Jazz Stories

Share your jazz story with your fellow readers! Once logged in, click the blue "Update Page" button on your member page, then scroll down to the "Share your story" box. Enter and save.

    View Sandra Kangas's All About Jazz profile

    I was first exposed to live jazz by attending jam sessions held by South County Jazz Club at Snook Haven. I'd listed to jazz albums over the years, but this was my first "live" event.

    Published on: 2018-12-11
    View Pat Taylor's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because as a choreographer I am captivated and inspired by the stories I hear within the
    music and inspired to create dances that grow directly out of the music. My greatest joy is
    when I work in collaboration with a jazz composer and my dance ensemble performs to the
    music played live, all of us fully engaged in an inspired conversational give and take
    through movement and music.

    I was first exposed to jazz at home with my parents record collection. As a kid I would
    listen to Nancy Wilson and George Shearing, Cannonball Adderley, Modern Jazz Quartet,
    Miles Davis, Wes Montgomery...

    I met Regina Carter,

    The best show I ever attended was (recently) Esperanza Spalding and Keith Jarrett.

    The first jazz record I bought was "Kind of Blue"

    My advice to new listeners... listen to it all!

    Published on: 2018-12-09
    View Mackenzie Horne's All About Jazz profile

    I don't remember the last record I bought and I don't remember because I impulsively buy in multiples. I've always been that way with jazz and I don't know why. As fallible as human
    memory
    can be, there are certain moments in my listening experience that I'll never forget; my come-to-Jesus moments seem to spring from an infinite well and those realizations occur with
    more
    alarming frequency the older I get. I'll chalk it up to the emotional maturity and transparency that comes with listening to this music with an open heart. I'm an endlessly sad human
    being. I
    prefer it that way (most of the time), and I find myself most often gravitating towards musicians who are able to clearly articulate a recognizable sadness in their playing. Listening to
    something like the 2nd movement from Bill Evans's 'Symbiosis' is incredibly cathartic-- I'd go as far as to say sobering.

    I mention this record not because I think it's a record everyone should own (plenty of people will find Claus Ogerman's proto-minimalism more than a little contrived at times) but
    because
    it's the device with which I can most clearly articulate my advice for listeners who are new to the music, or rediscovering it. The quality that most strongly drew me to jazz in the first
    place
    was the intense vulnerability between musician and listener. For me, my capacity to enjoy the music was fully realized when I realized that musicians are brave enough to tell their
    stories
    through their instruments and bold enough to trust their audiences to interpret those stories with care. Appreciative audiences remain vulnerable enough to receive those messages,
    process
    the meaning, and respond in a meaningful way. Acknowledging that musicians and listeners temporarily and intimately occupy the same space enriched my relationship with the music
    and
    I think that realization makes the art more accessible for attentive listeners.

    Published on: 2018-12-08
    View Robert Cater Jr's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because there is a style that will appeal to just about anyone interested enough to explore.

    I was first exposed to jazz by my mother as she listened to Ahmad Jamal's "At the Pershing - But Not for Me."

    The first jazz record I bought was Chico Hamilton's "The Man from Two Worlds."

    My advice to new listeners is explore the rich history of jazz, the various styles and identify what you enjoy.

    Published on: 2018-12-07
    View Roger Ebacher's All About Jazz profile

    As I've often said, I still don't know what jazz is...but I know what
    it's not from fifty feet away! I don't think of it as a style of music
    so much as a way of perceiving and expressing things...a way that
    certainly does involve the ability to spontaneously improvise and to
    think outside the box. That said, I find jazz in all kinds of
    places...in people, food, nature, visual art, and even in music. I
    especially love jazz people, who make for a very special and warm
    audience for music like no other.

    Published on: 2018-12-06
    View George Smith's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because of it's history, variety, excitement and the improvisational skills displayed by musicians. I do not play an instrument myself.

    I was first exposed to jazz..in 1959 at a Count Basie Band.

    I met Johnny Hodges, McCoy Tyner, Hank Jones, Mornington Lockett, Martin Taylor, Stan Tracey, Bobby Wellins, Jim Mullen, Chris Barber and others including Scottish musicians, e.g. Paul Towndrow, Brian Kellock, Alyn Cosker, Kevin MacKenzie.

    The best show I attended recently was "Deepening the River by Paul Towndrow.

    The first jazz record I bought was Concert in Europe by the Dave Brubeck Quartet.

    I would suggest that newcomers to jazz should listen to music from across the spectrum, from the earliest and through the
    20th century to the present day. It is fascinating to listen to the way jazz evolved.

    And support local jazz gigs!
    .

    Published on: 2018-12-05
    View Achille Maggio's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because it is an open, creative and free musical genre. I own a Hi-End stereo system and when I listen to a jazz album it's like being in the studio with the band, managing to
    capture the deepest spirit of jazz.

    Published on: 2018-12-04
    View Ken Dryden's All About Jazz profile

    My interest in jazz began during my undergraduate days at Tulane University during the early 1970s. attending a Dave Brubeck concert and buying various jazz LPs
    that looked interesting. I was already a fan of Frank Zappa and after hearing his composition "The Eric Dolphy Memorial Barbecue" I happened to see a Dolphy LP
    and I ended up acquiring nearly his entire discography. Being in the southeast had its drawbacks, as national jazz acts weren't playing all that often where I was
    living. I never had the opportunity to meet any artists until I spoke to Brubeck around the time I began broadcasting a jazz series on WUTC-FM in 1987, though I
    would end up interviewing him amany times over the rest of his career, along with seeing him perform on 25 or so occasions in numerous cities. My first date with
    my wife was a Brubeck concert, neither of us could have predicted that she would end up being a part of a choir accompanying him in a 2000 concert of his sacred
    music.

    I entered jazz journalism by chance, after discovering that the local newspaper arts editor had traded in a Duke Ellington CD at a local used record store. I called and
    asked about writing reviews and quickly became a regular contributor. The Brubeck connection came up again, when I proposed an article about the quartet's
    appearance at the Reagan-Gorbachev Moscow Summit in 1988, since I had just completed a phone interview. That became my first published free lance article,
    though I would later contribute to Cadence, AllMusic.com (where I wrote thousands of reviews over a 14 year period), the short-lived Jazz Review and briefly revived
    Coda and many other publications. Now retired from my day job as a public radio development officer, I have more time to write and returned to the AllAboutJazz
    family with my Phillip Johnston interview in November 2018.

    Listeners today have the ability to sample music excerpts and often complete performances on line, so take advantage of previewing music if you are unsure about
    buying it. I feel like buying CDs, LPs or downloads (if you prefer them--I don't), is very important to support the artists. Read enough by any reviewer to get an idea of
    what kind of music appeals to him or her, then consider that when evaluating their work compared to your tastes. Also be open to explore music outside of your
    normal listening habits, not everything will catch your ear, but you may be surprised at what you like. That's why I prefer to leave the packaging and playlist out of
    sight when I hear a new CD for the first time, this also helps me consider the possible source of the chord changes for some tracks, along with deciding for myself
    what influences are present. Occasionally, I also discover incorrect or missing information by not consulting the playlist or liner notes.

    It's always nice to hear from readers. I am happy to provide additional information or address concerns if that is the case, unless you are trying to locate the CD
    Yanni: A Tribute to Art Tatum.

    Published on: 2018-12-02
    View Steve Jones's All About Jazz profile

    Dizzy Gillespie came over for dinner when I was a kid-- both parents were jazz (and classical)
    musicians, and played with the greats a lot.

    Published on: 2018-11-30
    View Sherrill Poland's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because it relaxes me and rejuvinates me at the same time. It allows me to escape from the stressors of the day and
    reconnect to my values of inspiration, inclusiveness, belonging, and positivity.

    Published on: 2018-11-22
    View Eric Gudas's All About Jazz profile

    The best show I ever attended was Ornette Coleman at UCLA's Royce Hall, November 3, 2010.

    Published on: 2018-11-21
    View Sherrie Maricle's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because it speaks to my soul.

    I was first exposed to jazz in Binghamton, NY seeing Buddy Rich and his Killer Force Orchestra.

    I met Slam Stewart as a high school student.

    I've attended a lot of great shows. The Buddy Rich, Mel Lewis, Jeff Hamilton, and Ray Brown shows are my favorites.

    The first jazz record I bought was Buddy Rich's "Everything" and Miles Davis' "Milestones."

    My advice to new listeners is to listen to everything because the musicians creating this music speak from their hearts!!! You don't have to love it all, but there is always a lot to appreciate and respect.

    I'm always deeply grateful to have a life in Jazz!

    Published on: 2018-11-20
    View Ramiro Marziani's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because of it's ability to communicate so many stories through rhythm, textures and emotions.

    Published on: 2018-11-19
    View Amina Figarova's All About Jazz profile

    In 1998, having a blast playing with a big band made up of students from Thelonius Monk's Institute of Jazz, outdoors, surrounded by the gorgeous mountains of
    Aspen Snow Mass, I was thinking how much I wanted to create a smaller band that would have the same power of a big band, but with so much more room in it for
    each musician to shine.

    Little did I know this was the beginning of a beautiful journey, one that continues to this day, in which every concert, every recording is another beginning, another
    thrill, another joy.
I conceived of the band as a septet 20 years ago, and later refined it to a sextet in 2005. And many of the most incredible musicians in the world
    have been a part of this band and of my band family. It is so much fun writing for them, trying out different directions, different unknowns; this continuous journey an
    exquisite adventure: enlightening, illuminating, beautiful, easy and challenging at the same time.

    Published on: 2018-11-14