Who was your first

What was the first jazz artist that got you hooked on jazz? I was in a high end audio store and the salesperson put on Dianna Krall All or nothing at all on a pair of B&W's and ever since then I was hooked. And that is what led me down this never ending audio addiction.
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Miles Davis, Kind of Blue, in 1966. I was already into audio; this disc just made me think I could learn to like jazz.
Grover Washington Jr. "Mr Magic" ~ 1975-76.
I was a typical rocker, heard that album and whole new world opened up.
"The Inner Mounting Flame"
in the 1960's when I started listening.. I disliked Jazz. Never did learn better until I watched Ken Burn's Jazz on PBS. I watched it again on DVD and fell in love with the Jazz form. I guess I never understood what Jazz musicians were doing until watching the series on TV. Now my main listening is to Jazz and Classical. (I have thankfully pretty much gotten over Rock and Roll.)
Jazz Crusaders in the mid 70's. Heard them at a college party during an "altered state". The first jazz to insinuate itself in a rock & roll mindset and stick.
Pharoah Sanders "Live at the East" in 1974. Still a great record, never made it to CD. Many many fans have never heard it.
Duke Ellington
Fats Waller
later Miles Davis
Dizzie Gillespie
It was the early 1980's. I was in my car and a song came on the college radio station by John Coltrane. The song was "Soultrane," from the Prestige album of the same name.I've been a jazz lover ever since.
John Klemmer-Straight From the Heart-late 80's
Oscar Peterson. I saw him playing in a studio with his trio on educational TV. After that it was Stan Getz etc.
Vince Guiraldi's "A Charlie Brown Christmas." I was six. Thirty some odd years later, I listened to a discussion on the making of "Kind of Blue" and was impressed. I've slowly built a collection from there.
Interesting thread. Back when all I listened to was mind bending rock like Hendrix, King Crimson and Procul Harum I bought Miles Davis Bitches Brew for the cover art. Man was I disappointed; it sounded like incomprehensible, unmusical noise. A short while later by a lucky coincidence I heard the McCoy Tyner album Trident and several by Rahsaan Roland Kirk. I've been hooked ever since. 30 years later Bitches Brew sounds out-of-this-world marvelous but hey, that's not really jazz, it's that more mainstream, stepchild fusion music, haha.
john klemmer- touch, around 30 years ago. i still have the mobile fidelity album, just listened to it a month ago.
For me it was Herbie Hancock "Headhunters" i have been a jazz lover since.
My dad liked Al Hirt when I was kid. That was my first real exposure.

Later, "My favorite Things" by Coltrane on 70's era FM public radio caught my ear.

Chuck Mangione "Feels So Good" was my first album purchase as I recall.
Laugh if you want, but I would say that my first step into jazz was listening to Spyro Gyra's Morning Dance on a Nautilus Super disc in a audio store on some Maggie speakers in 1979. I went out and bought the LP, not the speakers. I was still heavy into my rock phase at this time, Zepplin, Skynard, Floyd, etc.

Fast forward about 20 years later, and Miles Davis started developing my current tastes, where jazz is my prime genre of choice.


I have actually on a whim within the last few months picked up a couple used Spyro Gyra albums in mint condition for a pittance, like a buck apiece. These are very good recordings and the music and performances are quite good and enjoyable overall if not earth shattering creatively.

$1 can still buy you some good new sounds these days!

I'm not laughing.....
Not sure whether it was Bill Evan's (Trio) Debbie, or Oscar Peterson's (Trio) We Get Requests. In either event it was a great place to start and has anchored a lot of my jazz preferences.
More Jazz Fusion than JAZZ but for me it was Pat Metheny and Jean Luc Ponty back in high school.
I think it was 1960.I heard Maynard Ferguson's rendition of My Funny Valentine.He hit notes that very few others could. After listening to Maynard play I wanted to go back and listen to anyone else that recorded this masterpiece.That was just about everyone and i've been hooked on Jazz ever since
Miles Davis' in a silent way. A friend put it on a tape for me. I probably played that tape 100 times.
Charlie Parker.The Yardbird the best then,the best now.
Two come to mind right away Dave Brubeck in 1959 and in 1960 Red Garland. But early on it was Bud Powell about 1954 or so.
Lee Morgan's "Sidewinder" opened the door.
Roland Kirk, Hugh Masakela and Miles.
Stan Getz and Louis Armstrong.
Miles Davis - In a Silent Way in 1969. I was 16 and this album was mesmerizing.
Billy Cobham - Spectrum - played on EV horn speakers driven by Dynaco amp
Mingus- Better get hit in your soul.
Ir was my first experiences with good audio circa 1980 that got me out of listening to only pop and rock music, and I too enjoyed Spyro Gyra, Weather Report, John Klemmer and Herbie Hancock.

About 20 years later, I took some jazz piano lessons some years ago, by a very old school musician/composer/professor who asked me what kind of jazz music I liked.

I mentioned a few things which others have mentioned above, including Vince Guaraldi.

I will never forget the embarrassment I felt when he looked at me and said: "That's NOT jazz!"

Since his remark, I discovered and more thoroughly explored Miles Davis and in particular Kind of Blue.

I also enjoy my audiophile classics which I now understand to be "contemporary instrumental music."

For a more profound understanding of what "jazz" really means, check out the DVD of Herbie Hancock collaborating with pop stars including Christina Aguilera and John Mayer.

It is a mesmerizing thing to watch, and during various interviews, Herbie explains that Miles said it was OK to practice, but just make sure that they did NOT do whatever they did practicing when they were on stage.

Anything rehearsed also was not "jazz".


Great thread ... Cwlondon, a second to your comment about understanding "jazz". Kind of Blue was done with little preparation in a single take.
Larry Coryell "Fairyland"
Mapman , I had the pleasure of meeting Al Hirt at Moms in New Orleans about 20 years back.
I listen to Coltrane "My Favorite Things about one a month and each time I listen I still hear and learn something new from this recording.
I also have Mangione's Feels So Good I loved it when it first was released.My wife still enjoys it but I have to leave the room when she wants to hear it.Funny how things change over time.
Now,back to the question.1955 Count Basie "April In Paris"

I too got turned on to jazz at a high end audio shop ("Keith Jarrett at the Blue Note"). But I really got HOOKED when I befriended another customer I met while in that same shop. He invited me over and introduced me to his extensive classic jazz collection. It's hard to know which one really got me; it would probably be between "Kind of Blue" and Keith Jarrett's "Koln Concert".
Not only can I tell the artist (Oscar Peterson) and the LP (Montreux '77 on Pablo) I can tell you the song that got me hooked: "Ali and Frazier". My RA was playing this in his dorm room my first day of college and I've been addicted ever since! I still get goosebumps every time I put on that record.
I attended a concert by ECM artists at Berklee in Boston 'round about 1972 (Rypdal, Towner, etc)and that was that.
My Grandma used to let me play her 78's of Ella, Ellington, Hawkins & Lester Young when I was about 4 years old, on an old wind-up gramaphone and then Dave Brubeck was probably a re-awakening about 8 years later.
I suppose 55 years later and still adding to my 12000+ collection of vinyl & c.d.'s, you could say that I'm hooked on jazz.
Was into prog-rock, back in the 70's, so my first expansion into "jazz" was progressive. perhaps Return to Forever or one of those prog-jazz bands of the time. I know I litened to lots of things in that vein as I entered college and was exposed to it by my new dorm friends. RTF, Coryell, Holdsworth, Caldera, McLaughlin, etc.

When I was a teenager my mom owned Billy Joel's album 52nd street. In the song Zanzibar, Freddie Hubbard blows a trumpet solo that, when I first heard it, I listened to over and over. I decided then and there that I liked this jazz stuff. Freddie Hubbard is a long way down on my list of jazz favorites, but I cannot deny that his Zanzibar solo truly was the gateway drug for me.

I can take or leave "Feels So Good" these days though it was a big breakthrough hit for the guy back in the 70's.

The Mangione album I still own, play with some regularity and really enjoy is "Tarantella".
Does "Chicago" count?

How about "Blood Sweat and Tears"?.

Didn't a lot of folks get first exposure to some finer and more accessible elements of Jazz through these guys?
Your examples are not Jazz in its strict sense and what are "fine and more accessible elements" of Jazz? To me, Jazz is essentially "black music" and for sociological reasons alone, think of Mingus, Parker, Miles, it is not necessarily intended to sound "fine" but rather "dirty" and is essentially, when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, a musical answer to the social ostracism suffered by the Afro-American community in the heyday of Jazz. Black musicians will tell you, that later this music was "stolen" from them by and became mainstream. Just to add to what Cwlondon said above.
Ella Fitzgerald - specifically the Rome 40th birthday concert.
The jazz domain by black americans is well documented, but we would be in error not to acknowlege the gifts of white musicians of the same period such as Gerry Mulligan, Chet Baker, Dave Brubeck, Bill Evans,Red Rodney, Ira Sullivan,Shelly Manne, Buddy Rich, Art Pepper, Pepper Adams and the list can go on and on. To me jazz is so much more than a black/white idiom. It is the music itself and the artist that put it forth. During the heyday of the bop and later bebop revolution in jazz all the greats both black and white pushed this music to very lofty heights indeed. And they all worked together in sessions and live concerts to give us this gift.
Ferrari's post beat me to to it.Jazz is not Black or White.It is America's Music and appreciated all over the world
True of course, Ferrari, I was thinking more of the hard core crowd of those times. I heard Mulligan live in Paris many years ago, collected LPs of all the names you have mentioned, but even in my early years I found their music "intellectual and contrived" in comparison to what Parker, Miles, Coltrane etc.etc had to offer, I found their music gutsier, dirtier. I loved Chet, but he never shook me down to my guts or made me grin as sometimes Dizzy could. It's all personal taste of course. The very origin of jazz however, if I am informed right and no matter to what happened to this strand of music later, is black after all.
Detlof ,I would not call Chet Baker or Gerry Mulligans music contrived in any way.You might be referring to the different styles of the day. East Coast vs. West Coast with East Coast being more straight ahead and trying push the envelope so to speak

Detlof, FWIW, I think we share a 'personal taste' in jazz.

A question. Is Chet singing music an oxymoron? I wasn't part of the jazz culture when he was on the scene. Who was his audience? I enjoyed his trumpet playing some, but then he would pause and 'sing'. Glad he wasn't playing dinner jazz. Or jazz at dinner. :-)

Goldeneraguy, it makes sense what you say of course. Besides this is all purely personal. I don't pretend to be an expert. All I am recounting is the fact, that today, now quite old, I still am moved by the music of those names I mentioned, while the likes of Baker or Mulligan et al don't really get me involved. It is "interesting" for me, but that's it. I does not get below skin level.But this is off-topic anyway. So my apologies and I'll shut up.