Can a jazz fan suggest a next album?

Discussion in 'Music' started by Steve Elias, Jul 7, 2003.

  1. Steve Elias

    Steve Elias Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm hoping for some recommendations for my next jazz purchase. I've ignored jazz for almost all of my life as the few early encounters I had with it left me craving music that was more obviously organized and melodic for someone with a pop/rock sensibility. A couple of weeks ago, I heard a jazz song at a coffee shop that was immediately accessible and enjoyable - Herbie Hancock's Cantaloupe Island. I purchased Herbie Hancock - The Blue Note Years and have enjoyed it. But then I made the BIG discovery in my formerly jazz free life when I heard The Dave Brubeck Quartet - Take Five in Borders. I love this album and assume that it must be one of the seminal jazz albums. Anyway, what are some of the most accessible jazz albums, especially for someone who likes Take Five, Rondo A La Turk, and Cantaloupe Island? Naturally I've heard of such famous albums as Coltrane's A Love Supreme and Miles Davis' The Birth of Cool, but I have no idea if these albums are accessible like Take Five. Thanks for any advice you have to offer.
    -Steve
     
  2. Sean Dilly

    Sean Dilly Agent

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    These are the album that come to mind that I really enjoy and you should maybe look into. The last two are up and coming and new, Soulive is really funky.

    Herbie Hancock "Thrust"

    Donald Byrd "Places and Spaces" (my personal favorite)

    Roy Ayers "Mystic Voyage"

    Soulive "Get Down"

    Yesterdays New Quintet (YNQ) "Angels Without Edges"

    hope that helps.
     
  3. Leo

    Leo Second Unit

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    One album I'm currently enjoying is Rendevous in New York by Chick Corea. Lots of great live performances, plus it's a nice hybrid SACD/CD (2 disc in fact).
     
  4. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    You might find something at the Latin end of the spectrum that will suit the bill. Recently I've been playing Laurindo Almeida (guitarist) on the Concord Label Jazz Heritage series, which I would highly recommend. He does everything from Latin to Broadway to classical on this album. Lots of Herbie Mann's work is available now.

    Many Louis Armstrong albums would qualify, and several Count Basie albums (I've got another one of his Beatle materiel albums on order just now)

    Some of the contemporary chanteuse albums feature pretty nice jazz piano, guitar and drum work - Diana Kraal for sure.

    Your best bet may be to try some compilation albums from the well known jazz labels. You get to hear a lot of artists, and it may help you find the styles and artists you like.

    I identify with your question. I enjoy LOVE SUPREME, I think, but after 15 or so listenings after owning KIND OF BLUE for a number of years, I still don't get the awe most aficionados feel for it. :b
     
  5. JoelGee

    JoelGee Auditioning

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    I'd check out "Weather Report" and earlier Chick Corea. These groups defined rock/jazz fusion.

    I'd also check All Music Guide. By entering Dave Brubeck, the AMG will suggest other stuff like it.

    Also, Brubeck's stuff is considered West Coast Cool jazz. Look for other groups defined as such.

    If you can afford it, pick up the Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD, arguably the best print guide to jazz. I believe you can see how each artist is defined.
    Also, there's a reason why Miles Davis's "Kind of Blue" is possibly the most popular jazz CD, even among people who don't think of themselves as jazz fans.
    Check out the real goddesses of song: Sarah Vaughn and Ella Fitzgerald. That Krall woman, fuhgeddabouder.
    I don't mean to get so carried away, but I remember first discovering that there's more to music than rock. Also, the more you listen, the more your ears will get used to jazz. Myself, I can't take avant-garde, free jazz, but I'm liking stuff I never thought I would.
    Good luck and I envy you your first explorations into a larger world.
    J
     
  6. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Start with the following:

    Miles Davis Kind of Blue
    John Coltrane Giant Steps
    Weather Report Heavy Weather

    These have all been remastered, look for the original versions in used CD stores for very cheap.

    Good luck!
     
  7. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Much of John Coltrane is not considered "accessible," so listen before you buy if you can.

    Artists that may match your interests include Stan Getz, Dave Brubeck, Oscar Peterson, and Art Pepper. Also consider looking into older jazz like Duke Ellington.
     
  8. Scott Oliver

    Scott Oliver Screenwriter

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    "Jazz at the Pawnshop" is a pretty incredible album. It is a live performance and man can it get your foot tapping. In fact I usually have to get up and dance, as the players are just in rare form that night.

    Available on FIM on vinyl, SACD, XRCD, or HDCD.

    About a year ago there was a commercial by a luxury car maker where they were loading up Noah's Arc with all the vital things that needed to survive the flood and the showed three vinyl albums being brought aboard.
    Miles Davis "Kind of Blue"
    John Coltrane "A Love Supreme"
    and Jazz at the Pawnshop
     
  9. Steve Elias

    Steve Elias Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks everyone for the great suggestions. My knowledge of jazz has grown exponentially just in reading your responses.

    I should have mentioned that I also have a Diana Krall album, but I never really identified her as a pure jazz artist; I suspect this (and my early disinterest in jazz) is the result of having heard what was probably "avant garde, free jazz".

    Let's see...now I need to buy a book, 10-20 CDs, and possibly an SACD/DVD-A player. I knew the question would empty my wallet. [​IMG] At least I have group to identify with - West Coast Cool. Thanks again, and please keep the suggestions coming.
    -Steve
     
  10. Steve Elias

    Steve Elias Stunt Coordinator

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    Joel,
    Thanks for the link to the All Music Guide; it's great!
    -Steve
     
  11. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    All of the following are very accessible

    Sonny Rollins - Saxophone Colossus
    Miles Davis - Kind of Blue
    John Coltrane - My Favorite Things
    Charles Mingus - Ah Um
    The Quintet - Jazz at Massey Hall

    If you are at all interested in fusion, Herbie Hancock's Head Hunters goes down pretty easy.

    All of the above suggestions except for Jazz at Massey Hall are available on SACD.

    Regards,
     
  12. JoelGee

    JoelGee Auditioning

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  13. Anthony F.

    Anthony F. Stunt Coordinator

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    "Getz/Gilberto" by Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto is a fabulous and easily accessible album. If you like that Brubeck sound, check out a couple of Paul Desmond's solo albums (he's the sax player in the quartet who wrote Take Five). His albums "Take Ten" and "Glad to Be Unhappy" are easy listens. If you like vocal Jazz, start with one of the Ella Fitzgerald "Songbook" albums on Verve. Lots of good stuff out there.
     
  14. ToddR

    ToddR Agent

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    I'll second Getz/Gilberto, or other bossa nova from Getz.

    If you like Brubeck, try Jazz at Oberlin, which was recorded live at the college. In fact, later this fall, Brubeck will be back to play in the same auditorium for a 50th anniversary of the original recording.

    West Coast/Pacific/Cool Jazz - many people love Chet Baker, although I personally think he is way overrated.

    Try Cannonball Adderly, "Something Else" - this features Cannonball, Miles Davis, Hank Jones, Art Blakey, and Sam Jones and has always been one of my favorites. It includes recordings of Love for Sale and Autumn Leaves and is very accessible.

    Dexter Gordon, "Our Man in Paris" - another of my favorites, but I wouldn't exactly call it accessible.
     
  15. Anthony F.

    Anthony F. Stunt Coordinator

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    Forgot about Something Else. That is one sweet album!
     
  16. Frank_S

    Frank_S Supporting Actor

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    Shelley Manne. 2-3-4 album.
    John Coltrane-Standard Coltrane
    Gene Ammons-Boss Tenor
    Ben Webster-Soulville(A must)
    Anything by Ella Fitzgerald
    Chet baker-Chet
     
  17. Ken_WI

    Ken_WI Stunt Coordinator

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    To my rock-oriented ears, Stanley Clarke's "School Days" was the perfect introduction to Jazz. I would also recommend Weather Report's "Heavy Weather" or "Mr. Gone".

    For a more purist approach, try Thelonious Monk's "Straight, No Chaser". You also cannot go wrong with Miles Davis' "Steamin'", or "Relaxin'"
     
  18. Steve Elias

    Steve Elias Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the suggestions!

    I purchased Kind of Blue,listened to it once, and had a VERY enjoyable experience. After one listen it has yet to dethrone Take Five as my favorite album so far - I can't get the Paul Desmond sax line out of my head - but it is running a close second.

    After a quick stop at the library I came home with Birth of the Cool (didn't connect with it like I did with Kind of Blue); John Coltrane- My Favorite Things (after one listen I'm not sure how I feel about this one); Charley Parker - Bird's Best Bop on Verve (haven't listened to this one yet); and a jazz compilation from Atlantic Records (haven't listened to it yet). So far, Kind of Blue and Take Five are heads and shoulders above the other albums, but obviously I need to give all of these albums more time.

    I'll look for the Live Brubeck tomorrow as well as a couple more of the many suggestions. Thanks again.
    -Steve
     
  19. Dave Morton

    Dave Morton Supporting Actor

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    Anything by Charlie Byrd
     
  20. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Well, Kind Of Blue is generally regarded as the finest jazz recording ever made, so don't expect much to be at that level. You're starting at the top.

    I second the recommendation of Cannonball Adderly's "Somethin' Else". An exceptional album.
     

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