OK, so I'm not a "jazz lover"

…I’m a heavy/progressive rock fan.

But I’ve started to listen to jazz and finding I like it more and more, and I’ve acquired a couple of assorted box sets of Coltrane, Pepper, Davis etc.

So, help me out here on my journey… if you jazz afficianados had to choose just one track that is a “must listen”, what would it be?


I’m also a heavy/progressive fan so my taste in jazz may not completely align with the other jazz listeners on these forums, but you might like this one:


That ain’t half bad - very Keith Emerson! :grinning:

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This has a bit of everything…

An early ECM release. 1970


H3ck, that’s good as well!

Maybe I should set some boundaries in that I’m starting with the older stuff (say 50s to 70s, although I do like Courtney Pine :slight_smile: ), before I move onto something more modern.


Now that is good.

There is so much good stuff out there that maybe I need to narrow my field even more.

At the moment I’m thinking of the “big names” of the last century - heck, I’ve gotta start somewhere :slight_smile: .

You have the jazz thread already…can help too.

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Yup, and there’s some good stuff on there :slight_smile:

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Ian Carr and Don Rendell for some excellent British 60’s Jazz

Shades of Blue and Dusk Fire are very good.


I quite like the sound of jazz music - it is a pleasant noise and I find it useful to have some burbling away on the background whilst doing routine work tasks because I don’t have to listen to it properly.

My big issue is that I find it extremely unmemorable and to my ears pretty much most jazz records sound the same as all the other ones. Consequently a large collection of indifferent jazz records seems like a big ol’ waste of money.

There are exceptions though; I find Horace Silver and Kenny Burrell better for more distinctive music

If 80 years of jazz history is a continuous repeat of the same music, I feel there can’t be a poorer definition of jazz possible.
I think @Dreadatthecontrols will laugh.


Anything Blue note… check out the recent Tone Poet releases… generally brilliant.


Ah, Nucleus! My schoolmate Phil had a couple of their LPs in the early '70s… I got the CDs couple of years ago :slight_smile:

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No arguments there, but I was thinking more along the lines of individual tracks that folks consider to be quintessential. I’ll put forward ones that I enjoy:

Art Pepper’s “Patricia”

I’m going backwards more deeply as part of my “return to vinyl” and have been accumulating the Tone Poet and Classics also. Really great stuff, and I like doing the pre-order to get a good price, availability, and frankly a bit of anticipation for a new-to-me release!

Check out the version of Autumn Leaves on Somethin’ Else by Cannonball Adderley, the title track on Moanin’ by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers and I Almost Lost My Mind on Prayer Meeting by Jimmy Smith as three to get started from my side. Tons more, obviously, but I enjoy the blusey side and maybe one of these will click for you too.

Almost all of the big titles have at least one really standout track… and often the whole set builds around that kind of theme. Many of them get to be the title track or are the first cut also, in my experience. If you have Tidal (or probably Qobuz too), there is a good playlist of big songs on the playlist called Rudy Van Gelder Edition : Selected Highlights that might be a good launch point for exploration and discussion?!?

I hope you are digging this as much as I am!

Regards alan

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John Coltrane, Giant Steps. Every note is a different chord in this song. The whole album is great.

Miles Davis, anything off Kind of Blue.

Abbey Lincoln, anything off Abbey is Blue is my new favorite. Mrs. Max Roach.

Clare Fischer, Thesaurus, Track “The Duke”. It is on YouTube and you can find other versions of it. Also by Gary Foster. This is a great tune. I saw them both live once at The Lighthouse on Hermosa Beach, LA. Like 1984.


Shades of Blue is a more traditional Jazz as is Dusk Fire.

The Saxophone Colossus LP by Sonny Rollins is a must as are In Search of a New Land and Sidewinder by Lee Morgan, Born to Be Blue - Grant Green and Boss Tenor by Gene Ammons.

Blue and Sentimental by Ike Quebec and Out of The Blue by Sonny Red, Night Train by the Oscar Peterson Trio and Someday My Prince Will Come by Miles.

The track Freedom Suite by Sonny Rollins is a favourite of mine.

In my opinion, the answers you will receive to such a particular question “your best jazz song” might not help much, it would be a bit like asking the world population in all cultures and age groups what their favourite meal is. I don’t have one song for you unfortunately.

What I sometimes get as a somewhat similar question: how to learn to actively listen to and enjoy jazz. There likely are many ways to approach this, listen a lot would be one of them. That alone might not be enough for you, I don’t know.

What might help is not to focus on the songs, but on the individual musicians within the songs and in what year it was produced. Some (unfortunately a lot not) have made music for quite some years. If you learn how to recognize these musicians and how they handle their instruments, you will be able to understand their progression and how Jazz progressed and went in different directions. You might then learn when certain musicians delivered music styles you liked and when they didn’t for you. I for instance, love mostly all Herbie before '81, after that, not all so much. Then, combining these musicians in different group performances is equally as interesting.

To make an example out of this (but choose any musician that got your attention or plays the instrument you favour most):
Herbie Hancock, Jack DeJohnette, Ron Carter, Miles Davis (you already have a box set) to name a very few with different instruments, have been around for so long, produced and some still do so much, have worked in so many combinations with so many other great musicians in so many different styles of jazz, emphasizing on either one of them would greatly benefit your ability to actively enjoy jazz music and develop your own preference. Start for instance with only Herbie, learn to recognize his chords and timing, and notice how he changed jazz styles from his 60’s recordings up to late and you are set for months and months of learning. During that, read up on what you are actively listening to, who are also playing in the set and in what manner and before you know it, you have unconstiously developed preferences for certain bass players, horn players, electric bass/piano vs acoustic etc.

Happy listening!