5 Jazz Musicians You Should Know

As you can probably tell if you are a current student at LAMA, Jazz is a big part of the curriculum at LAMA.  While jazz laid the groundwork for so much of the music you hear on contemporary radio today, too often we don’t do the research into the masters of that genre.  Today, we are going to highlight five of our favorite jazz musicians that you should check out for more inspiration. Who else do you think we should recommend?

1. Cannonball Adderley

Via Wikipedia:

Julian Edwin “Cannonball” Adderley (September 15, 1928 – August 8, 1975) was a jazz alto saxophonist of the hard bop era of the 1950s and 1960s.

Adderley is remembered for his 1966 single “Mercy Mercy Mercy“, a crossover hit on the pop charts, and for his work with trumpeter Miles Davis, including on the epochal album Kind of Blue (1959). He was the brother of jazz cornetist Nat Adderley, a longtime member of his band.

2. Sonny Clark

Via Wikipedia

Conrad Yeatis “Sonny” Clark (July 21, 1931 – January 13, 1963) was an American jazz pianist who mainly worked in the hard bop idiom.

3. Grant Green

Via Wikipedia

Grant Green (June 6, 1935 St. Louis, Missouri – January 31, 1979; New York; some sources erroneously give his year of birth as 1931) was a jazz guitarist and composer.

Recording prolifically and almost exclusively for Blue Note Records (as both leader and sideman) Green performed in the hard bopsoul jazzbebopand Latin-tinged idioms throughout his career.

4. Herbie Nichols

 Via Wikipedia

Herbie Nichols (3 January 1919 – 12 April 1963), was an American jazz pianist and composer who wrote the jazz standard “Lady Sings the Blues“. Obscure during his lifetime, he is now highly regarded by many musicians and critics.

5. Art Pepper

Via Wikipedia

Art Pepper (September 1, 1925 – June 15, 1982), born Arthur Edward Pepper, Jr., was an American alto saxophonist and clarinetist.

By the 1950s Pepper was recognized as one of the leading alto saxophonists in jazz, epitomized by his finishing second only to Charlie Parker as Best Alto Saxophonist in the Down Beat magazine Readers Poll of 1952.

At LAMA we are all about expanding our musical sensibilities. These are just a few selections for you to dip your ears in the musical waters. Who should we spotlight next time? Leave your comment below!

-LAMA Staff

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