ex brickie

Help with finding jazz....

41 posts in this topic

I'm about to commit heresy but here goes........

I'm in my 50s and never really been a jazz fan. However, I've been in hifi demo rooms and heard bits of jazz in the background and found it pleasant enough. Then last week I stumbled across an outdoor youth jazz orchestra and liked what I heard (I couldn't hear what songs they claimed to be playing so that doesn't help!)

Here's the heresy. I bought a copy of Miles Davis Kind of Blue and really couldn't listen for long. There's a difference between admitting skill and enjoying the music. I didn't  enjoy it.

So, where do I start to get some snippets of the many types of jazz to see what I might like? I think I prefer jazz orchestras (if that's the term) to mainly single instruments. I already have music that is more like female jazz singing so I don't need that. I also have more modern stuff like Chick Corea (which is Ok) so I'm covered there

Any tips? I know that the sub genres of jazz are potentially vast so I realise I'm not helping much! I could try some compilation CDs but some pointers would be good

Sorry for offending the many Miles fans here! 

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Posted (edited)

I only started liking Jazz once I got a decent system. Fringe benefit I guess. Or maybe I realised I was getting old because I started liking Jazz?

 

I discover most of my Jazz through PBS radio in Melbourne. You can stream from their website and stream all their past programs so you can go straight to program guide to find the Jazz programs and playlists. Awesome. 

 

Also Tidal playlists can be good. The Late Night Jazz playlist is one of my favourites on Tidal. 

 

At the moment I have on high rotation:

Luke Howard Trio

GoGo Penguin

Anouar Brahem

Yusef Lateef

Ambrose Akinmusire

Art Blakey

Bob James

Cymande

The Meters

 

Edited by rogerthat

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I was in the same situation when I stared with jazz, I had little exposure, but I was interested but not sure where to start. I found all the lines a bit exhausting until I got used to it, a tip is to listen to the high hat - that's what ties it all together.

 

It may be worth giving 'Kind of Blue' another listen after a few weeks break. To be honest I'm a bit bored of that album these days, but for me it was the gateway to more challenging sub genres like bee bop and free jazz. That's where things get really exciting, but I'd get used to the lighter stuff first.   

 

'The Great Summit' may be a good start. Two of the greats, Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, they play exceptionally, it's well recorded, and it's very accessible material.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Great-Summit-Master-Takes/dp/B00005614N

 

 

 

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@ex brickie I love Jazz but just can't get into Miles Davis style.  GeoffRoberts suggestion of The Great Summit is a good one.  This is a brilliant album in that it swaps between being piano lead to trumpet lead due to the two big names.

 

Sounds like you like a big band type jazz sound, where as I prefer the trio quartet with vocals e.g. Ella and Louis.

 

Unfortunately we are still in the throws of unpacking having moved house last week otherwise I'd have gone through the Time Life Jazz Collection of albums and made some suggestions.  Hopefully someone will chime and help you out. 

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there are also Jazz stations on iTunes and Spotify that play a mix.

 

See if you can grab a copy of

 

Talented Mr Ripley soundtrack - that was my first ever jazz experience (has some score music as well though)

Whiplash has some more orchestra style stuff

 

Duke Ellington, Buddy Rich  might be up your alley for big band style and

 

I also like some modern stuff

Paris Combo

Pink Martini

 

Some re-samples from

Verve

St Germain

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Posted (edited)

 

@ex brickie....read the jazz currently spinning threads.

 

Boat loads of recommendations there. Use spotify/tidal/youtube/bandcamp etc etc to sample what you think might float your boat.

Edited by soundfan
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To me "jazz" covers a lot of styles. eg Dixieland , can bear that for about 8 seconds. As suggested above, try streaming (spotify?) non mainstream music and find the styles you like. A lot of styles are fusing together to make newish styles that are interesting. 

 

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As mentioned, Jazz covers a wide variety of styles.

Further to spotify and other radio sources (eg ABC Jazz) - Introducing Jazz is probably best from which ever style of music you are presently used to.

If you like classical music, then I would suggest Miles Davis: "Sketches of Spain", any Jacques Loussier, Oscar Peterson, Kevin Hunt ...

Big Band music is another genre you might wish to explore.

 

RalphH

 

 

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Hi folks. Thanks for the advice so far.

 

i don't have any streaming devices or subscriptions so my checking out will have to be radio stations, pot luck on compilation CDs or Youtube

 

I'll look for other threads too 

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2 hours ago, Nigel said:

To me "jazz" covers a lot of styles. eg Dixieland , can bear that for about 8 seconds. ..

I totally agree - until recently.  I picked up a CD of the Origainal Dixieland Jazz Band (recorded 1917-21, mastered by John RT Davies) from an op shop, and finally I started to understand this style of music.  Now I'm trying to learn about it, have picked up some other music from the period from the CD recyclers (names my research suggested were good, and some compilations).  I'm slowly becoming familiar with it, which is increasing my enjoyment and appreciation. 

 

I have found the time has to be right to get into particular music.  I've tried and failed to appreciate some music, only to find that later it clicks.  Kind of Blue is a special album, maybe it will click for you later on.  I've used it as a gateway into similar albums (e.g., the Somethin' Else soundtrack), but couldn't manage to get into other be-bop.  I will periodically try, have recently tried two Coltraine albums I got in op shops which did little for me. 

 

I do like other jazz.  The intersection of jazz and blues (eg. Bessie Smith), and the intersection of jazz and r+b (eg. 40's+50's bands, Jimmy "The Cat" Smith), stride piano, ragtime (actually pre-dates jazz but is generally lumped in with it).  When I was younger I liked some modern jazz like Oregon. 

 

Once you hear something you like, explore that artist.  Read about the artist, and explore his/her contempories, then explore their influences, and who was influenced by them.  There are lots of budget jazz and pre-owned CDs out there, don't be afraid to experiment and take a risk. 

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Posted (edited)

I like a fair bit of Jazz--*mostly* the melodic stuff and jazz/blues crossover.

When introducing friends to jazz I always start where they are, so let us know what other music you enjoy and we may be able to offer some specifics to ease the transition.

 

Greg

Edited by GregWormald

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2 hours ago, ex brickie said:

Hi folks. Thanks for the advice so far.

 

i don't have any streaming devices or subscriptions so my checking out will have to be radio stations, pot luck on compilation CDs or Youtube

 

 

If you have digital TV, then one of the free-to-air audio stations is ABC-Jazz.

You may have to sit on the channel up button for a while...

 

RalphH

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Posted (edited)

7 hours ago, ex brickie said:

Hi folks. Thanks for the advice so far.

 

i don't have any streaming devices or subscriptions so my checking out will have to be radio stations, pot luck on compilation CDs or Youtube

 

I'll look for other threads too 

 

 

If you like youtube, I'd suggest typing in "jazz band playlist" and look through something that goes on for an hour. Some of the playlist are quite detailed and in the description they document the name of the songs. Let a playlist play in the background and you'll be attracted to some pieces (hopefully) 

Have a search for ethio jazz too, songs are so cool!

Edited by King Julien
typo

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It's somewhat ironic that a lot of the advice handed to the OP comes from members who never post in the  excellent Jazz currently spinning thread here. :)

 

Not so much a criticism as an observation.

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Posted (edited)

5 minutes ago, soundfan said:

It's somewhat ironic that a lot of the advice handed to the OP comes from members who never post in the  excellent Jazz currently spinning thread here. :)

 

Not so much a criticism as an observation.

 

Taste of music varies, posts on here are about helping ex brickie with where to find jazz - I guess all posters read this post correctly :)

Edited by King Julien
typo

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For bigger ensembles check out...

 

Miles Davis - miles ahead / Porgy & Bess

Darcy James Argue - infernal machines

Maria Schneider orchestra - the Thompson Fields

Orchestre National de Jazz (French national jazz orchestra) - shut up and dance

Australian art orchestra

 

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Where to start?  If after the larger ensembles, I have a couple of recommendations that might be of interest. My recommendations tend toward modern free jazz, not sure if you were after the big band stuff from the early 1940's,50's etc?

 

Satoko Fujii (pianist), and her many orchestras she plays in. Google Satoko Fujii Orchestra to see what I mean.

https://www.discogs.com/artist/1191203-Satoko-Fujii

 

Angles 9 - a 9 member ensemble that really swing.

https://www.discogs.com/artist/3536147-Angles-9

 

 

Adam Lane's Full Throttle Orchestra

https://www.discogs.com/artist/1811762-Adam-Lanes-Full-Throttle-Orchestra

 

And as mentioned, don't totally discount Miles Davis. He has some fine albums recorded with larger ensembles. Check out his work with Gil Evans.

 

 

 

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Have a look at soundcloud or spotify for some Jazz to see which artists you like

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Posted (edited)

If you like big bands, try anything by Duke Ellington or Count Basie bands, (or their more recent derivatives) especially look out for this one:

 

58e79aab5ab1a_FirstTime.jpg.aa7a345595440914fed2b7a3263a88ed.jpg

 

 

If you're trying to come to grips with the essence of Jazz improvisation, grab youself a copy of an Oscar Peterson (piano) record with some tunes you know - eg his West side story album. Play a tune you know well and hum/whistle the tune along with his improvisation and you'll get a feel for how a great jazz musician constructs a solo. You can do the same with any good jazz soloist, but I found OP's solos worked particularly well.

 

cheers

 

mick

 

Edited by mickj1
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I think, just like with classical music, everyone's tastes in jazz change and grow as they explore.  As a lot of people have said, Kind of Blue may appeal later on.   

 

What got me hooked on Jazz originally was the soundtrack from Peter Gunn.  NOT the main theme which everyone is probably tired of hearing, but all the other back tracks from the series.  There are 2 records from RCA that started it. This is the first. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Music_from_Peter_Gunn    (don't bother with the many Mancini compilations that were released later.)

 

 

 

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Explore Miles' earlier works where he played many standards and show tunes like "Round Midnight", "My Funny Valentine", "Surrey with the Fringe On Top" , "It Never Entered My Mind" etc etc Many of these are familiar tunes and he played in a "vocal" style. Very easy to enjoy these. His Quintet's albums, "Relaxin'", "Cookin'", "Steamin'" and "Workin'" are very accessible.

 

For big band sound, Duke Ellington is great, have a listen to "Jeep's Blues" and "C-jam Blues" and be blown away by the big sound!

 

cheers

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Dizzy Gillespie's big band sessions might be worth a look.
"Jazz on a Summers Day" was a good intro for my brother in law. A bit of everything, all classics.

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some of the jazz guitarists can be a good intro, some george benson ect...if your already into blues and some rock you''ll find it easy to relate to.

 

and remember sometimes when you first hear an album and it doesnt click, later on it can come back to be one of your favs. i had this when i heard Tommy by the Who for the first time, bought CD at JB as a young teenager thinking it would be normal rock (pre google/internet on phones ect) swapped it back for the best of but almost two decades on its my fav album.

i enjoy that Miles davis and coltrane style.

as mentioned above internet radio stations and streaming service playlists are a great way to discover new genres of music and new artists, then you can easily save the artists you like

 

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Posted (edited)

Some of the later Count Basie albums may fit the bill, very approachable. Lots of blues / rhythm & blues influence which I like. 

Track below is from the album 'Basie Jam'. Other similar ones are '88 Basie Street' and 'Chairman of the Board'. Great sounding recordings as a bonus. 

 

 

 

If you like the sound of those i'd also check these albums out:

Oscar Peterson Trio - Night Train

 

Gene Harris & Three Sounds - Bottoms up

 

 

 

Hard Bop is a sub-genre to explore for similar sounds. Good luck! 

Edited by jack_b

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Charles Mingus 

 

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