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How did I miss this? (jazz content)


A bit of back story, I grew up in a household where only church music was allowed so I never even heard of Duane Eddy until about 1980 when I was 12 years old. A friend gave me a bunch of vinyl that I hid in the drop ceiling of my basement. I had a lot of catching up to do. Fast forward to last week. My guitar teacher has me learning the chords and improvising solos to a song called "Bags Groove" by Miles Davis. WOW! I had heard of Miles but never really listened. As I type I'm listening to the Kind Of Blue album from 1959. I'm just so moved by what I'm hearing.

Please point me in the direction of more music in this style. I can't believe that I have been missing out all these years.


Oh, Uncle Grumpy, what you have been missing!!! The players on that album are a good place to start- John Coltrane’s Blue Trane, Giant Steps, or My Favorite Things. Cannonball Adderly’s Something Else. Other Miles albums of that era- Milestones, Some Day My Prince Will Come, Relaxin’, or Cookin’. And the guitar guys- anything by Hank Garland, Herb Ellis, or Kenny Burrell.


I am lucky enough to live in one of the few cities that has a full time non commercial jazz radio station. I started listening to have study music in the background when I was in college, so by the time I realized I liked it, I already knew it pretty well. I really recommend you give KMHD a listen. Just Google the call letters. They have an app that you can live stream online anywhere on the globe for free (although they WILL pester you to donate during pledge week like any public broadcaster!). It’s a wide spectrum of jazz, from Dixieland, to Latin, to the golden age of the ‘50s and ‘60s, to freak out noisey stuff from the ‘70s to modern sample based stuff that overlaps with hip hop and electronica. It doesn’t take too long to figure out which DJs play the stuff you like. I still find new music (or new to me at least) a couple times a month!


And while you stumble through trying to learn those songs on Kind of Blue, keep in mind that all but one of those tracks was a first take. That’s how amazing those musicians were.


I grew up with nothing but classical in the house - except when my parents had parties and the Herb Alpert & TJB records suddenly came out. My only experience with jazz as a child was Jimmy Guiffre Trio doing the Train and the River, which is great for kids of all ages. As an adolescent, I picked up a copy of Miles Davis' In A Silent Way which is later but no less amazing than Kind of Blue. For me it was like discovering The Beatles via Revolver.


What is this ‘jazz’ you speak of?


For jazz guitar recordings, Jim Hall Live, recorded in 1974 with Don Thompson-bass and Terry Clarke-drums is arguably the best trio recording ever. Also, Wes Montgomery, Boss Guitar, Smokin at the Half Note, and his first recording on Riverside, Wes Montgomery Trio are all beautiful.


Al Di Meola, Weather Report, and Wes are all worth a listen. Jimmy Smith and Cannonball Adderly for more keyboard based jazz.


Kind of Blue has everyone on it and is modal so it kind of connects everything but can be unpredictable. Coltrane's Sound is a great record especially Equinox.

For more modern jazz/rock stuff this Joni Mitchell vid has a lot going on between Michael Brecker, Lyle Mays, Jaco Pastorious, Don Alais and Pat Metheny.

I'll stop there, I could suggest an endless list.


And then there's Monk. Flat fingers, his foot tapping out of time. greta stuff!


Check out www.jazzguitar.be

Lots of good instructional materials, equipment reviews, forum, etc. I'm attempting to learn Autumn Leaves. Great fun!


The San Francisco Bay Area is blessed with a full-time 24 hour a day commercial-free jazz radio station, KCSM. You can listen to it anywhere in the world at KCSM.org, and it's a great way to hear a broad spectrum of jazz, from Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington to Miles and 'Trane and more contemporary artists, with nary a drop of "smooth jazz" pablum diluting the airwaves! The on-air staff is knowledgeable (many are musicians themselves) and tell stories about the music, and they often have interviews with and audio documentaries about some of the major figures. It's pretty much the only radio station I listen to any more, aside from occasional news and traffic reports, and the occasional foray into classical.

Also check out Horace Silver and the Modern Jazz Quartet --- if you like "Bags' Groove" and "Kind of Blue," you'll probably like their stuff too!


Check out www.jazzguitar.be

Lots of good instructional materials, equipment reviews, forum, etc. I'm attempting to learn Autumn Leaves. Great fun!

– Hoot Owl


That place is a treasure trove for ALL things jazz. You could dive in and not come up for air for days.

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