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Jazz Primer

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

By Published: December 9, 2004
Date: 16-Nov-2000 17:41:12
From: Tamara ( firehair@olypen.com )
I have a friend who directs a jazz band in Texas. He wants to bring his band to Washington State. What festivals are in Washington. I have found references to a few but not many and I wanted to know about some more.

Thanks!


Date: 27-Nov-2000 11:20:26
From: i am i be ( saculiksok@yahoo.com )
i think the best way to get people who are in to most pop/mainstream music but those who still have a respect for "good music" is either with brandford marsalis' mo' better blues from the sndtrk (or trio jeepy for that matter)... or to listen to some stuff like phish, the 'dead, martin medeski and wood or even the roots (iladelph half life in particular) to turn you into jazz. i myself came through with trio jeepy and blues (hendrix blues) but its is all relative and irrelavent.


Date: 05-Jan-2001 16:31:28
From: Cary T Kirschbaum ( ctksavoy@optonline.net )
I can only refer to my own experiences of 20 plus years ago at Tower Records in Manhattan. I asked a Sales clerk (who happen to be a local jazz pianist and avid Blue Note collector) to give me some "schooling." He said, listen to Parker, Blakey, Miles, and the "Pres." I haven't looked back since and my Jazz education continues to benefit from those classic players. I'd say that any potential player or fan should spend some time listening to either some Blue Note or Riverside recordings. From swing to hard bop, I don't think anyone can dismiss this required listening. Also I suggest one try to read the original Leonard Feather,"Encyclopedia of Jazz."There are so many other worthy books, too numerous to mention at this time. Then go see some live Jazz! That should keep you busy for awhile. CTK


Date: 06-Jan-2001 06:51:02
From: Thelonious
Im a jazzpianist from Norway. I mean that Ornette Coleman, `trane, and Cecil Taylor should be the first jazz you hear, and if you dont understand it, f*** off... Im sick and tired of people describing jazz as "dooobiidaaahbiischhooosninch," and later asks: "where is the vocalist? where is the melody?"


Date: 06-Jan-2001 18:07:42
From: dan murray ( dmurray13@home.com )
The only way to experience jazz is live. It is one of the only mediums that has to be experienced live to fully appreciate the mood and what it brings to the senses. You can listen to Miles and Bird 100 times, but to see someone attempting to emulate these dudes or to play and thusly interpreting or perhaps lending a new direction, the movement of their head, the flos of their hands, lips, the audience's reaction are all a part of the moment. Jazz is about the moment more than anyone really knows or can express. this coming from a lover of the Delta Blues. Take what I say with this bias in mind. But being there is where it ia at. No doubt, get out of the house children and live.


Date: 26-Jan-2001 02:23:54
From: "Jazz Baby"
OK, after reading 6 months of posts about the best way to introduce someone to jazz, here's my own thoughts: the best way to introduce somebody to jazz is en utero. That's how my mom and dad introduced me to Miles Davis, Bird, the MJQ, Brubeck, and a host of other be-bop and "cool" artists. My earliest memories are of falling asleep to Kind of Cool and Miles Ahead, played on KBCA (the jazz station in Los Angeles in the early '60s). My dad also mixed in a liberal amount of classical music (Bach, Beethoven and others), to make sure I understood the parallels between classical and jazz music. An unconventional and long-term process to educate somebody about jazz, but, IMHO, well worth it (thanks, Dad!).

Failing that, start with something very accessible, and, if it turns out that it simply doesn't take (after 25 years, my husband still doesn't like jazz—he says he can't follow the melody), find a friend to go clubbing with. 8-)


Date: 26-Jan-2001 20:36:47
From: Andreas
Make Jon Hendricks's "Evolution of the Blues" part of the school curriculum.


Date: 26-Jan-2001 21:17:55
From: Andreas
There's a lot of potential candidates for an introductory CD, but here's one not mentioned so far:

Next time you have a party throw on "Basie Swings, Joe Williams Sings"—Big Band swing/jump blues at its best and very accessible. As Albert King used to say, "If you don't dig the blues, you got a hole in your soul"! Billie Holiday is another good choice. Many people who otherwise don't listen to jazz have one or more of her records, and it's not for nothing! How can you not be moved by her singing. If they don't respond, call 911 because they may be dead!

As the night progresses, I might turn down the volume a bit an sneak some Cecil Taylor or Sun Ra on 'em just to see what happens!

Of course if your friends grew up listening to Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart, as I did, they will relate best to Cecil Taylor and Sun Ra to begin with.


Date: 01-Feb-2001 11:35:22
From: Donna
I take them on a shopping trip to Amoeba Records in the Haight. I've done it 2 times already.


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