In terms of earlier stuff, anything by Miles, Coltrane, Monk, Gillespie, Mingus, Blakey, Dolphy, Evans, Dexter Gordon etc. is fair game, also Chet Baker who I find a really useful player when considering super-'inside' phrases; his album with Gerry Mulligan is a good one. I'm pretty terrible at the early free stuff, though, which I consider to be a failure on my own part - the chanting in 'A Love Supreme' is generally the last straw and I don't usually get further than that. Rubbish
I'm studying substitutions and ways of getting an altered sound over 6251's right now. And generally working on my changes playing.
It is a bit of an art, and I found it very difficult to achieve the tone - I played jazz pretty much exclusively outside of studies before I came to uni, and was shocked when my first performance assessment was a classical piece.
I've just graduated. I've spent most of the last 6 months playing standards, getting to grips with the more outside harmony that I've been trying to learn - damn it wasn't until my last year that I realised the 'in every key' advice was massively important! So yeah, you know what it's like, shitloads of work. I'm listening to a lot of later Brecker right now, Chris Potter's latest is also wicked, and Kenny Garrett's obviously super-cool, I was checking out some of his live stuff with Miles Davis on youtube the other day. I'm also a massive fan of Keith Jarrett and Hiromi. My modern listening is a little parochial though.
ENCOURAGEMENT **** YEAH thanks bro. The problem isn't my grades, it's my social life at school. You see, I'm not very open with people and this has caused me to feel downhearted and it has taken most of my time thinking about it. So I haven't been doing much of the things I have previously done (practice guitar, read, ect.)
That was very good. I can feel the upbeat almost hip hop vibe to it. It changes styles but still keeps the same rhythm. Very very good. I haven't been to many concerts though. My dad and I are real big nuts about it but don't have the time. The last one I went to was in VA, Michael Franks. Free admission, outdoors, one of the best Ive been too. You know him ?
I just played my last gig with them last month at the Peoria Pizza Works; I'll be heading off to University of North Texas for Grad school in late July. I'm still in Illinois right now, so if a gig with them in the next month comes my way, I'm scooping it up.