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Jazz Primer

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

By Published: December 9, 2004
Date: 23-Apr-1998 15:35:56
From: Chris S ( cslawec9@idt.net )
I meant GENDER, not "genre." Doh!


Date: 23-Apr-1998 20:02:13
From: Tom ( StarEast@aol.,com )
Chris is right ... Gender should be the NEXT subject of this discussion if not part of it. It has been my experience that all but a very few women are as appreciative of jazz ss one would hope. Happily, many that are are also extremely knowledgeable. But they constitute a miniscule part of the listening audience. It's unfortunate that so many come to jazz through its "soda pop" variety "a-la-Kenny G." Some never outgrow that trash and learn something about the historical evolution of this essential and pervasive art. I have had some success in the past with introducing women to jazz through the vocalists—most especially the Three Divas: "Ella, Sarah and Lady Day." And if my intentions aren't particularly honorable, I might through in a thing or two by Mr. Hartman. Has anyone considered introducing them to the music through Mr. Eastwood's "Bridges of Madison County" video? If that doesn't work, then I guess they're just plain tone deaf!


Date: 23-Apr-1998 20:45:24
From: rob craven ( rcrave@webtv.net )
i came to love jazz thru the music of miles & trane. i used to listen to the beatles, blues, dylan and the dead.i find that people need, as an intro, a song they are familiar with. for me, standards were the start.miles' "round about midnight," tranes prestige stuff.as far as women, from my limited exp. "gentle side of john coltrane"was a great intro for my wife (who listens to nothing but new age).kenny g. is a bad place to start. thinking that someone will progress to monk or trane isn't going to work. do you know any ex bay city rollers fans that are into chuck berry?


Date: 25-Apr-1998 10:46:43
From: robin d steel ( captain.aspirin@virgin.net )
This is a bassackwards comment,i'm a receiver not a giver of info.So thanks to all for the helpful tips,the most relevant for me being preferred music of other types and "listen."I have spent far too long tweaking my hi-fi for a sound and not enough time listening to music,the obvious enthusiasm of those who dig jazz has got me going again.When I was 12 i had acccess to about 6 records firehouse 5 on 45's and of all things "odds against tomorrow" by MJQ now I find there is another vibes plaer besides Milt someone called L.Hampton .Anyway I digress point is i'm back in the fold and enjoying it,but I think I have to stay with the smooth for now ,avoid the avant-garde,and not try too hard to understand,just listen.Thanks again,keep the comments coming.Write me Rob.P.S.You damn colonials don't know how lucky you are,a travelling Smithsonian indeed!


Date: 27-Apr-1998 04:56:29
From: Jay C
Great comments by all. I'd like to add that sometimes its good to throw it all at a listener, gradually over a period of time. Miles, King Crimson, Artie Shaw, Django etc. It's hard to say what will stick and why. Being from a rock background one might think I'd like Pat Metheny or King Crimson. While I have come to appreciate them, I started off liking Django and Benny Goodman. Who'd a thunk it?




Date: 27-Apr-1998 17:29:13
From: Patrick Conway ( pconway@one.net )
I'm introducing my 12 year old son to jazz in a roundabout way. He plays alto sax in the school band program, but doesn't like it much. Rather listen to Green Day, his favorite rock band. I have him play along with a jazz recording as a break from doing his usual school band practicing. He's listening to Lee Morgan's Sidewinder recording. He knows very little about sax, only the G major scale, but he has fun. Maybe because he doesn't know the chords, so he just blows. But he does get into the rhythmic feel and that's the point, after all.


Date: 29-Apr-1998 13:44:04
From: Chris S ( cslawec9@idt.net )
Which kinda brings us in a roundabout way back to a very important point we would probably do well to plainly keep in view: Jazz fans (including and especially those with pretentious literary aspirations, such as yours truly) tend to think that "people don't like jazz because they don't UNDERSTAND it." Which tends to imply that those of us who do like jazz are smart enough to understand it, and those who don't like it are not. Which completely goes against this grain: the majority of the "great" be-bop compositions by Parker, Monk, Davis, are really extended workouts based on chord changes from POPULAR (i.e., easily understood) songs of their particular day. We jazz fans too tend, more than most, to be a rather snooty bunch (he attempted to say nicely).


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