Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!


Jazz... Where to Begin?

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
The AAJ guide to getting started with jazz

Starting a jazz collection is something every well-rounded music listener considers. Unfortunately, most folks have trouble getting started because they don't know where to begin. Do you start chronologically with Louis Armstrong or do you jump right into the new stuff—how about the '50's and '60's? Everyone is different, so where you begin will depend a lot on your musical taste.

We hope the information on this page provides you with some insight on how to build your CD (or download) collection as well as discover the essentials about the music, its players and its rich history.

There's a lot of great music out there. Take your time and have fun exploring the world of jazz!

Jazz is NOT exactly rocket science, you know.

Jazz is creative, spontaneous, lively, energetic, romantic, boisterous and playful... It is incredible driving music and whimsical dinner accompaniment. Jazz is the ultimate romantic encounter companion...

It is the sort of music that crawls inside you slowly and captures a place in your heart normally reserved for romance and passion...It is a burning glow of seduction and a life-long journey of discovery...

Welcome to All About Jazz!
Your Jazz Sherpa
Sign up for My AAJ (free)

New to Jazz? Have a Question?
Ask it here

History of Jazz
Time Line

Where to start and what to buy?
Building a Jazz Library

Just for fun
Jazz Humor (slang, nicknames, pronunciation guide...)

Defining Jazz
What is Jazz? Good Question
What is Jazz? Round 2
What is Jazz? (Humor)
A Bottle, a Rag, and a Pint of Gasoline
The New Shape of Jazz
Language and a Voice for the 21 Century
Thinking Outside The Musical Box
You Too Can Be A Jazz Fan!
Genius Guide to Jazz: Prelude
Genius Guide to Jazz: Rondo

From the Archived AAJ Message Boards...
What's the best way to introduce someone to Jazz?
What is the best way to introduce a young person to Jazz?
Great, but obscure albums to purchase
More obscure favorites
Click here for more tips on where and how to get started.

Your Roadmap to Jazz
From Bluegrass/Country to Jazz
From Blues to Jazz
From Classical to Jazz
From Folk to Jazz
From Funk to Jazz
From Gospel to Jazz
From Rock to Jazz

More Guides
AAJ Editor's Choice Awards
Genius Guide to Jazz
John Coltrane: A Newbies Guide
Jazz Jam Sessions: A First-Timer's Guide
1959: A Great Year in Jazz
Reader Desert Island Picks (1999-2000)
More Desert Island Picks
AAJ Reader Polls (2000-2001)

Popular Record Lists
Jazz-L Top 100
Double-Time Top 100
MustHear.com's Rosetta Stone Jazz Picks
Jazz Picks
Len Lyons' 101 Best Jazz Albums

What to Listen for In Jazz
The Jazz CD Listener's Guide
Jazz for Dummies
Playboy Guide to Jazz


comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read You Too Can Be A Jazz Fan! Jazz Primer You Too Can Be A Jazz Fan!
by AAJ Staff
Published: April 23, 2016
Read Thinking Outside The Musical Box Jazz Primer Thinking Outside The Musical Box
by Donal Fox
Published: April 22, 2016
Read John Coltrane and the Meaning of Life Jazz Primer John Coltrane and the Meaning of Life
by Douglas Groothuis
Published: January 22, 2015
Read How to Listen to Jazz Jazz Primer How to Listen to Jazz
by Douglas Groothuis
Published: January 22, 2015
Read What is Jazz? Good Question... Jazz Primer What is Jazz? Good Question...
by Jason West
Published: January 12, 2012
Read Miles Davis: Unlimited Miles Jazz Primer Miles Davis: Unlimited Miles
by Bill King
Published: September 29, 2009
Read "Karuna at LaFontsee Gallery" Live Reviews Karuna at LaFontsee Gallery
by John Ephland
Published: May 2, 2017
Read "Soul Jazz: Jazz In The Black Community, 1945-1975" Book Reviews Soul Jazz: Jazz In The Black Community, 1945-1975
by James Nadal
Published: July 7, 2017
Read "How the Other Half Swings" Genius Guide to Jazz How the Other Half Swings
by Jeff Fitzgerald, Genius
Published: July 6, 2017
Read "As Dizzy's World Turns" Jazz Raconteurs As Dizzy's World Turns
by Michael Bourne
Published: January 5, 2017
Read "Groovin’ Hard In Every Style" From the Inside Out Groovin’ Hard In Every Style
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: August 23, 2017
Read "Instant Composers Pool at The MAC" Live Reviews Instant Composers Pool at The MAC
by Ian Patterson
Published: November 8, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!