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

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Date: 15-Jun-2000 08:30:15
From: Ken Watters
Well, from my experience, Coltrane's "Ballads" or "The Gentle Side of John Coltrane" usually gets 'em RIGHT into it. Folks hear either of these for the first time and immediately think of SEX! Also, most recordings by Woody Shaw get folks pretty up & around. There's been many a classical trumpeter turned on to jazz by him because of his sheer fire, plus they have NO CLUE what he's doing harmonically (which makes him a "challenge"). The funny thing is that for most classical musicians, SWINGING is a big ENOUGH challenge!

Date: 20-Jul-2000 00:43:38
From: Nat Catchpole ( [email protected] )
First I should say I'm 19, and I've been into Jazz since I was five or six, so I haven't experienced coming to it from another style. (I'm a British student, studying Saxophone at Berklee). However I have tried to get many of my friends to listen to Jazz, both successfully and unsuccessfully.

I think musicians from different backgrounds respond best to what is closest to their field. Classical musicians seem to prefer ECM, rockers like early fusion, people into funk will like Herbie etc, Death Metal cats, and Grateful Dead fans dig Pharoah.

With non-musicians (this isn't supposed to be disparaging, but I think non-jazz lovers, indifferent, haters, can be easily separated into those who are and are not musicians), it has to be a completely different approach.

Apparently Homicide Life on the Streets includes Mccoy Tyner in the soundtrack, any number of advertisements (especially in England), feature Nina Simone, or Cantaloupe Island (Us3 version), or vocal Louis tracks.

Also playing Sanborn, or Spyra Gryra to Kenny G fans, then Brecker Brothers to Sanborn Fans, or Weather Report, and gradually working backwards seems to work. (my listening went from Sanborn to Brecker, to Rahsaan, to Free jazz and Impulse, then Blue Note, and continues to go backwards chronologically). Most consumer type listeners should be introduced to the kind of jazz which they hear every day (I don't mean supermarket $%%$#). Someone even suggested to me that some of Ornettes Prime Time stuff, especially the ballads, would maybe pass unnoticed if the volume was at the same level.

I think hitting someone with a really beautiful/classic album also works.

This getting to long and boring so I'll shut up.

Date: 27-Jul-2000 01:33:49
From: Marc
I agree with what many people have already written. It depends on "who." Jazz is such a melting pot of music, you have to know who the intended listener is & what they want to hear. That's the thing about jazz... there is something that someone has done that someone will like. President Linclon has been quoted as saying "you can please some of the people all of the time... ect." Jazz can please all the people all the time. Maybe not one particular group or artist, but the genre as a whole. The "music industry" likes to pigeon-hole things... It makes it easier to keep the money-books straight, I guess. Any "heady" music that can't necessarily be marketed as mainstream or whatever gets dubbed "jazz." It's just people (musicians) expressing in the voices that they've been given. I'm not complaining, mind you. It makes it easier to find some of the stuff I want to hear... just go into the music store & head for the jazz section.

Date: 15-Aug-2000 01:45:00
From: Jazzbro ( [email protected] )
My mom loved Nat King Cole and My dad introduced my ears to Louis Armstrong. That was all I needed to be hooked. Nuff said.

Date: 25-Aug-2000 20:22:24
From: Stu Simpson! ( [email protected] )
Jazz is no Joke!

Date: 26-Aug-2000 19:43:46
From: Simpson Stu!
Azz is no hoke!

Date: 31-Aug-2000 14:44:15
From: jesarp ( [email protected] )
Just recently have been paying more attention to jazz—always liked Etta James, Nina Simone and Teena Marie, now I just "found" Diana Krall, Freak Power, Benita Hill, and Tuck and Patti can anyone sugest more music like the latter. I am getting frustrated downloading things I'm not dead over. Thanks.

Date: 05-Sep-2000 11:51:34
From: JC ( [email protected] )
I do not have a penis, but have been raised with jazz, and am a AAJ major at UMass Amherst in my 5th year. As far as women in jazz, I am the only female out of twenty men in my classes, this is of course intimidating. Being a vocalist doesn't help either when seeking respect. If your'e a grrrl, stick with it and eventually we won't be in the minority as players or listeners. PLus, anything that won't kill you, only makes you stronger. The albums that have worked for my non-jazz friends are (as some previously mentioned): Kind of Blue Chet Baker Sings Bridges of Madison County Soundtrack(with Irene Krall,mmm) Getz/Gilberto Next Stop Wonderland Soundtrack (for Bossa)

To ease into jazz, try some Joni Mitchell, good hiphop like The Roots, Common, Digable PLanets, or Jazzmatazz. Bach can be either a start or an end point for jazz fans. Also The Cowboy Junkies (Trinity Session or Whites off Earth NOw) have that intimacy that gets one ready for the intimacy of the trio or Quartet. Or the Man Himself , James Brown, to get used to a real jam session. If you're ready for jazz and you want it bad, listen to it over and over again, hundreds of times, and eventually it will just click.

I have to say that one of my favorite and challenging albums in the last five years has been Brad Melhdau, Back at/(to?) the Vanguard. Holy shit, there is some absolutely mind-blowing talent on that album, and every track gets you off.

P.S. All players, take it easy on the singers. We know our stuff. And we're people too. JC in Bosstown

Date: 08-Sep-2000 09:43:20
From: fabrizio ( [email protected] )
I think "Kind of Blue"is not a staring point.Better start with some good be-bop like Sonny Stitt or Dexter Gordon just to mention two.In my opinion the firs basic element in jazz is SWING,which you don't find much in post-bop productions.Neophites will understand the "spirit of jazz" by listening to Getz, Stitt, Gordon, Parker.... Too often post-bop/modern jazz is a sort of cerebral thing, lacking the real spirit that has kept this music alive until today. How many media-darlings will be known 20 years from now? So.... DON'T FORGET SWING!!!

Date: 09-Sep-2000 00:06:35
From: Aldo
JC: why aren't women more involved in serious music? I have a friend who manages a good CD store (jazz & classical music mostly) and he says that if the store was dependent on sales to women the place would quickly fold. This isn't just addressed to JC but to anyone who would like to respond.

Date: 09-Sep-2000 00:09:45
From: Sam
Hey,JC, like did your penis fall off?

Date: 11-Oct-2000 21:07:46
From: justin ( [email protected] )

Date: 18-Oct-2000 20:55:20
From: Kiersten ( [email protected] )
Does anyone know any information on Orenette Coleman? It is for my Architecture studio project. Any help would be great. I am looking for information about why she/he is an idol for Thomas Grunfeld. He has a really great exhibit at MassMocha in new aadams mass that I visited recently. Any informtion would be helpfull though! Thanks Kiersten

Date: 06-Nov-2000 21:44:04
From: Henry Gilbert ( www.n.h.s.com )
I am intreasted in the drum technec used in harcore Jazz

Date: 10-Nov-2000 20:41:26
From: Wendell Wilkie
What is the topic of this thread?

Date: 16-Nov-2000 17:41:12
From: Tamara ( [email protected] )
I have a friend who directs a jazz band in Texas. He wants to bring his band to Washington State. What festivals are in Washington. I have found references to a few but not many and I wanted to know about some more.


Date: 27-Nov-2000 11:20:26
From: i am i be ( [email protected] )
i think the best way to get people who are in to most pop/mainstream music but those who still have a respect for "good music" is either with brandford marsalis' mo' better blues from the sndtrk (or trio jeepy for that matter)... or to listen to some stuff like phish, the 'dead, martin medeski and wood or even the roots (iladelph half life in particular) to turn you into jazz. i myself came through with trio jeepy and blues (hendrix blues) but its is all relative and irrelavent.

Date: 05-Jan-2001 16:31:28
From: Cary T Kirschbaum ( [email protected] )
I can only refer to my own experiences of 20 plus years ago at Tower Records in Manhattan. I asked a Sales clerk (who happen to be a local jazz pianist and avid Blue Note collector) to give me some "schooling." He said, listen to Parker, Blakey, Miles, and the "Pres." I haven't looked back since and my Jazz education continues to benefit from those classic players. I'd say that any potential player or fan should spend some time listening to either some Blue Note or Riverside recordings. From swing to hard bop, I don't think anyone can dismiss this required listening. Also I suggest one try to read the original Leonard Feather,"Encyclopedia of Jazz."There are so many other worthy books, too numerous to mention at this time. Then go see some live Jazz! That should keep you busy for awhile. CTK

Date: 06-Jan-2001 06:51:02
From: Thelonious
Im a jazzpianist from Norway. I mean that Ornette Coleman, `trane, and Cecil Taylor should be the first jazz you hear, and if you dont understand it, f*** off... Im sick and tired of people describing jazz as "dooobiidaaahbiischhooosninch," and later asks: "where is the vocalist? where is the melody?"

Date: 06-Jan-2001 18:07:42
From: dan murray ( [email protected] )
The only way to experience jazz is live. It is one of the only mediums that has to be experienced live to fully appreciate the mood and what it brings to the senses. You can listen to Miles and Bird 100 times, but to see someone attempting to emulate these dudes or to play and thusly interpreting or perhaps lending a new direction, the movement of their head, the flos of their hands, lips, the audience's reaction are all a part of the moment. Jazz is about the moment more than anyone really knows or can express. this coming from a lover of the Delta Blues. Take what I say with this bias in mind. But being there is where it ia at. No doubt, get out of the house children and live.

Date: 26-Jan-2001 02:23:54
From: "Jazz Baby"
OK, after reading 6 months of posts about the best way to introduce someone to jazz, here's my own thoughts: the best way to introduce somebody to jazz is en utero. That's how my mom and dad introduced me to Miles Davis, Bird, the MJQ, Brubeck, and a host of other be-bop and "cool" artists. My earliest memories are of falling asleep to Kind of Cool and Miles Ahead, played on KBCA (the jazz station in Los Angeles in the early '60s). My dad also mixed in a liberal amount of classical music (Bach, Beethoven and others), to make sure I understood the parallels between classical and jazz music. An unconventional and long-term process to educate somebody about jazz, but, IMHO, well worth it (thanks, Dad!).

Failing that, start with something very accessible, and, if it turns out that it simply doesn't take (after 25 years, my husband still doesn't like jazz—he says he can't follow the melody), find a friend to go clubbing with. 8-)

Date: 26-Jan-2001 20:36:47
From: Andreas
Make Jon Hendricks's "Evolution of the Blues" part of the school curriculum.

Date: 26-Jan-2001 21:17:55
From: Andreas
There's a lot of potential candidates for an introductory CD, but here's one not mentioned so far:

Next time you have a party throw on "Basie Swings, Joe Williams Sings"—Big Band swing/jump blues at its best and very accessible. As Albert King used to say, "If you don't dig the blues, you got a hole in your soul"! Billie Holiday is another good choice. Many people who otherwise don't listen to jazz have one or more of her records, and it's not for nothing! How can you not be moved by her singing. If they don't respond, call 911 because they may be dead!

As the night progresses, I might turn down the volume a bit an sneak some Cecil Taylor or Sun Ra on 'em just to see what happens!

Of course if your friends grew up listening to Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart, as I did, they will relate best to Cecil Taylor and Sun Ra to begin with.

Date: 01-Feb-2001 11:35:22
From: Donna
I take them on a shopping trip to Amoeba Records in the Haight. I've done it 2 times already.

Date: 01-Feb-2001 12:46:14
From: william r. smith ( [email protected] )
i would sit them down, pour them a snifter of remy and play for this the following albums(cds):

miles davis "kinda blue" johhny hartman and john coltrane sarah vaughan "crazy and mixed up" donald bryd "cristo rendemptor" "louis armstrong meets oscar peterson" modern jazz quartet "final album"

Date: 01-Feb-2001 17:19:01
From: Richard Harper ( [email protected] )
Is listening to the 'best' albums the best way introduce someone to jazz? Jazz has so many muscial styles, forms and settings, is cherry picking best from each (form) the ideal way to go about this?

I followed two approaches, and I found it very successful in appreciating all jazz forms. I found I don't like male vocalist messing up my jazz, but hey (it's my failing).

1. Find popular tunes. Jazz version of pop R&B or beats I could related to. I cut my teeth on Mile's Tutu album. I now own over 70 of Mile's albums. I don't like Aura (but hey that me). And yes Tutu doesn't really rate (anymore).

2. I bought three jazz sampler cd's from three different but labels. I develop my "I liked this but I didn't like this" list. Then went I looked for the albums they were cut from. This was the ideal way (for me) to get away from only buying the "great masters."

So while I love the albums being suggested, and I have most of them in my library now, AND, I can appreciate them all (Now!). I don't think when I started out listening to Kind of Blue or A Love Supreme would have won me over to the jazz side. It would have re-enforced that I didn't get jazz.

There's a learning curve.

Date: 01-Feb-2001 20:17:17
From: Eric ( [email protected] )
Disgusted with post-1980s pop but with interest in Mary Chapin Carpenter and classical, I got into jazz a couple of summers ago on a whim. Our local newspaper ran a story in the religion section about Duke Ellington's sacred concerts and their rerelease for the Ellington centennial. About the same time I wasted some time at Borders while my wife was hosting a reading group at our apartment. I picked up a couple of Priceless Jazz samplers cheap and was interested, so I started checking the internet to see what to try next. I picked up the sampler of the RCA Ellington set, then found that my CD club had several of the CD's most often recommended on the internet, including Miles' "Kind of Blue" and Coltrane's "Giant Steps," "My Favorite Things," and "Blue Trane." Soon I added "A Love Supreme" and Ellington's "Live at Newport." I've found that I most enjoy things recorded between 1955 and 1965. Recent favorites include Ella's "Mack the Knife" live album, Brubeck's "Take Five," and Ellington/Roach/Mingus's "Money Jungle." Of these, I'd offer any to a newcomer to jazz (but would be careful that they not get intimidated by "Giant Steps" or "Money Jungle").

Date: 19-Feb-2001 18:16:32
From: David ( [email protected] )
Hi, im just getting jazz(im only 12) and i completey relate to the man's 12 year old son. I was obsessed with Green Day before Jazz came to me. What got me into jazz was ken burns, specifically best of ken burns. I know it isnt very original or cool, but it got me started. (The Mooche by the Duke still gives me chills.) Then i listened to kindo of blue and went on from there. Charlie Parker, Dzzy, etc. Then, i was "unhooked" for reasons i couldnt explain. I got into pearl jam. Then, i listened to Bobby McFerrin's "Thinkin about your body" and was back in. Hey, im still getting started with this wide world of jazz but that was the very beginning of it.

PS- In case anyone was wondering, these are my top 5 fave jazz compositions SO FAR!

1. The Mooche- Duke (Baby Cox is incredible here!) 2. Soy Califa- Dexter Gordon (Man, that song is catchy!) 3. Oh lady be good- Tie between the versions by Ella Fitzgerald and Benny Goodman 4. Dead Man's Blues—Jelly Roll Morton (The best ny one of the first, if not THE first.) 5. Take the A train- Lincoln Centre Jazz Orchestra (Swing is still alive and well!)

Date: 23-Feb-2001 16:31:14
From: Praveen Nair ( [email protected] )
I guess I am part of the "getting into jazz" club. I got started with Sade, Steely Dan, Simply Red, Sting. I really dig Stan Getz and whatever little Brazilian jazz I have heard (Jobim et al). I'd appreciate any suggestions on artists and bands. It's easy to figure out that I love melodic, smooth sax or piano-based jazz(not much of a big-band guy) as well as funky, groovy rock jazz fusion.


Date: 27-Feb-2001 09:04:37
From: KLW ( [email protected] )
This is not on subject, but will try anyway. Am looking for VHS copy of PBS program "Swingin' With Duke...."Wynton Marsallis with Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. Not available thru PBS...so, if ANYONE has taped this show, i desperately need copy. Will pay all expenses. Please reply ASAP to above address.

Date: 30-Mar-2001 10:05:46
From: Dana ( [email protected] )
I know that you all probably do this, but I just wanted to reinforce the necessity of supporting high school jazz programs, and exploring jazz even at a middle school level. I was introduced to jazz first through big band type music, mostly Benny Goodman. Actually that's why I started playing clarinet in sixth grade. Luckily I had a great middle school teacher who let me experiment with different instruments and then starting in high school I began my career as a trombonist. :) I joined our jazz band immediately and loved it from the beginning. I tend to agree that for introducing people to jazz that haven't had such a nice buildup as I had, that fusion type music is good because it's not too much of a departure from what they may be accustomed to. I also think it would be a good idea to go with something catchy and melodic, so that it's not very hard to listen to. (I guess that's kind of obvious.) I also like the idea of approaching it from a Latin vein, because I don't think I know anyone who isn't affected by a Latin beat. This energy infused music can be a doorway to improvisational music, so that they can open up straight away to it. I don't really think gender is much of an issue. But I do agree that it may be a good idea to introduce musicians to jazz virtuosity on their instrument. ? :) such as my favorite ever. PAT METHENY. I would have never found Pat Metheny if it hadn't been for my band director, senior year of high school. He also gave me a fabulous sampler from the Verve label, which I love. The influence of my teachers has opened me up to a wide variety of music. :)

Date: 09-Apr-2001 13:05:46
From: jim ( [email protected] )
I got introduced to Jazz through a workshop of sorts, run by a prominent NPR-based jazz dj in my community. He was very knowledgable about the history, forthcoming about his favorites, and most importantly, willing to part with a self-generated list of must listen to records/cds within certain demarcated categories-like best vocal jazz, or best small group settings. I discovered I had an interest in modal jazz, piano-led groups, or just about anything with a mournful, spiritual or elgeic tone. I have come to love John Hicks, Stanley Cowell, Larry Willis, Bobby Watson, Billy Harper, Trane, of course, and am open to any feedback as to what else I "might" like. I think what helped me get started was an open attitude to be led at first. Now I caqn walk into a Jazz record store without being intimidated or flooded, now I have a guide. Any other recommendations in the aforementioned vein? Thanks.

Date: 15-Apr-2001 23:19:05
From: o.bivins
For modal jazz I would definitely check out McCoy Tyner. A "spiritual" album of his is the 1970 release "Asante." Available on CD. Also check out the 1978 album "Together." And there's the disc "Bon Voyage." All are relatively easy to find. "Bon Voyage" is a Dutch import but I've seen it at major outlets like Tower and Borders

Date: 27-Apr-2001 19:44:53
From: Jack ( [email protected] )
Can anyone please tell me the origin of the phrase 'One more time once"? I suspect it was Count Basie—can this be confirmed? Place, recording, date etc? Thank you JL

Date: 30-Apr-2001 14:19:55
From: Don ( [email protected] )
Do any of you know any good websites on saxaphone improv?

Date: 05-May-2001 12:10:17
From: sandra ( [email protected] )
Thank you for all the comments. I am trying to introduce myself to jazz and this site has been most helpful.

thank you again.

Date: 13-Jun-2001 22:11:32
From: DeRayMi ( [email protected] )
I am not trying to be a troll (maybe I am being one, but I'm not trying to be one!); however, I'd like to confuse the issues a little here. I do not consider myself a jazz fan, though there are three figures in jazz who made a lot of music I really like, and there are other things I have heard here and there that I have liked. Here is my case history. I grew up listening primarily to pop, rock and R&B, plus the music I heard at church. My mom had a few records of big band music, but not many. When I was in 5th or 6th grade I started to listen to (probably fairly mainstream jazz) on the radio, on my own (from what I can remember). Around the same time I had my first exposure to a punk rock (cover) band and liked it. Around this time my family moved to a new area and at some point I went looking for the station I had been listening to and ended up stumbling onto an entirely different station, which introduced me to an incredibly eclectic mix of music: modern classical/avant-garde/experimental, free jazz, electronic music, various obscure progressive rock from Europe, reggae, punk/new wave/industrial, traditional forms of music from around the world, and other things I didn't take to as much, including a lot of folk music from closer to home (home being the U.S., in my case). Anyway, in junior high and high school I tended to gravitate to whatever was avant-garde. It's hard for me to sort out how much of the avant-garde (in all the arts) I really liked, and how much I was simply intrigued by, but I definitely liked some of it. In fact, I can think of some free jazz and fusion (e.g., "Bitches Brew") records I liked then which I don't especially like now. For a long time I considered myself someone who liked free jazz, but who didn't especially have a taste for anything from earlier phases of jazz. I think the thing that finally killed that illusion was going to see Charles Gayle play live. It made me realize that I didn't really love free jazz, as such, after all. Charles Gayle made me cry "uncle!" I have also seen the following widely recognized performers, live (and possibly others I am not remembering): the Sun Ra Arkestra (with and without Sun Ra); Don Cherry; Oliver Lake; Steve Lacey; Pharoah Sanders; Max Roach Archie Shepp and Odean Pope; John Zorn (if you consider him jazz); George Russell; McCoy Tyner; Cecil Taylor; and Byard Lancaster. This past winter I bought a "starter" set of jazz CDs from 1201 Records, focused mostly on big band and bop. While I certainly respect the skill and artistry involved, very little of the music actually grabbed me. In fact, I was relieved to finish an initial listening to the whole collection, so that I could go often and listen to things I wanted to be listening to. I have taken a couple group swing classes, but that did not seem to make me enjoy the music more (where learning to salsa had quickly turned me into a salsa music fan).

Despite years of exposure to jazz of various sorts, much of it self-initiated, I still don't like most of it. Incidentally, the three people who have been at the center of a lot of work that I especially like are: Billie Holiday, John Coltrane (whose sound always stood out for me even back in high school), and Sun Ra. On the one hand, I think I am able to enjoy their music without really digging jazz a whole lot. On the other hand, I have to admit that appreciating how their work relates to jazz more broadly would add depth to my appreciation and perhaps enjoyment. I don't find that I get anywhere by pushing myself, and I'm not even sure why I should want to, except that, well, for one thing, it would be nice to like this form of music which grew up in the U.S., instead of being more at home, overall, with Arabic music, for example. (Let me tell you, if you have not learned to enjoy Oum Kalthoum's singing—YOU are missing something!) I will keep trying, but not very hard. Tomorrow night I go see Andrew Hill for the first time, Saturday Jimmy Bosch (also for the first time—but he really is more Latin than jazz), and Sunday the Arkestra (always a treat). And then maybe I'll get around to buying those Carpenters CDs I want (no joking).

Date: 22-Jun-2001 11:40:10
From: John
Although many others have said it repeatedly, Kind of Blue by Miles Davis really is one of the best jazz albums ever. I would rec. it to anyone just starting to get into jazz. Its mellow, but exciting.

A few other albums I would rec. for the jazz beginer: Saxophone Collossus, by Sonny Rollins and Ballads by John Coltrane.

One other thing I would impress upon anyone just starting to get into jazz is that there is a LOT of great jazz out there, w/ all different kinds of styles and variations. You probably won't like all of it, but you just might find something wonderful and fall in love w/ it!

Date: 25-Jun-2001 15:14:04
From: Deek
Sometimes what doesn't kill you makes you dumber.

Date: 23-Aug-2001 14:20:17
From: JJR
Buy the newbie the Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz. It's a 5 CD set and great written/printed information.

Date: 24-Aug-2001 14:00:22
From: Piece o Pie
drug them

Date: 25-Aug-2001 18:02:35
From: Angie
I agree with the Smithsonian Collection comment. My folks had the record version around the house when I was a teenager and I'd browse or they'd casually play it. After awhile I'd actually sit down and listen to it cut by cut and then I'd turn my friends onto it. I recently went out and bought the CD version which has remastered sound—amazingly cleaned up early jazz cuts—the ticks and popples are gone! Anyway, from King Oliver and Louis Armstrong to John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman—the best cuts of the best jazz musicians. This was my introduction and my early jazz education—it's held up well over the years, very well.

Date: 04-Sep-2001 03:23:47
From: Adam ( [email protected] )
I've been interested in Jazz a long time now, but only very recently began to persue my interest. I listen to Jazz FM before sixth from quite a lot, but never ventured into the world of jazz, and never thought of buying a jazz cd. Having gotten interested in the Beats (Ginsberg, Kerouc et al) I decided to get myself into jazz. Thanks to this site I decided to start with Kind of Blue, which I am now completely in love with (2 weeks later). My very loose plan is to go for some Parker, Coltrane, Monk and Mingus, but I am quite lost as to where to start. I have a good feeling about Charlie Parker, and Coltrane, so I am going to go for Blue Train next, but I am utterly confused as to where to go with Charlie Parker. Just pick up a greatest hits? Also, any other recommendations from that era? I'm also desparately trying to find somewhere to go for live jazz in Sydney, I posted in the live topic, but I literally can't wait to see jazz performed live.

Thanks to everyone who posted above, I've trawled through most of it recently and it has given me the little push I needed to start persuing jazz seriously.

Date: 22-Sep-2001 12:25:13
From: Aldo
Parker generally put together very good bands. So, you can't go too wrong no matter what. But the recordings with the young Miles Davis are uneven because Davis is uneven. The Parker with strings stuff is OK if you like that sort of thing. In any case, Parker nearly always plays great no matter the circumstances. Anything with Dizzy Gillespie will be excellent—also anything with Hank Jones on piano will be excellent. Parker does well in compilations and best of anthologies, especially on recent ones in which the sound has been improved. No big risks here, it's all interesting, even the when Davis can't keep up and the strings are awful.

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