The Black Album of Jazz....

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by cliffburtonfan, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. Hi Guys,

    Firstly let me explain my ridiculous analogy.

    I am into metal. If someone asked me to suggest an album to introduce them to Metallica, the album I would pick would be the black album. Not because I feel it is their best album (It's far from it) but because it is reasonably accessible to someone who is not normally into heavier stuff. Songs are farily structured etc etc.

    So on to my point. I am currently trying to broaden my musical horizons through both learning more theory and listening to stuff I wouldn't normally listen to. Jazz falls into this catagory.

    So I ask the jazzers amongst us, if I was to pick up a jazz album that is accessible to the non-jazz listener as the black album is to the non-metal listener, what would it be?
  2. gavinspoon


    Feb 11, 2008
    Cardiff UK
  3. Miles Davis "Bitches Brew"....maybe?
  4. There will be a lot of recommendations for Miles Davis's "Kind of Blue", the best selling jazz album of all time.

    I'm sure a lot of others will recommend a lot of jazz standards... If you're going this route I'd recommend Oscar Peterson, especially recordings with Ray Brown on bass (my favourite upright player). I'd also recommend some fusion as it contains a bit more energy and I'd think would relate to metal a bit easier, so also check out albums by Return to Forever, and the Weather Report recordings, especially with Jaco Pastorius, like "Heavy Weather".
  5. Mushroo

    Mushroo Guest

    Apr 2, 2007
    Miles David "Kind of Blue"
    I read somewhere that this one album (recorded in the 1950s by a dead guy) outsells the entire combined sales of all living jazz artists under the age of 40! (or something like that, I forget the exact statistic)
  6. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Inactive

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    Why are people suggesting "Kind of blue"? it is one of the calmest, mellow, introspective jazz album ever made. I can't imagine a metal fan liking it at all.

    Perhaps a better suggestion would be "Milestones", also from Miles Davis.

    None blacker.
  7. MostlyBass


    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    Birth of the Cool
  8. Mushroo

    Mushroo Guest

    Apr 2, 2007
    That's exactly why a metal fan should listen to it; to understand music that is calm, mellow & introspective. Bitches Brew for example is a great album, but if it's the only jazz album you own, you'll have a very skewed idea of what jazz is.

    I agree Milestones is a good one too. :)

    Another artist I can highly recommend is Billie Holiday, she was an incredible vocalist.
  9. jay440


    May 22, 2007
    Cleveland, OH.
    Coltrane's "Giant Steps"
  10. AtomicPunk

    AtomicPunk Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2007
    Detroit Metro, MI USA
    I thought you were referring to Prince's "Black Album". :)
  11. Mushroo

    Mushroo Guest

    Apr 2, 2007
    By the way, since your username is cliffburtonfan, have you researched Cliff's bio/interviews to find out what his musical influences were? I would not be surprised to learn he was a jazz fan, given his creativity and what he was capable of. :)
  12. jbiscuti


    Dec 22, 2007
    NYC / LA
    Endorsing Artist: Grolsch Strap Locks
    I'll say "A Love Supreme".
  13. Plaz


    Sep 7, 2006
    North-Central NJ
    Romantic Warrior by Return to Forever.

    Not really jazz per se -- more fusion -- but a great bridge to jazz for someone with a rock-centered ear.
  14. Ross Kratter

    Ross Kratter

    Dec 31, 2010
    Orlando, FL
    Artist, RS Berkeley, La Bella Strings, Phil Jones Bass Amplification, Remic, Jerry Harvey Audio
    If you're looking for really straight-ahead standards, then the Oscar Peterson Trio album, We Get Requests is a great start. Kind of Blue is awesome; also check out Christian McBride's album Kind of Brown.
  15. Sam Marshall

    Sam Marshall

    Nov 2, 2011
    Austin, TX
    I would recommend Pat Metheny "Bright Size Life" to a metal guitarist as an intro to jazz. Or perhaps "the Philadelphia Experiment" with ?Love and Christian McBride. Great records!

    I studied jazz for years in college, and it's great! Best jazz advice I could give to an aspiring bassist? Don't play solos hahahahaha!
  16. Duotones
  17. I'm a metal fan but I'm not avert to mellow music at all, I enjoy ambient music especially dark ambient, I prefer metal songs that have some dynamics and elements of ambience about them.

    Thanks for the suggestions so far guys! With regard to the cliff comments yeh he was into jazz, I set up this account when I was 14 or so tho and a massive cliff fan for his metal playing, since then I got into other players outside of metal (stu Hamm etc) and never really revisited the jazz side of cliff, think I will now tho!
  18. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Inactive

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    Kind of blue is anything but dark. It's actually great music to meditate to. Very relaxing. If you want something that is 180 degrees different then metal, that would be it.

    Milestones is a lot "darker", more like what they call "crime jazz" these days. Any of the mid 60's Miles albums with Hancock, Carter, williams and shorter would also be "darker".

    I suggested Milestones because it is a very intense album. I could see a metal head probably at least acknowledging it, if not outright loving it. The sax solos on "Dr. Jackyl" alone would make any metal head happy. Plus, the drumming is very heavy and powerful.

    Kind of blue was a revolutionary album, and probably one of jazz' finest moments, but as a first introduction to jazz for someone coming from rock, I would look elsewhere.

    Really, if I had to suggest ANY jazz to a metal head, it would be those modern jazz guitarists who used a lot of distortion. Mahvishnu orchestra (inner mounting flame), mike stern, john scofield, and most definitely Al Dimeola. All that 70's era fusion was heavily influenced by rock.
  19. Barkless Dog

    Barkless Dog Barkless to a point

    Jan 19, 2007
    Lenny White - Astrial Pirates, Venetian Summer
    Billy Cobham - Spectrum, Funky Thide of Sings
    Tony Williams - Believe it
    Frank Zappa - Roxy & Elsewhere
  20. bassinplace


    Dec 1, 2008
    The first two jazz albums I bought were in this order,

    1. Take Five - Dave Brubeck Quartet
    2. Mingus Ah Um - Charles Mingus

    Fifteen years of listening later, I think these two albums are a perfectly appropriate starting point. I suggest going on to some Miles, Monk and Coltrane from there and then just strike out into uncharted territory. You might try some Vince Guaraldi. His stuff is very possibly a bit too bland for starters, but it's good stuff too.

    Here's an excellent reference to help get you started. The Penguin Jazz Guide: The History of the Music in the 1001 Best Albums (9780141048314): Brian Morton, Richard Cook: Books