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As remarkable as it may seem that Stan Levey was a self-taught drummer, even more remarkable are the circumstances and encounters that caused his name to be linked irrevocably to such legendary figures as Parker, Gillespie, Roach, Stan Getz and other bop-era pioneers.
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.