Jazz Thread

Discussion in 'General Music and Vinyl' started by De La Tribe, Mar 26, 2015.

  1. De La Tribe

    De La Tribe Active Member

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    Though I've been dabbling in Jazz since High School, I'm now officially down the rabbit hole as DavidA likes to say. There's two reasons it's taken me so long to really get into Jazz: 1) I had other genres I wanted to get into and I couldn't listen to everything, and 2) Jazz on CD sucks ass!

    (I didn't realize this until I started collecting vinyl, but the CD has really done music a disservice. In fact, I have a pet theory that one of the reasons pop music has been so terrible over the last 30 years or so is that digitally there may not be an appreciable difference to the untrained ear between say Taylor Swift and Bob Dylan, or Katy Perry and Paul Simon; whereas on wax the difference is readily apparent).

    I digress. So, even though I've had and enjoyed albums like Take 5 and Kind Of Blue for a while, I've only felt the need to really get into everything Jazz since I got my turntable. Duke Ellington and Mose Alison were the first musicians I really started collecting, and then the dual influence of the VMP Ben Webster release and the movie Whiplash has now got me hooked.

    Lately I've been obsessed with (aka spent a lot of money on) Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers, Hank Mobley, Wes Montgomery, and Dexter Gordon. And I think I can say that Bebop is my favorite Jazz sub-genre.

    I've also just discovered, by way of People Under The Stairs, the greatness of CTI Records and I've been listening to a lot of Antonio Carlos Jobim, Ron Carter, George Benson, Freddie Hubbard, Hubert Laws, and Deodato.

    ---

    I thought I'd start this thread because it seems there's a lot of Jazz talk going on around these forums but no thread topic specifically dedicated to it.

    So feel free to bring up any Jazz topics you like. Possible discussions could be favorite artists; favorite albums; favorite sub-genres (bebop, ragtime, big band...etc); best album artwork. Jazz history, or good Jazz anecdotes. Good live Jazz spots, or great concerts you've been to. Whatever you want to talk about.
     
  2. Jake!

    Jake! Well-Known Member

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    Hell yes, this thread is going to be awesome.

    The two artists I've been obsessing over lately are Charles Mingus and Ornette Coleman. Mingus' album Pithecanthropus Erectus is one of the coolest damn albums ever. Ornette Coleman has some seriously cool stuff as well, especially The Art of the Improvisers, and of course, his famous free jazz recordings.

    Also, a rather (sort of) unknown legend, Michael Brecker. My absolute favorite sax player, his sound is a triumph. He unfortunately passed away a few years back, but his work is the best out there. He's on a lot of recordings too, with Billy Joel, Aerosmith, and countless others. But his solo stuff is my favorite. His last album Pilgrimage is completely fantastic. Also, his work with his brother Randy Brecker is amazing, under the name The Brecker Brothers.
     
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  3. Franco Robles

    Franco Robles Moderator

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    I just recently got into Jazz my father has always been into jazz, that's all we would listen to when I was a kid in the car. The ben webster record really turned me on to the genre. I'm loving bebop right now. My favorite album as of now his Mingus's '-ah um'. Please show me some more classic records! Thanks for the post
     
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  4. DavidA

    DavidA The sun's not yellow, it's chicken

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    Mingus Ah-Um is probably the best gateway Mingus album. It's the blueprint for what he's going to aspire to do for the rest of his career. And there are just so many highlights. Tijuana Moods is also worth seeking out: recorded in 1957 for RCA but not released until 1962: he gets orchestral colors out of a small combo. Well, sort of small: his band was usually around nine members. Of course, Black Saint and Mingus Plays Piano are superb. Black Saint is Mingus exploring composing for larger format bands. And Mingus Play is worth seeking out because of how sensitive his work is on there.

    The great thing about jazz bands are that you can follow their members and discover other great players. Take Mingus for instance. Follow his work enough and you realize that he was composing for specific musicians in his band, like Ellington would. And Ellington's, like Mingus's and Blakey's and Davis' would go on to form their own influential groups. Mingus' best players included Jaki Byard, Eric Dolphy, Danny Richmond and a ton of great players. Blakey's players included Freddy Hubbard, Wayne Shorter, Benny Golson, Wynton Marsalis and basically half of the jazz world. So on and so on.

    I also recomend exploring the jazz world by labels. Each label sort of had a different identity. The nature in which the Miles Davis Quintet performances (Coltrane, Red Garland, Philly Joe and Chambers) were recorded on Prestige are different than the way they recorded at Columbia. And the reason I mention this is because they were being recorded at roughly the same time. Davis was on contract to Prestige and Bob Gelder, the label head, allowed Davis to move on to Columbia if he fulfilled his contract and recorded three or four album's worth of material. Davis did this during marathon sessions throughout 1955 and 1956. And meanwhile, he was recording material for Columbia. Round About Midnight, his debut on that label, wouldn't get released until 1957.

    Personally, I like the Prestige albums better. I think they're more representative of what the live sound of that quintet was at the time.

    Of course, the reason I'm referring so much to the Davis band is that, well, it's one of the most influential bands in the history of jazz. It's basically what people think of when they think of hard-bop. I don't even think that it's Davis' best band. The Second Great Quintet reaches thunderous highs.
     
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  5. DavidA

    DavidA The sun's not yellow, it's chicken

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    But I cannot stress enough the need to explore all facets of jazz: from Dixieland to Swing to Acid Jazz. Because Jazz is sort of an oral history. And you can trace the advances in playing throughout.

    Some titles worth seeking out:

    • Earl Hines plays Ellington - Vols. 1 & 2
    • Eric Dolphy - Out to Lunch
    • Louis Armstrong - The Complete Hot Fives & Sevens


    I can't help but marvel at how Armstrong on the coronet starts and stops time with such precision. This might not be the correct speed for the recording. There's some debate. I mean, this was recorded onto shellack almost 90 years ago.
     
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  6. Benjamin Dashley

    Benjamin Dashley #NotMyModerator

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    I'm just recently getting into jazz for my vinyl collection, but I've always loved it. Played saxophone growing up so I listened to a lot of Branford Marsalis and such. I also listen to Vince Guaraldi's Charlie Brown Christmas every year and go on a jazz binge.

    I'm a huge Miles Davis fan and I have a couple MD records. I know he's kinda the "go-to" for Jazz (along with Monk, Mingus and Coltrane), but for someone just starting on their jazz record adventure, I'm ok with being like a newbie.

    My favorite aspect of jazz is the way that talent attracted talent. You'll have, say, Steamin' with Miles Davis. Coltrane plays on that record. And it just branches out from there.

    Not a huge fan of acid jazz, but I appreciate how it started. Bitches Brew just puts me in this place that's hard to describe.
     
  7. MusicToLurePigeonsBy

    MusicToLurePigeonsBy Active Member

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    I just recently got into Jazz. I wish they would produce the ken burns jazz on vinyl because the cd set is amazing!
     
  8. Jspaul

    Jspaul Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for starting this thread. One issue I struggle with is what pressing to look for. Should I look for the original or early RP or are the newer remastered editions better. I recently picked up the new Monk reissues, Criss Cross and Underground, but they are pricey. Also Blue note is reissuing a bunch as well. Should I look for used instead? Thoughts?
     
  9. DavidA

    DavidA The sun's not yellow, it's chicken

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    Those Blue Note reissues are affordable and a great introduction to their catalog. They're not as good as the Music Matters re-issues (see here: http://www.musicmattersjazz.com/) but they're certainly not as expensive. One thing about Blue Note though is that you'll miss out on a lot of great vocalists if you just focus on their catalog.

    Discogs should be your friend when searching for originals and early repressings though.
     
  10. Franco Robles

    Franco Robles Moderator

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    Is that a Above and Beyond show as your default picture?
     
  11. MusicToLurePigeonsBy

    MusicToLurePigeonsBy Active Member

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    Yes that was when I was at ABGT 100, I also saw them on the WAAWN tour in camden nj
     
  12. Corycm

    Corycm Well-Known Member

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    Jazz might be my biggest musical blindspot. I need a jazz primer or Baby's First Jazz Albums list. Or a Jazz Sherpa.

    Any of you folks want to take a stab at that? Not just the album, but why it's important/notable/essential to a jazz basic education?

    (If this is too far OT or risks crapping up the thread, but anyone else is interested, I'll start a new one)
     
  13. Franco Robles

    Franco Robles Moderator

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    Yeah I've seen them three times in Miami. I saw them twice at Ultra Music Festival and then at wynwood, they were doing a party with their label mates Anjunadeep. I love watching them, their shows leaves me with goose bumps. I've been a fan since sirens of the sea with Oceanlab, unfortunately when I saw them last year I had a terrible experience, the show was crowded and their was some fat girl in front of me rolling balls, jumping up and down... Her backpack was hitting my face -.-
     
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  14. MusicToLurePigeonsBy

    MusicToLurePigeonsBy Active Member

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    I just got an Oceanlab 12" that I imported from Spain about 2 weeks ago
     
  15. DavidA

    DavidA The sun's not yellow, it's chicken

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    Yes. I'll help.
     
  16. Jspaul

    Jspaul Well-Known Member

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  17. DavidA

    DavidA The sun's not yellow, it's chicken

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    Worth checking out but not Miles at his prime. Certainly an interesting bridge between his early work with Gil Evans (Birth of the Cool) and the formation of the first great quintet. Mind you, you can trace that quintet being formed throughout 1954. Sonny Rollins was actually the young tenor player with Davis on a bunch of dates. Davis did some sessions with the Modern Jazz Quartet, also.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bags'_Groove

    A great album.

    But anyhow, I'd seek Vol. 2 out on RSD. The material should be much more compelling. But if you've got 70 bucks lying around and you're a completist, snag this set.
     
  18. De La Tribe

    De La Tribe Active Member

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    Nah, man. That's the perfect topic for this thread. DavidA obviously knows more than me so I'm sure he can expatiate a lot more on what I'm saying, but I started with Take Five by Dave Brubeck and Kind Of Blue by Miles Davis. They're great Jazz Primers as they're both infinitely listenable and very well infused into American pop-culture - you'll probably recognize quite a few songs on each album.

    Two other great primer albums (IMO), are the Duke Ellington & John Coltrane collaboration and Duke Ellington's Live From The Newport Jazz Festival 1956.

    Some great albums that I've been listening to lately are Wave by Antonio Carlos Jobim (real chill Brazilian Jazz), Hard Drive by Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers (especially the opening song For Minors Only), and Green Blues by Grant Green.





     
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  19. DavidA

    DavidA The sun's not yellow, it's chicken

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    Don't worry, @De La Tribe , you're doing a good job so far. That Ellington/Coltrane album is quite good. Seek out Coltrane's Ballads, released on Impulse and performed with his great quartet. It's certainly a change of pace when you compare it to his earlier sheets of sound period and his later, more spiritual/adventurous phases. Don't be scared to listen to Ascension or Inner Space. The dissonance is frightening and life affirming in its power.

    Also, check out Money Jungle. That's a date that Ellington did on Blue Note or United Artists I believe with Mingus and Max Roach. Just great trio work in the bop vein. Different generations of musicians trading off ideas. Ellington was already in his '60's. Ellington's best work was back in the '30's and '40's though. You'll have to listen to a variety of compilations.
     
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  20. dshooker

    dshooker Member

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    I've been wanting to post in this thread for some time but had to sit back and remember how I first approached jazz.

    Essentially, I followed Coltrane's career and took note of everyone he worked with which lead me to Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans, Duke Ellington as well as the labels Blue Note, Impluse!, Riverside and Prestige. From there I just took in everything I could, discovering Charles Mingus, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie and his gravity-defying cheeks. Being a huge hip hop fan already, I even dived into more jazzed inspired rappers, finding Madlib's Yesterdays New Quintet and his Medicine Show series.

    Being a writer and poet as well, this opened a whole new world of possibilities and influence with jazz poetry; Langston Hughes, Frank O'Hara, Amiri Baraka, Yusef Komunyakaa, Terrance Hayes.

    That's my condensed history/guide. I wouldn't want to get too specific and risk repeating what y'all have already said. In conclusion, as Kurt Vonnegut once said, "What is my definition of jazz? 'Safe sex of the highest order.'"
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2015
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