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  1. #1

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    It seems that Miles left Bill Evans' name off of not just "Blue in Green", but also as co-composer of "Flamenco Sketches".
    He also didn't seem to think too highly of Miles' music in the late 60s, when Miles was trying to reach a "larger audience".
    Bill Evans on Miles Davis and Kind of Blue – Allan Chase – Jazz Pedagogy, History, Improvisation

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    That was terrific, thanks.

  4. #3

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    "For people that are considered to be the most unstable, undisciplined members of society, the fact is that they bring to bear a kind of a discipline on their work that is practically unparalleled."

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop View Post
    "For people that are considered to be the most unstable, undisciplined members of society, the fact is that they bring to bear a kind of a discipline on their work that is practically unparalleled."
    Yes, an interesting quote. It's total BS of course, but understandable. You can tell that there was a big chip on his shoulder.

    Unstable and undisciplined? Well, Miles, Trane, and Evans were all heroin addicts, and there was smoking, drinking womanizing etc. They all died years - even decades - earlier than they might have, had they lived a clean and healthy lifestyle. But that's boring for a jazzer. That type of person is deemed a "square" in jazz circles.

    The truth as I have observed it is that musicians and artists are often world wise in some ways and yet very sheltered and clueless in other ways - and that's the educated ones.

    Bill Evans never secured his medical license, never passed the bar, was never a CPA, etc. those are all very tough to achieve and require constant maintenance to keep. Being a great musician does indeed require discipline, but "unparalleled"? No way, Jose.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzstdnt View Post
    Yes, an interesting quote. It's total BS of course, but understandable. You can tell that there was a big chip on his shoulder.

    Unstable and undisciplined? Well, Miles, Trane, and Evans were all heroin addicts, and there was smoking, drinking womanizing etc. They all died years - even decades - earlier than they might have, had they lived a clean and healthy lifestyle. But that's boring for a jazzer. That type of person is deemed a "square" in jazz circles.

    The truth as I have observed it is that musicians and artists are often world wise in some ways and yet very sheltered and clueless in other ways - and that's the educated ones.

    Bill Evans never secured his medical license, never passed the bar, was never a CPA, etc. those are all very tough to achieve and require constant maintenance to keep. Being a great musician does indeed require discipline, but "unparalleled"? No way, Jose.
    I think he was referring to the spontaneous act of jazz improvisation itself, not the training that's involved. Other than surgery, the act of jazz improvisation itself in a performance ( on the level of Evans) is something that happens right then and there; there is no second chance or time to improve it or think it over, like there are in the actual 'doing' of most professions.

  7. #6

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    I agree that he was referring to jazz musicians and the act of improvisation.

    But he said that they bring a discipline to bear on their work. Meaning, "the work" is improv, and the discipline is being brought to bear on it. In that vein I think it has a great deal to do with preparation.

    In either case, I'm a fan, but I think his statement was an exaggeration. At that stage he had kicked heroin, but was a coke head. The coke heads that I've known were certainly prone to exaggeration, to say the least. So in fact, I would go beyond saying that he exaggerated to say that he was actually arguing against himself.

    Why? Because despite being handicapped and certainly not at their very best, Bird, Trane, Miles, Evans, and others were able to function at a high musical level with a heroin addiction. That would not be the case for the professions that I referred to above, and the same goes for many other professions, mine being just one of them (Engineering Management).

    So that would seem to say less for the demands of being a jazz musician (or at least one who already has mastered the art), as opposed to more.

  8. #7

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    "Being myself is the only place to be."
    Best regards, k

  9. #8

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    Lester Bowie interview's good too - anybody find the link to the Jimmy Cobb one? Scrolled through (& used the search function) on philschaapjazz.com but couldn't see it...

  10. #9

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    The Ashley Kahn book about Kind of Blue is very good. His follow up book on A Love Supreme less good IMO.

  11. #10

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    a shout out to my favorite radio station, WKCR! Few Radio Stations came close to what WKCR does for jazz, and other music (they also had a Bach festival, and played really interesting new classical music).

    I mean, WBGO plays jazz 24/7--but the quality of the programming never reached the heights of WKCR--and it's all college run (just about everything was live--unless they told you it was a rebroadcast to air an earlier interview--like the one with Miles here)

    I even miss Phil Shaap. Yes, he could be long winded, but I remember listening to Bird Flight as I got ready to go to school in the morning.

    And no one celebrates Coltrane like WKCR... you can stream them at WKCR.org

    I'll say this, as well. Los Angeles needs to work on their jazz radio. If you drive up to San Diego from LA, and you tune into San Diego's college radio (someone help me here with the name), the difference is night and day. It's a shame because there's still a lot of great jazz coming out of LA.

    I'm impressed with Washington State's offerings, especially jazz24.org. I think that they capture the spirit of WKCR, even though it has more parallels to WBGO (especially with it's connection to NPR)

    Sorry to side track the OP, just wanted to spotlight WKCR to those that weren't in the know. I have to check out their Miles festival again.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzstdnt View Post
    So that would seem to say less for the demands of being a jazz musician (or at least one who already has mastered the art), as opposed to more.
    Hmm, without wishing to sound like I'm in favour of drug taking for any reason whatsoever, the fact that Bird, Coltrane, Evans, Rollins etc could do what they did on heroin makes their feats even more amazing.

    I also happen to think that the art of jazz improvisation at the highest levels is either at, or at least very near, the top of all human artistic/creative endeavour. Happy to hear form those that disagree.

  13. #12

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    Jazz is not engineering, medicine or law, all of which are codified to the nth degree. Jazz is the sound of now. Drug use is a pathway into the deeper aspects of creativity, something engineering, law and medicine avoid. Drinking and womanizing are certainly not limited to jazz musicians, by the way.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    Hmm, without wishing to sound like I'm in favour of drug taking for any reason whatsoever, the fact that Bird, Coltrane, Evans, Rollins etc could do what they did on heroin makes their feats even more amazing.

    I also happen to think that the art of jazz improvisation at the highest levels is either at, or at least very near, the top of all human artistic/creative endeavour. Happy to hear form those that disagree.
    Yes I agree about their feats, except as I said they were not at their best. They were impaired just as anyone would be, just not quite knocked out all the way.

    On the second point please reread. This was about a "practically unparalleled discipline", not creativity.

    In my view, Evans - an addict, was being defensive. Disciplined? Absolutely. But unparalleled? BS.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronjazz View Post
    Jazz is not engineering, medicine or law, all of which are codified to the nth degree. Jazz is the sound of now. Drug use is a pathway into the deeper aspects of creativity, something engineering, law and medicine avoid. Drinking and womanizing are certainly not limited to jazz musicians, by the way.
    Drug use - Well with some drugs, in certain doses, it might be. That's three qualifiers. Do heroin and cocaine offer such... "positive" qualities? I think not. And even if they did, what's the cost? What's the ROI, especially if you're dead or die before your time?

    I don't believe that cocaine offers such benefits. I've heard that heroin has a more powerful kick than everything else. But it's an opiate so would I would think that it would render one quite impaired.

  16. #15
    Like classical musicians, or high level athletes, I think the discipline of world class level jazz players is way more demanding and time consuming than that of medicine, law, engineering and similar professions. It's an all day, every day kind of thing.

  17. #16

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    Bill's quote had contextual reference with Japanese drawing technique that as well as jazz requires a lot of artistic discipline becasue if you push too much you wil tear up the paper.


    It is definitely about ARTISTIC EFFORTS AND DISCIPLINE. it is about the subtlelty of jazz performance art and discipline required to control the balance, to stay always at the point where you completely realize your artistic individuality without 'tearing up the paper'.

    (by the way I am sure that any additional stimulation - like drugs, liqours, women, gamgling, parachoute jumps, Finnish sauna etc. - are nothing in comparison of tool to control and change the perception that art gives)

    I would say that RISK is one of the copmpounds of any true art, but in jazz it has expecially direct meaning. You real RISK it all.
    Perception of time changes during performance of any music, but in jazz the momentary thing really becomes sensible as if you can touch.

    You really need a lot of control to keep it all together.
    Last edited by Jonah; 05-20-2019 at 10:59 AM.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzstdnt View Post
    Yes, an interesting quote. It's total BS of course, but understandable. You can tell that there was a big chip on his shoulder.

    Unstable and undisciplined? Well, Miles, Trane, and Evans were all heroin addicts, and there was smoking, drinking womanizing etc. They all died years - even decades - earlier than they might have, had they lived a clean and healthy lifestyle. But that's boring for a jazzer. That type of person is deemed a "square" in jazz circles.

    The truth as I have observed it is that musicians and artists are often world wise in some ways and yet very sheltered and clueless in other ways - and that's the educated ones.

    Bill Evans never secured his medical license, never passed the bar, was never a CPA, etc. those are all very tough to achieve and require constant maintenance to keep. Being a great musician does indeed require discipline, but "unparalleled"? No way, Jose.
    That comment is not a comparison between jazz and other non-artistic professions. Evans is talking about the status of jazz musicians in society, especially black jazz musicians, during the bulk of his lifetime, and the contrast between the low regard and ill treatment people like Bird or Bud Powell or Miles received in contrast to the reality of them being highly disciplined artists and thinkers. The focus of that comment is not about the lifestyle or drug abuse. It's about how jazz was considered by the cultural elites to be a low art form performed by inferior people, when in reality it was a high art form that required greater discipline than composing music in advance because of the need to both compose and perform impeccably in the moment.

    John

  19. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    Hmm, without wishing to sound like I'm in favour of drug taking for any reason whatsoever, the fact that Bird, Coltrane, Evans, Rollins etc could do what they did on heroin makes their feats even more amazing.

    I also happen to think that the art of jazz improvisation at the highest levels is either at, or at least very near, the top of all human artistic/creative endeavour. Happy to hear form those that disagree.
    In Perry Robinson's autobiography, Robinson quoted Evans as saying that he was surprised how well his playing stood up that was recorded during his years on drugs.

  20. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post
    a shout out to my favorite radio station, WKCR! Few Radio Stations came close to what WKCR does for jazz, and other music (they also had a Bach festival, and played really interesting new classical music).

    I mean, WBGO plays jazz 24/7--but the quality of the programming never reached the heights of WKCR--and it's all college run (just about everything was live--unless they told you it was a rebroadcast to air an earlier interview--like the one with Miles here)

    I even miss Phil Shaap. Yes, he could be long winded, but I remember listening to Bird Flight as I got ready to go to school in the morning.

    And no one celebrates Coltrane like WKCR... you can stream them at WKCR.org

    I'll say this, as well. Los Angeles needs to work on their jazz radio. If you drive up to San Diego from LA, and you tune into San Diego's college radio (someone help me here with the name), the difference is night and day. It's a shame because there's still a lot of great jazz coming out of LA.

    I'm impressed with Washington State's offerings, especially jazz24.org. I think that they capture the spirit of WKCR, even though it has more parallels to WBGO (especially with it's connection to NPR)

    Sorry to side track the OP, just wanted to spotlight WKCR to those that weren't in the know. I have to check out their Miles festival again.
    KCR is the only station that plays entire albums of music, one after another. It's really great when they do it with musicians you like, like they did with Wynton Kelly just the other day. They didn't only play albums on which Kelly was a leader; they played obscure albums that he was a sideman on, and not just the Miles Davis albums everyone's heard.
    And they generally play vinyl recordings, so you don't hear the slick, overly produced CDs that you always hear on BGO.
    KCR definitely has a strong black bias; if you're looking to hear white musicians' music, the only people you'll hear are occasional Bill Evans records, and a few other artists, like Chet Baker, Jim Hall, Bix Bierderbecke, Frank Trumbauer, Benny Goodman, and anyone else that Phil Schaap thinks fits into the history of jazz.
    I think this has something to do with the charter they have with Columbia University, which tells them what their emphasis should be.
    When Phil Woods died, they realized they had only one record of him as a leader (he has probably 100 albums where he was either the leader, or the featured artist!), and they wound up playing that same record, over and over again! The only other things they had of him were when he was a sideman with major black artists; the Monk Big Band album, Oliver Nelson albums, Benny Carter albums, Quincy Jones albums from the 50s and 60s, and the Dizzy Gillespie big band albums of the 50s. Phil Schaap didn't even know who he was until Woods started calling the station to offer information on some records, back in the 90s!

  21. #20

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    bias or not, KCR is and will always be my favorite.

    I did a thread on jazz radio a while back, maybe we should revive it?

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim View Post
    KCR is the only station that plays entire albums of music, one after another. It's really great when they do it with musicians you like, like they did with Wynton Kelly just the other day. They didn't only play albums on which Kelly was a leader; they played obscure albums that he was a sideman on, and not just the Miles Davis albums everyone's heard.
    And they generally play vinyl recordings, so you don't hear the slick, overly produced CDs that you always hear on BGO.
    KCR definitely has a strong black bias; if you're looking to hear white musicians' music, the only people you'll hear are occasional Bill Evans records, and a few other artists, like Chet Baker, Jim Hall, Bix Bierderbecke, Frank Trumbauer, Benny Goodman, and anyone else that Phil Schaap thinks fits into the history of jazz.
    I think this has something to do with the charter they have with Columbia University, which tells them what their emphasis should be.
    When Phil Woods died, they realized they had only one record of him as a leader (he has probably 100 albums where he was either the leader, or the featured artist!), and they wound up playing that same record, over and over again! The only other things they had of him were when he was a sideman with major black artists; the Monk Big Band album, Oliver Nelson albums, Benny Carter albums, Quincy Jones albums from the 50s and 60s, and the Dizzy Gillespie big band albums of the 50s. Phil Schaap didn't even know who he was until Woods started calling the station to offer information on some records, back in the 90s!
    I very much doubt it has anything to do with their "charter" from CU. I'm not sure there even is such a thing (no mention of it in the history page on their website), and I don't think there's a whole lot of faculty or administrative oversight. I know for sure there wasn't much when I went there (granted a billion years ago) and knew some of the KCR crowd. I think the perspective of the station is basically historical (almost monomaniacally so in Phil's case), and each generation of dj's tries to maintain continuity with prior generations. It's not a "charter" thing. Rather, it's very much of a piece with the overall culture of the college being centered on intellectual history and canon (alas, no longer Cannon's). Also, KCR has quite a bit of "white" programming (e.g., country, classical, avant grade). And of course CU football which is, uh, colorless, though not odorless. Roar lion roar.

    John

  23. #22

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    Jazz Alternatives at night doesn't play all historical jazz, and neither does Daybreak Express (especially so). Those shows played more modern jazz.

    I think you have to give KCR more credit. I especially love listening to the newer DJ's get all excited and fumble through their words as they introduce the next song. I think KCR is college radio at its best.

    KJazz in LA had one saving grace, Gordon Goodwin. If I had to hear "Grab your coat, and grab your hat" one more time... Steve Tyrell ruined that song for me, and Sunny Side of the Street is a GREAT song. 90% of what he played was sanguine bubble gum. I would scream at the radio to at least play some real singers, like Ella or Lady Day. Yuck. And I just found out that Steve Tyrell is white...

    I used to think Phil Shaap was black, I was really surprised to find out he was a nerdy white guy. For all of his longwindedness, listening to his show helped me appreciate Bird even more.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post
    I used to think Phil Shaap was black, I was really surprised to find out he was a nerdy white guy.
    ... Said no one else ever! LOL!

    I think Phil is great, truly. He has documented an amazing amount of music and oral history that otherwise would be lost. But there are times when I yell at the radio to shut the eff up and play a goddam record already.

    John

  25. #24

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    HAAAA! Me too!

    He likes the sound of his voice, methinks

  26. #25

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    My takeaway from the interview, I really liked the 'Late Arrival' vs 'Early Arrival' concept. The struggle to establish yourself in music can lead to deeper results, when you are forced to work harder and dig deeper. BE hinted that early in his career Miles kinda sucked technically, and that forced him to find his own voice. I think Miles had musical ideas that showed even through rough technique and that what kept him going.

    Versus some prodigies who developed earlier, had great facilities on their instruments but not necessarily had something to say musically.

    I don't hear much people talking about that, so it was very interesting and enlightening. I agree with this point of view too.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alter View Post
    Like classical musicians, or high level athletes, I think the discipline of world class level jazz players is way more demanding and time consuming than that of medicine, law, engineering and similar professions. It's an all day, every day kind of thing.

    Well we are either working 12-14 hour days or not (nights and weekends, etc.) and with full accountability. The only drug one sanely attempts is caffeine.

    Yes, I realize that some musicians face that, and for some time - but - I also know first hand that many professionals at the top end of their non-music professions do it ALL CAREER LONG. It ain't healthy, but that's another topic.

    And again - in that space of time only coffee is tolerable. Otherwise the persons work goes to shit.
    Last edited by Jazzstdnt; 05-21-2019 at 08:06 AM.

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A. View Post
    That comment is not a comparison between jazz and other non-artistic professions. Evans is talking about the status of jazz musicians in society, especially black jazz musicians, during the bulk of his lifetime, and the contrast between the low regard and ill treatment people like Bird or Bud Powell or Miles received in contrast to the reality of them being highly disciplined artists and thinkers. The focus of that comment is not about the lifestyle or drug abuse. It's about how jazz was considered by the cultural elites to be a low art form performed by inferior people, when in reality it was a high art form that required greater discipline than composing music in advance because of the need to both compose and perform impeccably in the moment.

    John
    Interesting. That's one interpretation. How did you arrive at that?

    I disagree but it's interesting. I know that Evans was a classical music major and was good at it. I can envision him taking some guff for focusing on jazz, and I can envision him being defensive about it (as good as he was).

  29. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by John A. View Post
    I very much doubt it has anything to do with their "charter" from CU. I'm not sure there even is such a thing (no mention of it in the history page on their website), and I don't think there's a whole lot of faculty or administrative oversight. I know for sure there wasn't much when I went there (granted a billion years ago) and knew some of the KCR crowd. I think the perspective of the station is basically historical (almost monomaniacally so in Phil's case), and each generation of dj's tries to maintain continuity with prior generations. It's not a "charter" thing. Rather, it's very much of a piece with the overall culture of the college being centered on intellectual history and canon (alas, no longer Cannon's). Also, KCR has quite a bit of "white" programming (e.g., country, classical, avant grade). And of course CU football which is, uh, colorless, though not odorless. Roar lion roar.

    John
    Yeah, I don't know if they have a 'charter' like the Pacifica stations, but Phil has a strong familial heritage of civil rights, because his parents were civil rights activists.
    As far as the 'black bias', it only concerns jazz as far as I can tell, and it's Phil's thing, apparently having to do with the history of jazz and race.
    He's a weird guy for sure. One white jazz guitar player, who's one of the top guys today, told me he played a jazz gig where Phil was the MC, and Phil was raving about the guy's playing, on mic and off, the whole night.

    The next day, he sees Phil walking up the Columbia steps, and says hello to him, and Phil just ignores him.
    He started asking Phil if he remembers him from last night, when he was raving about his playing, and Phil just keeps walking away from him, trying to avoid him, not saying a word to him.

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzstdnt View Post
    Interesting. That's one interpretation. How did you arrive at that?

    I disagree but it's interesting. I know that Evans was a classical music major and was good at it. I can envision him taking some guff for focusing on jazz, and I can envision him being defensive about it (as good as he was).
    By reading what he said. I mean it just seems obvious from context, and from having some awareness that to much of the America Evans grew up in "jazz musician" was freighted with racist stereotypes and that jazz was not "legit."

    John

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim View Post
    Yeah, I don't know if they have a 'charter' like the Pacifica stations, but Phil has a strong familial heritage of civil rights, because his parents were civil rights activists.
    As far as the 'black bias', it only concerns jazz as far as I can tell, and it's Phil's thing, apparently having to do with the history of jazz and race.
    He's a weird guy for sure. One white jazz guitar player, who's one of the top guys today, told me he played a jazz gig where Phil was the MC, and Phil was raving about the guy's playing, on mic and off, the whole night.

    The next day, he sees Phil walking up the Columbia steps, and says hello to him, and Phil just ignores him.
    He started asking Phil if he remembers him from last night, when he was raving about his playing, and Phil just keeps walking away from him, trying to avoid him, not saying a word to him.
    KCR has an FCC license, but otherwise (speaking from distant memory, so perhaps unreliably) it operates like a student club. In my day, the studio was in the student activity building with the other clubs (that building was rebuilt/renamed and KCR may have moved). I think Schaap is the only announcer who's not a student. I was there 80-84, and Phil had graduated quite a bit before then. He hadn't yet become the institution he is today, though. He was just one of many people who stuck around after graduation, some quite eccentric.

    The school had a good music scene - eclectic, with some good venues. It spawned a number of successful music careers (and a lot more lifelong amateur passions).

    John