Jazz for someone who doesn't like jazz.


I've toyed with the idea of looking into jazz. Not sure why. Not sure what I'm looking for. Maybe just something to sound good on my system. I realize jazz is a broad category but much of what I hear I have not been attracted to. Don't ask me what I've heard.
What I'd like is a recommendation of two or three albums to start with. (I know that's insane)

And since I've given next to nothing to go on I'll point out a few things that I do like that might help narrow it down some maybe.

Jazz-like stuff I do like: Steely Dan. Almost all of their stuff. Van Morrison's jazz influenced stuff like Astral Weeks.
I like blues. Delta and hill country hard core blues.

I like a wide variety of rock from heavy metal, to prog rock to classic R&B.
Does any of that help? I know this is a crazy request but if I could get some recommendations I'll at least have somewhere to start. Not looking for specific recordings yet. Just content. When I find what I like I'll research the best recordings.
Thanks for any possible advice.
George




n80
It is really hard to guess what might click with any given listener.  I know someone who, when he was first interested in jazz, borrowed some CDs from me.  He liked Coltrane, so I put together a bunch of Coltrane CD's, and just for laughs, I threw in "Interstellar Space."  Guess which Coltrane CD he liked the most.

If you are looking for a survey, "The Best of Blue Note" is a decent double album to start off.  Blue Note put together better compilations in the past, but the current "Best of" is decent.

I would also get Sonny Rollins "Saxophone Colossus."  If the song "St.Thomas" doesn't hook you, I would be amazed.
george, as you will learn, jazz is a very broad and deep subject.  There are many periods, styles, and sub-sets.  So many that it can be difficult to make recommendations to anyone starting out.  Just look at the variety suggested here so far.

Two of the largest selling jazz albums of all times have been mentioned, Miles' "Kind of Blue" and Brubeck's "Time Out".  I think Brubeck is enjoyed by a broader selection of listeners and as such is more accessible.  Miles is deeper and may required more from the listener to appreciate.

Something like the Smithsonian album can be helpful since it presents a broad perspective time wise and with many styles.

Someone really basic would be Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong, AKA "pops".  He recorded from the late '20s to early '70s.  Here's one link to a classic performance with Jack Teagarden and All Stars -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJFgKfuy1oM
 
Otherwise, I think a pop-oriented selection of jazz may provide one of the easier entries.  One subset is called light jazz.  It is quite popular but to me sounds like what I'd hear waiting in the dentist's office.  I think you can find some real jazz that is not heavy, jarring, or discordant that you can enjoy while offering more substance than the typical light jazz.  Here's the Ramsey Lewis Trio with a song very popular at the time -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsFST-7Hx-Y&list=RDjsFST-7Hx-Y&start_radio=1&t=3

Another of that type would be the Crusaders.  They started out as the Jazz Crusaders but changed their name in an attempt to appeal to a broader market (few jazz musicians sell albums or concerts in big numbers).  None the less, they were comprised by very good musicians -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OahE2GGaGq4

Lastly to suggest one less pop-oriented example which is still melodic, try this by Bill Evans (the earlier pianist, not to be confused with the later sax player) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nv2GgV34qIg

There is a wide, wonderful world out there in jazz, diverse enough that I believe most anyone can find something they like.  These are only a few suggestions.  Enjoy the hunt!
I suggest that you begin your jazz journey with some Dixieland.  In particular, try Evan Christopher, a clarinetist who plays updated (i.e., not the Preservation Hall style) New Orleans-style Dixieland.  His Clarinet Road Vol I:  The Road to New Orleans is a superb place to start, and Delta Bound and This Side of Evan are also good.

Have fun!
Unless you're riding in an elevator or on telephone hold, avoid smooth jazz. Most of it is neither smooth nor jazz.
I would throw Diana Krall in the mix.

Still don’t see what she saw in Elvis.