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December 14, 2011

Holiday Cheer for Geeky Jazz Enthusiasts

Greensleeves by John Coltrane on Grooveshark
I thought I'd return with another gift guide intended to those looking to score points as gift givers. If that special Jazz fan in your life is like me, most likely they are super picky. Take a look at 2010's Gift Guide; and here are my 2011 recommendations:

1. The Jazz Experience
I'm fortunate to have an older brother that's into giving experiences rather than material items. This worked out because it often involved live performances. Get tickets to a big headliner strolling through your area, or maybe a night at a local jazz club accompanied by a stellar meal and sociable libations. Not to mention the Portland Jazz Festival is just around the corner for those in the Portland area.

2. Better Headphones
More and more we're enjoying our music on the go. Good headwear is key for grooving to those remastered albums. Siege Audio, Urbanears, and Dre ($$). Check out this Frog Design FrogMob to see what more folks are into.

3. Destination: Out MP3 Store
Had this on my list last year and the D:O store is awesome enough to repeat. These super limited and unique FMP releases are absolute treasures.

4. Sony Music's PopMarket.com Complete Album Collections
Let's face it, if they're into Jazz they're most likely a completist. Record collecting is like Pokemon, you have to have them all. Now available are complete album collections from Columbia and RCA Records spanning from the 1950s to the past decade. From Miles Davis, Dexter Gordon, and Wayne Shorter to Nina Simone, Return to Forever, and Stan Getz. A little something for everyone.

5. Spotify Premium Membership
Spotify is insanely awesome. A premium subscription gives ad-free, high quality, online and offline listening. I've been obsessively digging through many of the rarer Avant-Garde Jazz albums available.

6. Books on Jazz
Here are a few that would be at the top of my list: George Lewis' A Power Stronger Than Itself, Valerie Wilmer's As Serious As Your Life, Fred Kaplan's 1959: The Year That Changed Everything, and Howard Mandel's Miles, Ornette, Cecil: Jazz Beyond Jazz. For a nice survey on Jazz I would recommend Gary Giddin's Visions of Jazz.

That's about all I have for now. Anything else I think of I'll add to the list. Be sure to have a killer Holiday Season!
I sometimes blog on my iPad using BlogPress. If you see the below signature attached to any post, it pretty much means I'm trying to justify any typos, weird capitalization, or awkward formatting issues.

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