This is really not pitworthy any more, so I’m going to move this to Cafe Society.
Anything that gets you to an appreciation of great artistry is not in itself a bad thing; the only bad thing is stopping short.
I’m afraid I could recommend people to you all day long, and not only in jazz, though that’s what trips my trigger fastest and bestest. There’s never enough time to listen to everything and I’m sure I’ve missed a lot of wonderful music on the way as well. This is just some of the people I got to. Oh, and I’m probably a little older than most people around here, so my worldview is also peopled differently.
On the blues side, if you like Eric Clapton, check out Taj Mahal (in any of his works, the man covers a lot of ground!) . . . I especially like “The Real Thing” (great live performance at the Fillmore East with 5 tubas, yes, that’s not a typo) and “Senor Blues.”
Keb Mo is pretty happening too.
I’ve always forgiven the Neville Brothers all their commercial pecadilloes, but that’s because I loved The Funky Meters . . . and the Wild Tchoupitoulas. Hell, anything Allan Toussaint is involved in is gonna be worth your time.
More about not stopping short . . . It’s like . . . oh, listening to Billie Holliday and not discovering how truly great Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn were . . and missing Carmen McRae and Nina Simone and Nancy Wilson on the way.
And if you love vocalists, you gotta go see about Anita O’Day and Betty Carter.
Mel Torme is more known to today’s generation as a comic actor on TV, but the man could sing, dammit. I especially like the work he did in the 60s on the Bethlehem label; any of that you find is going to be well worth your time. I also like his work with George Shearing.
If you think Diana Krall is fabulous, check out Cassandra Wilson.
Holly Cole is nice.
I absolutely recommend the new John Scofield CD where he covers Ray Charles tunes – with a lot of great sidepeople, including Dr. John, Aaron Neville, Warren Haynes, David “Fathead” Newman, and Mavis Staples. See “That’s What I Say.”
Speaking of Mavis Staples, it’s not jazz, but her “Have a Little Faith” is good gospel.
You don’t have to like what I listen to most all the time, but I always have some Charles Mingus in rotation . . . Gil Evans (with and without Miles Davis, yes, early Miles) . . . Duke Ellington . . . Thelonious Monk . . .
Charlie Haden is a pretty incredible bass player who does some wonderful work in collaboration with other artists; I especially love “Steal Away” with Hank Jones. If you gotta have some Pat Metheny, check out “Beyond the Missouri Sky;” Haden and Metheny do some very nice work together.
If you want to know what it’s like to be in a Manhattan club and it’s the last set and all’s right with the world, I highly recommend Kenny Barron and Charlie Haden “Night and The City.”
Stop me before I go on.
your humble TubaDiva