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Thread: I really hate jazz

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    Default I really hate jazz

    For a long time, I've regretted my lack of jazz knowledge. But here's the problem: jazz doesn't do anything for me. I can somehow relate with almost any other popular music genre. I really love some jazz versions of Gershwin songs, but that's it. Jazz carries for me the technical finesse of classical music, minus the wow-factor. It doesn't take much more than Schumann or Mahler to move me. At other times, I find that Carter/Babbitt/Boulez can satisfy all my extasies in terms of adrenaline. (Sorry, Cecil Taylor.) But I really believe jazz has a lot to give me, especially in playing some instruments. (I play guitar and some piano.)

    Suggest your music picks, which can whet my appreciation for jazz. Note: No drowsy, relaxing music, pls.
    Last edited by Gargamel; May-05-2021 at 20:23.

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    Senior Member Skakner's Avatar
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    Jazz has so many subgenres. Some of them could cover your acoustic needs. If not, why don't you let it go? It's not obligatory that someone should like all the music genres!
    We can make suggestions but these just reflect our preferences. We don't know what your ears want!

    Anyway, some subgenres and some names from me.

    Bebop, hard-bop, post-bop, free jazz.

    Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis (not his electric period), John Coltrane, Keith Jarrett, Brad Mehldau, Dexter Gordon, Bobo Stenson, Irene Schweizer, Paul Bley, Sonny Rollins, Uri Caine.

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    I have never taken to jazz. Some of it is very good, but I just have other music that occupies me ahead of jazz. One I liked was Tom Scott and the LA Express back in the 70/80s. Actually had half a dozen LPs back then.
    Last edited by SixFootScowl; May-06-2021 at 00:13.
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    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gargamel View Post
    I really love some jazz versions of Gershwin songs, but that's it.
    Try Herbie Hancock's album, Gershwin's World. It's a very diverse collection of imaginative performances and arrangements. You may not like it all but there should be something there to catch your ear. Maybe the haunting piece sung by Kathleen Battle because it's sort of jazz but something else?

    Last edited by starthrower; May-06-2021 at 00:30.
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    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    ...or maybe something with a bit of funk and rock?



    ...or something more sophisticated and complex?

    "The United States was founded by the brightest people in the country — and we haven't seen them since." - Gore Vidal

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    Senior Member SONNET CLV's Avatar
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    I really hate jazz

    Quote Originally Posted by Gargamel View Post
    For a long time, I've regretted my lack of jazz knowledge. But here's the problem: jazz doesn't do anything for me. ...

    Suggest your music picks, which can whet my appreciation for jazz. Note: No drowsy, relaxing music, pls.

    Ok. One needn't like all genres of music. I'm no fan of "rap" music, so I can sort of understand someone's disliking of jazz. Sort of. I remain an avid jazz fan, and much of my disc collection is jazz, second only in bulk to classical.

    Classical, of course, extends way back centuries, so there's a lot of music there to cover. Consider that jazz begins only in the 20th century and the hey-day of bebop, which is where my interest in jazz generally begins, flourishes beginning in the 1940s. This era gave us the second great wave of jazz musicians (if the pre-bebop era gave us the first wave): Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Lester Young, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis ...), so many of which today are legendary. Yet, even with such a short history, jazz has produced a great amount of music in a variety of styles. There's likely something there for everybody, if one explores a bit. I most prefer jazz of the mid-1950s through the 1970s. And the style often called "free jazz" interests me greatly.

    For a guitar player there is much to choose from for quality. Joe Pass alone can keep my ears and mind occupied; he remains one of the best of the jazz guitarists. I'm also fond of Kenny Burrell, Jim Hall, Earl Klugh, Charlie Byrd, Herb Ellis and Barney Kessel. Lately, if I were to recommend one jazz guitar album, I have been suggesting folks, especially those interested in guitar, check out Gene Bertoncini on his album titled Jobim - Someone To Light Up My Life.

    AA-AAa1.jpg

    If that album doesn't touch your heart and soul, you probably don't like jazz. But I think of the style rather as "good music" than specifically jazz. Bertoncini's got strong classical chops which transfer well to jazz.

    If I were to recommend a single jazz album to folks who want to hear what jazz is, I would select what is possibly my favorite and most listened to disc in my collection of some 10,000 or so records and CDs.

    AA-AAa2.jpg

    I will never claim that this is the "greatest" jazz album of all time. I'm not convinced of that. It's simply my favorite record, and has been now for some years, likely since I first heard it. I'm not even a big David Benoit fan, as things go (based on the other albums of his I have heard). But this album, Letter to Evan, hasn't a single weak track. Each piece is a gem. And for as good as the piano of Benoit is, the guitarists, Peter Sprague and Larry Carlton, are superb.

    If you don't like this album, you likely don't like jazz. I'll go a step further: you likely don't like music.

    One of my favorite jazz pieces has to be included in any jazz music recommendation I give. That piece is titled "Canyon Lady" and is written by and performed by Joe Henderson on his album titled Canyon Lady.

    AA-AAa3.jpg

    Though the other pieces on the album are superb examples of post-bop jazz in Henderson's competent and inimitable style, "Canyon Lady" strikes a chord with me that makes the piece inescapable in my long-term memory. I recall the first time I heard the work, on a radio broadcast, and I've heard it hundreds of times since, having purchased the vinyl disc (and later the CD) after hearing it on that radio transmission. It's an absolutely mesmerizing work. Like the above Benoit album, I keep a copy handy next to my stereo system. The disc is never actually shelved I play it so often. Unlike the Benoit album however, I once told my wife that I don't think I could die while "Canyon Lady" was playing, the music has such a hold on me, and I suggested that if there was ever a need in such an emergency, she could attempt to sustain me by putting that song on my stereo system, looping the track on repeat mode. I don't know if this would work to keep me breathing and my heart pumping, but I fantasize that it would, the piece is such a splendor.

    If you can't like "Canyon Lady", you likely can't like jazz.

    The sub-genre of Latin jazz remains a great favorite of mine, and many of the discs in my jazz collection feature Latin rhythms and compositions by Latin masters. One of my favorite Latin flavored albums is headlined by harmonica virtuoso Toots Thielemans, Belgian born but Latin at heart. The disc is titled The Brasil Project, and it's a gem.

    AA-AAa4.jpg

    I originally had this album on a cassette and played it often in the old Jeep. For as good as each selection is, it's the finale of the album, Thielemans's composition "Bluesette", a 9+ minute arrangement featuring the entire ensemble of players who appear as soloists individually on the other tracks taking on the harmonica genius's masterpiece, that captures the accolades of full praise. A splendid culmination to a splendid Latin jazz disc.

    If you don't like this arrangement of "Bluesette" you probably won't like jazz, let alone Latin jazz.

    So, those are a few suggestions to assist your entry into the fascinating world of jazz music. There remains so much more, and my recommendations will likely change daily, if not hourly. In any case, jazz is worth exploring; there is a lot of quality there, and some of the best musicianship in the world.

    Finally, I must add that I have long collected two specific jazz albums, both classics. I have multiple copies of these discs, in various formats and pressings, mono and stereo, on tape, vinyl, silver disc, SACD. One is Getz / Gilberto, the Stan Getz classic that features "The Girl From Ipanema" as first sung by Joao and Astrud Gilberto. The other is Miles Davis's Kind of Blue. Though it is a purely subjective and open to debate concern, I side with those who consider Kind of Blue the greatest jazz album of all time. For my money it is, and I wouldn't want to be without its unique sound presentation in my personal sound world. I just recently ordered an upcoming reissue of the album on a high-quality, 200 gram vinyl limited edition release. I already own several fine sounding copies of the disc but have hopes that this newest release will top them all for sound quality.

    AA-AAa5.jpg

    These two discs are well worth exploring, along with the others. If you can't find something to like on Getz/Gilberto or Kind of Blue, you probably won't find anything to like in jazz. At which point I feel deeply sorry for you.

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    Senior Member pianozach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skakner View Post
    Jazz has so many subgenres. Some of them could cover your acoustic needs. If not, why don't you let it go? It's not obligatory that someone should like all the music genres!
    We can make suggestions but these just reflect our preferences. We don't know what your ears want!

    Anyway, some subgenres and some names from me.

    Bebop, hard-bop, post-bop, free jazz.

    Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis (not his electric period), John Coltrane, Keith Jarrett, Brad Mehldau, Dexter Gordon, Bobo Stenson, Irene Schweizer, Paul Bley, Sonny Rollins, Uri Caine.
    Right you are! So many subgenres of jazz.

    I like Dixieland and Big Band the most.

    Artie Shaw, Duke Ellington. Louis Prima. There's some Latin subsubgenres and some 'hot' and melty female jazz vocalists. Herb Alpert. Jean-Luc Ponty. I dig very early Bing Crosby, back when he was doing that caucasian guy scatting. Love the Andrews Sisters.

    A fan of Jazz Rock fusion. Sting did some. Oh, Steely Dan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gargamel View Post
    Suggest your music picks, which can whet my appreciation for jazz. Note: No drowsy, relaxing music, pls.
    Hang around the hole. I get ideas that lead to purchases all the time from there.

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    Senior Member Skakner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SONNET CLV View Post
    If you can't find something to like on Getz/Gilberto or Kind of Blue, you probably won't find anything to like in jazz. At which point I feel deeply sorry for you.
    I don't think you should feel sorry for him.
    You (we) should be sorry for him if he was missing something he likes a lot.
    Personally, I don't like death metal but I am sure there would be death metal fans that they could feel sorry for me because I can't "see" the greatness of their beloved music.
    If Gargamel can't find something interesting in jazz, he will find it in some other genre.

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    Senior Member Amadea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gargamel View Post
    jazz doesn't do anything for me.
    I'm no expert, but usually when someone tells me: "I hate [insert genre]" I ask: "what type of [insert genre]?". As someone has already pointed out, genres have subgenres. Take rock as example, there's blues rock, hard rock, pop rock, psychedelic rock, alternative rock, punk, noise-rock etc. etc. So many different subgenres! Even in classic music we have fugues, sonatas, quartets, symphonies, opera etc. not to mention the different styles and eras. With jazz is the same. The first question you should ask yourself is: Why don't I like jazz? You asked "no drowsy relaxing stuff", so I guess that's your problem with jazz. My guess is that you're problably listening to the wrong type of jazz. Since you like classical, you could try listening to pieces which blend jazz and classical:

    - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaKdPgkTZ7M

    For jazz only, I think bebop might be for you, it's characterized by fast tempo:

    - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rP_mWAnfxXE
    - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eeM0JMgj358

    You also mentioned you played guitar. Have you tried jazz-rock?

    - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50fB5L1vmn8

    Even some free jazz, it's pretty wild (it's improvisational) but who knows you might like it.

    - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bRTFr0ytA8

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_jazz_genres

    My first real introduction to jazz was A Love Supreme by John Coltrane, I doubt you'll like it, but this is my favorite part:
    - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yn2XfuvV0rk

    Jazz has a very different expression of feeling from classical. Sometimes, you just need that something that makes you "click". Maybe looking at the history and biographies might help.
    Last edited by Amadea; May-06-2021 at 10:52.

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    Senior Member Dan Ante's Avatar
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    Gargamel. Jazz is much like variations on a theme in classical music but is or should be improvised, it is also played with a strong rhythmic beat 90 % of the time. There are so many different kinds of jazz as there is in classical so I suggest that you go to YT and search for: Django Reinhardt, Dave Brubeck, Stan Kenton, Earl Hines, George Shearing, Bunk Johnson as a start.
    You may find something that grab you if not what is it that you hate?
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    Rhapsody in Blue is Classical Jazz Fusion genre-wise. And certainly not sleepy.

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    If this doesn't do anything for you, I'm not sure anything will.
    Last edited by Torkelburger; May-06-2021 at 17:14.

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    Senior Member Barbebleu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pianozach View Post
    Rhapsody in Blue is Classical Jazz Fusion genre-wise. And certainly not sleepy.
    I’m afraid I have to disagree with you here. Certainly classical but not jazz by any stretch. If the OP is looking for jazz this would not be the place to look.
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    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torkelburger View Post


    If this doesn't do anything for you, I'm not sure anything will.
    Earlier period, I know, but Armstrong's Hot Five and Seven recordings are "classical" jazz. Duke Ellington's Blanton-Webster band, also great stuff. Miles's first quintet. Basie Decca sides with Lester. Monk's quartets with Coltrane AND Charlie Rouse. Mingus's '60s sessions. Ornette's Atlantic quartet recordings.

    This is the jazz I listen to again and again.
    Last edited by SanAntone; May-06-2021 at 18:56.

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