Jazz Music Discussion



jflores…your thoughts on Ella.


pwjazz… interesting point… should we dismiss new "interpretations of jazz(or classical) music. Is it a rehash?. I tr to listen to new releases but “Jazz” has broadened it’s parameters. Through the 1960’s,Jazz was closer to “popular music” bur music has broadened and broadened since the 1960’s and even mote in the last two decades. I admit. Listening to Armstrong,Bessie Smith etc really gives a special feel. What is my problem with Jazz today. “Lack of Melody.”


Ella was also one of the great vocalists from that era. She was able to go from big band to be Bop to pop effortlessly. And that voice!

So what are some good headphones for listening to vocal jazz?


What I meant by “rehash” is unimaginative mimicry of the original. When people add something new to an existing standard, I generally love it. Great examples are this reimagining of Take Five in 4/4 time (also available in a more extended performance) as well as this modernized take on It Don’t Mean a Thing. What I don’t love is walking into a club and hearing someone try to recreate an old 50’s bop performance just with less talent than the original.

Me too! I hate that “hey, let’s play the melody for a few bars so that we can get into our self-indulgent solos that are melodically and rhythmically unrelated to the actual song, then after 10 minutes of that we’ll restate the melody briefly and call it a wrap!”


Heyy…Johnny Flores… i have just gotten back into headphones because of “The Headphone Community.” I listen to everything through Sennheiser HD 600" which I bought “a few years” ago. my other components are the Musical Fidelity X-Ray v3 CD Player and the Musical Fidelity X-Can v3 Headphone amplifier. All boight in the early 2000’s and I’m not complaining bit I am learning new stuff here.


Hopefully,we will get more feedback from others.




PW… I just listened to the “It Don’t Mean a Thing” redo from Russell Gunn. Sounds great. It take 1930’s music and makes it sound NOW. I am not sure if the “blackface” pic will help. But I like it. I did not like some of the Verve remixed releases of Ella,Billie,Sarah etc etc…


Funny, I feel the same way! Their take on Nina Simone’s Sinnerman is just okay, but I don’t think those remixes really add anything substantive, they’re more just like putting a new facade on an old building. Listening to Russell Gunn, he comes across as an architect who has absorbed the essence of an old building and used it as inspiration for building something wholly new but still capturing some of that same feeling.



Per your suggestions I checked out Snarky Puppy and Go Go Penguin. Thank you so much for taking the time to post those. Never would have discovered them otherwise. They are both phenomenal. I’ve been looking for something like these for quite some time. Looking forward to spending some more time with their work.


I’m glad you’re enjoying them! You might also enjoy Polyrhythmics. I just started listening to them today and like what I hear so far.


Would that be Jazz to you guys?

How about this? I love chillhop and find it very jazzy with more new age style.


Where does this fall? Jazz, big band, swing? EDM

Just curious where people’s thoughts are in regards to what qualifies as jazz, as it can be very broad (ish)

Or does it have to be this:


My answers are completely arbitrary and subjective. I couldn’t actually give you a good definition of “Jazz”, though I feel like I usually know it when I hear it.

Let’s Go - Yes. It swings and it’s got horns. Though it’s very slickly produced and very electronic, I hear some musicianship in there, maybe even something that one could call a horn solo, and I could imagine a live performance of this.

Damn Fine Coffee - Similar thoughts to the above, horns, swing, solos, could imagine it performed live.

Mistakes - Boy, this is a tough one. It starts with a very Jazzy horn solo and it’s got an acoustic bass. Once the singing starts though, it immediately sound like soul music to me. Now, soul music itself was influenced by Jazz, and the Jazz is strong in this particular performance. Is it Jazz? I find the Wikipedia description of Lake Street Dive’s influences illuminating–they’re not a band to be put in a box.

Jimmy’s Gang - This one threw me for a loop. I first listened to this studio version and was left with the impression of slickly produced electronica that happens to use some jazzy samples and loops. I couldn’t image it as something performed live and therefore had trouble calling it “Jazz”. Then I listened to this unplugged live version and thought “hot damn, that’s some fine playing!”. I hear echoes of Django Reinhardt and it’s hard not to just start swing dancing while listening to this. So yes, this is Jazz!


Jazz is pretty much impossible to define. It’s like other genres like “rock,” “classical,” “hip-hop,” etc. You have to fine tune the classification to express what you’re talking about. Even jazz in a particular era like mid1950’s has a broad range of styles.


My biggest beef nowadays is finding good recordings without paying an arm and a leg. Remasters are everywhere but how can you know how good a particular CD or download is mastered well?


I use a few techniques.

  1. If it’s an older CD (like mid to late eighties) it has a better chance of being well mastered.
  2. Dynamic range is one of the main things to suffer in poor mastering. There’s a database of dynamic range measurements available here. Note that vinyl often shows up as having superior dynamic range, but that seems to be more an artifact of how vinyl interacts with the measurements of dynamic range.
  3. Discogs is a great place to find the different releases of an album. People can and do provide ratings for these, which can be a good way to compare. For example, here is The Beatles’ Abbey Road.


@jflores476 You may want to check out your local library. I’ve come across some great finds for both jazz, jazz fusion and classical.


Boy, I was hoping for a bit more interesting stuff on the Jazz thread. I never liked Jazz at the Pawnshop. For something interesting, some I like:
Alison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom-Otis Was a Polar Bear
Abdullah Ibrahim - African Marketplace or Ekays
ANYTHING by The Microscopic Septet (or the compilations).
The Bad Plus-many out there, It’s Hard comes to mind
Henry Threadgill Sextet-When Was That (or any of the others)
David Murray-Murray’s Steps.
Steven Bernstein - Diaspora Soul
Charlie Haden Orchestra-any album

Of course, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong John Coltrane Ornette Coleman, Duke Ellington and many others are touchstones… Just rattled some off the top of my head. f



also would we be lumping Blues into the Jazz category?


Thanks I will look into these and try to broaden my jazz experience. It’s a genre I know little to nothing about.