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  1. #276

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    I mean if they had to water down Wes Montgomery so his records would sell (in the 60's!), what hope do we have today for jazz to reach a wider audience?
    What jazz musician has more capacity to appeal to a non-jazz audience while remaining true to the style? Even the rock guys like him
    theres an argument that jazz has never been popular, it’s just it used to be closer to pop music. In a sense it’s come full circle.

    jeff mentioned a few London guys. To me that stuff completely doesn’t grab me at all, sounds like routine Afro Beat, and I find it mysterious that it’s gone on to be as successful as it has, even penetrating into US jazz consciousness. But that stuff is groove oriented unlike most contemporary jazz here and might be ... intriguing to someone who hasn’t heard much of those grooves. Maybe there’s more Nigerian music in London? (Also there’s a North African influences here as well in some of the bands which can be interesting.)

    I quite like this band, quite reflective of what’s happening in my backyard (south london) even if I am not a part of that scene at all lol

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  3. #277

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    Another Brit ... Richard Spaven seems quite a big deal these days. I know him from drumming with M-base alum Robert Mitchell.

    the nice thing is their music always represents the place they’re in. Distinctively used aspects of drum and bass, broken beat and so on, which was the prevailing music of London for a long while. NYC jazz borrowed it, but it came from here. Dubstep too. (Hey I remember Dubstep from before Skrillex murdered it lol)

  4. #278

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    Speaking of Drum and Bass, Goldie is a huge Metheny fan, right? (Going back a bit now haha, I have friends who did the Timeless 20th anniversary gig few years back. Terrifying)



    (RIP Lyle of course)

    and you can hear it in his melodies I think.... jazz has always been an inspiration to musicians.

  5. #279

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    I'm not a jazz player. I'm an Allman Bros and Santana dorian player that stumbled upon flat fives and real key changes. So now all of a sudden I have opinions on jazz music.

    Free players with their tortured cat saxophone screams, twitchy runs, and intentional lack of way points have moved past boring to annoying.

    Straight ahead players, chained to emphasizing harmonic content above all else, are either boring and repetitive or so good that they can rise above that constraint and swing anyway. Very, very few of those about. And they're still playing all the same stuff.

    Not that I'm cynical. I listen to Hiromi and am blown away. I listen to The Bad Plus and think 'this is not boring'. I listen to Gypsy Jazz and can see what's in their heads and appreciate that their virtuosity is part of the fabric of the music. Where in so many other forms it's an unwelcome overlay where playing something hard and/or fast is supposed to substitute for good.

    Bah. Get off my lawn.

  6. #280

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook410
    I'm not a jazz player. I'm an Allman Bros and Santana dorian player that stumbled upon flat fives and real key changes. So now all of a sudden I have opinions on jazz music.

    Free players with their tortured cat saxophone screams, twitchy runs, and intentional lack of way points have moved past boring to annoying.

    Straight ahead players, chained to emphasizing harmonic content above all else, are either boring and repetitive or so good that they can rise above that constraint and swing anyway. Very, very few of those about. And they're still playing all the same stuff.

    Not that I'm cynical. I listen to Hiromi and am blown away. I listen to The Bad Plus and think 'this is not boring'. I listen to Gypsy Jazz and can see what's in their heads and appreciate that their virtuosity is part of the fabric of the music. Where in so many other forms it's an unwelcome overlay where playing something hard and/or fast is supposed to substitute for good.

    Bah. Get off my lawn.
    Made me think of a quote from Neil Young in a 1992 interview:
    Q : "What do you think about those who go to school to learn how to play guitar?"
    NEIL : "It would give you a rather sad view of your future, wouldn't it? First off, nobody cares if you know how to play scales. Nobody gives a shit if you have good technique or not. It's whether you have feelings that you want to express with music, that's what counts, really. When you are able to express yourself and feel good, then you know why you're playing. The technical aspect is absolute hogwash as far as I'm concerned. It bores me to tears. I can't play fast. I don't even know my scales. I know that most of the notes I play aren't where I play them. They're simply not there. So you can play any note you like. I think about it on another level, I don't care about that sort of shit. On the other hand, I appreciate really great guitarists, and I'm very impressed by those metal groups with their scale guitarists. When I see that, I go «Holy shit, that's really something». Satriani and Eddie Van Halen are guitar geniuses. They are incredible musicians, at an amazing level. But it does't really grab me. One note will do."

    Not saying Neil is jazz, but a valid comment on complexity for the sake of complexity. Room for us all?

    BTW, love that headstock in your photo.

  7. #281

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    Quote Originally Posted by Betz
    Made me think of a quote from Neil Young in a 1992 interview:
    Q : "What do you think about those who go to school to learn how to play guitar?"
    NEIL : "It would give you a rather sad view of your future, wouldn't it? First off, nobody cares if you know how to play scales. Nobody gives a shit if you have good technique or not. It's whether you have feelings that you want to express with music, that's what counts, really. When you are able to express yourself and feel good, then you know why you're playing. The technical aspect is absolute hogwash as far as I'm concerned. It bores me to tears. I can't play fast. I don't even know my scales. I know that most of the notes I play aren't where I play them. They're simply not there. So you can play any note you like. I think about it on another level, I don't care about that sort of shit. On the other hand, I appreciate really great guitarists, and I'm very impressed by those metal groups with their scale guitarists. When I see that, I go «Holy shit, that's really something». Satriani and Eddie Van Halen are guitar geniuses. They are incredible musicians, at an amazing level. But it does't really grab me. One note will do."

    Not saying Neil is jazz, but a valid comment on complexity for the sake of complexity. .
    Absolutely right - but most of us wouldn't be satisfied with that. Some folks are no doubt quite happy to play one chord, or just make a sound, or sing a song, and that's okay for them. But if you have a more complex mind then you need something more to do. People who play jazz have complex minds, it's the way it is. Being Neil Young would drive them mad and Neil Young couldn't do what they do anyway. Different strokes and different folks.

  8. #282

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    we may regret that "the people" is not as we wish, but if we can't change it, we don't want to be popular, i.e. make popular jazz

    if the people are against jazz, should we dissolve jazz, or the people?


  9. #283

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    Absolutely right - but most of us wouldn't be satisfied with that. ..
    Very much agree. Neil Young wrote and performed some great songs. He has a style and a gift for lyrics. However, most of us here would not be satisfied in a C F G world. Thing is.. are we satisfied in a ii V7 I world? And once we come to wanting more, does the path less traveled mean we leave musical communication with our listeners behind? Or instead do we seek a bit of elegant complexity (lyrics, melody, harmonic, rhythmic.. any one or all) while still maintaining a bond with the listener?

    We all like to dazzle someone with our blazing harmonic minor runs. And making linear, interesting melodic lines look easy as we wander through a minefield of chord changes. All the musical twists and turns we explore from the basic to the esoteric. It's good. It's cool. But I would like to have both: Intellectual engagement and communication with my audience.

    Oh.. and jazz could be a bit easier. Would like that too.

  10. #284

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patlotch
    we may regret that "the people" is not as we wish, but if we can't change it, we don't want to be popular, i.e. make popular jazz

    if the people are against jazz, should we dissolve jazz, or the people?
    Simple. You get a real job and do as you wish with your hobbies.

  11. #285

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    I read this thread to my grandchildren at night to put them to sleep...zzzzz

  12. #286

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    I doubt that the hardest bebop was really popular. Had it not been for Dizzy's talent and his facets, it would have been even less

    When the hard bop softens the bebop, with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, Wes Montgomery, Jimmy Smith, the audience expands

    In fact, there is nothing difficult to appreciate Wes Montgomery, his revolution is more guitar than musical. So did Jimmy Smith. But if he had only recorded tunes like Dizzy's The Champ, it would have been different


    Similarly, one of Wes's last records, Road Song 1968, was poorly received by critics and purists, it was deemed too commercial. Yet the Don Sebesky's arrangements are beautiful, with and imperial rhythm section: Herbie Hancock p, Richard Davis bass, Grady Tate dms, Ed Shaughnessy dms, Ray Barretto perc


  13. #287

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    Quote Originally Posted by Betz
    Made me think of a quote from Neil Young in a 1992 interview:
    Q : "What do you think about those who go to school to learn how to play guitar?"
    NEIL : "It would give you a rather sad view of your future, wouldn't it? First off, nobody cares if you know how to play scales. Nobody gives a shit if you have good technique or not. It's whether you have feelings that you want to express with music, that's what counts, really. When you are able to express yourself and feel good, then you know why you're playing. The technical aspect is absolute hogwash as far as I'm concerned. It bores me to tears. I can't play fast. I don't even know my scales. I know that most of the notes I play aren't where I play them. They're simply not there. So you can play any note you like. I think about it on another level, I don't care about that sort of shit. On the other hand, I appreciate really great guitarists, and I'm very impressed by those metal groups with their scale guitarists. When I see that, I go «Holy shit, that's really something». Satriani and Eddie Van Halen are guitar geniuses. They are incredible musicians, at an amazing level. But it does't really grab me. One note will do."

    Not saying Neil is jazz, but a valid comment on complexity for the sake of complexity. Room for us all?

    BTW, love that headstock in your photo.
    Neil speaking here in an era before Instagram and music as e-sports....

    I agree with Neil of course, but I think it would be easy to straw man what he is saying. Also I’d say EVH is a feel player who happened to have some great tricks.

    the perception of complexity and musical sophistication as a criterion of good jazz (and now metal and so on) is really a slow development in the way music is learned and its social environment. I think it started with Satriani’s old teacher, Lennie Tristano, with his emphasis on mathematical rhythms, scales, formalised transcription and practicing with the metronome. All tropes common in today’s prog metal and contemporary jazz world. Non classical music edu all over really.

    Ethan Iverson presents it as a direct contrast to the human, dance based rhythm feel of jazz up to that point. Tristanos ideas formed a syllabus and was relatively easy to import into music school... he didn’t invent it all, but to me it sets the tone.

    None of this is a problem in itself, but the idea of playing music in clubs for real people to make a living is basically not a thing for young players of any style.

    take this young guy Plini. He had never plugged into an amp until he had to tour his album. For fans who liked his music from the internet.

    Complexity is fetishised among usually young musicians.... may have always been that way, but you need audiences to keep you honest. The music should only be as complex as it needs to be...and should &&£@ing swing, whether it’s jazz, rock or hip hop or whatever.

    OTOH you get the backlash- hey, I learned to play in the 90s - you get the equally daft position that lack of complexity as necessary for emotional music. That’s not true.... orchestral music is an obvious example. (A lot of players like Kurt and Holdsworth that people think of as cold and technical I find very emotional. I think their music comes from a certain place. I honestly think many guitarists can’t see past chops, or lack of chops, or whatever, to hear the music.)

    Sometimes the music needs to be complex... but it has to be the right kind of complex. Music isn’t measurable either way, but we are obsessed with the measurable...

    I think the answer is not to be hung up on chops or musical complexity either way, and to try and be the ‘sensitive lay listener’ Bill Evans described. As a teacher it’s a lot harder because you are incentivised towards accountable assessment, and that can skew towards the quantitative if you aren’t careful. Would a Monk, Grant Green or Miles do well in jazz school? Maybe, but I think they would have been very different players if they had.
    Last edited by christianm77; 02-15-2020 at 05:49 AM.

  14. #288

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patlotch
    I doubt that the hardest bebop was really popular. Had it not been for Dizzy's talent and his facets, it would have been even less

    When the hard bop softens the bebop, with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, Wes Montgomery, Jimmy Smith, the audience expands

    In fact, there is nothing difficult to appreciate Wes Montgomery, his revolution is more guitar than musical. So did Jimmy Smith. But if he had only recorded tunes like Dizzy's The Champ, it would have been different


    Similarly, one of Wes's last records, Road Song 1968, was poorly received by critics and purists, it was deemed too commercial. Yet the Don Sebesky's arrangements are beautiful, with and imperial rhythm section: Herbie Hancock p, Richard Davis bass, Grady Tate dms, Ed Shaughnessy dms, Ray Barretto perc

    I read elsewhere here I think that the Hard Bop stuff we hold up as classic was really not well reviewed at the time. The critical paradigm was ‘progressive jazz’ and ‘third wave’ - jazz as the new classical music.

  15. #289

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I read elsewhere here I think that the Hard Bop stuff we hold up as classic was really not well reviewed at the time. The critical paradigm was ‘progressive jazz’ and ‘third wave’ - jazz as the new classical music.
    all these categories were never those of the musicians themselves, and they often rejected them, such as the name "jazz" itself, which has controversial origins, but all with pejorative, sexual connotations, etc. [Correction: this is not true in the case of Hard Bop and Third Stream)

    1957

    then they accept it, quite obliged, a bit like the Impressionist painters took on their account the word of a critic about Claude Monet "Impressions, Rising Sun", or as Aimé Césaire says: "Negro you call me and yes, negro I am. Don't say it again, but the nigger pisses you off."

    as for the second half of the 50s, I think the hard-bop was more popular than the Third Stream. It was heard in jukeboxes, dance clubs, Soundtrack: Des Femmes Disparaissent 1958, Les liaisons dangereuses 1959. Hard bop becomes more popular than bebop because it incorporates influences from rhythm and blues, gospel music, and blues. It's a weird name, because for my part, I find bebop harder than hard bop

    One might think that what was called Jazz Cool and later West Coast Jazz had the same place, perhaps more with white musicians, and less influence of the blues

    I think the Third Stream, more than "jazz as the new classical music", was an attempt to synthesise jazz and classical music, as on the part of Gunther Schuller ("a new genre of music located about halfway between jazz and classical music"), John Lewis... This music was not always easy to hear, and could only become popular, except very softened, as with the MJQ
    Last edited by Patlotch; 02-15-2020 at 06:14 AM.

  16. #290

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    Yes I understand. I have Gunther Schullers essay on it on my bookshelf.

    in general I meant the idea that jazz should be ‘serious’ music. Which it is, but that was understood in the 50s from the aesthetic of high modernism and that was coming out of Western Music, Bach, Webern etc in the academy. Yes there was plenty of new classical music already.

  17. #291

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    Why isn't jazz popular?

    If you look it up there are a ton of answers by intellectuals, cultural commentators, musical historians, and so on...

    But, having searched You Tube, there are no vids with people on the street, young or old. What would they say? It's boring. I only do hip hop, man. Oh, I prefer classical music. It's for old people. It's weird. It's up its own arse. No one ever heard of the Justin Bieiber police. It's the sort of thing my dad likes. Can't dance to it.

    They should survey everyday people, see what they say. The fact that it's generally only answered by sophisticates is, I think, rather telling. And probably gives us the big clue.

  18. #292

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    And the thing is, I totally see where they are coming from!

    i remember going to my first jazz club and thinking ‘who are these people?’

    my love for the music won out...

  19. #293

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    Zeitgeist!


    To take an example:
    I used to read Cymbalholic.com about a decade ago when dabbling a bit in drums (apparently they shut down in 2019).

    Basically it could summed up in two sentences:
    The cymbal sound on Nefertiti was the greatest ever .. The holy grail of all cymbals.

    Jazz drumming ended with Max Roach. All jazz drumming since has been a pale imitation.




    It's hard to see what jazz has to offer in 2020?
    Some jazz singer getting all emotional singing 'In my solituuude .. Yooou haunt me' .. OK then, why don't you go on Tinder then and utterly drown in male interest.


    So what is current?
    I get the 1920 to 1940 revival getting along god with the current ecological, hipster, climate, what not trend (I see Julian Lage as part of this movement)


    But jazz discussion is (almost) never about people, society and the times. It's usually just about what to play over dominants.

  20. #294

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patlotch
    it depends on what you mean by 'intellectual', and if it is a critique of excessive cerebrality, I agree. But Duke Ellington was a great intellectual, and his music was popular, we danced on it in the 20s and 30s. John Lewis was a great intellectual, and the music of the MJQ, no doubt thanks to the presence of Milt Jackson, was very popular. I danced languorous slows on some tunes of the MJQ

    on the other hand, the common people are not decelerated, they think as much as intellectuals, certainly in a different language, with different words, and they are no less intelligent, and sensitive to demanding music, as long as they have the opportunity to to hear it. I know in France (manual) Workers passionate and very connoisseurs of classical music

    I am not a supporter of demagoguery, but also not of primary (and demagogic) anti-intellectualism


    a clue of what? It is the intellectuals' own to express these reflections, which belong to the legitimate questions of an era. When these questions "take hold of the masses" to paraphrase Karl Marx, "they become a material force". Today, the material (and therefore commercial) strength is hip-hop. If jazz had been able to express, as before, the real life of young people, they would still be as popular as ever

    but as they say in France , "With ifs, we would bottle Paris"
    I hear you. But I think you think I'm stereotyping certain kinds of people. Not at all. There are plenty of young people who play classical music and also plenty who play jazz!

    But the majority neither play nor like those two genres - or any other - and prefer pop music. It's just a fact.

    As for intellectualism, I mean those whose primary value is the intellect as above sentiment or experience. That is, the highest value is given to thought, concept, theory, and so on, abstracted from emotion.

    Personally, it's not my thing. I think it's a very narrow means of expression. It never encompasses a holistic view and generally includes a great deal of phoney affectation. Mix a few long words together and everyone assumes they must be very intelligent people. But there's a great difference between the intellect and intelligence.

    I'm not anti-intellectual. Probably that would also be an intellectual stance! I simply observe that those who live in an intellectual world are generally respected however much nonsense they talk.

    You understand - it's respectable to be intellectual. The ideologues, the political thinkers, the agitators, the terrorists, the idealists and believers, they all give a great value to things of the intellect. You must know this as you've dabbled in Marxism. But they are not the uniters of humanity.

    But to get back to jazz, it's just a kind of music. Either it appeals or it doesn't. It's not really something intellectual at all, but it seems to attract the intellectually inclined, as does any form of art.

    If jazz had been able to express, as before, the real life of young people
    That's just it. Presumably it only has a limited appeal because it's a niche form of expression. But the same could be said of, say, classical, folk, blues, or country music.

    But we don't hear discussions about 'Why isn't folk music more popular?'. I suspect when the question is asked about jazz it's asked by jazzers :-)

  21. #295

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    But jazz discussion is (almost) never about people, society and the times. It's usually just about what to play over dominants.
    :-)

  22. #296

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    There’s a thing now on the internet where if you sound and look like the popular idea of an intellectual, people will treat you as if you are one, especially if you tell them what they want to hear. It’s big business.

    Sort of the bastard children of Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. Only shit.

  23. #297

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    They have a good brain, a good memory, accumulates a lot of knowledge, but that doesn't make them as smart as they say they are.
    Yes, they may function well in a certain area but it's very limited, which means it's in conflict with other areas.

    a simple method, it is to always ask yourself what it is really, in the things themselves.
    Yes, precisely.

    I operate much less conceptually than many who claim to be proponents of the practice, despite the theory
    Is that about playing jazz? Aucun commentaire!

    I had another thought...

    No one asks 'Why is folk music not more popular?' but they do ask about jazz. I suspect that folkies aren't concerned about popularity, much to their credit. When the jazzers ask, the assumption seems to be that it should be more popular and they just can't understand for the life of them why it's not...

    Encore une fois, je ne dis rien :-)

  24. #298

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    There’s a thing now on the internet where if you sound and look like the popular idea of an intellectual, people will treat you as if you are one, especially if you tell them what they want to hear. It’s big business.
    You bet.

    I don't mind intelligent intellectuals - or rather people who use their intellect intelligently. But I do listen to Radio 4 and one does hear such an awful lot of pretentious drivel sometimes.

  25. #299

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    Yes, they may function well in a certain area but it's very limited, which means it's in conflict with other areas.



    Yes, precisely.



    Is that about playing jazz? Aucun commentaire!

    I had another thought...

    No one asks 'Why is folk music not more popular?' but they do ask about jazz. I suspect that folkies aren't concerned about popularity, much to their credit. When the jazzers ask, the assumption seems to be that it should be more popular and they just can't understand for the life of them why it's not...

    Encore une fois, je ne dis rien :-)
    I’m sorry to say that folkies are also worried about this (or, maybe, it’s only the business side of it and the musicians couldn’t care less, I don’t know). What I can say is that on world music trade fairs people discuss this often,


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  26. #300

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    Folk is at least 100% more popular than jazz.