This is how I would learn to play jazz if I started today

Spoiler alert: it’s the same way people always have. Featuring the Oliver Gannon Quartet

This is how I would learn to play jazz if I started today

There's one particular living legend in Vancouver I want to highlight today. He's playing both days this weekend: Saturday at La Fabrique St-George, Sunday at Hero's Welcome – and on top of that, he has left riches on record for us to enjoy and learn the standard jazz repertoire from, if we're so inclined. It's guitarist Oliver Gannon of course!

The three albums I'm featuring for you now are his three quartet records on Cellar Music: Live @ The Cellar (released 2001), That's What (2005), and Easy Sailing (2014). The quartet includes Miles Black on piano and Blaine Wikjord on drums throughout; Miles Hill plays bass on the first two albums, and Jodi Proznick plays on Easy Sailing.

That's What isn't currently available on the Cellar Bandcamp: maybe it will be soon? That said, all of the albums are on the streaming apps.

There are over a dozen standards across just these three albums that are wonderful resources. If I was just starting to get passionate about playing jazz today, before I did much else, I would listen to them repeatedly until I could copy Gannon's clear phrases, and get the feel of the form and harmony from the rhythm section. It’s the same way people always have learned to play this music.

Today, I've picked just one standard from each album to link for you on YouTube and share a bit about why I like it so much. Less is more:

Live @ The Cellar

"In Your Own Sweet Way"