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Hrayr Attarian

Hrayr is the armchair jazz listener par exellence.

About Me

I was born in Lebanon and grew up with jazz music in the house because my father was a great jazz enthusiast. I have been listening to jazz since I was a child and I have become a self-taught aficionado. I have listened to over 3000 jazz recordings and read about 70 critical works on jazz. I continue to expand my musical horizons by catching live shows and expanding my personal music library. Since moving to the US in 92 I have lived in different parts of the country. I currently am a practicing neurologist and live in Chicago with my wife, our parrots and our cats. I also review for the "Chicago Jazz Magazine" and "Jazziz" magazine. I am a member of the Jazz Journalist's Association.

My Jazz Story

Published on: 2016-05-07

I love jazz because of the spontaneity involved in its creation, the freedom in its expression and its colorful history. I was first exposed to jazz when my father played Charles Mingus' "Roots and Blues" for me I met James Moody in St Louis in 2002. The best show I ever attended was the McCoy Tyner trio with Charnett Moffett and Eric Gravatt in Burlington on June 11th 2005. The first jazz record I bought was Tijuana Moods by Charles Mingus. My advice to new listeners is to sample a few different genres of jazz and listen to each record carefully rather than just having it play in the background.

My Favorites

  1. John Coltrane - Blue Train
  2. Horace Silver - Song For My Father
  3. Miles Davis - Kind of Blue
  4. David Murray - Ming
  5. Ornette Coleman - The Shape of Jazz to Come
  6. Jackie McLean - Let Freedom Ring
  7. Eva Cassidy - Live at the Blues Alley
  8. Ray Charles - Birth of Soul
  9. Jimi Hendrix Experience - Are You Experienced?
  10. John Lee Hooker - The Very Best of John Lee Hooker
  11. Henryk Gorecki - Symphony 3 "Sorrowful Songs"