Friday, January 02, 2009

Start The New Year With A Jazz Starter Kit

A couple of weeks ago, my brother in Seattle called and asked if I could recommend a few jazz CDs for his 20-year-old son who had expressed an interest. A starter kit, if you will.

I’ve had like requests many, many times over the years, and so it dawned on me: Why not publish one?
Here’s a 10-CD jazz primer designed to lure those curious about the genre into being, if not hooked, at least satisfied enough to continue a jazz quest. Being a jazzbo like me can be lonely these days, so the more folks I can recruit the better.

Before we get started, a few words about criteria. I didn’t attempt to cover all the bases in jazz history. The idea here is seduction through listenability, while offering a solid overview. I may love 1930s Duke Ellington, but to the uninitiated it tends to sound like music from old cartoons. Likewise, I dig Albert Ayler, but most people would hear it as squawky noise and want to plug their ears.

That said, this is no dumbed-down list. Most of the titles are recognized classics, and a few will pose a challenge, especially for those who like their music sensible and orderly.

There are many overlapping players on these discs, but I purposely limited artists to one title. See the list by Eric Snider at Creative Loafing Tampa Calling

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