My history with jazz. I don't know when I first heard jazz but it must've been really early because my mother had records from the Big Band and Swing eras of the 1920s-1950s -- Glenn Miller, Count Basie, the Dorseys, Duke Ellington, and others, plus the standard songs from that era. So, they were playing all the time in my house. But I don't consider them real jazz, more like white man's jazzy pop music. LOL!
The first jazz album I bought with my own money and that I loved to death was Grover Washington, Jr.'s Winelight. It was also the old school vinyl record album. It was more smooth jazz, jazz funk, and not the jazz of, say, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, or Miles Davis. Anyway, a hit from that album which many of you may remember is "Just the Two of Us" (See below), which sounds more pop than jazz.
Only when I started college did I truly discover jazz, mostly because I was looking for instrumental music to listen to while studying. I had a Walkman and I felt like I needed jazz and classical music cassette tapes to get through the day. That's when I discovered Bill Evans (my favorite jazz pianist), Miles Davis (trumpet), John Coltrane (saxophone), Cal Tjader (vibraphone), and Spyro Gyra (pop jazz fusion), among others. Miles Davis, I could listen to on a continuous loop while doing the most complex problems in physics or math.
Last Edit: Apr 21, 2020 17:34:18 GMT -5 by Wolfgang
John Coltrane. "My Favorite Things," one of his most accessible pieces. I could listen to this on a loop. Strangely, the "repetitive" piano accompaniment doesn't sound repetitive to me at all. I say, keep going.
I bought The Jazz Piano Book (by Mark Levine) back in 1991. I did not understand it, but I had a feeling it was going to be my jazz music bible. Found little time for piano especially with two young kids. (Actually, three but that's a long story.) Then, I just stuck to classical piano. Quit the piano sometime later due to lack of practice, kids, work, and lack of talent. LOL!
After the kids went to college, studied a bit here and there on music theory. I've got a much better grasp of it now. Things make more sense, probably because I had more time to devote to it in a more patient manner. I returned to The Jazz Piano Book and created exercises from the contents in the chapters. It's so dense, you could spend weeks or months on just a couple of pages. I'm now on page 38 (out of 300+).
First, you do all the exercises suggested in the book. And these exercises are not, like, do this little thing here and that little thing there. It's more like, do this little thing in all 12 major keys. Second, play actual songs in the book by applying your knowledge. In future chapters, we'll learn all the 12 minor keys so that you can do the exercises in all 24 major and minor keys. Oh, and by the way, you should also be playing all the songs in the book in all 24 keys. This is going to take the rest of my life.
Last Edit: Apr 21, 2020 17:37:15 GMT -5 by Wolfgang