Jazz Music Discussion

jazz

#1

This is the thread to discuss Jazz music, whether it be artists, songs, acoustic properties of a song, or even which headphone you find fits the genre

Just remember keep it within the realm of Jazz!


#2

I only recently started getting into Jazz, so I’ll start this off with 3 albums that really got me into Jazz and how good it can sound.

  1. Miles Davis - Bitches Brew – I guess this one is considered classic. I don’t know the exact version I have, as I got a massive dump of jazz music from one of my colleagues. But the sound absolutely surrounds and envelops you in this album. Sitting down and hearing it all in one session is an incredible journey. I came away with a real appreciation not just for the artists but for Jazz as a whole.

  2. Miles Davis - Kind of Blue – Anothes Miles classic, I suppose. For me this wasn’t so much about the audio quality but more about the beauty of the art itself. Just a masterful recording by Miles and his band. I really should listen to this more.

  3. Various Artists - Jazz at the Pawnshop – Now this one was a total surprise to me. I just found it thanks to a spotify suggestion (man, their discovery is good) and boy am I glad I did. It’s one of those rare recordings that makes me fell like I am actually in the room and listening live. Sound is sharp and pristine, as you can hear and locate each instrument and clink of the wine glass from the audience clearly. The music itself is pure fire, and it made me want to stand up and dance. Actually, when I played it for my wife, she DID stand up and dance. I had to pull her back to keep her from yanking the cord.

I’ve been listening on HD600 and HD6XX so far, and both are great. 6XX is more suited to “smooth” jazz that makes you wanna just groove, while the HD600 is a bit more exciting.


#3

I love that this thread was started(as well as classical). I am looking forward to a lot of discussions;quality of performance;quality of the recording;quality of the recording and which gear(headphones/amps) might be best appropriate for this genre.


#4

Just starting out the discussion. Much of Jazz are vocals. Any listening(through headphones of speakers) should hear the vocalist dead center. That is my opinion. Purely instrumental pieces are different to a degree but ,IMHO,you want to hear clear natural balances.


#5

I have to admit. Have not been a big fan of Miles Davis,especially the later stuff. I might go back and re-explore the earlier recordings and maybe check out the later one.


#6

I love this album! It’s incredible to consider that the recording was essentially unrehearsed. I particularly like the recent mono reissue. Here’s a good description of how the remaster came about.

Miles Davis is a great place to both start and end with Jazz, as his career and styles span a lot of the development of the form through the 20th century. One of my other early Jazz influences was one of my dad’s Dave Brubeck records. Take Five is of course a classic, but Blue Rondo a la Turk is still one of my all-time favorites.

Being a piano player, I have a soft spot for guys like Oscar Peterson and Hank Jones. I could never hope to play like them, but it’s fun to listen.

Unfortunately the recording quality of older Jazz isn’t always great, so from an audiophile perspective I tend to gravitate towards newer stuff. Thankfully I love the sort of fusion of Jazz with more modern styles that originated with people like Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and Freddie Hubbard. Freddie Hubbard’s Red Clay is both a great song and a nicely done recording as well. I actually got to play it in my high school band but I don’t think I properly appreciated it back then.

I also enjoy the influence that Jazz has had on hip hop, which is on fine display in Guru’s first Jazzmatazz record, though what actually got me into Jazz fusion in the first place was a Jazzkantine record that my uncle gave me back when I was still a teenager.

Jazz fusion has since evolved into stuff like Snarky Puppy which I absolutely adore. I saw these guys in a little club in Austin back when they were still a college band and loved them, and it’s been fun watching them grow into a big-time name in Jazz. They still put on a good show too (albeit with much larger audiences).

Chicago was a great Jazz town (I miss that about it). Though I’m not really that into vocal Jazz, I used to love seeing Kurt Elling at the Green Mill, and his pianist at the time Laurence Hobgood was just amazing. Of course I can’t mention vocal Jazz without a shout out to the great Nina Simone. If you want to know more about her, I highly recommend the biopic What Happened, Miss Simone. It’s a great history not just of her life but also of black America in the middle 20th century. Be prepared to cry though, I did.

More recently, I’ve really been enjoying bass-led Jazz trios like Phronesis. Modern recording values combined with the rich timbre of a bass, a piano and a drum set makes for an audiophile treat, and the music itself is top notch.

I think one of the biggest dangers with Jazz is that there’s a lot of people out there rehashing old standards and not pushing the art form along. I rarely go to Jazz clubs anymore because I often leave disappointed with hearing the same old stuff. But, there is interesting work being done, you just have to look for it. The most recent stuff that’s piqued my interest is the sort of electronica-flavored Jazz of GoGo Penguin.


#7

Hehe, for me my LCD2C is analogous to your HD 6xx and my DT 1990 to your HD 600. Especially stuff like Phronesis and GoGo Penguin really pop with the DT 1990, and vocal jazz like Kurt Elling really envelopes me with the LCD2C.


#8

This is a great thread. It’s just what I’ve been looking for. As a relative newcomer to jazz I am looking for some must have albums. I know it’s subjective but I there must be some definitive albums that I should listen to. Thanks.
-Paul-


#9

This is a pretty good list to start with - http://www.jazzwisemagazine.com/pages/jazz-album-reviews/11585-the-100-jazz-albums-that-shook-the-world?showall=&start=9


#10

Thank you very much I will have a look at this.
-Paul-


#11

So I just listened to all of GoGo Penguin’s V2.0 and half of a Phronesis album. I LOVE what GoGo Penguin does with their music, and a lot of the cadences are really unpredictable. Phronesis is like a modern adaptation of Jazz, and I like what I hear so far.


#12

Glad you like it! GoGo Penguin seem like they’d be amazing to see live.

If you like Phronesis, you might also enjoy E.S.T.. It’s a bit more laid back but is in that same vein of Scandinavian Jazz.


#13

I have to go listen to that.


#14

I just listened to “Ellington Indigos” on my headphones-on the phones for the first time…and I cried. Beauty is so special.


#15

I had a look in the Jazz thread yesterday and saw some suggestions as to what I should listen to. Anyhow I fired up my trusty Dap and Spotify and downloaded Jazz at the Pawnshop. There are about 4 albums to download. I listened to the third album first.

I started listening through my HD650’s and then went on to my HD800. Wow it’s an amazing album, what a revaluation. It’s recorded live with your perspective being sat in the audience. I amno Jazz expert and am not a musician so I won’t be giving you my poor insight into either artist or song. Suffice to say I want more jazz in my life. Each song was as good as the one before. It seems that a lot of the big names show up at this venue and these albums are awash with the usual suspects.

I could hear all the little nuances of each performer. The clarity, imaging and resolution of the instruments was very good. The skill of these greats of Jazz is astounding, every artist and their instrument shares the spotlight with equal Enthusiasm. I felt like I was there. I don’t know enough about music the give you expert analysis but I listened to the whole album and thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. I was shouted at a few times by my wife, my head nodding apparently disturbing her precious kindle time. :slight_smile:
Today I will listen to the 30th anniversary album and with a few glasses of Southern Comfort I am sure it will be a very enjoyable experience.
-Paul-


#16

I’m in the same boat as @prfallon69, that’s one genre I’ve never really listened to, but I’d like to give it a go as I’m sure i’m missing out on some great music.


#17

Have fun! And remember, “Jazz” encompasses an extremely broad range of music, so you might find yourself weeding through some stuff you don’t like before finding something you do.


#18

Yay! A jazz thread. My personal favorite kind of music for several decades.

I like the jazz from the late 1940’s to the early 1960’s. Most in this era are not vocal (sorry @frank_gyure2). Some exceptions would be Sarah Vaughn and Billie Holiday. Many of my favorites focus on a particular instrument, especially trumpet and saxophone. Many early recordings in this era were mono and later remasters forced them into stereo. Stereo is good to hear separation but mono is closer to the original.

Some favorites of mine include:
Miles Davis - Kind of Blue, maybe Miles’s best album, listen for the conversation of instruments in “So What”
Count Basie - The Atomic Mr. Basie, again, maybe his best
Thelonius Monk - Brilliant Corners, kind of esoteric, you have to listen carefully to the structures. Brilliant piano by Mr. Monk.
Sonny Rollins - Saxophone Colossus, includes his signature St. Thomas
Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker - still exploring this man’s short lifetime of work
Clifford Brown - Memorial Album, Blue Note 1526, Rudy Van Gelder remaster. Brown died at the age of 25 in a car accident, a brilliant musician.

I tend to use my Grado SR60’s or my NAD VISO HD 50’s when I want to get into the compositions. I’m still searching for the best set-up in my limited price range to hear these albums with a good analytical sound.


#19

Find the Ken Burns documentary on Jazz on Amazon, included free with Prime. Great course on the history of jazz from its beginnings to today. Again, my favorite eras are Bop, Post Bop, and Hard Bop, 1946 - 1960’s.


#20

Hey…jflores. I “dig” Lady Day from her Columbia Recordings(1930"s), The Decca Recordings(1940"s) and the Verve Recordings(1950’s). Talking to all of you, I am re-listening to some of the purely instrumental recording that I have on CD and that I can access through Itunes which is my choice of streaming. I listened to some Duke Ellington last. As I sit in front of my pc right now, I am have to go back and see those exact recordings.