I like Jazz music a lot. It was some of the first music that I used to expand my horizons beyond what was popular when I was a kid and what my parents were listening to. The genre has become connected with Thanksgiving and Christmas as it is neutral music that the whole family can listen to. Jazz is also often the ultimate chill music because even the hottest jazz can make me feel peaceful. So let’s explore some pieces that were formative in my jazz education.

Scott Joplin – Maple Leaf Rag

I remember being loaned a history of Jazz cd from our library in my freshman year of high school. I don’t remember why the librarian handed it to me but I don’t remember asking for it. I copied it and I remember listening to that CD all the time. I remember lying in bed and listening to this track over and over and just trying to let the teen angst drain out of me. Later I would fall in love with the soundtrack from The Sting.

Ella Fitzgerald – Blue Skies

I discovered Ella in a music class during high school. By this point (and later in college) music classes were largely spent sitting and listening to music and having a teacher explain it to us. It was both the easiest and the hardest class sometimes. Anyway, one day we sat listened to jazz music and we listened to Billie Holiday who I liked but I really liked Ella Fitzgerald. She has a certain joy to her voice that is absolutely inspiring.

Kenny Burrell – Chitlins Con Carne

At some point, I was introduced to stuff beyond elementary Jazz by my friend Cooper. I always thought that Cooper was a bit of a Jazz snob but I realize now that he was just passionate about what he liked. He tried to educate me and I did like just about everything he gave me. Kenny Burrell made great, cool Jazz and I really liked discovering him. I may not have liked the more experimental stuff I was taught but I appreciate the education.

Sara Vaughn – Speak Low

When I went off to college, I went into a theater program where I studied how to be the best stage manager that I could be. While that was fun at first, I much preferred the design and production track and I found myself spending a lot of time there. I started to hang out in the sound studio and learned to become a bit of a professional sound designer. I worked on a 1920’s version of As You Like It and so I listened to a lot of Kurt Weill because the director was obsessed with this one song. Of course, Weill was a gateway to more theatrical jazz that is just great stuff.

The Oneups – Green Hill Zone

So I already told the story of my Magfest 2016 trip back in February and how I was going to attend a Ninja Sex Party/Tupperware Remix Party concert. While I was waiting for them to hit the stage a group called the Oneups hit the stage. It was a video game and music festival but it was the last place I thought I would encounter jazz music. It just goes to show you that even video game music can be jazz in the hands of the right musicians. Jazz is everywhere and so varied. Go out and find some good stuff.

I was going to end this post right here but in the interest of proving my point about always discovering new music I pushed a little deeper. I thought I’d randomly pull up three tracks that are new to me.

Pharoah Sanders – You’ve Got To Have Freedom

David Gilmour – The Girl in the Yellow Dress

Crusaders – My Lady

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7 Responses to “Jazz”

  1. tcausten Says:

    I personally am not a huge fan of jazz music but I will look into it more. I great blog post. I look forward to reading more from you. I found you on the a-z challenge list


    • Wolf of Words Says:

      Whenever somebody tells me they don’t like a specific genre, I say give it one more try and look deeper. Jazz is incredibly varied and I don’t care for the slow, sad stuff as much as I like the hot or bouncy stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. janefhelms Says:

    This was a great post, thanks! The Kenny Burrell music brought back memories of a night club jazz session 3 am in the morning, West Berlin (the wall was still up). I can still hear the music, which seemed to point not at the crowd, but somewhere else entirely, and the whole room thick with a floating white layer of cigarette smoke that seemed to rise and fall with the mood.


  3. miladyronel Says:

    Love theatrical jazz. I’ll try out your suggestions, though :-) Good luck with the rest of the AtoZchallenge.


  4. The A to Z Blog Challenge: Reflections 2016 | Wolf of Words Says:

    […] Osaka Adventure 6 Gender Moments in Television How to Train Your Dragon Shield of the Ishim 7 Jazz The Key 11 Leon: The Professional The Mystery Part 7 No Oh Canada Pee-wee’s Big Holiday Quick […]


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