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Jazz Primer

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

By Published: December 9, 2004
Date: 13-May-1998 09:00:07
From: Vince Morelli ( Morelli_Vincent%PAX1B@mr.nawcad.navy.mil )
Regardless of the music with which one might choose to acquaint a new listener, time is of the essence! I.E, five minutes is not enough!! Persist for at LEAST one hour...give Jazz a chance...it is your duty!!!


Date: 14-May-1998 05:49:21
From: Parker ( p.d.moss@durham.ac.uk )
I (22 yr old British student) have recently been introduced to "Gilberto" (Jazz Samba—girl form Ipanema etc.)and really enjoy it. Untill now i have been a pure classical music lover but would like to get into jazz. Can anyone reccommend other jazz music of the same genre (with emphasis on good musicianship and no electronic sounds)which i may also enjoy. I feel like i am on the threshold of a great new avenue of exploration so any assistance would really be appreciated.


Date: 14-May-1998 08:41:34
From: V Hepinstall ( vhep@direct.ca )
The best way to introduce someone to jazz is in the womb like my parents did! Nine out of ten vacations when I lived at home were to jazz festivals all over B.C., Washington State, and Oregon. There is nothing like it. A note to all parents: jazz performers are usually very willing to take the time out to talk to young people about their craft and for photo opportunities. I personally met some greats that way as a kid!


Date: 15-May-1998 11:45:06
From: Nick Butter ( nbutter@jps.net )
The absolute best way? Support live music performances, and club dates in your area. Support the various live music-in the-schools programs—jazz, classical, hip-hop, what ever. Kids need to be exposed to a variety styles.




Date: 17-May-1998 19:20:21
From: Paul St. Pierre ( st.pierre@mediaone.net )
I think the best way to ease someone into jazz is to follow the history of the genre. Jazz origins were in ragtime, and it's hard for anyone not to warm to ragtime, then stride piano and the bands of the 20s (put on a Fats recording). Swing (white and black, both are relevant) in the 30s, New Orleans and Chicago dixieland styles, then move into the 40s be-bop. Then forge ahead into more modern idioms, Miles, etc. I tend to avoid fusion, it's a mixed-up kind of thing to me, although easier for non-jazz fans to relate to.

I find myself gravitating now to the traditional, earlier forms. I don't know why, but that style also appeals to my non-jazz-loving friends. It's just more accesible.

By the way, if you live in the Boston area, WGBH 89.7 has a fine program on Sunday nites at 7pm, "The Jazz Decades," hosted by the local musician and record collector Ray Smith. It's a great continuing review of the more popular jazz styles, primarly of the 30s and 40s.


Date: 18-May-1998 01:15:42
From: Emily ( SisterofSoul@juno.com )
I am glad someone mentioned Medeski, Martin, and Wood.

With introducing people to jazz I took my last boyfriend to see Bela Fleck. He upset at the fact we had to pay $35 for each ticket. Before we went his opinion of jazz was, "Well, I like it, but I would never buy any CD's." After the show he went and bought Bela's Live Art. To this day he now feels he is some sort of jazz freak, since he has bought Kind of Blue, A Go-Go, and some different Trane. I told him he has still, yet to hear it all.

With the conversation of females liking jazz, I am a girl and I love the stuff. Neither of my parents listened to it, I was raised listening to Jerry Jeff Walker, ZZ Top, Jimmy Buffet, and Willy Nelson. I heard jazz on the radio and thought it was going to put me to sleep(this was G stuff). I stereotypicalized it as jazz was boring and for listeners prodominately over 40. Then I heard Bitches Brew. Wow , my I it was love.


Date: 18-May-1998 01:20:01
From: Emily
I meant to say, "WOW, I was in love."


Date: 18-May-1998 11:36:22
From: AJ
There are 2 very inexpensive ways to introduce someone to jazz. 1.) Find a radio station, either commerical or non-commercial, in your area who plays jazz and listen to it. Listen to all the different jazz programs on that station. Each DJ probably plays his own preferences, ie: swing, bebop, hard bop etc. Chances are, you will get an excellent blend of all the different types of jazz. 2.) Go to your public library and "sign" out jazz recordings in the same fashion you sign out a book. It doesn't get any cheaper than that!


Date: 19-May-1998 17:01:48
From: cdh ( hillc@gcss.org )
In the begining my parents would talk about jazz mainly Basie,Ellington,etc big band stuff,but on the one jazz radio station (at that time)All I heard was Bird,Dizzy,Coltrane etc DID NOT LIKE IT,TOO DIFFERENT.When I entered college I was turned on to Chick Corea ,Stanley Clark,Jeff Lober , and all of the other fusion artists.Once I understood them I was able to appreciate The real bop guys and my interest began to snowball.So I said all of that to say this.Just expose people to the music give them something that they can handle and let them explore aon their own .Let them make the discoveries.


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