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  1. #51

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    Sorry to keep posting, but my brain is cogitating :-)

    I think the Django pieces which are less reliant on a swing groove - so his ballads and waltzes, for example - are well suited to classical interpretation. Montagne St Genevieve, for example, is kind of a classical piece as it is.

    In terms of North American jazz - I would say that Blues tunes and Rhythm Changes type things tend to show up non-idiomatic jazz players, but of course songs of composers like Cole Porter offer a range of harmony and melody that could easily be made to sound very beautiful in a classical solo way.

    In fact chord melody might be a good entry point - it would be easy to stick some standards arrangements into a recital, for example, I've seen it done quite a few times.

    There is also the Choro repertoire - often overlooked but just right for a player in the classical tradition looking to expand their horizons. Of course this might point him towards more modern Brazilian repertoire. Tango too. (Again I don't want to trivialise the commitment involved in learning these musics properly, but in some ways they might be more accessible that say, blue note jazz.)

    In terms of developing swing feel - well that's a whole different line of discussion :-)
    Last edited by christianm77; 03-03-2015 at 08:09 PM.

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  3. #52

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    I think crossovers are always a good idea. Most of the time it does not work but when it works, you get something exciting.

    The more people trying new stuff the more chance at new stuff.

    Jazz defined as "improvised music" is HUGE

    Jazz defined as "swing and idiomatic instrumentation" is quite small in my opinion.

  4. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by Takemitsu
    I think crossovers are always a good idea. Most of the time it does not work but when it works, you get something exciting.

    The more people trying new stuff the more chance at new stuff.

    Jazz defined as "improvised music" is HUGE

    Jazz defined as "swing and idiomatic instrumentation" is quite small in my opinion.
    There's nothing small about idiomatic jazz rhythm - i.e. swing. It's a huge area of study, poorly documented and understood in the academic world. This is the true jazz tradition IMHO - very specific yet also endlessly creative.

    In terms of playing a 'style' such as Gypsy Jazz, bop, Swing with a big S, whatever - well it's good for learning and mastering an element of the tradition. You might even make money out of it. But yes, that is 'small.'

    Defining jazz as improvised music is actually quite idiotic as so many forms of music have an improvised element to them (even Western classical in history.) However, in the world we live in, 'jazz' often acts as an umbrella term for 'improvised art music.'

    Jazz trained musicians can bring their thing to the party, just like everyone else in Music.
    Last edited by christianm77; 03-03-2015 at 08:58 PM.

  5. #54

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    Jason Vieaux

  6. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    There's nothing small about idiomatic jazz rhythm - i.e. swing. It's a huge area of study, poorly documented and understood in the academic world. This is the true jazz tradition IMHO - very specific yet also endlessly creative.

    In terms of playing a 'style' such as Gypsy Jazz, bop, Swing with a big S, whatever - well it's good for learning and mastering an element of the tradition. You might even make money out of it. But yes, that is 'small.'

    Defining jazz as improvised music is actually quite idiotic as so many forms of music have an improvised element to them (even Western classical in history.) However, in the world we live in, 'jazz' often acts as an umbrella term for 'improvised art music.'

    Jazz trained musicians can bring their thing to the party, just like everyone else in Music.
    I agree that there will be an infinity of material to be studied from playing a single song in a single style. Thats right and I cant logically argue with that.

    This said, from what I hear nowadays on the "jazz" scene, everything goes!!! is there is a single style or genre that has not been "absorbed" in the "jazz" tradition today? Okay I'm sure that if we look we could find but really, if I look at what is presented as jazz in i.e. Downbeat magazine, it goes from classical (ECM), indian, hip hop, rock, etc which lead me to think that jazz nowadays is really a term we use (definitely in north america) to describe improvised music in general. Wich is cool with me.

    Now this whole truckload of creators is huge but if you take only those who use idiomatic instrumentation AND swing AND standards, it seems small to me "in comparison".

    Is that really idiot?
    Last edited by Takemitsu; 03-03-2015 at 09:24 PM.

  7. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by Takemitsu
    I agree that there will be an infinity of material to be studied from playing a single song in a single style. Thats right and I cant logically argue with that.

    This said, from what I hear nowadays on the "jazz" scene, everything goes!!! is there is a single style or genre that has not been "absorbed" in the "jazz" tradition today? Okay I'm sure that if we look we could find but really, if I look at what is presented as jazz in i.e. Downbeat magazine, it goes from classical (ECM), indian, hip hop, rock, etc which lead me to think that jazz nowadays is really a term we use (definitely in north america) to describe improvised music in general. Wich is cool with me.

    Now this whole truckload of creators is huge but if you take only those who use idiomatic instrumentation AND swing AND standards, it seems small to me "in comparison".

    Is that really idiot?
    Well yeah, I think it is - the conention that jazz can be defined as improvised music. There is an element of cultural imperialism I find distasteful. Jazz has been absorbed by other traditions as much as the other way around.

    I mean, does Anouar Brahem play jazz?

    Anyway this discussion is always a bit pointless not least because I don't really care. There is unarguable hardcore jazz and there is the much wider penumbra of arty-semi-or-fully-improvised-usually-instrumental-eclectic-what-the-hell-is-this-oh-we'll-just-call-it-jazz-for soemthing-to-call-it-music. I have a project of my very own which fits into that sphere and love much of that kind of stuff.

    I suppose you have to call it something, but it does tend to confuse the layperson.
    Last edited by christianm77; 03-03-2015 at 09:52 PM.

  8. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Well yeah, I think it is. There is an element of cultural imperialism I find distasteful. Jazz has been absorbed by other traditions as much as the other way around.

    I mean, does Anouar Brahem play jazz?

    Anyway this discussion is always a bit pointless not least because I don't really care. There is unarguable hardcore jazz and there is the much wider penumbra of arty-semi-or-fully-improvised-usually-instrumental-eclectic-what-the-hell-is-this-oh-we'll-just-call-it-jazz-for soemthing-to-call-it-music. I have a project of my very own which fits into that sphere and love much of that kind of stuff.

    I suppose you have to call it something, but it does tend to confuse the layperson.
    Could it be that its an other point of view and you don't agree instead of being "idiot"? I mean, I tried to explain my point with valid facts no?

  9. #58

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    BTW when I talk about jazz rhythm, this sensibility can be applied to all sorts of material, as we saw with Ornette Coleman, Miles etc. It's not necessarily - lets play a standard.

  10. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by Takemitsu
    Could it be that its an other point of view and you don't agree instead of being "idiot"? I mean, I tried to explain my point with valid facts no?
    I was being a bit rude, it wasn't actually meant personally. Sorry if it came across that way.

    We are essentially in agreement. I get a bit pissed off with the whole jazz = improvised music thing, hence the unkind adjective. I mean, how would that feel if you were a Carnatic classical musician whose musical heritage stretches back thousands of years?

    I don't think it's a point of view thing. Jazz is not the same thing as improvised music. It's a tradition of music with an improvised element and some important specific features. Same as Carnatic music, or European music in the 18th century, say.
    Last edited by christianm77; 03-03-2015 at 10:07 PM.

  11. #60

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    Anyway Takemitsu, I hope we can agree that music is ultimately the important thing and it doesn't really matter what we call it. I'm sorry if I made the tone unpleasant, I get carried away... This is all a distraction from the important things.... Like playing and listening to music....

  12. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by kmaaj
    Did Julian Bream "trash" this?

    There's a discussion of the Bream-Grappelli duet in a biography of Grappelli that you can read (in part) on Google Books.

    Apparently, the plan was for Bream to play a couple of classical guitar pieces with Stephane introducing him, but Grappelli sprang the duo and called on Bream to do an intro and take the first solo.

    Bream, in an interview recounted in the book, said that he rather quickly ran out of ideas "and was reduced to playing simple arpeggios on block chords, sounding not unlike Guilliana on a bad night." Then Grappelli asked him to take a third chorus, Bream says "it was the most embarrassing moment of my life."

    This speaks to the difficulty,as others have pointed out, of mastering both classical and jazz musics. Not impossible, but very difficult to achieve.

  13. #62

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    Well... you can call jazz what ever one wants, who cares...I don't care either... but what jazz players can do is show up and play ...whatever.
    That's one of the characteristics of being a jazz players.... you don't need to rehearse of know what your going to play, you show up and play. Typically that is not a characteristic of a classical player...

    And if you want to get into the characteristics of what jazz players might play, that is also very characteristically different from other styles of performers.

    All of which really doesn't mean much... but being a jazz player does require a very developed set of musical skills... as compared to other musicians performing jazz tunes.

  14. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    Well... you can call jazz what ever one wants, who cares...I don't care either... but what jazz players can do is show up and play ...whatever.
    That's one of the characteristics of being a jazz players.... you don't need to rehearse of know what your going to play, you show up and play. Typically that is not a characteristic of a classical player...

    And if you want to get into the characteristics of what jazz players might play, that is also very characteristically different from other styles of performers.

    All of which really doesn't mean much... but being a jazz player does require a very developed set of musical skills... as compared to other musicians performing jazz tunes.
    +1 this.

    That said, a lot of this revolves around the fact that jazz musicians have a shared repertoire and rhythmic sensibility. Obviously this can be said of other musical traditions around the world, Irish folk music for example.

    Jazz musicians do I think have a flexibility of mindset and open mindedness which allows them to engage with other musicians outside their tradition. That said most things we play end up being jazz whether we like it or not. I suppose music involving jazz musicians ends up being jazz sometimes without our realising it.

    I remember an improvisation workshop where my group was criticised for playing jazz. I think the course leader in question - a major figure in European improvised music - would find the suggestion that improvised music is the same thing as jazz highly inaccurate. His music BTW is highly accessible and very beautiful to my ears - and certainly very European.

    In fact in free improvisation workshops I end up playing 'Derek Bailey-isms' now, because that's what I think the tutors are comfortable with. So that's a style just like bebop... :-) I'm not very good at free improv. I respect it .... not sure if I love it....
    Last edited by christianm77; 03-04-2015 at 11:23 AM.

  15. #64

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    So many great thoughts here, I don't even know where to begin except to say thanks again and for keeping things civil. I know that there are many who are reading this that will benefit from your input. I don't play classical (or jazz very well for that matter) but this has been a real ride!

    Adam has a book by Roland Dyens that apparently has arrangements of some jazz tunes (or I may have misunderstood) but apparently he is an incredible arranger.

    Adam also works with a fellow that composes some really remarkable work and I suggested that he talk with him about maybe helping with an arrangement of Icarus and Nuages to start things off. I'm pretty sure if he's going for this that he'll be in touch with Oscar et al.

    The Jullien Bream jazz video things was amazing! The Jason Vieaux video of the Pat Metheny piece had tears welling up in my eyes.

    Opinions from around the globe. What a world!

    Jonathan

  16. #65

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    My humble advice would be to listen to recordings of every flavor and era of jazz he can get his hands on to understand the language and history. Along the way he'll develop an interest in certain styles and perhaps some inspiration to head in a direction. Maybe he's already done that, but I don't think it was mentioned.
    Also, check out all the genre-crossing musicians he can, regardless of instrument. Chris Thile and Mark O'Connor come to mind.
    Last edited by KirkP; 03-04-2015 at 08:44 PM.

  17. #66

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    Yeah, Adam listens to lots of stuff. He has an extensive jazz and blues music library as well as some bluegrass, newgrass, jazzgrass, pretty diverse and loves it all! I draw the line at his Dave mathews, govt mule, lenny kravitz, black crows, et al like all of us, not enough hours in the day...

    jonathan

  18. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Elliott
    There's a discussion of the Bream-Grappelli duet in a biography of Grappelli that you can read (in part) on Google Books.

    Apparently, the plan was for Bream to play a couple of classical guitar pieces with Stephane introducing him, but Grappelli sprang the duo and called on Bream to do an intro and take the first solo.

    Bream, in an interview recounted in the book, said that he rather quickly ran out of ideas "and was reduced to playing simple arpeggios on block chords, sounding not unlike Guilliana on a bad night." Then Grappelli asked him to take a third chorus, Bream says "it was the most embarrassing moment of my life."

    This speaks to the difficulty,as others have pointed out, of mastering both classical and jazz musics. Not impossible, but very difficult to achieve.
    the way i remember Bream telling it in his DVD My Life In Music, was that he worked out one chorus - only one - and after hearing it Grappelli encouraged him to keep playing and that's where things went south. Bream told the story in good humor while making the point that he was not an improviser.

  19. #68

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    I thought Julian did a damn fine job of playing Nuages with perhaps the foremost jazz violinist of all time, Stephane Grappelli. Particularly when I read just moments ago that he was somewhat 'sandbagged' - he pulled things off with aplomb and grace. I thought the guitar intro and first solo were quite brilliantly played, and I think his complaints re concluding "Guilliani-style arpeggios and block chords" was too modest. He was playing the role of accompanist to the master of the soulful melody, Stephane. The one point that betrays his classical background is his rhythmic sense which was not pure jazz, but I thought was on the mark nonetheless.

    Just my 2 cents....

    Jay

  20. #69

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    I'm a classical guitarist in Hartford who dabbles casually in jazz guitar. I apologize if this was already mentioned, but I did not have time to read everything. I would suggest speaking with Pete Clemente, he teaches at Assumption College in Worcester. Pete won one of the early GFA competitions, recently finished a DMA at my Alma Mater, and I've heard him play solo jazz guitar many times. Besides Andrew York, and Roland Dyens, Pete is the only other classical guitarist I've seen play jazz just as comfortably as classical. He also happens to be a really great guy.