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New to Jazz
For the past two years or so I've gradually warmed up to jazz. So far I've sampled people along the lines of Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Alice Coltrane, Herbie Hancock and Charles Mingus. Who and what are some other key artists/albums from that time (50s-70s) that I should check out? Or do I need to go back further to hear their influences? What about artists today that build on those legends' sound?
The father of bebop: Thelonius Monk. Great pianist. Great player in general. If you have any interest in more strange and weird jazz, try out Ornette Coleman and Sun Ra.
Sun Ra is someone I've been meaning to listen to more of. Where's a good place to start? Greatest Hits: Easy Listening for Intergalactic Travel? Or one of his albums?
I've mostly heard various clips of his over the youtube, as it's hard for me to get ahold of his music. I do have The Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra. Once I give it a more thorough listen, I'll offer my input. I will say as a rule, I tend to forbid myself from starting with greatest hits compilations, only because label pressure can cause such songs to vary from the artist's sincere vision. Then again, the thought of Sun Ra having any hits seems parodoxical. Either way, I'm sure none of his albums (even the greatest hits) would disappoint.
The title "greatest hits" is supposed to be a little bit of a joke. He never had any "hits". It's my understanding it is just a career-spanning compilation, in chronological order, of some of his more accessible songs.
trbc08 Wrote:The father of bebop: Thelonius Monk. Great pianist. Great player in general. If you have any interest in more strange and weird jazz, try out Ornette Coleman and Sun Ra.
While Thelonius Sphere Monk was a truly great pianist and innovator, he wasn't "the father of Bebop". That title would have to go John Birks 'Dizzy' Gillespie (brilliant trumpeter/arranger) who pretty much came up with the term 'bebop' as I recall and his partner-in-crime, the one only Charles 'Bird' Parker.
Great as he was Thelonius Sphere Monk came along later than either, as did Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, etcetera.

Enjoy the fruits of life, for the fruits of death are few. (©Rod Jeffery 1990)
Ah, yeah... I forgot all about this thread. I was sort of ignorant of the bebop genre when I made that post. I have an album with Dizzy Gillespie and Bird together, and I like it a lot so far. I do love Thelonious Monk, though. He was my introduction to it all. I also have Bitches Brew by Miles Davis, but I haven't listened to it entirely yet.

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