Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Posts 1 to 50 of 105
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    ... I've often pondered this, but it entered my thoughts again recently. A colleague of mine who is quite well known in many parts of the world for his astonishing Jazz piano skills (gets hired by top tier artists etc) has been working on his scatting lately. He is easily the most gifted musician I've ever known and is blessed with an impossible ear, way beyond perfect pitch. By example, his bass player friend once found that his ears were so "big" that if he turned his back and someone played 10 notes within a one octave range on the piano, he could immediately tell you which 2 notes were omitted! I've seen him do this many times, it's no trick. His mother was a piano teacher and by the time he was 8 he had some serious repertoire under his fingers. But apparently he heard Oscar Peterson one day (age 9) and decided to work out those blistering jazz/blues runs by ear.

    This began his Jazz career and you can imagine how good he is by now (think a cross between OP, Jarret and Bill Evans, but across the ultra modern stuff as well). Anyhow, he sang for me the other night, a capella, improvising to Giant Steps because he had been doing it the car for "fun". I secretly recorded it on my phone. It was incredible, totally free wheeled, amazing complex chromatic lines and just endless perfect language. As I said to him, I liked his lines more than I liked Coltrane's! My wife was there too and she didn't think much of it.

    The next day I decided to comp along with the recording of the scatting, just to see if he actually was hitting all those changes. It was so quick I had to slow it down to half speed to hear it. Yep, the lines were perfect, almost as though they were composed (trust me, they weren't). Any great player would have been proud to have played those lines on their instrument, but to able to scat to GS and actually make the changes at 300+ bpm and still sound melodic.... well, let's just say that I doubt that anyone on this forum is able to do it

    Anyway, so my wife who has never improvised in her life (she sight reads classical flute moderately well) and can't really hear what goes on harmonically in Jazz , laughed at me incredulously after listening to me convey to a friend how amazed I was that someone can scat to GS so amazingly well. She said "that doesn't sound that hard, play the chords and I reckon I can do equally as well ! ". Obviously she couldn't, the nonsense she "scatted" over the top sounded equally as good to her, and she spent many years practicing the flute and playing a little guitar. But it was obviously gibberish and of course bore no resemblance to the chord progression at all! It was embarrassingly bad as you could well imagine, yet she still fails to see why her "performance" was was inferior to my friend's.

    And so to my point - only Jazz musicians (or at least aspiring jazz musicians) are able to fully appreciate the work it takes to be able to improvise at the highest level. Something that takes years of genius level commitment can come across to the untutored ear as indistinguishable from unskilled nonsense. At best, the uninitiated may be able to hear when one plays or sings "well", but will usually be more impressed with flashy scales/arps than by meaningful improv. In fact, I can't think of another art form that is more under appreciated than Jazz improvisation. It seems the skill required for high level visual arts (including dance) are more self evident, as is the case with the written word. Sure, anyone can hear how a pianist playing 6th grade classical pieces is not as advanced as the concert pianist, but the untutored listener would probably rate more highly the common cocktail piano player hack, over someone like, say, Thelonius Monk.

    Yep, we all know it, and we're all resigned to it, and we have been forever.

    Doesn't mean I'm fuckin' happy about it!

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    Maybe it was something to do with it being scat singing? I suspect it often sounds a bit ‘random’ to most people (sometimes it is!).

    Maybe if she heard someone playing a brilliant jazz flute solo on Giant Steps she would not be so sure it was easy to do?

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    Maybe that’s a the best argument that a jazz musican could have for increasing the amount of jazz education haha.

    although I do feel there are some who enjoy being privy to a rarified artform. This is part of the reason I used to hate going to my local jazz club. ‘Who are these people?’ I used to think.

    We do to venerate craft in jazz. And that’s always going to be of interest to musicians only. Jazz can communicate but it’s not that side of it.

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    To be honest, and this is just an opinion, that's part of the problem with jazz...

    I don't think you needed to go anywhere near that far with the Giant Steps example either. I think the average musician has no idea how difficult it is to play the melody, and comp a chorus and play a good 3 chorus solo over Autumn Leaves in the traditional jazz idiom. At least 'good' to a pro jazz musician.

    I cannot do it and I've been playing forever.

    I'll mention something interesting to you. In my 20+ years of listening to jazz, I've never heard (on record) a bad jazz musician. I mean I have live and on Youtube sure, but I mean the stuff that gets played on the radio and the Blue Note label. stuff etc. I remember my teacher and I were listening this recording of Richie Powell and he told me Richie kind of stunk as a player. I was like really? Told me John Pizarelli has terrible singing intonation. I was like really? I like John a lot by the way.

    Anyway, I really didn't sign up for jazz as something that's a masturbatory skill kind of thing. I like the beautiful melodies of the songs and flowing lines. If I knew in the beginning what I know now though ...

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    Why should a listener of any genre of music give a shit about "how difficult" a piece of music or performance is? Lovers of music listen to music and enjoy it because it sounds good to them. Music is not a test, athletic achievement or swinging dicks contest. Everyone has known some idiot who goes to concerts to listen for and count "mistakes". Why don't they just become accountants and make pretty good bank for "looking for mistakes"; they're not missing anything by not going to concerts? If someone can't enjoy a piece of music without judging it's level of difficulty, I'd suspect they have few people who can stand to be around them in any aspect of their life. Judgemental tedious people are generally very lonely people. Music is about joy!

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    Maybe it was something to do with it being scat singing? I suspect it often sounds a bit ‘random’ to most people (sometimes it is!).

    Maybe if she heard someone playing a brilliant jazz flute solo on Giant Steps she would not be so sure it was easy to do?
    You may be right. Still, to me, and I think to many of us here, singing perfect improv to difficult changes like GS is harder than playing them on an instrument, despite the converse being true (maybe) where singing against easier changes may yield superior melodies than our instrumental playing might.

    I often measure "musicianship" by how well we can audiate the music. This guy I'm talking about can tear you a new one improvising to anything at all on his piano. But I'm even more impressed that he sings anything he might play just as easily, because this shows me he really does play what he hears as opposed to sing what he plays. This is the highest level achievable in Jazz improv, in my view (playing what you sing- or even just singing it). To us players, the distinction is not subtle and is certainly acknowledged / appreciated, but the lay person has no way to fathom how much work that takes. If you put 10,000 hours into perfecting a magic act, people will appreciate it and possibly guess the preparation time required. Same goes for circus acts, snooker players, elite gymnasts, concert musicians etc etc.

    Ever wondered what non musicians think of your playing? If they heard you play at a club but couldn't tell how old you were, and if someone asked them how long they think it took to learn to improvise they way you do? How would you feel if they guess 4 years instead of the 40 years it may have taken?

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by whiskey02
    Why should a listener of any genre of music give a shit about "how difficult" a piece of music or performance is? ...
    They shouldn't, obviously. Yet, once upon a time it seems that ordinary listeners had more of a clue about comparative "worthiness" with respect to Jazz playing. Great instrumentalists from Armstrong through to Coltrane were appreciated by music enthusiasts, most of whom were not musicians themselves. Even young women would make comments about players like Lester Young "His playing was to die for" , or Don Byas " we all thought he was the end!" etc.. Parker, Miles, Rollins, these people won listener polls! Common listeners knew wheat from chaff back then, what was popular was what was actually good! Compare that to now!, hehe...

    Let's face it, no one likes being misunderstood and no one likes being under appreciated. Rodney Dangerfield used to joke about it, but damn it, we don't get no respect!

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    The average person on the street doesn't know how hard it is to play jazz, and they don't care. It's not something that enters their minds. There are many things that are far harder to do than it seems to the uninitiated.

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    This is a version on Jads modern music rant ... Something elevated in music that makes musicians special.


    The thing is that something being difficult to execute does not make it interesting. Kinda like those guys that spend 52 days running a 3,100 mile race looping a single block in New York. Quite the achievement, but are they too underappreciated?

    Isn't the real test how your audience reacts to you?

    With regards to your friend. Sounds stellar that he can pull that off ... I hope and assume this skill translates to making people happy and feeds him even if it is only indirectly and he never displays such prowess on stage and in recordings.

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    wow, how about some links to this guy ?

    yeah, its not about leval of dificulty, its actualy much harder to use simplicity . im also more impressed with the great improvisors who actualy brought you into their improvisation. they were so in control they could manipulate it. and do a solo that builds steadily and then crescendos and then get out , the rhythm section signitures the end of the solo and brings it way back down soft for the next soloist.

    their improvisation had a definite manipulation and control

    up bop is hard , but, its how incredible it makes me feel playing it that is why i do it , not because its dificult

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet

    And so to my point - only Jazz musicians (or at least aspiring jazz musicians) are able to fully appreciate the work it takes to be able to improvise at the highest level.
    That's probably true. Mind you, unless you're into it, there's no reason why it should be otherwise. Usually the response is either like or dislike.

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    Improvisation enjoys the curious distinction of being both the most widely practiced of all musical activities and the least acknowledged and understood. While it is today present in almost every area of music, there is an almost total absence of information about it. Perhaps this is inevitable, even appropriate. Improvisation is always changing and adjusting, never fixed, too elusive for analysis and precise description, essentially non-academic.
    Derek Bailey, Improvisation: its nature and practice in music, 1992, ix

    Bailey’s book looks at improvisation in flamenco, Indian music, baroque, organ music, rock and jazz, as well as the free improvisation he practised. Jazz cats cannot claim any exceptional or unique talent in this art.

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    Musicians being overly self absorbed with the difficulty of jazz has helped bring jazz to its knees. Like Whisky said, it shouldn't be about that. Any art that is too technical and admires its technicality is not long for the death heap. I think that in great art technique should be invisible. You should be transported beyond it.

    Yet I DO know what you mean. It's hard and I think doing it on guitar is particularly difficult. That this what is a fact to me, gets underappreciated, is sad. LOL.
    Last edited by henryrobinett; 05-10-2020 at 01:48 PM.

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    I don't think improvisation is that hard providing the work is put in beforehand. You need to know what works with what, what effects you want, the scales/modes/arpeggios/other tricks you need. Being able to analyse a tune is necessary, although that doesn't mean micro-analysing endlessly as an intellectual exercise. Also, you need to understand jazz language, normally got from listening and good practice. Add to that lots of experience and you're good to go.

    But any idea that it's some mystical art where somehow these geniuses pull brilliance out of the air is a myth. It's preparation + musical flair that does it. All of it can be learnt except the talent bit; that's mostly luck. And maybe genes - musical parents tend to have musical offspring.

    Which, of course, is asking a lot, which is why there are so few tip-top improvisers.

  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by whiskey02
    Music is not a test, athletic achievement or swinging dicks contest. [snip] Music is about joy!
    Unfortunately, at the highest levels of proficiency, it often is exactly those things and not about joy, even though that is what it should be about. Cutting sessions, criticizing each other in the press, etc., all result from that tendency. Jazz musicians and orchestral musicians are often highly competitive individuals. That is what has motivated them to develop the extraordinary proficiency they have achieved. Those of us who are hobbyist musicians do so for the love of the art and the instrument; being a professional musician carries a requires that plus a different set of motivations. This is one of the reasons that hobbyists are almost never as proficient and skilled as professionals.

    In interviews, Pat Martino has talked about competitiveness. Prior to his aneurysm and neurosurgery, he was a very competitive person aiming at becoming "the best jazz guitarist." Afterwards, after he had a recovered to some extent and began playing again, his attention reverted to the joy of the music rather than a competitive motivation- indeed, back to what had interested him about playing music in the first place. George Benson has also talked about his competitive feelings as a young musician making the scene in New York. In both Martino's and Bensons cases, that drive pushed them to become amazing musicians and preeminent jazz guitarists of their generations.

    Personally I have found that while competitiveness pushes me to develop, it also has a tendency to ruin the enjoyment aspect of the activity.

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    One thought I've had is that great jazz needn't be difficult to play.

    But, then I read that an ordinary snowman is not sculpture.

    That is, that technique is a component of art, although I can't define the relationship clearly and I can think of exceptions.

    In my own listening, I don't gravitate towards speed, but the dimensions of music that do attract my attention are not so easy either. Clever harmony, for example. Some of Jim Hall's hippest sounds are made with this shape xxx232, but not against the same major chord. Great rhythmic feel, great ensemble play. The inchoate test of feeling something in response to a piece of music. In the guitar world, I get all that from Jim Hall and Wes Montgomery. BB King. Santana. Knopfler. They each have the technique they need.

  18. #17

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara
    Unfortunately, at the highest levels of proficiency, it often is exactly those things and not about joy, even though that is what it should be about. Cutting sessions, criticizing each other in the press, etc., all result from that tendency. Jazz musicians and orchestral musicians are often highly competitive individuals. That is what has motivated them to develop the extraordinary proficiency they have achieved. Those of us who are hobbyist musicians do so for the love of the art and the instrument; being a professional musician carries a requires that plus a different set of motivations. This is one of the reasons that hobbyists are almost never as proficient and skilled as professionals.

    In interviews, Pat Martino has talked about competitiveness. Prior to his aneurysm and neurosurgery, he was a very competitive person aiming at becoming "the best jazz guitarist." Afterwards, after he had a recovered to some extent and began playing again, his attention reverted to the joy of the music rather than a competitive motivation- indeed, back to what had interested him about playing music in the first place. George Benson has also talked about his competitive feelings as a young musician making the scene in New York. In both Martino's and Bensons cases, that drive pushed them to become amazing musicians and preeminent jazz guitarists of their generations.

    Personally I have found that while competitiveness pushes me to develop, it also has a tendency to ruin the enjoyment aspect of the activity.
    I totally agree with this.

    Yesterday, I was listening to Bill Evan's Emily and how beautiful it is and how it would enjoyable to copy and play something like that. Spend weeks or months doing that.

    And then thought about if I tried to do a rendition and share it and have people tell me how bad it is, and how the melody is off, and the improvisation is shit, and I have no clue what I'm doing, etc, lol. I'm talking at the amateur level.

    That is the 'flipside' of a high level art I guess.

    I also think there's a certain irony because looking from the outside in, or as a beginner, it appears that jazz is 'free creative improvisation', but in reality in most forms of jazz, it's creative improvisation within a pretty strict framework.

  19. #18

    User Info Menu

    this is the human condition...to the onlooker..that has no interest in the actual /training/study and ability level it takes to achieve a result..in ANY endever..may make one wonder..what skill do they have that they bring to their "work" in life...there are workers and there are craftspeople...some just get by with minimum effort and find no reason to go further...but others...even doing mundane tasks bring a certain shine to the work..and can be sensed if the observer know how to see it..

    In most of the "pay rent" jobs I have had .. I was placed in management positions because I just did a better/complete job than most others..when I managed resturants the staff worked with me not against me...I took time/energy to make that happen..now did the customers know this..some did...most did not..but their service/meals were good and many came back .. that was my "reward"..did I care if other managers worked as hard..did the owners see the difference..some did

    I have my father to thank for instilling a work ethic in me.."..if your going to do something..do it right or dont do it at all.."..this was a man who would make a tool if it did not exist in his tool box.. to do a good job rather than make the excuse of " I didnt have the right tools.."

    so it is with my music...I know a tune..but I hear othesr play it much better..and I want to do the same..it will take alot of work/practice and I may have to learn new techniques and study more about harmony or counterpoint or melodic development..the choice is mine..but I am driven on a certain level to do the best I can .. and if I dont..there is no one to blame..and I know it..
    Last edited by wolflen; 05-10-2020 at 10:00 PM.

  20. #19

    User Info Menu

    Back when we were able to go to restaurants none of us ever considered what went into preparing an entree. We either liked it or we didn't.

  21. #20

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by whiskey02
    Why should a listener of any genre of music give a shit about "how difficult" a piece of music or performance is? Lovers of music listen to music and enjoy it because it sounds good to them. Music is not a test, athletic achievement or swinging dicks contest. Everyone has known some idiot who goes to concerts to listen for and count "mistakes". Why don't they just become accountants and make pretty good bank for "looking for mistakes"; they're not missing anything by not going to concerts? If someone can't enjoy a piece of music without judging it's level of difficulty, I'd suspect they have few people who can stand to be around them in any aspect of their life. Judgemental tedious people are generally very lonely people. Music is about joy!

    Bravo! Very well said.


    Doug

  22. #21

    User Info Menu

    I have a theory of balancing technique, aesthetics and emotion. The thought is that for a piece of art to have a truly significant and lasting impact it should be balanced with all three. When i hear a musician who just has remarkable technical mastery but no heart or imagination it hits me in one area. I think DAMN that guy can play FAST. I file it away and probably never have the need to listen to it again. Same thing with each of the other categories. But if one serves the other, where your attention can go from aesthetic appeal, imaginative images for example, to emotion, either deeply sad or very happy and enthusiastic, to technical mastery, we have a winner. And people, non-musician people who are mildly interested that this person has great technique and plays very hard stuff, doesn’t have to think about it. He’s swept away by emotion or imaginary images, remembrances. He’s swept away by the song to the point where the musicians disappear.

    Music is all magic, or seems to be. The real problem artists get into, I THINK, is getting too sucked into the detail of the technology of playing hard stuff. I know I do. We forget the seemingly effortlessness of the art itself.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  23. #22
    Hmm, some of the comments seem to be mentioning that by "hard" I might have meant "difficult" or "fast". But as hard as it is to even have it together on the technical side, that's not what I'd like to see a greater appreciation for. What I meant was - it's hard to be good, as in "peer reviewed" good. Monk good, Miles good, Jim Hall good, as aspiring Jazz players, we acknowledge how special these players are and why. But try playing Jim Hall to someone that listens to people who play impressive sounding precomposed solos in any kind of music, and chances are the nuances and subtleties will go unappreciated.

    The piano player in my example was not just shredding fast scat lines to GS that hit the right notes, he was also creating compelling melodies, and that was the hard part!

    And hey, I get that daring to even start such a thread may come off as some kind of Elitism (my music is harder than yours but you're too stupid to know it), but really, it comes more out of Pride. When you stand up for something you feel proud about (civil rights, gay rights, gender rights, handicapped rights) you can usually count on full support from the community you speak for. But not Jazz. The Jazz community has learned to be comfortable with martyrdom (oh I'm a poor jazz musician and my axe is my cross to bear...).

    We don't win any admirers that way (except from each other). We don't dare to have an "attitude" (like many Jazz greats did from the past). No, just be humble bitch ... and speaking of HipHop, having an attitude certainly hasn't harmed their popularity, has it?. How many self proclaimed "geniuses" are getting all that money and attention out there these days? At least in Miles' heyday he had real substance to back up the hoopla ...

  24. #23

    User Info Menu

    There's a relaxedness to the way great improvisers go about music.
    Italians would call it "sprezzatura": a certain nonchalance , so as to conceal all art and make whatever one does or plays appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it.

  25. #24

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Ol' Fret
    There's a relaxedness to the way great improvisers go about music.
    Italians would call it "sprezzatura": a certain nonchalance , so as to conceal all art and make whatever one does or plays appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it.
    Excellent. Relaxed. Stream. Unthinking flow. Effortlessness. That's mastery.

  26. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Ol' Fret
    There's a relaxedness to the way great improvisers go about music.
    Italians would call it "sprezzatura": a certain nonchalance , so as to conceal all art and make whatever one does or plays appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it.
    Yeah, it's easy, once you've put in between 10,000 to 50,000 hours of preparation!

  27. #26

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara
    Unfortunately, at the highest levels of proficiency, it often is exactly those things and not about joy, even though that is what it should be about. Cutting sessions, criticizing each other in the press, etc., all result from that tendency. Jazz musicians and orchestral musicians are often highly competitive individuals. That is what has motivated them to develop the extraordinary proficiency they have achieved. Those of us who are hobbyist musicians do so for the love of the art and the instrument; being a professional musician carries a requires that plus a different set of motivations. This is one of the reasons that hobbyists are almost never as proficient and skilled as professionals.

    In interviews, Pat Martino has talked about competitiveness. Prior to his aneurysm and neurosurgery, he was a very competitive person aiming at becoming "the best jazz guitarist." Afterwards, after he had a recovered to some extent and began playing again, his attention reverted to the joy of the music rather than a competitive motivation- indeed, back to what had interested him about playing music in the first place. George Benson has also talked about his competitive feelings as a young musician making the scene in New York. In both Martino's and Bensons cases, that drive pushed them to become amazing musicians and preeminent jazz guitarists of their generations.

    Personally I have found that while competitiveness pushes me to develop, it also has a tendency to ruin the enjoyment aspect of the activity.
    Was his goal to be the best he could be, or "the best"? The goal to be the best you can become is to be respected. If Pat worked to be "the best" in the world, I'm sure he realizes he failed. Pat is the best Pat Martino guitar player, and that will have to be enough of an accomplishment.

  28. #27

    User Info Menu


  29. #28

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet
    Try playing Jim Hall to someone that listens to people who play impressive sounding precomposed solos in any kind of music, and chances are the nuances and subtleties will go unappreciated.
    I knew a woman who studied piano at the Moscow Conservatory. I gave her an Art Tatum disc. Thirty seconds after putting it on she said, "He is a virtuoso." But, on reflection, I never played any Jim Hall for her. So maybe you were right all along.

  30. #29

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet
    Yeah, it's easy, once you've put in between 10,000 to 50,000 hours of preparation!

    It may be easy for the favored few, but not everyone who sacrifices life for a (supposed or actual) vocation becomes a luminary.
    Just some musicians, singers, Renaissance violin makers - and artists of all other sorts - had or have the essential qualities of what is called Shibui or Shibusa in Japan (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shibui ).

  31. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Ol' Fret
    It may be easy for the favored few, but not everyone who sacrifices life for a (supposed or actual) vocation becomes a luminary.
    Just some musicians, singers, Renaissance violin makers - and artists of all other sorts - had or have the essential qualities of what is called Shibui or Shibusa in Japan (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shibui ).
    Exactly, even 50,000 hours is no guarantee one will attain "effortless mastery".

  32. #31
    The difficult part of jazz is being able to draw from others, integrate that, get your technique down and yet still..... be uniquely you!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  33. #32

    User Info Menu

    Learning to improvise and all the things it takes to be able to do it is difficult and requires time and effort, but having reached a point where I could do it, the actual performance of it has felt pretty effortless and easy compared to the process of getting there. The point of working so hard for so long through the difficulties was to overcome them, internalize what was discovered, integrate what was grasped, and relax on stage so that the primary effort of performance comprises almost entirely joyful intuitive musical judgement selecting the most appropriate things to play among the hard fought acquired musical possibilities.

    I don't want anyone to ever imagine that what I do in performance is difficult. It is good when people think your performance ability "makes it look easy", not good when it exudes a sense of difficulty, struggling, missing, having problems, or failing... people don't like to hear that and it is not something a musician should strive for or consider his due from his audience, other musicians, or non-jazz musicians.

  34. #33

    User Info Menu

    I want to hear that recording!

  35. #34

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    Learning to improvise and all the things it takes to be able to do it is difficult and requires time and effort, but having reached a point where I could do it, the actual performance of it has felt pretty effortless and easy compared to the process of getting there. The point of working so hard for so long through the difficulties was to overcome them, internalize what was discovered, integrate what was grasped, and relax on stage so that the primary effort of performance comprises almost entirely joyful intuitive musical judgement selecting the most appropriate things to play among the hard fought acquired musical possibilities.

    I don't want anyone to ever imagine that what I do in performance is difficult. It is good when people think your performance ability "makes it look easy", not good when it exudes a sense of difficulty, struggling, missing, having problems, or failing... people don't like to hear that and it is not something a musician should strive for or consider his due from his audience, other musicians, or non-jazz musicians.
    I often quote Mark Twain..."...quittting smoking is easy..I have done it a hundred times.."

    Making it LOOK easy is part of it..making it SOUND easy is the other part...like trying to play a few "easy" Albert King licks..

  36. #35

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet
    Let's face it, no one likes being misunderstood and no one likes being under appreciated. Rodney Dangerfield used to joke about it, but damn it, we don't get no respect!
    Yes, but what you're really suggesting is about ego. Ego isn't music. People appreciate what they're going to appreciate. We have no control over what anyone appreciates. Let it go and play your music your way I say.

  37. #36

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop
    Yes, but what you're really suggesting is about ego. Ego isn't music. People appreciate what they're going to appreciate. We have no control over what anyone appreciates. Let it go and play your music your way I say.
    I would tend to agree with everything you've said. At the same time, I'd suggest that we need a certain amount of "ego" to think people would pay money to hear us. That said, I think the less we desire external validation the more likely we are to get it.

  38. #37

    User Info Menu

    LOL. Go on. A sticky wicket, all gone pear-shaped, has it? Irrelevant and, to paraphrase one of Miles’ most famous tunes “So What”.

    Quoting, quite frankly, Mr. Shankly: “Get stuck in, lads!” I mean, I have no idea if he ever said that, but I suspect that is the classic line from many a Half-time team talk in the Changing Room.

    *pats self on back for throwing some British expressions nobody around these parts has ever heard of in their lives*

  39. #38

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop
    Yes, but what you're really suggesting is about ego. Ego isn't music. People appreciate what they're going to appreciate. We have no control over what anyone appreciates. Let it go and play your music your way I say.
    Is this the same advise you would give to all those musical acts since Whitney Houston that you said in the other thread, haven't created any good music?

    Hey, I'm not trying to punk you here, but it just appears somewhat contradictory to me.

  40. #39

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by NSJ

    *pats self on back for throwing some British expressions nobody around these parts has ever heard of in their lives*
    Steady, the Buffs.

  41. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop
    Yes, but what you're really suggesting is about ego. Ego isn't music. People appreciate what they're going to appreciate. We have no control over what anyone appreciates. Let it go and play your music your way I say.
    Yes, well once we all turn 40, the ego gets relegated to the back seat, somewhat. We go all humble and gentle, and, almost Buddhist - like, we like to impart out wistful wisdom to those unfortunate enough to be less experienced...

    Until we've had a coupla whiskeys and maybe a spliff or two - then it's all "Oh yeah, I remember him, he was one bad motherfucker, I remember when he pulled a knife on stage once when the piano player kept playing those fuckin' #9s,, yeah, those were the days!..."

    Personally, I'd like to see more attitude (ego) in our young players (stopping short of pulling knives maybe), it can bring a bit of excitement back to Jazz, which certainly would help to rejuvenate it. A loud mouth champion, preferably one that walks the talk., can really excite the people. Where's our Salvador Dali? Or Muhammad Ali? Jazz used to have them, right? Pres, Bird, Art Blakey, Jackie Mac, Mingus, and of course Miles! Read the histories, it's full of trash talking and insult slinging! Are we ashamed of it? No! We fetishize it, if anything!

    Seriously, who was Jazz's last bad boy? Wynton Marsalis? Really? From 40 years ago? Tsk, tsk, tsk .....

  42. #41

    User Info Menu

    I agree, jazz should not be tamed.

  43. #42

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by wolflen
    I often quote Mark Twain..."...quittting smoking is easy..I have done it a hundred times.."

    Making it LOOK easy is part of it..making it SOUND easy is the other part...like trying to play a few "easy" Albert King licks..
    This thread reminded me of another Twain quote. He said it about Wagner, but I think it is what results from this sort of attitude. Jazz: "It's better than it sounds."

  44. #43

    User Info Menu

    Non Jazz musicians cannot appreciate how difficult Jazz imrov can be...

    The trouble with this premise is that it's about non-jazz musicians. I'm sure they don't appreciate it, but then there's no reason why they should; it doesn't apply to them.

  45. #44

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    Non Jazz musicians cannot appreciate how difficult Jazz imrov can be...

    The trouble with this premise is that it's about non-jazz musicians. I'm sure they don't appreciate it, but then there's no reason why they should; it doesn't apply to them.
    Well this isn't the case with most of my friends who are amateur musicians like myself but don't play jazz (well expect for the few 'easy' tunes (e.g. no key changes) I have shown them over the years).

    They clearly appreciate my knowledge of so called jazz chords, as well as key changes. As long as I "accept" (for lack of a better term), that they don't wish to go in a jazz direction we can make some nice music together playing blues and rock.

  46. #45

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet
    Yes, well once we all turn 40, the ego gets relegated to the back seat, somewhat. We go all humble and gentle, and, almost Buddhist - like, we like to impart out wistful wisdom to those unfortunate enough to be less experienced...

    Until we've had a coupla whiskeys and maybe a spliff or two - then it's all "Oh yeah, I remember him, he was one bad motherfucker, I remember when he pulled a knife on stage once when the piano player kept playing those fuckin' #9s,, yeah, those were the days!..."

    Personally, I'd like to see more attitude (ego) in our young players (stopping short of pulling knives maybe), it can bring a bit of excitement back to Jazz, which certainly would help to rejuvenate it. A loud mouth champion, preferably one that walks the talk., can really excite the people. Where's our Salvador Dali? Or Muhammad Ali? Jazz used to have them, right? Pres, Bird, Art Blakey, Jackie Mac, Mingus, and of course Miles! Read the histories, it's full of trash talking and insult slinging! Are we ashamed of it? No! We fetishize it, if anything!

    Seriously, who was Jazz's last bad boy? Wynton Marsalis? Really? From 40 years ago? Tsk, tsk, tsk .....
    John Zorn maybe? The problem is those past greats cast too large of a shadow and the development of young players has become institutionalized. There was that punk who caused a fuss dissing Wayne Shorter a few years back...

  47. #46

    User Info Menu

    I will put on my Arrow shirt, but I don’t think that most jazz musicians improvise as much as they think they do. We run the risk of falling back on our formulas and systems for dealing with chord changes, and there is nothing wrong with continuing to refine the development of motifs over a solo on a particular tune.

    There are plenty of non-jazz musicians that can hear what jazz musicians are up to. And they may not be that impressed at hearing similar licks over the V7 over and over again. As discussed in other threads, improvising over chord changes can result in something apart from improvising over a tune where the melody is the reference point.

    And classical musicians put a huge amount of effort and variation (improvisation?) into the interpretation of what they play. It is more than simply playing the notes on the page.

    All forms of music need the human heart and brain to be engaged to create the beauty and move us.

  48. #47

    User Info Menu

    Personally, I'd like to see more attitude (ego) in our young players (stopping short of pulling knives maybe), it can bring a bit of excitement back to Jazz, which certainly would help to rejuvenate it. A loud mouth champion, preferably one that walks the talk., can really excite the people. Where's our Salvador Dali? Or Muhammad Ali? Jazz used to have them, right? Pres, Bird, Art Blakey, Jackie Mac, Mingus, and of course Miles! Read the histories, it's full of trash talking and insult slinging! Are we ashamed of it? No! We fetishize it, if anything!

    Seriously, who was Jazz's last bad boy? Wynton Marsalis? Really? From 40 years ago? Tsk, tsk, tsk .....


    sure..add more spice..akin to some rock music attitude..but even there it has been tamed way down..you dont hear about trashing hotel rooms much now..
    alot has to do with the times we live in and PC culture..say something about someone-even in a private conversation-and it get overheard/recorded and next thing
    you know..are several lawyers names...

    and if Wynton was considered a "bad boy" ..lord have mercy on frank zappa....

  49. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by BWV
    ... There was that punk who caused a fuss dissing Wayne Shorter a few years back...
    Oh yeah, haha, that was fun for about 5 minutes. Unfortunately for him he picked the wrong target. He should listen maybe to Shorter's days with Blakey, back when they called him "Gone".... Attitude wise, Wayne was more "punk" that just about anyone, and whip smart to boot!

    Picking on him now when way past his prime was not just lame, but kinda inexcusable...

  50. #49

    User Info Menu

    I would not speak about difficulty.... it is not difficult really. But in general yes.. I agree.

    I keep thinking that jazz cplaying can be appriciated mostly by those who can play themselves.
    'making choices' is part of jazz aesthetics... you can appreciate those choices (especially spontaneous) if you know how it works form inside...
    You can appreciate risk if you really feel it is the risk

    Most of non-musician jazz audience are there for the atmosphere - some kind of social stuff...

    but there are also very sensitive listners who can appreciate it being non-musicians.... but to grow such an audiens the enviroment needed.
    I guess there were much more of them in the 30s-50s. There were guys who sometimes could hear it better than musicians even I think...
    Today it is different.

    I aould not care much about it... lots of people who listen to Bach and go to the concerts regularly do not dig anything in what this music is about... they seem like looking at Bosttichelli and see at best some colours - not plot, not figuers, no perspective -- they see/hear nothing...


    PS

    I put aside the topic of 'what is really improvization' or 'if they really improvize' as well as the most ridiculous 'jazz ,usicians do not improvize as much as thhey think they do'. It was discussed many times and mostly I think from wrong perspective.

  51. #50

    User Info Menu

    Jazz guitar is the hardest thing I've ever tried to do. I've been at it for 56 years and I'm still learning about how difficult it is to do really well. I am confident that I can still hear something new and not realize how difficult it was for the player to accomplish.