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Author Topic: Any Jazz aficionado's here?  (Read 1861 times)
Jay
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« on: March 17, 2018, 11:15:16 PM »

I have recently become interested in older jazz music, particularly Charlie Parker. To be honest, I'm a complete novice when it comes to jazz. I just know that I'm really intrigued by Charlie Parker's 1946 session for the Dial label. For those who don't know, Charlie apparently was going through severe withdrawals from heroin at the time, and compensated by drinking heavily. He supposedly had to be held up in order to record the songs. On this session Charlie recorded the songs "Max Is Making Wax", "Lover Man", "The Gypsy", and "Bebop". I find this session endlessly fascinating. I consider "Lover Man" to be one of the greatest recordings I've ever heard. But for some reason jazz enthusiasts point to this as Charlie Parker's lowest point and his worst playing. All I know is that I want more! I'd like to investigate his catalogue in further detail, but I have no idea where to start. I'm wondering if anybody here could maybe point out some particular cd's to look out for, or youtube videos to check out. I'd also like to seek out other jazz musician's like Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane, etc.   
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« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2018, 02:46:20 AM »

Sounds like a good start, Jay. I can't pretend to have been bitten by the jazz bug but I do like much of what I hear. The captain is far better informed in that area.

Part of the problem is I don't understand how jazz works. I was told it's built up in thirds but that was down the pub, where they say lots of things.

Of the stuff I know and like, this is my absolute favourite. I bought Coltrane's Live at Birdland album on the strength of hearing "Afro Blue" on French radio in '65:    

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIH3fNUsbnA

Here are a couple more Smiley jazz topics that may help you:

http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,1050.0.html

http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,10805
« Last Edit: March 18, 2018, 02:50:20 AM by JK » Logged

the captain
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« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2018, 07:39:17 AM »

If you can spare a minute, I'd recommend you take a look through the first of the two smiley threads jk linked to. (It's not very long, maybe two pages.) That has most of my initial recommendations and thoughts. I'd be more than happy to expand on or launch from anything if or as you have any questions.
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« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2018, 07:41:53 PM »

Don't forget Dave Brubeck:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmDDOFXSgAs
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« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2018, 01:29:07 AM »

I've been primarily listening to jazz in the last year or so.... and even then I'm still scratching the surface  LOL

I'll give two recommendations, from two different eras of jazz:

Benny Goodman
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cq8ZGnfUN4

Miles Davis
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHk9Cgqa3yI

From these, I'll let you branch out and see where it all takes you
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« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2018, 09:16:44 PM »

My dad had the "Time Out" album on cd. I think it kind of started my fascination with jazz a bit. I'm also interested in jazz drumming.
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« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2018, 07:21:06 AM »

The great, if pretentious, pianist Cecil Taylor died (age 89). Brilliant player.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Htg810iqYLY
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« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2018, 08:00:33 AM »

I've read that in the 1950s and part of the '60s, the real surfing music was West Coast jazz, specifically Bud Shank. Any recommendations there?
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« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2018, 08:28:29 AM »

I can't speak to what was "real" surfing music, as I never knew or cared about surfing or the authenticity of its music. But I'd guess anyone who said that was talking at least in part about this album:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cg9L087bM2s&list=PLka9LyFbXm0gzf2Y2W_py2D8LafoQUXK8

https://www.allmusic.com/album/slippery-when-wet-original-motion-picture-soundtrack-mw0000902074
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« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2018, 08:59:02 AM »

If you're interested in  Jazz history I highly recommend Ken Burn's Jazz series for  PBS.
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« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2018, 09:19:39 AM »

I've read that in the 1950s and part of the '60s, the real surfing music was West Coast jazz, specifically Bud Shank. Any recommendations there?

I wouldn't use the word specifically in this case, because "West Coast Jazz" as a term had quite a few proponents of that style, or the sounds that got grouped into that label. I like the term "Cool Jazz" but if someone asks me what kind of jazz I like I'll say "West Coast" or Cool.

Start with Miles Davis' Birth Of The Cool. Even though it was primarily a "New York" album, some of the sounds and feels and players too ended up defining West Coast jazz a few years later when they moved to...the West Coast! Keep in mind too that there was no album of these sessions originally, they were scattered singles from a group of sessions Davis held with his nonet and other incarnations of those groups which Capitol wisely bundled together and in a stroke of marketing genius, called it "Birth Of The Cool", hence cool jazz.

Some of the big names and players who defined the West Coast sound:

Gerry Mulligan
Chet Baker
Art Pepper
Shorty Rogers
Shelly Manne
Stan Kenton
Dave Brubeck - Paul Desmond
June Christy
Bobby Troup
Julie London
Anita O'Day
Barney Kessel

And, my favorite...Henry Mancini, specifically his soundtrack albums "The Music from Peter Gunn" and "More Music From Peter Gunn".

Now those Gunn albums came out in 58-59 when the Peter Gunn TV series was on TV, but Mancini's compositions and arrangements nailed the West Coast sound, and featured many big name players like Kessel, Bob Bain, Vic Feldman, Conte Candoli, and others who were all over the jazz scene of the mid to late 50's.

Watch old episodes of Peter Gunn - The house band at the jazz club "Mother's" on the show featured some of the top players in LA, some who would appear later on Beach Boys records and other familiar pop recordings in various roles. In early episodes you can see for example Tommy Tedesco miming along to Bob Bain's guitar parts while Shorty Rogers blows a mean fluegelhorn solo over "How High The Moon" with Lola Albright on vocals...and this kind of scene usually happened before some goons came to work over Peter Gunn, or some hapless guy tried to call Gunn at Mother's for his help before the local mobster boss had him rubbed out. You get the picture.

But the music was fantastic. And it was the first time jazz had been incorporated into a weekly TV soundtrack or score, and it happened to be West Coast jazz played by some of the best players in LA, so it caught on pretty big.

Interesting once you dig in that you'll see some of the same names of 50's West Coast jazz start popping up on rock/pop sessions, on TV bands like Carson's with Doc Severinson's big band after he moved the show to LA, and in several incarnations of "The Wrecking Crew", etc.  Good, steady Union Scale work.


Back to the original points: Jazz, Be-Bop, West Coast, Cool...whatever the label...yes, a lot of this music was indeed what various surfers, beatniks, etc were digging in the 50's. Watch any movie featuring beatniks, surfers, juvenile delinquents, etc...a lot of the soundtrack is jazz. "Blackboard Jungle" is a PRIME example. Bill Haley's Rock Around the Clock was only tagged onto the title credits...the actual music that the juvenile delinquent kids are rampaging to is be-bop and hard jazz throughout the film. Watch "The Many Loves Of Dobie Gillis" and the beatnik Maynard G Krebs is always grooving to jazz. Not rock and roll. Watch 77 Sunset Strip - It's a ton of references to jazz, bop, and the beatnik lingo mostly spoken by "Kookie" on the show.

The list goes on and on.

Simple explanation, almost to basic but fitting:

The music was made in Hollywood. The musicians were living in and around LA. The TV shows and movies were for the most part being made in Hollywood. The jazz and bop clubs and cafes which the beach beatniks were attending were dotting the Southern California coast.

And a lot of the surfers in California in those same regions were digging jazz and bebop and cool and West Coast and whatever other labels can be applied.

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« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2018, 09:37:56 AM »

Just another interesting comparison and related topic to check out: The cover art on those 50's West Coast albums (and jazz albums in general) is amazing. Both the photography and graphic design down to the lettering and fonts were perfect for the music and have garnered a cult following which led to having coffee-table sized book collections of the best examples of this cover art. But in this one case, check out the cover of a Chet Baker album from 1957 and compare it to a later cover which we are all very familiar with...and notice a lot of this stuff didn't happen in a vacuum or appear out of nowhere:



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"Every single person who criticized Brian for having She & Him, Kacey Musgraves, Sebu and Nate Ruess guesting on his solo album can now officially go heartily f*** themselves." - Wirestone
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« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2018, 10:22:43 AM »

Just a few more to check out:

This is the Peter Gunn TV show clip I described earlier, Lola Albright singing How High The Moon backed by Henry Mancini's studio band full of West Coast jazz players featuring Shorty Rogers on fleugelhorn, and Tommy Tedesco miming to the guitar part originally played by Bob Bain (who did the majority of Mancini's Peter Gunn sessions). Most of these clips were mimed to the studio recording and often players like Tommy would be booked as actors to mime these scenes where other musicians actually played them. But in this one, apart from Tommy, you can see the actual musicians who did the original sessions with Mancini.

This is a prime example of West Coast jazz that went mainstream, it's the laid-back feel of the swing as well as the way the players soloed over the chord changes, incorporating be-bop lines while staying more linear and playing with a more relaxed tone and feel. Just listen to Shorty's solo and Lola's lead vocal, that's what characterized the West Coast sound as heard in those parts. Very chilled out yet not "straight ahead" in what they're playing. Very interesting blend.

How High The Moon from season 1 of Peter Gunn:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XhjXMlY3dU

To play more 6 Degrees Of Separation with the Beach Boys...

Shorty Rogers in the 60's took on a lot of work as an arranger. Among his biggest hits was "Daydream Believer" b/w "Goin Down" by the Monkees. A smash hit record...not the only time Shorty would write for The Monkees, as he did other Monkees arrangements featuring a larger band sound, and also worked with Mike Nesmith on his solo "Wichita Train Whistle..." project. There is a photo of Shorty and a bearded Mike Nesmith in the studio during the early '67 Headquarters sessions working on a track.

The interesting point to note is how Shorty nicked Brian Wilson's musical phrase that leads into the chorus of "Help Me Rhonda", and used the exact same phrase to lead into the chorus of "Daydream Believer".

Give both songs a listen and check out what happens just as the songs build into their respective choruses...  Smiley

And there is another direct connection between a giant of West Coast jazz and Brian Wilson/Beach Boys a lot of listeners may not have noticed.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2018, 10:23:53 AM by guitarfool2002 » Logged

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"Every single person who criticized Brian for having She & Him, Kacey Musgraves, Sebu and Nate Ruess guesting on his solo album can now officially go heartily f*** themselves." - Wirestone
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« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2018, 11:25:20 AM »

Well, I'm happy I asked the question. Thank you for all the great suggestions to check out. I've listened to a little jazz here and there, but I've always felt like I'm on the outside looking in. I like jazz, but I don't anything about it.
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« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2018, 01:44:09 PM »

Thank you, Guitarfool, for opening my eyes to all of this. Just listened to "Help Me Rhonda" and "Daydream Believer" and you are so right! I'm also amazed at album covers.
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« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2018, 04:31:15 PM »

Another West Coast Jazz musician was Vince Guaraldi, best known for his work with the Peanuts specials.
A favorite of mine is his Cast Your Fate to the Wind, played a lot in the early/mid 60s, and became an Easy Listening hit with the British ensemble Sounds Orchestral in 1965.
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« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2018, 04:02:31 AM »

I was just actually talking with Billy about Vince Guaraldi not to long ago. I found a video on youtube of him with a guitar player by the same of Bola Sete that I quite enjoyed. I had never heard of either when Billy brought up Vince Guaraldi as a big influence.
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« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2018, 05:21:39 AM »

Another West Coast Jazz musician was Vince Guaraldi, best known for his work with the Peanuts specials.
A favorite of mine is his Cast Your Fate to the Wind, played a lot in the early/mid 60s, and became an Easy Listening hit with the British ensemble Sounds Orchestral in 1965.

I also like Vince's version of "CYFTTW", not least because I heard it first. And he's a wonderful pianist...   

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADPgTmca6Zs
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« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2018, 06:37:54 PM »

I've been a big big jazz fan for about 18 years now. As with so many, I started with Mike's Davis' Kind of Blue.

The tenor saxophone is my favorite jazz instrument and John Coltrane and Lester Young are my favorite players. Coltrane's My Favorite Things is one of my top 5 favorite jazz albums. It's beautiful.

From My Favorite Things, here's my favorite track, with Trane playing soprano sax:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=B8cjojmC8sE

I think my favorite Pres (Billie Holiday's nickname for Lester) album is Pres & Teddy, with the Teddy Wilson Quartet.
Teddy is one of the best jazz pianists, but my favorite is Bill Evans, who, like Coltrane, I first heard on Kind of Blue. He has this lyrical, gorgeous and sensitive touch on the keys. Nobody like him. His trio albums Everybody Digs Bill Evans, Portrait in Jazz, Explotations, Sunday at the Village Vanguard, Waltz For Debby, Moon Beams, among others, are all outstanding.

Here's some Bill:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xiRRfKoNl50
« Last Edit: April 12, 2018, 06:40:39 PM by Summer_Days » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2018, 04:41:03 AM »

I don't have much to contribute...just a reminder that we all should play this a few times a year...
every year for life:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfGZB78R7uw

when Louis explodes after that little banjo vamp...he sort of defines a best psychology for
a couple of centuries of America.



 
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« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2018, 08:39:19 AM »

Indeed, Louis Armstrong is to jazz as Elvis or The Beatles are to rock and roll. He may well be the most influential musician of the last 100 years, no hyperbole. Every jazz musician or singer that followed in his massive wake was influenced by him... EVERYBODY. He was the guy that was turned jazz into a soloist's art. There have been only a few all out geniuses in music since Mozart, Beethoven, etc. Brian Wilson is one. Louis Armstrong is another.
His 1920s Hot Five and Hot Seven records are the Magna Carta of American music. Or maybe the Dead Sea scrolls. Something like that. He and Duke Ellington are the first important, nay, essential figures in jazz.

Louis' 1928 record 'West End Blues' has always astounded me ever since I first heard it in Ken Burns Jazz documentary. Perhaps the greatest pre-swing era jazz recording.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4WPCBieSESI
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« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2018, 11:40:21 AM »

Yes! West End Blues is absolute perfection. In my top 5 all time favorite non classical songs.
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« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2018, 05:30:17 PM »

Yes! West End Blues is absolute perfection. In my top 5 all time favorite non classical songs.
What's the 4 others?
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« Reply #23 on: April 13, 2018, 06:15:58 PM »

My top five for a long time has included the following:

West End Blues- Louis Armstrong
How High the Moon - Les Paul/Mary Ford

The others change. As of today they are:

Crazy - Patsy Cline
Jump Jive and Wail - Louis Prima
All I Wanna Do - Beach Boys
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« Reply #24 on: April 14, 2018, 03:25:00 AM »

My top five for a long time has included the following:

West End Blues- Louis Armstrong
How High the Moon - Les Paul/Mary Ford

The others change. As of today they are:

Crazy - Patsy Cline
Jump Jive and Wail - Louis Prima
All I Wanna Do - Beach Boys

Nice idea, E. My jazz choice would be John Coltrane's "Afro Blue". "All I Wanna Do", "The Kingsmen's "Louie Louie" and The Flamingos' "I Only Have Eyes For You" will almost certainly always be in there. And this would be today's fifth choice. Chills-down-the-spinesville:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Lk-acekQGs
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