Wow sorry I totally put this in the wrong thread. :D my bad
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I'd really urge you to get one of the Bill Evans at the Village Vanguard recordings and listen to it for it's feeling. Evan's and the trio pour emotion into the pieces, and I think it's a great entry way into jazz music because you can follow the emotion and feeling there as they are so up front. I know you're looking for structure, but I think there is a great value in trying to connect with the emotions of jazz. YMMV.
Kinda hard to find decent R&B these days. Actually I haven't heard any really good R&B songs since the 90's early 2000's, perhaps I'm looking at the wrong places. Anyway, totally different thread but Frank Ocean is probably the only somewhat decent R&B artist that I've heard. I would totally agree though that his music isn't all that.
Anyway, hope you look into Pat Methany, his music is very nostalgic. : )
I don't have The Riverside Years, but I can't ever remember hearing anyone complain about the sound quality on Bill Evans discs. I have all of those records, and it's certainly never bothered me. Normally, I'd say just get Portrait in Jazz and the recent 3-CD box set of the Village Vanguard sessions, but The Riverside Years can be found ridiculously cheap, so if we're thinking bargain-wise, why not?
…next…I can't believe I'm about to suggest something so obvious (I joined head-fi to do the exact opposite), but Miles Davis' Kind Of Blue, which also features Bill Evans on several tracks, isn't a bad idea, either. After those, though, I'm gonna tell everyone to add the saxist Lucky Thompson to their lists…lotsa structure there, and also quite inventive…
I've heard him. Not impressed to be honest although I do admire his passion. I do love the Swingle Singers' take on Bach though.
I wasn't too into it when I heard the samples on Amazon. The general feeling I got was it was too synthetic and it wasn't very memorable. A little too modern for me or perhaps just not my style.