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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker
    I don't see this happening in general among jazz guitar fans. They seem content to rehash the tunes from the 40s and 50s. I love those tunes too but am just pointing out that there's an entire world out there that we shouldn't ignore.
    I'm a little confused. Are you saying that we're not building a standard repertoire of new music? Because most of the jazz guitar fans I know are way into people like Allan Holdsworth, Scofield, Metheny, and so forth, who are very much doing their own thing.

    As far as pulling out things at jam sessions and such, you tend to go with what you know people know, which is generally Real Book stuff.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #52

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    I think some of it has to do with the background folks come to jazz from now....fewer and fewer players "start" with jazz...particularly guitar players...so a cat might come from a rock background where writing originals is something a lot of people do as soon as they can string three chords together..

    in the past, there were plenty of players who made big careers and didn't do a whole lot of writing...now everybody writes. I think it's great...why expand the canon of "must know" tunes even further? Do something new with an old tune everybody knows and write some fresh stuff...

    on the guitar side, Lage Lund is one of my favorite writers...

    i think its it's the background of guitar players and guitar instruction in general that keeps a lot of players from exploring this stuff. Ever go on a non jazz oriented site and see guitar players talk about modes?
    Last edited by mr. beaumont; 01-20-2014 at 01:26 PM.

  4. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    I think it's great...why expand the canon of "must know" tunes even further? Do something new with an old tune everybody knows and write some fresh stuff...
    Exactly.

    i think its it's the background of guitar players and guitar instruction in general that keeps a lot of players from exploring this stuff. Ever go on a non jazz oriented site and see guitar players talk about modes?
    Yes, but it's a much more basic discussion. There's plenty of advanced discussion on palm mutes and sweep picking, though. \m/ :P

  5. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by Boston Joe
    I'm a little confused. Are you saying that we're not building a standard repertoire of new music?
    I don't know where I said anything like that. All I'm saying is that if you read the online guitar forums, the preoccupation is with tunes from the 40s and 50s

  6. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker
    I don't know where I said anything like that. All I'm saying is that if you read the online guitar forums, the preoccupation is with tunes from the 40s and 50s
    Well, if, like me, you don't happen to have a steady group of folks to play with, and you go to open jam sessions, that's what you're going to end up playing. If I go to a jam session and call, say, a Metheney tune other than Bright Size Life or Question and Answer, guarantee the response is going to be, "Uh... maybe something a little more familiar?"

    Also, I think that the majority of amateur players (who are making up the forums for the most part) are still working on better ways of dealing with functional harmony. The conventional wisdom is that you need to master that stuff before you get into the more modern stuff. Is that actually true?

    And I wouldn't necessarily say that it's purely a guitar player thing either. I remember reading an interview with Metheney where he said that it was tough finding people to play his stuff because once someone has learned to play bop, it's hard to get them to NOT play bop.

  7. #56
    I agree with everything you've said Joe. I'm just trying to open up the conversation here and on other jazz forums. I don't think it's necessary to learn to play over ii v i chord progressions in order to understand functional harmony and chord/scale theory and be able to play over a tune like the one I posted in the #1.

    And yes, even if you bring a chart of something like Ruth to a jam session, and even with experienced vets, you'll likely find that people will struggle with it.

    I'm not asking why or attempting to invalidate traditional changes by any means. I'm just saying "let's open our ears to other sounds and other writing styles".

    Not sure why this has to be such a big controversy, lol

  8. #57

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    I don't think its controversial. I suspect a lot of people listen to that stuff and maybe even play some of it at home. But for practical purposes, whether it's your bag or not, you end up playing a lot of standards, so that's what you end up talking about. Also, I think that a given player's approach to a tune like "Ruth" is going to be a bit more individual and idiosyncratic because playing over that kind of harmony doesn't really have a formalized methodology the way bop does.

    That said, I do know a sax player who's called "Infant Eyes" at almost every session I've seen him at. Even though it was written in the 60s (I think), it's pretty modern in terms of it having an unusual form (three nine-measure phrases) and non-functional harmony.

    The other thing is, if I go to a session, I want to sound good and have fun. That means I want to play tunes that everybody knows, so we can all cook on it. What I don't want to do is grind through an unfamiliar chart and sound like crap because I've never seen something like it before. That's not jamming. That's rehearsal, and nine times out of ten, it's not fun for anyone but the composer.
    Last edited by Boston Joe; 01-20-2014 at 04:10 PM.

  9. #58

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    This is why Dave Liebman discusses the importance of working with the same musicians over an extended period of time. That's what it takes to get on the same page with the concepts you'll use to approach the music. That's also why it's so dang hard to just throw a bunch of willing subjects together and sound good and get some musical satisfaction without extended preparation. It's very similar to chamber music.

  10. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    This is why Dave Liebman discusses the importance of working with the same musicians over an extended period of time. That's what it takes to get on the same page with the concepts you'll use to approach the music. That's also why it's so dang hard to just throw a bunch of willing subjects together and sound good and get some musical satisfaction without extended preparation. It's very similar to chamber music.
    played some of his charts that just had the scale written out in place of a chord symbol.

  11. #60

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    Interesting discussion ... I would think we could use as references,
    1)composers
    2)performers (performance)
    3)education or how teachers would explain what your talking about or performing.

    It's always difficult to have a discussion about modern or contemporary jazz harmony without understanding the elements of what we're talking about.

    Is the music really new or a camouflage of existing musical organization. That part about existing can become very subjective. If one isn't aware of something, in this case... organization of music... is it modern.

    Which leads to, is modern the composition or the performance. Personally, their the same, by that I mean, the musical elements of each all relate to a Reference.

    Using traditional Maj/Min functional harmonic organization as reference is still pretty common. Even if one uses non-functional organization as means of creating harmonic progression, (harmonic, melodic, rhythmic etc... organization).

    Slash, polychords, nontertial etc... types of harmonic structures usually still have organization and fit into a form. Even if that form uses improvisational methods of development. Example being the tune employs four blocks of composition for one or more performers... the order of performance of those blocks of composition is left up to each performers.

    Anyway... generally what make something contemporary usually involves the organizational aspects of the composition, and composition almost always begins with a reference and relationships.

    There is usually a tonal reference. That tonal reference can be expanded to the point of equal status of each note. But even when we deny the importance of tonality...atonal, there is usually still a unifying device of organization of the notes and their relationships etc... especially with jazz.

    Use of parallelism, shifting tonality, multiple tonal or modal systems still have references.

    I would think the actual voicings are generally just camouflage... not a bad thing, but still a relationship. Is something what I say it is... because I say so. Or are there physical references with historical references.

    It's pretty hard to replace performance time together... even with complete understanding of the music and possibilities of how and where the music relationships may develop.

    Hey jzucker... nice topic, do you have an analysis of the tune from the composer.

  12. #61

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    Perhaps there's an inadvertent process that tends to occur as each generation of new players is drawn to jazz that lends itself to what amounts to the stagnation that Jack is addressing.

    Often, the "jazz" that catches a young player's ear is something new and non-traditional for its day. In the late 60's or early 70's, for example, that might have been McLaughlin, Coryell--Burton, Bitches Brew Miles, "Light as a Feather" era Chick, the odd time stuff that Don Ellis was playing, Joni Mitchell alt tunings, or any one of a thousand other things.

    So the young player attempts to get serious and study the music, perhaps making some headway copying the records of interest, but eventually, finding a teacher or school. It's a rock solid bet that very early in the process, the student will be told that you've got to learn the basics before you deal with all this newfangled stuff, and that's valid, and usually done with the best of intentions. However, as we all know, those "basics" aren't something you pass through lightly. For many, they become a lifetime study, so the kid that came in the door wanting to be John McLaughlin has become totally immersed in Joe Pass, or Wes, or Django or something that's a hard right turn. That kind of immersion is transformative and inevitably, the original lure falls by the wayside, and the students sensibilities change completely. What you basically have is "I came for the fusion but stayed for the bop", or something similar. Does this sound at all familiar to anyone here?

    I don't think things are that much different today. A kid drawn in by Holdsworth, Scofield, Henderson or younger players like Rosenwinkel, Rogers or Lage who attempts to study is likely to get the same "learn the basics first" message. I don't think there's anything wrong with that message, either, except that it's very easy to lose yourself in the basics, and never return to what drew you in in the first place. The net result is that a substantial number of musicians remain focused on a fixed canon, and the music doesn't evolve in the directions Jack or others have mentioned.

  13. #62

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    "Speak no evil"- Wayne Shorter
    "Tell me a bedtime story"- Herbie Hancock

  14. #63
    Quote Originally Posted by jdaguitar2
    "Speak no evil"- Wayne Shorter
    "Tell me a bedtime story"- Herbie Hancock
    non ii-v chord movements but standard chords for the most part.

    Reg - I'll post some analysis shortly

  15. #64

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    What about Tom Harrell? "Sail Away" is pretty cool harmonically.
    Last edited by jdaguitar2; 01-21-2014 at 03:12 PM.

  16. #65

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    Thanks jzucker... I'm usually more interested in what the reference is... for the analysis to follow. I understand that most just want to play and not be bothered with historical reference... which usually breaks down the somewhat magical moments of performance or composition... but that third aspect of modern, being able to teach.

    What our ears or eyes may believed to be...Modern. contemporary or even New, generally isn't. And with analysis and time becoming familiar with the "Modern Harmony"... we'll ignorance is bliss... along the lines of unknownguitarplayer.

    There always seems to be a thin line between how we approach that subject and where the development goes.

    It is always fun to let your ears be the controlling aspect of composition as well as improve. And yea... it is only music, not many really care.

  17. #66

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    I agree that it's too easy to get sidetracked into absorbing the tradition after initially being attracted to modern harmony. It's almost like it was easier and more natural to compose, play, and sound modern by just using your ear. In certain ways, theory can become a barrier that you have to get past, if that makes any sense.

  18. #67

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    Since this is a new chapter, almost a new topic, I'll let my self chime a couple of thoughts.

    1. First thing to decide, do you want to study music, or you want to play it?
    2. If you just want to play it, you can study only topics of interest.
    3. If you want to study, just like in (high)school, there's some program, something you have to read and prepare for the class, exam.
    In your "free" time, nobody can stop you from reading whatever book, comic, magazine, ..., play basketball, ...

  19. #68

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    A few surface observations abut the Ron Miller tune "Ruth":

    36 bar tune

    based on the double bars, 5 sections

    A-8 bars B-6 bars C-8 bars D-6 bars E- 8 bars

    There is one principal motif that is varied throughout that progresses through multiple harmonic areas.

    A, C and E have two 4 bar phrases
    B has a 4 bar phrase and a 2 bar phrase that spills into the next section
    D is organized 2+2+2

    Starting tonal area of each section:

    A. F mixolydian (Bb major)
    B. G phrygian (Eb major)
    C. F# dorian (E major)
    D. Eb mixolydian (Ab major)
    E. III+ (Bb melodic minor) over a C pedal which is the V of the starting chord F13sus

    The note common to the most chords and harmonic areas is G, the exception being a few chords in the C section.
    I listed the parent scale because sometimes that will reveal something that is masked by the root movements.

    I am curious about the 1st two chords in the C section why Ron chose Abm11 and not G#m11?
    My ear and brain interpret those 2 chords as II and III minor in E. Abm11 makes that harder to recognize on paper.

    I look forward to seeing any analysis from Jack, Reg or anyone else so inclined.

  20. #69
    My interpretation (and I also studied this tune in school with Ronnie), based on my minor interpretation :

    | Cm7 | % | Bbm6 | % |
    | Cm7 | Bbm6 | C Melodic Min | Ab melodic minor |
    | Fm6 | % | F melodic min | % |
    | F Melodic Min | % | F#min7 | G#min7 |
    | Bm7 | % | Am7 | Bm7 |
    | Dm7 | % | Bbm7 | % |
    | C melodic min | % | Bbm7 | % |
    | Bb melodic min | (8 bars total)

    I agree with baku that you could interpret the F#m7 - G#m7 as a ii and iii of E but that's now how most cats played over it.

  21. #70

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    I can't hear much of that type of harmony (yet)

    to me it sounds like connected modal sections .........
    Beatrice I can hear OK
    but a lot of Shorter tunes I can't really hear

    To be honest I am still getting the major scale functional harmony stuff together
    Secondary Doms Show tunes , modulations etc etc
    Then I'm trying to rationalize those moves with basic Blues and basic Rock type harmony (Stones etc)

    to Freedom anyway !

  22. #71
    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker
    you're totally missing the point. It has nothing to do with whether the tunes are considered "standards" or are part of any particularly agreed upon repertoire. The point is "the music". The fact that guitarists are for a large part ignoring harmonic movement beyond show tunes of the '50s. In the '60s and '70s when folks like Ritchie Bierach and Ralph Towner decided to push the envelope, they didn't sit back and look for "standards". They created their own music.

    I don't see this happening in general among jazz guitar fans. They seem content to rehash the tunes from the 40s and 50s. I love those tunes too but am just pointing out that there's an entire world out there that we shouldn't ignore.

    I agree completely with the above statement.

    my view point has always been to try to move music forward and never rest on the foundations of what has been created but rather use the foundations to forge new sounds and harmonic structures.

    While knowing how to play over the standards is great for a jazz guitarists foundation, I think the real challenge for all musicians is to try and move forward.

    I think Chris Potter Underground is a good example of where modern jazz can go.


  23. #72

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    Anyone wanting to have a look at some interesting 'charts' could have a look at 'Carla Bley's' website
    Click on the left hand image and go to the library, lot's of free score's.

    Have fun.

    Tom.

  24. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by oilywrag
    Anyone wanting to have a look at some interesting 'charts' could have a look at 'Carla Bley's' website
    Click on the left hand image and go to the library, lot's of free score's.

    Have fun.

    Tom.
    didn't see much in the way of slash or polychords. certainly the root movement is non standard in those charts though. good resource..

  25. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by oilywrag
    Anyone wanting to have a look at some interesting 'charts' could have a look at 'Carla Bley's' website
    Click on the left hand image and go to the library, lot's of free score's.

    Have fun.

    Tom.
    what a fun website.

  26. #75

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    Are there any extant recordings of this song, Ruth, so one could hear this modern harmonization at it is termed?

    Oh, wait. I found it on Youtube by searching Ron Miller - Ruth, tech wiz that I am. The composition as performed by the South Nine, a horn and wind based nonet, is solidly in the key of F with modulations. On YT the nonet music sheets are shown so you can follow along each instrument (the piano is not included). The performance is lovely and it is a beautiful piece written for his wife apparently.

    But as for "modern harmonizations" I would feel perfectly comfortable in the (non-existent) guitar chair. With the YT vid, you can sight read the parts. The harmonization is advanced but elegantly very playable and a great structure for guitar improvisation.

    On the other hand, I get impatient with over analysis. I read the notes, and I hear the harmonies. In point of fact, I learned more about the piece by listening / playing over the song a few times than intellectualizing about what mode it is in. I'd rather just play it and dig it. This one is a beauty. The most challenging part is not written out as I suspect it is a tenor sax solo, but one could transcribe.





    Jay
    Last edited by targuit; 01-22-2014 at 09:16 AM.