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How did you get into jazz? (for those who like it)

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by alexssandro, Jul 21, 2001.

  1. Did anyone here start listening to jazz before you picked up an instrument? I decided to buy a bass because I wanted to play music, but the only music I listened to was hard rock. At the young age of 14, I never even knew that guitars and basses were used in jazz! I just thought jazz was big band music and I didn't give it much thought. Once I began playing, I was always seeking out good players. But I never really considered jazz until a couple years later when I saw a clip of Stanley Clarke on TV. I said, "Damn, what the hell was that?" Seeing him slap and play those super-fast solos just pushed the horizons a million miles further in terms of technical and musical capabilities of the bass. I bought "If This Bass Could Only Talk." I can't say I liked every tune or melody on it, but it made me realize that there was so much to explore. I've been exploring ever since. And I'm hooked.
  2. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    At 14, I was a rock guitar player who was only interested in Hendrix, the Doobie Brothers, and Rush. I thought jazz sounded passionless and watered-down. A few years went by, and I got into blues, but quickly became bored with the sameness of the song structures. The band that "led me to the promised land" of jazz was Steely Dan. They wrote great pop/rock songs, but there was a level of complexity and subtlety about everything they did that went beyond what I was hearing from everywhere else. Plus, the solos were INCREDIBLE, using the jazz harmonic language in a context I'd never heard before, which made it accessible to my young green ears. Once I heard Steve Gadd's solo on "Aja", it was all over but the shouting.

    Later I discovered just who guys like Gadd, Wayne Shorter, Ernie Watts, Larry Carlton, Pat Martino, etc. really were, and it all made sense why the DAN was the group to lead me where I ended up.
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I must say that I was a really big Steely Dan fan and bought all their albums as they came out; but I never thought of them as Jazz-influenced until much, much later.

    Starting to play bass in the 70s, the first Jazz stuff I came across was Soft Machine 3 - which really amazed me. But then "Heavy Weather" was the first real Jazz album I bought. I then got into fusion heavily and bought all the Mahavishnu Orchestra albums, plus Santana,who were every Jazz influenced then. Billy Cobham's Spectrum album also made a big impact on me.

    But I stuck with fusion and mostly rock/pop.new wave etc. for years. And there were periods where I wasn't listening to anything as I was trying to write music and found that I ended up doing "versions" of whatever I heard! So I only listened to Classcial Music - Mahler, Shostakovich, Messiaen, Stravinsky etc.

    It was only much later that I realised that just about all the "fusion" guys I really liked, had worked with Miles Davis in the past and so I started working my way through Miles albums and in his back catalogue is virtually the whole history of Jazz from Charlie Parker to Fusion. BUt I thought it was a bit "unblanced" to have a Jazz collection that was only Miles and Fusion, so stared branching out sideways, to get albums from people who had worked with Miles and weren't fusion - like Canonball Adderley, Coltrane, Herbie Hancock etc.
  4. When I was 11 or 12 my grandmother bought me "My Favorite Things" by John Coltrane and I've liked it ever since. My jazz collection is pretty small though, need to start getting some more albums!
  5. Traveler


    Jun 26, 2001
    Greenwood, AR.
    I started playing saxaphone in school in 6th grade. I hated it, and quit after that year, even though I had an alto sax that me Mum had bought for me. I laid it down for a year, and listened to a lot of heavy metal type stuff. But only for a year, cuz I heard some Pink Floyd. This really introduced me to good music, and I picked up my sax again and started playing some stuff off of Dark Side (Money) and Wish you were here (Shine on you Crazy Diamond). Then I researched a little on PF and found out that they were heavily jazz influenced. So I picked up some Miles Davis and James Brown. Loved the saxaphone stuff in there, too, but I found out that a lot of the stuff they were playing was on Tenor and some on Baritone. I also found out I loved the walking bass lines. So over the next two years, I bought me a bass and a Tenor sax and my Mum bought me a Bari Sax. I got my bass about two years ago, and my two new saxes somewhere around there. I ended up short on money about a year ago, though, and sold my Alto sax (which was an awesome Yamaha). I regret doing it now, but I love the sound of Tenor and Bari so much, I didnt play Alto enough. Then I got back into rock music, listening to rock and jazz, and picked up on bands such as Pearl Jam, Led Zeppelin, Soundgarden, Cream................and many more. I ended up tracing their roots back to Blues, and bought some Robert Johnson, Howlin Wolf, and Muddy Waters. I loved Howlin Wolf so much, I bought many more of his cds.
  6. I only really started liking jazz when my bass teacher had me start to make some basslines to coltrane and other guys.
  7. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    the first band/musical group i listened to on my own free will was "Bela Fleck and the Flecktones." I loved the way victor sounded. I later got my first bass. But in the past 2 years i got into a lot more jazz. I listen to Charlie Parker, Dizzy, Mingus, Weather Report, Stanley Clarke, Return to Forever, etc. And it hasn't been until recently until i started listening to Stravinsky, Bach (gotta love the organ works), Gershwin...
  8. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    The seed was planted from my early daze of living in Philly with my Italian relatives...
    My uncle(a drummer)was always playing Blue Note, Impulse, Mingus & Miles' stuff from that era...too, he was always 'jamming' to the TV with his congas(those old variety shows always had a musical guest or two + The I Love Lucy Show). ;)
    His sons(my slightly older cousins)were also playing Jazz in addition to the 'jam Rock' of that time(Santana, Cream, The Doors, Sly, etc). All this, I believe, created a path for me...by the time I reached age 16 or so, I was primed for something 'different'.

    Oh yeah, Pat Martino lived directly behind us(across the alley)...Jazz guitar ruled!
  9. I grew up in a house where we listened to a lot a different types of music including jazz. My mom had a bunch of great jazz albums (we're talkin' vinyl here) that I'd pull out and listen to and I was exposed to lots of great stuff. Brubeck, Miles, Ellington, Basie, the list goes on and on.
  10. My grandfather was a saxophonist. My mother was a beatnik. They lived in Grenwich Village. What else could have happened to me?
  11. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...literally, all day & night the guitar played(I think Pat's back at that house...it was his parents' place).
    Too bad I was only 7-8 years old at the time. ;)
  12. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    The earliest memory of have of Jazz was Wes Montgomery's album "A day in the life". I was about 12 or 13 years old at the time, well before I was thinking about playing anything. I don't know where my mom got the record since most of her collection was what was then called "Soul" music, but she was an avid music listener and purchaser.
  13. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I remember watching Nat King Cole's TV show among other things, at a very early age. I grew up with Soul, R&B, Pop, Polka, Rock, Standards, Jazz, Funk and just about anything else within earshot.

    First playing experience was with a 70's Funk band, moved into Fusion in college, played with some older Blues cats in the Midwest while I was in the USAF, came back here and while I listen to Jazz, don't consider myself a Jazz player. My definition isn't as all-encompassing as the current one;)
  14. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Yeah, I just wanna add that I'm a Jazz FAN...F-A-N.
    ...nothing more.

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