Jazz Stories

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    View Roberto Montero's All About Jazz profile

    I see music--and art in general - as elements that can bring us all together in peace, that can have a significant & positive impact in our lives.
    And it gives us such an incomparable joy too!

    Published on: 2018-09-01
    View Christopher Monsen's All About Jazz profile

    I was first exposed to jazz via my local big band, in which my father played guitar. Their repertoire consisted of, among other things, a host of Count Basie compositions. However, this interest didn't really take hold until a few years later, around age 15 or so, when my curiosity first led me to Charlie Parker and Miles Davis, among others. Soon after, John Coltrane and Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk, and crucially, Ornette Coleman. Things exploded since then.

    Published on: 2018-08-31
    View Caterina Di Perri's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because it's the expression of the soul and it has the power to heal.

    I was first exposed to jazz when I was thirteen years old and when I started to play guitar (I don't play anymore
    though).

    I met a lot of musicians because I work in a Jazz school and I do photography for ECM records during their recording sessions. The best show I ever attended was probably a 1986
    performance by the Keith Jarret trio in Genova, but many others came after that one. I think that being a young passionate musician at that time made that concert unforgettable to me, even to this
    day.

    The first jazz record I bought was "Joe Pass and Oscar Peterson à Salle Pleyel".

    What I would tell to new listeners is "music nowadays is very easy to find, look for it! You are lucky because you
    don't need to save money and wait until you have enough to buy a new record, as we had to do in the '80s. I remember that every time I managed to buy a new record I would listen to it for days
    and weeks, before finding something new. Streaming platforms give you any kind of music you can think of... so get lost in it. However, listen carefully to what you meet on your path without being
    superficial about it because today it's way to easy to go from record to record in no time".

    I'm a photographer now and I love to take photos of musicians especially if I'm not noticed, I like to capture
    the truth, which in Jazz music is a part of the game.

    Published on: 2018-08-30
    View Leo Sidran's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because it is creative expression, freedom, community and humor.

    I was first exposed to jazz as a young boy growing up in a "jazz house".

    I met so many incredible, generous musicians who made me want to be a part of their world.

    The first jazz record I bought was probably a John Scofield or Joshua Redman album from the early '90s. But I had a lot of records in my house growing up and my
    father played a lot of music for me before I started buying my own records.

    My advice to new listeners: don't be intimidated.

    Published on: 2018-08-29
    View Kit Eakle's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because it IS the sound of freedom!

    I was first exposed to jazz via my father's 78's of Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton and Pine Top Smith.

    The best show I ever attended was John Coltrane with a double Quartet at the Village Vanguard, 1966!

    The first jazz record I bought was Miles' "Ascenseur pour l'échafaud" sound track from the French movie of the same name.

    My advice to new listeners: open your ears!

    Published on: 2018-08-27
    View Mary Foster Conklin's All About Jazz profile

    George Gershwin said it best - "Life is a lot like jazz - it's best when you improvise."

    I first did radio in college, where there was an active group of students who were passionate about music running the station. It was heaven to have the run of a much larger library and there I sampled many genres beyond mainstream pop and rock. My shows were an eclectic mix of Frank Zappa, Phoebe Snow, Gong, Horace Silver, Dexter Gordon, Paul Winter and more. As a vocalist, my first gig in New York City was at 8BC in the bombed-out East Village singing with a punk band, but I gradually found my way to clubs where you could actually understand the lyrics and later sang with a big band for over twenty years. I consider New York a jazz town in spirit and have been lucky to experience many of the greats live in the clubs like Betty Carter, Alberta Hunter, Ella Fitzgerald, Blossom Dearie, Anita O'Day and Abbey Lincoln. I loved to hang out at the old Carl Fisher Music Store, combing for hours through the endless file cabinets of sheet music.

    I got back into radio gradually as an adult - mostly subbing for DJ friends and assisting with interviews, as I was now deep into song research. When one broadcaster got thrown out of the station on International Working Women's Day (no men were allowed), he volunteered me to do his show. I had three days to come up with a concept and two hours of music - that's how A Broad Spectrum came into being. When a college station in New Jersey put out the call for jazz programs, I was ready and went back on the air with my own show in 2016. To me, the best programs highlight new releases, plug live shows and offer up a little history of the music we love. Women have always been a part of this legacy - my job is to shine more light on the past and give those foremothers the attention they deserve.

    Published on: 2018-08-22
    View Ashleigh Smith's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because...jazz encompasses all. Jazz
    is freedom. It is the ultimate expressive musical
    conversation.

    I was first exposed to jazz as an infant. I grew
    up in a family of musicians. I first fell in love
    with jazz when listening to Ella Fitzgerald’s scat
    solo on “How High The Moon”.

    I met Dianne Reeves, Chaka
    Khan, Patti Labelle and more...

    The best show I ever attended was...I can’t pick
    a best. But, I can say that seeing Dianne Reeves
    live changed my life.

    The first jazz record I bought was Nancy
    Wilson and Cannonball Adderley.

    My advice to new listeners; Listen to
    it ALL. Listen to instrumentalist, vocalists, big
    bands, vocal groups.... just LISTEN.

    Published on: 2018-08-20
    View Stanley Sagov's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because it brings so many cultures together.

    Published on: 2018-08-19
    View Jay Sloat's All About Jazz profile

    I was first exposed to jazz through my father who played professionally and nurtured me into music at a young age and had me playing guitar with his quartet in my early teens.

    I switched to piano in my mid teens, and with a strong ear for music, managed to put myself through college playing and singing Jazz / Pop / Standards in the late '70s and early '80s in the Dallas, Texas area both as a solo performer as well as with groups.

    I have built and operated a number of recording studios and enjoy writing, recording, producing, and performing live.

    I also typically cover guitar and bass for my own projects.

    Published on: 2018-08-18
    View Jeremy Kennedy's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because when I was a kid pop music was bland, plain, uneventful until one day I heard a tune on a juke box entitled "Jump Red Jump" By Tenor Saxophonist Red Prysock brother of Arthur Prysock. It was love at first sight . This was when Blues, Soul / Gospel Style Music was becoming popular amongst kids as well as hip adults and featured Ray Charles, Big Joe Turner and The Payola era DJ's such as Alan Freed. Not many people remember that Freed's Rock n Roll Band of the 1950's was The Count Basie Orchestra featuring the Guy Singer Tony Bennett (Anthony DiBenedetto) who grew up in Astoria, NYNY right next to my Home Town Jackson Heights NYNY.

    I was first exposed to jazz when I heard Red Prysock, Sam The Man Taylor & groups like the "Chord Cats" recording of Shaboom! It made the Crew Cuts look LAME! Now Jazz, Blues, Soul, Gospel was pretty much joined at the hip back then and I learned that the tasteful Music was featured on The African American Radio Stations which led me to DJ's Like The Bruce, Jocko Henderson, Tommy Dr. Jive Smalls and eventually Symphony Sid Torin, China Valles and Len Pace. This all took place during my high school years and the following years in NYNY and South Florida. I actually flew to Copenhagen Denmark in 1961 to see Stan Getz, (One of my top 3 heroes in the Music Bird, Pres & Getz not necessarily in that order). Sadly Getz had already left town and snuck back into NYNY where he played Birdland (Undoubtedly without a cabaret card due to smack addiction.) No problem for me as I worked for Pan American Airways at the time and enjoyed a 90% Employee Discount.

    I met Thelonious Monk, Stan Kenton, Warne Marsh, Lenny Tristano, Art Farmer, Benny Golson, Frank Foster, Dr. Lonnie Smith, among many others over the years.

    The best show I ever attended was The Randall's Island Jazz Festival NYNY 1960. Monk & Edward Ellington Kennedy AKA Duke, starred among numerous others. I can not recall the entire Line Up but Monk brought along his Hat Collection which at the time contained I believe he told me 33 or 35 international Hats which he periodically changed often during his Solos. I have been unable to find that roster for that particular festival and since it was long ago I remember mostly Monk & Duke. Paul Gonsalvas played his legendary trademark twenty something chorus solo in between "Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue" which was outstanding.

    The first jazz record I bought was Firstly, my Bro George was / is a Marine and he sent home his wax collection of LP's from Camp Pendleton CA before deploying to Okinawa in 1956 I think. Bird, Getz, Mulligan & Baker, Erroll Garner, Blakey's Jazz Messengers, Jazz at Newport 1956 and many more. I fell in love with Bird, Getz and Jeru & Chet for openers. Pres to my mind takes the all time Tenor Award and Budo, Piano etc.! However I digress Getz Long Island Sound and every other Getz record that I could find that was 1957 by then and I snuck in to Birdland for the First of many times before I was 18 ( Legal drinking age back then) It wasn't until just after my 18th Birthday that I was carded much to the bouncers chagrin as he recognized me as having being an established customer by then.

    My advice to new listeners: Listen to the Music and keep it in the forefront not the background. A Local Band Leader whose name escapes me once said to me Jerry you can make time for the chicks later the Music is in the now and is more important than chicks ever will be. He was correct!

    Next see live performances and introduce yourself to the Players most of whom will be respectful. Some, however, are unapproachable such as when I saw Miles so many times but his obvious disdain for certain fans was evident and he always walked off the stage after soloing. (Eddie Jefferson sang words to "So What" that so indicated this)!

    Published on: 2018-08-15
    View Jorge Retamoza's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because is intense, human, creative.

    I was first exposed to jazz by Bitches Brew a Miles Davis record.

    The best show I ever attended was Michael Brecker Quartet with Joey Calderazzo, James Genus and Jeff "Tain" Watts at Punta del Este Jazz Festival.

    The first jazz record I bought was Heavy Weather by Weather Report.

    Published on: 2018-08-14
    View Fran Hartshorn's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because the sound always puts a smile on my face. I love to sing jazz, swing and blues, more than any other styles. It just fills me up with so much joy.

    My first memory of exposure to jazz was the movie "The Cotton Club". That may seem corny, but there was a scene in that movie where a beautiful woman is singing the song "Ill Wind" by Harold Arlen, and that right there is what made me want to become a jazz singer. There was something about it that made a big impression. Perhaps it had to do with the history.

    The best show I ever attended was Ella Fitzgerald at Radio City Music Hall in 1991. That was my first jazz concert. I feel so lucky to have gotten to hear her live.

    The first jazz record I bought was "For the Love of Ella Fitzgerald". I listened to it so many times. You can't be sad listening to that lovely lady sing. She had so much class in everything she sang.

    Published on: 2018-08-11
    View Maurice Hogue's All About Jazz profile

    One good thing about those cold Canadian nights and the flat topography of the center of the continent was the ability to find radio stations playing great
    music. The blues caught my attention via KTHS Little Rock Arkansas radio DJ Frank "Gatemouth" Page. Jazz was coming through from WGN Chicago and
    stations in Omaha and St. Louis. From there I started checking out the great singers like Billie and Ella and Eckstine which led to curiosity about the
    musicians playing with those singers. And a whole lot of musicians since!

    My passion for playing music that's outside the mainstream and global comes from a desire to see beyond the expected and traditional, sort of like
    the rest of my life.

    Published on: 2018-08-09
    View Jürg Solothurnmann's All About Jazz profile

    I love jazz because it's the most dynamic and open music--a splendid marriage of emotion, intellect and spirituality--featuring personality, originality AND the spontaneous self-organisation and integration into a group.

    I was first exposed to jazz when I was a boy. My parents who loved social dances played shellacks of Ellington and other swing musicians.

    In the course of decades, I met musicians from around the world, more than I could recount. We are a big family and find "relatives" wherever we go.

    The best shows I ever attended were perhaps by the Art Ensemble of Chicago in the early 1970s.

    The first jazz record I bought was an EP with Ellingtons band around 1940.

    My advice to new listeners: Don't make jazz a religion or a cult of certain "stars". Everybody is best at something, Niels-Henning Pedersen once told me, and it's very stimulating to check and discover. You understand much better when you expose yourself to live music and are a part of the moment of creation. Enjoy the beauty of the moment but then let it go. Jazz is in constant flow and it's rather the live process which counts not the result. Recordings are useful--but also just a snapshot of a "frozen" past moment. At the beginning (when I had little money), I bought only one LP from each group and went on to discover others.

    Published on: 2018-08-07