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  1. #201

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    Yes, jazz was popular. Many popular jazz bands played dance music.

    The "King of Jazz" in the 1920s was Paul Whiteman, who is dismissed by many fans today as---one might now call it---lame. He commissioned Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue." Here's a "video" of it from 1930.

    And dismissed by me, apologies for the cliche. Paul Whiteman is not jazz IMHO. Really not my cup of tea, doesn't have the feel. Which is not to say the players couldn't swing, just that it was sweet music, designed for what we now call ballroom dancing.... I do believe they put some jazz feeling in there sometimes, when they could get away with it.

    Ray Noble's early British bands are a bit like that too. Every so often they let some jazz off, and then return to that sweet stuff....

    Why waste time listening to Whiteman when you could listen to Duke Ellington? Very trendy though... People like that twee nonsense.... They can sit around eating their cupcakes and knitting their snoods to it.

    I can hear it's quality twee nonsense though - impeccably played... Well it's nice. It causes no offense.

    And yes he had some great jazz players in his band, including Eddie. But just because a jazz musician plays music don't make it jazz.

    Rhapsody in Blue is good though, have to give him that.
    Last edited by christianm77; 02-05-2016 at 01:39 PM.

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  3. #202

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    Yes, jazz was popular. Many popular jazz bands played dance music.

    The "King of Jazz" in the 1920s was Paul Whiteman, who is dismissed by many fans today as---one might now call it---lame. He commissioned Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue." Here's a "video" of it from 1930.

    Side Comment:

    That was quite an artistic dance intro.

  4. #203

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlsoRan View Post
    Side Comment:

    That was quite an artistic dance intro.
    I thought so too.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  5. #204

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    I'm from the UK. I think it's slightly different historically...
    I am currently a refugee from the UK but was still there as a fully participating member of the London scene during the time period in question.

    In the mid to late '60s there was a highly self-conscious sense of "otherness" among the young - centred primarily around the swelling popular consumption of recreational drugs. We liked to think of ourselves rather pretentiously as "underground" because the mainstream overground struggled to comprehend what was going on. There was much demonisation in the media - which was much provoked, much encouraged, and much reflected, by our behaviour.

    The idea of counter-culture came from the heady dialectic of opposition to the dominant culture of the grown-up world made of adult survivors of war. We nursed the illusion of being an international band of brothers and sisters united around the same principles and values and understandings generated by the sacrament of LSD.

    What we were, really, was a market segment, a demographic. One which continued - despite the British Invasion - to believe that the world and whatever in it that was important to us kiddies, this world and the excitement of real life was taking place elsewhere. In America.

    Then, here comes Jimi.

    Jimi was American. He was black. He was exotic. He became convenient repository of our racial myths about sexual danger. He represented a whole bunch of imagined funky shit that we had never had before. Perfect outlaw material. And so we appropriated him and his music as symbols of authenticity for our pretend counter-culture. Easy.

    Jimi had potent counter-cultural meaning for the underground, alright. But, as a commercial commodity who moved units, he was an overtly overground success, a household name, on the telly, recognisable from front pages, even grannie knew who he was. How much more mainstream can it get?

    The British Invasion was a funny thing. Acne-ridden white boys selling counterfeit copies of black music to a US market ignorant of its own culture. How ridiculous. Many of us were amazed they got away with it.

    While the Dave Clark Five were laughed at at home, they were actually in the Vanguard of that faux moment.
    Can you believe it?

  6. #205

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post

    Why waste time listening to Whiteman when you could listen to Duke Ellington? Very trendy though... People like that twee nonsense.... They can sit around eating their cupcakes and knitting their snoods to it.
    You say this in total ignorance of Ellington's praise of Whiteman. You think he wasn't worth listening to but Ellington thought otherwise. Duke's view carries a lot more weight with me. Of course, Duke was also accused of "twee nonsense" more than once...)
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  7. #206

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    I had a jazz guitar teacher who said to me, "there are more people making a good living in the NBA than there are musicians making a good living playing jazz guitar".

    That was Bill Thrasher who said that, the year... 1977.

    I'd guess things have only gotten worse for jazz musicians (and better for NBA players). Kind of puts things in perspective.

    If you are making a good living playing jazz guitar, you are a rare bird indeed.
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  8. #207

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Why waste time listening to Whiteman when you could listen to Duke Ellington?
    One answer might be Fletcher Henderson.

    "Paul Whiteman was known as the King of Jazz, and no one as yet has come near carrying that title with more certainty and dignity." Duke Ellington

    You might possibly get a kick out of more real history as opposed to myth. I mean, the myth is crucial - can't escape it in the business of entertainment - and it clearly does have both meaning and great significance - but, for me, personally, the biggest slice of fun I get since I started to study the history of western popular music more assiduously and critically is to discover that most everything we believe to be true is likely complete bollocks.

    If you're interested in that style of fun, of course.
    For me, it's a perfect fit for my own naturally iconoclastic tendencies.

  9. #208

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    From my perspective, it seems that most of the people who are concerned that jazz is dead are performers. Sure, I'd like to have a venue where I could sit down with a beverage and groove to some cool jazz, but I think very many of us who don't play out (or just love to listen) revel in our elitism. Hating rock 'n' roll or rap for their lack of sophistication is a different brand of discrimination. I see some elitism and arrogance in a lot of players, too.

    Now I'll duck.
    "Songs are very interesting things to do to the air." -Tom Waits

  10. #209

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevebol View Post
    There's no passion in today's music. Not in the US. Thank got for Youtube where I can listen to older music. And stay off my lawn!
    There's a draught! Pull that lawn out.

  11. #210

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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxTwang View Post
    There's a draught! Pull that lawn out.
    Let me guess, CA? I'm 7 miles from Lake Michigan. Maybe they should run a pipeline from this sucker for you guys.

  12. #211

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    Quote Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
    I had a student who loves punk. Ok he's an inmate. He's all about rebellion. Skin Head, but a very smart guy. I tried to get him to see that in its day jazz was total rebellion and to think of it in those terms. From ragtime to bebop. It still is in a certain sense. Make no mistake. But it's achieved a certain artistic and intellectual cache.
    I had a keyboard player friend who saw Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring", Weather Report's "Mr Gone" and the Sex Pistols "Never Mind the Bollocks" as equals as they were all rebellious and attempts to change the world. I learned a lot from him about innovation and passion in art.

    In the 80's there was some interest in jazz among some punk artists. IIRC Henry Rollins gave a couple jazz artists their break and recorded them on his label.

    Unfortunately the attempts at 'punk jazz' I've head focus on 'thrash' as a sound and not the passion to communicate.

  13. #212

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    There was plenty of cheap, lame music made in the past. It gets forgotten, and everyone remembers Duke Ellington and Jimi Hendrix, but these guys were not mainstream at the time. They were underground or at least off mainstream.
    This is BS, plain and simple. In 1967, Melody Maker named Hendrix Pop Musician of the Year. In 1968, Rolling Stone dubbed him Performer of the Year. Disc and Music Echo named him Top World Musician in 1969 and 1970. Jimi Hendrix received a staggering amount of attention while he was alive, popular performers from the Stones and Beatles on down the pop music food chain raved about him, and he recorded enough material to keep two bands going.

    As for Ellington, he gave annual concerts at Carnegie Hall during the '40s for godsake; hardly the venue for someone far outside the mainstream. (Those were the Blanton / Webster years: to many ears, Duke's best orchestra.) His time was much longer than that of Hendrix of course----Duke recorded from the mid-20s until the early 70s.

    Here's his 'final speech' from his 70th birthday concert (recorded in Manchester, I believe). Just wanted to hear it again.

    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  14. #213

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Paul Whiteman is not jazz IMHO.... quality twee nonsense though - impeccably played... yes he had some great jazz players ........ just because a jazz musician plays music don't make it jazz.
    Yeah - well.. I guess one could level the same comments at the Duke's oeuvre if we were cherry-picking. There is certainly much of his work sounds less jazz to me than it is just music. Music of the people, he said. But I'm less interested in drawing any jazz/not-jazz line than I am in feeling the river of tradition. As a significant C20th composer about whom I still have much to learn, the Ellingtonian current as I see it very much involves the influence of Fletcher Henderson's work for Whiteman as well as the guidance and example of pre-jazz Will Marion Cook.

    Reading around the story of the Whiteman Orchestra is great fun. I think they established an Olympic standard for musicianly misbehaviour that was only surpassed by Charlie Barnett's mob. Bad boys. Very jazz.

    The last surviving Whiteman band guy took the coda only a handful of years ago. Al Gallodoro - alto sax. Played right up until the end, after his 95th birthday. Toscanini favourite. Very jazz. But not exclusively. Unbelievable articulation that tricked my ears into thinking "violin" one minute and "button-accordion" the next. Phenomenal technique. Jimmy Dorsey called him the best who ever lived. Both Ellington and Bernstein, among others, dug him. And if you can raise any agreement that him in the Whiteman band didn't swing I'll eat my computer.

    I remember myself dismissing that lot out of hand too, though - the Whitemans and Hendersons and Barnets - in my arrogant ignorant past.

    But I'm better now, thanks.

  15. #214

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lazz View Post
    Yeah - well.. I guess one could level the same comments at the Duke's oeuvre if we were cherry-picking. There is certainly much of his work sounds less jazz to me than it is just music. Music of the people, he said. But I'm less interested in drawing any jazz/not-jazz line than I am in feeling the river of tradition. As a significant C20th composer about whom I still have much to learn, the Ellingtonian current as I see it very much involves the influence of Fletcher Henderson's work for Whiteman as well as the guidance and example of pre-jazz Will Marion Cook.

    Reading around the story of the Whiteman Orchestra is great fun. I think they established an Olympic standard for musicianly misbehaviour that was only surpassed by Charlie Barnett's mob. Bad boys. Very jazz.

    The last surviving Whiteman band guy took the coda only a handful of years ago. Al Gallodoro - alto sax. Played right up until the end, after his 95th birthday. Toscanini favourite. Very jazz. But not exclusively. Unbelievable articulation that tricked my ears into thinking "violin" one minute and "button-accordion" the next. Phenomenal technique. Jimmy Dorsey called him the best who ever lived. Both Ellington and Bernstein, among others, dug him. And if you can raise any agreement that him in the Whiteman band didn't swing I'll eat my computer.

    I remember myself dismissing that lot out of hand too, though - the Whitemans and Hendersons and Barnets - in my arrogant ignorant past.

    But I'm better now, thanks.
    But I love Fletcher Henderson and Charlie Barnet.

    I know I don't like Paul Whiteman because every time I hear it and I don't like it I ask what it is and it's always Paul Whiteman.

    But, yes there are some amazing stories. And those musicians made some records I really like in other settings... They were all motherfuckers. But I still don't like the Paul Whiteman Orchestra very much.

  16. #215

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    This is BS, plain and simple. In 1967, Melody Maker named Hendrix Pop Musician of the Year. In 1968, Rolling Stone dubbed him Performer of the Year. Disc and Music Echo named him Top World Musician in 1969 and 1970. Jimi Hendrix received a staggering amount of attention while he was alive, popular performers from the Stones and Beatles on down the pop music food chain raved about him, and he recorded enough material to keep two bands going.

    As for Ellington, he gave annual concerts at Carnegie Hall during the '40s for godsake; hardly the venue for someone far outside the mainstream. (Those were the Blanton / Webster years: to many ears, Duke's best orchestra.) His time was much longer than that of Hendrix of course----Duke recorded from the mid-20s until the early 70s.

    Here's his 'final speech' from his 70th birthday concert (recorded in Manchester, I believe). Just wanted to hear it again.


    I did say I would enjoy being corrected.

    Thanks for the information. I still think Duke was perhaps less mainstream than say Benny Goodman.... Jimi was less mainstream than ... ooh .. the Monkees?

    These things are relative. They were still more mainstream than me :-)

  17. #216

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    every time I hear it and I don't like it I ask what it is and it's always Paul Whiteman.
    Yeah - I hate it when they do that.
    The bastards,

  18. #217

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    Duke Ellington was nominated for a Pullitzer music price but ended being bypassed in favor of some pop singer. Asked his thoughts of that, he said: "I thank The Good Lord for not letting me to become famous too young." He was well into his sixties by then.
    "But if they all play like me, then who am I?" (Lester Young)

  19. #218

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldane View Post
    Duke Ellington was nominated for a Pullitzer music price but ended being bypassed in favor of some pop singer. Asked his thoughts of that, he said: "I thank The Good Lord for not letting me to become famous too young." He was well into his sixties by then.
    No, it was not a pop singer. The first non-classical musician to win a Pulitzer Prize for music was Wynton Marsalis (1997, for "Blood on the Fields.") Duke's year was supposed to be 1965 but no prize was given that year, or the year before. Ornette Coleman received the Pulitzer in 2007. Near as I can see, no pop singer (or musician) has yet won the Pulitzer Price for music. (I think the award is reserved for composers.) The Pulitzer Prizes

    Duke Ellington was much more famous than Charles Ives, Gunther Schuller, Elliott Carter, Virgil Thomson, Steve Reich, Samuel Barber, John Adams, even Aaron Copeland. They won Pulitzers. The Pulitzer judges (then) did not consider jazz "serious" music; not that they considered pop music more "serious" or important.
    Last edited by MarkRhodes; 02-06-2016 at 10:41 PM. Reason: punctuation
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  20. #219

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    Please songs like ATTYA with a rock back beat and make it aurally attractive and play regularly (maybe on a live streaming platform) and you'll have a chance at growing a fan base. Uh oh, no yelling please. LOL
    You can't analyze something you can't play! (Robert Conti)

    Technique is the means to play just like your voice is your means to speak. (Robert Conti)

  21. #220

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    Just got back from a week long cruise filled with geezers (including myself). They had a piano bar. Guy plays nothing but 70's on. A performer got on at Grand Cayman, he played Sammy Davis, Jr. In Vegas in a Rat Pack show, so I expected to hear some GASB tunes. He asked how many folks liked Jazz, got decent applause, then asked how many liked rock and the place exploded. So, a rock show. He did 2 Davis numbers and they were great, then back to an hour of rock and R&B. The crazy thing is, there was a 9 piece band on board and they were terrific jazz performers. They lifted the SNL theme song and changed up the melody a bit for every opening, had a great tenor player. When they had the chance to just play filler, there was great improvising going on. Last night of the cruise was Al Jardine and the Surf City All Stars. An hour and a half show, a bit of shark-jumping on a lot of numbers, but the crowd was on it's feet. Ran into Mr. Jardine on the Promenade and went to say hello, then realized I had nothing to say to him other than "Good show", so just nodded and moved on. He was looking tired and ragged.

    I bet if you could find enough WWII vets still alive to fill a cruise ship, you might hear some decent jazz. Other than that, outside Manhattan, no one seems to care anymore (I don't know a lot about West Coast jazz towns). A lot of this music is 50-80 years old; no one really gives a shit about those songs anymore except folks like us. Of course, just my opinion.
    "Talent is a pursued interest; anything that you're willing to practice, you can do." - Bob Ross

  22. #221

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    I don't know about that bit of Manhattan being the only place people like jazz. Philly has more jazz happening than NYC these days.

    And here in Harrisburg, Steve Rudolph is still a fixture at the Hilton up on Market Square. Harrisburg also has a Friends of Jazz society and they bring big name acts through here pretty regularly.

    but west of the Poconos, its nothing but cow towns, I'll give you that

  23. #222

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    Good to know. I'll be in Philadelphia pretty soon so will check it out. I don't travel there often, mostly to NYC so that's pretty much what I know.

  24. #223

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    Quote Originally Posted by ah.clem View Post
    Just got back from a week long cruise filled with geezers (including myself). They had a piano bar. Guy plays nothing but 70's on. A performer got on at Grand Cayman, he played Sammy Davis, Jr. In Vegas in a Rat Pack show, so I expected to hear some GASB tunes. He asked how many folks liked Jazz, got decent applause, then asked how many liked rock and the place exploded. So, a rock show. He did 2 Davis numbers and they were great, then back to an hour of rock and R&B. The crazy thing is, there was a 9 piece band on board and they were terrific jazz performers. They lifted the SNL theme song and changed up the melody a bit for every opening, had a great tenor player. When they had the chance to just play filler, there was great improvising going on. Last night of the cruise was Al Jardine and the Surf City All Stars. An hour and a half show, a bit of shark-jumping on a lot of numbers, but the crowd was on it's feet. Ran into Mr. Jardine on the Promenade and went to say hello, then realized I had nothing to say to him other than "Good show", so just nodded and moved on. He was looking tired and ragged.

    I bet if you could find enough WWII vets still alive to fill a cruise ship, you might hear some decent jazz. Other than that, outside Manhattan, no one seems to care anymore (I don't know a lot about West Coast jazz towns). A lot of this music is 50-80 years old; no one really gives a shit about those songs anymore except folks like us. Of course, just my opinion.

    PS:

    Improvisation isn't dead. It's actually going stronger than ever. Some of the biggest grossing bands are JAM BAND bands. Dave Matthew's sidemen are full on Jazz men who explore the contemporary realm of rhythm.

    Notice how Scofield literally does a full rotation on the Jam band scene and then turns right around and releases a "straight ahead Jazz" record.

    I also think that since the development of Jazz was contributed to mightily by "instrumentalists", we as instrumentalists are somewhat trapped in the rhythmic forms of "the past" so to speak whereas singers are given freer reign to sing and be "jazzers" over more adventurous and/or contemporary rhythms.

    Finally, please listen to this "JAZZ SINGER" (yup, read her wiki page) who has sold... 2.5 MILLION RECORDS TO DATE! Her rhythm choices literally span the early beginnings of jazz to more contemporary rhythms. Her singing is to me not much different from the people she's obviously inspired by.

    All I can say is I hope instrumentalists are taking note.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caro_Emerald

    Last edited by West LA Jazz; 02-11-2016 at 08:27 PM.
    You can't analyze something you can't play! (Robert Conti)

    Technique is the means to play just like your voice is your means to speak. (Robert Conti)

  25. #224

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    If people don't like your ultra-sophisticated, exquisitely prepared bean salad, it's probably not because they're stupid. It's probably because it doesn't taste good.

  26. #225

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    Ha.
    Jazz is popular.
    It's just not as popular as 2019 "pop" music.
    It's more popular than say Ska music and Ska music is "popular".
    It's all relative. ;-)
    You can't analyze something you can't play! (Robert Conti)

    Technique is the means to play just like your voice is your means to speak. (Robert Conti)

  27. #226

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    It's very popular... among jazz fans :-)

  28. #227

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    It's very popular... among jazz fans :-)
    I’m not sure if the use of a plural is altogether justified .

  29. #228

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    Quote Originally Posted by strumcat View Post
    If people don't like your ultra-sophisticated, exquisitely prepared bean salad, it's probably not because they're stupid. It's probably because it doesn't taste good.
    It’s got tofu in it.

    How could it fail?

  30. #229

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    Btw I’m going to be putting out a couple of new recordings soon, so I’ve found this thread valuable for motivation.

  31. #230
    One reason I think is it's become too complicated for many listeners to grasp. Another is the way people live nowdays, in huge, noisy cities, stressful lives, ideal soundtrack is heavy metal, not strings and horns! Another reason is, it's good music, and music business today, same as tv and Cinema seems to have a plan promoting awful stuff.