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Building a Jazz Library

There's more to jazz than Kenny G and Wynton Marsalis.

That's why we created Building A Jazz Library. With this resource, you can home in on the players and styles essential to the past and future of jazz. Each section in this series features a brief introduction which provides some background and biographical information to shed light on each particular artist or style.

Then we list the discs. You'll find landmark material here, true high-water marks worthy of respect and attention. We recruited a special enthusiast to assemble each section in this series. These people have spent a lot of time with the subject (and probably bought way too many records to back it up). We assure you that the nuggets listed here are carefully considered and on-target.

If you're new to Jazz -- or new to an artist or style -- treat Building A Jazz Library as a primer of sorts. It will provide you with enough information to step confidently into the store (or the library) and find something tasty. Or if you're a serious collector, you might just find that a few of these recommendations may fill some gaping holes on your shelf.

Building A Jazz Library throws its doors wide open to all different kinds of Jazz fans and interests. Certain sounds may mesh with your particular tastes, and this series aims to bring you and the music together in perfect harmony. So dig in, and enjoy!

Essential Buying Tips for Building a Jazz Collection on a Budget.


BUILDING A JAZZ LIBRARY

Art Blakey: The Musical Drummer

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“Jazz Washes Away the Dust of Everyday Life" So said, Abdullah Ibn Buhaina (1919-1990), more widely known to the world of jazz by his pre-Islamic name: Art Blakey. Blakey was my first introduction into the musicality of jazz drumming and, in some senses, my introduction to a lifelong love of jazz. Truly a powerhouse in swing and blues, Blakey led the hard bop playing Jazz Messengers from the 1950s to the 1980s (recording for Blue Note Records between 1947 and 1964), and holding claim to famous alumni such as Wayne Shorter, Freddie Hubbard, Bill Pierce, Branford ...

BUILDING A JAZZ LIBRARY

Pat Metheny: Quantum Musician

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If Pat Metheny never plays another single note, he would have already lived a “bright size life."Pat Metheny was born in Kansas City in 1954 and first picked up his guitar at the age of twelve. By age fifteen, he was already playing with the top jazz musicians in town. In 1974, he became a part of the international jazz scene and joined a band led by vibraphonist Gary Burton. During this three year stint, he not only made some remarkable albums with Burton, like Passengers and Dreams So Real, but also produced his own debut album as ...

BUILDING A JAZZ LIBRARY

Bulletin Board Members' Picks

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Since we started the Building a Jazz Library (BAJL) series, we've assembled more than sixty collections, and that number continues to grow. We thought it might be interesting to see what readers would recommend, so we asked AAJ Bulletin Board members to provide a short list of recordings they considered essential, and the 159 different lists that came in over a six-month period added up to a tremendously diverse collection of music. The following thirteen recordings (listed in rank order) were most frequently mentioned by readers in their BAJL lists. Most of them were released over the ...

BUILDING A JAZZ LIBRARY

McCoy Tyner

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Some jazz fans only have a partial acquaintance with McCoy Tyner, that being that “he was Coltrane's pianist." Indeed, it is fairly common to know McCoy Tyner only through his stellar contributions as a sideman in the 1960s, not only with Coltrane but also with Wayne Shorter, Bobby Hutcherson and Joe Henderson. Along with 'Trane, these are simply the records that everybody has heard McCoy play on.Suffice it to say that McCoy's career doesn't end there and that since Coltrane he has been able to become quite a viable leader and important musical voice himself. Moreover, while the ...

BUILDING A JAZZ LIBRARY

Tomasz Stanko

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Trumpeter and composer Tomasz Stanko (b. 1942 Rzeszow, Poland) was present at the birth of modern European jazz. He's most closely associated with the man who was at the center of seemingly all art forms in Poland in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Krzysztof Komeda. Although his early work has been described, even by himself, as “free" or “avant-garde," one can always hear a melodic lyricism in Stanko's lines which softens the overall effect. An example of how Stanko's music affects his fans can be understood from this excerpt from the line notes of Peyotal Witkacy (Polonia ...

BUILDING A JAZZ LIBRARY

Creed Taylor Productions, Part 2

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Part 1 | Part 2CTI Jazz live and rehearsal tracks exclusively available in the AAJ Download Store The place in jazz history held by Creed Taylor is impeccable, stylish, and essential. He produced some of the best music for some of the best labels dedicated to jazz, then formed his own label and with meticulous preparation and his musician's ear kept on making great jazz records.Taylor began as a producer for Bethlehem Records, where his work with Charles Mingus stands among the label's best. In 1960, he founded Impulse! which released under his leadership ...

BUILDING A JAZZ LIBRARY

Creed Taylor Productions, Part 1

Read "Creed Taylor Productions, Part 1"

Part 1 | Part 2CTI Jazz live and rehearsal tracks exclusively available in the AAJ Download Store The place in jazz history held by Creed Taylor is impeccable, stylish, and essential. He produced some of the best music for some of the best labels dedicated to jazz, then formed his own label and with meticulous preparation and his musician's ear kept on making great jazz records.Taylor began as a producer for Bethlehem Records, where his work with Charles Mingus stands among the label's best. In 1960, he founded Impulse! which released under his leadership ...



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