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Rock guy looking to learn some Jazz - what should i start listening too?

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Da Funky Fish, Nov 22, 2012.

  1. Hi,

    i am thinking of learning how to read music (have not done since high school) and also take jazz lessons after the holidays. I am a rock guy so I was wondering if anyone can suggest jazz artists or groups i need to start listening to. Im assuming I'd benefit from saturating myself with it and I do good when listening to tracks on my headphones during my boring commute. I really get tunes I am into in my head that way, weird but it works.

  2. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
  3. There are a lot of different styles of jazz to consider.

    However, Steely Dan is sort of a rock progressions meet jazz harmony type of band.
    Check out the album Aja and Gaucho.
  4. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    My first JAZZ album was Chick Corea's Light As a Feather.
    It was a gift from one of my music buddies.
    He told me , you know there is more to music than just ROCK.
    It took me a whole year to digest that album.
    Got me hooked on JAZZ.
  5. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    For electric stuff:

    Jean Luc Ponty
    Billy Cobham
    Spyro Gyra
  6. MontzterMash

    MontzterMash Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2010

    For me, it was:

    Charles Mingus
    Stanley Clarke
    Dave Brubeck
    Lee Ritenour (my first jazz concert ever: saw him with Melvin Lee Davis on the 6 String Theory tour - wow)
    Lee Morgan
    Cannonball Adderley
  7. DirtySix


    Jan 8, 2012
    I'm subscribing to this one. Was trying to find jazz to listen to last night but have no idea where to start.
  8. Jaco Pastorius
    UZEB (Alain Caron)
    Stanley Clarke
    Marcus Miller
    YellowJackets (Jimmy Haslip)
    Brian Bromberg

    plus many more... Check out BassontheBroadband.com 24/7 streaming bass orientated music (mainly jazz and fusion, but also classical and rock )
  9. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
  10. eddododo


    Apr 7, 2010
    Charles Mingus- Ah Um

    Amazing jazz album, start to finish.

    Get it immediately
  11. sevdog


    Mar 2, 2008
    Miles and Coltrane.

    All else is superfluous.
  12. sevdog


    Mar 2, 2008
    ^^^That's actually a really good list to start somebody off

    ...I would've said Miles, Coltrane, and Herbie Hancock if I didn't think of Hancock as more Jazz Fusion or Funk.
  13. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Not even close.
  14. Audiophage


    Jan 9, 2005
    Go out and see some local jazz if you can and talk to the bass players in those bands. Maybe they'll give you a lesson or two, or at least they'd be able to point you in the right direction.
  15. sevdog


    Mar 2, 2008
    Ha! That didn't take long. Ok, I concede.
  16. Gtripdub


    Jan 14, 2012
    louis armstrong..duke ellington..miles..coltrane..mingus...lee morgan..jimmy smith..
  17. eddododo


    Apr 7, 2010
    Hmm.. Nah
  18. Federighi


    Jun 19, 2011
    Burlingame, CA
    Check out the Brian Blade Fellowship album Perceptual. Truly some of the most amazing jazz available today. (crooked creek is a personal favorite of mine).
  19. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Best concert I ever saw was Bob James. He had a hell of a bass player on the Hands Down tour.
  20. The list is good, but neither Miles nor Coltrane gets a really good cross-section, because they both had so many different phases of their careers. It's worth checking out Coltrane's _Impressions_ (or the four-disc Village Vanguard boxed set that's a superset of it), an album of long modal improvisations, and the four albums _Relaxin'/Steamin'/Cookin'/Workin' With The Miles Davis Quintet_. A lot of people coming from a rock background seem to get into Miles's _Sketches Of Spain_ easily, too.

    There's a fantastic, underappreciated album under Duke Ellington's name called _Money Jungle_; it's a trio of Duke, Mingus, and Max Roach, which is even better than it sounds like it would be.

    Other artists I remember being lit up by at first hearing: Carla Bley (much of her work has Steve Swallow on bass), Eric Dolphy, Rahsaan Roland Kirk (big sprawling horn-centric improvisations, often with weird stuff like playing multiple horns at once), Gerry Mulligan, Bill Evans (whose approach to chords on piano probably has some lessons for us as bassists), Pharoah Sanders, Charles Lloyd.

    Jazz is a huge world, with aspects that are include the dance-pop of several generations, alternative strains of classical music (if Mingus had been white, IMHO nobody would have any hesitancy about calling him a classical composer), experimental noise, pretty relaxing music, high-technique funk, and pretty much everything else. There's something in there for everybody.