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David Becker

David spends his free time covering jazz in and around the Bay Area.

My Jazz Story

I was first exposed to jazz by checking out a rousing Clark Terry show my first year in college. I met Dizzy Gillespie backstage at an African-America movie awards show. No recollection of what nonsense came out of my mouth, but he did inflate his cheeks for me. The best show I ever attended was the Modern Jazz Quartet on their last tour. You have no idea how sublime subtlety can be until you've spent a few years being hammered by arena rock for a living. The first jazz record I bought was Freddie Hubbard, "Backlash." My advice to new listeners is that it's not brain surgery. Keep your ears open for music with immediate physical appeal supporting intellectual depth. My short list of gateway albums would include Bobby Hutcherson's "San Francisco," Freddie Hubbard's "Backlash," anything by Grant Green and, of course, Miles' "Kind of Blue."