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 Azande Cummings Jazz Trio's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because it`s the speechless voice of the sound of the African American.

    I was first exposed to jazz as a child growing up in NYC and listening to the jazz radio (WLIB with Billy Taylor).

    I met Max, Roy, Art, Philly, Elvin, Mingus, Scoby, Louis, Cal, Billy, Sam, Betty & Red.

    The best show I ever attended was. Art Blakey at the Top of the Gate.

    The first jazz record I bought was Art Blakey & the Jazz Messenger with Bobby Timmons playing "Moanin".

    My advice to new listeners: the healing power of jazz recordings is on vinyl!

    Mexico will be the next Home of Jazz!

    Published on: 2019-04-21
    View Shambhu Vineberg's All About Jazz profile

    I was first exposed to jazz as kid listening to Buddy Rich and West Side Story. As a young guitarist studying jazz, hearing the big band exposed me to the many sounds of the
    big band, improvisation, arranging, and advanced chord harmonies. When I left high school I became a huge fan of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Larry Coryell, Chicago and the
    emerging rock/jazz fusion bands. At the same time, I was listening to Cecil Taylor, Andrew Cyrille and exploring free-jazz while attending the Manhattan School of Music. I
    studied jazz arranging and harmony from Dr. Maury Deutsch in New York.

    Published on: 2019-04-20
    View Michael Moss's All About Jazz profile

    I was first exposed to jazz when at about age 12 I checked out from the local library (Chicago, IL) John Coltrane's "Giant Steps." I couldn't play anything like that, and still
    cannot, but I began whistling extended lines all day every day. It just opened my mind to structured improvisation which is the foundation of much that I do today.

    Published on: 2019-04-18
    View Sebastian Bailey's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because it represents freedom.

    I was first exposed to jazz at Montreal's International Jazz Festival.

    I met Charles Lloyd in Brussels after an outdoor concert. Listening to him live then talking to him after the show left a strong impression on me.

    The best show I ever attended was Charles Mingus Big Band - Under the Fez (when the sessions were still happening at that venue in NYC).

    The first jazz record I bought was Kind of Blue by Miles Davis.

    My advice to new listeners: listen, listen, find out where live jazz is happening... and listen!

    Published on: 2019-04-14
    View Denise King's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because it speaks words that I can not articulate with notes and spaces.

    I was first exposed to jazz at the age of thirteen.

    The first jazz record I bought was John Coltrane with Johnny Hartman.

    My advice to new listeners: Listen to as much of this music as possible. Go back to its beginnings. Soak it in and pleeeeease don't forget the singers. You can learn much from singers.

    Published on: 2019-04-12
    View Larry E Robertson's All About Jazz profile

    I was first exposed to Jazz in middle school, when my English teacher played Dave Brubeck in class. My knowledge further expanded later in high school, thru the record collection of a friend's older brother. This is where I learned to love John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Thelonius Monk, Dizzy Gillespie and so many other greats. So started a lifelong love of Jazz that continues today. Although I never got to see Coltrane and Monk live, I have had the great pleasure of seeing Miles and Dizzy, along with so many others (Dexter Gordon, Charlie Mingus, Freddie Hubbard, Frank Morgan, Joe Henderson, Sarah Vaughan and on and on).

    Published on: 2019-04-07
    View Louie Moon's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because of the multiple influences that constantly change and re-define it.

    Published on: 2019-04-05
    View Kayden Macey's All About Jazz profile

    I first was exposed to Jazz in 9th grade when I
    was learning trombone and joined the jazz band
    at the same time. After really enjoying that
    music, I went onto Pandora and went to "Jazz
    Radio" and there I was exposed to everything.
    That was my favorite station to listen to. I
    listened to it so much that they had to start
    throwing really obscure stuff at me for me listen
    to. Eventually my love for jazz blossomed and
    here I am, nearing the end of High School and
    I'm learning more about improvisation and jazz
    history everyday, and I love it. It'll be a great
    hobby of mine for years to come.

    Published on: 2019-03-31
    View Lauren Mikol's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because it speaks to my soul and never disappoints. The complexity and the improv mean that I never hear the same cut on an album or live performance of a piece the same way twice and it works my mind, body and soul. To me, listening to good jazz is akin to a healing meditation!

    I was first exposed to jazz by my parents who loved to go out dancing to big band jazz on the weekends and by my life long late soul mate when I first met him in the early 20s. Together, we enjoyed his vast and ever increasing jazz LP collection and going to hear great jazz live including many, many nationally known musicians who came through our city or who we had the privilege to hear at noted venues around the country, such as a Miles Davis concert at Red Rocks amphitheater in Denver in the 1970s, Freddie Hubbard, McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock, Modern Jazz Quartet, Richard Davis, Ben Sidran, Jimmie and Jeanie Cheatham, Joey Alexander and many others in Madison WI, and others through the years at noted jazz clubs in Chicago, New York and San Francisco.

    I have gotten to know many local amazing jazz musicians in my former community, Madison WI, and in my current community in Austin TX, and it is my privilege to call some of these great people my friends. I want to do all that I can to make the jazz scene in Austin TX become a vibrant, visible, accessible and appreciated part of the music in Austin, which declares itself the live music capital of the world be rarely mentions, let alone touts, the great jazz happening in Austin that is found mostly word-of-mouth.

    The best show I ever attended was Miles Davis, live at Red Rocks in Denver. His performance was spellbinding and he never said a single word, communicating with the audience via large placards, and his music music, of course. The first jazz record I bought was the latest Miles Davis album in the early 1970s, as a birthday present for my partner. Turns out it was an album of his music during the period when he went all off into discordant avant garde style, never finding a groove or melodic base. Neither my partner no I could listen to it. So I took it back to the record store and they let me return it and exchange for another Miles album that was more to our jazz style liking! We were so happy when Miles abandoned that style and return to melodic music.

    My advice to new listeners, focus in to one instrument at a time, and especially when that player is doing a solo improv. Know that the basic tune of the composition is played again and again in varying versions by the entire band and by each soloist in turn and that each time you hear that composition, it may be or feel as if it is different from every other time you have heard it and that is one of the beauties of Jazz.

    Jazz fans are first and foremost interested in listening to and appreciating the music and not likely to want to get inebriated while doing so because it is hard to really listen well to jazz if one is drunk. Jazz fans are good people and worth getting to know. Venture out and try talking to fans around you. You will find a great social community. Talk to the musicians about what you like about their playing and how much you enjoyed their performance. Let venues know that you have really enjoyed yourself while there listening to Jazz and tip them well, be good customers. Take friends to listen to jazz with you, even if they say they aren't really into jazz. Chances are, they have never really listened to much jazz or maybe their exposure was to a jazz style that didn't fit with their sensibilities and never tried again.

    Published on: 2019-03-27
    View Frank Jacoby's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because of its ability to evoke such tremendous emotion... primarily joy!

    I was first exposed to jazz by my grandparents.

    The first jazz record I bought was Jim Beard's Song of the Sun or maybe Steely Dan's Aja.

    My advice to new listeners: remain varied in your listening habits, and of course keep listening, keep listening, keep listening!

    Published on: 2019-03-24
    View Raymond Charles Dore's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because as it is such an interesting style of music which involves improvisation, solos, the interaction between musicians.

    I was first exposed to jazz in 2005 while taking double bass lessons with my teacher.

    I met many professional jazz players especially my teacher and idol Mr. Ron Carter.

    The best show I ever attended was Ron Carter’s Quartet at Birdland in New York City.

    The first jazz record I bought was Kind of Blue by Miles Davis.

    My advice to new listeners listen to as much jazz as possible from the early years on.

    Published on: 2019-03-22
    View Henk Hupkes's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because... of it’s instant
    composing and rhytmic interesting
    caracter: jazz in all it’s different
    appearings is often able to enrich the very
    moment, the NOW. And that’s all we have,
    isn’t it?

    Published on: 2019-03-20
    View John Voigt's All About Jazz profile

    On September 17, 2005 I was playing bass in a small park in downtown New York City with some of the best avant-garde jazz
    musicians ever. The star of the evening was violinist Billy Bang. That night Bang took over: he was conducting, he was bringing
    friends up to sit in with the band, he was disappearing into the bushes with beautiful women from the audience. Angry band
    leader, Jemeel Moondoc, decided to throw me into a musical duel with him. But I was in difficult straights: Bang was arguably
    the best string player in jazz--his bow technique is killer good. And I was on bass (big-awkward) and Bang was on violin (small-
    -facile). Always a gentleman, Bang thought he would start this musical contest by taking it easy with me before musically
    crushing me. He played a singing high jazzy phrase that made the people in front of us begin to dance. I used a Daoist chi kung
    trick I knew and moved my fear out of my sexual chakra into my hands; my bow began to glow with energy. I watched and
    listened as I unbelievably soared above him (me on the much lower bass). I took his beautiful phrases and turned them into a
    scream of ecstasy: It was still jazz, but it also was the Music of the Spheres; it was exploding clumps of Divine gamma rays,
    and it bested the violinist. The audience went wild and awarded me the loudest applause of the evening. You can hear all this
    on the attached audio clip from the concert. The set was over. Trumpeter Roy Campbell, trumpet, hugged me, saying “We’ll play
    together soon.” The drummer—I believe one of the best in jazz today, Chad Taylor (and also one of the most taciturn) said
    quietly under his breath “Yes John.” The meaning was clear: I had made it into the Nrew York Downtown scene. Bang laughed,
    jumped up and down and forgetting that we had played together years ago asked, “How come I don’t know you?” We bonded
    like musical blood brothers and he lightly kissed me on my cheek. The moral of this true story: By controlling and directing
    your vital life energy with a focused Intention anything is possible. Anything! (sound clip at
    https://web.archive.org/web/20160407010630/http://art-energy.org/media/duet.mp3)

    Published on: 2019-03-19
    View Simon David Eden's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because of Elmer Bernstein's score for the 1957 American film noir Sweet Smell of Success, which I first saw as a teenager in the '70s. As a playwright/screenwriter, I write to music and I'm always looking for ways to incorporate it into my work; the most recent example being Bob Crosby and the Bobcats "Big Noise From Winnetka," which became the signature theme for my last stage play The Gift of the Gab. My late great pa-in-law--the actor Keith Michell--wins the contest hands down however, as he co-starred in the 1962 movie All Night Long rubbing shoulders with Dave Brubeck, Keith Christie, Bert Courtley, John Dankworth, Ray Dempsey, Allan Ganley, Tubby Hayes, Charles Mingus, Barry Morgan, Kenny Napper, Colin Purbrook and John Scott! Wish I could have been a fly on the wall of that soundstage!

    Published on: 2019-03-18