Getting Into Jazz

You'd like to listen to jazz but you're not sure where to start. With all those artists, all those albums, all those sounds, jazz is like a big, mysterious swimming pool. How do you decide where to dip your toe? That's where "Getting into Jazz" comes in. Every month, I'll post a detailed guide to an outstanding jazz CD. The guide will give you some background on the artist, and then point out exactly what to listen for on the CD, minute by minute.

3

Marlene VerPlanck Loves Johnny Mercer

Read "Marlene VerPlanck Loves Johnny Mercer" reviewed by Mark Barnett


Getting Started If you're new to jazz, go to our Getting Into Jazz primer for some hints on how to listen. Capsule An outstanding sampler of Mercer's lyrics, served up by a first-class singer who deserved to be better known. Background How many song lyrics did this man write? Are you ready? 1,200, according to the Johnny Mercer Foundation. They weren't all hits, of course, but each of the 54 Mercer songs listed in Wikipedia is ...

5

Jam Session Coast To Coast/Jammin' at Condon's

Read "Jam Session Coast To Coast/Jammin' at Condon's" reviewed by Mark Barnett


Getting Started If you're new to jazz, go to our Getting Into Jazz primer for some hints on how to listen. CD Capsule 1950's straight-ahead jazz, spiced with ad lib commentary by impressario/guitarist Condon. The musicians are laid back and having fun. Kick off your shoes and join them. Background In the 1940's and '50s, Eddie Condon was a legendary presence in the world of jazz. A tireless promoter, proselytizer and spokesman, he presided over his ...

8

Ella Fitzgerald sings the Rodgers and Hart Song Book

Read "Ella Fitzgerald sings the Rodgers and Hart Song Book" reviewed by Mark Barnett


Getting StartedIf you're new to jazz, go to our Getting Into Jazz primer for some hints on how to listen. Background The Great American Songbook--songs written from the 1920's to the 1950's by giants such as Cole Porter, Rogers & Hart, Duke Ellington and the Gershwin brothers--has inspired jazz musicians and singers for generations, supplying the raw material for endless improvisation. In listening to jazz, a good rule of thumb is “Know the song and you're halfway there." ...

5

Runnin' Wild

Read "Runnin' Wild" reviewed by Mark Barnett


Getting Started If you're new to jazz, go to our Getting Into Jazz primer for some hints on how to listen. CD Capsule Two hot jazz legends melt the thermometer, pushing each other to produce the most inspired work of their careers. As the sportscasters say, “They came to play." Background “So these two alpha-male jazz musicians walk into a bar..." No, in this case they walked into a studio and made some outstanding (and oddly ...

4

Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Cole Porter Song Book

Read "Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Cole Porter Song Book" reviewed by Mark Barnett


Getting Started If you're new to jazz, go to our Getting Into Jazz primer for some hints on how to listen. Background The Great American Songbook--songs written from the 1920's to the 1950's by giants such as Cole Porter, Rogers & Hart, Duke Ellington and the Gershwin brothers--has inspired jazz musicians and singers for generations, supplying the raw material for endless improvisation. In listening to jazz, a good rule of thumb is “Know the ...

4

Chet Baker Sings

Read "Chet Baker Sings" reviewed by Mark Barnett


Getting Started If you're new to jazz, go to our Getting Into Jazz primer for some hints on how to listen. CD capsule Trumpeter Chet Baker's singing still provokes debate. Some love it, others wish he'd saved his singing for the shower. Here's a chance to make up your own mind by sampling some of the best singing of Baker's early career, when the voice was fresh, the ideas new. Background

5

Jazz/Concord

Read "Jazz/Concord" reviewed by Mark Barnett


Getting Started If you're new to jazz, go to our Getting Into Jazz primer for some hints on how to listen. CD capsule Two masters of the jazz guitar in a wonderful give-and-take session, listening to each other as they play and playing as one. The emotion is contagious, the songs well chosen, the sound pristine. A perfect union. Background Guitarist Herb Ellis had a remarkable talent for connecting musically ...


Engage

Contest Giveaways
Enter our latest contest giveaway sponsored by Mosaic Records
Publisher's Desk
Double the Fun! Jazz & Wine Return to All About Jazz
Read on.

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.