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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

Jazz From Around the World: Africa

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There is no doubt that African heritage, particularly that of west Africa is at the root of jazz. This is simply factual and is not meant to belittle the contributions of other cultures to its growth and development. In addition, as a genre, it has proven to have a wide universal appeal. For both reasons jazz was adopted easily on the continent, particularly in post-independence West African nations who put their own unique spin on it. A giant ...

Jazz From Around The World: Latin America and the Caribbean

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The focus of the second installment of Jazz from Around the World is Latin America and the Caribbean. Because of both proximity to the US and the shared African heritage, particularly in the Caribbean, jazz was seamlessly and naturally adopted in this part of the world. Of course Latin jazz with its many guises is a very dominant force in today's music. Highlighted below are 10 early gems from south of the border. One of the first permutations ...

BUILDING A JAZZ LIBRARY

Jazz From Around the World: Europe

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Jazz has had a universal appeal since its inception. As soon as the music left its cradle of jny: New Orleans in the early years of the 20th century it quickly spread to all corners of the world. Europeans were among the first non-Americans to embrace the music and place their unique twist on it. Below are 10 classic European jazz recordings. Beginning the list is Mosaic's massive box set of guitarist Django Reinhardt's Swing/HMV sessions. Reinhardt is ...

BUILDING A JAZZ LIBRARY

Stan Getz

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The story of Stan Getz (1927-1991) has to begin with Lester Young. Before Young, tenor sax players seemed awash in testosterone. Their sound was full, rich, deep, blown hard out of the instrument's lower registers, with emotion pouring out in lavish swoops and honks. Then along came Lester. In the post-war 1940s, he invented a new way to play the tenor sax: softly, effortlessly, with no wasted notes, and above all, without drama. There was emotion, of course, but it ...

BUILDING A JAZZ LIBRARY

AMM at 50

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The group that would evolve into AMM was formed in 1965, making it one of those rare ensembles to have survived fifty years of continuous existence--in common with The Beach Boys and The Rolling Stones. Just like those two bands, along the way AMM gained and lost members at regular intervals. Across some thirty AMM albums, well over twenty musicians have been involved, including guests. Through it all, the only founder member of AMM who has been there for the ...

BUILDING A JAZZ LIBRARY

Ornette Coleman

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June 11th 2015 was one of those momentous days in jazz history that can truly be said to signal the end of an era--it was the day Ornette Coleman died. It is a mark of his stature that, on the day in question, when jazz fans told each other, “Ornette is dead" no-one ever asked, “Ornette who?" As with Elvis or Miles, one name was sufficient. There have been other Colemans, but there was only ever one Ornette...

BUILDING A JAZZ LIBRARY

AACM - The Association of the Advancement of Creative Music

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The Association of the Advancement of Creative Music (AACM) was created 50 years ago in jny: Chicago to give voice to adventurous African American musicians and to express the political turmoil of the era. As this is the anniversary year of this revolutionary collective here are ten essential classic AACM recordings that belong in any collection, regardless of genre. Roscoe Mitchell Sound Delmark 1966 The first ever release by a ...

BUILDING A JAZZ LIBRARY

Count Basie

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In 1935, pianist William “Count" Basie (born August 21, 1904), a fixture on the jny: Kansas City jazz scene since the late 1920s, organized his own rocking, riffing, blues-based big band. The following year this freewheeling unit came east and took New York by storm. For the next decade and a half, Basie's stellar cast--which included such original jazz stylists as tenor saxophonists Lester Young and Herschel Evans, trumpeters Buck Clayton and Harry “Sweets" Edison, trombonist Dickie Wells, drummer Jo ...


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