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Jazz Primer

What's the best way to introduce someone to Jazz?

By Published: December 9, 2004
Date: 29-Aug-1999 15:06:29
From: Mike
I am wondering if jazz programs in schools and colleges will ultimately kill jazz in this country? To make a wonderful art like jazz a part of the bureaucracy, which will take it further away from art and more and more toward another academic career, may be akin to nailing the lid on the coffin.

Further up on this thread someone said that maybe it should be made illegal if we want young people to become curious—maybe that's not so far off the mark.

Let's face it—bureaucratizing poetry in this country has done little to improve its quality but it has created this huge loosly knit institution that is deadly to its genuine development. Making advancement in the bureaucracy dependent on quantity of publishing/recording does not encourage art; it does encourage careerism which is a quick path to mediocrity.

Of course there will be vigorous disagreement. People do like to think that they haven't sold out. It is a terrible risk to be a true artist. I don't think Eric Dolphy or Lester Young were worrying about their pension.


Date: 30-Aug-1999 23:15:15
From: Nell
"My books are water; those of the great geniuses are wine. Everybody drinks water."

Mark Twain


Date: 02-Sep-1999 16:48:32
From: ladybop
The best way to introduce a young person to jazz? Just let them hear some.


Date: 06-Sep-1999 00:58:16
From: Robert ( RWlkrSmith@aol.com )
I have to respond to Ladybop's optimistic suggestion. When I was young, my parents received a gift of several LPs—ten or fifteen of them. One day I looked through them, finding unfamiliar names like Thelonius Monk and Miles Davis. I pulled one out at random and played it. In most accounts of this type, my youthful mind would be blown by the wonderful music. I just sat there, listening for and not finding any identifiable melody. Finally, in frustration, I put it back, thinking, "This must be one of those things grownups understand," and never touched them again. Frankly, that's still how (almost all) jazz makes me feel. When my husband told me that Vince Guaraldi was considered a jazz musician, I blurted out, "But I enjoy his music!" with an incredulous expression. Jazz that you can enjoy listening to—that does not compute.

Postscript—I recently found a song by Art Ensemble of Chicago I do enjoy listening to. I have no idea how that happened.


Date: 16-Sep-1999 12:42:22
From: robert budd ( rbudd@mtt.ca )
jazz is a very beautiful thing-a beginner should grab him or herself a glass of wild turkey-grab a good $10 cigar and listen to some fine music every night-between lung and alcoholism treatments i would suggest some: johnny hodges,joe pass and even a dose of clifford brown.i have always been a fan of 50's,60's and 70's jazz-especially the 60's was a great period in my eyes. sonny stitt,gigi gryce,oscar peterson,jimmy smith,paul gonsalves,etc etc.i have never been a fan of NEW jazz or be-bop.coltrane,ornette,miles have never been down my alley-just don't get the feet tapping


Date: 30-Sep-1999 14:23:59
From: andrew ( pandersrhodes@yahoo.com )
it is interesting how everyone on this list has different stories of how they got into jazz. i am 19 and i have been listening to it for about 3 years. i have always listened to punk rock, prog, art rock and ambient stuff (i have always hated hippie stuff and i dont really like blues). the stuff i listen to is very melodic. some of the bands i listen to are influenced by jazz, and my friend played me some miles and art blakey. i listen to it all the time now. just play jazz records for your friends and see what they think. also, you can get into jazz through any music.


Date: 24-Oct-1999 13:16:02
From: Mel
I highly recommend Mingus' Alice's Wonderland. It is beautiful. It grooves and has beautiful melodies. Lee Morgan's Best of is excellent, especially with tunes like "The Sidewinder" and "Rumproller" that party vibes to them. I'm a firm believer in the magic of Chet Baker, especially on vocals. A little Wes Montgomery never hurt anybody.


Date: 24-Oct-1999 13:16:06
From: Mel
I highly recommend Mingus' Alice's Wonderland. It is beautiful. It grooves and has beautiful melodies. Lee Morgan's Best of is excellent, especially with tunes like "The Sidewinder" and "Rumproller" that party vibes to them. I'm a firm believer in the magic of Chet Baker, especially on vocals. A little Wes Montgomery never hurt anybody.


Date: 05-Nov-1999 02:23:15
From: Graham
I am currently studying Jazz in Toronto. I am taking upright lessons from one of Duke Ellington's former bassists. The reason why I got into jazz has nothing to do with jazz at all. Simply put, the act of learning an instrument inspired me to look to different kinds of music. I learned to play bass because the guitar part on Led Zeppelin's "Gallow's Pole" was too difficult.


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