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Jazz is an art form that has typified the twentieth century. It is a completely new, original form of music expression that has emerged some eighty plus years ago in North America. Various musicologists can give us many explanations regarding the roots of jazz, and to pick it apart and to trace all of its constitutional elements is certainly a never-ending game. But that is not our intention here.

What we would like to explore here is the living, breathing jazz. Today, jazz has as much relevance to our everyday lives and to our way of thinking as it did forty or fifty years ago. If we look around and devote some time to listen with open ears, we'll inevitably reach the conclusion that our world is full of amazing jazz musicians who are incredibly prolific in creating and performing their tough, beautiful and rebellious music.

Once experienced in its suchness, jazz reveals to us how intoxicating its flexibility truly is. Simply put, jazz is unstoppable. It defies any formal rules of any school of formal musical thinking. Yet, it is easily digestible providing that we let ourselves fall into the "groove". If you haven't experienced this intoxication with jazz grooves, I urge you to give it your best shot. Just let go of any preconceived notion of what a piece of music should look like and sound like, and let the torrent carry you away!

Here is the list of some extraordinary jazz musicians that made a big impact on my playing as well as on my way of listening and looking at the world; to get more involved with these musicians, click on the names to open the corresponding documents.

  • John McLaughlin
  • Miles Davis
  • Weather Report
  • John Coltrane
  • Carla Bley
  • Keith Jarrett
  • Kenny Wheeler
  • John Surman
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