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  1. #1

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    Another ballad: Love Letters---intended to be in the spirit of Chris Anderson. Hoping to study him more and stretch not LIKE Chris, but having learned to do it my way. (This is a miniature, a start that will lead to, I hope, more development on these tunes at these tempos).


    This is the Finale of Melody Messenger...








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    Love Letters











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  3. #2

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    I like it. It sounds open/airy, and has a nice relaxed feel.

  4. #3

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    Nice job, J. I like the way you allow the piece to breathe. Good playing . . . Marinero

  5. #4
    This kind of exploration is what I want to get to, though I'm not Chris, and don't want to copy him---I can't, and it's artistic death to try, anyway. But the idea of creating a fantasy on a tune's bones---its harmony in the manner he does---it's something that's grabbed ahold of me and won't let go. Check out his freewheeling peregrinations on this. There's an even more subdued, sensitive version on his recording Love Locked Out (I highly recommend purchasing that recording. It's not on youtube, but spotify). This one's more intense---but it's Chris.

    We were friends. I played with him a few times----and his significance in my artistic life only grows each day. I want to be a ballad master who trusts the tempo, the act of leaving space, my own instincts to take the tune on excursions rooted in the basic material that I will have learned (how it really goes---including lyrics---as the composer intended. That's what gives one license, I believe). That's what I get from Chris, besides his touch, unique way with voicing, and generally sticking to his one-of-a-kind vision.

    What I did in my little offering here was only a miniature, a beginning. I opened the door---next step is to go in and explore the room.

    Here's the master:


  6. #5

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    Yes, that's an appealing way of playing. I never think about how something may have been intended, and just play how I feel that day. The pianist here sounds like he's relaxed, musing about this and that while he lets the music do what it wants. It's great to get to that state.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by joelf
    This kind of exploration is what I want to get to, though I'm not Chris, and don't want to copy him---I can't, and it's artistic death to try, anyway. But the idea of creating a fantasy on a tune's bones---its harmony in the manner he does---it's something that's grabbed ahold of me and won't let go. Check out his freewheeling peregrinations on this. There's an even more subdued, sensitive version on his recording Love Locked Out (I highly recommend purchasing that recording. It's not on youtube, but spotify). This one's more intense---but it's Chris.

    We were friends. I played with him a few times----and his significance in my artistic life only grows each day. I want to be a ballad master who trusts the tempo, the act of leaving space, my own instincts to take the tune on excursions rooted in the basic material that I will have learned (how it really goes---including lyrics---as the composer intended. That's what gives one license, I believe). That's what I get from Chris, besides his touch, unique way with voicing, and generally sticking to his one-of-a-kind vision.

    What I did in my little offering here was only a miniature, a beginning. I opened the door---next step is to go in and explore the room.

    Here's the master:


    Hi, Joel,
    Musical impressionisn ,as you have described and illustrated by Chris, cannot be taught. It can be imitated but it is my belief that one must have a sense of poetry in their being to be successful and natural--not contrived. You have certainly shown a talent for this communication in your music and Chris' music exemplifies this wonderful seasoning of sound. I have said since the beginning, the most difficult music to play in Classical Music are adagio pieces and the most difficult in Jazz are ballads. This is where a musician must really show his "meat and potatoes" to be successful and all the time spent tugging at the strings won't get you there if you don't have it. Musicians in my generation called it "Soul" and I believe it is exactly that. As a side-note, I wonder if Chris is related to Chicago tenor sax player(now deceased) Fred Anderson who led the avante-garde movement in Chicago during my tenure in the city. In any respect, a very good post. I suppose the best way to end a post is with music. Here's Chicago tenor saxophonist Gene Ammons, my Sax hero, playing the beautiful ballad "My Romance" playing the sax like a human voice . . . making each note count with sensual subtones and the big, rounded sound of this master musician. I hope you enjoy! Good playing . . . on any instrument . . . Marinero



  8. #7

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    [QUOTE=joelf;1004854]This kind of exploration is what I want to get to, though I'm not Chris, and don't want to copy him---I can't, and it's artistic death to try, anyway. QUOTE]
    Thats the great truth! So push the rudder a little bit and let the wind just blow. You’ve got this!

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero
    Hi, Joel,
    Musical impressionisn ,as you have described and illustrated by Chris, cannot be taught. It can be imitated but it is my belief that one must have a sense of poetry in their being to be successful and natural--not contrived. You have certainly shown a talent for this communication in your music and Chris' music exemplifies this wonderful seasoning of sound. I have said since the beginning, the most difficult music to play in Classical Music are adagio pieces and the most difficult in Jazz are ballads. This is where a musician must really show his "meat and potatoes" to be successful and all the time spent tugging at the strings won't get you there if you don't have it. Musicians in my generation called it "Soul" and I believe it is exactly that. As a side-note, I wonder if Chris is related to Chicago tenor sax player(now deceased) Fred Anderson who led the avante-garde movement in Chicago during my tenure in the city. In any respect, a very good post. I suppose the best way to end a post is with music. Here's Chicago tenor saxophonist Gene Ammons, my Sax hero, playing the beautiful ballad "My Romance" playing the sax like a human voice . . . making each note count with sensual subtones and the big, rounded sound of this master musician. I hope you enjoy! Good playing . . . on any instrument . . . Marinero


    I agree with almost all (see below)---and thanks for the props, too. I'm glad I'm at least on the right track. And as it develops it'll lend another dimension to the straight-ahead swing playing I've worked so long on, and that everyone expects of you---and rightfully. This kind of playing is therapeutic for both player and listener---slows people down in a world that moves way too fast. And it takes guts and commitment to be slow, subtle, and quiet. People have been trained to respond to being hit over the head, metaphorically.

    I don't know if 'impressionism' is quite the right word to describe Chris---not to split hairs. It's more like what Bill Evans called 'disciplined romanticism'. If you listen to Chris a lot, you'll hear the blues, excursions into different keys, total fantasies having nothing to do with the tune---all with his controlled soft touch and dynamics. I think of pastel colors when I think of Impressionism (painting or music). Chris's love was the American Song Book. And he got his roving orchestral sense, aside from having a special gift, from sitting in movie houses as a blind kid and listening to---and memorizing---the scores.

    Actually, I'm not sure there's any category he could be put in---he's that unique and polyglot...

  10. #9
    [QUOTE=Mark Kleinhaut;1004889]
    Quote Originally Posted by joelf
    This kind of exploration is what I want to get to, though I'm not Chris, and don't want to copy him---I can't, and it's artistic death to try, anyway. QUOTE]
    Thats the great truth! So push the rudder a little bit and let the wind just blow. You’ve got this!
    I hear you, Mark...

  11. #10

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    "I don't know if 'impressionism' is quite the right word to describe Chris . . ." Joelf

    Hi, Joel,
    I use the term in its traditional meaning in music:

    "
    Impressionism in music was a movement among various composers in Western classical music (mainly during the late 19th and early 20th centuries) whose music focuses on mood and atmosphere, "conveying the moods and emotions aroused by the subject rather than a detailed tone?picture".

    Good playing . . . Marinero

  12. #11

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    Very beautifully played and great sound!

  13. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero
    " Impressionism in music was a movement among various composers in Western classical music (mainly during the late 19th and early 20th centuries) whose music focuses on mood and atmosphere, "conveying the moods and emotions aroused by the subject rather than a detailed tone?picture".
    In the strict sense of the definition you are probably right. Chris really gave his, um, impressions of the tunes, trusted his feelings about them to go on some pretty far-out excursions. But, again, license for this came from his total knowledge of every note, change, rhythm, and lyric of the composer's version. He did the opposite of what a lot of young jazzers do: rely on a version of one of their faves and don't bother going to the source, or even a reliable singer's version with the correct melody. He spun it his way b/c of that homework and, of course, that rare talent and sensitivity he had.

    If you get a copy of Love Locked Out (Mapleshade, 1987) Chris sings Detour Ahead, Love Locked Out, and one other ballad I can't remember now (just did a doomed search for the CD among all my pack rat things). He kind of sounds like a combination of Blind Lemon Jefferson and Dylan! But it shows his desire to bring out not just his take on the song, but the song. He was a staunch purveyor of the American Song Book who happened to be a genius with unique insight and imagination...

  14. #13
    Check out There's a Lull in My Life (or any other track from Solo Ballads Two) for a prime example of what I've alluded to:

    Solo Ballads Two — Chris Anderson Jazz

  15. #14
    Ha! Just ordered Love Locked Out for like $7 from Discogs. Am I obsessed? Is Phyllis Diller deceased?

  16. #15

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    Beautiful music, J. Thanks for the post. Good playing . . . Marinero

  17. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero
    Beautiful music, J. Thanks for the post. Good playing . . . Marinero
    Glad to have helped. I always said his music would outlive him. Maybe for just a handful of people, but that handful can hear and get it...