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Old 04-10-2014, 04:52 AM
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Jeremy Bender Jeremy Bender is offline
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Default A family member wants to learn jazz. Recommendations?

Where can they start to learn about jazz music and it's musicians?
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Old 04-10-2014, 08:32 AM
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Default Re: A family member wants to learn jazz. Recommendations?

How about starting out with the all time best selling jazz record, Kind of Blue by Miles Davis. The tunes are highly approachable for a jazz initiate, and the personnel on that record are jazz giants in their own right: "Cannonball" Adderley, Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Wynton Kelly.
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Old 04-10-2014, 12:32 PM
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Default Re: A family member wants to learn jazz. Recommendations?

Few ways...

Watch the entire Ken Burns Jazz Series. Many people were omitted from the series but some of the most important people were not. This is a great way to learn the history and some of the people who made it.

You want to get to know history by listening? Don't start at Miles. Include Miles, don't start there. The genre existed long before the 50's. If someone wanted to know the history of Rock, starting them at Rush makes no sense. Need to go to Bessie Smith, Armstrong Hot 5's / 7's and go from there. Be sure to include Miles and a ton of others on the way up. Again, seeing Ken Burns will help the timeline a little.

Read Jazz History Books. A ton of them out there. Get acquainted with the historical aspect on a timeline and go check out the recordings.

No matter which path anyone takes with any style, the most important element will be listening to countless recordings. Also there's a plethora of YT clips and other commercially available DVD's with performances. These are also invaluable to go hand in hand with the recorded music.

I recently gave this list to someone who asked a similar question. This is in no way comprehensive and has as many holes as Swiss Cheese, but it's a starting point. Attachment 62444

Last edited by dmacc; 06-21-2014 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 04-10-2014, 02:51 PM
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Default Re: A family member wants to learn jazz. Recommendations?

Get a good Jazz teacher.
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Old 04-11-2014, 12:31 AM
Bobrush Bobrush is online now
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Default Re: A family member wants to learn jazz. Recommendations?

I have a love/hate relationship with the Ken Burns doc. It is clearly the largest, most ambitious, longest, most thorough piece ever devoted to jazz. However, although I did say "most thorough", there are some glaring omissions, and it is pretty lopsided in its treatment of Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. So, despite my criticisms, I would absolutely recommend it as better than anything else. However, it is certainly more of a "history" piece than anything else. You'll learn more about whorehouses and heroin habits from it than you will about ii-V-I.

Remember, "jazz" spans over 100 years and includes banjo and tuba music through atonal synth music, and everything in between. Quite a lot to peruse. If you want to start a pointless thread and an ensuing flame war, just ask people to define jazz.

Apart from listening to other people's recommended tracks, I recommend listening to some jazz 'radio'. In this way, you'll be randomly exposed to things that might not have made someone else's list, and you might find something you really like. I put 'radio' in quotes because there are so few actual over-the-air stations that are dedicated to jazz these days. However, here the internet is your big-time friend. There are many internet stations, and of course, every over-the-air station also broadcasts over the internet. One of my favorites is WDCB from suburban Chicago. One nice thing about this station is that different shows play different sub-genres and being public radio, no commercials!
http://wdcb.org/new-media/internet-streaming.php
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Old 04-11-2014, 01:02 AM
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Default Re: A family member wants to learn jazz. Recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobrush View Post
I have a love/hate relationship with the Ken Burns doc. It is clearly the largest, most ambitious, longest, most thorough piece ever devoted to jazz. However, although I did say "most thorough", there are some glaring omissions, and it is pretty lopsided in its treatment of Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. So, despite my criticisms, I would absolutely recommend it as better than anything else. However, it is certainly more of a "history" piece than anything else. You'll learn more about whorehouses and heroin habits from it than you will about ii-V-I.

I prefer to call it the history of jazz according to Stanley Crouch and Wynton Marsalis

good but with huge gaping holes and waves of bias
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Old 04-11-2014, 01:36 AM
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GRUNTERSDAD GRUNTERSDAD is online now
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Default Re: A family member wants to learn jazz. Recommendations?

Buy them a clarinet.
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Old 04-11-2014, 02:35 AM
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Default Re: A family member wants to learn jazz. Recommendations?

I say the opposite of what everyone else is saying. Start them off with the more well known, accessible stuff first, then as their appreciation grows for the genre, they'll find their niche and explore other areas of jazz. When I was in jazz band in middle school we played Sing,Sing, Sing and Chameleon. I listened to the Beatles as a kid. Then I branched out from there.

I think a mix of popular and more obscure jazz masters will be the most helpful foot in the door for a new fan of the genre.

Also, please don't buy them a clarinet.
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Old 04-11-2014, 03:06 AM
GetAgrippa GetAgrippa is offline
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Default Re: A family member wants to learn jazz. Recommendations?

Tell them it's the beginning of a journey they will take a while to appreciate and complete. Start with it's african roots then go to rag time, Handy blues, swing, new orleans jazz, bebop, free jazz, latin-influenced jazz, fusion jazz, etc. and everything in between. Tell them to take their time cause it will be a lifelong journey to really appreciate. I've just started the journey myself a few years back.
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Old 04-11-2014, 05:14 AM
Bobrush Bobrush is online now
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Default Re: A family member wants to learn jazz. Recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CreeplyTuna View Post
...
Also, please don't buy them a clarinet.
I have a clarinet. I haven't played it in a while, but I've been meaning to get back to it. I played alto and bass clarinet in high school. It's an awesome instrument, good-size pitch range and timbre range, and relatively small. It's a shame people don't seem to like it today. You pretty much never see them outside of school bands and symphony orchestras.
Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw did pretty good with it.
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Old 04-11-2014, 03:40 PM
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Jeremy Bender Jeremy Bender is offline
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Default Re: A family member wants to learn jazz. Recommendations?

Thanks for the replies guys, he's checked some books out of the University's library on the history, and some other books on the theory and improv. (he plays piano)
He spends a fair amount of time listening to a wide variety of music on our local station WWOZ FM
I told him to go down to the French Quarter Festival this weekend and listen to as much as he can find.

I agree about starting off slowly and branching out. It is indeed a lifelong journey.
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