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  1. #151

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post

    Another solution from the Baker book is simply to put a quarter note on the first note. In BH terms that effectively reverses the rules in the same way as an offbeat or triplet.
    I sort of mentioned that in my post above in case 2:
    1. By pitch: Inject half steps (per Barry's rules: add one or add three; add none or add two)
    2. Rhythmic: Inject eighth rest(s) or extend a note's duration.”

    I forgot to to mention the triplet though, good catch.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #152

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    Quote Originally Posted by rintincop View Post
    We were talking block chords . It’s the origin of the so called 6th dim harmony scale . Step 1 . Of course Barry Harris does block chords, but he takes that old system and tweaks them in very clever and creative ways. He uses contrary motion, varies the note density, etc.
    I think you were talking about them, and I was trying to broaden the discussion, but yes that’s true.

  4. #153

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    Quote Originally Posted by rintincop View Post
    1 7 6 #4 5 4 3 2 1
    1 7 6 7 5 4 3 1

    Well you are using a leaps and an enclosure to get things on track in the first example and in the second example you are repeating the 7th and then leaping over the 6th. I thought we were considering the “bebop scale” (David Baker) to be linear stepwise motion, rather than phrases that leap and enclose. You are using embellishment phrases to make your case
    But you get that Barry would regard these as applications of the same scale rules, right?

    If we talk about David Baker that’s a separate thing really. Maybe he conflates the two scales, or Levine or whoever (I think he covers block chords in his books iirc?). I daresay this is common in mainstream jazz edu, but I seriously never looked into bop language through this prism.

    Plenty of players ‘in the wild’ use only the forms of scale outlined in the Baker books.

    I haven’t read Baker as thoroughly as Barry. TBH, they cover similar ground with different terminology. Actually from what I remember I think Baker’s mindset is different. More modern/mainstream in many ways. (I don’t just mean he uses cst terminology, he’s little more liberal arts, a little more interested in explaining the why as well as the how.)

    Barry has, I think very good reasons to keep the two things separate. Also about the keeping the chord tones on the beat - I think Barry doesn’t really talk about that. He talks about coming out right, for instance ending up on a certain note on the beat, which I think speaks to the modularity of his approach (also Barry isn’t interested in giving reasons by and large, he’s not a theorist in that sense.) We aren’t thinking too much about chord tones etc.
    Last edited by christianm77; 10-03-2019 at 05:03 AM.

  5. #154

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    Incidentally they were playing some of Baker’s orchestral music on the radio a few mornings ago on Radio 3 (UK classical radio station) as I was driving my little one to nursery - was very cool to hear given I know him primarily as the Bebop Books guy:

  6. #155

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah View Post
    As it could be seen from this thread I am not BH's student or a follower but I took some time to get into his teaching (A. Kinhgston's book, video masterclasses, and that 'things I learnt from..' channell that grahambop mentioned and of course whta the forumate (easpecially christian77) wrote about it)...

    I just wanted to say that there can be some misunderstanding because what BH does is absolutely non-conventional from what we see in jazz education in the open market ... I am not even saying uinversities - just the open educational market: which is mostly numerous methods from players in books or youtube which are designed in approximately the same style: more or less pragmatic, clear and scientific system. They remind books 'Italian for 100 days' of something like.... that forms much our expectations form it. Also consumer's mentality is much incorporated in out mids too. We want things to be sold to us and be well- advertised and we even become demanding about it (youtube shows it very well).
    One of the specific feature of these methods - they are mostly linear (whic is very sciteific (at least in old trad science methodolody) too)


    But BH does a different thing... this kind of approach is not that linear in my opinion... you are dropped in teh middle of something and surrounded by some things showing up from different sides and that may seem disconnected sometimes... but eventually you get more and more info and things get connected .. but you do not move anywhere in direct sence... this does not work for anyone - especially in our days when pragamatism became common philosophy of success on every level.

    I woudl say - if you do not get BH you either just drop it... of keep it up quietly in the tempo and rhythm you wish and let it be and see how it works for you eventually...

    In real calsses - I know personally a couple of guys who participated - BH reminds a bit my son's (and for a period mine) karate teacher: he does not try to be attractive, does not try to please anyone and can be really tough. It is the systen that tries you which actually reminds a bit old school bandstand method...
    We today expect too much, we paid money we want to be pleased for it first of all, more than to be educated or taught. But with Barry it will not work like that...

    I just wanted to say that - not specifically about you - but about me too...

    Of course there is a chance that you already have the things that are taught there behind and you do not need.
    We would not expect Sonny Stitt study BH's scale... he personificated that music himself.
    But this is for those who approaches it from outside and feels that cannot play in that style naturally and it is not by far not about putting notes in a line.
    I would say the very heart of BH's school is pitch/rythmometric realtionships (which actually makes the best of European music from Renaissance till now). It is all focused on where to you play that note. And all developed how to incorporate it so that you would do it naturally in real practice without second thought.

    To make you react to the context in the style
    That’s an interesting perspective.

    At some point I’d like to start thinking about the ‘how’ of Barry’s pedagogy (a lot of discussion here is about the ‘what’) but I need to do more reading. My hunch is it directly relates to Lave and Wegener’s situated learning model.

    And a lot of players who have been through the jazz school thing seem to find Barry’s style of teaching really objectionable. Bad pedagogy.

    For instance, People probably miss the spirit behind a lot of shit the old guys dish out on each other.... They find it offensive and unnecessary. I find it hilarious. When someone asks Barry about Zawinul, Trane or even Philly Joe Jones, they are not asking about a ‘jazz great’ as far as Barry is concerned. They are asking Barry about guys he knew from work.

    There have been some stories where I think these older players overstep the mark when teaching, sure - none of these people are beyond reproach. (Some of them have never been near reproach haha)

    But the elders will teach if you let them.... they might not teach you what you want to hear....

    It just shows how things have changed. I couldn’t teach like Barry, for instance, they’d pelt me with rotten veg and rightly so.

    Anyway irrelevant rant over, as you were.... :-)
    Last edited by christianm77; 10-03-2019 at 06:15 AM.

  7. #156

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    Quote Originally Posted by djg View Post
    those BH clips from the 90s are from the jazz school in the hague. many students from other jazz schools went there religiously. quite a few became world class, award-winning players. nobody gave a shit about pedagogy.
    Not sure how that relates to my post, but this is certainly true.

    People tend to seek Barry out because they are interested in the unique teaching and perspective he has to offer. And they invariably want to master bop. You wouldn’t go otherwise, surely?

    A good friend and colleague of mine - himself a teacher at a well regarded music college - won’t listen to what he has to say because he regards his presentation on YouTube as abrasive and negative.

    I think the reaction from others is often when Barry comes into do a workshop through their music college. Jens had a negative reaction for instance. I know a lot of players who got a negative idea of Barry’s teaching based on that, some of them regarded him as a bit of an a***hole.

    I see it as a fundamental cultural clash. Plus BH’s shtick is a bit ‘they’ve been teaching you everything wrong here’ which is never going to go down too well haha.

  8. #157

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    Quote Originally Posted by djg View Post
    just wanted to point out that most of those workshops happened within the "jazzschool thing".

    disregarding what he has to teach because his opinions regarding coltrane et al. are idiotic (and they are) seems a bit odd though. but that's pedagogues for ya...
    Yep...

  9. #158

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Nice! When I get a chance to pick up a guitar I’ll work on this.

    Sorry I don’t understand what you mean by BDGS?
    Bebop Dominant Grandmother Scale

  10. #159

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    Yea... I liked some of BH early playing with his two or three horn bands... But He's a solo pianist. I hate Dim. Harmony, except for effect.
    There are no real tricks to being able to play fast bebop... You can memorize some patterns and scales etc... but at some point you need to be able to create your own lines that reflect harmonic targets and how you want to fill the space between them.

    Any old gut can play the tunes. Most guys that can play bebop have chops, can swing and know how to use Blue Notes. If you can't rhythmically shape space. It really doesn't matter what notes you use. When you start using family members terminology for musical explanations... Where do you go next?

  11. #160

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    Arguing about whether Bebop scales are important or not is almost like debating whether knowing your times tables can help make you a better Physicist...

    You will get people on either side of such a silly debate and relate the importance (or not) to their own learning. But whether you drilled them or not as part of your journey, there are just so many ways to the top of the Bop mountain and yet it seems there's not much talk about these "other ways". So what are these other ways? Well, sure BH has his way, but so did Dexter Gordon, Winton Kelly, Cannonball, Bud Powell, Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, Bill Evans, Coltrane, Wes etc etc..

    Point is, there's not enough time in our lifetime to make a study of the methodology of all the greats, just pick one you love and figure out some of the ways they connect the dots, how they get from one chord tone to the next. It sure as hell is a little more complicated than adding a single chromatic note to a major scale!

  12. #161

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    Arguing about whether Bebop scales are important or not is almost like debating whether knowing your times tables can help make you a better Physicist...

    You will get people on either side of such a silly debate and relate the importance (or not) to their own learning. But whether you drilled them or not as part of your journey, there are just so many ways to the top of the Bop mountain and yet it seems there's not much talk about these "other ways". So what are these other ways? Well, sure BH has his way, but so did Dexter Gordon, Winton Kelly, Cannonball, Bud Powell, Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, Bill Evans, Coltrane, Wes etc etc..

    Point is, there's not enough time in our lifetime to make a study of the methodology of all the greats, just pick one you love and figure out some of the ways they connect the dots, how they get from one chord tone to the next. It sure as hell is a little more complicated than adding a single chromatic note to a major scale!
    The thing about 1950s jazz is the language of most of the prominent players represents, at least from my investigations into it, a remarkably consistent common practice. There's a lot of tradition and shared heritage in the actual material they play... After a while you start to recognise a lot of repeated stuff from player to player, beyond that player's pet phrases.

    Often cribbed from Bird obviously - but none of them sound alike. They are I think more individual than modern players who may have diverse approaches to soloing.

    It's all in the tone and time.... Pitch choices are of course a preoccupation for those who can't yet play the changes or the language, but there's only so much in the music you can write down. Some of the more modern players, I feel like you can write much more of their music down, probably because that's how they learned....

    Often when transcribing the 50s/early 60s bop guys, I look at the stuff, and it's like a Barry Harris exercise sheet. It's ridiculous. Played by, Hank, Grant, Dexter, Coltrane even, sounds like them! Note choices can be generic, but the style of a player, the intangibles, that's where the art is.

    So Barry I don't think invented this stuff, but it's all pulled together in one place. Saves reinventing the wheel. And you can start working on hearing those gestalts and ideas you hear in everyone's playing. After a while it's no longer transcribing. You hear a thing and you recognise it.

    Get into the 1960s, things become a little less familiar (to me), but there are trends, fashions. For instance, things get more pentatonic in the 60s, perhaps. Half-whole scale seems to pick up in popularity around then (although you can hear on 50s stuff for sure, especially in Trane's lines.) So there is still common practice because everyone is influencing everyone else...
    Last edited by christianm77; 10-03-2019 at 01:05 PM.

  13. #162

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    Last night I sat a few feet in front of Ed Cherry while he played a gig with Hendrik Muerkins. This was a kind of standards gig insofar as they played some standards (Polkadots and Moonbeams, Blues in F, Laura) and some originals in more or less the same veins.

    Ed is great, great player. I especially enjoyed his comping. But, as I listened, and watched his left hand closely, I wondered about the relationship between his comping and anything I was ever taught. How do you codify that kind of feel for the music into some kind of course outline?

    It's hard to put this into written language. He used a finite number of grips, yet, he always seemed to have the perfect voicing. There was a busy organ playing along, but he never conflicted it with it and rarely layed out. What he did struck me as having more in common with big band horn backgrounds (during solos) than anything I was ever taught about guitar comping. So, while the organist was grinding out groove and kicking bass, Ed was playing syncopated lines, with melodic and harmonic content mostly in the upper register, but not entirely.

    I started thinking about a better way to learn guitar than I took -- involving hearing great jazz groups, up close, in clubs. Not lesser quality and not in concerts. NYC jazz is at a very high level in very small clubs.

    So, my reaction to the discussion about the scale with the added note ... I end up wondering, is this really something that can be taught this way? Or is it only truly effective for the extremely talented individual. Just ruminating about it.

  14. #163

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    So, my reaction to the discussion about the scale with the added note ... I end up wondering, is this really something that can be taught this way? Or is it only truly effective for the extremely talented individual. Just ruminating about it.
    Basic concepts, techniques and devices can be taught. But in my experience one can only learn to the extend that one explores, experiments with and applies these concepts, techniques and devices THEMSELVES. This is only bounded by their drive, creativity, taste and also willingness to learn from how good players use them.
    Chord voicings, inversions, passing chords etc and their mechanical applications can be taught. Half step rules can be taught. What one does with that information and how they work on them is what separates players.

  15. #164

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    I tend to subscribe to the line of thought that considers the greatest innovations in bebop to be rhythmic in nature.
    A great bebop player (not me) could likely convey the essence of the style on a single pitch.
    Also, credit where credit is due, Kenny Clarke's influence altered the nature of jazz rhythm sections going forward,
    which in turn influenced the melodic line.

    That said:

    It is of value in my opinion, to develop control of timing factors of harmonic tension and resolution in melody.
    Whether this can be developed intuitively or requires conscious study, I suppose depends on the individual
    and likely also how much playing with others time one spends.

    Bebop scales, Barry Harris half step guidelines are tools meant to assist in gaining more control.
    Could be wrong but they seem to focus on even rhythms as the default, triplets as an exception.
    I think a broader view to be better, kind of like how a drummer might apply a 5 stroke roll, starting and ending
    in multiple places. I reject any absolutist notion of necessity to always place primary chord tones on downbeats.

    I watched a cool class recently of pianist Jean Michel Pilc. He described/prescribed an exercise of working within
    a set time frame and rhythmic phrase, designing multiple lines that bring you from a given point A to point B.
    It was interesting because arpeggio, scale and chromatic like movements and combinations thereof are all possible, depending on the scenario being addressed.

  16. #165

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    Quote Originally Posted by djg View Post
    just wanted to point out that most of those workshops happened within the "jazzschool thing".

    disregarding what he has to teach because his opinions regarding coltrane et al. are idiotic (and they are) seems a bit odd though. but that's pedagogues for ya...
    Idiotic feels like the wrong word on reflection. If I voiced those opinions about that music it would be idiotic. Barry, though, is one of my favourite jazz pianists period. If he wants to criticise one of his peers for taking a musical direction he doesn't like, he kind of has a right to do so. We don't have to agree, but he has that musical capital. He's one of the real guys.

  17. #166

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    Quote Originally Posted by bako View Post
    I tend to subscribe to the line of thought that considers the greatest innovations in bebop to be rhythmic in nature.
    A great bebop player (not me) could likely convey the essence of the style on a single pitch.
    Also, credit where credit is due, Kenny Clarke's influence altered the nature of jazz rhythm sections going forward,
    which in turn influenced the melodic line.
    I agree 100%

    That said:

    It is of value in my opinion, to develop control of timing factors of harmonic tension and resolution in melody.
    Whether this can be developed intuitively or requires conscious study, I suppose depends on the individual
    and likely also how much playing with others time one spends.
    The way I've come to see it is that it's like playing hand drums. Some notes are accented - these are like chord tones, some notes a played softly or ghosted - these are like the passing tones. If you syncopate this accents, you put chord tones on them and the number of ghost notes/passing tones changes accordingly.

    And yes learning to resolve, and phrase into resolutions is absolutely key. You can do anything when you get that.

    Bebop scales, Barry Harris half step guidelines are tools meant to assist in gaining more control.
    Could be wrong but they seem to focus on even rhythms as the default, triplets as an exception.
    I think a broader view to be better, kind of like how a drummer might apply a 5 stroke roll, starting and ending
    in multiple places. I reject any absolutist notion of necessity to always place primary chord tones on downbeats.
    Who says that? Those trying to read something theoretical into the teaching which isn't there. I mean, we have presumably established jazz contains syncopations from time to time haha.

    The more I've worked at this stuff the more I realise its as simple as 'here are a set of guidelines for making your own gorgeous bop lines out of scales.'

    Anything else is be the work of dweebs.

    But control - yes. Rhythmic control is where it's at. Being able to intuit how to alter a line to have the right rhythm. Added note scales are a good way to develop this.

    I watched a cool class recently of pianist Jean Michel Pilc. He described/prescribed an exercise of working within
    a set time frame and rhythmic phrase, designing multiple lines that bring you from a given point A to point B.
    It was interesting because arpeggio, scale and chromatic like movements and combinations thereof are all possible, depending on the scenario being addressed.
    That's another way to frame the same thing. Reminds me of Kenny Werner's approach? Hal Galper has another way.

  18. #167

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    I think Louis Armstrong made similar remarks about Charlie Parker and bebop. And he was right. Bird and the bebop gang killed jazz. Jazz as Louis Armstrong knew it. Dixieland and Swing jazz.
    So I'm guessing when Barry Harris he says John Coltrane killed jazz, he means the music that he considers Jazz, bebop.

    I think it's perfectly understandable that important, life long contributors to a particular style of music to have their own definitions as to what constitutes that style of music. Others may disagree, but it's not a matter of that statement being stupid or wise. It's their conception of the style based on their history with it.

  19. #168

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175 View Post
    I think Louis Armstrong made similar remarks about Charlie Parker and bebop. And he was right. Bird and the bebop gang killed jazz. Jazz as Louis Armstrong knew it. Dixieland and Swing jazz.
    So I'm guessing when Barry Harris he says John Coltrane killed jazz, he means the music that he considers Jazz, bebop.

    I think it's perfectly understandable that important, life long contributors to a particular style of music to have their own definitions as to what constitutes that style of music. Others may disagree, but it's not a matter of that statement being stupid or wise. It's their conception of the style based on their history with it.
    I wish I was as measured as you.

    A

  20. #169

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    I like the way Tal puts it...

    Posted this a couple of times, but Brad Mehldau’s thoughts on Barry are well expressed as always:

    Carnegie 05 — Brad Mehldau

  21. #170

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    Quote Originally Posted by djg View Post
    pops single-handedly changed the music of a whole century. he didn't appreciate bop at first but never talked about bird or diz "killing" the music afaik.he made some "chinese music" comments like a lot of guys in the early 40s.

    but in fact he was a pretty open-minded guy, who embraced all kinds of music including the beatles. did you guys know that pops made "mixtapes" for himself, including him recording his own announcements between the tunes, like a radio show.

    ( 650 home recorded reel-to-reel tapes in hand-decorated boxes, https://collections.louisarmstronghouse.org/collection-summary/36608)

    there are reels with bebop with pops personally announcing the tunes just for giggles, even a reel with the minton recordings.

    can you imagine BH collecting loft recordings from the late 60s? trane is dead for 50 years and the guy is still talking smack about him. and isn't it ironic that harris' best known appearance is on a boogaloo?
    If you want to say BH an idiot says stupid things, go ahead. Just don’t feel comfortable saying that myself.

    Anyone who goes to a BH workshop asking about Trane etc is wasting everyone’s time. That’s the main thing to remember.

    So I’m listening to Live at the Village Vanguard in the car, music made in a white heat, amazing for 1961. There’s a liberation about that music that I find really exciting and daring even 60+ years on.

    But I can understand why someone like Barry - a fantastically skilled artisan an artist within a very specific style and tradition - would find it difficult, incomprehensible even immoral music. It kind of makes the art he dedicated his life to kind of irrelevant.

    He’s not the only one who feels that way.

    Has jazz really been that revolutionary since the 1960s? We are all coming to terms with our own comfort levels within the music... what even is jazz at the edges?
    Last edited by christianm77; 10-04-2019 at 04:33 AM.

  22. #171

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    Barry Harris seems to have been incredibly prolific as a sideman though, he seems to be the pianist on a substantial number of the jazz records in my collection.

  23. #172

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    Yea... there are 1)Technical skills... all the BS, the better you get... the more you have to work with when you work on,
    2) Performance Skills

    They're different...

    RP... sounds like you had a moment, When I was a kid and was getting my BS together.... checking out performances.... Was Required, that was how you learned. I learned early... that comping was what we did most of the time. the better you comped... the more work

  24. #173

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg View Post
    Yea... there are 1)Technical skills... all the BS, the better you get... the more you have to work with when you work on,
    2) Performance Skills

    They're different...

    RP... sounds like you had a moment, When I was a kid and was getting my BS together.... checking out performances.... Was Required, that was how you learned. I learned early... that comping was what we did most of the time. the better you comped... the more work
    Live performance, as a participant or as a close-up observer has always made a bigger impression on me than hearing the music on records. And, it isn't just any live performance. It's a great live performance by great musicians, preferably in a relaxed club setting with an appreciative audience. I think that's the best way to assimilate good time feel.

    I've always thought that jazz harmony and language is learned one sound at a time, from hearing it done (well, at least that's my experience). Not from a book and not from a theory. Sometimes somebody will post an approach, say, combining two triads and a bass note, which produces thousands of options. I've gotten exactly nothing from the time I've spent trying to find something useful that way. But, after listening to Ed Cherry for a set I came away with a new (to me) bit of jazz vocabulary (starting a lick with two quick low notes -- it's a jazz sound I'd heard but never used) and a lofty goal -- try to make my comping sound like a hip big band horn background.

    But, I recognize that there are exceptions -- great players who can extract great music from theoretical considerations.

    My early New Year's resolution is to get out more.

    Aside: I live in the SF Bay Area. There are some jazz clubs, but public transit is limited and stops at midnight. Traffic is bad going to the city and parking is inconvenient and expensive. In NYC, in contrast, the clubs are all near public transportation - which is fast and cheap in NYC. This contributes to a thriving club scene. It's easier to get out. Your entertainment dollar goes to the musicians and the club, not the bridge toll, gas and parking. If you drink, you don't have to drive. And, there is a lot of great music with early and late shows every night in some of the clubs.

  25. #174

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    So to summarize, bebop scales are BS, but part of the bigger BS you need to get together to perform. Close?

  26. #175

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    I like that.... BS with a goal.

    hey RP... I also live in SF bay area. Many of my gigs are loose... I always have friends sit in etc... You have an open invitation to sit in, maybe even play Invitation. Just PM me...we probable have common friends. The rhythm sections are usually... really good. I'm pretty relaxed and... anyway if your interested, just let me know, I work with a couple of Bk agents... Well come to you LOL.

  27. #176

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    For instance, People probably miss the spirit behind a lot of shit the old guys dish out on each other.... They find it offensive and unnecessary. I find it hilarious. When someone asks Barry about Zawinul, Trane or even Philly Joe Jones, they are not asking about a ‘jazz great’ as far as Barry is concerned. They are asking Barry about guys he knew from work.
    I think people ask becasue of that kind of 'objectivity' that the conception of a professor has today. People do not think about but aerage professot is mostly expected to share with knowledge not with his opinions (whic is terrible!).

    I read how Nabokov or Brodsky or Auden taught at the Universities - if you asked them about someone they did not like they just told you: it is bullshit... no matter how authoritive the writer is. Most professors would never do that.
    When they had Hamlet Brodsky asked where the Denmark was... when students could not answer he said: 'The nation that does not know geography deserves to be conquered'.
    Can you imagine an average American literature professor say something like this to the American audience? Maybe only in early 1800s... but not now.

    They were absolutly unconventional as teachers... and were rather tolerated by the system than supported by it (on different reasons).

    With BH it is also personality - he is a witness for the young people and they are curious... and they probably do not quite always understand that he is not a historian or story-teller (and it seems he does not want to be one).