Want to get into Jazz, what recordings of standards to get?

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by phxlbrmpf, Dec 19, 2005.

  1. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    I've always been wanting to get into Jazz a bit, bought Ed Friedland's "Building Bass Lines", aquired "The new real book Vol. 1" with a bunch of standards in it. To top it all off, my band's drummer recently found a place where free-for-all jazz sessions are held at a regular basis.

    Thing is, I haven't progressed that much and my walking abilities still aren't exactly great, so I figured improving my jazz skills would perhaps be more fun with recordings.

    I found a few versions of "Autumn Leaves", everyone's first jazz standard, as far as I know, and really love the song and the melody, but most recordings I came across didn't exactly stick closely to the lead sheet in my real book.

    Can someone recommend me some recordings of Jazz standards by artists who don't modify the heck out of the poor tunes, i.e., use the original keys and chords? Lots of thanks in advance.
  2. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard Commercial User

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    Black Dog Bass Works
    There is no easy answer for you.. I would recommend:
    Sarah Vaughn
    50's-60's Miles Davis (although he doesn't play anything straight)
    Coltrane, Lush Life , Ballads
    Coltrane with Johnny Hartman (Desert Island disc)
    Duke Ellington
    Mel Torme
    Willie Nelson???, Stardust
    I have hundreds of Jazz albums, but I can't think of anymore right now. Maybe I'm getting old.

    Maybe that's a start.
    Due to the loose improvisational nature of Jazz, you won't find many recordings that you could play along with while having your head in a book. I think a better approach , and one that will be more enjoyable, would be just to dive right in and enjoy the music.

    Pandora.com is a great site for exploring new music. Of course, if you have access to a good public library you may be able to check out CD's for a few weeks.

    Over twenty years ago, I discovered Jazz and just began to listen to it constantly. After a while, the ability to play along becomes fairly easy with a lot of Jazz.

    Fortunately, you have the opportunity to enjoy some great music in the process of learning. :D
  3. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    Thanks a lot for the suggestions, guys. You're right, the RB Sixth Edition can be had on Amazon (and it's a lot cheaper than I expected) while the Fifth Edition seems to be only acquirable by illegal means.
    Band in the Box looks really interesting but I only just bought Guitar Pro 5 a few weeks ago, too bad the selection of jazz songs for it is rather small. I'm also gonna have a look at the recordings you suggested.
  4. smartinson


    Dec 15, 2005
    Longmont, CO
    Thanks for the thread and the info. I was just coming here to ask the same question.
  5. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    My favorite "Autumn Leaves" is Cannonball Adderly from "Somethin' Else".
  6. RHFusillo

    RHFusillo Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Check out Miles Davis' late Prestige albums: Relaxin', Cookin', Workin', and Steamin'. I call those albums "The Canon." Generations of jazz players learned those tunes with those arrangements and those grooves. And you can't beat that band: Miles, Coltrane, pianist Red Garland, drummer Philly Joe Jones (who could groove like a mother), and bassist Paul Chambers (ditto, plus he built bass lines with the skill of a Roman architect).
  7. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    + a million.

    "The Musings of Miles" is no slouch either.

    I've got many of those on DCC Audiophile gold discs and they sound wonderful. "Cookin'" is available on SACD (I have it also) if you're a real audiophile.