I need a Jazz primer.

Discussion in 'Music Forums' started by Nixxuz, May 11, 2018.

  1. Nixxuz

    Nixxuz AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    So I've only recently started getting into jazz, and it seems I'm going slow because it's hard to jump into an entire genre without knowing much about it. I trust the people on AK to lead me in the right direction, so I'm not just blowing money, (vinyl), and getting stuff I won't much care for. I feel there are levels in which immersion becomes more comfortable. I wouldn't suggest to someone just getting into metal to start with Nasum or Gadget. I've got some interests as a starting point. Obviously, Herbie Hancocks "Head Hunters" is a nice listen. I got it on a whim in digital format, and only later found out how insanely popular it's been for many years. I jumped to "Kind of Blue" and, while enjoyable, seemed to lack some of the kick that "fusion" had for me. I've heard good things about Coltrane, Mingus, Davis, etc. But I think starting out I might like my jazz to be spiked with a little funk or soul. The wild clarinet spasms are just a little too intense for me at this time. Same with the tracks that wander WAY far away into the ether before coming back into line.

    So, any suggestion for a neophyte? I'm thinking the aforementioned Headhunters, Bitches Brew, and maybe Birth of the Cool? It's what Amazon is suggesting anyway.
     

     

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  2. captouch

    captouch AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I'm not much into fusion myself, but I'd sample Bitches Brew and In a Silent Way to see how those strike you. Very well regarded and more in the fusion camp. Birth of the Cool is early Miles and I don't think it's a good fit if you're looking for fusion/soul.

    I would sample Mingus ah Um too because while classic jazz and not fusion, it's pretty creative and high energy.
     
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  3. Jeff449

    Jeff449 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    If you want to explore for free before you buy, try Pandora of another streaming service. If you have cable TV, you probably have several music channels on it, including jazz channels. Listen casually and take note of what you like.
     
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  4. lbls1

    lbls1 Active Member

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    Headhunters is more on fusion; Its a good album but I wouldn't point you in that direction if you want to get initiated and get a good taste of elemental jazz. The jazz standards I would recommend are the following:

    1. Giant Steps: John Coltrane
    2. Kind of Blue: Miles Davis
    3. Billie Holiday: Billie Holiday
    4. Betty Carter Live (1970)
    5. In the Land of Hi Fi: Sarah Vaughan
    6. Straight Ahead: Abbey Lincoln

    Start off with a few of these (or all of them IMO), and you should be able to get a good feeling of the jazz genre, as well as identify a direction of the style of jazz that you like the best.
     
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  5. noisefreq

    noisefreq Active Member

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    Anything from Miles "electric period" is pretty solid. Some better than others but what one person likes, I may love and vica versa.

    I've been on a real funk jazz kick lately and can recommend some of the artists I've discovered.

    Herbie Hancock--
    Mwandishi
    Crossings
    Sextant (my favorite)

    Weather Report--
    Live in Toyko
    Sweetnighter (my favorite)
    Tailspinnin'

    Larry Coryell--
    Barefoot Boy
    Planet End (my favorite)

    Eddie Henderson--
    Realization (my favorite)
    Inside Out

    Mandrill--
    Solid (this may be stretching it)

    There's a concentrated window between 1970 and 1975 where jazz funk hadn't been diluted into slick jazz fusion yet.
    Right now I'm looking into Miroslav Vitros and Chico Hamilton.
     
  6. Nixxuz

    Nixxuz AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I have been looking into Weather Report and Sextant. So much to choose from in this new genre!
     

     

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  7. KeninDC

    KeninDC Speedfreak Jive Subscriber

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    Soul jazz is a cool place to hang out. This cat was name-checked by the Beastie Boys for a reason.

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. mhjmhjones

    mhjmhjones Active Member

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    I'll second Bitches Brew. Also A Tribute to Jack Johnson, and In a Silent Way by Miles. Not the Birth of the Cool though if you're looking to explore fusion first.

    Some others:
    Mahavishnu Orchestra - The Inner Mounting Flame, Birds of Fire
    Weather Report - Heavy Weather, Black Market, Mysterious Traveller
    Cannonball Adderley - Country Preacher
    Ramsey Lewis - Sun Goddess
    McLaughlin/Santana: Love Devotion Surrender
    Artist names to look out for: Joe Pass, Jaco Pastorius, Joe Zawinul, Stanley Clark, George Duke, Billy Cobham

    Modern artists to check out: Medeski, Martin and Wood, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Soulive, John Scofield, Greyboy Allstars, James Taylor Quartet
     
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  9. JWinTN

    JWinTN AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    You should check out Snarky Puppy's We Like It Here, but you'll have to pony up if you want it on vinyl.
     
  10. RT Fan

    RT Fan AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    • Check out the Jazz thread here on AK, tens of thousands of suggestions by devotees of the art form to be found there.
     
  11. parman

    parman Member # 78,336 Subscriber

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    If your talking real jazz, 2 words. John Coltrane
     
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  12. Grbluen

    Grbluen AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Or another two words:
    CHARLES MINGUS
     
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  13. Jack Keck

    Jack Keck Active Member

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    I'm not a huge fusion fan, but I can always enjoy Return to Forever. Solo albums by either the keyboardist, Chick Corea, or the bassist, Stanley Clarke, might work for you If you have Sirius XM, check out the fusion hour at 5:00 PM on Friday.

    I second, third, and fourth this!
     
  14. Drybasement

    Drybasement Hold the ketchup...

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    Charlie Parker is the reason why I love jazz today. I started with him then Miles Davis and then his side men and then Blue Note artists and so on... and so on. Before you know it you are hooked. I had a brief period with jazz fusion. Weather Report, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return To Forever and the various spin offs and still listen to that music today.
     
  15. Drybasement

    Drybasement Hold the ketchup...

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    To answer your question...

    Miles Davis - On The Corner

    There was a whole period of soul jazz in the 60s you might like. Artists like Stanley Turrentine , Hank Mobley and Lee Morgan come to mind. Many, many more.
     
  16. DirtFarmer

    DirtFarmer Active Member

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  17. qdrone

    qdrone Music is my mistress

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    If jazz fusion is what your seeking then Agharta or Pangea by Miles. Both are live sets from Japan. The DDD Pangea REMASTER by Columbia is one of the best sounding remasters I've ever heard.
     
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  18. Montycat

    Montycat AK Subscriber Subscriber

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  19. BLAH BLAH

    BLAH BLAH AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Try this pair...

     
  20. Champco

    Champco Super Member

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    Dig into some Don Ellis, And Jimmie Smith, when you can catch some Mose Allison... Good album every time I play it is "Lessons In Living".. Point is one has to Listen....
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2018

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