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Jazz for newcomers?


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Initial post: Feb 17, 2012 10:16:18 AM PST
I've asked this in the music forum and they directed me to here, I'm looking for an album for a friend of mine as a gift, who has just recently started listening to Jazz music, and is slightly enjoying it. I know he enjoys classical music, some ethnic music and also he is a fan of quite a few rock bands. I have seen many people who ran away from jazz only because the kind of jazz that they started with was a little bit "too" jazzy!! for them. So, I'm looking for something for an ear which is not biased, but also is not very familiar with this music. I would say he definitely enjoys European jazz like Tiersenn, or Tsabropolous, but it's hard for me to decide about what to get for him. He enjoys kinds of emotional music, not just technical music for professionals.
What do you suggest for him?

Posted on Feb 17, 2012 12:35:28 PM PST
R. Shepherd says:
I actually tend to listen to a lot more of the "out there" stuff but try to listen to everything. Since I've been listening to a lot of avant garde lately though, if anyone disagrees with my assessments and think I might be off by my recent tastes, feel free to tell me. They aren't European but these are I think the top 5 best jazz albums to start someone on:

1. Kind of Blue- Miles Davis; Really any pre-1970s Miles is a good starting point but this is his classic
2. Bird with Strings- Charlie Parker (not his best work- i'd argue his own compositions are- but a good place to hear him)
3. Time Out- Dave Brubeck Quartet; any Brubeck album is generally pretty easy to listen to (compared to someone like, say Cecil Taylor) and this is his best known album. Jazz Oberlin is also a great album (and actually my first exposure to Brubeck and Desmond)
4. Mingus ah um- Charles Mingus; just amazing even if the censored version of Fables of Faubus isn't as good as the original
5. River: The Joni Project- Herbie Hancock; just a beautiful album

Although a little more out there, but not much, I'd also recommend Journey in Satchidananda by Alice Coltrane. It's just an absolutely beautiful album. I have a few more I can add that arent too crazy- Saxophone Collosus, stuff by Coltrane Love Supreme and earlier, etc- but have a lot more "crazy" recommendations. There's also a lot of great jazz music fusing with "ethnic music"- check my post on here about Jazz/World Music fusion for some good ideas. Hope that helps

Posted on Feb 17, 2012 12:38:59 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Feb 17, 2012 12:39:11 PM PST]

Posted on Feb 17, 2012 12:39:18 PM PST
R. Shepherd says:
Oh, and Michael Brecker is a good check too, especially his quindectet album (I think it is called Wide Angles). The interesting thing about Brecker is that he gets some absolutely insane sounds out of his horn but also a smooth tone and doesn't usually go too far outside. The album of him, Herbie Hancock and Roy Hargrove at Massey Hall is also very good.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2012 12:42:34 PM PST
Snoo says:
Robert,

Give me a hint of some of your "out there" choices.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2012 12:57:06 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 17, 2012 12:59:28 PM PST
R. Shepherd says:
I like a lot of people that are "out there" but I think these are the ones I listen to the most and my favorite albums for them:

Pharoah Sanders (Thembi, Karma), late John Coltrane (Ascension, Interstellar Space), Albert Ayler (Spiritual Unity), Anthony Braxton (particularly his solo works like For Alto), really anything by Ornette Coleman (Sound Grammar), Cecil Taylor (Unit Structures), Eric Dolphy (Out There, Out to Lunch) to name a few. There's some stuff crazier out there- Peter Brotzmann for instance but haven't gotten into that yet.

There's some really good fusion stuff I have been revisiting lately too- Miles' Agharta is amazing. As far as current groups, Dead Kenny G's (Skerik's saxophonics are insane) and Powerhouse Sound are very good as well.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2012 1:01:39 PM PST
Snoo says:
Thanks for the response. I will have to check some out.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2012 1:05:17 PM PST
R. Shepherd says:
Let me know what you think. A lot of it takes repeat listenings to finally get it. It took me years to get Interstellar Space for instance. But once you do "get them" it is incredibly rewarding.

Posted on Feb 17, 2012 1:12:11 PM PST
I would definitely go with Robert's first choice, "Kind Of Blue" by Miles Davis. It is beautiful music that is enjoyable on many levels. I once read that if someone owned one jazz album, it would likely be this one.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2012 1:15:03 PM PST
Snoo says:
Will do. Thanks again.

Posted on Feb 17, 2012 2:26:37 PM PST
Thanks a lot folks :)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2012 7:55:45 PM PST
E. T. says:
Hi Keivan,
If your friend likes ethnic, classical, rock as well as European, this might be a perfect starter album: Dig Deep

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2012 10:39:32 PM PST
Spartacus says:
Retro.

Posted on Feb 20, 2012 5:12:45 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 20, 2012 5:18:55 PM PST
PGM says:
@Likes Tsabropolous

Then you need to check out Pat Metheny.

As Falls Wichita,So Falls Wichita Falls,American Garage or Offramp are great albums.

Ohchestrion is his latest,and it's pretty decent too.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2012 3:05:46 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 26, 2012 3:10:06 AM PST
Max says:
These are two of my favorites:

Moonlight in Vermont by guitarist Johnny Smith. This CD sparked my interest in the Great American Songbook just over 10 years ago. It includes nice ballads as well as blistering up-tempo pieces.

Accordion a La Mode / Perfect Match by Art Van Damme. This is jazz accordion at its best.

Both of these can always get me out of a bad mood. Please listen to samples on Amazon.

Posted on Feb 27, 2012 1:23:56 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 27, 2012 1:25:25 AM PST
guitarguy says:
Fourth by The Soft Machine (1970)

Some of the most heavy, edgy, adventurous and darkly moody jazz related albums ever made.

Great for those into rock or fusion who want to make the transition into jazz with more energy and abandon.

In reply to an earlier post on May 18, 2012 1:12:07 PM PDT
CJBx7 says:
For your friend I would probably start with Time Out, since it has abundant classical influences and is accessibly melodic. Maybe he should go to Kind of Blue afterwards. Or, maybe you could steer him towards Claude Bolling's work, since he's done some really nice jazz arrangements of classical pieces. One other recommendation in that vein would be Jacques Loussier, particularly Jacques Loussier Plays Bach or Vivaldi: The Four Seasons. These have jazz arrangements of well-known pieces by well-known composers, so they would probably make for an easy point of entry.

In reply to an earlier post on May 18, 2012 10:18:45 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 20, 2012 1:06:53 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2012 7:07:32 PM PDT
While I understand that each of us has our own personal favorites, and I own most of the Desmond albums mentioned, I would say that the music is an acquired taste. A newcomer might find it quite vapid, not very exciting. I think hard bop might actually be a better choice, such as

A Night at Birdland, Vol. 1

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2012 8:01:13 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 20, 2012 9:08:58 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on May 20, 2012 11:50:10 AM PDT
Very well put Susan. I think "A Night at Birdland" is a great choice. I'd like to add a few suggestions as well.

If the funky church based sound reaches you then Horace Silver's
"Horace Silver and The Jazz messengers"
"Doin The Thing"
"Blowin the Blues Away"

Cannonball and Nat Adderley:
Them Dirty Blues'
"To The Ivy League from Nat"

You can hear almost all of these albums in their entirety on "Spotify' before you buy them.

In reply to an earlier post on May 20, 2012 1:03:49 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 20, 2012 9:09:27 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on May 20, 2012 1:34:05 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 20, 2012 9:09:42 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on May 20, 2012 2:11:37 PM PDT
Max says:
One of my recent "discoveries" is Ernie Felice. Fine voice, great accordion style, this version of Blue Skies is pretty hip:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ei1yKAAFtpI

In reply to an earlier post on May 20, 2012 7:29:28 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 20, 2012 9:10:04 PM PDT]
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Discussion in:  Jazz forum
Participants:  37
Total posts:  168
Initial post:  Feb 17, 2012
Latest post:  Jun 10, 2012

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