Saxophone Forum


by mega band geek
(60 posts)
10 years ago

What cd's should I get?

I'm beginning to work on my improv for the first time and have told to buy some jazz cds to get some ideas for when I play. What would be the best cds for a beginning jazz player?

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  1. by Spike
    (248 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: What cd's should I get?

    All of them. But start with Kind of Blue, Saxophone Collossus, and Mingus Ah Um. Buy them used. After that, go to the library every week and get a new cd to listen to.

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  2. by peter090
    (155 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: What cd's should I get?

    Get something you like so much you wear it out listening to it. Your taste will probably change as your concept develops but start out by trying to figure out how to play the music you like best. Improvising is hard work and if you are going to be any good it has to be a labor of love.

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  3. by sax_maniac
    (984 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: What cd's should I get?

    I'm new to improv myself, and have found the Hal Leonard Play Along series to be awesome and affordable ($15 at the music store - $10-$15 at Amazon). What's great is that the sheet music is supplied for Eb, Bb, C, and Bass Clef C with about 10 songs per book. Very versatile. Do an Amazon.com search under "jazz play along" in their book section. For starters, get Jazz Ballads and/or Jazz Classics with Easy Changes. They will give you something to work on that is attainable without too much frustration. Yeah, there's Charlie Parker and Coltrane books, but most of that stuff goes into frantic key changes that puts beginning improvisationalists (like myself) into a musical flat spin. I've got a collection of about 13 of the books now and love all of them even if I can't quite grasp all of the songs. The accompaniment (actual recordings - not MIDI synthesized garbage) is of such high quality that I even listen to them in my car. Sort of practice in my head, get a feel for things. Then I can get out the horn once I'm home after it's soaked in a bit. I've heard mention of the Aebersold books. Looked at them some at the store but never bought one as I'm so impressed with the Hal Leonard books. Maybe they're the same concept. My guess is the Aebersold books came out first - the original.

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    1. by sax_maniac
      (984 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: What cd's should I get?

      I know you asked specifically about CD's, so I apologize for my lengthy tangent. I recommend Michael Brecker or Joshua Redman on tenor. On alto, there's David Sanborn, Cannonball Adderly. It's only a couple musicians I mention, and there's many others of course. Go to BMG Music on the internet and listen to clips of songs on various jazz CD's. Columbia House probably does the same thing. Your local library probably has a section of CD's that can be borrowed as well. I've burned - er - I mean listened to LOTS of stuff from the library.

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  4. by nlyons@oberlin.edu
    (18 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: What cd's should I get?

    It sounds like you want albums, not play-along records. Get some Lester Young (I suggest anything with Count Basie, or anything on Verve Records for a start). You could also check out Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. Try to learn to play some of the songs on the records, that will surely get you off to a good start improvising.

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    1. by golferguy675
      (600 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: What cd's should I get?

      Ok, I'll just rattle off some saxophonists... Alto- Charlie Parker, Cannonball Adderly, Sonny Stitt, Art Pepper, Johnny Hodges, Benny Carter, Phil Woods, Paul Desmond, Dick Oatts, Lee Konitz, Eric Dolphy, Bud Shank, Gigi Kryce, Jackie McClean, Charlie Mariano, Herb Geller, Gene Walker. Tenor- Sonny Stitt, Sonny Rollins, Lenny Picket, Joshua Redmon, John Coltrane, David Liebman, Jeff Coffin, Lester Young, Joe Henderson, Wayne Shorter, Stan Getz, Chris Potter Some non sax players- Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Manyard Furgeson, Oscar Peterson, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, JJ Johnson, Wycliffe Gordon, Chet Baker, Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller off the top of my head...

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      1. by nlyons@oberlin.edu
        (18 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: What cd's should I get?

        all great players, golferguy, but I was trying not to be totally overwhelming to someone just getting into the music. There is a lot of wonderful music to hear out there: I just wanted to suggest something simple and representative of the spirit and roots of modern jazz.

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        1. by golferguy675
          (600 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: What cd's should I get?

          Right, so why limit his horizons to just a few players??? Im saying that having a bigger list of names would enable a beginner to have a good variety of people to check out, I'm not saying go buy all of these people's CDs. Also, you could just check these guys out online for free. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I never said what you suggested was wrong.

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      2. by saxophoneplayingistight
        (13 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: What cd's should I get?

        you know man to start out u should really get kind of blue miles davis. That album isjust incredible with john coltrane a cannonball manthats the first thing u should get. Also Artblakey and the jazz messengers with freddie hubbard and wayne shorter is another great choice.There are alot of stan getz albums out there and he is a great example in his bossa nova settings of less the better. He plays the same idea of things as miles davis when improvising. He is very chill and all of his ideas never ramble they always have some kind of melodic goal. He is definetly one of my favorite. Also SONNY ROLLINS. sonny ropllins is incredible he can play solos for really long periods of time and it never gets old. So i think those would be great places to start.Have fun and good luck

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        1. by golferguy675
          (600 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: What cd's should I get?

          Yeah, Kinda Blue's really famous. Also, Blue Trane by John Coltrane. Sonny Rollins was mentioned. My two favorite albums with him are Saxophone Collosus, and Sonny Side up. Saxophone Collosus has Blue 7, which it great, and Sonny Side up has got Sonny Rollins, Sonny Stitt, and Dizzy Gillespie, great CD.

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          1. by saxyfire
            (9 posts)

            10 years ago

            Re: What cd's should I get?

            First get all the greats: CHARLIE PARKER, John coltrane, Cannonball Adderly.....You know what you should get? The list of Historically significant recordings. They have it in all of Aebersold's books. Get how to inprov. and play Jazz volume one. There's a lot of CD's on there but just start out small and slowly and than get bigger. Listening is the most important part of Jazz; I think it' s great you want to get some listening material first. I think one of the most important Cd's to get is Charlie Parker with the strings. Parker is the king of Bebop and that would definaly be the first Cd i get. However in the beging it is good to have a collection of many types of Jazz to decide what direction you want to head in. Remeber tho Blues is definately where you should start.

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