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Thread: New to Jazz - My Collection and the Way Ahead

  1. #1
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    New to Jazz - My Collection and the Way Ahead

    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.

  2. #2
    Registered User Vaughan's Avatar
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    You like guitarists. You like 60's Blue Note. So you must have this:


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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughan View Post
    You like guitarists. You like 60's Blue Note. So you must have this:

    Correct on both points. I do not have that album yet, but if it's included in the AP Blue Note SACD subscription then I will have it soon enough. Thanks for the reommendation!

  4. #4
    Registered Hipster walkin's Avatar
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    More guitar albums you should check into:

    Pat Martino-El Hombre
    Barney Kessel-Feeling Free
    Lenny Breau-The Velvet Touch Of
    Gabor Szabo-Spellbinder
    Jim Hall-Concierto
    Joe Pass-Portraits Of Duke Ellington
    Pat Metheny-Bright Size Life
    John Abercrombie-Timeless

  5. #5
    AAJ's Spammer Exterminator Tenorman's Avatar
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    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)

  6. #6
    Registered User Alypius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAM View Post
    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... 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... 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.
    JAM, Welcome to the Board. Sounds like your explorations are taking you down a great track. The Blue Note records of the 1960s are simply classics and the foundation for any great collection. Let me second (and extend) a few of the recommendations from Vaughan and Walkin'.

    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:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wAmxuHt5nw

    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.

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    ...
    double post it seems

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    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.

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    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
    Miles Davis--Milestones
    Rahsaan Roland Kirk--Bright Moments
    Herbie Hancock--Maiden Voyage
    Art Tatum and Ben Webster

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    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."

    Others
    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.

  11. #11
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    Since, you seem to enjoy jazz guitar work, here's some stellar albums, which feature good guitar work.

    Jazz fusion albums:







    Avant-Garde Jazz







    Derek Bailey - Ballads

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