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  #1  
Old 07-17-2015, 07:29 AM
DsDrummer DsDrummer is offline
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Default Best Jazz Songs

So I'm a hard rock and metal guy, and I've always studied jazz, but nothing more than out of books and through teachers. I want to start playing along to some tracks now...so that being said, if you had to pick 10 of the greatest Jazz drumming songs of ALL TIME, what would you guys pick?

thanks,
Dan
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Old 07-17-2015, 10:36 AM
Matt Bo Eder
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Default Re: Best Jazz Songs

Hmm. Tough order. What kind of jazz? Big band jazz? Quartet/quintet stuff? Latin jazz? Piano trio jazz? There's lots of jazz. I'm on the jazz myself ;)
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Old 07-17-2015, 11:37 AM
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Default Re: Best Jazz Songs

As Bo says, what sort of Jazz? What do you like to listen too? Its easier to get your head round playing something if you like the song to begin with. Go on the net and search for Jazz stuff on the Tube and see what motivates you. Then you can track down more of thet genre. Try Be Bop, Fusion, modern. Give Dave Brubeck a listen, some great drumming on his stuff. Try some Harvey Mason stuff.
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Old 07-17-2015, 12:40 PM
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Default Re: Best Jazz Songs

First, here's a real answer:

http://www.jazzadvice.com/building-y...-10-key-tunes/



Here. I did a gooogle search for you:

https://www.google.no/webhp?sourceid...0jazz%20albums

It's really an impossible question to answer, but you should probably check out Miles Davis "Kind of Blue." That would be like mentioning the Four Seasons if someone asked the same question about "classical" music. Anything Duke Ellington would be the same.



What is jazz?

Means a lot of different things to different people. There are a lot of different styles and traditions of different eras.

There's a tradition of being inventive, but for a long time there's also been a tradition of being traditional or (shivers down my spine) "AUTHENTIC".

Getting paid as drummer outside of the modern jazz thing(which really doesn't pay too well unless your name is Herbie, Chick or something like that(oops they are trditional as well lol). I assume we're talking about swing, a bit of New Orleans grease, some latin influence, big band and the occasional bop tune.

For play-a-longs, the new Erskine apps are great.


You need to do some historical research and find what tickles your fancy.

Regardless of what people might think of, very obviously Wynton's priorities, I definetly recommend checking out the Ken Burns Jazz Series.


Also, there are a number of people you should learn about e.g.:


Louis Armstrong:
https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...ng+documentary

John Coltrane:
https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...=John+coltrane

https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...ne+documentary



Miles Davis:
https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...ry=miles+davis

https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...is+documentary


Charlie Parker:
https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...charlie+parker

https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...er+documentary

Dave Brubeck


Billie Holiday
Ella Fitzgerald
Frank Sinatra

Glenn Miller
Count Basie
Benny Goodman
Stan Kenton
Jimmy Dorsey

Duke Ellington
https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...on+documentary

Drummers:
Elvin Jones:
https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...ry=elvin+jones

Papa Jo Jones
This is cool: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrKShqNkcnI

Louie Bellson
Shelly Manne
Buddy Rich
Tony Williams
Gene Krupa
Harvey Mason
Ed Thigpen
Joe Morello
Allan Dawson

Some more sax players:
Sonny Rollins
Ornette Coleman (free jazz)
Stan Getz

Wayne Shorter


This is just scratching the surface of a surface scratch on some, now, traditional stuff. There are tons of important classic names missing.


Now if you want some slightly more modern drum chops and a classic album you check you Allan Holdsworth "Secrets". :-)

Obviously, Weather Report is important. How about "Heavy Weather."
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Last edited by Odd-Arne Oseberg; 07-17-2015 at 01:01 PM.
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Old 07-17-2015, 01:15 PM
mikel mikel is offline
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Default Re: Best Jazz Songs

There you go, someone just did all the hard work I mentioned, for you.
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Old 07-17-2015, 01:56 PM
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Default Re: Best Jazz Songs

Jazz is a VERY subjective thing.. I personally hated jazz forever.. then someone told me to download Mingus' Ah-Um and it blew my mind.. by far my favorite jazz album ever..

That and Kind of blue are my favorites..

The issue is some guys like the later Squeeling horrible band falling down a flight of stairs jazz. i personally can't stand it.. Take bitches brew.. Amazing band.. then miles starts his screeching over top of it and it's destroyed.

The best thing to do would be to figure out what kind of jazz you like and then narrow it down from there..
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Old 07-17-2015, 02:05 PM
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Default Re: Best Jazz Songs

I'm not a jazz guy by any stretch of the imagination, but some tunes really get their hooks in me. The latest:


"Take Five" by The Brubeck Brothers Quartet, Lifetimes, 2012

This entire album in centered around Dan Brubeck's incredible drumming. Even a rock guy can get this.

GeeDeeEmm
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Old 07-17-2015, 04:38 PM
tcspears tcspears is offline
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Default Re: Best Jazz Songs

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Originally Posted by Matt Bo Eder View Post
Hmm. Tough order. What kind of jazz? Big band jazz? Quartet/quintet stuff? Latin jazz? Piano trio jazz? There's lots of jazz. I'm on the jazz myself ;)
Jazz is very complicated to define, even moreso than rock. It would be very hard to just pick a few jazz tunes and find that it encompasses the various sub genres of jazz.

Just like rock can be anything from Bill Haley to A Norwegian death metal band, and everything in between.

Just off the top of my head, jazz can be:
- Traditional Jazz - this is jazz from the late 1800s until maybe the mid 1930s. It kept a pretty steady beat and used collective improvisation rather than single soloists, it also includes ragtime and dixieland.

- Hot Jazz - 1920s-1930s. This is when players like Louie Armstrong came out and would act as soloists in a band and play variations on the head. The music got faster and was considered wild dance music at the time.

- Swing/Big Band - this is mid 30s up until just after WWII. This is your Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, et cetera. Soloists are more pronounced, often taking more liberties with their solos and not just sticking to the head, while the bands are folowing pretty strict arrangements.

- Be Bop starts right around the end of WWII. With the rush to the suburbs, the dance halls were closing down and the musicians were starting to play with smaller combos at faster tempos meant for listening, not dancing. Arrangements were tight, fast, and players really got out there when they soloed. This is also where tritones and dissonance came into playing.

In the 1950s, jazz split into many schools of thought

- Cool Jazz is the opposite of Be Bop (think early Miles and Chet Baker). Instead of playing faster and more aggressive, cool jazz focused on ballads and more intimate music.

- Hard Bop is an offshoot of bebop, but with an infusion of gospel and R&B music at (slightly) slower tempos, but played with the same intensity that bebop was

- Free Jazz continued what bebop started with liberating the songs from harmony, and liberated it from rhythm as well. This is pretty tricky to listen to, and might take a while before it sounds like anything but noise.

As you got into the 1960s and 70s, jazz sort of fell of the radar of most people, but there were still some sub genres going on.

- Third Stream is the syntheisis of classical and jazz, but is extremely hard to define...

- Post Bop combines hard bop, be bop, and free jazz. The music is hard and fast, but is free in terms of harmony and rhythm. This is where we get Miles Smiles, or The Real McCoy.

- Soul Jazz took hard bop and increased the amount of R&B and Gospel influence, usually adding an organ as well. Soul jazz went in the opposite direction of bop though, and used repetition in rhythm and melody.

- Fusion took advantage of the popular music of the day (rock) and combined it with jazz to create psychadelic jazz, with loud electric instruments. Fusion also demands a great deal of technical virtuosity, where players work with highly arranged material in odd meters, syncopation, and some pretty complex melodic ideas. This is a genre that usually takes a few listens before it can be appreciated.

In the 1970s and into the 80s, jazz was almost completely off the map, but eventually saw a revival of the traditional 1920s style jazz.

We also saw smooth jazz come onto the scene, combining slow tempo R&B with jazz. Some of it is really jazz (Fourplay, Lee Ritenour), but mushc of it is just commercial music and doesn't have any relation to jazz.

Since then we haven't seen much movement in jazz, there is just a plurality of styles coexisting.

I left out MANY of the smaller sub-genres, but this is a good place to start if you want to explore jazz. Just start from the beginning and you cna see the evolution of the genre and really get a feel for what it's about.

Last edited by tcspears; 07-17-2015 at 05:13 PM.
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  #9  
Old 07-17-2015, 04:59 PM
DsDrummer DsDrummer is offline
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Default Re: Best Jazz Songs

Wow, I had no clue there were so many little sub genres. Sorry for informing a noob such as myself. I was doing some research last night and I think my favorite kinds of jazz are either Big Band stuff or Be-Bop. I really like Brubeck, Mingus, Coleman, and Davis. What are some other guys along their lines?

And thank you tcspears for researching all that for me. Helped a lot :)
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Old 07-17-2015, 05:30 PM
tcspears tcspears is offline
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Default Re: Best Jazz Songs

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Originally Posted by DsDrummer View Post
Wow, I had no clue there were so many little sub genres. Sorry for informing a noob such as myself. I was doing some research last night and I think my favorite kinds of jazz are either Big Band stuff or Be-Bop. I really like Brubeck, Mingus, Coleman, and Davis. What are some other guys along their lines?

And thank you tcspears for researching all that for me. Helped a lot :)
No problem! Miles is tough becasue his career spanned so many decades and so many styles of music.

Based on the other artists that you listed, it sounds like you like cool jazz (Brubeck, Miles) and also some of the more avante garde jazz (Mingus, Coleman).

Other Cool Jazz artists:
- Chet Baker is a must for cool jazz
- Gerry Muliigan
- Paul Desmond
- Chico Hamilton
- Jimmy Giuffre
- Lester Young

If you want to trace Cool Jazz back to its roots, check out Bix Beiderbecke's playing in the 1920s. Rather than playing along with the rhythm like most players at that time, he used smoother rhythmic ideas and played some really cool harmonies, and even used the whole tone scale.

Mingus and Coleman were both somewhere in between hard bop (be bop mixed with blues and R&B) and free jazz.
- Check out some later Coletrane albums where he got really free
- Cecil Taylor
- Jimmy Lyons
- Andrew Cyrille (one of the best free jazz drummers)
- Sun Ra

Many trace avante garde jazz back to Lennie Tristano's work in the 1940s or Stan Kenton's city of glass.
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  #11  
Old 07-17-2015, 05:47 PM
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Default Re: Best Jazz Songs

Since you are coming off of the rock genre, I can see you very easily transitioning into some of the big show-band stuff.

Maynard Ferguson comes to mind, along with Chuck Mangione and of course, the king himself, Buddy Rich and his big band.

I would also look into Gene Krupa and Louie Bellson. These guys were the Rock&Roll icons of their time. Worth checking out, and you'll be able to hear a lot of their influences in classic rock.
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Old 07-17-2015, 06:34 PM
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Default Re: Best Jazz Songs

Quote:
Originally Posted by gdmoore28 View Post
I'm not a jazz guy by any stretch of the imagination, but some tunes really get their hooks in me. The latest:


"Take Five" by The Brubeck Brothers Quartet, Lifetimes, 2012

This entire album in centered around Dan Brubeck's incredible drumming. Even a rock guy can get this.

GeeDeeEmm
Disregard.. had to go look that up.. didn't know there was a brothers quartet:)
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Old 07-17-2015, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Icetech View Post
Disregard.. had to go look that up.. didn't know there was a brothers quartet:)
I didn't either until I heard the Take Five cut on the NPR late night jazz program. Every cut on the album is a keeper, and Dan Brubeck is one of the tastiest drummers I've heard to date. He can blaze, but he knows exactly when to do it!

GeeDeeEmm
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  #14  
Old 07-17-2015, 08:01 PM
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Default Re: Best Jazz Songs

Quote:
Originally Posted by DsDrummer View Post
Wow, I had no clue there were so many little sub genres. Sorry for informing a noob such as myself. I was doing some research last night and I think my favorite kinds of jazz are either Big Band stuff or Be-Bop. I really like Brubeck, Mingus, Coleman, and Davis. What are some other guys along their lines?

And thank you tcspears for researching all that for me. Helped a lot :)
Miles was at the forefront of many jazz trends, so Duke + him puts a lot of history together.

Big band stuff is a lot of different things, but for a nice modern listen Gordon Goodwin is mandatory.

I think you'd like Joni Mitchell's "Mingus" album, too. Hear the intro and jump straight to Drycleaner from Des Moines for a bit of wow. Totally Jaco.

The man Mingus himself is quite a character, if there ever was one.

If you're by any chance into Vincent then Randy Waldman's "Unreel" album, a collection of well known jazzed up movie themes is a treat. Mark Atkinson did a whole book of transcriptions.

For be-bop it's Parker and Gillespie all the way. Anything in The Real Book with their name on it is an essential tune. Covered many times over by many other both old and young artists. You could start with Confirmation, Ornithology, Donna Lee, Scrapple from the Apple..........

Brubeck did a lot of things, but Take Five and Blue Rondo are the "pop" tunes everyone needs to know. At least in my neck of the woods.
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Old 07-17-2015, 08:28 PM
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Default Re: Best Jazz Songs

Joe Morello was masterful on the kit. Personally, as there are MANY great drummers out there both past and present, Morello (in my mind) might be very approachable musically. He also conducted master classes on various media and his material is available on YouTube for starters.

Ron Otis is another very listenable modern player.

Al Foster is a favorite too.

I understand that you are looking for songs and I have a boatload of suggestions, but I would go for the drummer and take it from there.
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Old 07-17-2015, 11:02 PM
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Default Re: Best Jazz Songs

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Originally Posted by tcspears View Post
awesome stuff about sub-genres
Contrary to the vibe I'm getting with your write up, I find Fusion to be the most accessible style of jazz, at least with post-bop styles. Just because it is a fusion of rock, so there's a lot of familiarity. As a rocker myself, I can really get behind a lot of fusion.

Even they're labelled as prog rock, there are many King Crimson songs that are straight up jazz/rock fusion. Especially their modern (post 1982) stuff, but even going back to their very first song on their very first album, 21st Century Schizoid Man.

Mahavishnu Orchestra is another popular example of fusion, more jazz than rock but still accessible to rock fans.
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Old 07-18-2015, 01:50 AM
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Default Re: Best Jazz Songs

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Originally Posted by DsDrummer View Post
So I'm a hard rock and metal guy, and I've always studied jazz, but nothing more than out of books and through teachers. I want to start playing along to some tracks now...so that being said, if you had to pick 10 of the greatest Jazz drumming songs of ALL TIME, what would you guys pick?

thanks,
Dan
I'll just give albums with outstanding drumming and playing.

Miles Davis Kind of Blue.
MCoy Tyner Super Trios
Weather Report Black Market
Don Ellis at the Fillmore
Buddy Rich Big Swing Face
Chick Corea Three Quartets
Freddie Hubbard Red Clay
John Coltrane - A Love Supreme
Dave Brubeck Time Out
Steve Khan Casa Loco
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Old 07-18-2015, 01:52 AM
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Default Re: Best Jazz Songs

Best tunes vs. best tunes to learn vs. best drum tracks vs. best ones for you to play along with may not all be the same groups of tunes. Here are some good tracks to play with:

Miles Davis - So What (from Kind of Blue)
Miles Davis - All Blues (from Kind of Blue)
John Coltrane - Tunji
Thelonious Monk - Bolivar Blues (from the album Monk's Dream)
Miles Davis - Doxy
Don Cherry - When Will The Blues Leave? (from Art Deco)
Dexter Gordon - Second Balcony Jump
Oliver Nelson - Stolen Moments
Miles Davis - If I Were A Bell (from Relaxin')
Charles Mingus - Hog Callin' Blues
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Old 07-18-2015, 02:55 AM
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Default Re: Best Jazz Songs

Interesting thread with lots of good info from actual jazz players.

As a rock drummer with much jazz influence (and bugger all facility :) I found Joe Jackson's Jumpin Jive - which is in a rockified early big band style - fun to play along with and much harder to pull off cleanly than it seems.
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Old 07-18-2015, 12:42 PM
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Default Re: Best Jazz Songs

Much has already been said on this, but I'll reiterate.

As with any musical style, the most important way to learn any genre is to listen to it. Coordination / ideas can come from a book and instruction from a teacher - no doubt. But to learn the language, you have to listen, listen, listen....

Play along to any and all of it. Start with the Hot 5's/7's and move forward. Be sure to include Chicago style, Kansas City (think Basie) and move onto New York. Toss west coast influence in there too. It's all good and not mutually exclusive.

Songs? Anyone you dig. Play time on the ride alone to make the time feel good and build from there utilizing what you've learned already. Apply in the context of the music.
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Old 07-18-2015, 02:48 PM
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  #21  
Old 07-20-2015, 04:25 PM
tcspears tcspears is offline
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Default Re: Best Jazz Songs

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Contrary to the vibe I'm getting with your write up, I find Fusion to be the most accessible style of jazz, at least with post-bop styles. Just because it is a fusion of rock, so there's a lot of familiarity. As a rocker myself, I can really get behind a lot of fusion.

Even they're labelled as prog rock, there are many King Crimson songs that are straight up jazz/rock fusion. Especially their modern (post 1982) stuff, but even going back to their very first song on their very first album, 21st Century Schizoid Man.

Mahavishnu Orchestra is another popular example of fusion, more jazz than rock but still accessible to rock fans.
I think it's accessible to most musicians, but if you try to play Mahavishnu for someone that's not really into music, it just sounds like chaos and noise. It's the same with free jazz, people that aren't into jazz are going to just hear noise, whereas (even if we don't like it) musicians can hear and appreciate what's going on.

I've even met several musicians who think of fusion as elevator music or as being too complicated to enjoy, that's the only reason I put the disclaimer
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Old 07-20-2015, 04:58 PM
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Default Re: Best Jazz Songs

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Originally Posted by tcspears View Post
I think it's accessible to most musicians, but if you try to play Mahavishnu for someone that's not really into music, it just sounds like chaos and noise. It's the same with free jazz, people that aren't into jazz are going to just hear noise, whereas (even if we don't like it) musicians can hear and appreciate what's going on.

I've even met several musicians who think of fusion as elevator music or as being too complicated to enjoy, that's the only reason I put the disclaimer
Met a record store owner many years ago that referred to it as fuzak.

As much as I like Gadd and Weckl,they have been in more than one band that played it,but you gotta eat.
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