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Recommend me some Jazz

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Cochise, Mar 13, 2008.

  1. Having searched and not come across what I'm looking for, I thought I'd ask you all for help.

    I'm trying to expand my musical tastes from my rather blinkered rock pop and blues tastes, and thought I'd give Jazz a go-except I'm not sure where to start. I know Jazz is split into quite a few sub-genres and TBH I really don't get some of the stuff I've heard which seems to have no tune to it whatsoever. So what I'm after is old or new, tuneful jazz

    Can anybody help here?



  2. This is where you start with jazz:
  3. AFTER you listen to that, and your mind is sufficiently blown, prepare yourself. Because that is the Avril Lavine of jazz.

    Find some Miles Davis and some Coltrane, drink some whiskey, and prepare yourself for a whole new world.

    Seriously though, I'm no jazz expert, I just know what I like. Miles Davis - Bitches Brew is my favorite jazz album, but Kind of Blue is the more classic album that those with, ahem, more 'experianced' taste will probably recommend. It's all good. I'm sure someone with more knowledge than me will chime in and get you started proper.
  4. Thanks for those. I'll check them out. Others here must have some suggestions...


  5. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Some of the "easy to get into but still really excellent" albums from the bebop era I'd suggest would be:
    Miles Davis "Kind Of Blue"
    Sam Rivers "Fuschia Swing Song"
    Coltrane "My Favorite Things"
    Coltrane "Giant Steps"
    McCoy Tyner "The Real McCoy"
    Brubeck's "Time Out"

    I've got a ton more albums from that era, but these are some of the easiest on new ears.

    The more modern you go, the more things vary, so maybe try out the classic bebop stuff first before you get into listening to the entire Masada collection by John Zorn :D
  6. Deacon_Blues


    Feb 11, 2007
    A few names / bands in no particular order, in addition to the ones already mentioned:

    - Herbie Hancock has some jazz with soul/funk influences that are easy on the ears for a beginner in jazz. Check out for example the songs Maiden Voyage, Cantaloupe Island and Watermelon Man (That guy seem to have a thing for melons... ;))
    - Cannonball Adderley has a style that is quite easy to listen to yet being interesting
    - Steely Dan - Pop/rock with very strong jazz influences
    - Keith Jarrett - if you ignore his strange behaviour and the sounds he is making while playing, he plays some really great music
    - Chick Corea - I enjoy the "Friends" album the most, some like the work with his Electric Band the most
    - Weather report - One of the the greatest jazz fusion bands ever
    - Jaco's solo work is good too. In addition to his albums, check out the Jaco Pastorius Big Band - Word of Mouth Revisited album. GREAT music. I love big bands. :)
    - Yellowjackets - Their music spans from almost pop to straight-ahead jazz. Great music, most of it.

    I recommend to check out www.allmusic.com. There's tons of information about jazz and it's many subgenres including lists of the most important bands in each sub-genre.

    Also start visiting jazz clubs. Just be careful - once you get bitten by the jazz fly, there's no turning back. :)
  7. lefty007


    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    As mentioned, if you want to start easy, try Herbie Hancock first. I find that throughout all periods, Herbie always has managed to be smooth and sophisticated; he could be a stepping stone to Miles, Coltrane, etc.

    There is a great The Best of Herbie Hancock CD out right now, which by the way, includes a smoking song, "4 AM:" with Jaco on it.
  8. Arduy


    Jan 19, 2008
    These are a few of many jazz works that I really like:

    Bill Evans - Sunday at the Village Vanguard
    Andy Sheppard - Rhythm Method
    Herbie Hancock - Maiden Voyage, Speak like a Child
    Charles Mingus - Blues and Roots, Let my children hear music
    Miles Davis - Kind of Blue
    Wayne Shorter - Adam's Apple, Speak No Evil, High Life
    John Coltrane - Giant Steps

    I also like
    as a pianist: McCoy Tyner,
    as a double bass player: Ron Carter,
    as a sax player: Cannonball Adderley,
    as a trumpet player: Freddie Hubbard
  9. joelb79


    Mar 22, 2006
    Lansing, Michigan
    Dude! That was the first bass line I played! - Jazz Band, Highschool. I played it on Baritone sax though. We doubled the bass guitar. I looked back, saw that guy grooving.. Droped Sax and started bass 1 month later. :D
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Hmmm....not sure about that... Paul Desmond is excellent as usual and the drum solo is great!

    It is restrained and "cool" - but there is a lot of musical worth in there!!
  11. Oh to be sure! I was more trying to say, "this is pop music of jazz" :)

    I believe it was the first jazz record to sell a million copies?
  12. Good stuff here.

    I'd start with late 40's, 50's, and 60's bop and hardbop. Think Charlie Parker, Miles, Cannonball, Sonny Rollins, and Coltrane. When you want to step out a little further look into Eric Dolphy, Thelonious Monk, and late Coltrane. That's a start...
  13. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    All good suggestions so far. I'd suggest you also get some of the earlier pre-bop cats such as Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, etc. They will have that 'tuneful' approach you want, short songs, less long jams, and great melodies.
  14. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    You can spend a lot of time and money trying to figure out what you like. I'd suggest you start looking for someone in your area how has a decent jazz collection that you could spend some time with.

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