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GRP has recently issued ten great titles under the banner of ChessMates. This "first batch" of reissues features early works by such artists as Kenny Dorham, Roland Kirk, James Moody and George Russell. The bulk of this material has been drawn from the vaults of the Argo, Decca, Coral and Dot labels. Go West, Man! was originally recorded for ABC in 1957. It’s a fine, "Basieish" big band outing featuring an incredible cast of jazz greats. Hard to go wrong with a group that includes Benny Carter, Art Pepper, Harry Edison and Pepper Adams, amongst many others. Many of the ChessMates titles are appearing for the first time on CD and include a couple of "rare" sessions by key players. Jazz collectors are advised to investigate this series further.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.