Help me find Jazz for my daughter

I consider this relevant for the MPU forum because of @MacSparky’s love for Jazz and related podcasts. :slight_smile:

My daughter just sent me the text message below. Don’t judge her taste in Kenny G. :slight_smile: Any suggestions? I suggested Paul Brown. Thanks!

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I seem to remember David Sanborn!

But Chet Baker … wow (trumpet and voice)

I can make it more relevant: Apple Music! Does she have access to Apple Music? I love the jazz playlists Apple curates. Here’s a few:

Smooth Jazz Essentials

Pure Jazz - station

Blue Moods - Guitar

Big Band and Swing Essentials

I was really hoping those would have rich previews. :roll_eyes:

As for a few artists:
Art Farmer
Avishai Cohen
Dexter Gordon
Lee Konitz

…and some guitar:
Preston Reed
Wes Montgomery
Kenny Burrell

Of course, the essentials:
Kind of Blue (RIP David’s melted vinyl…)
Cannoball Adderley

There’s a lot I’m leaving out, but those are the jazz artists/albums/playlists in circulation for me lately.


Above suggestions are excellent. And listen, nothing wrong with ‘smooth jazz’, I was into that long before I discovered ‘real jazz’ lol. I would recommend Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Louis Armstrong, and of course Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald to help with learning the ‘roots’. Just my opinion.

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Two years ago I attended a live dinner convert with David Sanborn. It was awesome!

PS, I just realized that “live” and “dinner” is redundant! :laughing:

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Awesome has been known to cause that.

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Unless of course you are dinner! :slight_smile:

I honestly have found the Spotify Jazz collection a delight. I use it all day.


The Yellowjackets has Bob Mintzer on sax.
Candy Dulfer is also really good.

She might like Flim & The BBs, Suzanne Ciani, Herbie Hancock (these aren’t sax).

She could also get started on Giant Steps, which I’m still trying to understand and appreciate.

Apple Music or YouTube are good places to explore.

Miles Davis, Kind of Blue. Essential.

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Kind of Blue got a nod twice. Make it three times.
Sketches in Spain Davis and Gil Evans The first album I heard from the inside.

Series of four albums. The cover of the first is illustrated. I’ve been repeat listening to Good Vibes the third album (vibraphone featured)

All three selections work for me in jangled times.

Image 9-11-20 at 4.44 PM

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Gerry Mulligan with Bob Brookmeyer and Chet Baker are smooth. Birth of the Cool. Warne Marsh: [Release Record, Send Tape]<>,Gil Evans: Out of the Cool. secretly spiky :).

Oh and Paul Desmond (with Brubeck), like a dry Martini that guy.

And for good measure, [Root 70]

All the smooth sax you could ever want.


I’d recommend having her check out Spyro Gyra, The Yellowjackets, and Steps Ahead. They are like Kenny G, but they play actual music, and in tune.


Okay, okay, I had to listen to Kenny G. just now for the first time—that kind of smooth jazz! In that case, Four80East! And does Chuck Mangione count?

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3 good choices @Bmosbacker … Also give Steely Dan a try… may be a little more “Rock” for some tunes, but many songs have the vibe you’re shooting for.

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I agree with browsing jazz in Spotify’s Jazz Collection playlists. Easy to sample, and save what one likes.

Brubeck introduced me to jazz – love the classics.
Keith Jarrett showed the possibilities of classical-inspired school of jazz.
Explore the 20s and 30s for the roots of mid-century jazz.
Get introduced to Wynton Marsalis, his dad and family to understand the southern roots.

There’s a whole vocabulary to jazz sounds, and it’s a joy to discover.


Thanks @MacSparky I thought you might have a perspective on this one! :slight_smile:

A million thanks everyone! The people in this forum are awesome. Everyone is knowledgeable, helpful and always civil. This forum is a nice respite from the contentiousness and downright meanness of much of today’s news and social media. I’m grateful and in your debt. I know my daughter will appreciate all of the good advice.

Thanks again!


No disagreement they are cool. I didn’t think smooth but gateway jazz in the sense of Twelve Gates To The City. The Davis Sisters are even further from amooth

Sorry — I been havin too much fun since I started listening again,


I have spent hours on Spotify exploring Jazz. It’s a huge genre.