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Re: Jazz

Posted: July 14th, 2020, 9:27 pm
by VideoGameCritic
When I started this thread I didn't know if anyone might respond. Instead it must just break the damn internet! Kim Kardashian's ass has nothing on Miles Davis!

Yeah I appreciate goldenband's excellent suggestions and plan to pick up a few. I always liked jazz when I heard it, but never really knew where to start. This thread is opening up new doors.

Re: Jazz

Posted: July 14th, 2020, 10:05 pm
by velcrozombie
My first significant exposure to jazz (as I'm sure it was for many children) was the series of scores to the 60s-70s Peanuts holiday specials by the Vince Guaraldi Trio. From there I got a tape of classic jazz out of the bargain bin at K-Mart when I was around 11 that had Guaraldi, Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderley and a handful of other artists. I think I bought Kind of Blue a year or so later but I didn't go much further other than having my local NPR station in the background at night. It wasn't until I was about 16 and heard Bitches' Brew by Davis that I had much interest in the genre again - that album was mysterious and scary in a way that I didn't know jazz (or more accurately, jazz fusion) could be. I ended up listening to most of Davis' output from 1969-1975, plus Time Out by the Dave Brubeck Quartet, Giant Steps and A Love Supreme by John Coltrane, at least one album each by Ornette Coleman and Albert Ayler and few more things that border on free-jazz and noise music (Sonny Sharrock, Last Exit, Borbetomagus, Sun Ra, Ken Vandermark, The Flying Luttenbachers, Naked City, John Zorn). I haven't checked much else out lately but a few things that I've liked within the last couple years are Bohren & der Club of Gore (slow, moody jazz with a doom feel - check out the album Black Earth) and the 70s jazz-fusion group the Mahavishnu Orchestra. I do hope to focus more on jazz in the future since rock and even metal get boring to me sometimes and there are endless things to learn as a drummer.

Re: Jazz

Posted: July 15th, 2020, 1:08 am
by goldenband
ActRaiser wrote:If there was a like button or way to vote this as my favorite post of 2020 you'd get it. Thanks for the awesome write up.

VideoGameCritic wrote:Yeah I appreciate goldenband's excellent suggestions and plan to pick up a few.

Aww, thanks, y'all!

velcrozombie wrote:Bohren & der Club of Gore (slow, moody jazz with a doom feel - check out the album Black Earth) and the 70s jazz-fusion group the Mahavishnu Orchestra

Two of my favorites. You've nailed the best album by Bohren & der Club of Gore -- the others are good, but Black Earth is special. I think people who appreciate the spaciousness of Kind of Blue might like this one, though it's far darker and more ominous, with a "1980s film noir" quality.

And the original incarnation of Mahavishnu was phenomenal, especially live:

I'm also a big fan of Weather Report, which of course came out of Miles's electric groups. Their best album is probably Mysterious Traveller, or Heavy Weather if you're more into the Jaco end of things. Many of Herbie Hancock's 1970s albums are magnificent -- Sextant is probably my favorite. But all that is getting into a different era from Kind of Blue, and a different style (fusion).

BTW two of Miles's most beautiful albums were Miles Smiles and Nefertiti. Each has an uncommonly beautiful ballad on it -- "Circle" and "Fall", respectively -- as well as a lot of the open-ended, cerebral, uptempo tracks typical of the Second Quintet. Side A of each of those records is a stone-cold classic, Side B a little less so. Challenging music at times, but as good as it gets.

Filles de Kilimanjaro is also great, and very enigmatic -- no other record sounds quite like it. It uses electric piano and bass, but the song structures are hypnotic and very long, so it's a bit like Kind of Blue in that there's plenty of space.

Re: Jazz

Posted: July 15th, 2020, 1:33 am
by brendand
if you want something completely different to normal Jazz checkout Painkiller

Re: Jazz

Posted: July 15th, 2020, 5:47 pm
by Voor
Do Pateron members get access to your sister site, The Jazz Critic?

Re: Jazz

Posted: July 16th, 2020, 6:31 am
by icepeople
Yikes. This is kind of my area since I’ve been a hardcore jazz fan (and wannabe player) since I was in college 35 years ago and spent a decade writing about the history/scene of it in countries throughout the world. I’ve also got a collection of tens of thousands of albums acquired as a fan/reviewer/traveler that includes pretty much every notable (and a lot of obscure) recordings out there. So I’ve been resisting the temptation to rant on at unbearable length. But here’s a few sort-of condensed thoughts that expand on your initial exposure (as with many) via “Kind of Blue.”

• Seek out live recordings. One of the things Miles said that most stuck with me was describing studio albums as a menu and live performances as the meal. Four-minute studio tracks allow a theme and some brief (and relatively restrained) soloing. Live allows players to fully express themselves both individually and in dialogue with others.

Sticking with Miles, try listening to something like “The Complete Concert 1964: My Funny Valentine plus Four and More” to experience how it expands on the works found in albums like “Kind of Blue.” If you ever get the point of actually wanting to experience how good players always try to strive for something different in each performance of a song, check out one of the endless boxed/bootleg collections like “The Complete Live at the Plugged Nickel 1965.” Basically you'll be hearing a week (or whatever) of gigs where there's a lot of songs played each night, but in different ways.

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• Totally agree with the previous poster who said you should check out the other on the album, especially Bill Evans who is generally considered the true master/heart of the album. Start with his masterpiece in everyone’s “top five jazz albums ever” – “Sunday at the Village Vanguard.” Beyond that, the article below offers capsule reviews of everything notable, most of which happened during his earlier years.

- ... batini.php

• Finally on Miles, he went through several stages: his best work by far during the 50s and 60s, his electric period from the late 60s into the 70s that is, um, an acquired taste, and his electric period during the 80s and early 90s after he returned from a years-long absence due to burnout and substance abuse. He was a shell of himself during the latter period, but added to his legend with 1) his modernized tone that remains widely sought/idolized and 2) a remarkable collection of sidemen who are legends in their own right. For instance, check out this track featuring saxophonist Kenny Garrett, who clearly was the dominant player on stage much of that era. His “solo” interplay with Miles (common on much of what was performed then) is basically just simple toying around a high schooler could replicate, but the saxman’s solo work during the last half of the song is mind blowing. If you check out a dozen other performances of the same piece during different concerts on YouTube you’ll hear him follow the same framework but with totally different soloing each time.


I could (and have) write an insane amount more (including the amazing evolution of stuff being done by modern-day players). But I’ll leave it there for now – either you’ll be interested or won’t – and if you/anyone wants more suggestions I’m more than obviously happy to provide them. 8-)

Re: Jazz

Posted: July 17th, 2020, 10:56 am
by Breaker
There have been some awesome suggestions in this thread! One group that I haven't seen mentioned is The Modern Jazz Quartet. I love to have their albums playing in the background of a meal or get-together with friends (remember those?), or if I'm sitting on the deck with a cigar and bourbon and relaxing. The perennial favorite album is The Complete Last Concert, but the self-titled titled album and Pyramid are great, too.

There's so much to explore that it's kind of mind-blowing.

Re: Jazz

Posted: July 17th, 2020, 12:37 pm
by goldenband
Breaker wrote:One group that I haven't seen mentioned is The Modern Jazz Quartet. I love to have their albums playing in the background of a meal or get-together with friends (remember those?), or if I'm sitting on the deck with a cigar and bourbon and relaxing.

That's a great suggestion -- all the more so because I think a lot of people's response to Kind of Blue has to do with a certain vibe it gives off: cool, a bit detached, somehow timeless, restrained yet obviously virtuosic. It's one of those rare jazz albums that can occupy a background role or a foreground role equally well, a bit like Brian Eno's comment about his music's capacity "to reward attention, but not so strict as to demand it".

Some of my favorite jazz records involve much more explosive/dynamic performances, and those frequently don't lend themselves to playing in the background (though it depends on how they're mixed/mastered). But there's a range of records, styles, and/or groups that are perfect for background or foreground listening, and that aren't mere wallpaper.

The Modern Jazz Quartet is one; another is the Getz/Gilberto bossa nova album, or really a lot of records by Getz (e.g. Sweet Rain); a third is Chet Baker's work, including Chet Baker Sings but plenty of others apply too, including his late recordings (there's one I really like but it'll be impossible to find on vinyl since I think it was only released overseas, so I won't bother specifying it). Brubeck has also been mentioned and tends to fit this bill, especially anything with Paul Desmond whose alto sound is about as "cool" as it gets.

In general the "cool jazz" movement is a good fit for this but I don't necessarily think every record will be to the Critic's taste. For instance, Birth of the Cool is a well-regarded LP but I've always found it a bit bland.

Re: Jazz

Posted: July 17th, 2020, 1:29 pm
by Breaker
goldenband wrote:another is the Getz/Gilberto bossa nova album

I love this album.

Re: Jazz

Posted: July 23rd, 2020, 12:56 pm
by VideoGameCritic
Well I got Sunday at the Village Vanguard (Bill Evans) and it's a winner so thanks to all who recommended it!

What strikes me is how it was recorded live in June 1961 in New York, yet it sounds like they are playing about 10 feet in front of me right now.