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  1. #1

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    Bebop is dated? Not according to Mr. McBride.

    DB


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  3. #2

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    Bebop is the core language of jazz, everything "modern" is an outgrowth of that in one way or another.

  4. #3

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    I think he makes a good point. And plays like a wizard!

  5. #4

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    He’s correct. Anything who thinks otherwise can’t play bebop effectively. Bebop is the language of so much that came after it. In a sense it’s the foundation of some of the best music ever created.

  6. #5

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    There is a difference between saying (as Christian McBride does) that bebop language is STILL modern language and saying bebop language IS modern language. The latter is not what Christian claims.

  7. #6

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    I'm not sure any jazz is dated. It's a fairly timeless medium. There are still many trad bands around. Some players stay with bebop. Other moved away from the frenetic and demanding style, which gave rise to the 'cool' period. Others move backwards and forwards in time. Some find their thing in avant garde. "Modern" is a relative term and as far as I am aware, there was no jazz movement called "Modern Jazz". So, today it could be thought of as the current crop of innovators who are pushing the boundaries. Having said that, there is no doubting bebop not only pushed the boundaries in a big way, it taught us that boundaries are there to be pushed.

  8. #7

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    Yeah. Everyone learns bop so it’s no surprise.

    Its not just dudes in suits playing Parker tunes; there’s so much bop in fusion music, any contemporary stuff. Even Ornette’s music was grounded in a bop sensibility.

    Maybe it’s time to dethrone bebop and do something else? (Assumes cover.)

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Yeah. Everyone learns bop so it’s no surprise.

    Its not just dudes in suits playing Parker tunes; there’s so much bop in fusion music, any contemporary stuff. Even Ornette’s music was grounded in a bop sensibility.

    Maybe it’s time to dethrone bebop and do something else? (Assumes cover.)
    Yeah, I think everyone is aware of Bop, and can kinda Bop a little, but I don't hear many players on any instrument that sound great at it. Most seem to mix it in with other stuff, which is probably why it's still around in any form...?

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Maybe it’s time to dethrone bebop and do something else? (Assumes cover.)
    Miles and Herbie and Wayne and Trane and Wes and Horace Silver and Jimmy Smith and Benson et al already did that. They could all play bebop but it wasn't enough for them. They had a broader vision. Thank God. People can play only bebop if they want; people can never play bebop if they want; people can play some of it and some of other things too if they want.

    I mean, the most often chosen 'greatest jazz album' is "Kind Of Blue", which isn't bebop at all. Is "A Love Supreme" bebop? Is "Better Get It In Your Soul" bebop? Is "West Coast Blues" or "Road Song" bebop? Is "Moanin'" bebop? Is "Song For My Father" bebop? Is "Maiden Voyage" bebop? "Impressions"? "Take Five"?

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by vsaumarez
    I'm not sure any jazz is dated. It's a fairly timeless medium. There are still many trad bands around. Some players stay with bebop. Other moved away from the frenetic and demanding style, which gave rise to the 'cool' period. Others move backwards and forwards in time. Some find their thing in avant garde. "Modern" is a relative term and as far as I am aware, there was no jazz movement called "Modern Jazz". So, today it could be thought of as the current crop of innovators who are pushing the boundaries. Having said that, there is no doubting bebop not only pushed the boundaries in a big way, it taught us that boundaries are there to be pushed.
    "I got no kick against modern jazz
    As long as they don't play it too darn fast
    And lose the beauty of the melody
    And make it sound just like a symphony"

    - Chuck Berry - Cultural Observer

  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    Miles and Herbie and Wayne and Trane and Wes and Horace Silver and Jimmy Smith and Benson et al already did that. They could all play bebop but it wasn't enough for them. They had a broader vision. Thank God. People can play only bebop if they want; people can never play bebop if they want; people can play some of it and some of other things too if they want.

    I mean, the most often chosen 'greatest jazz album' is "Kind Of Blue", which isn't bebop at all. Is "A Love Supreme" bebop? Is "Better Get It In Your Soul" bebop? Is "West Coast Blues" or "Road Song" bebop? Is "Moanin'" bebop? Is "Song For My Father" bebop? Is "Maiden Voyage" bebop? "Impressions"? "Take Five"?
    McBride was not talking about tunes. He was talking about the improvisational language. Most of the solos on the tunes you mention are played largely in a bop style. That’s what he is talking about. The solos on Kind of Blue are all deeply rooted in bebop. Everything is.

    DB


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  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    Miles and Herbie and Wayne and Trane and Wes and Horace Silver and Jimmy Smith and Benson et al already did that. They could all play bebop but it wasn't enough for them. They had a broader vision. Thank God. People can play only bebop if they want; people can never play bebop if they want; people can play some of it and some of other things too if they want.

    I mean, the most often chosen 'greatest jazz album' is "Kind Of Blue", which isn't bebop at all. Is "A Love Supreme" bebop? Is "Better Get It In Your Soul" bebop? Is "West Coast Blues" or "Road Song" bebop? Is "Moanin'" bebop? Is "Song For My Father" bebop? Is "Maiden Voyage" bebop? "Impressions"? "Take Five"?
    Yes it’s all bop to some extent, because modal concept nonwithstanding the way the phrasing and rhythm section are oriented are completely influenced by bop.... also tons of bop lines. Coltrane plays loads of that stuff. Even the sound of instruments - lack of heavy vibrato etc.

    you can say it’s not exclusively bop, of course, but bop is always there.

    Bop isn’t ii v Is.

    Not that I have the foggiest idea what would replace it.

  14. #13

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    I think until you spend some time with earlier jazz it’s hard to appreciate just how much of an evolutionary bottleneck bop was.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Yes it’s all bop to some extent, because modal concept nonwithstanding the way the phrasing and rhythm section are oriented are completely influenced by bop.... also tons of bop lines. Coltrane plays loads of that stuff. Even the sound of instruments - lack of heavy vibrato etc.

    you can say it’s not exclusively bop, of course, but bop is always there.

    Bop isn’t ii v Is.

    Not that I have the foggiest idea what would replace it.
    Don’t forget Cannonball, also on KOB, was straight out of the hard bop era. Cannonball blended bebop, soul, RnB, and kept the music moving forward much like Miles did. Cannonball never forgot his Bop roots.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77

    Not that I have the foggiest idea what would replace it.
    What, like Rock‘n‘Roll?
    (Behind sofa)


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  17. #16

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    The "cool" language of Tristano, Marsh, Konitz, Bauer etc is a true alternative language to Bop. It is unfortunate how thoroughly overlooked it was (and is).

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by docsteve
    What, like Rock‘n‘Roll?
    (Behind sofa)


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    Neo-soul and Dilla beats. My mistake.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchbopper
    McBride was not talking about tunes. He was talking about the improvisational language. Most of the solos on the tunes you mention are played largely in a bop style. That’s what he is talking about. The solos on Kind of Blue are all deeply rooted in bebop. Everything is.

    DB
    This point of view gives bebop way too much credit. (Think of someone saying that anything played with syncopation is ragtime or anything that swings is Swing and nothing else. "Most" and "largely" are the giveaways in your comment. You know what you have claimed does not hold.
    Pat Martino is not a bebop guitarist and neither was Herb Ellis. Neither is George Benson (though he can play in that style; he can play in several others as well.) Wes Montgomery was not a bebop guitarist. George and Wes took a lot of flak for making records that reached a mass audience.

    Bebop was originally conceived as art music, for aficionados, in contrast to swing, which appealed to the masses. Hard-bop was a move AWAY from that bop attitude back to music with broader appeal, hence the gospel, blues, and soul elements. (I think there are more hard bop standards that are not contrafacts than there are bebop standards. Most bebop standards are written over blues and swing changes.

    The albums in the Miles Davis catalog that are classified as bebop are relatively few and "Kind of Blue" is not among them.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop
    Don’t forget Cannonball, also on KOB, was straight out of the hard bop era. Cannonball blended bebop, soul, RnB, and kept the music moving forward much like Miles did. Cannonball never forgot his Bop roots.
    I love Cannonball's playing. Hard bop, indeed: gospel, blues (which was part of swing-era jazz and bebop as well) and soul. I think this is why there are so many great hard bop heads. "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy," "Dat Dere", "Sack O' Woe", "Moanin", "The Preacher", "Walkin'", "The Sidewinder", "The Blues Walk," "Sugar," "Four On Six", "Blue Train", "Work Song" and "West Coast Blues" are simpler than "Donna Lee" but they are all more appealing.

    Kenny Burrell's "Midnight Blue" makes most short lists of classic jazz guitar albums but it is not a bebop album.


  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I think until you spend some time with earlier jazz it’s hard to appreciate just how much of an evolutionary bottleneck bop was.
    Bottleneck implies (in US idiom anyway), a narrowing that causes congestion and getting stuck in an otherwise fluid situation. Is that the analogy you're going for?

    John

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    Bottleneck implies (in US idiom anyway), a narrowing that causes congestion and getting stuck in an otherwise fluid situation. Is that the analogy you're going for?

    John

    Yeah also in European idiom ... Sounds like the claim is that bebop clogged everything up and all progress came to an end.


    And here we are in 2020 still talking about Charlie Parker, Barry Harris and Bud Powell .. and If a 21st century guitar player ever gets mentioned it's Pasquale Grasso for how well he channels Bud Powell ???

  23. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    This point of view gives bebop way too much credit. (Think of someone saying that anything played with syncopation is ragtime or anything that swings is Swing and nothing else. "Most" and "largely" are the giveaways in your comment. You know what you have claimed does not hold.
    Pat Martino is not a bebop guitarist and neither was Herb Ellis. Neither is George Benson (though he can play in that style; he can play in several others as well.) Wes Montgomery was not a bebop guitarist. George and Wes took a lot of flak for making records that reached a mass audience.

    Bebop was originally conceived as art music, for aficionados, in contrast to swing, which appealed to the masses. Hard-bop was a move AWAY from that bop attitude back to music with broader appeal, hence the gospel, blues, and soul elements. (I think there are more hard bop standards that are not contrafacts than there are bebop standards. Most bebop standards are written over blues and swing changes.

    The albums in the Miles Davis catalog that are classified as bebop are relatively few and "Kind of Blue" is not among them.
    Hard bop is just a sub genre. Herb played bebop. There are several lists of bebop guitarists on WIKI that include Herb, Pat and Wes. Just type in bebop guitarists. George is always playing in the bop idiom, even on funk grooves and pop. The music genre may be labelled, the impro is often bop related or pure bop.

    But I have no desire to be right here so I rest my case.

    DB


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  24. #23

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    I don’t think in terms of the narrow definitions or labels mentioned above. To me ‘bop’ is a practical term and means just about any kind of jazz which swings (or has a latin groove), has improvised lines with predominantly (but not always) 8th notes, and largely respects the chord harmonies. So Wes and Kenny play bop as far as I’m concerned. Even Coleman Hawkins is a kind of early bop player in my book.

    To me it’s the core language you need to learn to play just about anything in jazz. Even guys who play mainstream swing stuff e.g. Scott Hamilton or Jon-Erik Kelso seem to play with a certain amount of bop sensibility somehow.

    Miles’ 60s post-bop quintet is to me bop without sticking so much to chord changes (sometimes abandoning them). But you can tell those guys had all mastered bop first.

    I always thought one of the problems with Wynton Marsalis when he first came out was that he had obviously learned all the Miles post-bop stuff without learning the bop stuff first, and it kind of showed somehow, however brilliant his playing was.

  25. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    I don’t think in terms of the narrow definitions or labels mentioned above. To me ‘bop’ is a practical term and means just about any kind of jazz which swings (or has a latin groove), has improvised lines with predominantly (but not always) 8th notes, and largely respects the chord harmonies. So Wes and Kenny play bop as far as I’m concerned. Even Coleman Hawkins is a kind of early bop player in my book.

    To me it’s the core language you need to learn to play just about anything in jazz. Even guys who play mainstream swing stuff e.g. Scott Hamilton or Jon-Erik Kelso seem to play with a certain amount of bop sensibility somehow.

    Miles’ 60s post-bop quintet is to me bop without sticking so much to chord changes (sometimes abandoning them). But you can tell those guys had all mastered bop first.

    I always thought one of the problems with Wynton Marsalis when he first came out was that he had obviously learned all the Miles post-bop stuff without learning the bop stuff first, and it kind of showed somehow, however brilliant his playing was.
    Kind of what I was thinking but you say it better. Thanks.

    DB

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    This point of view gives bebop way too much credit. (Think of someone saying that anything played with syncopation is ragtime or anything that swings is Swing and nothing else. "Most" and "largely" are the giveaways in your comment. You know what you have claimed does not hold.
    Pat Martino is not a bebop guitarist and neither was Herb Ellis. Neither is George Benson (though he can play in that style; he can play in several others as well.) Wes Montgomery was not a bebop guitarist. George and Wes took a lot of flak for making records that reached a mass audience.

    Bebop was originally conceived as art music, for aficionados, in contrast to swing, which appealed to the masses. Hard-bop was a move AWAY from that bop attitude back to music with broader appeal, hence the gospel, blues, and soul elements. (I think there are more hard bop standards that are not contrafacts than there are bebop standards. Most bebop standards are written over blues and swing changes.

    The albums in the Miles Davis catalog that are classified as bebop are relatively few and "Kind of Blue" is not among them.
    There's a few historical myths/simplifications here, sorry. The truth is more complex.

    But it is certainly true that basically everyone from around 1950-1960 played a common practice principally influenced by Charlie Parker. The harmonic note choices and melodic approaches and so on seem remarkably common to all players. It's not to say they all sounded alike; but they had a similar way of going about things and that was rooted in Bird. The 60s represented a diversification of the music, but they'd all gone through this period.

    I think you really need to go to the music itself, to grasp why Christian McBride says what he says. I also think you have to have some knowledge of pre war jazz, to really appreciate how everything was shaped by the playing of pretty much one man.

    I'll just take one of your examples; Wes was 100% a bop guitarist. In that he played bop professionally with some of its leading lights. That seems to make him more a bop guitarist than any of us lol. Unless you have some better definition, of course.


    Wes later adoption of - modes, pop tunes, soul-jazz etc etc - doesn't alter that. Everyone who came up in his generation went through the bottleneck of Bird. No-one of that generation was playing like Coleman Hawkins, Cootie Williams, Louis Armstrong etc etc - that wasn't happening. OTOH bop became the basic lingua franca both in NYC and in the colleges.

    So - it's also true of the fusion players and so on. And they were later. It's a formative influence on the way people play different vocabulary.

    So yeah, McBride is right, if you ask me. Funny that. Almost like he knows what he's talking about or something?
    Last edited by christianm77; 12-08-2020 at 08:37 PM.

  27. #26
    For me the further from Bop the less I like it, with exceptions of course.

    Bach is also my favorite composer in classical music and I always felt there was some kind of connection between what I like about Bop and Bach.

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    There's a few historical myths/simplifications here, sorry. The truth is more complex.

    But it is certainly true that basically everyone from around 1950-1960 played a common practice principally influenced by Charlie Parker. The harmonic note choices and melodic approaches and so on seem remarkably common to all players. It's not to say they all sounded alike; but they had a similar way of going about things and that was rooted in Bird. The 60s represented a diversification of the music, but they'd all gone through this period.

    I think you really need to go to the music itself, to grasp why Christian McBride says what he says. I also think you have to have some knowledge of pre war jazz, to really appreciate how everything was shaped by the playing of pretty much one man.

    I'll just take one of your examples; Wes was 100% a bop guitarist. In that he played bop professionally with some of its leading lights. That seems to make him more a bop guitarist than any of us lol. Unless you have some better definition, of course.


    Wes later adoption of - modes, pop tunes, soul-jazz etc etc - doesn't alter that. Everyone who came up in his generation went through the bottleneck of Bird. No-one of that generation was playing like Coleman Hawkins, Cootie Williams, Louis Armstrong etc etc - that wasn't happening. OTOH bop became the basic lingua franca both in NYC and in the colleges.

    So - it's also true of the fusion players and so on. And they were later. It's a formative influence on the way people play different vocabulary.

    So yeah, McBride is right, if you ask me. Funny that. Almost like he knows what he's talking about or something?
    You are simplifying a bit too here. It's curious that you are researching the lessons of the Tristano and derived schools, but still not giving them credit for being a separate thread of the language not derived from the Bird/blues inflection that was otherwise so influential.

  29. #28

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    "...the bottleneck of Bird."

    I like this.

  30. #29

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    I was also led to believe that bebop is the core language of any style of jazz. I can agree with that, and everybody who plays jazz should have a decent course in it, but it's not everyone's end game.

    I mean, I hear criticism sometimes such and such guitarists are not that good at bebop, and therefore their jazz credentials are compromised. Like oh, he's good at this and that style, but can he play bop well. For me personally, it's not a criteria. So bebop is not dated for learning, but dated is a creative output maybe, because a lot interesting stuff going on outside of bebop idioms.

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    So yeah, McBride is right, if you ask me. Funny that. Almost like he knows what he's talking about or something?
    What McBride said is that bebop language is still part of modern (jazz) language. (I agree.) It is not the whole of it. (I agree again.) This is why McBride contrasts bebop with more modern language. McBride says bebop is not the whole of modern language. His point is that it BELONGS in there, not that modern language IS bebop language.

    I realize the towering influence of Bird but I also realize being influenced by someone doesn't mean one is playing in the same style. After all, we don't call Bird a Swing player despite his mastery of Lester Young solos. We don't call Chuck Berry a jump blues guitarist even though he was deeply influenced by Carl Hogan's playing on Louis Jordan records (and T-Bone Walker's playing on his own records). Doing things Bird did does not mean one is playing bebop any more than playing a Charlie Christian lick (or even a memorized solo, as Wes did when starting out) means one is a Swing player. Lots of rock'n'roll (and blues and jump blues) guitarists have played Charlie Christian lines and NOBODY says, "aha, they're playing Swing---same language!"

    Anyway, I agree with McBride too: Bebop is a part of modern jazz language but is not the whole of it.

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hep To The Jive
    I was also led to believe that bebop is the core language of any style of jazz. I can agree with that, and everybody who plays jazz should have a decent course in it, but it's not everyone's end game.

    I mean, I hear criticism sometimes such and such guitarists are not that good at bebop, and therefore their jazz credentials are compromised. Like oh, he's good at this and that style, but can he play bop well. For me personally, it's not a criteria. So bebop is not dated for learning, but dated is a creative output maybe, because a lot interesting stuff going on outside of bebop idioms.
    People like making narrow judgements because it makes them feel better or something?

    I also think if I’d had to study bop at college like most jazz players, I would have ended up hating it. I’m not entirely sure why I got into it; although it is a very satisfying thing to do. I like the music, obviously, but not to exclusion of anything else.

    But theres the rub - so much of the subsequent stuff is based on bop, just on a basic level. It’s a self fulfilling cycle.

    But anyway the main thing for bop for me is the approach to rhythm, and the way phrases are constructed. If you understand the flow of bop phrases you can do it with all sorts of resources.
    Last edited by christianm77; 12-09-2020 at 06:13 AM.

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Yeah. Everyone learns bop so it’s no surprise.

    Its not just dudes in suits playing Parker tunes; there’s so much bop in fusion music, any contemporary stuff. Even Ornette’s music was grounded in a bop sensibility.

    Maybe it’s time to dethrone bebop and do something else? (Assumes cover.)
    This implicitly supposes, that human enjoyable new music forms are always available, just the listeners must grow up to understand. Maybe this assumption is not true. This was the case in line of Vivaldi, Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Bartók. However since 1950 end of story. No new enjoyable and understanable forms in that line of composed music. That is 70 years! We had enough time to understand and enjoy Ligeti, but we did not. So it seems end of story.

    Since recording is available, the not composed music can compete with the classic composed line, so we get jazz, then blues, then rock, then progressive rock (blues was way earlier as folk music)

    Since at least 30 years the progress of rock seems to be degraded, nothing really new.

    You wrote "do something else"

    Why would we suppose the progress of jazz is endless, and there is anything to "do something else", keeping the mandatory prerequisite human enjoyable and understandable? (I mean within a genre what still can be called jazz)

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hep To The Jive
    I was also led to believe that bebop is the core language of any style of jazz. I can agree with that, and everybody who plays jazz should have a decent course in it, but it's not everyone's end game.

    I mean, I hear criticism sometimes such and such guitarists are not that good at bebop, and therefore their jazz credentials are compromised. Like oh, he's good at this and that style, but can he play bop well. For me personally, it's not a criteria. So bebop is not dated for learning, but dated is a creative output maybe, because a lot interesting stuff going on outside of bebop idioms.
    This exposes the question, what makes jazz to jazz? The automatic answer is improvising, but this completely disregards the fact, that classical music also would be improvised (it was, for example the cadences of concertos) if the musicians like Bach and Mozart would had not been forced to write their music down by the lack of the recording technology. Bach, Mozart were very similar to current great artist, surely improvisers.

    Also in the genre rock, and progressive rock, Jimmy Page and David Gilmore and Keith Emerson were improvising, as essential part of their music.

    So it seems, that although improvising is a mandatory attribute of jazz, this is not the attribute what really distinguishes it from other genres, with other words, this is not the essence of the jazz.

    Maybe the essence is in the feeling (as cloudy it is) If we want to get more precise definition the we can say...the language?

    What I would like to say that if something evolves from jazz (or the artist evolves from jazz) and this music is improvised, but has completely other feeling and has completely other language, then why would we call that jazz?

  35. #34

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    Bop is a language. I haven’t listen to the McBride talk, or read it. Whatever. But I imagine he’s not talking about the genre but the language. KOB wouldn’t exist without bop. All the players played through the language of bebop. Coltrane, Adderly, Miles, Evans, Kelly, Cobb. Every single one of them. It’s like saying DeGaulle isn’t French because he’s speaking in England. Maybe not the best example. But it’s a language not so much a style of music. You can speak in different accents, in different countries, on different subjects. You can slip it in when you’re using other languages.

    But for me and what I hear bop changed the language immeasurably. Even the reworking of chord progressions by using ii-Vs. That’s bebop.


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  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabor
    This exposes the question, what makes jazz to jazz? The automatic answer is improvising, but this completely disregards the fact, that classical music also would be improvised (it was, for example the cadences of concertos) if the musicians like Bach and Mozart would had not been forced to write their music down by the lack of the recording technology. Bach, Mozart were very similar to current great artist, surely improvisers.

    Also in the genre rock, and progressive rock, Jimmy Page and David Gilmore and Keith Emerson were improvising, as essential part of their music.

    So it seems, that although improvising is a mandatory attribute of jazz, this is not the attribute what really distinguishes it from other genres, with other words, this is not the essence of the jazz.

    Maybe the essence is in the feeling (as cloudy it is) If we want to get more precise definition the we can say...the language?

    What I would like to say that if something evolves from jazz (or the artist evolves from jazz) and this music is improvised, but has completely other feeling and has completely other language, then why would we call that jazz?
    Improvisation is important but not defining for jazz. Syncopation is. Other genres use syncopation, but not as much as jazz. IMO

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hep To The Jive
    Improvisation is important but not defining for jazz. Syncopation is. Other genres use syncopation, but not as much as jazz. IMO
    Syncopation also does not "define" a music as jazz, Stravinsky is not jazz, althogh he tried to refresh his creativity with jazz elements, but those syncopes what a symphonic orchestra plays are not the same, "just" the essence what is missing :-)

    I was searching for the answer what makes jazz to jazz, surely not got a perfect answer, but tried to prove that is closely related to "the language" and also tried to say, if a music has completely other feeling and has completely other language, then why would we call that jazz? (I mean the bebop language roots must be there) Otherwise it could good or bad, but it makes no sense to call it jazz.

    Suppose an imaginary listener is sitting side of Bach when he improvising on a church organ, and creates a fuge on a syncopated theme. Should we call this jazz? No because Bach talks a completely different language.

    Similarly if an artist evolves so far her/his language that bebop can be found there only in traces or less why would we call it jazz?

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabor
    Syncopation also does not "define" a music as jazz, Stravinsky is not jazz, althogh he tried to refresh his creativity with jazz elements, but those syncopes what a symphonic orchestra plays are not the same, "just" the essence what is missing :-)


    Yes the rhythmic language completely defines bop. But it’s not defined by the presence of syncopations, but their nature. Let me try and practically demonstrate why I think this.

    I can play a line that uses only note choices familiar from Bach melodies and if I give it the right rhythm it will be bop. But it has to be right rhythm. (And that bop rhythm furthermore will be distinct from prewar swing.)

    For instance compare the middle 8 of Night in Tunisia to the way Bach would write a line of running 8th notes in similar harmonic situation; bars 7-8 of the fugue in BWV1001 for example. (Give or take an Ab)

    So, Bach does not count as jazz because the rhythmic syntax even aside from the feel is completely different.

    Re: ‘syncopation’ in jazz Brad Mehldau puts it well:

    Carnegie 06 — Brad Mehldau

    this whole page is worth reading as are the others for their analysis but rather long. With regards to syncopations in Brahms music (Brahms for those who don’t know was a fan of syncopation and rhythmic displacement) he says:

    Syncopation in classical music operates by confounding our expectations when it withholds the emphasis on the downbeat. Swinging jazz music that emphasizes upbeats, though, is surely not one long act of withholding – the rhythmic pleasure of swing has a deeply satiating effect on the body. The reasons why swing feels good, quite simply, are different than the reasons that that passage of Brahms feels good. To speak about syncopation, as commentators long have done when describing jazz, is even misleading in as far as syncopationis a trope for rhythmic otherness. The accented upbeats so prevalent in jazz are not the Other – they are home base; they are part of jazz’s DNA. In a swinging 4/4 meter, we clap on beats two and four of the bar...

    This is really the essence of what bebop is to me. Lester hadn’t quite progressed to this step btw his music still favours downbeats over upbeats to some extent; Parker really perfected this and noone has really advanced beyond him rhythmically. They just play in 7 to hide it haha.

    Anyway, there is no jazz feeling or rhythmic syntax in Stravinky’s music at all as much as I love him. Karnatic music is vastly more rhythmically complex than Stravinsky - and has improvisation - and obviously isn’t jazz either.

    So if I can to some extent embellish Hep’s argument - Rhythmic complexity and syncopation is not what it is. There is actually an inherent linguistic aspect to authentic jazz (bop) rhythms. It’s not the syncopation it’s the nature and integrality of the syncopation.

    (It is a syntax (even if the feel is often different) that is common to other African Diaspora musics such as Cuban and Brazilian traditions. Andrew Scott Potter (bonsritmos) has demonstrated that here with Candomble rhythms.)
    Last edited by christianm77; 12-09-2020 at 11:26 AM.

  39. #38

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    It’s not quite on topic but listen to Peter Bernstein’s intro:


    Doesn’t the bar with all downbeats sound, well, syncopated and funky? The reason is because we have had the expectation of the ‘Take Five’ clave set up.

    a lot of music seems that way to me. You know those funk grooves where the hippest, funkiest thing is to play on all the downbeats?

    It seems to me the feeling of what is an upbeat and downbeat in jazz and funk etc (not to mention Latin American music) is really not based on its position with the regard to a 4/4 beat, but rather with respect to some latent clave or accent pattern. A lot of Bird fits the Son Clave for instance.

  40. #39
    If I push the comparison between Classical and Jazz, I think Gabor made a great point. Music doesn't always continue to evolve. Sometimes a genre evolves as far as it can.

    Classical went this with an evolution from the music before Bach to the classical period to the romantic period to atonal music.

    I would describe a similar evolution in Jazz from pre-bob, to bebop, to hard bop, to Miles and Coltrane, to today.

    Now in both Jazz and Classical, I'm not sure how much evolution is happening. I think people just grab a bit of this and that depending on which eras resonate with them.

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by charlieparker
    If I push the comparison between Classical and Jazz, I think Gabor made a great point. Music doesn't always continue to evolve. Sometimes a genre evolves as far as it can.

    Classical went this with an evolution from the music before Bach to the classical period to the romantic period to atonal music.

    I would describe a similar evolution in Jazz from pre-bob, to bebop, to hard bop, to Miles and Coltrane, to today.

    Now in both Jazz and Classical, I'm not sure how much evolution is happening. I think people just grab a bit of this and that depending on which eras resonate with them.
    Well as soon as something becomes reified into a genre like that, it becomes difficult to evolve, because you can say this is Jazz and this is not. This is not Classical music, this is. It places a line in the sand. At least jazz has resisted too much of an urge to define itself that way; but we do see it with styles such as ‘bebop’ (as Mark Rhodes would define it.)

    Bach wouldn’t have known what Baroque music was. He would have described himself as a church musician. OTOH Charlie Parker did not regard bop as jazz, interestingly.

    But; really Jazz’s evolution over the past 50 or so years has been geared towards syntactic complexity both in rhythm and harmony. It’s like people are learning to play bebop on a wider and wider range of situations, while Bird just did it (more or less) on Blues and swing standards in 4/4....

    But the rhythmic freedom and power of what he did over that limited repertoire has never been equalled and represents the continued baseline for how all that other music is played on a proccessual level... Why does everyone play in 8th notes, for instance?

  42. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Well as soon as something becomes reified into a genre like that, it becomes difficult to evolve, because you can say this is Jazz and this is not. This is not Classical music, this is. It places a line in the sand. At least jazz has resisted too much of an urge to define itself that way; but we do see it with styles such as ‘bebop’ (as Mark Rhodes would define it.)

    Bach wouldn’t have known what Baroque music was. He would have described himself as a church musician. OTOH Charlie Parker did not regard bop as jazz, interestingly.

    But; really Jazz’s evolution over the past 50 or so years has been geared towards syntactic complexity both in rhythm and harmony. It’s like people are learning to play bebop on a wider and wider range of situations, while Bird just did it (more or less) on Blues and swing standards in 4/4....

    But the rhythmic freedom and power of what he did over that limited repertoire has never been equalled and represents the continued baseline for how all that other music is played on a proccessual level... Why does everyone play in 8th notes, for instance?
    Newness, originality, and evolution are over-emphasized in Western art forms. This is true especially in the visual and aural art forms. Many would say that someone playing Bebop or Gypsy Jazz today sounds dated. But in other cultures, I am not sure this is the case. How old is Carnatic music?

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by charlieparker
    Newness, originality, and evolution are over-emphasized in Western art forms. This is true especially in the visual and aural art forms. Many would say that someone playing Bebop or Gypsy Jazz today sounds dated. But in other cultures, I am not sure this is the case. How old is Carnatic music?
    Oh accounts vary. My teacher says Konnakol goes back around 3,000 years back to Vedic scripture, but the music has been evolving for millennia into its present form. Historian Michael Wood characterised the culture of Tamil Nadi as the only extant classical civilisation...

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    It’s not quite on topic but listen to Peter Bernstein’s intro:


    Doesn’t the bar with all downbeats sound, well, syncopated and funky? The reason is because we have had the expectation of the ‘Take Five’ clave set up.

    a lot of music seems that way to me. You know those funk grooves where the hippest, funkiest thing is to play on all the downbeats?

    It seems to me the feeling of what is an upbeat and downbeat in jazz and funk etc (not to mention Latin American music) is really not based on its position with the regard to a 4/4 beat, but rather with respect to some latent clave or accent pattern. A lot of Bird fits the Son Clave for instance.
    It's a great intro. Sets up a clave and then changes it in that one bar. What makes it sound so fresh and funky is that most of us don't feel 5/4 very well. We're prone to being confused by it. That why Brubeck played the riff throughout Desmond's solo on Take Five. But, if you can establish the pattern in your mind to the point where it sounds natural, Bernstein's intro seems a lot less quirky.

  45. #44

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    Jive Coffee = Tea for Two.

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    It's a great intro. Sets up a clave and then changes it in that one bar. What makes it sound so fresh and funky is that most of us don't feel 5/4 very well. We're prone to being confused by it. That why Brubeck played the riff throughout Desmond's solo on Take Five. But, if you can establish the pattern in your mind to the point where it sounds natural, Bernstein's intro seems a lot less quirky.
    Oh, I think I heard Brubeck (or was it Desond) say that they did it to stop the rhythm section from falling apart. Obviously today such a simple treatment of 5 would be a walk in the park for a jazz rhythm section, but back then it was pretty new.

    I think you missed my point a little bit.

    In a 4/4 bar we have a hierarchy of strong beats (1 and 3) and weak beats (2 and 4); (at least in classical music)

    In 5/4 that simple heirarcy is broken. What's an off beat in 5/4. What's an up beat in 5/8?

    This came up today in Konnakol practice. You put a 5 beat cycle in quarter notes against a 5/8 meter. So, We get

    1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5

    Now which of the bold notes are on down beats and which are on up beats? In fact it depends how you divide the bar, and how you feel these cross rhythm notes as upbeats or downbeats is a really subtle internal thing. It messes with your head. 1 is obviously a downbeat, but what about 4?

    So, with our Western 3+2 division, we have:
    D U U U D
    1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5

    But if use the traditional Karnatic subdivision 2+3 (Kanda Chapu Tala) we get this:
    D D U U U
    1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5

    It's the same rhythm but feels very different against the differently group pulse. According to my teacher if you can flip from one to the other, you can basically play in any meter... but making that adaptation from 2+3 to 3+2 seamlessly is much harder than you might think.

    Anyway what has this got to do with bebop? Well, in the same way I think rhythms that are in common time (4/4) in jazz as well as in cuban and Brazilian music are subject to the same thing. So accents that fall on the grouping (say 3+3+2 for example, for a simple 1 bar clave or Tresillo) feel like downbeats and ones that don't feel like upbeats. Although most claves in jazz are two bars. This is my understanding of what Brad said above. It's not that all upbeats and downbeats in jazz have equal significance, it's more that the basic resting accent patterns - the equivalent of downbeats - in jazz are combinations of upbeats and downbeats.

    (Which might also be one reason why straight 4 rhythm guitar and unembellished walking bass swings - in this sense it's actually syncopated, provided the horns and drummer understand the accent patterns.)

    This is more familiar perhaps from Cuban music as the clave is well known; but it is also true of Brazilian samba, as those rhythms also have a directionality or chirality to them. A lot of those Candomble rhythms are two bars and compatible with various claves - Opanije fits with the 2 3 clave for example, and also with a lot of early jazz and swing, and in this case it's part of the structure to feel the '2+' and '4' as strong downbeat-style accents in the second bar. You can also line up some of Bird's heads with this matrix, albeit with more complex embellishments than we tend to find in Lester Young, say... Anthropology for instance. This is one why Parker was able to play with Cuban musicians so effortlessly, and maybe why the Cuban/bop crossover was so successful musically, and later of course the Bossa Nova rhythm guitar was found to be compatible with American jazz.

    There are other rhythms such cascaras and so on that can be helpful. Billy Hart talks about some jazz drummers having a cascara feel in the ride cymbal and so on.

    Over the top superimposed you have various 6/8 and 12/8 nuances as well as one bar figures as well, that add depth to the phrasing.

    And of course you can just feel all this stuff (most jazzers don't analyse it), but if you have trouble getting cool bebop phrases, try finding and singing the clave for a bit, and then start improvising again. It might open up a lot of ideas you hadn't thought of.

  47. #46

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    Dutchbopper said:
    "McBride was not talking about tunes. He was talking about the improvisational language. Most of the solos on the tunes you mention are played largely in a bop style. That’s what he is talking about. The solos on Kind of Blue are all deeply rooted in bebop. Everything is."

    This is the central idea of the video. Everyone else was projecting their own interpretation of it, all of which is a different topic.

  48. #47

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    The language IS the rhythm.

    Why do I feel I can say that? Well it's not the pitch choices; the pitch choices are the same triads, scales and neighbour tone patterns that had been around for hundreds of years, and certainly not much different from what swing players had been using by and large. So what then?

    What made it bop language was the rhythmic energy, accentuation, style of swing and phrasing.

    That's why you can do it with modes, pentatonics, whatever you want.

    Conversely, Dizzy could take dance steps and turn them into lines.

  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    It's a great intro. Sets up a clave and then changes it in that one bar. What makes it sound so fresh and funky is that most of us don't feel 5/4 very well. We're prone to being confused by it. That why Brubeck played the riff throughout Desmond's solo on Take Five. But, if you can establish the pattern in your mind to the point where it sounds natural, Bernstein's intro seems a lot less quirky.
    (continuing slightly OT)
    can you help me with this ....

    im feeling
    12312
    12312
    12312
    12123

    am I on the right track ?

  50. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    The language IS the rhythm.

    Why do I feel I can say that? Well it's not the pitch choices; the pitch choices are the same triads, scales and neighbour tone patterns that had been around for hundreds of years, and certainly not much different from what swing players had been using by and large. So what then?

    What made it bop language was the rhythmic energy, accentuation, style of swing and phrasing.

    That's why you can do it with modes, pentatonics, whatever you want.

    Conversely, Dizzy could take dance steps and turn them into lines.
    Thanks for that ..... it's good to hear that

    I always had trouble with the
    'Parker and Dizzy and Bop changed everything' trope

    i don't WANT to disagree with it ,
    because so many fabulous jazz players say something to that effect

    I just couldn't hear it ....
    the Bop harmonic language sounds just like the Straight-ahead
    or Swing type language to me ....
    (I thought/think it was me , i.e. I just couldn't hear it)

    It's faster , a bit more tripletty , and maybe slightly more chromatic
    but as we know when the tempo goes up
    you can get away with more 'out' stuff ....

    anyway carry on
    fascinating disscussion folks

  51. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    It’s not quite on topic but listen to Peter Bernstein’s intro:


    Doesn’t the bar with all downbeats sound, well, syncopated and funky? The reason is because we have had the expectation of the ‘Take Five’ clave set up.

    a lot of music seems that way to me. You know those funk grooves where the hippest, funkiest thing is to play on all the downbeats?

    It seems to me the feeling of what is an upbeat and downbeat in jazz and funk etc (not to mention Latin American music) is really not based on its position with the regard to a 4/4 beat, but rather with respect to some latent clave or accent pattern. A lot of Bird fits the Son Clave for instance.
    one of my favourite Bernstein tune. I even learned Tea for Two driven this inspiration, despite that here is the groove the king. And Mehldau's solo... unbelievable.