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While exploring "the greats," who was your biggest surprise?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Aaron Saunders, Aug 10, 2005.

  1. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Encompassing all instruments, specifically in the jazz idiom (but hey, if you want to mention a bluegrass guy or a classical composer, go for it.)

    So during your explorations of "the greats," who really made you go bonkers? The person you kept hearing about, but the hype just couldn't live up to the amazing power of their talent?

    For me, it's been Nat King Cole. I didn't get into him until fairly recently, but I'm *really* loving his stuff. My collection of his works is lamentably small, though -- restricted to a Greatest Hits CD, 1 LP ("Where Did Everyone Go?") and a smattering of songs from random sources like his cut of "Sweet Lorraine" from the Jazziz Magazine CD for the issue "Men Don't Sing." I'd love to dig into his other stuff (I heard he had a really swing piano/guitar/bass jazz trio) but I'm not really sure where to start. Plus, his voice is *just* the right register for me to sing along :D.
  2. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Mahler and Bartok.
  3. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Mmm...in the classical vein, I think I'll put my vote in for Stravinsky. Love his stuff. Might go back to the Value Village where I picked up that Nat LP and get Stavinsky's "Ice Princess."
  4. jazzbassnerd


    Aug 26, 2002
    Never heard any hype about him but Israel Crosby blows my mind. I've heard some cool walking lines before, but Crosby's is coolest (IMHO).

    As far as lots of hype but wont ever get sick of....

    Trane and Miles

    Forever and always. "A Love Supreme" and "My Funny Valentine/Four and More" will never get old in my book.

    I have to agree with you on Stravinsky, man. All of his work. For my senior year english class in my high school I had to write a senior thesis. I did mine comparing Stravinsky's "Octet for Winds" to Trane's playing on "A Love Supreme." The similarities of the harmonic/rhythmic/musical ideas is astounding (of course they came to these musical "conclusions" by completely different means).
  5. Bach, Dexter Gordon, Tomas Stanko - no I don't hear the connection either!
  6. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Frank Sinatra.

    I was coming into my jazz/musical awareness at the height of the 'New York, New York' era, and couldn't stand any of it. Now I consider him one of the great melody interperators of all time. Check out his stuff from the 50's and early 60's.
  7. Pcocobass


    Jun 16, 2005
    New York
    Ella. I could listen to her all day every day.
  8. Shostakovich.
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Mahler has long been a suprise in terms of how many times you can listen to his symphonies and still get more out of them.

    One of my big suprises was Walton's 1st Symphony - I always imagined him as formal and stuffy having heard some of his commissions for 'Royal' occasions - but the symphony is incredibly "modern", emotional and moving. The climax always moves me on recordings , but is totally overwhelming at a live concert - it's almost too emotional to bear! :meh:

    But Olivier Messiaen was the biggest surprise - so much great music that is completely unlike anything else and yet so listenable/approachable... I'm always suprised that he isn't generally more well-known ...but I have noticed how a lot more UK Jazz musicians are citing him as an inspiration and are writing pieces based on his work.

    Stan Sulzman has mentioned how he is a big fan and I have seen several groups at my local Jazz club introduce tunes as being like an "homage" to Messiaen - I can remember Tom Arthur's saying this when playing with "Centripede" and Pete Saberton, amongst others.....
  10. winston


    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    Claude Debussy, The Velvet Underground, James Jamerson, and Wayne Shorter.
  11. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Probably Billie Holiday for me. She just always sounds unbelievably fresh to me, after all these years.
    I also spent a lot of time trying to make the bass sound like Dexter Gordon. Without a lot of success, I might add.

    But yeah, Nat Cole would be right up there....on vocals and on piano.
  12. I'll never forget the night that I actually was able to connect with Bill Evans playing.
    Of course, everybody was talking him up...you know, Miles and everyone I ever respected. My suprise though, was the fact that it was even bigger than they all said!
  13. Johnny Hartman.
    If you like Nat, you'll love Hartman. Unbelievable voice.
    Can't understand why he was never more popular and commercially successful.
    Yeah, Sinatra. With Basie, early '60's.
    And Tony Bennett with Basie.

    As a kid I watched the Rat Pack, Ella, Sinatra, Sara Vaughn, Dinah Shore, Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, countless others on the Ed Sullivan Show on Sunday nights, with no appreciation for what I was seeing. Man, I'd love to see those shows now...
  14. spc


    Apr 10, 2004
    South of Boston
    Aloha dude, I love the honesty...

    Regarding the thread, Chet Baker really knocks me out. As far as newer stuff, I am really into Avishai Cohen.
  15. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    I love a lot of different tenor players, from all different eras and styles. But I can't think of one that moves me more than Dexter Gordon. In particular, I love what he doesn't play...those big, gaping spaces that you could drive an Eldorado through. It just makes the payoff so sweet, when he finally hits that note. He just is really able to push a lot of the pleasure buttons in my musical sensiblilites.
  16. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002

    I laugh whenever i think of the interview she did with Andre Previn in which she said "I'm not a musician, just a singer..."
  17. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Whoa -- I was thumbing through my Chet Baker stuff and came up on a duet medley he did with Stan Getz of Autumn in New York/Embraceable You. I skipped ahead to a random part in the second half, and just for a few bars, Stan Getz sounded just like Nat King Cole's voice. I remember I had a moment when watching the movie "Ray" and thought "Whoa! That sounds JUST like Nat," followed seconds later by "We don't need another Nat King Cole!" by a character in the movie, and this felt exactly like that. Weird.
  18. Dido on the Sinatra......i've been listening to Frankie for about 10 years (got into him at about 17) and haven't stopped since....his phrasing is friggin' brilliant and always in the pocket....he's been a huge influence on my guitar/bass playing....he does it all.....even at 80 he could still rip it up
  19. also forgot to throw in.......Mahalia Jackson....during my heavy heavy gospel period I dug into her big time and was always blown away by her....she's simply too powerful for words....I also must say Elvis Presley is another mega hyped guy that I absolutely love (minus the 60's movie soundtracks which aren't all bad!) for the most part he gets a real bad rap from all the top 40 and so on, but once you dig in to the real Elvis....there's tons to discover, all the Sun Records material with Bill Black and Scotty Moore is killer, the 1968 comback special has got some wicked dirty jams, the Million Dollar Quartet w/Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash is awesome....and the gospel stuff just kicks....and just like Sinatra, Elvis's phrasing was unbelievable and very original.....you can really hear the Jackie Wilson in there
  20. ctcruiser


    Jan 16, 2005
    West Haven, CT
    I never tire of listening to "Ella in Rome, The Birthday Concert".

    Her range and energy is terrific.