What the heck is a jazzbo, anyway?
According to the Urban Dictionary, a jazzbo is ”a jazz musician, DJ, connoisseur or aficionado, esp. an older male.” While I did go to Berklee School of Music, I can only claim to be a connoisseur or aficionado, not a musician.
The main purpose of this site is to provide a guide for people who may have heard some jazz they liked and would like to know what music they ought to pick up.
Music critics are helpful to the extent that they have strong opinions. If you happen to concur with the critic’s opinion more often than not, then you will tend to want to buy a recording that you are unfamiliar with if he or she recommends it. If you think he or she is an idiot, that same recommendation will be a red flag telling you to avoid the music at all costs!
My tendency, with jazz anyway, is to like music that is challenging, made by musicians that are virtuosos on their chosen instrument(s). You’ll figure out soon enough if my recommendations jibe with your taste in music.
I’ve divided my recommendations into three categories:
- Essential - this means that either the music is truly exceptional, or that the recording is necessary to your knowledge of modern jazz history, or that the recording is one of a kind, and sometimes all three.
- Highly Recommended - The music is very good to excellent, but if you never hear it, it won’t affect your understanding of jazz. It may be flawed, but not seriously.
- Recommended - This music probably has flaws. Maybe there are one or two bad performances. Maybe it’s so esoteric that it’s difficult to truly appreciate. But, taken as a whole, the music is very enjoyable to listen to, which could be true for any number of reasons.
Don’t be surprised if some of the recordings I recommend are unavailable, at least on Amazon. Jazz may be America’s art form, but it is generally despised by the mainstream, which means that recordings, even classic ones, go out of print all the time. If a recording is out of print, I will offer as many options for the same recording in the Jazzbo Notes Store as I can. If the recording is currently unavailable on Amazon at the time that I review it, I will point that out. If I know another place to get the recording, I will mention that as well. Otherwise, if you would like advice on how to search for hard to find CDs, refer to my post on Finding Out of Print Titles.
By the way, if you’re curious as to what recordings I’ll ultimately be reviewing, check out the Jazzbo Notes Store. All of the Essential Recordings are there and some of the Highly Recommended and Recommended as well.
Finally, I’ve provided a forum. One aspect of the forum I have high hopes for is the concert information section. In particular, it would be great if people would review early performances in multi-night club dates. For example, what if an established artist, like John Scofield, has a one week gig with his new band? What if his new band is mediocre? Wouldn’t you want to know that before you plunked down $30 to see them?
Don’t be shy about using the forum. The more people use it, the more valuable it will be.
I hope you all enjoy and find my site useful. Thanks for visiting, come back often, and tell your friends.