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What's the best way to introduce someone to Jazz?

AAJ Staff By

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Date: 13-Oct-1998 06:39:45
From: David Becker ( )
2o years ago I didn't know Jazz existed, until I was introduced to Crusaders, Chick Corea Stanley Clarke, Weather Report. I still listen to (some of) those but have moved on to Metheny, Miles, Trane, Keith Jarrett, Jan Garbarek (in fact the list is endless). All the artists I've mentioned cover a wide spectrum of music and yet so little. How to introduce people to Jazz. I would give a number of CD's (Miles—Kind of Blue, Weather Report—Heavy Weather, Pat Metheny—Offramp, Keith Jarrett—Koln and some Swing and Big Band plus a few others)to them. When I started listening many albums switched me off but some connected. Let us increase the odds for a connection to occur, because then 10 or so CD's opens up your mind to hundreds of thousands. This approach has worked for me in educating both friends and peers.

Date: 16-Oct-1998 15:56:50
From: Bob Margolis ( )
Interesting, as the much villified Wynton talks nicely about this very vexing connundrum in the most recent issue of Jazz Times Education Supplement. There is no loud and fast rule as to how one gets exposed to the music. It depends on where the subject is at during any time. Once you get to know someone's personality as well as musical leanings, then you have a starting point. It was surprising to see that Wynton would suggest "Transition," yes? As for Wynton's trumpet playing being over-rated, I must wonder, how often has the person making that statement seen Wynton play recently? Clearly, he has loosened up quite a bit, and his playing, while still technicall solid, has warmed up. He is killin' right now. This comes from a person who on my disc player right now is Dave Douglass, lee Konitz, Dinah Washington, Dave Holland and Greg Osby. We must move from an either/or type of mentality when it comes to the Marsalis issue.

Date: 21-Oct-1998 16:22:39
From: Dan Bonhomme ( )
I want to thank the jazz fans who responded to this thread for opening my ears to jazz. I was 12 when the Beatles hit North America and I've been a fan of various forms of rock ever since.

I've tried to appreciate jazz in the past and had bought and borrowed a few jazz records. I liked some cuts very much (especially Africa and Naima by Coltrane) and even one whole album (The LA4's "Pavane Pour Une Infante Defeunte," recorded direct to disk). Some of my favourite Santana albums (Caravanserai, Welcome, Barboletta) seem to me to be more jazz oriented than rock.

But after reading the above postings, one record came through loud and clear as holding the potential for bringing a neophyte an understanding of jazz, and that was Kind of Blue. I'm here to tell you that it worked for me. For the past few weeks I've been trotting out everything I have in the realm of jazz and listening with a completely changed understanding of the music. I made a list of the other selections listed in this thread and I will definitely be trying more.

I am listening almost exclusively to jazz and have changed my record club preference to jazz. Rock has been in a real slump for years and it is very exciting to have such a huge (jazz) catalogue to explore.

Thanks again, Dan

P.S. I agree with the people who expressed their appreciation of live music, but I think you still need a good stereo system at home for maximum appreciation. It's unfortunate that most people are taken in by amusical offerings from Sony, Technics, Pioneer, Bose, JBL etc. etc. and not audiophile brands. I truly makes a great difference.

Date: 22-Oct-1998 18:23:21
From: Roger Crane ( )
Dear Dan There are "jazz police" out there. Ignore them. This string of messages may help. I hope so. But the BOTTOM LINE is active listening. The operative word is "active." Find out what you like and go from there. Music (all music) should have three attributes: musicianship, passion and ideas. A performer should have "chops" (i.e., should know music and know his instrument). But that is not enough. The performer should also love what he or she is doing. But chops and love also are not enough in jazz. He or she must also give of themselves, that is must "add" something original to the performance. Jazz performers must have something to "say." Thus: musicianship, passion and ideas. If a piece has that, then most likely, it is wonderful. Have fun listening. Roger Crane

Date: 24-Oct-1998 20:20:19
From: Shingle ( )
I was introduced to Jazz in a real sense by moving in with two Jazz musicians—a baritone saxophonist and a guitarist.

I'd always been interested in jazz, but mostly as a type of background music... something to have on when something else was going on.

But all that changed when I got to hear many of the CDs and vinyl records my roommate (the saxophonist) has in his prodigious collection.


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