In Downbeat Magazine, there's a section in the back entitled, "Blindfold Test," where DB would pose a series of recordings to a jazz artist and ask him to identify the musician merely by listening.
I learned to identify jazz artists in the same way, through random "blindfold tests." I remember stuttering through my guesses, afraid that I might mis-identify Chet Baker for Miles Davis, or not hear Johnny Hodges signature saxaphone or Count Basie's trademark piano technique. Jerry would tell me to trust my instincts, as my first, unspoken guess was usually correct.
These exercises trained my ear and made me more appreciative of the work inherent in the art of jazz.
In preparation of today's show, I decided to challenge my ear, and yours. I pulled three selections each of a number of artists I don't regularly play. To be honest, some of these records I've never even played before myself. Some of the artists are easily recognizable, such as Miles Davis and John Coltrane, but can you pick out Lee Konitz's alto or Gerry Mulligan's baritone? Can you hear Clifford Brown? Let's have a little fun and see what we can learn from these icons to expand our own appreciation of their music.
Tune in Sunday, August 22, 2010 at 4 p.m. CST on WWOZ, 90.7 FM or online at wwoz.org.
Your 'OZ Jazzbird, Elizabeth