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ARTICLE: JAZZ PRIMER

Essential Buying Tips for Building a Jazz Collection

Read "Essential Buying Tips for Building a Jazz Collection" reviewed by AAJ Staff

O.K., so you're trying to build up a nice little jazz recording library for yourself and you want to be able to do it without breaking the bank or facing dirty looks from your spouse for blowing the vacation budget on the latest round of CDs. Well, this writer has been there and done that (including ...

ARTICLE: JAZZ PRIMER

You Too Can Be A Jazz Fan!

Read "You Too Can Be A Jazz Fan!" reviewed by AAJ Staff

No jacket required--no SUV or Ph.D., either...

Jazz is intimidating. Now I know those of you who live and breathe jazz are probably shaking your heads in pity, but speaking for those who haven't been fully initiated into the mysteries of jazz, trust me--it's intimidating.

Part of the problem is that, for ...

ARTICLE: JAZZ PRIMER

Thinking Outside The Musical Box

Read "Thinking Outside The Musical Box" reviewed by Donal Fox

What is jazz? It is a state of mind, a spiritual quest for true unfettered artistic expression. A human expression of individual freedom, social freedom and love. Jazz is also about diversity. Diversity is important, isn't it? We expect it in our social lives. We demand respect and honoring in our society as artists and as ...

ARTICLE: JAZZ PRIMER

John Coltrane and the Meaning of Life

Read "John Coltrane and the Meaning of Life" reviewed by Douglas Groothuis

Few jazz musicians inspire more respect or demand more attention than John Coltrane. Elvin Jones, Coltrane's drummer in “The Classic Quartet" (1961-65), said that most people who listen seriously to John Coltrane's music eventually acquire all of his recordings. I find that those who hear Coltrane for who he was want to hear all that he ...

ARTICLE: JAZZ PRIMER

How to Listen to Jazz

Read "How to Listen to Jazz" reviewed by Douglas Groothuis

All About Jazz readers are usually very hip to the joys and challenges of listening to this uniquely American and endlessly fascinating art form we call jazz. Aficionados of jazz like to talk about jazz, like to recommend jazz to others, and like to listen to how others listen to jazz. This is why strangers can ...

ARTICLE: JAZZ PRIMER

What is Jazz? Good Question...

Read "What is Jazz? Good Question..." reviewed by Jason West

What is jazz? According to Wynton Marsalis jazz is music that swings. According to Pat Metheny jazz is not the music of Kenny G. According to Webster's jazz is characterized by propulsive syncopated rhythms, polyphonic ensemble playing, varying degrees of improvisation, and often deliberate distortions of pitch and timbre. Personally, I prefer the definition found in ...

ARTICLE: JAZZ PRIMER

Miles Davis: Unlimited Miles

Read "Miles Davis: Unlimited Miles" reviewed by Bill King

I can't think of an artist who has had greater influence over jazz the past forty years than Miles Davis.

For music, style, language and business, Davis was at the top of the game. One to never step aside and let critics dissuade or impede his aspirations, he constantly retooled his band with the brightest ...

ARTICLE: JAZZ PRIMER

Cool Thoughts on West Coast Jazz

Read "Cool Thoughts on West Coast Jazz" reviewed by Geoff Roach

"During the last half-century, New York's preeminence in the jazz world has faced a serious challenge only once. For a brief period following World War II, California captured the imagination of jazz fans around the world. “West Coast jazz" suddenly became a catchword, a fad, a new thing." ~ Ted Gioia , Author of West Coast ...

ARTICLE: JAZZ PRIMER

Jazz... Where to Begin?

Read "Jazz... Where to Begin?" reviewed by AAJ Staff

The AAJ guide to getting started with jazz

Starting a jazz collection is something every well-rounded music listener considers. Unfortunately, most folks have trouble getting started because they don't know where to begin. Do you start chronologically with Louis Armstrong or do you jump right into the new stuff--how about the '50's and ...

ARTICLE: JAZZ PRIMER

More Obscure Favorites

Read "More Obscure Favorites" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Ask for the best 10 or 100 albums of all time and you'll get the usual suspects: Kind of Blue, Saxophone Colossus, Armstrong's Hot Fives and Sevens, Jazz at Massey Hall, etc. Without a doubt, these albums have earned their acclaim and no collection would be satisfying without them. But what about the great, less well-known, ...