MTS Discover

4 Jazz Artists One Should Know

By MTS Discover | 25th May, 2015

There is no better way to impress than to appear sophisticated in your cultural endeavors. Jazz music is often thought of as highbrow and complicated, but it doesn’t need to be. Eldar, a Grammy-nominated, 22-year-old jazz keyboard virtuoso breaks it down for you so you have the crucial information you need to sound like an aficionado. Here are 4 jazz artists every man should own, according to Eldar, who feels they made a huge impact on the genre of jazz.

1. Charlie Parker

To have some authority on the subject, you need to know something about the DNA of modern jazz, and this is a good place to start. “Bird” and “bebop” are not words jazz fans throw around loosely. Charlie “Bird” Parker was one of the innovators of bebop, a jazz style that relies on a musician’s instrumental virtuosity and ability to improvise and really explore the harmonic and rhythmic structure of a tune. That sounds complicated (from the outside looking in, it can be), but the music doesn’t; it sounds like the pure essence of jazz, and “Bird” was its master. His compositions have become jazz standards. He has influenced the music and all the musicians who came after him. This collection is a perfect introduction to that phenomenon, and it covers his most influential tunes and recordings.

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2. Michael Breker
The sax may be the most soulful-sounding instrument in jazz, and Michael Brecker is its master, one of the greatest musicians to ever play the saxophone. This album delivers everything he has to offer: incredible virtuosity, funky humor, lyrical contemplation, fierce intensity, unfailing taste, and a mesmerizing imagination. What more can you want?

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3. Oscar Peterson

Show your friends you’re a classy guy. Oscar is pure, elegant inspiration, and this is one of his greatest recordings. He is the first pianist I ever heard, and I am one of the many he inspired to pursue playing the instrument. He is in worthy company here too, with Ray Brown (bass) and Ed Thigpen (drums). Actually, anything from the ’60s with these guys is amazing. Individually and together, Oscar, Ray and Ed raised the bar. Presentation, precision, diction, and confidenceof delivery — they set the standard.

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4. Miles Davis

“Classic” doesn’t mean old, it means always cool — on its own terms. This one single-handedly defines “classic jazz album”; it’s relevant to its time but still kicking out the boundaries, magical to this day in the experience it delivers. Forty-three years later, it’s still an adventure to listen to. The quintet is legendary for jazz aficionados: Miles Davis (trumpet), Wayne Shorter (sax), Herbie Hancock (piano), Ron Carter (bass), and Tony Williams (drums). Miles was a visionary. His perspective and experience shaped what he played, and what his quintet played. Listen to these guys: what they do is hugely entertaining, but they’re constantly pushing each other to go beyond the expected. Also, check out the albums Kind of Blue and Bitches Brew to hear more of how Miles transformed music.

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