Jazz Stories

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    View Thomas Fletcher's All About Jazz profile

    My musical journey started at the age
    of 8 when I first began playing the
    saxophone, 12 years on, I now find
    myself immersed in an eclectic range
    of world music
    and styles. I first entered the world of
    jazz performing in school jazz bands,
    my love for the genre soon blossomed
    as I started to understand different
    styles of
    jazz, one of which I admire thanks to
    my grandfather, Bossa Nova.

    I currently study at Goldsmiths
    University of London where I'm
    pursuing a BMus Music degree
    specialising in jazz. Living in London is
    a great asset for a musician
    like myself, especially observing how
    the South London jazz scene is
    transforming into a wonderful prospect.
    My main hobbies are attending jam
    sessions,
    listening to concerts in prestigious
    venues such as Ronnie Scott's and
    performing with the rising stars of the
    London jazz scene! Some of my most
    memorable
    concerts which I've attended in the UK
    have been from artists such as Chick
    Corea, Joshua Redman, Branford
    Marsalis and Dave Liebman to name a
    few.

    Published on: 2019-08-17
    View David Dupont's All About Jazz profile

    Grew up at a time when you could see Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington & others on TV. My oldest brother loved Brubeck. At 14 I bought Ellington's "Far East Suite." I was just
    starting to play then. Added writing about jazz later. Still listening, writing, & playing on occasion.

    Published on: 2019-08-16
    View Bill Gagnon's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because that's where I fit the most.

    I was first exposed to jazz at the age of six listening to "Jazz at it's Best" on CBC radio on Saturday mornings.

    My first jazz record was Double Quartet with Eric Dolphy and Charlie Haden.

    The best show I ever attended was .John Coltrane in Montreal in 1967.

    Published on: 2019-07-13
    View Philip Rau's All About Jazz profile

    I grew up in a household that listened to classical music, so when I became enthralled with jazz after watching the Ken Burns
    Jazz series, my parents replicated an age-old generational conflict–hollering at me to turn down those noisy bebop albums I was
    playing in my room while they tried to enjoy their Mozart. My first album was Ellington at Newport, I think I listened to that
    hundreds of times. Since then, my appreciation for the genre has only grown deeper and wider as I explore everything from the
    cheesy electroswing of Caravan Palace to the heavy jazz fusion Kneebody. I love it so much, I've incorporated it into the work
    that I did in school, even creating a data visualization based on the Penguin Guide to Jazz's top 1000 albums.

    Published on: 2019-06-26
    View Laurie Adams's All About Jazz profile

    My Grandpa was a drummer in jazz
    ensembles. He would bring his bongos
    over when he and grandma came to
    dinner and sit on the floor and play for
    us
    little ones.

    At 16, in 1919, my grandma borrowed a
    red dress and a tube of red lipstick, as
    the
    story goes, and
    snuck out of the house to listen to jazz
    at
    the local
    music hall. That’s where she met
    grandpa.
    Their eyes met across the room and the
    rest is history.

    I grew up listening to Ella Fitzgerald
    and
    Louis Armstrong, Ray Charles and Tony
    Bennett from my parents’ collection. My
    brother was playing Led Zeppelin in his
    bedroom and I played the Beatles,
    Chicago, Aretha Franklin and Traffic.
    Later,
    my daughter took up the cello and my
    life
    became immersed in classical music.

    My jazz tastes run from Bill Evans to
    Coltrane to Krall to the dirtiest funk.

    I enjoy discovering new music on
    Spotify
    and at festivals and from my daughter
    and
    friends.

    I’m excited about the fantastic young
    musicians I’ve been hearing at the
    local
    jazz society concerts, look forward to
    following their careers while they’re
    still
    playing in Sac! I’d like to explore the
    Northern California jazz scene outside
    of
    Sacramento.

    Published on: 2019-06-25
    View Dave Dubinsky's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because it defines the word “Freedom!”

    Published on: 2019-06-24
    View Tim van Emmerloot's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because it gives me a platform to express myself in music, be innovative and inspire others, be that with compositions, presentation, passion or just working hard!

    I was first exposed to jazz in 2016, so pretty recently... However, my ideas and philosophies developed quickly and my curiosity keeps me exploring rhythmic harmonies, language and even concert organisation and management!

    The best show I ever attended was The Bad Plus and Or Bareket Quartet. Purely for the passion, the intelligence and the boldness. They make music in their own ways. Especially The Bad Plus is an inspiration, because they bring the rock and roll mindset to jazz and innovate within their own sound.

    My advice to new listeners is: Don't get in the mode of "jazz is this or that, jazz is superior". I like the term "improvisational music" more. That's what attracts me the most, anyway... Jazz is FUN and means moving forward (to me). Yes, check out the greats!! But keep in mind that they didn't want for all studying musicians to keep playing what they played, I think they wanted us to move forward and innovate, just like they did.

    I try to bring all these things to my group SIMIO... We try to get that rock and roll mindset by just doing what we want. There are too many "standard" records STILL being made! Jazz is about moving forward, coming from a social necessity. Let's continue that spirit! I think music is the tool to change everything. Music connects... Music moves...

    Published on: 2019-06-23
    View Martin Connolly's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because the musicians who play it are able to displace the space-time continuum we usually live in. Musicians are magicians.

    Published on: 2019-06-22
    View George Heid Sr.'s All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because of it's depth of feeling.

    I was first exposed to jazz as a child (Pittsburgh Radio - WILY-AM & WAMO-AM.

    I met George Benson in the 1960's playing in the Hurricane Bar.

    The best show I ever attended was Sun Ra at the Homewood Harambee Ujima Black Arts Festival.

    The first jazz record I bought was Cannonball Adderley Greatest Hits (Riverside Records) from early '60s.

    My advice to new listeners is listen to the masters: their recordings and performances without distractions. Invite their gift of music into your heart and soul.

    Jazz never really went to college. It's from the musical gift of lives that overcame racism.

    Published on: 2019-06-21

    JVA

    View JVA's All About Jazz profile

    I was first exposed to jazz in 1959 when, as a youngster, I was given the album Hi Fi Drums featuring Buddy Rich, Louis Bellson, Chuck Flores, Stan Levy, Irv Cottler, Alvin
    Stoller and Dave Black... Later, in 1963 I discovered Dave Brubeck's Time Out with Joe Morello. I was hooked. I love the technical mastery of the greats, the intricate
    interplay between musicians, the never ending explorations and
    endless creativity. I love the sounds of jazz.

    Published on: 2019-06-20
    View David Moore's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because nothing speaks to my soul and heart more than anything but music other than God, soul, love and passion.

    I was first exposed to jazz listening to Jim Hall.

    I met Joe Pass at Seagulls' Showcase in Chicago and Art Blakey & George Benson Chicago Jazz Festival.

    The best show I ever attended is one of the greatest, most loving and connecting soul singers ever, Gladys Knight.

    The first jazz record I bought was John Coltrane "Impressions."

    When I was a guitarist in the United States Navy Band, we were blessed to be chosen to go to Russia the weekend of July 4th weekend 1992. That
    moment in my life, music was confirmed as a TRUE international love language of its own. The Russian military big band and our Navy Band was not
    afforded a translator during rehearsals and performance. Yet, we all laughed, cried and connected unimaginably.

    Published on: 2019-06-19
    View Suzanne Cloud's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because it's improvisational music and listeners can touch the souls of the artists if they pay close attention.

    I was first exposed to jazz when I heard Sarah Vaughan sing "I'll Remember April" on the Johnny Carson show. I was totally flipped out.

    The best show I ever attended was Ahmad Jamal in New York City with pianist Eddie Green. We had just been at the Village Gate to see Wendy Simon and Eric
    Speigal and popped in to the club Lush Life...wow! Then we hung out at Bradley's with Buster Williams and Cedar Walton. What a night!!!

    The first jazz record I bought was Sarah Vaughan "Live in Japan." Best cut? "Willow Weep for Me" She forgets the words, and scats - killing it!

    My advice to new listeners is to follow your ear and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

    Published on: 2019-06-18
    View Rafael Val's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because I love the freedom.

    I met guitarists Oscar Aleman and Larry Carlton.

    The best show I ever attended was Les Paul at Iridium Jazz Club.

    The first jazz record I bought was by vibraphonist Lionel Hampton.

    Published on: 2019-05-22
    View Connie Lansberg's All About Jazz profile

    As a songwriter and vocalist, I love jazz for the experience of being in the center of intense creativity. It is the most potent form of music for keeping the artist and the audience in the 'now". Being in the moment is essential for humans, and we need help in learning how to do that. As a songwriter, I need the depth of musicality that jazz voicings can give my stories. My songs seem light and whimsical, but the message is not.

    I met my main collaborator, Mark Fitzgibbon, at one of his gigs. I needed to do my first original album, and his playing was masterful, robust, and beautiful. At the time, I didn't realize how suited we were as a team. We're onto our 4rth album together.

    My advice to new listeners is to listen to a really clear and simple version of a song so you can then hear what the musicians are doing and enjoy their creativity and musicality. Also, you have to see jazz live to appreciate it fully. You'll never feel it the same way listening to a CD or online. You need the vibration to go through your body to really get it!

    Published on: 2019-05-17