You like guitarists. You like 60's Blue Note. So you must have this:
Hello. Happy to be a member of this forum. I'm relatively new to jazz music, having only first heard Kind of Blue in 2010, which was my introduction. I'm in my late 30s and grew up listening to a lot of 70s, 80s, 90s pop, rock, soul, and hip hop. In the last couple years my collection of jazz music has grown quite a bit as I find myself browsing the jazz section of my local music stores more often. My collection currenly includes about two dozen LPs, about a dozen CDs and more than 30 SACDs. I subscribed to the AP Blue Note SACD releases and have been picking up the AP Impulse SACD titles as well. Being relatively new to the genre, I find myself more drawn to works by Grant Green, Wes Montgomery and George Benson. Most likely due to their incredible guitar work. I also very much like Lou Donaldson, Bill Evans, Milt Jackson, Cannonball Adderley... the list goes on really. I guess I really like the sound of traditional jazz (if there is such a thing?), as opposed to the smooth jazz I used to listen to or the more avant garde stuff I've heard. I really have enjoyed listening to what I've accumulated so far and there isn't much I don't like. I've been reading the thread about Jazz recommendations for newbies and have been taking note. I've really enjoyed discovering and understanding the music and hope to continue to build my collection and appreciation for the art form. I'm very much looking forward to corresponding with you all and hope that I can learn from the resident jazz aficionados here. If anyone has any recommendations for me (advice, music, reading materials, etc) please feel free to share. Thank you.
You like guitarists. You like 60's Blue Note. So you must have this:
More guitar albums you should check into:
Pat Martino-El Hombre
Barney Kessel-Feeling Free
Lenny Breau-The Velvet Touch Of
Joe Pass-Portraits Of Duke Ellington
Pat Metheny-Bright Size Life
There are a couple of standard recommendations that are given to everyone who asks that question
1. Listen to what you have, and if any of the sidemen make an impression, go look for an album by them. Repeat ad infinitum.
2. In some of the larger record shops, you may find a section of compilation CDs that are fairly inexpensive. Get a couple of those and track down the albums of those you like, then go back to 1. above and repeat ad infinitum
3. Listen in to and on-line or airwave Jazz station with a notebook and note down any track you like, find the album and repeat 1 ad infinitum
4. Look around for a local library that lends CDs and try out anything and everything, even if you think you won't like it -- that's how your jazz tastes grow
After all that
Another guitarist -- Martin Taylor Scottish virtuoso solo guitarist
A record label -- Fantasy -- especially the Original Jazz Classics series
Birth Controller to the Jazz Community. (click on the underlined text for more information)
Kenny Burrell. You mentioned enjoying Grant Green and Wes Montgomery. Burrell was a contemporary of Green and Montgomery and is still working and recording. Vaughan recommended Burrell's early classic Midnight Blue (Blue Note, 1967). It's certainly the place to start. Here's a link to the title track on YouTube:
You mention that you've been exploring the forum. I presume that you've run across the thread "Playlists for Newcomers" in which I and a number of people around here make recommendations. If not, here's the link: http://forums.allaboutjazz.com/showthread.php?t=43449. A few of the many jazz guitarists that I recommend in those lists are:
Bill Frisell. While a jazz guitarist, Frisell's sound is more properly described as "Americana," a brilliant blending of blues, bluegrass, country, rock (and even a bit of electronica). He's been active since the 1980s and very prolific. So where to start? I would recommend starting with Good Dog, Happy Man (Nonesuch, 1999) and then Blues Dream (Nonesuch, 2001) and Gone Like a Train (Nonesuch, 1998). Here's a link to his performance of "Shenandoah" from Good Dog: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35Sx-...eature=related
Ralph Towner. Whereas most jazz guitarists work with electric guitars, Towner uses acoustic, both a classical and a 12-string. The best starting point is his classic Solo Concert (ECM, 1975). Here's a YouTube link to his performance of "Timeless" from that concert: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBifLkFzcCs. (Which is actually a John Abercrombie composition, see below).
John Abercrombie. A contemporary of Towner and one who also records mainly on ECM, Abercrombie prefers electric guitar. Very atmospheric sound. Walkin' recommended Timeless, and I agree that's a great starting point. But consider following up with Gateway (ECM, 1975, re-released in 2008; with Dave Holland on bass and Jack DeJohnette on drums) and While We're Young (ECM, 1993) and Open Land (ECM, 1999).
Pat Metheny. Another very prolific jazz guitarist. Walkin' recommend his debut (and one of his masterpieces), Bright Size Life. That's a great starting point. Given your taste for Green and Montgomery, check out Metheny's very mellow One Quiet Night (Nonesuch, 2003). Here's a live performance of "One for the Boys" from that record: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjyc0xbpYvo. I especially enjoy his joining forces with arguably the best contemporary jazz pianist Brad Mehldau for the record Quartet (Nonesuch, 2007). Here's a YouTube link of a live performance of the opening track, "A Night Away": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Knp-m...eature=related:
For those new to jazz, it's always hard to negotiate the contemporary scene. There are some astounding jazz guitarists out there. Let me recommendtwo of the best jazz releases of 2012, both led by guitarists:
John Moulder, The Eleventh Hour (Origin) and Jeff Parker, Bright Light in Winter (Delmark)
Hope these are of some help.
double post it seems
Thank you all for the detailed responses and recommendations, especially with regard to guitar infused jazz titles. I've digested all the information presented so far and have added most of the recommendations to my wish list for future acquistion. Of some of the recommendations, I do have a few albums by some of the arists previously mentioned, and I'm still currently working my way through acquiring as many of the more classic influental jazz from the 50s and 60s, but open to trying more modern jazz as well. As an example I picked up a few Patricia Barber albums and have enjoyed much of her work. Just today I received the Bill Evans - A Waltz for Debbie SACD and I'm enjoying it immensly as I type this. I can't believe I waited so long to dive into the genre, and hearing these tunes for the first time has been a somewhat enlightening experience. Again, thank you for the positive feedback so far.
When I was starting out, a kind and knowledgable record store clerk (this was before CDs existed so he was a record store clerk) told me to buy these albums, which was good advice.
Oliver Nelson--Blues and the Abstract Truth
Cannonball Adderley--Something Else
Art Blakey--Free For All
Charles Mingus--Mingus Ah Um
Thelonious Monk--Brilliant Corners
Sonny Rollins--Saxophone Colossus
John Coltrane--The Gentle Side of John Coltrane
Rahsaan Roland Kirk--Bright Moments
Herbie Hancock--Maiden Voyage
Art Tatum and Ben Webster
I started getting into jazz in the '70s, while in high school, and my entry was George Benson's hit "This Masquerade." That led immediately to "Kind of Blue," the one jazz album that seems to be in everybody's collection, no matter what they listen to. (As it should be!)
Until about three years ago, I had a better-than-the-average-person knowledge of jazz. I had maybe 150 albums, was pretty well versed in Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Ornette Coleman, Art Ensemble of Chicago, Thelonious Monk and Louis Armstrong, especially pre-Swing Era Armstrong. I knew enough that I was disappointed with Ken Burns' treatment of post-Swing jazz in his documentary and had good records in every genre.
In part because of my boredom with current rock (only about a dozen artists I follow anymore; genre, hip hop aside, has taken no steps forward since Nirvana, and really no steps forward since Hendrix), I started digging into jazz more hardcore about three years ago.
My tastes lean toward modern jazz and the avant-garde, so I went really hard at bop, free and hard bop, then expanded into swing and more classic jazz. Lately, I've been looking more into fusion, which I've never been a big fan of but can appreciate.
Here are the best players/things I've heard in this discovery:
Cecil Taylor: Had never heard him. Clerk at Amoeba in Hollywood told me to buy "Unit Structures." That led to "Conquistador," "Nefertiti," the later, more classical stuff, the German recordings and my favorite of his: "Cecil Taylor Unit," from the late '70s.
Lee Morgan: I'm still working my ears around the paths into and out of hard bop. Another recommendation came for "The Sidewinder," which was OK -- it's limited, really -- but the other stuff on the album I loved, and that led me to more albums (especially "Search for the New Land")
Sun Ra: Started with one of his spacier, funkier records ("Space is the Place"), then went back to the start. "The Singles" is great, lots of R&B/pop stuff, and I love "Jazz Silhouette" and especially "The Magic City."
Charles Mingus: Knew virtually nothing of his, and I really, really love him. Seems not to fit any classification, but there's so many ideas going on in everything. I especially like "Pithecanthropus Erectus," "The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady" and "Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus."
Ezz-Thetics -- George Russell Sextet
The Blues and the Abstract Truth -- Oliver Nelson
Holy Ghost box set -- Albert Ayler
Evolution -- Grachan Moncur III
Latino America -- Gato Barbieri
Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers with Thelonious Monk
A Night in Tunisia -- Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers
For Alto -- Anthony Braxton
Where is Brooklyn? -- Don Cherry
Complete Communion -- Don Cherry
Solo Flight: The Genius of Charlie Christian
Lowell Davidson Trio
Super Nova -- Wayne Shorter
The All-Seeing Eye -- Wayne Shorter
Adam's Apple -- Wayne Shorter
New Soil -- Jackie McLean
Out to Lunch -- Eric Dolphy
Point of Departure -- Andrew Hill
Our Man in Paris -- Dexter Gordon
Liberation Music Orchestra -- Charlie Haden
Developing an American Orchestra 1923-1937 -- Fletcher Henderson
The Eminent, Vols. 1 and 2 -- Jay Jay Johnson
Jaco Pastorius -- Jaco Pastorius
Modern Music From Chicago -- Red Rodney Quintet
The Hal Russell Story -- Hal Russell NRG Ensemble
Now I'm starting to investigate Booker Ervin, Clifford Brown, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Rabih Abou-Khalil, Horace Silver, Keith Jarrett, Yusef Lateef, Art Pepper, Woody Shaw, Pharoah Sanders and Sonny Stitt.
I'm reading a lot about jazz, too -- I love Ted Gioia's "History of Jazz," but other things, too -- and one thing that I find is never addressed is Western Swing. Sure, it's more of a country music genre than jazz, but there is overlap, and I must say that Bob Wills & the Texas Playboys is the best music from the '30s that I've heard.
Thanks to all for your lists. I'll be searching out some of these next time I hit the record store.
Since, you seem to enjoy jazz guitar work, here's some stellar albums, which feature good guitar work.
Jazz fusion albums:
Derek Bailey - Ballads
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