Be my Yoko Kanno!
April 1, 2007 2:03 PM   Subscribe

I love the music from Cowboy Bebop, what else should I listen to?

I don't really know anything about music, so i have no idea where to start looking or even how to describe the songs that I like, but I'm sure that some in the hive mind are familiar with the music from Cowboy Bebop and can tell me which famous Jazz musicians it's ripping off.
If it helps, these are some of my favorite Bebop songs (plus a couple of Wolf's Rain songs thrown in for good measure)

Call Me Call Me
Fantasie Sign
Farewell Blues
Go to "Rakuen"
Goodnight Julia
Gotta Knock A Little Harder
Green Bird
Is It Real?
Mushroom Hunting
Piano Solo
Sax Quartet
Space Lion

Specific artist/album/song suggestions are really what I'm looking for, saying "bebop jazz" or whatever, doesn't really help me as much.

Thanks in advance.
posted by njb to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
The first thing that pops to my mind in this high-energy, big band style of jazz is Buddy Rich. I'm a fan of the album The Roar of '74, which has a lot of 70s funk influences like wah-wah guitars. My guess is his "Waltz of the Mushroom Hunters" influenced the Cowboy Bebop people (I can't remember if they play the song in that episode).
posted by Phatty Lumpkin at 2:15 PM on April 1, 2007

Most of the Cowboy bebop soundtrack was composed by Yoko Kanno so you may want to check the rest of her work.
I recommend The ghost in a shell soundtrack from both the movies and the anime series.
posted by McSly at 2:21 PM on April 1, 2007

Except that the other stuff she's written was from other genres, and doesn't sound anything like the music from Cowboy Bebop.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 2:23 PM on April 1, 2007

I should note that I was thinking of the show's theme song in my earlier post. There's really a wide variety of music styles throughout the show that would be hard to find from another single artist.
posted by Phatty Lumpkin at 2:27 PM on April 1, 2007

I don't have any familiarity with the series or Yoko Kanno, but I do have some depth in jazz. I pulled sound clips for some of the songs you mentioned from the AllMusic links below, and have a few suggestions to get you started...

From the album Cowboy Bebop: Blue:

"Adieu" - You might enjoy Grant Green and Sonny Clark's The Complete Quartets.

"Farewell Blues" - Smoky muted trumpet and ringing torch song piano reminds me of what you might get out of the Miles Davis Quintet of the mid/late 1950s (Prestige albums: Workin', Relaxin', Steamin', Cookin' and Columbia album Round About Midnight)

From the album Cowboy Bebop:

"Space Lion" - I got nothin' as far as matching the ethereal background, but the tenor saxophonist sounds stylistically similar to Dexter Gordon, I can suggest Go as a decent starting point for Dex.

These cuts all had what seemed to be a straight-forward melody to them, and none of what I heard sounded remotely like actual frenetic "bebop." If you like jazz that sounds like this, start with the Miles Davis albums mentioned above, and branch out from there using Miles as the trunk of your family tree. If you like how the piano sounds, for instance, go hunt down that piano player's albums. Nearly everyone Miles ever played with has a catalog of their own to discover, and the five Miles discs linked above are a great place to get the ball rolling. Happy listening!
posted by peacecorn at 3:15 PM on April 1, 2007

Call Me Call Me and Gotta Knock A Little Harder always remind me of earlier (first three albums?) Morcheeba. You might give them a spin.
posted by lekvar at 4:30 PM on April 1, 2007

Amon Tobin- electronic artist who uses lots of thunderous drum beats, bass and piano lifted from old funk and jazz recordings. Has a more organic feel than the more mechanical or industrial sides of d'n'b. If you think you haven't heard him, you have, because he's been used in a million commercials.

Russell Gunn's album Ethnomusicology #2 is excellent acid jazz that manages to keep the energy pumping on the majority of the songs. DJ Apollo (of Invisible Scratch Pickles fame) spins on it. The other Ethnomusicology titles seem to be a little less hip-hop driven and more classic jazz.

I love Night Train by Buddy Morrow and his Orchestra, though it's got a bit more of a dancable big band vibe.

I think the only song I've ever heard from Cowboy Bebop is the theme song so I apologize if I've pegged what you're looking for wrong.
posted by Juliet Banana at 4:45 PM on April 1, 2007

I can't help much with regard to other artists, as Yoko Kanno simultaneously draws inspiration from so many different musicians and styles (often obscure), that trying to find something that sounds exactly the same can be difficult. But, based on your list of tracks, I do notice a common motif, especially with regard to the vocal stuff... it's a motif I've heard pop up on occasion in some of her other work.

So, McSly's suggestion of the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex soundtracks is actually a good one. YK's work on both that series and Wolf's Rain is most reminiscent of her work on Cowboy Bebop. The Macross Plus soundtrack could provide a couple of interesting tracks. Earth Girl Arjuna... maybe. The soundtracks for Escaflowne, Brain Powerd, Turn A-Gundam, and Sousei no Aquarion, however, are primarily composed of orchestral pieces.

Also, keep an eye on her newest project, Darker Than Black... the music I've heard in promo spots and TV ads sounds an awful lot like the music in Cowboy Bebop.
posted by jal0021 at 8:41 PM on April 1, 2007 [1 favorite]

The genre _is_ "Bebop", so you might look down that road.
posted by Jbgohlke at 9:57 PM on April 1, 2007

Best answer: I'm not familiar with the music in Cowboy Bebop specifically, but I have heard a lot of Yoko Kanno's music on If you're looking for music recommendations it's a great place to start. Create a free account, and then click "listen now" from Yoko Kanno's page to hear similar music. You're bound to find something else you like.
posted by Vorteks at 10:53 PM on April 1, 2007

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