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Jazz Stories: 2017

Michael Ricci By

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My advice to new listeners is to start with the earliest jazz and move forward—there are now 100 years of recorded jazz to enjoy, and it all makes a lot of sense if you listen chronologically, and your listening 'ears' will grow with the music Then whatever you hear will fit into a rich historical context... listen and enjoy all of it... and read all you can about the music and its creators—it will enrich your understanding and point you to the greatest musicians and the best music to listen to. Be prepared for a lot of exciting surprises and to be continually amazed by this great music. Keep on listening and enjoying it! If you find a musician or style you particularly enjoy, then just immerse yourself in it!

From Joe Gatto

My personal best Jazz story/experience is while on vacation in New York City in July 2014, I got to go with my good friend to the memorial service for great Jazz pianist, Horace Silver. We heard the announcement on New York's best Jazz radio station WBGO, and decided to go.

Mr. Silver's family, friends, fans, and plenty of Jazz musicians (like Lou Donaldson telling great stories) packed an old Episcopalian church in the Lower East Side, played his music, and eulogized this great man. We walked out feeling full of soul. I'd never felt such a soulful vibe before.

I love jazz because it makes me feel great when I listen to it! So, I listen to it a lot.

I don't have words for how to describe the feelings conveyed in Jazz. Music teachers come up with wonderful adjectives, and can turn a phrase to communicate what it's like to hear the opening notes of "Freddie Freeloader" for example.

Me, I just like to listen to it. I like to search for Jazz songs that are new to me, or re-listen to an iconic track with new ears. I want to keep having that groovy feeling I get when I hear Jazz I haven't heard before, yet immediately grabs my attention and keeps coming with layers of soulful music.

The best Jazz show I ever attended was Christian McBride Trio at the Columbus Jazz & Ribs Festival. He is such a gracious showman, and his band grooves hard!

My advice to new listeners is to explore the vast catalogs on the iconic labels like Blue Note to get into the Hard Bop players, explore the New Orleans sound, get hip to the current Jazz musicians that make the art form thrive today—and broaden your horizons & enrich your life with the world's most soulful music.

From Mike Jurkovic

I love jazz because it expands the soul and frees the mind from the standard thumpa-thumpa 4x4.

I was first exposed to jazz in high school. Brubeck's Jazz Goes to College, Garner's Concert by the Sea, and Trane's A Love Supreme.

I met David Amram, Marilyn Crispell, Paul Motian, Hiromi, and others.

The first jazz record I bought was A Love Supreme.

My advice to new listeners be fearless.

From Don Phipps

I love jazz because it combines elements of improvisation, innovation, and structure and incorporates blues, classical music, and world music idioms.

I was first exposed to jazz in high school where I "tried" to play the clarinet and saxophone. My love of music grew into dabbling with the piano and guitar as well. Played in school jazz bands in college.

I have met and/or interviewed Art Blakey, Ralph Towner, Oliver Lake, Anthony Braxton, Elvin Jones, Sam Rivers, Henry Threadgill, Roscoe Mitchell, Don Moye, Joseph Jarmin, Dizzy Gillespie, Dave Holland, Charlie Haden, Evan Parker, William Parker, Henry Threadgill, Cooper Moore, Matt Otto, Jane Ira Bloom, Donald Harrison, Terrence Blanchard, Don Pullen, Billy Higgins, and Cecil Taylor to name a few.

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