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Thread: Help me - giving jazz a second chance

  1. #1
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    Help me - giving jazz a second chance

    I didn't quite know on which forum to post this. However, I have listened to jazz for periods earlier, without liking it.

    Now, music theory has led me to jazz. Recently, I've tried to listen to it again. And this time it seems that I might be about to like it.

    Maybe I had bad luck the first time? Maybe I listened mostly to one specific type of jazz, "incidentally".

    That's why I'm asking; which main (sub) genres of jazz are there? When I think of jazz, my first associations are (or at least; used to be until recently):

    * Slow, moody music (not neccessarily in a positive way, just characteristic)
    * Often upbeat piano melodies (same feel almost all the time, no variation)
    * Either too upbeat, or too slow - no "middle road"
    * Too random (however, I've understood that jazz is often improvisational, thus, it will sound that way sometimes)

    These are among the subjective perceptions I've had of jazz. Artists I've listened to are:

    Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, many unknown artists observed on different radio stations, for instance. Let me add that I have not listened to that many songs. I just chose several songs from a couple of artists just to get a brief overview.

    Tonight I watched a documentary about Keith Jarret and I liked what I heard. He provided different moods, different sounds (he said himself he didn't create melodies, he created sounds, he he).

    Is there anyone who is able to head me on the right track when it comes to jazz? Main sub genres, artists with a varied style, etc?

    Besides, I'm going to search the Internet for jazz and read about it, so if I get a couple of replies to this thread in addition, I might get something out of this!

  2. #2
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    Click here for a jazz forum

    I'm about two miles down my jazz road -- I do country in public and jazz at home -- ask that question on the forum I just gave you.

    For what it is worth, I like smooth jazz to listen to late at night.
    I like ole time jazz - 20's and 30's stuff - I call it raw jazz when I'm trying to understand jazz. Listening to what they are doing - should say what they were doing.
    I like the old standards - A Foggy Day, I Can't Get Started, Beautiful Love, etc. when I'm comping on my acoustic. I'm still using vanilla jazz chords. Vanilla jazz chords are middle ground, semi easy chords so I can work on the rhythm and timing and not have to slow down for those "fancy" chords.
    And I like to mix the basic blues scale with Dorian or Mixolydian and tie it all together with the right arpeggio - nothing fancy - when I'm just messing around.
    My cable TV has two jazz and one blues channel and I do a lot of listening. I think that is key to liking jazz -- listening to a lot of jazz.
    Last edited by Malcolm; 08-21-2005 at 01:21 AM.

  3. #3
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    OK - I just did what you said.

  4. #4
    Jazzman Poparad's Avatar
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    The styles you mentioned are just some of the possibilities out there. There are a lot more, especially in the past 20 or 30 years.

    Here are three albums that are all jazz but contain very different moods and feelings:

    Kurt Rosenwinkel - Deep Song (2005) - A lot of different things there, but Kurt is really great at writting solid songs with great melodies, plus the personnel on here is great. If you liked Keith Jarrett, you'll like Brad Mehldau on Piano, who also plays on this date. Mehldau's "Art of the Trio" albums are killer.

    Charles Mingus - Mingus, Mingus, Mingus, Mingus, Mingus - This is like a 'best of' album, because it features his best compositions, but each one is slightly reworked from the originals and the playing on the album is great. A good variety of dark and bright, slow and burning, but always soulful and with an edge.

    Burton, Corea, Metheny, Haynes, Holland - Like Minds - A great album from the 1980's with big names of jazz on every instrument. A lot of great tunes and wonderful playing.


    But stick with what you like. You like Jarrett, so get some Jarrett, and go from there. Jazz is definately a music that leads you from one player to another to another as you keep listening.

  5. #5
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    I totally agree with the idea of just finding one artist, going with that and then seeing where that leads you. The greats out there play with all the other greats so it's easy to pick up on other guys once you've found a few that you like.

    Some of my recomendations would be:

    Keith Jarrett - Tribute (most people's favourite)
    Michael Brecker - 'Time is of the essence' or 'tales from the hudson' - some of Brecher's and Metheny's best stuff
    Rosenwinkel - Deep song - gotta second that even though Heartcore is my favourite, this CD does have a bit of everything and is very compositionally oriented
    Terence Blanchard - 'Flow' - I'm a big fan of his so I'm probably biased, but I honestly think this is one of the best jazz albums to come out in the last decade...it's the only thing I've listened to in a month (I believe his site even has a free video)

  6. #6
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    Actually the video is here:

    www.bluenote.com/blanchard

    and it even has 3 partial tracks

  7. #7
    I like music.
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    Listen with an open mind. Find something you like and investigate it. Check out Miles Smiles too.
    Hard luck and trouble...

  8. #8
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    Thank you all very much. I will explore the different styles. I'll go for Keith Jarret first, and see where I end up. I have already listened to a few Mahavishnu Orch. tracks, and I liked it!

  9. #9
    Jazzman Poparad's Avatar
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    You might be interested in checking out www.allmusic.com. It's a giant discography and artist bio site, so you can type in names like Keith Jarret or John McLaughlin and see who else they've played with and listen to audio clips from the albums.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poparad
    You might be interested in checking out www.allmusic.com. It's a giant discography and artist bio site, so you can type in names like Keith Jarret or John McLaughlin and see who else they've played with and listen to audio clips from the albums.
    Great, sounds good, I'll check it out. Let's hope I find the funky group of Keith Jarret.

    EDIT: I found it! The group I meant was MILES DAVIS' FUSION GROUP, Keith Jarret played organ and keyboards in this group during the years of 1969-1971. GREAT, now I'll listen to this for a while.
    Last edited by Apple-Joe; 08-22-2005 at 12:56 PM.

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