The Six Best Jazz Records For People Who Hate Jazz

Categories: Nitpick Six

I love jazz but completely understand why somebody would not. Roughly 95 percent of music in the genre is self-indulgent, regressive crap, but that other 5 percent rules hard enough to possibly convert haters. Here are the six best jazz records for people who hate jazz.

6. Mary Halvorson, Saturn Sings

Of all the words in the music-critique lexicon, there is no more appropriate adjective for guitarist Mary Halvorson than "badass." Saturn Sings is not far removed from a Deerhoof record. It trades between consonant melody and chaotic abandon and is one of few current jazz albums to break into that vague territory of "heavy."

5. Bobby Hutcherson, Dialogue

Bobby Hutcherson plays vibraphone, an instrument that is notorious in jazz circles for being clunky. On Dialogue he takes turns transcending this aspect of his instrument and accentuating it. The secret weapon here is pianist Andrew Hill, who passed away a few years ago. Hill wrote the tunes for Dialogue, which range from spy-movie bossa nova ("Catta") to woozy blues ("Ghetto Lights") to classical-leaning free improv ("Les Noirs Marchant"). Everywhere Dialogue lands stylistically is dripping with cool.

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I think 'Out There' is a better Dolphy record than 'Out to Lunch', but i'm in the minority on that one.

Lisa Govro
Lisa Govro

This is the worst list for beginning jazz listeners I have ever seen. Miles Davis' Bitches Brew, really? Introducing novice jazz listeners to one of the most progressive, experimental jazz albums of its time sounds like the exact way to perpetuate the idea that "most jazz is barely tolerable".


@Lisa Govro 

Couldn't agree more.  The only way to get non-jazz people interested in jazz is to approach it as melodically as possible.  I can't help but think that this article was written with the author's tongue firmly planted in his cheek. Otherwise, like Eric Dolphy, he's out to lunch.

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