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#203947 - 05/21/13 08:06 PM [Off-Topic] Re: What is the problem with Jazz? [Re: Kemmrich]
Lawrie Offline
Expert

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 1439
Loc: NSW, Australia
Originally Posted By: Mac
If the performer is not bothering to create Musical or Lyrical jazz lines in their improvisational examples, I tend to lose interest quickly.

It is my opinion that jazz should not be a contest about who can play the most complex thing.

What Mac said. I play in a big band called "Big Band Therapy" - 17+ pieces and 3 girls on vocals - we have a great time, BUT we have 2 tenor sax players...:

One is very old school (reasonable, he's over 70) who plays some of the most beautiful, melodious solos I've ever heard. The other comes from a much more modern school. He plays very, very well. His skill is incredible but mostly his solos leave me a little cold - they seem to be more about technical ability than melody. That said, I've also heard him play stuff that almost brings me to tears, but that is the exception, mostly it's just technique.

Don't get me wrong, I like both their playing, but if I was paying to hear them and they both had a concert on at the same night, I'd go for the melodious guy every time.


Originally Posted By: Kemmrich

Dunno what he's smokin' but keep it away from me... What a depressing set of thoughts that was, I wish I didn't read it frown

=========

FWIW, I like jazz (Motown and Soul too), but not all jazz... I like Big Band Swing, I like Dixie, I like Boogie Woogie, I like some Bebop, but the closer to contemporary jazz we get the less I seem to like it...

Perhaps what jazz needs is new tunes in the old styles - new standards that can emerge that have a contemporary connection but with the musicality and chord structures that made the older styles so cool.

That said, when Big Band Therapy play, you would be surprised at how much the current generation of kids seem to connect. Admittedly we play some more recent stuff too, particularly rock tunes from the 60's and 70's, but you might be surprised how well numbers from the 20's, 30's and 40's go down.

Watching them get up and jig around (hardly seems right to call it dancing sometimes but ya get that) is such a buzz. I love to see people enjoying themselves because we're playing music!

Modern, atonal jazz is just noise to me. Even less appealing than Rap (sorry, Hip Hop) which just seems to be an expression of unbridled anger and even cruelty.

Perhaps the real blame lies with the record companies who have been teaching successive generations that a rhythm section is a real, full band or orchestra and that you only need 3 major triads and if you're really adventurous maybe a minor triad (forget those fancy 7th chords) and a pretty girl or 2 with nearly nothing on using pitch correction or a couple of metrosexual boys (with pitch correction) or some other visual gimmicks...

To counter that, I usually play 2 or 3 musicals a year and the kids that I get the privilege of playing in the pit with are simply amazing. Kids, often under 16, who choose to play Oboe or Bassoon or English Horn or French Horn or Flute or Violin, Viola, 'cello, Double Bass or Trumpet or Trombone or Tuba or Euphonium or Timpani or Saxophone or Clarinet or REAL Percussion (not simply a drum kit) - I could go on. It restores my faith smile

I guess at the end of the day it's about entertainment, but is it always music?
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#203949 - 05/21/13 08:48 PM [Off-Topic] Re: What is the problem with Jazz? [Re: aleck rand]
RobbMiller Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 11/04/10
Posts: 503
Loc: Midwest
I think it could be a problem with any genre. Some music is generally appreciated by lovers of the genre.

For example, bluegrassophiles would probably appreciate the following while those who do not listen to Bluegrass might find it difficult.



Extreme Grass

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#203950 - 05/21/13 09:10 PM [Off-Topic] Re: What is the problem with Jazz? [Re: bobcflatpicker]
Don Gaynor Offline
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Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 7902
Loc: Oklahoma, USA
I consider the problem to be my personal musical shortcomings, I simply don't understand Jazz. I seem to be hardwired to the "predictability" of Pop, Country, Blues, Bluegrass, Classic Rock genres, etc.

In a recent post (I think it was discussing Bluegrass) it was quoted: "Grab three chords then hang on for dear life!" (sic) And recently in discussing Country: "Yeah, they may only be using three chords, but look what they can do with them!" I prefer those types of aural stimuli.

I admit to getting hopelessly lost by the complexities of Jazz and I admit that I lack the musical training, the sophistication, as it were, to appreciate Jazz. Matt Finley has taught me so much without even realizing it. Thanks, Matt. It's still growing on me and may not be my first choice in music but Matt has made Jazz much more palatable. He should be "Ambassador Of Jazz!" I second that.


Edited by Don Gaynor (05/21/13 09:19 PM)

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#203952 - 05/21/13 09:19 PM [Off-Topic] Re: What is the problem with Jazz? [Re: aleck rand]
Matt Finley Offline
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Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 17418
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Yes, Catwalk is great! That's by far the best I ever heard Sadao Watanabe (alto sax) solo. Ernie Watts, the older tenor player, could completely tear this up if given the chance.

The horn (sax) parts are easy. It's the keyboard/drums/violin ensemble parts I would be concerned about.

Thanks for the link. Good listen!
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#203954 - 05/21/13 10:01 PM [Off-Topic] Re: What is the problem with Jazz? [Re: RobbMiller]
Don Gaynor Offline
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Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 7902
Loc: Oklahoma, USA
Originally Posted By: RobbMiller
I think it could be a problem with any genre. Some music is generally appreciated by lovers of the genre.

For example, bluegrassophiles would probably appreciate the following while those who do not listen to Bluegrass might find it difficult.



Extreme Grass


Robb, admittedly, they all are quite talented musicians but "speed picking" always turns my hearing off. I consider myself a "Grasser" but that is definitely not appealing to me. I am not knocking you by any means just stating my preferences. It (speed playing) gained popularity in recent years due to groups like Nickel Creek, Union Station, etc. But the father of Bluegrass, Bill Munroe, as well as David Grisman was known to wear the strings off on occasion. I may simply be behind the trend again. Thanks for the link.

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#203955 - 05/21/13 10:05 PM [Off-Topic] Re: What is the problem with Jazz? [Re: Kemmrich]
JohnJohnJohn Offline
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Registered: 06/25/12
Posts: 2198
Originally Posted By: Kemmrich

"Jazz worries way too much about itself for it to be cool." He said a mouthful there! laugh

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#203960 - 05/22/13 12:08 AM [Off-Topic] Re: What is the problem with Jazz? [Re: Don Gaynor]
RobbMiller Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 11/04/10
Posts: 503
Loc: Midwest
My point exactly Don. These guys are much too into their style and virtuosity to be enjoyable to a general audience. Jazz suffers from a similar ailment. It crosses genres.

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#203962 - 05/22/13 12:33 AM [Off-Topic] Re: What is the problem with Jazz? [Re: aleck rand]
Pat Marr Offline
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Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7525
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Quote:
Perhaps what jazz needs is new tunes in the old styles - new standards that can emerge that have a contemporary connection but with the musicality and chord structures that made the older styles so cool.


Enter BIAB, perhaps the easiest way to take chords and melody from any genre and wrap it in a jazzy style. For example, just about ANY Beatles song...

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#203964 - 05/22/13 12:36 AM [Off-Topic] Re: What is the problem with Jazz? [Re: Pat Marr]
Lawrie Offline
Expert

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 1439
Loc: NSW, Australia
Originally Posted By: Pat Marr

Enter BIAB, perhaps the easiest way to take chords and melody from any genre and wrap it in a jazzy style. For example, just about ANY Beatles song...

Fair call, but I was thinking of completely new tunes (if that's really even possible) - not revamps of what are now old favourites - not that I have anything against that of course.
_________________________
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#203965 - 05/22/13 12:45 AM [Off-Topic] Re: What is the problem with Jazz? [Re: aleck rand]
Pat Marr Offline
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Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7525
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Quote:


now I liked THAT a LOT! amazing performers practiced to the point of near-flawless timing... NOTHING about that presentation was boring!

Quote:
For example, bluegrassophiles would probably appreciate the following while those who do not listen to Bluegrass might find it difficult.

Extreme Grass


to my ear, the notable difference between these two displays of skill is the abundance of dynamics in the first and the conspicuous lack of it in the second.


Edited by Pat Marr (05/22/13 09:23 AM)

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#203966 - 05/22/13 01:07 AM [Off-Topic] Re: What is the problem with Jazz? [Re: jazzmammal]
rockstar_not Offline
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Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 7417
Loc: Colorado Springs, CO, USA
Originally Posted By: jazzmammal


Catwalk by Don Grusin.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CD1OXTrw7Tk

I absolutely love this tune and I have charted it out but I doubt I'll ever perform it live because good luck getting the guys together to rehearse this. The basic soloing section is easy but the horn lines and that theme? Not so much. This is what I call good fusion music, sort of classical/jazz. I like that violin.

I seriously doubt Grusin wrote that with the thought "Ha, try sitting in with this!" No, it's just good writing.

The thing to remember is all these guys are well educated masters of the old standards even though they don't perform them often. I found a vid of Jeff Lorber in a jam session doing Giant Steps. He played the absolute crap out of it. It was obvious he had studied it in school and knew it inside and out.

Bob


That was HOT! BTW, jazzmammal, since you are in LA area, go to Christian Assembly church in the Eagle Rock part of Pasadena - now and then you'll see some of those cats in that video sit in on the worship team. Abe Laboriel, Justo Almario, Alex Acuna - etc. They all live in that area and converged on that little church. I've been there a couple of times, and unfortunately none of them were there either time -but the band was still rocking.

They also were members of a killer fusion supergroup in the 80's/90's called Koinonia. Highly recommended listening. As far as I know, their recordings never got very popular here in the US because they were on a Christian label (I think it was Sparrow Records), but dang some hot playing and writing. The opening track to one of their albums, Gazoot, has one of the funkiest riffs.

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#203985 - 05/22/13 09:21 AM [Off-Topic] Re: What is the problem with Jazz? [Re: aleck rand]
Pat Marr Offline
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Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7525
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
well, Aleck.. you've managed to pose one of those rare questions that incites a full-blown discussion within the group! Congratulations! I like it when that happens!

regarding some of the comments you've made on the user showcase about modifying what you post as you learn what goes over in that environment...

bear in mind the fact that the forum participants aren't the whole audience. The purpose for that forum is to collect examples that show what PGMusic products can do. Many people who never post surely come and listen to those songs before they buy. I think that what you've posted so far is exactly consistent with that goal, especially the posts in which you showcase various real tracks or other features of the program.

In other words, don't change what you're doing. BIAB *IS* a great tool for jazz musicians, and if you are the only guy there posting jazz songs... I'm glad that niche is being filled (and quite well)




Edited by Pat Marr (05/22/13 09:22 AM)

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#203993 - 05/22/13 09:51 AM [Off-Topic] Re: What is the problem with Jazz? [Re: Pat Marr]
floyd jane Offline
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Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 6069
Loc: Florida
Originally Posted By: Pat Marr
well, Aleck.. you've managed to pose one of those rare questions that incites a full-blown discussion within the group! Congratulations! I like it when that happens!

regarding some of the comments you've made on the user showcase about modifying what you post as you learn what goes over in that environment...

bear in mind the fact that the forum participants aren't the whole audience. The purpose for that forum is to collect examples that show what PGMusic products can do. Many people who never post surely come and listen to those songs before they buy. I think that what you've posted so far is exactly consistent with that goal, especially the posts in which you showcase various real tracks or other features of the program.

In other words, don't change what you're doing. BIAB *IS* a great tool for jazz musicians, and if you are the only guy there posting jazz songs... I'm glad that niche is being filled (and quite well)




I agree whole-heartedly. (That Pat!... he does have a fine head on his shoulders!). So a very big +1 to what Pat said!!!

This came about, basically, by saying "I don't much care for that particular song" - with an ensuing explanation. Not a blanket "I don't like jazz", but a "... that one's just not for me". It seems a fairly common feeling from much of the conversation. Sometimes, what is called "jazz" goes beyond most people's enjoyment threshold. The idea that I need to be educated to some level to "understand" music before I can appreciate it.. that's a tough one to swallow.

BTW... Bob, thanks for the Catwalk post. That was terrific stuff.

It's been a fun ride so far...
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#203994 - 05/22/13 09:57 AM [Off-Topic] Re: What is the problem with Jazz? [Re: bobcflatpicker]
Mac Offline
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Registered: 05/29/00
Posts: 38502
Loc: Chesapeake, Virginia USA
Originally Posted By: bobcflatpicker

In other words, “the only way you can play with me is to be able to pull this song off”. It wouldn’t have been phrased that way of course, but do you think that’s a factor?


Absolutely.

When I was a young man entering into the jazz performance arena, being able to *properly* play a Bebop tune was a difficult to master right of passage. If you didn't know The Bird, you couldn't get a gig.

And, with most of the older, more experienced players on the bandstands around the Pittsburgh area, it really was phrased that way, sometimes complete with expletives.

Some would see that as keeping people out.

Viewing it as to what it really is, though, a filtering system that guaranteed good results onstage, well there are others, like myself, who saw the situation as something in which we had to further immerse ourselves, practice, learn, do whatever it takes to reach our chosen goal.

And the truth of it is that you *can't* just sit in with an ensemble that is adept at playing Blues, Bebop, Modern Jazz and the Abstract Truth and fake it. You gotta KNOW. or it does not work.

I see the same things in any genre of music.

BobC, you know what its like if someone tries to sit in with a Bluegrass band and they have little to no knowledge of the genre, the standards, the methods, etc.

Can't happen.


--Mac


--Mac
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#204007 - 05/22/13 10:20 AM [Off-Topic] Re: What is the problem with Jazz? [Re: aleck rand]
MusicStudent Offline
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Registered: 12/08/02
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Loc: Chicago
Truth be told, playing Jazz is better than listening to Jazz! grin

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#204013 - 05/22/13 11:10 AM [Off-Topic] Re: What is the problem with Jazz? [Re: Mac]
den_spain Offline
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Registered: 09/02/10
Posts: 64
Loc: Costa Blanca, Spain (ex-pat Br...
I'm right there with you on all of that Mac.

I like what I like, whatever genre it gets put into
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#204014 - 05/22/13 11:12 AM [Off-Topic] Re: What is the problem with Jazz? [Re: Mac]
Pat Marr Offline
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Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7525
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Originally Posted By: Mac
Originally Posted By: bobcflatpicker

In other words, “the only way you can play with me is to be able to pull this song off”.


When I was a young man entering into the jazz performance arena, being able to *properly* play a Bebop tune was a difficult to master right of passage. If you didn't know The Bird, you couldn't get a gig.

--Mac


I agree with Mac, this paradigm is alive and well in pretty much every genre (but especially applicable to jazz due to the complexity of the material and the high likelihood that the average musician CAN'T hang with the rest of the seasoned performers in the band)

... which brings me back to the reason why I'm gearing up for a solo act...



Edited by Pat Marr (05/22/13 11:17 AM)

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#204068 - 05/22/13 03:50 PM [Off-Topic] Re: What is the problem with Jazz? [Re: Mac]
jazzmammal Offline
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Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 6531
Loc: Redondo Beach, Ca.
You're correct Mac but that is pretty much the old fashioned way of thinking, I don't think that's the case any more because modern jazz doesn't work that way.

Lets define "modern". To me modern means stuff like Catwalk. That style sort of started in the mid 80's with David Benoit doing his Linus and Lucy thing. I really like him, he's one funky pianist.

The reason I said old fashioned is because nobody sits in any more because there's nobody to sit in with because there are no (or very few) bands covering this newer stuff in local clubs. Its just too complex and requires way too much rehearsal time. Absolutely nobody I know simply knows a lot of these newer killer tunes off the top of their heads. It just doesn't happen. Plus there isn't one modern "Bird" type of cat for everybody to emulate. Back in the day there were only a relative handful of true giants people were trying to learn from. Now there's literally hundreds. Spyro Gyra's style has nothing to do with Dave or Don Grusin or Eric Marienthal or Fourplay or Pat Matheny or The Rippingtons or name your favorite.

And yet another point, there isn't even one recognized version of all these groups best stuff. Every concert I see them in they're doing a completely different version of something. Like Herbie with Canteloupe Island. I've got 4 or 5 youtube vids of him doing that song and each one is using completely different players doing a barely recognizable arrangement of that tune and they're all killer. I know about 5 years ago the group I was in started doing the Herbie/Matheny version because it just cooks so well. I couldn't cover all Herbies licks that's for sure but I did have fun with some of them.

I guess my long winded point is times have changed. A lot.

bob
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#204075 - 05/22/13 05:23 PM [Off-Topic] Re: What is the problem with Jazz? [Re: jazzmammal]
bobcflatpicker Offline
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Registered: 10/27/07
Posts: 3355
Loc: WV, USA
Bob,

My point with the “exclusionary” terminology was really trying to find out if kids are being brought into the jazz fold in order to keep the music alive. Out of curiosity I googled “jazz child prodigy” and found this article:

http://ronanguil.blogspot.com/2010/07/jazz-has-never-been-big-on-child.html

It starts out with this: “Jazz has never been big on child prodigies. Unlike classical music, there have been very few bona-fide child prodigies in the music, or at least ones who made a genuine impact. Classical music has had its fair share of them, and several have successfully made the transition into adult performers of note.”

Bluegrass has several of its own “child prodigies”, but I’ll limit it to 3 people roughly 10 to 30 years apart that are deserving of the term. Mark O’Connor, Chris Thile and Sierra Hull. These 3 people have and still are making an impact on the genre. (Sierra is 21, Chris is 32 and Mark is 51.)

But a musical genre can’t rely on “prodigies” to keep it alive and thriving. But I do believe it’s an indicator of whether or not people are nurturing the kids musical efforts and welcoming them into their fold. That’s why I used the term “exclusionary”.

In a lot of bluegrass jam sessions when the “big dogs” are playing and they notice a wide eyed kid watching and clutching an instrument case, one of the musicians will ask the kid “can you play that thing?” You’ll usually get some variation of “I can play Sally Goodin”. The “big dogs” then turn into the backup band and give the kid a chance to play, even if the kids not a prodigy. The kid goes home and practices like hell because he/she wants to play some more.

It keeps the music alive.

Is there anything like this happening in the jazz world?
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#204077 - 05/22/13 05:35 PM [Off-Topic] Re: What is the problem with Jazz? [Re: bobcflatpicker]
Mac Offline
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Registered: 05/29/00
Posts: 38502
Loc: Chesapeake, Virginia USA
There is a veritable plethora of young prodigies in the jazz idiom today, more than at any time previous.


ALL KIDS jazz group that was featured at the 2000 Grammy Awards

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lUcTRqMDxE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQNh4MZlh98

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMsb3js4MWo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbDuN6vyItM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HUtpOQ6rgg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnKmcRSh80g

There are PLENTY more on Youtube alone, just enter, "Child Jazz Prodigy" into the Youtube Search Engine.


--Mac
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