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I'm a sax player in my mid-60's, have always gigged on weekends mainly in cover bands playing rock 'n roll or blues-style. I grew up top 40 radio but am now trying to stretch to more jazzy influences. I'm currently studying jazz theory on my own using The Jazz Theory Book by Mark Levine, etc but I know that the best way to expand is to listen to the pros. The problem is that I don't like a lot of what I hear jazz-wise. Here's the closest to jazz that I do like a lot: Louis Prima, Kermit Ruffins, Meters, Neville Brothers, Van Morrison, Joe Jackson's Jumpin' Jive album, Miles Davis Kind of Blue album, Dr. John. I've tried listening to Coltrain and Charlie Parker but really don't like it. Can you guys make any suggestions of who to listen to and which particular recordings!) that would be fairly melodic and easy for me to swallow and allow me to "stretch"? Thanks much in advance!
 

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Sure, Ignore Trane and Cannonball on Kind of Blue and really pay attention to what Miles does. Thats where I start my students transcribing . On Freddie the Freeloader, transcribe Miles solo. K
 

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Based on what you wrote, here are a few suggestions that may help you get your foot in the door:

Dexter Gordon - Go
Jimmy Forrest - Tintin Deo
Stanley Turrentine - Blue Hour
Sonny Rollins - Saxophone Colossus
 

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Fifteen recommended jazz recordings to start with from the All Music Guide to Jazz

Louis Armstrong Plays W.C. Handy (Columbia 1997 version)

Benny Goodman Sing Sing Sing (Bluebird)

Billie Holiday The Quintessential (vol. 5 Columbia)

Count Basie The Atomic Mr. Basie (Roulette)

Duke Ellington Uptown (Columbia)

Charlie Parker Yardbird Suite (Rhino)

Dizzy Gillespie At Newport (Verve)

Dave Brubeck Time Out (Columbia)

Miles Davis Kind of Blue (Columbia)

John Coltrane My Favorite Things (Atlantic)

Stan Getz Getz/Gilberto (Verve)

Wes Montgomery The Incredible Jazz Guitar (Original Jazz Classics)

Lee Morgan Sidewinder (Blue Note)

Weather Report Heavy Weather (Columbia)

Wynton Marsalis Blue Interlude (Columbia)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
tombg14, your recommendations seem to be what I'm looking for. Will listen and keep checking for more advice. Thanks! Bill
 

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I'm a sax player in my mid-60's, have always gigged on weekends mainly in cover bands playing rock 'n roll or blues-style. I grew up top 40 radio but am now trying to stretch to more jazzy influences. I'm currently studying jazz theory on my own using The Jazz Theory Book by Mark Levine, etc but I know that the best way to expand is to listen to the pros. The problem is that I don't like a lot of what I hear jazz-wise. Here's the closest to jazz that I do like a lot: Louis Prima, Kermit Ruffins, Meters, Neville Brothers, Van Morrison, Joe Jackson's Jumpin' Jive album, Miles Davis Kind of Blue album, Dr. John. I've tried listening to Coltrain and Charlie Parker but really don't like it. Can you guys make any suggestions of who to listen to and which particular recordings!) that would be fairly melodic and easy for me to swallow and allow me to "stretch"? Thanks much in advance!
Gene Ammons .

BOSS TENOR is a great place to start . Great introduction to one of the best to ever play the instrument .





Listen to this, also .

https://www.npr.org/2008/02/20/19172123/gene-ammons-the-jug
 

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I second Gene Ammons. Nobody plays a sweeter ballad! Gentle Jug, vols 1-3 are a good starting point. Vol 1 is a 2-for-1, vols 2 & 3 are straight compilations.

Also Dexter Gordon. Sticks mostly to 8th notes, really focuses on melodic playing, plays a lot of quotes, usually in fun & creative ways.
 

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I'm a sax player in my mid-60's, have always gigged on weekends mainly in cover bands playing rock 'n roll or blues-style. I grew up top 40 radio but am now trying to stretch to more jazzy influences. I'm currently studying jazz theory on my own using The Jazz Theory Book by Mark Levine, etc but I know that the best way to expand is to listen to the pros. The problem is that I don't like a lot of what I hear jazz-wise. Here's the closest to jazz that I do like a lot: Louis Prima, Kermit Ruffins, Meters, Neville Brothers, Van Morrison, Joe Jackson's Jumpin' Jive album, Miles Davis Kind of Blue album, Dr. John. I've tried listening to Coltrain and Charlie Parker but really don't like it. Can you guys make any suggestions of who to listen to and which particular recordings!) that would be fairly melodic and easy for me to swallow and allow me to "stretch"? Thanks much in advance!
I have a similar situation, playing R&R and blues, trying to be open to appreciating jazz on a deeper level. But so much of the stuff of Coltrane, Chris Potter, Michael Brecker's so amazingly complex and technically playing just leaves me cold. Such statements will get me thrown out of jazz lounges in milliseconds, but that's ok by me. Here are some of the favorite jazz albums of an unsophisticated old fart: Duke Ellington's "Far East Suite" (get the edition with the extra bonus tracks) is a masterpiece. Horace Silver's "Song For My Father." The title track has what I consider the quintessential saxophone solo by Joe Henderson. I really enjoy Scott Hamilton's stuff, as well as Gene Ammons. Another very listenable album is Ron Carter's" Orfeo", which features Houston Person on tenor. I recently lucked into a vinyl copy of Plas Johnson's "Positively", and that one has been getting quite a bit of time on my turntable lately. Those are few that come to mind, anyway.
 

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Just starting for thoughts...Here's some material that you may view as more palatable.

- Gerry Mulligan Meets Johnny Hodges
- Complete 1960 Jazz Cellar Session - Ben Webster & Johnny Hodges
- Complete 1951-1954 Small Group Sessions – Ben Webster & Johnny Hodges
- 3,4,5 The Verve Small Group Sessions - Benny Carter
- Body & Soul - Coleman Hawkins
- High & Mighty Hawk - Coleman Hawkins
- A Musical Romance - Billie Holiday/Lester Young
- Workout - Hank Mobley
- Another Workout - Hank Mobley
- No Room for Squares - Hank Mobley
- Roll Call - Hank Mobley
- Soul Station - Hank Mobley
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Will give your recommendations a lot of credence after you gave your background on Coltrane, Brecker and Potter and you being a R&R and blues player. Life is short, I know that I'll never be a real jazz player, nor do I want to be one, but expanding the mind into a territory that goes down easy is good in so many ways! Thanks Claxton!
 
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