The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero
    what is its real value if no one listens?
    I don't think we should judge the value of something by popularity. Some of the best/highest ideas in history weren't acknowledged by the general population. Either through lack of contact or because they were above their heads. It's always the small few who initiate change.

    When one hears music that does communicate what it means to be human, it has a real effect on your life. Stardust, Over the Rainbow, My Funny Valentine, In a Sentimental Mood, Misty, Round Midnight, All the Things You Are, My Foolish Heart, etc.,etc. are an example of music that moves the human soul and deals with the human condition.
    But you're only giving jazz music examples. There's a programme on BBC Radio 4 about how some Radiohead tune or album 'changed peoples' lives' and all that drivel. Or Elvis, The Stones, the Beatles, David Bowie... you know what I mean. As though a certain section of young people from a certain background were the avant-garde of humanity!

    Jazz is dying because the culture that produces today's Jazz is also dead . . . although figuratively. The old cats may not have been formally educated but they jobbed for a living and they were sentient beings who not only absorbed the music but also used their own unique voice every time they played a familiar tune.
    I agree, times have changed. The lone singer voicing the angst of a generation (like Woody Guthrie, Dylan, etc) seems to have died. But these things come and go. It won't happen every five minutes. It'll be back soon enough. But we all know it never changes anything, it has a superficial effect and creates a temporary disturbance, that's all.

    Player's music? I think you're being kind.
    I don't know. From what I can gather, and it definitely applies to what people have said here, they got a bit bored with their rock n roll and wanted something a bit deeper, more complex, more of a challenge. Which it certainly is.

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  3. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero
    Hi, R,
    In Philosophy 101, they teach beginning university students to reduce a philosophical concept/enigma, or ideology to its most elemental level to test its value. This is quite easy in this case. Music: vocal and instrumental were the earliest attempts by fully modern humans to communicate ideas, feelings, historical events, loss of life/love, success in battles, etc. in both a verbal(singing) and non-verbal (playing)way. Now fast forward 500,000 +/- years: to 2022 and ask a very simple question: what is the value of music if it fails to communicate to people, verbally and musically, the vagaries of the human condition. And, as the article I mentioned above, if it only communicates to 1.4% of the music audience, what is its real value if no one listnens? When one hears music that does communicate what it means to be human, it has a real effect on your life. Stardust, Over the Rainbow, My Funny Valentine, In a Sentimental Mood, Misty, Round Midnight, All the Things You Are, My Foolish Heart, etc.,etc. are an example of music that moves the human soul and deals with the human condition. And, it is this very thing that is lost today. Who's writing great songs today when their only perceived goal is to play fast and playing formulaic, Youtube licks identifiable by any good musician as bland cliche. As I have said in many posts, Jazz is dying because the culture that produces today's Jazz is also dead . . . although figuratively. The old cats may not have been formally educated but they jobbed for a living and they were sentient beings who not only absorbed the music but also used their own unique voice every time they played a familiar tune. Player's music? I think you're being kind.
    Marinero
    Much poetry is around - especially in the classic jazz and blues ballads - and is a part of the listening experience for those who do listen to it. When the interpretations of these ballads become purely instrumental it will be "understood" mainly by those in the audience who know the lyrics, the song and the original context of the song. Isn't it so?

    IMO Much - not all - purely instrumentals may give best meaning musicians between.

    Two things to consider when performing is to give way to the words by also singing and to secondly to present the tunes you play and maybe tell a little of the story behind the music. It also depends a bit on the audience, of course.

    Edit: New posts appear :-) ...
    Popularity is good because it gives giggin options. Playing music is so much more fun if someone uses what you have to give. Either by acknowledging you musical abilities, by listening or by dancing. At least so to me.

  4. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero
    Hi, R,
    In Philosophy 101, they teach beginning university students to reduce a philosophical concept/enigma, or ideology to its most elemental level to test its value. This is quite easy in this case. Music: vocal and instrumental were the earliest attempts by fully modern humans to communicate ideas, feelings, historical events, loss of life/love, success in battles, etc. in both a verbal(singing) and non-verbal (playing)way. Now fast forward 500,000 +/- years: to 2022 and ask a very simple question: what is the value of music if it fails to communicate to people, verbally and musically, the vagaries of the human condition. And, as the article I mentioned above, if it only communicates to 1.4% of the music audience, what is its real value if no one listnens? When one hears music that does communicate what it means to be human, it has a real effect on your life. Stardust, Over the Rainbow, My Funny Valentine, In a Sentimental Mood, Misty, Round Midnight, All the Things You Are, My Foolish Heart, etc.,etc. are an example of music that moves the human soul and deals with the human condition. And, it is this very thing that is lost today. Who's writing great songs today when their only perceived goal is to play fast and playing formulaic, Youtube licks identifiable by any good musician as bland cliche. As I have said in many posts, Jazz is dying because the culture that produces today's Jazz is also dead . . . although figuratively. The old cats may not have been formally educated but they jobbed for a living and they were sentient beings who not only absorbed the music but also used their own unique voice every time they played a familiar tune. Player's music? I think you're being kind.
    Marinero
    there is a bit more to philosophy than philosophy 101 luckily

  5. #54

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    " Originally Posted by Marinerowhat is its real value if no one listens?



    I don't think we should judge the value of something by popularity. Some of the best/highest ideas in history weren't acknowledged by the general population. Either through lack of contact or because they were above their heads. It's always the small few who initiate change. Ragman

    Hi, R,
    Perhaps, I wasn't clear enough but I didn't mean-- Jazz as a genre for the masses(ie; popularity) but rather Jazz as an art form that is appreciated by, at least, a significant percent of music listeners. . . more than the meager 1.4% stated in the article. And, it means two things to me: a gradual dumbing of the masses and their tastes and a failure of contemporary Jazz and its musicians who have little artistic appeal. I think it is a combination of both. We live in a quick fix, "how-to" world of instant gratification where people's lives revolve around the latest Facebook post of some mindless inanity. Society reflects the Culture. Should we really expect more?
    Marinero


    The 10 Most Popular Music Genres (June 2022) - Audio Captain


    Where's Jazz?????? It wasn't always this way. M

  6. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero
    but rather Jazz as an art form that is appreciated by, at least, a significant percent of music listeners. . . more than the meager 1.4% stated in the article


    I don't know where they got their 1.4% from. Record sales? Music streaming sites? Ticket sales? Who knows. But do we know better than that? How?

    a gradual dumbing of the masses and their tastes and a failure of contemporary Jazz and its musicians who have little artistic appeal.
    There are all kinds of people and I don't think it's an exaggeration to say the majority prefer pop music. But there are plenty of others who like folk, blues, country, world music, opera, ballet, and classical music. Certainly not just jazz!

    I don't know what you mean by the 'failure' of jazz and its players. Failure to do what?

    We live in a quick fix, "how-to" world of instant gratification where people's lives revolve around the latest Facebook post of some mindless inanity. Society reflects the Culture. Should we really expect more?
    No. Jazz isn't a 'cause', it's just a musical preference dependent on personal traits and tastes.

    The 10 Most Popular Music Genres (June 2022) - Audio Captain

    Where's Jazz?????? It wasn't always this way
    It wasn't always this way, especially back when jazz was very popular - vocal, dance music, and all the rest. It was the music of the day. Maybe its popularity waned when people could no longer dance to it, sing it romantically, and so on.

    I blame Charlie Parker, myself :-)

  7. #56

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    Jazz has very high expectations from the audience and from the musicians.

  8. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by drbhrb
    So composed big band music isn't jazz? I wouldn't agree with this definition.

    Plus bossa nova absolutely swings! They just call it balanço
    Have you played in a big band? There's improvisation. Part of jazz is arrangement to whatever degree. If all of jazz was 100% composed, it wouldn't be jazz. Big band overlaps with the tradition that I explained. If music overlaps enough with my core definition then it it's jazz, if it departs too drastically then it isn't. Go find an example that proves my definition wrong.

  9. #58

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    Big Band - are you talking about a jazz band?

  10. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Smith
    Have you played in a big band? There's improvisation. Part of jazz is arrangement to whatever degree. If all of jazz was 100% composed, it wouldn't be jazz.
    Let's try a thought experiment. Let someone compose, and write down a performance piece. Then let them play it for you, without you knowing it was precomposed. You would hear exactly what you thought was spur of the moment improv. In fact it is, it's just one step removed from the moment of inspiration. You'd happily call it Jazz.

    Jazz is a style, not a method.

  11. #60

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    Let's try a thought experiment. Try not straw manning me.

    Jazz is the music that results from flowing through the changes. Styles have methods if you're aware.. This includes overlap of contributing styles and methods. If it doesn't have the core definition and none of the contributing overlapping elements then it's not jazz. It's a venn diagram. Take the example of a completely composed and orchestrated big band tune. It overlaps with the core definition because it probably uses swing, it uses the instrumentation, it's designed to sound like it's improvised and from the jazz tradition, it has harmonic fluidity with the melodies, the only thing it wouldn't have is improvisation.

  12. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Smith
    Let's try a thought experiment. Try not straw manning me.
    I wasn't, honestly. I really don't believe it matters how the sound is created, whatever get's created, by whatever method, can still, validly, be jazz.

  13. #62

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    @Jimmy Smith "Rhapsody in Blue" is a classic in this aspect. Nice passages ... but jazz?

    Rhapsody in Blue - Wikipedia

  14. #63

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    ^ There's overlap, like I said. Rhapsody in blue takes language from the jazz tradition but fits more with classical. Jazz itself came from classical - ragtime is composed but the language was starting to develop. Jelly Roll Morton could play ragtime or improvise in that style.

  15. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by j4zz
    I wasn't, honestly. I really don't believe it matters how the sound is created, whatever get's created, by whatever method, can still, validly, be jazz.
    If a style never has any interplay between the harmony and melody, it isn't jazz.

  16. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Smith
    ^ There's overlap, like I said. Rhapsody in blue takes language from the jazz tradition but fits more with classical. Jazz itself came from classical - ragtime is composed but the language was starting to develop. Jelly Roll Morton could play ragtime or improvise in that style.
    it’s funny that Scott Joplin hated jazz and Jelly Roll would have taken mortal offense at being called ragtime ….

    looking back they have more in common than Jelly Roll and Bill Evans….

    The big division I heard is that Ragtime does not swing. But then neither does most of Pat Metheny’s music.

    Ragtime was not an improvisational form, but then neither was Jelly Roll’s recorded music apparently.

    it’s almost like genres are not to be taken too seriously.

  17. #66

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    Ragtime was proto-jazz.

  18. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Smith
    If a style never has any interplay between the harmony and melody, it isn't jazz.
    But a precomposed piece can certainly have that interplay, and so be Jazz. Are we talking at cross purposes? Apologies if so.

  19. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Smith
    Ragtime was proto-jazz.
    It was an influence on jazz but a distinct form of music. As I say Joplin hated jazz and swing versions of his compositions.

  20. #69

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    ^ It seems half classical and half jazz to me. It lead directly to dixieland.

    Quote Originally Posted by j4zz
    But a precomposed piece can certainly have that interplay, and so be Jazz. Are we talking at cross purposes? Apologies if so.
    Yes, there have to be cross considerations at times. My premise is that the improvised continuous harmonic/melodic interplay is the main definition but that there were several contributing elements in the formation of jazz that don't create jazz on their own while the main definition can.

  21. #70

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    Not that most people today would care about that distinction but it goes to show how mutable these things are

    There’s interviews with Bird saying how he didn’t think his music was jazz

    in the 30s and 40s people often said big band swing wasn’t jazz because jazz was small band music in the New Orleans style and that was the end of the story

    plus ca change

  22. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Smith
    Yes, there have to be cross considerations at times. My premise is that the improvised continuous harmonic/melodic interplay is the main definition but that there were several contributing elements in the formation of jazz that don't create jazz on their own while the main definition can.
    i just think the whole discussion is a massive waste of time. You either have a definition that’s so tight it excludes a lot of stuff that obviously is jazz (like Duke Ellington or something) or so loose that you let the grateful dead in or whoever

    we can all agree on what definitely is jazz though… so that seems a better way to look at it

    and that’s not even bearing in mind the large number of jazz musicians who are/were deeply ambivalent or hostile about the word ‘jazz’

  23. #72

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    Not really. If a style never has the continuous melodic/harmonic interplay, it's the parent style, not jazz. Sometimes there have to be considerations if a style in question has enough of the contributing elements that accompanied the development of jazz, but it wouldn't be that complex. For example, Dead, no sorry. That thread about Zep, no sorry. Rap with a jazz sample, no, sorry. Hip hop beat with continuous melody/harmony interplay, yes. Modal Miles Davis, yes. Big band with reduced improvisation, yes. Etc.

  24. #73

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    What is jazz ...?-index3-jpg

  25. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Smith
    Not really. If a style never has the continuous melodic/harmonic interplay, it's the parent style, not jazz. Sometimes there have to be considerations if a style in question has enough of the contributing elements that accompanied the development of jazz, but it wouldn't be that complex. For example, Dead, no sorry. That thread about Zep, no sorry. Rap with a jazz sample, no, sorry. Hip hop beat with continuous melody/harmony interplay, yes. Modal Miles Davis, yes. Big band with reduced improvisation, yes. Etc.
    yes but there’s plenty of music that’s unquestionably jazz that doesn’t have an interactive rhythm section, or where the comping figures are pre arranged. In the case of Ellington this often the case. A lot of early jazz rhythm section work is more concerned with holding down the groove than responding to the soloist. And so on.

    even improvisation is not a given; the idea of what improvisation is in jazz was changed a lot— from varying melodies, adding syncopation and vocal articulations and ensemble blowing to soloing on chord changes of popular songs and latter vamps.

    And later players often improvise less than you’d think

  26. #75

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    Anyway the point is not that I think your definition is wrong, but rather that everyone has a different definition and they all usually come from what corner of the music that person find interesting. To some Jelly Roll or King Oliver is pre-jazz, to others electric Miles or Weather report is post-jazz and so on. (To me all these artists are obviously jazz.)

    To some improvisation is central, while others value the aesthetic or the repertoire, others talk about the value of the groove and swing and others talk about the community and social history of the music.

    Which is great, but using them as definitions to say what jazz isn’t has never worked, because definitions need to be accepted generally to have any value.

    These definitions also have a tendency to exclude things that really are jazz which leads to pointless gatekeeping imo. It seems a lot of intellectual energy for a dubious goal.

    i would say I think history is the most important thing about jazz for myself, which some people misinterpreted to think I am a traditionalist. History is of course, being written all the time. Ignorance of tradition is not a precondition for innovation. Otoh Fetishisation of tradition is not the same as acting legitimately within a tradition.