15 Most Influential Jazz Artists

edited May 2012 in Jazz
15 Most Influential Jazz Artists

I can see there being a quibble or two about rankings and exclusions but not a bad list


  • Not a bad list - Ken Burns would love it - the guitar players are in the notable exclusions (just like his series - not that I'm one to hold a grudge or anything).
  • It gets us through the first 50-60 years.
  • edited May 2012
    Django Reinhardt and West Montgomery are both listed under the notable exclusions however I don't hear a lot of players trying to play in Wes' octave style currently. They said most influential not most badass.

    Well you will have to admit the originators had some pretty heavy lifting to do to get jazz going from a standing start.
    Besides, there are some who might argue that not much in the way of art was created after the first 60 years anyway!

    OK just kidding, don't have a cow.

    Have you heard this kid Robert Glasper. He has some serious skills as a jazz pianist but he keeps trying to integrate hip hop into the jazz tradition. Although, he makes some decent records, when I listen with my jazz ears it just comes off to me as annoying more than anything else.
  • I admit that any such list will safely limit itself to the first two to three generations, whether listing musicians, theologians, or plumbers.
  • You could argue the order of the list,but hard to find fault otherwise.

    I like Robert Glasper, but he does move from on-the-edge-of-brilliance to -confoundedly-cliche. Fun to always check out his stuff at the least.
  • switch miles and armstrong, and move mingus and coltrane toward the top of the list, and it's all good.
  • switch miles and armstrong

    Funny, I was going to comment that Louis would have to be the consensus number 1 on any list of this type. Much like Babe Ruth among baseball hitters (not coincidentally in the same era), it all starts with him. Or not starts, but explodes...
  • I would agree that Satchmo needs to be number one. In fact I dutifully reviewed each entrant from bottom to top and was suitably surprised with each entrants placement. This listing gained credibility with me only because Pops was number one.

    I probably would have placed Trane and Diz a bit higher as well.
  • I'm not sure though I'd have chosen Hello Dolly though, maybe something from an earlier era. At least it was not Wonderful World!
  • edited May 2012
    This makes no sense. Why would there be a track by Duke Ellington of all people that is available for purchase in Europe but not the US??? I just discovered and fell in love with this version of East St. Louis Toodle-oo. No substitutes will do. The only place that seems to sell it digitally is Amazon UK! The only alternative here seems to be to buy hard copy of the entire album as an import, which is a stretch for one song.
  • Or We have all the Time in the World
  • I would have put Coltrane above Goodman and Hawkins. In fact, I would put Lester Young above them, too. Then I'd have to bump someone off, but I'm not sure whom I would cut.
  • You are learning what we have to put up with regularly, GP. I recently wanted to download a new album by Ablaye Cissoko and Volker Goetze, readily available as an mp3 in the States. Nowhere in Europe has it! Not even itunes or Amazon... I'm used to it on emusic, but do expect to find most things somewhere at a cost, but not always. But I do agree this particular case is ridiculous.
  • Not sure what kind of deal Motema has with the UK market. But I did notice that the new Locke/Keezer album "Signing" (a Motema album) will be hitting Amazon UK in June, and that hit the U.S. back in March/April (I forget when), so maybe there is a delay. Not sure how any of that works, or if it's comprehensive if a delay does exist.
  • Thanks for the information, Jonah. I'll just have to keep waiting and searching.
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