While this is a very important and famous jazz album, I was as caught up with Gil Evans' orchestration, as I was with Miles Davis' incredible trumpet playing. Indeed, Evans' textured arrangements seemed to touch upon my orientation towards Classical music; and I sensed shades and colors along the lines of Ravel, Debussy and Rimsky-Korsakov.

"I Gigante del Jazz #1" has not been reissued on CD. The first of the following albums was the one responsible for striking my curiosity on jazz. The second two were important in bringing me to an awareness that led to my particular points of interest:

Meeting at the Summit - Benny Goodman Plays Jazz with Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Morton Gould and Igor Stravinsky

Atl Jazz: Avant-Garde

Sketches of Spain

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 27, 2012 10:37:18 AM PDT

Thanks for the post and the background info. Nice capture on the whole idea for the question that started this thread.

Posted on Jul 4, 2012 4:55:37 PM PDT
Jazz Goes to Jr. College - Brubeck.

I think Hippo's was on Lombard. Seems I remember turning right into their parking lot after coming off the Golden Gate.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 4, 2012 6:24:52 PM PDT
RCB says:
Hippo's, ahhhhhhhhhhh. I fergot about them m woodword,thankx for the journey down memory lane.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 5, 2012 10:29:40 AM PDT
S. U. Cohen says:
MW...good choice...needed Van Ness to get to bridge...sure it was on that there a bunch...Steff

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 5, 2012 11:10:31 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 5, 2012 11:11:27 AM PDT
RCB says:
Yep, it was on Lombard. You went down (North) Van Ness until you hit Lombard Street then you turned left (West) on Lombard Street. Lombard Street took you right to the Golden Gate Bridge. For what its worth...they ( Cal Trans ) are tearing up the roads and tearing down the overpass that lead to the GGB. Its all about Earth quake safety since that area is a billion years old and needs to be rebuilt. Traffic was a huge mess when they first started but its much better now. Lots of zig-zagging through the Presidio to get to and from the GGB.Now,....back to your regurally scheduled program.8=)

Posted on Jul 5, 2012 11:45:04 AM PDT
Bill G. says:
All this talk about Lombard Street and the SF jazz scene has me hankering to go home, pour some scotch, and put on Mark Murphy Bop for Kerouac and pretend that I am at a hip SF jazz night spot and not in the barren jazz desert that is Charlotte, NC.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 5, 2012 11:56:07 AM PDT
L'wood says:
I'd say that describes most cities in the US Bill...lucky I'm in Chicago!

Posted on Jul 5, 2012 11:56:51 AM PDT
erik brower says:
Mine was "Friday Night in San Fransisco" by Paco de Lucia, Al Di Meola and John Mclaughlin. Although arguably somewhat removed from jazz it is what turned me from a die hard metal head to someone who could appreciate many different styles of music. Also of notable mention were Frank Gambale's first live album "Live" and Tribal Tech's "Illicit"

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 5, 2012 12:04:07 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 6, 2012 10:51:43 AM PDT
Bill G. says:
My first club experience was as a very unsophisticated 17 year-old high schooler from Hinsdale. Drove to the big city and saw Thad & Mel at Jazz Showcase. When I returned to Chi for a 10 year reunion we sat on the stage at the Blackhawk Hotel (I think) and saw Phil Woods.

I would say the Windy City has a slight edge over Charlotte.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 10:49:22 AM PDT

re:"Friday Night in San Fransisco" by Paco de Lucia, Al Di Meola and John Mclaughlin

A far as this not being Jazz in some listeners minds you have a point. It is an album with a good dollop of improvised music in it though you can bet. I'm one of those folks who see that as Jazz by association, or better yet Jazz by deed.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 9, 2012 6:36:48 AM PDT
The album track that took me hook, line and sinker into Jazz was "Gone" from Porgy & Bess (M. Davis) with the savvy rhythmic-musical drum fills/solos by Philly Joe Jones and the minor-keyed tone-layered arrangements by Gil Evans.

A couple years later, I think after Monterey Jazz 1963, I saw Miles at the Blackhawk in North Beach with the astounding 17 yr old Tony Williams! Unforgettable.

SF was a great place to be in early sixties with places like the Jazz Workshop, Blackhawk, etc.

Posted on Jul 11, 2012 4:07:55 PM PDT
The first album that exposed me to jazz was like many of you Dave Brubeck's Time Out especially the songs Take 5 & Blue Rondo ala Turk. The album that really got my jazz blood pumping was Branford Marsalis's first album Scenes In The City & his 1999 opus Requiem.
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Discussion in:  Jazz forum
Participants:  219
Total posts:  520
Initial post:  Sep 19, 2007
Latest post:  Jul 11, 2012

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