Discovering jazz

Discovering jazz

A number of years ago I found myself rather frustrated with this genre. I would hear a song I liked and promptly purchase the album, only to be disappointed yet again. (We’ve all done that, no?) The problem wasn’t the music per se, but my own lack of understanding. In all honesty, I had no idea what my taste was and I wasted a lot of money. With a hope to end this madness I turned to internet radio promising myself to abstain from purchasing any jazz music for 1 year. Thanks to apps like Tunein radio I was able to hear some wonderful music from around the globe while Pandora offered a great tool for discovery and focus. During that time I wrote down every song I liked and after a few months my taste started to emerge from the fog.

Subgenres

Bebop, acid, fusion, cool, and swing are just a few of the subgenres of jazz. It’s somewhat inaccurate to simply say I love jazz. I do have a love affair with the genre in general, just not all the subgenres associated with it. Dixieland, for example, is not my cup of tea at all. With so many subgenres and styles it would take a lifetime of study to understand them all. I just want to listen to the music, not study it. Here’s a couple of links if you’re unfamiliar with this topic and care to pursue a bit more:

Presently speaking

Well, I’m still in discovery mode and if you’re a music lover how could it be any other way? I have a few stations I listen to almost daily, The Jazz Groove being one. I usually start my day with this station and it’s wonderfully curated mellow mix of modern and classic jazz (which also happens to be perfect for some late night listening). Jazz24 is another station I listen to daily. It’s extremely popular for good reason. I’ve found a library’s worth of music listening to these stations and I encourage you to check them out.

Streaming services

Along with free internet radio streams we have a number services offering quite literally millions of songs for a paltry monthly sum. Streaming has most definitely taken over the music world and with the likes of Tidal even picky audiophiles (like yours truly) have embraced the model. What’s not to like? If for nothing else these services allow us to explore music in ways which were unthinkable just a few short years ago. I’m a fan.

3 thoughts on “Discovering jazz

  1. Thanks for the station tips! Jazz is definitely a hard genre to get into. I’ve found one way to do it is buy some of the seminal albums (Kind of Blue, Giant Steps, Take Five, etc) decide which instrumentalist you identify with the most and then follow them group to group, paying attention to the other artists at the same time. Similarly, choose an instrument and investigate the greats, then follow the career of the artist you like the most.

    Because the ensembles and arrangements change so much, jazz can be super confusing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great advice Timothy. I think this approach would be fantastic coupled with Tidal, Spotify, Deezer, and the like. Roon is another service many audiophiles are getting into simply for discovery. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

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