LJC Jazz Quiz Night: Name The Artists?

One of the fun things I like to do with friends is blind tasting and listening.

Blind Tasting

Each guest brings a bottle of wine, so they know at least what one of them is, in theory. Works best if people bring a bottle they have not previously tasted, that way everyone learns more, you included.

One guest (or a third party) has to set up the bottles, cover them up, and pour out a glass of each.  The others have to guess what they are drinking, the country, the region and the grape. Taste a flight, and share the flavours and aroma you get: white orchard fruits, butterscotch, grapefruit, wet grass, old socks, whatever you are getting. It is always interesting when someone else pinpoints  a flavour that you were struggling to pin down. Yesss, roadside fenneland petrol…

After downing several glasses of each, you have to declare which of the wines you each liked best (and may be, why). That is the really tough one, when you discover no-one much liked the bottle you brought. Not even you. That should teach you to up your game. When it gets a bit competitive, miraculously, the wine people bring should start to improve. Win Win!

After everyone has revealed truthfully their likes and dislikes, each guest reveals how much their bottle cost. This part can be the most interesting. Sometimes the most expensive wine can be the least liked, beaten by a bottle costing half as much.  It is like an A:B of vinyl pressings – until you compare, you don’t know which sounds best.  Of course this part of the fun can cost you a few friendships. (What a cheapskate!)

Our favourite blind tasting is often the Viognier grape as a common thread. Strange thing about that seductive grape, it can taste completely different when grown in countries other than its home in France. Had an Aussie Viognier once, tie me kangaroo down, mate, was it “loud and overpowering!”. Stereotyping, moi?

Blind Listening

Think you know your jazz? Try blind listening, it’s even more fun. After you have done with the wine business, and before you have finished the bottle,  the host staggers to the turntable and puts on a jazz record selected from their shelf (keeping the cover well hidden).  Guests now need to guess the artists, and of course the instruments – surprising how many people aren’t sure whether they are listening to a tenor or alto. Of course the host must not choose a recording which is an artist’s signature tune. Umm  . . .Blue Train... let me guess, umm could the tenor be … (hesitates)Coltrane?

The leader and front-line is the big question, then each of the sidemen. That is easier because once you settle on the lead instrument and player, you are likely familiar who they played with, narrows down the choices. Informed guesswork.

Remember this? 2015 quiz-night, twenty tenors, name them all, gosh that was fun, so interactive. I can usually guess horn players, piano less so, which tells me I need to sharpen up my listening skills.

A New Quiz

Today, time for another quiz, this time four artists, a quartet, even. No clues other than it was recorded in the 60s, that’s as much help as you will get. Give it your best shot, choose one player of each instrument out of ten choices, or add another. The real player may not be in the list. Then again they might be.

First, the recording:

.  .  .

Who are you listening to? (headphones recommended) If you are not up for guesswork, it’s a great track, so just enjoy.

The saxophone player is… your call from ten names or add another

The pianist is … your call from of ten names, or add another

The bass player is .  .  .

The drummer is . . .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tiebreaker: tricky question, which country is the vinyl pressing from?

Quiz open one week only, make your selection now. The winner will receive an all expenses paid luxury cruise…nah…nuttin’. . . but the satisfaction of being right. Something I seem to get less and less of nowadays. All will be revealed after quiz closes. Come back frequently and laugh at other people’s guesses. And no cheating.


LJC, Because Jazz Matters, and Wine, they go together.

Footnote: Viognier

“In the 1980s, just 35 acres of Viognier vines were left on earth. It was all but exclusive to Condrieu (Northern Rhone, France) where demand has sent prices through the roof. Viognier is very, very difficult to grow. It demands buckets of sun and ideal soil nourishment. It’s an aromatic bouquet of mango, pineapple and lychee that just doesn’t stop giving. With a long finish and a bright character, it’s the white wine for autumn.”

Majestic Wines (promo)

Latest wine escapade posted on sister LJC site, Age Improves With Wine. Ticket To Ride, Bordeaux To St Emilion

10 thoughts on “LJC Jazz Quiz Night: Name The Artists?

  1. what a fun idea. I did not get any e-mail, so I am happy to say I guessed getz correctly. we won’t talk about the others. i have never cared much for getz and his limp style – not blowing all the way through the horn, as if he is blowing bubbles in his chocolate milk but doesn’t want to lose any from inside the glass.

    your wine hobby fascinates me, and it is a good example of how others see different hobbies. i don’t like wine very much, i’ve never had one that i didn’t have to force myself through, and i can never really discern any difference among wines. friends have tried. i just prefer my crappy american beer.

    at least i can be sophisticated when it comes to jazz, if not booze!

    • Interesting. All beer tastes the same to me, just … beer, though my beer-drinking friends are passionate about cask-conditioning, all the minutiae of craft beers. Same goes mostly for me with red wine. It’s … red. But white ..a thousand nuances. Maybe the same happens with music. A lot of styles just blur into one. But modern jazz, a thousand nuances. Something is going on in our wiring.

        • LJC: fascinating that red wine doesn’t do much for you. if i’m going to drink wine, i prefer red. but red/white is the only distinction i can make with wine. always very grapey… with strong notes of grapes.

          as for single malt scotch, or scotch in general, i can’t stand the stuff. the alcohol taste is like being punched in the face by a sinus-clearing boxer. perhaps i am over-sensitive to it.

  2. I just came in to the site, so without the email, it was a tough one, because Bill is playing untypically, and Stan is staying mainly in the high end of his horn, so it even sounded a bit like an alto for a while there. It’s so much more boppish than either of them usually are. Bass and drums being “other” is also a bit naughty.

  3. If it’s any consolation, I was busy when the email landed and so didn’t spot the give-away clue. Only this morning did I get around to ‘doing’ the quiz. I wouldn’t have been able to name either sax or pianist. Mainly because I am bloody hopeless at quizzes like this, but also because neither are at their most representative. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

  4. Great recording of Stan Getz and Bill Evans. Thanks for reminding us of what great jazzers they were.

    Best regards


  5. LJC – as a great fan of your posts, I’m happy to have them come in emails. Unfortunately, this particular email listed the track information. I wonder how many others received the answer.

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