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

AAJ Staff By

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Date: 29-Apr-1998 23:41:20
From: Fernando Franco ( )
When I was introduce to jazz like 5 years ago the thing that really grap my atention was the power of being able to comunicate to the public by an instrument the real mood of the song. I think the magic around jazz its the hole enviroment and to be able to explore, jam or improvise that make every song "unique" and personal. That is how i would introduce this feeling about jazz!

Date: 01-May-1998 17:10:10
From: Robert Dubose ( )
I tried to get into jazz for over 15 years, but couldn't. I bought Mingus Ah Um, Miles Davis' Greatest Hits, and a Blue Note compilation. I even went to see Freddy Hubbard live. I understood the music, but didn't feel it. Finally, I heard Kind of Blue and in one night fell in love with the music. Three years later, I listen to everything from Ben Webster to John Zorn. What happened? Was it the cumulative effect of so many tries? Did my life circumstances change? Or is there just something about Kind of Blue that causes people to learn how to love jazz?

Date: 04-May-1998 00:06:58
From: Keith Ganz ( mushmouth@mindspring )
The kind of jazz to introduce newcomers to is LIVE JAZZ! I've taken so many non-jazzer friends to top-notch jazz concerts and they've always gotten in to it, unlike with most cds. The key is to see the 'real thing' not just some local yokels, (unless they're really good!)

Date: 04-May-1998 18:06:37
From: Michael Ricci ( )
I'm onboard with live jazz. I've turned countless others on to the music by dragging them to a club.

The desert island picks section at AAJ might also help. With well over 50 submissions, a new person will discover the albums other people enjoy listening to (or can't live without), like "Kind of Blue" and Keith Jarrett's "Koln Concert."

Date: 10-May-1998 08:46:41
From: Manique Mahawatte ( )
Spend some time listening to the sax of Najee....I needn't say any more. Enjoy.

Date: 10-May-1998 14:21:23
From: S.Goudelock ( )
What has gender got to do with it? I've listened to jazz all my life,but that was because my father played alto & that was the only type of music he listened to. After I got older I listened to either rock,some soul anything really just to be different. But you know life comes full circle now I listen to jazz a little jazz lite.I wish you guys could hear what you sound like when u discuss women & jazz, you just sound so lame! Oh yeah and don't be female and be more than a jazz dilettante that really freaks a guy out.


Date: 11-May-1998 14:13:23
From: Paul Abella ( )
How to advance Jazz? The reason people don't dig jazz is because it's fan are too busy being snobs and saying (sneering) "Oh, Here, here's Kind of Blue. Go become a Jazz fan..." Leave Kind of Blue, Milestones and A Love Supreme till later. Give them something that the average person can sink their teeth into. How about these that seemingly everybody forgot?

1) Eddie Harris: Chicago's tenor legend could kick some ass, get funky and satisfy the Jazz Fascist in all of us in under 32 bars. THE ELECTRIFYING EDDIE HARRIS or THE IN SOUND are both great places to start to get your average rock fan into jazz. 2) John Scofield: I recently took a trip to San Francisco with some fellow students at the college I attend. They all either knew nothing about jazz or claimed they hated it until I played HAND JIVE, GRACE UNDER PRESSURE, TIME ON MY HANDS and A GO GO. Now all of them are asking me what else they should pick up. 3) Betty Carter: People usually deal with music with lyrics a little better, so throw the modern queen of vocal Jazz improvisation at them. almost anything by Betty can be considered amazing. 4) That nobody mentioned MEDESKI MARTIN AND WOOD shows how horribly tunnel-visioned the jazz world has become. The improvisation is there, the history is there, and My God, the funk is there... 5) Art Blakey: THE BIG BEAT and MOANIN' could do more for jazz advancement than almost anything else listed in this batch of opinions. Yet nobody even mentioned Blakey. Miles is not the only way to a listeners ears... 6) Cannonball Adderley: COUNTRY PREACHER, LUGANO, 1963, MERCY MERCY MERCY, there are so many more and Cannonball is so accesible. That's the key to getting the non-initiated into jazz is accesibility. A Classical fan wouldn't start someone off with the Well-Tempered Clavier by Bach. Yet Jazz fans expect the non-initiated to start off with Kind of Blue, an album that Bill Evans stated in the liner notes takes a listener that knows whats going on. No wonder we come off as snobs... I'll stop there.

Keep Your Ears Open, Paul


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