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tinyfaery's avatar

Can anyone recommend some good jazz?

Asked by tinyfaery (42378points) August 1st, 2008

The only genre of jazz that appeals to me is what I call “moody, French jazz”. You know, the music being played in smokey bars in movies depicting 1920s France. I don’t even know where to begin. Any recommendations?

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19 Answers

Lovelocke's avatar

There’s a lot of good jazz music out there in the world, but I have an interesting recommendation for you.

In Japan, there was this animated television series called “Cowboy Bebop”. It was a big fusion of a sci-fi western with film noir and jazz music. The jazz soundtrack was so well recieved in particular, that several albums were made based on music from Cowboy Bebop, as well as remixes of the original tracks themselves.

One TV Season = 10 Albums

TV show’s pretty wonderful too… if ever you get the chance.

Cowboy Bebop Theme Track: “Tank!”

Cowboy Bebop: “Rush”

Cowboy Bebop: “Spokey Dokey” (Blues Harmonica!)

Cowboy Bebop: “Piano Black”

Cowboy Bebop: “Jazz Pierrot Bebop”–0PU

If you like Jazz/Blues music, the Cowboy Bebop Soundtrack and all of it’s musical anthology’s very well worth it. Even the little “gems” are pretty nifty, I think.

Examples of the “Gems”:

“Doggy Dog”

“Cats on Mars”

“Black Coffee”

Hope this helps. I could help you track down the albums if you need… :)

Les's avatar

Good Lord, yes. First, start with Miles Davis. He is a master. If you like funky, more groovy stuff, try Medeski Martin and Wood, Herbie Hancock (Headhunters is awesome), or Weather Report. For good vocal jazz, I have been a big fan of a newbie Robin McKelle. There is also Madeline Peyroux who I was only briefly introduced to, but I never forgot her. Go to Amazon and listen to one of her song clips, but don’t look at her picture! Then google her and get a glimpse of what she looks like. I swear, I would never guess that that voice goes with that girl. She is amazing.

And there are many, many more, but these are my favorites.

poofandmook's avatar

Lovelocke: Do you prefer Bebop in Japanese or English?

Lovelocke's avatar

I watched Bebop in Japanese long before it came to the USA… but the English language version isn’t too bad. You get the same idea, anyway.

PupnTaco's avatar

Start with the essentials:
Miles Davis “Kind of Blue”
John Coltrane “My Favorite Things”
Dave Brubeck “Time Out”
Kenny Burrell “Midnight Blue”

Grab a Billie Holiday compilation

and a couple personal faves:
Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong “Ella and Louis”
Pat Metheny and Charlie Haden “Beyond the Missouri Sky”

Look up the classics from the late ‘50s/early ‘60s on Blue Note, Verve, Riverside, and Columbia.

And avoid anything labeled “smooth.”

poofandmook's avatar

@Lovelocke. I hate the English voices. Blech. But great music. Good suggestion. I walked into a Subway late one night before closing and the kid behind the counter was obviously playing one of his own CDs. The Bebop theme came on and I pointed it out and he proceeded to drool all over himself. Apparently, a girl who can recognize the Bebop theme song within the first 2 notes is a poor New-Jersey-Nerd’s dream.

Lovelocke's avatar

I actually met my first girlfriend in this way. I wore a Tenchi Muyo! shirt to an independent wrestling show, and she was dressed like one of the “Dudley Boys” (Tie dye, thick-frame glasses, etc). So, this cute little brown-haired girl comes up to me and says “Cool shirt dude”.

It wasn’t long before I got to pull the stiff one-eye on her.

Anime’s magical!

marinelife's avatar

One of my favorites is Charlie Parker. Here is his instrumental version of Summertime, which is a jazz standard.

One of my favorite pieces is from South American composer Antonio Carlos Jobim, a national hero. It is called The Waters of March. What I love is the poetry of the piece and the onomotopaeic nature of the music, which sounds so much like water rushing over a streambed.

My husband has loved Thelonius Monk since he was a child. Much of Monk is pretty dense. This piece, In Walked Bud is one that I really enjoyed as an intro to Monk.

I completely second the nomination of Miles Davis. Here is some lovely introspective early Miles.

I can think of so many others. Thanks for bringing this question up. I have had a delightful time listening to jazz this last little while.

My final comment is that there is so much to the genre to discover. If you don’t like something, keep going. Oh, and one more thing. Kenny G is not really jazz.

poofandmook's avatar

@Marina: Really? I thought he was jazz.

Lovelocke's avatar

Kenny G would probably be more “Adult Contemporary”, hmm? I heard Aerosmith put out an all-blues album, but I never heard a single track of it.

marinelife's avatar

@poof I’m a bit of a purist. He is categorized that way. I just don’t call that jazz, more like elevator music.

augustlan's avatar


stratman37's avatar

so many different types: dixieland is SO different from acid…
here’s a good starting point:
then go to your local library, who is most likely to provide a great sampling of all the different types

Amen to Miles Davis – THE master!

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

Thelonious Monk: Thelonious Assault

Monk is a must.

janbb's avatar

I’m not a jazz afficionado but Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five” is incredible. I think it might be on the “Time Out” album previously mentioned.

Is Django Reinhardt considered jazz? He and the Hot Club of Paris are great.

Also, I agree, anything labelled smooth is usually very moody and evocative and accessible.

stratman37's avatar

Cool thing about Brubeck’s “Time Out” is, as the name hints, that all the songs feature time signatures OTHER than 4/4. Take Five, for example, is in 5/4.

janbb's avatar

That is cool – I didn’t know that.

Megan64's avatar

Coltrane: A Love Supreme…great Sunday music

shadling21's avatar

How about Pink Martini? Contemporary but with a vintage sound…

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