Many years ago I watched the movie Round Midnight, a mid 80’s film based on the lives of several amazing jazz musicians. It starred Dexter Gordon, himself an illustrious saxophone player. At the time I was probably knee deep in Led Zeppelin and other heavy rock from the 70’s, but I got caught by the bluesy, swinging sound and music that offered more depth than the rockers I was used to. So shortly after watching the movie I went to the record store near my home and asked one of the clerks what would he suggest if I wanted to get into Jazz music. I didn’t know who Dexter Gordon was at the time (otherwise I would have asked for one of his records and have bought many since), so the clerk suggested I start with Kind of Blue by Miles Davis.
Immediately upon listening to it I loved it. Always have. It just picks me up and takes me to a great place. The music has ebb and flow, Mile’s haunting and unmistakable horn, some nearly inaudible sounds, interesting rhythms and simple enough for me to latch on and become hooked. Total Zen music. I could listen to the whole album and then listen to it all over again,J but I don’t. In fact, over the years, I have avoided playing sometimes because I am afraid that I will listen to it too much and somehow start to lose interest.
I won’t bother going into the technical details of the album or the story behind the recording and its release, not becuase that stuff isn’t interesting (it is very interesting), but because I liked the album when I knew nothing about jazz and simply enjoy the music all on its own.
That album was my the first Jazz album and I now own hundreds of great recordings from him and other remarkable performers. What a great place to start.