Over the last while, I've been buying album after album after album, and I'm not really sure where to go next. As far as it stands, I have releases from the following major musicians: Charles Mingus (The Very Best Of, Mingus Ah Um) Weather Report (Heavy Weather, 8:30) Pat Metheny (Bright Size Life, The Way Up, One Quiet Night) Miles Davis (Kind of Blue, Miles Davis Quintet 1965-1968, Sketches of Spain) The Quintet (Jazz at Massey Hall) Charlie Parker (20th Century Masters) Bill Evans (Sunday at the Village Vanguard) Thelonius Monk (Greatest Hits) Oscar Peterson (Night Train, Life at the Blue Note Box Set, A Night In Vienna) Nat King Cole (Greatest Hits) Keith Jarret (Up For It w/ Peacock and Dejohnette) John Coltrane (The Very Best Of) Dave Holland Quintet (Not for Nothing) I have a lot more CDs, but they fall more in the vein of lesser-knowns like Greg Runions, Gordon Webster, the Laila Biali Trio, etc. -- that's not to disparage their contributions to music, because I dig their stuff and listen to it just as much as my Miles and Monk, but I'm talking stuff everyone should have some common ground on. So, my question is -- where do I go from here? Should I start to delve deeper into specific artists, like pick up Waltz for Debby or Mingusx5? Should I look into electric Miles, avant-garde Coltrane, Parker with strings, etc.? Should I explore other veins of jazz, like latin or bossa stuff? More vocalists? I also have releases from Krall and Jane Monheit that I didn't mention because the jazz on these albums is definitely in the minority. Modern jazz, maybe? I don't know what classifies something as "modern" jazz, but I've noticed a certain unifying sound amongst a lot of more modern stuff, somewhat in the music and somewhat more in the tones and production techniques, especially in ECM releases. Of course, I haven't heard any Wayne Shorter or Herbie Hancock that was released since the 70's. Completely unfamiliar with Chick Corea*'s music...maybe I should delve more into specific bassists instead, though? I'm loving what I'm hearing from Ron Carter on the recently-purchased Miles Davis Quintet 1965-1968 CD, especially the tune "Eighty-One." I've only got one record with NHOP on it, and he's making up for Oscar's total lack of a left hand post-stroke. More Dave Holland, to kill two birds (bass players and modern jazz) with one stone? Maybe I should look more into drummers. I've been going through all of my records for the last couple weeks looking at how musicians play with time -- ahead, behind the beat, certain rhythmic patterns, etc., especially in the way drummers do it (another reason the new Miles CD for me is a such a thrill -- Tony Williams, WOW!) Maybe I should cool it on buying new CDs and just transcribe hell out of what I have. Advice/suggestions? * Neat note. I was reading in an interview with Chick about quatral harmony, but he didn't get into any detail at all with it. I was discussing it tonight with a guitarist friend of mine over MSN Messenger and we were trading back piano/guitar voicings of chords using quatral harmony, and I found a nice one -- C9sus, and he found that if you resolved the 4th to a 3rd with a bossa feel, it's classic bossa piano playing. At the time of this discussion, I was listening to Eighty-One, and I realized that's what Herbie was doing! I checked the charts in the New Real Book not long after and confirmed that it's a blues based entirely off of Bb9sus, F9sus, and C9sus .