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#203913 - 05/21/13 03:56 PM [Off-Topic] Re: What is the problem with Jazz? [Re: aleck rand]
Janice & Bud Offline
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Janice and I played in bluegrass bands for years. Over that time I saw many of my friends and favorite artists venture into jazz. Although jazz players might consider me a "non musician" as a bluegrass player, I like jazz. Two events turned me to my love of jazz.

1. Ken Burns history of Jazz.

2. Listening to Billie Holiday and Lester Young. I will NEVER grow tired of that no matter what genre I'm currently listening to the most. It is IMO the pinnacle of expression of the human voice and an instrument in the same tune.

Bebop, I have nothing against but once a song or an entire genre move beyond my ability to at least envision the chord structure I tend to check out. That's my problem.


Edited by Janice & Bud (05/21/13 03:58 PM)
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#203916 - 05/21/13 04:46 PM [Off-Topic] Re: What is the problem with Jazz? [Re: aleck rand]
Kemmrich Offline
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#203918 - 05/21/13 04:59 PM [Off-Topic] Re: What is the problem with Jazz? [Re: aleck rand]
MikeK Offline
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Registered: 10/21/07
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Jazz is alive and well. Good Jazz clubs here in Atlanta, GA with some awesome performers. I've seen discussions about Blues being dead as well.... no freakin' way. I think, some genres and the way music is being produced within them may have changed, but the root is still there for either genre and appreciated by many, many people.

Just my penny of thoughts.
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#203922 - 05/21/13 05:27 PM [Off-Topic] Re: What is the problem with Jazz? [Re: aleck rand]
Mac Offline
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It is much a matter of taste, methinks, there are plenty of jazz performers and outfits that I love, there are also plenty that do not float my personal boat.

I just can't stand it when someone stereotypes and attempts to put all into one boat. A sure sign of something else going on that ain't nice.


--Mac
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#203924 - 05/21/13 06:15 PM [Off-Topic] Re: What is the problem with Jazz? [Re: Kemmrich]
Matt Finley Offline
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Originally Posted By: Kemmrich

Really? I must have missed the memo. That's exactly when I started playing it.
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#203925 - 05/21/13 06:22 PM [Off-Topic] Re: What is the problem with Jazz? [Re: aleck rand]
jazzmammal Offline
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Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 6477
Loc: Redondo Beach, Ca.
One main reason if not the main reason for musical innovation is survival as in making enough money to live on.

At some point in the early 60's most of the jazz cats realized they could not make a good living recording yet another version of Stella or whatever. Plus after 10 years of doing those standards in studios and concerts they were simply burned out, bored, you name it with that stuff so they started branching out.

That's why Miles suddenly quit doing that stuff and turned to [*****] Brew and despite many pleadings from all quarters he refused to play another lick of his old standards. The majority of the record buying public didn't need more recordings of different versions of those tunes.

For me, I'm tired of that stuff too but I still play it from time to time. I'm much more into the modern post bop stuff by all the smooth jazz artists like David Benoit, Foreplay, Spyro Gyra, David Sanborn, etc. It's hard to realize that stuff is already old enough to be considered classic music now. Fourplay released their first album in 1991. It's now 2013, how many years is that again?

I've accumulated a whole collection of live jazz concerts from You Tube. They are mostly the big jazz festivals like Montreal, Playboy, Newport, the North Sea one etc. There's been very little straight ahead in any of those shows for the last 10-15 years.

And why is that? Just mho of course but I think the audience for that style has left the building and has retired.

The reason you don't hear too much modern jazz in clubs is it's pretty complex stuff, you can't have a bunch of good players show up for a gig with no rehearsal and read South American Sojourn by Spyro Gyra or Watersign by Jeff Lorber from a fake book like you can with tunes like My Funny Valentine or Footprints.

Moderators, the forum is censoring [*****] Brew? Really?

Bob


Edited by jazzmammal (05/21/13 06:23 PM)
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#203927 - 05/21/13 06:33 PM [Off-Topic] Re: What is the problem with Jazz? [Re: jazzmammal]
bobcflatpicker Offline
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Bob,

It kind of sounds like what you’re saying is that old jazzers wanted to write and perform music that was exclusionary! (Wow! I didn’t know “exclusionary” was an actual word! wink )

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?
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#203933 - 05/21/13 07:00 PM [Off-Topic] Re: What is the problem with Jazz? [Re: flatfoot]
rockstar_not Offline
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Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 7342
Loc: Colorado Springs, CO, USA
Originally Posted By: flatfoot
.
One of my prefessors explained it this way: "people want to hear a line."

...

Classical music did something similar in the 20th century. I think it was Schoenberg who made the shift permanent. The music lost its connection to its former audience in a similar way to what art had done. Since then various forms of popular music have arisen to fill people's need to hear a hummable melody.

Jazz has done the same thing. It might have been inevitable, considering the monumental level of technical expertise acheived by Bird and some of the other postwar innovators. They mastered all the traditional chops and then went far past them. Along the way they gave up their focus on catchy tunes by choice.

I understand these musicians need to look for new challenges in expressing themselves. Goodness knows they have earned the right to do so. Is that a problem? Not for me. It just gives me more choices and more ways to suit my listening mood.


This was the basic point I was trying to make - but I think Flatfoot perhaps made it more succinctly.

-Scott

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#203941 - 05/21/13 07:26 PM [Off-Topic] Re: What is the problem with Jazz? [Re: bobcflatpicker]
jazzmammal Offline
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I wouldn't call it exclusionary Bob, they just wanted to write good stuff, they were tired of the old formulaic chord changes and basic swing or latin rhythms. Take this for example:

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
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#203945 - 05/21/13 07:53 PM [Off-Topic] Re: What is the problem with Jazz? [Re: jazzmammal]
bobcflatpicker Offline
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“Catwalk” is a great tune. That’s the first time I’ve heard it.

One thing that jumped out at me from the “get-go” was the theme of the song. Nothing seemed gratuitous on the part of the soloists. But it did appear to be far removed from a lot of the modern jazz I’ve heard over the years.

There’s a melody, lyricism and a flow to it.

But I definitely wouldn’t want to try to put together a band that could play it! wink
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#203947 - 05/21/13 08:06 PM [Off-Topic] Re: What is the problem with Jazz? [Re: Kemmrich]
Lawrie Offline
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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
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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 Online   content
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Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 7771
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: 17208
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 Online   content
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Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 7771
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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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