Welcome to one of my very favorite passions in life and that is the soothing, carefree, smooth, passionate, and calm genre that is the world of jazz music.
Even if you follow this genre casually or as a passionate fan like myself, here in the simplest of terms is why I have such a huge fascination for jazz and how I find the music so very special to listen to. Realizing of course, there are many diverse forms and talents from all over the globe…even though it has mostly disappeared on terrestrial radio in the United States, there is still lots to explore all over the Web.
Little did I realize in my youth, that the soundtracks heard on the CBS Peanuts cartoons with Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy, and the rest of the Gang was all simple jazz in nature thanks to the Vince Guaraldi Trio. Fast forward another 15 years and my time spent in a college class about Music Appreciation. The first time I heard albums from jazz legends ranging from Duke Ellington and Louis Armstong to Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn, I instantly became hooked.
Since the mid 1990’s, I have enjoyed listening to classic and current jazz whenever I could. Since the spring of 2008, I have thoroughly enjoyed the cool sambas along with the really inviting bossa novas originating from Brazil. Even Ken Burns’ 2000 PBS series is definitely something to savor–especially starting with the episodes starting with the early years of Swing through a majority of the 1960’s–which in my opinion was jazz’s true Golden Age.
I hope to use these blogs in mentioning about what forms of jazz from this popular South American nation (through many periodic album covers and classic YouTube clips from time to time) have either left their mark on history or to highlight up-and-coming artists that are definitely looking for more than just their pictures on random web search engines. I will either be focusing on an entire album or sometimes an individual track that I hope can inspire people to doing further learning on your own time. And yes, I even found Michael Buble’s “Haven’t Met You Yet” more as a pop rock tune, but there it was on Allen Kepler’s syndicated radio/online show Smooth Jazz Top 20 during the last weekend in April 2010. I am pretty certain that it won’t be the last time a rock song appears on a jazz countdown show.
For my first entry, I arrive with a very proverbial question.
If I was stranded on a desert island and only had five albums I would have around to listen to over and over again, I would choose these five:
1. Diana Krall, The Look of Love. Perfect album to spark true romantic vibes.
2. The Best of Sade. Many of her well-known 1980’s hits are in this album, great vocals and the rhythms are great to dance or relax with a book in your hand.
3. Louis Armstrong & His All-Stars. Great narrative background on all of the players and brief tidbits by Satchmo himself gives more insight in making this album a true keeper.
4. Patricia Talem, self-titled album (or Olhos or Sorte). Hearing her voice and the way she conveys the beats in her songs is simply a true delight to listen to. Plus, she even takes the time to translate most of her songs to English in the CD booklets. Very nice touch indeed.
5. The Dave Brubeck Quartet, Time Out! Perfect time to say “Take Five”, but true jazz fans are missing out if they don’t hear “Blue Rondo A La Turk”. And yes, the 50th anniversary expanded edition CD is worth a listen.
Thank you for reading and I hope to provide some updates from time to time in my cool world of savoring the soothing and calm jazz of Brazil in the weeks and months to come.