Which composer or performer would you recommend as an introduction to jazz? Explain your reasons for your choice.

Which composer or performer would you recommend as an introduction to jazz? Explain your reasons for your choice.
I'd start with
84% (108 votes)
Haven't a clue
16% (20 votes)
Total votes: 128

Continuing with the theme started with last week's question: Which single composer or performer would you recommend to introduce someone to jazz music? And why?

Mark Clement's picture

Ruby Braff. Melodic and accessible, both as background and for critical listening.

Scott's picture

The Oscar Peterson Trio.

mike's picture

Bill Frisell, John Coltrane, and Miles Davis,since they are favorites of mine.

Skellum's picture

Miles Davis' Kind of Blue is the benchmark.

Randy Bernardi's picture

Autumn Leaves from Somethin' Else by Cannonball Adderly.

selfdivider's picture

Louis Armstrong from the Hot 5 & Hot 7 days. In fact, I'd start with that recommendation even for pop music.

Charlie S.'s picture

I would go with Patricia Barber. A modern jazz artist who is creative, a great live performer, and makes great recordings.

craig's picture

Jazz, like a lot of other varieties of music, has many many great composers and performers. One performance that brings some of the very best together, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald performing music of George Gershwin is available on YouTube. The clarity of Satchmo's trumpet sends chills down my spine.

Jim M's picture

I do not have a clue. I look forward to what others have to say. I just do not get jazz.

Dismord's picture

Just one? That's absurd!

Paul J.  Stiles, Mtn.  View, CA's picture

I'd need to know who that someone is and where she/he is coming from musically (and where she/he is trying to get to as well). Of course, I'd have to set my biases aside as well. (Yeah, fat chance of that really happening.)

Oliver's picture

Old jazz, because modern jazz sounds too strange to a newbie. So let's start with Louis Armstrong. And after this, we go on with Coleman Hawkings.

Eric Shook - Raleigh NC's picture

Duke Ellington and/or Louis Armstrong.

Noam Geller's picture

I think it should be Patricia Barber!

S.  Chapman's picture

Take her out to a club, hear some live music, and have a good time. That's what jazz is all about, not some moldy 200-gram reissue of Kind of Blue.

John Atkinson's picture

Miles Davis' Kind of Blue—all of jazz is there.

Tim's picture

Tommy Flanagan, because of his lyrical and good-natured way of making music. Much of his work is based on blues themes, something that is appealing to both hard-bop jazz fans and novices. The Branford Marsalis album Trio Jeepy is also a great starting-point, both from a musical and an audiophile point of view.

Amos's picture

Miles' Quintet recordings, from the '50s. Great, yet accessible, straight ahead jazz.

Cannonball's picture

Miles Davis

caxx's picture

Pat Metheny

Neil D.'s picture

Dexter Gordon. Probably a safe choice. Melodic lines, sufficient improvization, not too abastract. He also served as a transitional bridge between the pre '50s and '60s styles while staying true to the roots. Plus he stared in the great jazz movie Round Midnight.

John in d.c.'s picture

This, to me, is an easy one. To modern, uniformed ears, much of the best—and often earliest—stuff is going to sound like medicine, even Louis Armstrong. For today's ear, the answer is Miles, in all his varied wonder.

audio-sleuth@comcast.net's picture

Start with early Miles Davis and grow with him. By the time you get to Live-Evil, you'll be there.

Jacob's picture

I would start with Joe Sample. His recordings are clean and dynamic!

Chris Kenney's picture

Duke Ellington. He not only performed and composed a wide range of jazz material over a long period of time, he also recorded many pop tunes in a jazz style that makes him very accessible.

macksman's picture

Frank Zappa because anyone for whom I'd bother would have a powerful sense of humor and irony, and the unexpected construction in FZ's music might ease such a person's transition into Miles and Thelonius and Ornette and all the others.

Eric B.'s picture

Miles Davis' Kind of Blue. I know it's cliche, but for good reason. An incredible record that's a very accessible bridge between pop music and multiple styles of jazz.

Richard Shaer's picture

Miles Davis

Mr Blue's picture

Maybe an obvious choice, but I`d start with Miles Davis' Kind Of Blue, which can ease one in to the tonality, and maybe from there move on to Chet Baker or Stan Getz.

Arcellus's picture

Miles Davis circa mid-'50s; certainly not the definitive sound of jazz, but as close as anyone has gotten, and quite accessible for the first-time listener.