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Here is some of the music that I love. There is no way for me to reflect everything that I'm listening to in one playlist, but this is at least a partial representation of some of the sounds that were in my head as I wrote for my new CD The Magic Number.
And Your Dream Comes True
The Beach Boys
The Next Step
A New Face
On A Good Day
Have One On Me
Three Is a Magic Number
Sunday At Iridium
The Bad Plus
Dave Liebman & Phil Markowitz
Love In The Garden
Man of the Light (2010 MPS Reissue)
Alison Krauss & Union Station
Lonely Runs Both Ways
A Love Supreme, Part IIResolution
A Love Supreme
Trio For Piano, Violin And CelloPassacaille
Jean-Jacques Kantorow, Philippe Muller, Jacques Rouvier
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.