Saxophone Forum

by SheldonMenez
(2 posts)
5 years ago

New to Jazz- I want to learn how to understand it

So I've listened to some of the classic jazz albums from various artists(Mingus, Coltrane, etc...) and I really enjoy them! I just really enjoy the style. The reason I'm posting is because I don't really understand the musical composition behind them. I'm not a very musical person in nature and I only listen to a few artists because I didn't grow up listening to music that much. I tried out the jazz genre and it clicked for me unlike other genres. I just want to know of resources where I can learn the basics of jazz and music in general. I just discovered what music I like and I want to explore it; I just don't really know how. What do you all recommend?


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  1. by historicsaxwhisperer
    (644 posts)

    5 years ago

    Re: New to Jazz- I want to learn how to understand it

    That is a very broad and very long request.....

    Take it from someone who hears things differently than most.

    You need to research the story of the Jazz era and decide what you want to listen too.

    Todays world is lost and does not understand, or care,  how we got to where we are today

    musically.  It has always been the same story. From Scott Joplin to Dr Dre.

    It is all about self expression.

    So, what SELF do you want to listen to


    Watch the Ken Burns Series on Jazz.

    Watch the 1988 film Bird produced by Clint Eastwood.

    It has always been the same story. Musicians expressing themselves. Musicians dying much youner than they should due to drug, alcohol, and most notably to me SOCIAL ABUSE, due to race and class.


    I know your question is simply, how do you find what you enjoy? It is more what timeframe do you relate to:

    Ragtime of 1910s        Scott Joplin

    Fox Trot of 1930s       Hot Lips Paige, Fletcher Henerson Chu Berry Illinois Jacquet. Listen to a tune called Mutton Leg by Count Basie

    Swing of the 1940s  Ellington, Basie, Woody Herman and the thundering herd

    BeeBop of the 1950s Charlie Parker, Dizzie Gillespie, Monk

    Cool Jazz of the 1960s  Miles Davis, Coletrane,

    Avante Garde/Hard Bop of the 70s Lew Tabackin Phill Woods

    Rediscovering the Heritage of the 1980s Wynton and Branfrod Marsalis And all that encompasses them

    DEATH of Jazz due to Kenny G and the smooth jazz push of the 1990s.

    Kenny G, Candi Dolfer,

    There are no jazz channels on the radio anymore.

    So I plug my cell phone into the radio input button, turn on you tube, Pick a jazz tune and let the sounds randomly come across. Thats the best advice this 56 year old jazz player has for the novice.

    Hopefully this will spark others to say something. If not, my point is made.

    RIP self expression.

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