Strictly Jazz - Suggestions and a discussion about the music.

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treitz3
treitz3 Posts: 18,658
Hello all and good morning to you. This thread is dedicated to all those Jazz lovers out there. It is meant to highlight the musicianship, the music itself and the things that interest those who enjoy it.

I have been in private discussions over the years with a handful of folks that simply have way to much knowledge about this genre of music to keep it behind private doors.

While I have always enjoyed Jazz from time to time, recent strides in my rig have allowed me to truly bring the musicianship front and center within my room. The Jazz within the "What are you listening to" thread has also seen a recent uptick in posts, likes and responses.

Instead of those posts getting buried in a thread's abyss? How about we talk about the selections, albums, artists and performances you would like to share with your friends here at Club Polk?

One caveat.

It is preferred not to simply post a photo of what you are listening to and move along. This thread is more so about the discussion of Jazz, and everything related to it. Again, It is meant to highlight the musicianship, the music itself and the things that interest those who enjoy it. Maybe with a little bit of history thrown in the mix as well.

I'll start.

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This is part of a 3 disc set that I originally bought for one song as a test track for the Sumiko setup. While I never really listened to the other songs on that album, a couple of months ago, I ran across this song while streaming and took notice of the excellent recording first, then I actually took notice of the music.

It's a rather simple song with background singers, no frills and no big band or orchestra behind Jennifer Warnes as she sings. Pretty much just an upright bass, her and the background singers. Relaxing song that in the sweet spot? Sounds wonderful. Either I was in their room or they were in mine type of sound. Very enjoyable.

Another one is "Sex in a Pan" (LP Version), by Bella Fleck and the Flecktones.

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Very clear and distinct recording with a bass line one could clearly follow throughout the song. Plenty of instruments to please the ear and good tune to boot! The best of all worlds.

What would be your suggestions for a good Jazz listening session and why?

Tom




~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~

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  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 18,658
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    Here is another one - Recent discovery.

    je1bk64zbph1.jpg

    I was in a discussion with @jazzman trying to find something else that turned out not to be available on streaming, so as I continued to search for his suggestion, I was listening to this entire album. "Porgy and Bess" had to have been my favorite song at the festival, as I actually listened to that one 3 times in a row. It starts out slow and builds but by the end of the song, it left you wanting more.

    It's simply a great Jazz album to sit back and enjoy. It gave me an appreciation for the talents of Jean-Luc Ponte......and for what it's worth? This was the first time in my life that I have even heard of him.

    This was the suggestion I was trying to find on Qobuz, to no avail. Looks like I will have to order it.

    ykenpz7fefns.jpg
    Jazzman wrote:
    However, when reading your reviews of bass and strings texture with your new clock, well...

    The Rite of Strings, by Stanley Clarke (Jazz bassist of Return to Forever fame), Al Di Meola (guitarist also of Return to Forever fame), and Jean-Luc Ponty (Jazz fusion violinist). All three virtuoso musicians.

    Listen to the first couple of tracks: "Indigo" and "Renaissance".

    I hope he doesn't mind me quoting something from a PM, but I thought it to be relevant to this thread.

    Tom
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~
  • heiney9
    heiney9 Posts: 25,110
    edited January 28
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    This is a very high quality recording of some great Jazz music with some superb improvisation in a live setting. This is among my demo music when evaluating gear. This is one on Qobuz too. Fantastic listen. You can really just close your eyes and take a musical journey.

    Extended version of "School Days" is excellent, both performance and sound quality.

    k19jq2nt9j25.jpg

    H9

    P.s Great thread. Jazz is one of the harder genres for me to delve into. There is a lot of variety as Jazz can be many things. Hopefully people will post a lot of suggestions to seek out. We all know the legendary Jazz musicians, but hopefully here will get some great recommendations to explore.

    P.s.s Just about anything with Al DiMeola on it is worth auditioning. Probably one of my favorite non-rock guitar players.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass Pass Labs XA25 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Supreme DAC | MIT Shotgun S1 | Pangea AC14SE MKII | Legend L600 | BlueSound Node 3 - Tubes add soul!
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 18,658
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    Well, I know what album will be put on after I am done with a Trombone Shorty album!

    Thanks H9.

    And I agree with your assessment on your P.s.s. ;)

    Tom
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~
  • Emlyn
    Emlyn Posts: 4,430
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    Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers. This is no Kenny G smooth jazz at all, although I do like Kenny G for what he does well. B)

    More like punch you in the face to get your attention music. This sub-genre is usually called hard bop. Timing and drive is impeccable but it isn't relaxing music to listen to.

    Good starting point from so many choices. He worked with a lot of top notch young musicians.

    ellam4t4e0p6.jpg
  • Emlyn
    Emlyn Posts: 4,430
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    Including Lee Morgan blazing away in the late 1950s...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CX-Y-6kw8HU
  • Jazzhead
    Jazzhead Posts: 533
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    Kudos to @treitz3 for starting this thread... Thank you Tom!

    @Emlyn describing Blakey's music as a "punch in the face " is spot on. This is a great listen in that Hard Bop vein although you need energy for it:

    df9ccw6yb3ub.jpg

    As noted above, Blakey, like Miles Davis years later (with his first and second great quartets) had a knack for discovering and developing talented musicians many of whom went on to be great bandleaders themselves - Lee Morgan and Wayne Shorter are two of several that come to mind.

    Lee Morgan is one of the greatest Jazz trumpet players and composers although not as well known perhaps as Freddie Hubbard, Miles Davis etc, because of his untimely death at the age of 33. Here's one his best albums and perhaps my favorite. I especially enjoy hearing Jazz guitarist Grant Green, Wayne Shorter (who is a God in my opinion) and Herbie Hancock. This work is what one would call Post Bop, which is more experimental than the earlier Jazz described in the posts above. I can't explain it well, but I know it when I hear it (music theory...where's my deceased father, the music teacher when we need him?):

    ulcz6695q38r.jpg

    Also, there is a nice documentary on Lee Morgan's life (currently streaming on Netflix I believe):

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4170344/


  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 18,658
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    9v8r8borjbk1.png

    It just hit the homestead...if it sounds as good as it did while streaming, I'll be on the hunt for an LP of this one. Thanks again H9!

    Tom
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~
  • jdjohn
    jdjohn Posts: 3,065
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    I have a couple of Stanley Clarke LPs, and honestly, I don't think you can go wrong with anything from him. He and Jaco Pastorius are at the top of the list for bass players.

    Tom, do we have a hard definition here for 'jazz'?
    "This may not matter to you, but it does to me for various reasons, many of them illogical or irrational, but the vinyl hobby is not really logical or rational..." - member on Vinyl Engine
    "Sometimes I do what I want to do. The rest of the time, I do what I have to." - Cicero, in Gladiator
    Regarding collectibles: "It's not who gets it. It's who gets stuck with it." - Jimmy Fallon
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 18,658
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    Not really Jody. We can segment it to death but this thread is for anything and everything having to do with Jazz.

    No holds barred...

    Tom
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~
  • Jazzhead
    Jazzhead Posts: 533
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    This came to the house today:

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    It's relaxed hard bop stuff from 1960 when Morgan recorded with the Vee-Jay label before going to Blue Note. This re-issue has four bonus tracks not on the original album. I'm struck by what nice tone Morgan has for a 22 year old.

    @heiney9 posting the "Live at the Greek" disc above reminds me of Stanley Clarke's earlier work with Chick Corea and Return to Forever. The 1976 album Romantic Warrior (Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Al Di Meola, and Lenny White ) comes to mind for those that have not heard it:

    9dijgedpvbms.jpg

    This is fantastical Jazz fusion and the blistering musicianship alone makes it worth listening to even if it's not something you would buy. There is a remastered version that sounds very nice.

    On the subject of Chick Corea this is an exciting live album from 1991. @treitz3 I think you may like this one. It is a nice recording with huge dynamics:

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    It has a nice version of 'Round Midnight, a Thelonius Monk tune (Monk from Rocky Mount, NC :)).

    I mentioned Wayne Shorter in an earlier post above. This is perhaps his best album, recorded with Freddie Hubbard on trumpet. This was recorded in 1966 and is easily one of the most important of all Jazz albums. Shorter wrote all the compositions. I will write more about Shorter upcoming posts, but he was a pivotal performer and composer with Art Blakey (Jazz Messengers), and was a member of Miles Davis' second great quintet. He and keyboardist Joe Zawinul later left Davis to form the pivotal fusion band Weather Report. The Rudy Van Gelder remaster of Speak No Evil is very nice:

    y88921pz9wv2.jpg

    Finally, on the subject of Freddie Hubbard, this is a nice fusion album from the Creed Taylor production era, 1970 (an @xschop favorite), with a bunch of talented side musicians including aforementioned drummers Billy Cobham and Lenny White:

    xtvzzixnffku.jpg

    @jdjohn if you are into bass players, Ron Carter is on the last two albums above!

    Happy listening!





  • Clipdat
    Clipdat Posts: 12,781
    edited January 31
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    I plan on going back through this thread with a fine tooth comb when I have the chance!

    But, for now, anyone else a fan of Venus Records out of Japan? They have the best sound quality for jazz that I've found. Both their vinyl and SACD releases are absolutely exceptional.

    You want to hear a high quality pressing with absolutely zero surface noise whatsoever? Pick up a vinyl release from Venus and you'll hear exactly what I mean. It's simply stunning.

    Their single layer SACDs also have excellent sound quality. I should know, I own more of them than I care to admit online - and at $40 a pop, ouch!
  • SeleniumFalcon
    SeleniumFalcon Posts: 3,585
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    I've been really pleased with the Tone Poet reissues on Blue Note.
  • erniejade
    erniejade Posts: 6,321
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    heiney9 wrote: »
    This is a very high quality recording of some great Jazz music with some superb improvisation in a live setting. This is among my demo music when evaluating gear. This is one on Qobuz too. Fantastic listen. You can really just close your eyes and take a musical journey.

    Extended version of "School Days" is excellent, both performance and sound quality.

    k19jq2nt9j25.jpg

    H9

    P.s Great thread. Jazz is one of the harder genres for me to delve into. There is a lot of variety as Jazz can be many things. Hopefully people will post a lot of suggestions to seek out. We all know the legendary Jazz musicians, but hopefully here will get some great recommendations to explore.

    P.s.s Just about anything with Al DiMeola on it is worth auditioning. Probably one of my favorite non-rock guitar players.

    Just listened to it on Qobuz. Very nice! I wish they had it in high res but, the way this is mastered, not sure how much more they would get out of it in high res.
    Klipsch The Nines, Audioquest Thunderbird Interconnect, Innuos Zen MK3 W4S recovery, Revolution Audio Labs USB & Ethernet, Border Patrol SE-I, Audioquest Niagara 5000 & Thunder, Cullen Crossover II PC's.
  • maxward
    maxward Posts: 1,556
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    This is a great thread! I’m currently streaming the above Stanley Clarke album, which is very nice. The first concert we attended post-pandemic was Ron Carter. He’s a humble genius and a pleasure to listen to. Apparently, he’s been recorded on over 2000 albums. The second concert was the Bill Frisell quartet playing his latest release, Four. Rudy Royston was filling in on drums for the drummer on the album. Rudy is a magical drummer to see live and has a few albums of his own out.

    While I was working for the State of Oregon, we hired a guy to represent the State on the Hanford Waste Board. This group struggles with the issue of radioactive waste (a butt load of it) at the Hanford Site in Washington. Ralph Patt had the office next to mine. He was a bit of a Renaissance Man. He lived in the country because he needed room for his sled-dog team. It was some time before I learned that he was a rather well known jazz guitarist before working as a consulting geologist. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_Patt I think I asked about his unusually long fingernails. One day at lunch, another friend and I were talking to Ralph about music. My friend offered to lend Ralph some Kenny G albums. Ralph then sat up straight at his desk and said, “If I die and go to H*ll, they’ll be playing Kenny G music.” I can’t hear Kenny G without thinking about Ralph. When he retired, he and his musician friends came and played for an hour while we had lunch and ate his cake. He played solo and with small groups at a few local venues until his health deteriorated too much. I don’t think that I’d be as interested in jazz as I am if I hadn’t known Ralph.
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 18,658
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    https://youtu.be/BM6eNQ2F4H8?si=hFXWV-J4aV6BIqtx

    This is an album that is well recorded and would be a great introduction into "Big Band" type Jazz for a new listener within this genre. I have a couple that I listen to frequently but this is one that a friend of mine always listens to when he comes to listen to/evaluate my rig. If you aren't into streaming? Well worth the cost of admission for the physical media! Here is the album it's on...

    bicubspoybfw.png

    The song is called, "Backrow Politics" and while there are no words or anything having to with politics at all? Sit back and enjoy the performance! If your rig can do instruments well? You are gonna LOVE it!

    ......and just when you think it's over and you are left wanting more? Yeah, they ain't done. Hang on for more tunes and enjoy the rest of the song!

    (Of course, you can also enjoy the rest of the album too)

    Tom
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~
  • jdjohn
    jdjohn Posts: 3,065
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    I have a couple of additions, encapsulated in the following pic.
    pde8pz7bt0qv.jpg
    The top image is of a Harry James Direct-to-Disc recording from Sheffield Labs. They are well-known for their DTD pressings. I think every vinyl enthusiast should own at least one Sheffield Labs vinyl album...but that's just me.

    The album in the bottom part of the pic is a quite common record from Stan Getz...and company. However, I think this particular album is better than many others from his catalog...at least from a recording quality standpoint. YMMV

    "This may not matter to you, but it does to me for various reasons, many of them illogical or irrational, but the vinyl hobby is not really logical or rational..." - member on Vinyl Engine
    "Sometimes I do what I want to do. The rest of the time, I do what I have to." - Cicero, in Gladiator
    Regarding collectibles: "It's not who gets it. It's who gets stuck with it." - Jimmy Fallon
  • maxward
    maxward Posts: 1,556
    edited February 8
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    I have around 8. The first was Thelma Houston and Pressure Cooker-I’ve Got the Music in Me. I was stunned by the dynamics when I first played it.

    Here’s some more jazz artists: Christian McBride
    Trio Subtonic
    The LA 4
    Charlie Haden/Pat Metheny-Beyond the Missouri Sky (The opposite of ‘In Your Face’)
  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 33,356
    edited February 8
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    The Thelma Houston album, of course, was a "mid-period" audiophile direct-to-disk LP that was held in high repute in its day (ca. 1978 or 79, give or take). There's a copy of it here someplace.
  • Jazzhead
    Jazzhead Posts: 533
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    Expanding on Tom's mention of big band jazz, and earlier discussion of Jaco Pastorious, this is a good listen:

    pkchc70icozq.jpg

    This 2003 album was done as a tribute to Pastorius and was spearheaded by Peter Graves of the Peter Graves Big Band of Florida, where Pastorius performed before his solo albums and works with Weather Report, Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock etc. The album consists of great arrangements of his compositions or notable works on which he performed, and includes performances by some of the great jazz bassists of recent times.
  • Jazzhead
    Jazzhead Posts: 533
    edited March 9
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    Alex Skolnick, thrash metal guitarist of Testament fame, turned his attention to jazz in the late 90's and formed the Alex Skolnick Trio as a side project. They have cut several fine albums, this being one of them from 2007:

    7fq7dzuc8ly8.jpg

    This album includes both original material and jazz covers/arrangements of classic rock and metal tunes (check out Tom Sawyer).
  • Jazzhead
    Jazzhead Posts: 533
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    Going back to 1966. This is one of my favorite Wayne Shorter albums that I hope will appeal to many. Shorter is the only horn player on this album and it showcases his writing abilities and his lyrical, nocturnal, style of playing. There are many cuts on this album that have aged very well over the decades, including 502 Blues, Footprints, and Chief Crazy Horse. Every performer on this album is dripping with talent, it was very well recorded for it's time, and the Rudy Van Gelder remaster is a treat:

    iqvqt72eescm.jpg

  • jdjohn
    jdjohn Posts: 3,065
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    I honestly don't recall how I obtained these two vinyl records, but IMO they both sound exceptional.
    ubev2ffe94oz.jpg
    Ok, only one of the two is from the jazz genre. They are both from Sonic Technology Corporation (STC), utilizing 'Direct-Pressed Disc' technology. I think there must have been a bit of competition amongst the 'direct-to-disc' formats (and such) back-in-the-day, so these are likely a by-product of that.

    The recorded material is not exactly 'popular', but the execution and recordings are quite good IMO.
    "This may not matter to you, but it does to me for various reasons, many of them illogical or irrational, but the vinyl hobby is not really logical or rational..." - member on Vinyl Engine
    "Sometimes I do what I want to do. The rest of the time, I do what I have to." - Cicero, in Gladiator
    Regarding collectibles: "It's not who gets it. It's who gets stuck with it." - Jimmy Fallon
  • headrott
    headrott Posts: 5,495
    edited May 27
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    My favorite Miles Album, Workin’ With:
    tam0yfemp54p.jpeg

    I know everyone who likes Jazz, knows Miles Davis, but if you haven’t heard this album, you need to.
    Relayer-Big-O-Poster.jpg
    Taken from a recent Audioholics reply regarding "Club Polk" and Polk speakers:
    "I'm yet to hear a Polk speaker that merits more than a sentence and 60 seconds discussion." :\
    My response is: If you need 60 seconds to respond in one sentence, you probably should't be evaluating Polk speakers.....


    "Green leaves reveal the heart spoken Khatru"- Jon Anderson

    "Have A Little Faith! And Everything You'll Face, Will Jump From Out Right On Into Place! Yeah! Take A Little Time! And Everything You'll Find, Will Move From Gloom Right On Into Shine!"- Arthur Lee
  • halo71
    halo71 Posts: 4,590
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    Flim and the BB's. This Is A Recording and Tricycle are a few of my favs by them.
    --Gary--
    Onkyo Integra M504, Bottlehead Foreplay III, Denon SACD, Thiel CS2.3, NHT VT-2, VT-3 and Evolution T6, Infinity RSIIIa, SDA1C and a few dozen other speakers around the house I change in and out.
  • kevhed72
    kevhed72 Posts: 4,992
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    FWIW….this thread is awesome and much appreciated.
    I consider this boxed set a must have except I currently don’t own a spinner.
    h65jxiungd4i.jpeg

  • invalid
    invalid Posts: 1,326
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    8j7z1v7u4mpm.png


    If like tenor saxophone this is a good live recording of a song that was written in the 1920's for a silent film and covered by many great jazz musicians of course this being one of them.
  • StantonZ
    StantonZ Posts: 441
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    Just found this thread...and you have to acknowledge one of the greatest of them all: Miles Davis Kind of Blue.
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    For a list of my favorites (and some commentary about each), checkout my Jazz CD reviews (with a few others thrown in).
    Yamaha RX-A2050 AVR (5.0.2); LG OLED77C2 4K TV
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