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Why do jazz fans get stuck on the jazz they grew up with?

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Showing 1-25 of 395 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 27, 2011 7:04:02 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 27, 2011 7:11:53 AM PDT
Spartacus says:
Not all, of course, but many, many!

Rock and roll was just beginning when I grew up (people scratch their heads when I mention the Andrews Sisters as possibly having been the first Rock and Roll group). But I didn't get stuck on that and although Miles's modal stuff was the first subset of jazz that really caught my interest, I always wondered what else was out there. Today I still do that. When people ask me what my favorite jazz is, I say that I haven't heard it yet (because it probably hasn't been played yet). My interest has been drawn to every corner of the earth (I have an album from Mongolia). And my question is still the same: what else is out there?

But many fans my age and younger seem to cut off at a certain point and are only interested in music played before the '60s (or jazz that sounds like it was made before the '60s) and I always wonder why that is.

Jazz is a living music and continues to evolve. So why do so many fans only like the "oldies"?

Is it a question of age? Do people of advanced years always turn nostalgic? If that's the case, why didn't it happen to me?

I have made a lifelong collection of over the top tracks and albums, and while Coleman Hawkins and Stan Kenton made the cut, so did David S. Ware and Transmission.

I don't know what comes next, but when it does, I'll give it a listen. How about you?

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2011 4:27:48 PM PDT
Robert Cox says:
I don't think it's an age thing Dan but more a matter of time. I'd rather listen to something I know I will like rather than waste time on something that I don't enjoy. When I do have the time I go through some of the lists here on the forum and have discovered some great new artists. Unfortunately I rarely find the time to indulge my passion without upsetting those I live with. Now if I was single!!!

Posted on May 29, 2011 7:21:29 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 29, 2011 7:23:06 PM PDT
Dan, like all generalizations, your question has considerable validity. Obviously, you are espousing a point of view here.

I do think that people find something they enjoy and stay with it. If they try something new, and don't enjoy it as much, they return to what they like. It is the same with jazz musicians. Most find a style that they like and continue to play in that manner throughout their careers. Very few musicians truly evolve, and jazz fans are much the same.

Now, this is not to say that tastes don't change. My first loves were the likes of Stan Kenton and Maynard Ferguson, who I seldom listen to anymore. Likewise, I was probably more taken early on by the flash of Oscar Peterson than the quiet intrspection of Bill Evans. Few of us have the will and taste to keep up with new trends as you seem to. Every once in a while I discover a new young artist that I really enjoy, but by and large his or her style is rooted in music that is very familiar.

I would guess that it is pretty much the same with food, literature, art, etc. Tastes do change over a lifetime, but not that much.

Posted on May 30, 2011 6:35:10 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 30, 2011 7:03:24 AM PDT
R. K. Hunter says:
Hi Dan, I think that Susan D.Ward has covered a lot of my own feelings apart from one thing I have collection ranging from 1917 to 2007 , covering many of the ways Jazz has changed and evolved, I think the way your mood is each day also decides what you may choose to listen to, I have on my shelves music I may have heard twice only, but I also have other's that I go back to some times monthly,
I often wake up with a name or style of music i would like to hear and if all goes well ,will find myself listening to that choice that came out of the ether ,an unconscious choice.,
the first lp I bought contained a 8 or 10 different styles of jazz and blues and that gave me a whole load of musical tangents to go out on from Broonzy to Woody Herman, Maxine Sullivan to Charlie Parker,Josh White to Teagarden, my LP collection when i had it covered these and music from The N O R Ks to Don Ellis and Sam Rivers, Ellington and all roads in between up to 60 prime artist,which i tried to keep up with.
With the advent of Cd's and costs there in, some of those artist are gone and have not been replaced, others like Ben Webster who i had as only a side man, have grown under their own name
I think a collection is based on the roundabouts and swings of how life takes you. There is no accounting for peoples taste in music.

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2011 8:00:42 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 31, 2011 8:16:13 AM PDT
Spartacus says:

As you know, my collection is fully computerized, which gives me the advantage of almost instant access to anything. Four of the ways I have managed to bridge the entire collection was first to select out to a separate folder copies of my favorite albums (which span the universe of Stan Kenton to David S. Ware, currently numbering 105), second, to select out of each album I listen to, tracks which I feel are repeatable at any time: this, at last count, consisted of about 1,050 tracks covering a range of about 70 years prior to the current date (those tracks are also loaded into my iPhone for instant access whenever I like). Third, I load a 140GB iPod with that much music, running through my collection in alphabetical order (so far, I have gone through the entire collection once and I am now on my second pass). I find it interesting that each time I go through a series of albums, I discover additional albums to add to my favorite album collection, and more tracks to add to the track collection (It turns out statistically that what I single out always seems to hover in the range of about 1% of the music I have). Lastly, I load new albums into my car CD player and listen to them while driving.

Perhaps, this is over-organized from the perspective of most listeners, but for me it has made it possible to enjoy everything from the oldest favorite to the latest discovery, without neglecting any side-road of world of jazz.

As I said in my earlier post, I don't know what comes next, but when it does, I'll give it a listen.

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2011 8:11:43 AM PDT
R. K. Hunter says:
Hi Dan , How long did it take you to put on your initial collection, and do you have nothing on cd or any disc now, and buy by downloading only now? I would not know where to start with putting this 2500 collection on computer, a nightmare I think.

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2011 8:31:51 AM PDT
Spartacus says:

Well I am an old time computer junkie, I have been fooling around with them professionally and as a hobby since 1968 (IBM 1401, Commodore 64 era). Yesterday I threw out a couple of old hard drive, noting in passing that one of them was only 860MB (the last one I bought was 2TB). Yah, the only place to start ever is at the beginning, and it has consumed many years. I can't store that many CDs, so I just go with the computer, except listening to a few CDs in my car. They keep changing the media and access. CDs are on their way out. In future, all you will be able to get is electronic downloads from places like iTunes.

I know a number of vinyl collectors, and unfortunately the music industry doesn't give a damn about you guys, and the CD people are the next to go. Whatever maximizes the profit of the moguls is what will happen. Their ambition is to sell you the air you breathe.

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2011 9:06:48 AM PDT
Dan: "I know a number of vinyl collectors, and unfortunately the music industry doesn't give a damn about you guys, and the CD people are the next to go."

As you know, I have not gone the computer route, and have no intention of doing so. Most of our collection is on vinyl. I have been assured that I will be able to purchase and maintain high quality audio equipment for home listening throughout my lifetime.

There is also a resurgence, although small, of recordings available on vinyl. I suspect that this will remain so, as there is a market for it.

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2011 11:03:34 AM PDT
R. K. Hunter says:
Hi Dan, Re "Their ambition is to sell you the air you breathe". Began to feel that way in the time of "raygun and thatcher" and it never left.

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2011 1:45:18 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 31, 2011 1:45:44 PM PDT
Spartacus says:

Surely there will long be a vinyl market (the last David S. Ware album I bought was vinyl only). Thing is you guys don't represent a profitable mass market. Now the producers don't even have to make a disk of any sort. They just need a single electronic copy that can be downloaded and copied endlessly at an enormous profit.


It's not a new thing. At one time the English taxed the air. They counted the windows on your house and taxed you accordingly. Unfortunately, today, we have no Robin Hood to save us from the sheriff!

Posted on May 31, 2011 1:51:09 PM PDT
Dan: "It's not a new thing. At one time the English taxed the air. They counted the windows on your house and taxed you accordingly."

Dan, that was not taxing air, it was taxing light. Fortunately, for tax purposes, light was treated as both a particle and a wave, so you could take a double deduction.

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2011 7:30:03 PM PDT
Spartacus says:
The point is how deep they go into your pocket-and they go deep!

Posted on May 31, 2011 9:39:30 PM PDT
"Why do jazz fans get stuck on the jazz they grew up with?"

Well, I'm one of those who didn't grow up with Jazz. So right now, I'm like Daniel Boone exploring the wild Jazz frontier. And I might add... its great. However, I rarely encounter people with a highly diverse interest in music. I think that by far, Dan, you and I, and some of our fellow posters, are the rare exception. Most folks I encounter have a strong preference for a segment of any given genre and might buy a few albums outside of that. At any rate, I don't questions why??? anymore than I guestion my own habits. Que sera sera.

Networked media, its buku number one in my book. The thing that I love is the rapid access to any album in my collection from the comfort of an armchair from just about anywhere in my home or on the lawn. Even a Roku player for the living room alone is pretty nice piece of hardware at a very reasonable price. I purchase everything on CD, pop the disc into the computer drive, wait for the software to power up, automatically pull up the album art-tracks-info, and then burn to the computers hard drive. Works great with CD discs. As opposed to downloaded music, the disc is a higher bit rate and I already have a backup in case of a drive failure. The down-side.... Sometimes tracks or whole albums disappear, sometimes the wrong cover art is displayed or the music tracks and album info can't be found (usually just the tracks). Of course you can always edit and usually hunt down the missing files, but its time consuming.

Trying to convert vinyl albums into digital format is A LOT more work. A CD burns to the disc in a few minutes. An LP has to be played in its entirity to capture the whole album and convert from analog to digital. You'll probably need exceptional capture software and hardware as well, since anything less results in very poor quality. I tried converting VHS to digital back in the day using packaged PC software as well as well-touted freebieware and never got decent quality from any of it. Same with DVD burning (which doesn't require digital conversion). Always artifacts and blurred resolution.

On the other hand, you can still buy very, very good turntable equipment to play vinyl. Its the new vinyl music availability that appears to be the biggest issue. Looks like a pretty solid resurgence in the market, but I would guess the selection is far from desirable if you were building a large music collection.

Posted on May 31, 2011 10:04:19 PM PDT
Nitya says:
Great thread topic Dan. Signing on to receive an email when new posts are made. I'll have to think about this one for awhile.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2011 9:58:03 AM PDT
Hi Spartacus!
I'm 74 and feel that the BEST jazz was played/recorded in the late 40s and in the 50s. That's the reason you might say I'm stuck in that era. I agree with the Kenton and Hawkins making your cut!
There are some great younger players today who essentially play in that idiom. I'm a trumpet player and love Chet, Diz, Clifford, Conte, etc., but today you can hear great (be-bopish) playing by such as Carl Saunders, Joe Gransden, Randy Brecker, Bobby Shew, etc.
We are fortunate here in Atlanta where on the first & third Mondays each month, one can go see/hear Joey Gransden's 16 piece BB. They are as good as ANY BB in America, and I've heard many of them.
Anyway, just thought I whould chime in on this! If interested in discussing, email me at:
<> and I'll give you a call!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2011 10:07:11 AM PDT

I will be in Atlanta from Sunday night, 6/12 through Thursday, 6/16. Any suggestions on where I might hear good live jazz during that time? I share your love for the music of the era you mentioned.


In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2011 12:08:25 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 1, 2011 1:58:51 PM PDT
Hi Susan,
Well the Gransden BB plays at Cafe 290 on the first and third Mondays every month and you will be here on the second Monday - alas!
Joe plays other venues with differing groups, and every Tuesday he leads a jam session at a club called Twain's (as in Mark Twain), in the Decatur area of greater Atlanta. A number of top players sit in - very worthwhile.
If I hear of something else, I will let you know if you send me your e-address. Mine is:

SUPPLEMENT! Susan, there is a good jazz group on Wed the 15th at Churchill Grounds - next door to the Fox Theater in mid-town Atlanta.

Posted on Jun 1, 2011 12:18:07 PM PDT

Thanks very much for the info. While I am not yet certain where I will be staying, I think it may be near the airport and I will probably not have a car, so Decatur could be a little far afield. We'll see what develops.

You haven't mentioned Dante's in Buckhead, which is a frequent destination of mine while I'm in town. I am a big fan of the late piano player, Paul Mitchell, who presided at Dante's for so many years.

Posted on Jun 1, 2011 12:20:32 PM PDT
You got the juices flowing with this one Dan. Good going. Just finished my weekend ( Monday ,Tuesday are my days off) I'll check back when I have some time.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2011 2:02:25 PM PDT
I just added a SUPPLEMENT to my previous post regarding a fine group at Churchill Grounds next to the Fox Theater in mid-town. That will be quite good, but I wish you could get to Twain's on Tuesday night!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2011 8:54:42 PM PDT
Read "This is your Brain on Music" by Daniel Leviton. It's a somewhat scientific look at why we like the music we like.
Most love of music is formed in the teen-age years when the brain is looking for new things. (Music, drugs, fast cars, anything the brain finds stimulating) Once the brain finds a rhythm/timbre that it finds interesting, it starts to wire itself to look for that same thing and re-enforces itself every time we listen to it.
The brain is drawn to find sounds/rhythms that are similar because it finds them pleasurable. Being exposed to many styles of music (like yourself) increases the range of what we like.
Once the brain is "wired" it is hard to "re-wire" it with new sounds. So the next generations music is "crap" And they don't write'em like they used to.
Kind of a dry explanation, but I noticed that it applied in every situation I compared it to.
Human evolution marches on. (or dances if the beat is right)


Posted on Jun 2, 2011 6:07:44 AM PDT
"This is Your Brain on Music" is a fascinating book. That being said, this seems an appropriate place to put in a plug for a young band called Time Out. They have 10 original tunes available on 2 EPs... Mmix
written when they were 12 and 13, and
Time Travel
written last year when they were 13 and 14.
They are hoping to be a part of the future of jazz. It would be cool if people would listen to their previews and leave them a review. Heck, it would be cool to buy a few tunes. I really like the tune called Time Travel.
These guys are young but are working very hard and getting some coaching from great people.
We have often asked the same question posted to start this thread. That is why the boys began writing their own tunes...seemed like it was time to do that.

Posted on Jun 2, 2011 2:22:51 PM PDT
willm says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Jun 2, 2011 3:52:50 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 2, 2011 3:53:34 PM PDT
Dazedcat says:
I was about to comment on the thread subject but then I had to read about Teddy Ballgame's head.................

Sometimes Amazon turns into Usenet. Seriously.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 2, 2011 4:03:13 PM PDT
Nitya says:
whim says: Ted Williams' frozen head blah blah blah.............
why did you post that here?
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Initial post:  May 27, 2011
Latest post:  Apr 18, 2012

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