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Climbing on the Jazz Train for the first time...

Discussion in 'music' started by rod, Oct 8, 2005.

  1. rod

    rod beach bum

    Before I start, I know there are many other threads here under "search". It's just that I would like to be specific.

    The train has only passed me by - windows open - before. I would like to get a ticket now.

    I have only a couple of jazz albums in my collection, probably some obvious choices really. I.e. Kind Of Blue, Blue Train, MJQs Dedicated To Connie. I had a great time visiting the 23rd Street Cafe's Tuesday night jazz session, when I visited my brother in Philadelphia a little while back. I also recall dining in a restaurant in Cape Town to the sound of a live three-piece outfit playing a few feet away. Jazz was new to me then, but it was interesting. I now need to get a proper start to the collection.

    What I would like is (very subjective and personal, I know) for you kind people to recommend an artist and one album by that artist, that I should listen to as an introduction to their music.

    I have picked up a Blue Note sampler from Tony, here on pfm, but generally would prefer not to do the sampler / greatest hits type packages.

    Thanks for your time, and inspiration!
  2. AlexG

    AlexG ...


    Oh lordy.

    Here's my two:

    Cannonball Adderley - Somethin' Else
    Sonny Clark - Cool Struttin'

    (IMO, go to Fopp if you can, pick up anything recorded from 1958 to 1963 and put out on Blue Note, it's hard to go wrong)
  3. P

    P Banned



    I don't pretend to be a major league jazzer (i'm more of a fusion man I guess) but I do remember hearing this album for the first time.

    It's easy to get carried away but sometimes what you don't play carries a lot more meaning.

  4. Jonathan Ribee

    Jonathan Ribee Unavailable at present

    For my "go" I'd just reinforce the idea of getting Kind of Blue. Perhaps I mean "getting" Kind of Blue. It is an obvious choice, and there are many good reasons why.
  5. Thomas K

    Thomas K pfm Member

    Hi Rod,

    See if you can find some audioclips of Dave Holland Big Band: "What Goes Around" (ECM, 2002) to try before you buy. Obviously big-band-style arrangents, but not as schmaltzy as G. Miller. Immensely enjoyable, with a *hint* of blues and rock at times.
  6. rod

    rod beach bum

    Sorry! What I meant to say was - recommend as many artists as you like, but as my pockets are only soooo deep, only suggest one album by that artist.

    Hi Thomas, I will give your suggestion a listen via samples (if poss), but I don't really go for the "big band sound".
  7. Jonathan Ribee

    Jonathan Ribee Unavailable at present


    You've now moved the task from impossibly minimalist to impossibly maximalist!

  8. rod

    rod beach bum

  9. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    That comp is utterly superb. I bought it on vinyl in the mid 80s when it came out and pretty much bought all the albums that it takes tracks from - some have already been mentioned here already (Somthin’ Else, Midnight Blue). There is not a dud track on it. It eventually taught me that you can, with considerable confidence, buy absolutely any record released on Blue Note between about 1955-67. The same rule pretty much holds true for Impulse, Riverside, Prestige and Verve within this period and many fine things can also be found on Atlantic and Columbia.

    How to buy jazz: say you like the Cannonball Adderley on that Blue Note comp I sold you (which you will), then buy the album Somethin’ Else that it is taken from. This presents you with a series of musicians that you now know you like; Cannonball Adderley himself, Miles Davis, Hank Jones, Sam Jones and Art Blakey. Now go out and buy say a Miles Davis album and a Art Blakey album. Say you bought Kind Of Blue as your first Miles Davis album, and you liked it (which you will), you can now go out and buy a John Coltrane album and a Bill Evans album. You now have all the musos on say A Love Supreme and Everyone Digs to explore. This process is exponential and IMHO it is very hard to go wrong if you adopt it.

  10. Thomas K

    Thomas K pfm Member

    I don't really go for the "big band sound"

    Neither do I! It's really more "medium band" ;-)
  11. sideshowbob

    sideshowbob 47 Lab Rat

  12. Jonathan Ribee

    Jonathan Ribee Unavailable at present

    I like Tony's idea. But if you insist...

    OK - 10. Nice round number.

    Davis, Miles - Kind of Blue
    Coltrane, John - Blue Train
    Peterson, Oscar - Night Train
    Bruebeck, Dave - Time Further Out
    Getz, Stan - Focus
    MJQ - The Final Concert
    Mingus, Charles - Ah Um
    Ellington, Duke & Armstrong, Louis - The Great Reunion
    Baker, Chet - This is Jazz
    Jarrett, Keith - The Koln Concert

    Designed as an interesting mix from which to get a view of what you might like.

    I've ignored singers, 70s electric fusion, Britain, the Naim lable, that scandanavian stuff with cowbells in it, The French, borderline soul/blues and anything that you can only get on old scratched mono which "Jazzers" will tell you is the definitive etc but is makes "hard" listening when you're trying to decide if you even like the stuff..

    Oh - and you can hum most of it.

  13. rod

    rod beach bum

    I'll have a proper look at this thread tomorrow (off out for the night soon). Tony and Ian's ideas are likely the way to go. I have a habit of going the Tony way in other musical styles. My pockets wish they could help out more regarding Ian's suggestion, but...

    I think the main idea is to get a list of artists, many of whom I may have heard little / nothing, and then I will know where to start!
  14. sideshowbob

    sideshowbob 47 Lab Rat

    A list of artists is reasonably straightforward, there are lots of good suggestions in this thread already, but a lot depends on what you discover you like as you start exploring. Plus, the great names (Coltrane, Mingus, Monk, Miles, Charlie Parker, Louis Armstrong, Ellington, etc etc) made lots of fantastic records, often very different from each other, so picking a single record is almost impossible. The Penguin Guide is a good starting point because it's very comprehensive, but it's also written by only two people rather than by a committee, so you will discover very quickly where your tastes and theirs coincide, and where they differ.

    -- Ian
  15. Jonathan Ribee

    Jonathan Ribee Unavailable at present

    What I've tried to do is remember the album that first got me into listening to particular artists, or that really switched me on to them - i.e. not too "heavy" - I found the jump between Mingus Ah Um and Dark Saint an the Sinner Lady quite a challenge. Ah Um was just a simple "yeah - that swings" or in the case of "Farewell Lester Young" - the second best musical complement I've ever heard.

    That Penguin guide sounds good. For reference I've got the weighty New Grove Dictonary (single volume version) - which is certainly comprehensive but is very much a committee and rather dry. Also, as a dictionary everything has to be packed in and Coltrane gets 2.5 pages out of 1300 - which is clearly wrong!
  16. AlexG

    AlexG ...

  17. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    For a refererence don't overlook www.allmusic.com - whilst I frequently don't agree with the ranking of best albums from a given artist it is still a stunningly good and easily searchable resource. Never a day goes by that I don't look something up there.

  18. dave charlton

    dave charlton cubist

    Herbie Hancock ~ Maiden Voyage
    Miles Davis ~ Relaxin'
    Art Pepper ~ Living Legend

  19. johnhunt

    johnhunt pfm Member

    i'd buy the book ssb was talking about and buy anything you like the look of. it's quite difficult to go very far wrong
  20. I'll second (or Third) the Penguin guide well worth the money the Core collection and Crown Collection schem is a very good way to start feeling your way with the important artists work.


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