Jazz Stories

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    View Doug Lemon's All About Jazz profile

    I met Dave Brubeck at The Blackhawk in San Francisco in 1952 or '53.

    I was a sailor on leave when I discovered singer, pianist, composer, Matt Dennis appearing nightly at the Parrot’s Cage in
    Beverly Hills. I went to hear him every night for several days. My last night, knowing I was going to San Francisco, Matt asked
    me to deliver a message to a friend of his at the Blackhawk. At that time I had never heard of Dave Brubeck. Within a year I
    was one of his biggest fans. The message was that Matt would have his arrangements in a few days. For years now I have
    wondered why he did that. Did he really want me to deliver a message or was it just his idea of something that would impress
    me? I will never know the answer.

    Published on: 2017-10-24
    View Kris Perdew's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because, as a music gourmand, it feeds my ears, mind, heart, soul more completely than any other music genre.

    I was first exposed to jazz via late-night FM radio programming on KERA in Dallas, circa 1972-78.

    I was in music business (retail side) for a couple of decades. I am fortunate to have met many musicians.

    Most of them are
    very gracious and all too happy to 'talk shop' if one proves to be a thoughtful and respectful listener/fan.

    The best show I ever attended was Weather Report at Jones Hall in Houston, TX, 1980. A mind-blower.

    My advice to new listeners - we are fortunate in this day and age to have so many great music resources available to us on the
    internet. Use them to expand your horizons!

    Published on: 2017-10-23
    View Wendy Jones's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because it's honest and it allows one to express oneself while working with others.

    I was first exposed to big band when I was a child. I first heard true jazz in college.

    I met Dee Dee Bridgewater last year as well as Harold Danko, Randy Brecker, Esperanza Spalding, and just this week, Carmen
    Bradford.

    The best show I ever attended was Esperanza Spalding at the Orange Peel in Asheville in 2016.

    I can't remember my first jazz album...I have so many now, but I THINK it was Sarah Vaughan's Crazy and
    Mixed Up.

    My advice to new listeners is to listen to everything and if you don't like it at first, come back a few months later (or a year later)
    and give it another try. Your tastes will change as you understand the genre more.
    Listen, listen and LISTEN.

    Published on: 2017-10-22
    View Sturgis Nikides's All About Jazz profile

    I was first exposed to jazz by my father, who was a rabid fan when he was younger, in the early to mid 1950's. We lived in NYC and he was a regular at places like the Village Vanguard and Birdland. One of his favorite stories involved meeting Charlie Parker and Miles on 52nd St. Needless to say, Jazz and Blues were always on the stereo in our home. I was steeped in these exciting sounds, and they make up some of my earliest memories.

    Published on: 2017-10-21
    View Mike Bogle's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because it represents FREEDOM!

    I was first exposed to jazz in high school in Flower Mound, TX.

    I met Chick Corea after having been a fan for many years!

    The best show I ever attended was Chick Corea at Monterey Jazz Festival.

    The first jazz record I bought was Herbie Hancock, Chameleon.

    My advice to new listeners is keep an open mind!

    Published on: 2017-10-20
    View Luca Vantusso's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because transports me to another reality.

    I was first exposed to jazz a concert on the lake many years ago.

    I met many musicians at various international jazz festivals.

    The best show I ever attended was Jazzascona in Suisse.

    The first jazz record I bought was Miles Davis and John Coltrane.

    My advice to new listeners is listen to music with an open mind.

    Listen, think and share jazz everywhere.

    Published on: 2017-10-18
    View Jean Lenke's All About Jazz profile

    The world of jazz is a musical space with a complex history and haunting appeal--a space to revisit and celebrate. It’s that
    amazing moment when you hear a really great song you haven't heard in years and you still know the tune and every word.


    Published on: 2017-10-17
    View Mary Bogue's All About Jazz profile

    Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone. Feet in the dirt, or barefoot on a stage with sequins--it's soul beats in my chest.


    I was first exposed to jazz while others listened to surf music in the '50s and '60s, it was Monk, Miles, Satchmo and Ella, Rosemary Clooney and Julie London followed. Margaret Whiting, Les McCann, Willie Bobo, Andy Simpkins, Snooky Young, Bill Basie and Helen Humes. The first time I heard Topsy, Take 2, I about passed out at the age of ten.


    I've hung with Les McCann who more than 30 years after our first meeting became my duet partner on my CD, Don't Go To Strangers. Karen Hernandez from the start, Jack Le Compte on drums, Lou Shoch on bass, Steve Rawlins as my arranger and pianist, Grant Geissman - guitar genius, Nolan Shaheed, Richard Simon, and more. The big boys. My Red Hot Papas. The best show I ever attended was...


    I met Helen Humes first back in 1981 and helped turn one Playboy Jazz Festival night into her tribute, bring the Basie Band to stage, her joy boys. Before she took the stage for the last time to sing, "If I could Be With You One Hour Tonight" thousands of copies of the newspaper I wrote for carried her story. It was kismet, her being held by Joe Williams backstage. Soon in my life were the great Linda Hopkins who told me I sang the song she wrote better than her, which floored me of course, the energizing Barbara Morrison and the stellar Marilyn Maye who guided me professionally.


    My advice to new listeners... let your backbone slip and feel your body stripping back the barriers that prevent us from being one with the music.


    Remember none of us are strangers, we just haven't met yet.

    Published on: 2017-10-16
    View Jake Schubert's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because every time I play some other type of music I can only think about how I wish I was playing jazz.

    Published on: 2017-10-15
    View Zette St.Charles's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because it takes me to my escape place as a writer!

    I was first exposed to jazz at 16 driving around in my t-top yellow corvette and my father was a local DJ and dedicated this
    song "to my princess in her yellow carriage" and played Doc Severinsen's "The World's Gone Home" (1975) and I was forever
    hooked.

    Published on: 2017-10-13
    View Jay Steinsick's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because it calms the beast in me.

    Published on: 2017-10-11
    View Robert Miller's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because the music is ever-changing. Great improvisational music is never played the same exact way twice. The framework may be the same, but the notes change with the interplay and mood of the musicians as well as the feedback and mood of the audience. Pop is the exact opposite – every song is played note-for-note. Boring!

    I was first exposed to jazz when I was 20 years old. Before that I only played rock and roll. I took a music course that summer at a local NYC college, and as part of the course they set up each student with a private teacher. As luck would have it I was matched with Jimmy Garrison, John Coltrane’s bassist. Jimmy opened my eyes and ears to jazz. He taught me how to “walk” on the bass. He was an inspiration. When I decided to return to Boston in the fall he set me up with several musicians there, and my musical life took off from there.

    I met Sonny Stitt, the great alto saxophonist, in the early 1970s at a famous club outside of Boston called Lennie’s On The Turnpike. He was the headliner that evening and my band – Sagov – was the opener and backing band for Sonny. What made the night especially memorable is that when Sonny took the stand he was stone cold drunk. I mean he could hardly stand. But when the spotlight shone on him somehow he played, and played masterfully. No one in the audience had a clue that he was drunk. It must have been muscle memory.

    The best show I ever attended was about 5 years ago when I saw Chick Corea together with Gary Burton at Tanglewood in Massachusetts. I have long adored both musicians. In fact, Sagov opened for Gary Burton in Boston in 1973. And Chick has been one of my idols for many years including his Return To Forever days. Hearing these two masters play together was just awe inspiring.

    The first jazz record I bought was Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew. This album was the start of the fusion era in jazz, which I loved. The record was unlike anything that I had ever heard. It didn’t really consist of tunes. It was more like long tone poems, with an electric feel. Totally captivating.

    My advice to new listeners is to keep an open mind. Jazz is an experimental form of music. So you must open your ears and accept the artistry.

    Published on: 2017-10-10
    View Eugene Portman's All About Jazz profile

    The first jazz record I bought was Erroll Garner's "Concert by the Sea".

    Published on: 2017-10-09
    View Ludovico Granvassu's All About Jazz profile

    I like to think that, even though Jazz is a quintessential United Statesian art form, it has now become a universal language
    spoken all over the world with very diverse, and at times strong, accents, as a true lingua franca. And there lies its vitality and its
    capacity to endlessly evolve and surprise us, as it has done from the beginning.

    Published on: 2017-10-07

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