What I call minimalist

I seem to get more enjoyment from what I call minimalist music these days.  By minimalist, I mean just a few instruments in the mix.  It can be any genre of music, but it’s usually only three or four instruments making the music.

As an example, my current all time favorite is Tin Pan Alley from Stevie Ray Vaughan.  I crank it and I’m in heaven.  Just his guitar, bass, drums and of course, Stevie’s voice.  Also, some of the early Dire Straits, like Private Investigations.  Needless to say, much of the early jazz hits me just the same; guitar, bass, drums and vocals.  Clear and clean.  Add too many instruments and it just becomes background music to me.

Now, I have to admit that I was born in 1959, so my music roots are deep in the 70’s and 80’s during high school and college; so I’ve still got my library full of rock.  But when I want to just get absorbed into the music, I go minimalist.

That being said, please let me know other artists you can put into this category so I can experience more!

Thanks brothers.  

Perhaps not what you had in mind, but when I think "minimalist" Arvo Part and the tintinnabuli style come to mind.  Wonderful stuff!
From the description it could be Schubert quartet in G perhaps, there’s a whole world of chamber music, not all meant to fade into the background but maybe early Black Sabbath, up to around  Sabbath 4 is more like it, that sounds pretty bare bones.

Are you picking up on “minimalist” (by your definition)  music because your system can’t do justice to complex stuff? Why is there so much jazz played at hifi shows?

Keeping it simple and back to a classical vein how about solo violin from Bach or Ysaye or Viola from Hindemith or cello from Bach? 

Eric Satie?
You might enjoy this CD: Tone Poems by David Grisman and Tony Rice. There's some beautiful playing, and not an unnecessary note.

I always felt that George Harrison never played a superfluous note! 

But yes, I do get the sense of what the OP is trying to capture, particularly as I'm drawn to a lot of 50s/60s jazz trios.  How brilliant was Sonny Rollins on "Way Out West" accompanied simply by bassist Ray Brown and drummer Shelly Manne?
A few faves are:
 Hot Tuna  live at the new orleans house,berkley
Bruce Cockburn  Charity of Night
John Mayall  The Turning Point
Joni Mitchell - Don Juan's Reckless Daughter
Brilliant compositions and Jaco on bass. Heavenly! 
Gillian Welch
Dave Rawlings
Rosanne Cash
I get a similar feeling from some  early Rock and Roll - Elvis, Buddy Holly, etc.

Simple, clear and very little recording jiggery pokery.

Yes, that’s it guys!  All good suggestions.  I do have some Sonny Rollins, George Harrison and Gillian Welch albums.  I do love the sound of a good quartet.

Listening to the other suggestions and really enjoying them!

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My most realistic groups "in my listening room" are small groups that could actually fit in the room.
I prefer "life like" size imaging with my big Maggies.
That means a small group with few instruments and singers.