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Is there any Jazz I can actually listen to?

Sloth

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The cheap end of Brighton
After reading a few recommendations here and there, I decided to get hold of some Charlie Parker (forgot which) and Sonny Rollins (Tenor Madness I think) to hear how these so-called masters played. (so-called as I had never heard of them until recently!)

While there is no doubting the skill of these players, I found the music so awful I just couldn't listen. I could liken it to staring at a TV on a dead channel - although your brain starts to see things in that swirling snow after a few seconds which makes it interesting (yup, typical Friday night)

But with the Jazz I heard, there was no relief from the disjointed sounds and rhythms, and it got tedious very quickly. Like Captain Beefheart. The only discernable bits were when the songs started, and the bits when I pressed stop!

I suppose it's just a taste issue - I don't think an explanation of what's going on would help me enjoy it, but I think I like bebop more - can anyone suggest any saxy bebop? Or any more tuneful/rhythmic styles?

If I hear one more oldie saying 'I remember when music had proper tunes...!'
 
OP
Sloth

Sloth

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I have found that the more I learn about something the more I enjoy it.

What sort of music do you normally listen to

mamos
Well I do love a lot of 70s library stuff such as on the KPM label for example, and Italian film soundtracks from the same period- anything smooth and funky.

My favourite soundtrack is 'Pelham 123' - the old one with Walter Matthau (I hear they're doing a new one) so any brash New Yoik jazz ideas might be good, something with a lot of trombones in the background!
 

Pete Thomas

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I love Captain Beefheart, and I know what you mean re: some jazz. I think if you want to get into it then maybe start with something more melodic, maybe some older stuff, Ben Webster, Charlie Ventura, Coltrane ballads
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
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I like Captain Beefheart too! For sax- try Ben Webster, Lester Young, Jan Garbarek (his recent stuff- try 12 moons, though it's a bit questionable if it actually counts as jazz), Stanley Turrentine (1960s stuff with lots of hammond organ- good sleazy bar-room blues almost like a drunken Booker T and the MGs at 2am, with added sax), Earl Bostic (ripping R&B/jazz hybrid), Johnny Hodges. Actually al ot of 1960s Blue Note stuff would probably do it for you- it's the point where jazz is beginning to turn into funk & there quite a bit of gospel & soul in there too.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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Me too

You could try some Boots Randolph.

Have just finished reading the Devil's Horn by Michael Segell. He sets out the history of the Sax there, and it's main players. Makes interesting reading and may give you some insight into what some of the less accessible players were trying to do. For me Rock, Blues, and some soul are what I want to learn. Plus some swing/bebop. But a lot of the modern sax stuff I can't handle. Not sure if I ever will. It's like trying to learn to appreciate Stockhausen or Schoenberg.
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
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brighton by the sea
- can anyone suggest any saxy bebop? Or any more tuneful/rhythmic styles?
By the way- BeBop IS the very fast, very intense, "melodically disjointed" stuff, with a 'never play one note when you can fit two into the same space' ethos. Based on what you're saying bebop is the type of jazz you should be avoiding like the plague!
I totally know where you're coming form- a lot of it's hard work to listen to. As I was saying before- anything that's blues based tends to be a lot more accessible, same goes for funk &, to some extent, latin music. If you like film sound tracks- check out Gato Barbieri, his album Caliente & the soundtrack to Last tango in Paris might very well hit the spot.
Should you feel any desire to get into Charlie Parker, try either "with Strings" or "Gitane- Best of" for two good, accessible albums. On the subject of which, ages ago I asked a sax player I was a fan of (Tony Rico) what's worth listening to for getting ideas for blues and R&B playing- his response was "get a couple of Charlie Parker tunes and take them apart- you'll find loads of good blues riffs in any of them, enough to keep you going for months"- that's pretty much how I've looked at things since- the more intense jazz stuff is mainly a library of good riffs rather than something I actually listen to for fun...
 

Nick Cook

Member
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862
Location
Wokingham, Berks, UK
After reading a few recommendations here and there, I decided to get hold of some Charlie Parker (forgot which) and Sonny Rollins (Tenor Madness I think) to hear how these so-called masters played. (so-called as I had never heard of them until recently!)

While there is no doubting the skill of these players, I found the music so awful I just couldn't listen. I could liken it to staring at a TV on a dead channel - although your brain starts to see things in that swirling snow after a few seconds which makes it interesting (yup, typical Friday night)

But with the Jazz I heard, there was no relief from the disjointed sounds and rhythms, and it got tedious very quickly. Like Captain Beefheart. The only discernable bits were when the songs started, and the bits when I pressed stop!

I suppose it's just a taste issue - I don't think an explanation of what's going on would help me enjoy it, but I think I like bebop more - can anyone suggest any saxy bebop? Or any more tuneful/rhythmic styles?

If I hear one more oldie saying 'I remember when music had proper tunes...!'
I'm glad I'm not the only one!!! Undoubtedly I do hear jazz I like, but I quite often feel the same about some jazz as Sloth. My teacher recently told me (well, I suppose it wasn't an order!) to buy Miles Davis, Kind of Blue, and also to try Impressions by John Coltrane. While, with constant listening, I can get into Kind of Blue, Impressions just seemed to be a jumble too me!!!! (I got a big sigh from my teacher when I told her that!!)
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
To quote Julie Andrews, bet that is the first time she's been quoted on this site, "Let's begin at the beginning, it's a very good place to start.".
Would it be helpful to follow the start, growth and development of jazz? Maybe try The Original Dixieland Jass Band, an all white outfit that tried to sweeten jazz for the European market. You could also take a short cut to the mid forties and listen to Bunk Johnson and similar Trad 'revivalists'. If that doesn't push any buttons, try the swing period and the small groups that were usually part of the big band. Bebop, Jules has dealt with and that was succeeded by East and West Coast modern movements, Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Quartet are examples of the 'modern and cool' movement. There are the great balladeers, who seemed to specialise in virtually making their instruments sing and emote the song, hear Getz on A Nightingale sang in Berkley Square.

Despite all this preamble, jazz and 'classical' music have a lot in common. If instead of the word 'jazz', we used 'Statement and Variations on a theme by Who Ever', would that make any of the various forms more accessible? There can be a slight problem with that, as on some Jazz at the Philharmonic discs, the theme statement is the 'outro', a fine word invented by the Bonzos. ;}

At the end, is there any reason why you should enjoy jazz, R&B, pop or any form of music? We like certain parts of some genres but not everything. Strangely called 'taste'.
 

Lloyd

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208
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Hertfordshire
I know what you mean, I find a lot of 'the greats' difficult to enjoy and it seems strange to want to play the sax but not particularly like this stuff. As a teenager in the mid 70s I loved prog rock (Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Yes, Michael Schenker, Deep Purple etc) even if it may be unfashionable today to say so. I also liked the more jazzy stuff providing that had a good tune (Steely Dan/Donald Fagen etc) and the seriously mellow Grover Washington. I hated punk and don't get me started on rap with a silent 'c'. Since starting to learn the sax I have found the following that you may want to look at: Candy Dulfer (great alto and melodical) - I like Sax-a-go-go the best, George Thorogood (rock with a bit of sax) and my most recent purchase was Hysteria by Snake Davis. Good luck.
 
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thehunt

Member
Messages
797
Location
Studham Bedfordshire
I think you have opened a can of worms there, it seems we feel cos we play the sax we have to like all jazz. I too like Nick bought blue note by Miles Davies, i remember sitting down and thinking i am now going to reach a new plane of listening, still waiting... I also bought best of John Coltrane, only two tracks i like on that My favorite things and summertime, don't understand Giant steps. However i do like Stan getz and Ben webster, candy dulfer and snake davies are also up there, i suppose it depends what kind of mood you are in. Pete's own Mr Lucky is also good for listening to different types of playing. Good luck on the quest.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
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5,232
Location
Skabertawe, South Wales
Help is at hand!

I would highly recommend one excellent British Jazz Album:

Dave Stapleton Quintet - The House Always Wins.

The DSQ features Dave on piano, Ben Waghorn on tenor/soprano sax, Jonny Bruce on trumpet/flugel, Paula Gardiner on bass & Eliot on Drums. Their records always get 4**** in JazzWise magazine and it is very accessible stuff.

Jan Garbarek & Nils Petter Molvaer are also top notch and both make excellent use of electronics. If you like funk there are lots to explore. I like a lot of Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter from the 60's period, and some of John Coltrane's more tuneful stuff (Blue Trane, Mr. PC etc.) but it is essentially non - European, and not necessarily that accessible, or particularly tuneful (like Latin, Reggae and Ska, or African music).

Obviously we are also talking personal taste, and whatever we might each understand as jazz, but its just to challenge the idea that Jazz = American Music. Plenty of other cultures etc have their own take on these things even though we could argue that the US was where it originally started.

Love and peace to all, and here's to the accessibility of Jazz to all. Guess I still haven't recovered from my prurchase of "The Very Best of John Coltrane" and the mudering of "Summertime" amongst others. When I found his album "Ole" I was relieved, to say the least.

Kind regards
Tom:cool:
 

Mamos

Member
Messages
691
Location
Falmouth Cornwall
I listen to jazz because it is sometimes challenging. I like to sit down and really listen to it, not just have it on in the background but actually listen to it.

But I do not listen to jazz exclusively and when I just want some music on in the background I will put some rock music or electronic dance music or other easy listening music that I don't have to think about too much.

I have been listening to jazz for over 25 years but now I have started playing the sax and reading music and studying jazz theory I am starting to learn to love it in a whole new way.

Allow yourself to be challenged once in a while and you might find something you really like that you would never have come across if you hadn't.

I do try to listen to as many types of music as possible and I am trying to play different styles as well.

mamos
 

Mamos

Member
Messages
691
Location
Falmouth Cornwall
In my hunt on spotify for different types of sax music I think I have hit an all time low and found my least favourite sax player in the world.

John Warrington:)))

Oh dear

mamos
 

jonf

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3,611
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Betelgeuse
Musical music

Yup, for something tuneful with skill as well, I find Snake Davis to be great. He's released four albums and I like them all. There's also some weirdo called Pete Thomas who did a pretty fair album called Mr Lucky. He keeps threatening to do another as well......
 

chris_curtis

New Member
Messages
9
Location
near Gatwick
I find quite a lot of Jazz "interesting" rather than pleasurable though it can grow on you if you give it a chance. I just love "Kind of Blue" especially "So what" - it makes my spine tingle - but the first couple of times I heard it I felt the solos went on too long and did not really "make sense". Not sure what has changed, but it was definitely worth persevering.

Rather than Bebop try some "cool jazz". Dave Brubeck's "Time Out" album is very accessible as is Gerry Mulligan's "Night Lights" and look for the track "Generique" by Miles Davis (got that sleazy, late night feel) or "serenade in blue" by Stan Getz (The "Getz for lovers" album has some very smooth playing too)
 
OP
Sloth

Sloth

Member
Messages
102
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The cheap end of Brighton
Wow, a tsunami of suggestions!

Dissing jazz yields results, hehe.

The book suggeestion sounds interesting, thanks kevgermany.

nachoman - Maybe I got that bebop thing wrong, I'm such a jazz dunce!

oldgit - I do like to listen to some scratchy 20s bits and bobs, and I also like the similar stuff the Temperance Seven did (albeit watered down Charleston jazz), it might be a good idea to start there and evolve along with the music. The Bonzos reference wasn't lost, I got their CD discog set 15 years ago and still love it.

Sax Starved - My dad says rap with a silent 'C', I used to listen to a lot before it turned all 'Gangsta' in the 90s. It introduced me to a lot of different music styles through its heavy use of sampling, so it has its uses!

Thanks for all your suggestions, now to create a Stalin sized list of names!
 

Pee Dee

Member
Messages
425
Location
Dorset
Big chief say:
If you want to play sax for a living, you need to know, love and learn to play all forms of music where a saxophone can be involved.
If you play your saxophone part time, or just for your own pleasure, you are blessed, you can play just what you like.
 
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