View Poll Results: How many Charlie Parker tunes do you know?

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75. You may not vote on this poll
  • I don't know any

    16 21.33%
  • A couple

    32 42.67%
  • A half dozen or so

    17 22.67%
  • At least a dozen, probably a few more

    6 8.00%
  • Twenty, easy, probably more

    4 5.33%
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  1. #101

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    I know folks say that, but "Steps" is a pretty simple, catchy melody.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #102

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    Sometimes one's ears can be opened by "guided listening". I found this pretty interesting

    THE DOZENS: STEVE COLEMAN ON CHARLIE PARKER ? Jazz.com | Jazz Music? Jazz Artists? Jazz News

    Steve Coleman is pretty good at articulating the depth of this music.

  4. #103

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    Obvious, really? Many of us feel that Giant Steps sounds more like an "exercise" than anything Parker ever played....
    thought i read somewhere that it was in fact based upon an exercise.

  5. #104

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    Quote Originally Posted by nick1994 View Post
    I think that the heads are just as valuable as the solos, a lot of it is the same language.
    Sure, if you break it down to cells, but I find the longer phrasing in typical Bebop heads too angular and arhythmic (which is the whole point of Bop, really) for my taste. Personally, I get more from seeing how Bird lines flow from chord to chord in his longer unbroken lines. Hard Bop grew out of the same idea, I guess, to straighten out the rhythm and make it less jerky, or quirky.

    That's why I listen to more Jackie McClean than Bird these days, but I did enough homework on Bird to know that's where Jackie got his whole bag.... But yeah, you hear elements of Bird in nearly every great player that followed, even Dolphy. That's why you gotta go to the source to understand post war Jazz...

  6. #105

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchbopper View Post
    Well, most mathematical formulas look like bullshit to me but I would never call a renowned mathematician full of it.

    By your standards, any opinion is sacred? Mmmm ... I completely and utterly disagree.

    DB
    Any opinion is sacred to THEM. Who in the hell is it sacred to? Not you or me. But NOBODY holds the corner on truth. Not even me. .

  7. #106

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    Quote Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
    Any opinion is sacred to THEM. Who in the hell is it sacred to? Not you or me. But NOBODY holds the corner on truth.....
    Except Miles, maybe....
    Last edited by princeplanet; 03-23-2015 at 12:50 AM.

  8. #107
    destinytot Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    ..., soooo, ignoring the side show, what I'd like to know is, do the peeps here get more out of Parker heads, or the solos?. I never understood where people say all the best vocab is in the heads. A lot of my fave Parker vocab is in the solos.
    The solos - rhythm and phrasing.

  9. #108

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    When in doubt quote... you know.. "Imitate......L..

  10. #109
    destinytot Guest
    Is it time to supplement Parker's works with another player's or composer's when developing one's vocabulary and capability, and if so who? (answer limited to 1-2 artists please)
    Fats Navarro's lines and Tadd Dameron's tunes.

  11. #110
    Dutchbopper Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by HighSpeedSpoon View Post
    Soapbox alert ...


    Finally, this is a public forum, and whether we like it or not there are young people tuning in with no other example than the one we set. As you know, they don't see the whole us, but only what we write. So please give some weight to writing with the voice of a father they would like to know face-to-face, and not with the voice of an ill-tempered man at the other end of the internet. You will capture their attention better, teach them more effectively about Charlie Parker, and teach them about a lot more too.

    People here are describing Broyale in terms what he is not. He is not a kid. He is in his mid 30s for crying out loud. I'm not going to father him. Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.

    DB

  12. #111
    destinytot Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by larry graves View Post
    When in doubt quote... you know.. "Imitate......L..
    Looking past the irony, I find an interesting question.

    The Innovation part may be completely beyond my experience, but I can appreciate the value of Imitation in learning to play jazz.

    I don't believe that recommending Imitation was ever meant as an endorsement of mimicry as an end in itself - no, that's not it at all.
    The advice is intended to make students notice things they might otherwise ignore.

    (In this regard, Clark Terry's advice concurs with Oscar Wilde's 'Paradoxically though it may seem, it is none the less true that life imitates art far more than art imitates life.')

    Sounds like good advice to me, and Bird's music makes a superlative model.

  13. #112

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    Quote Originally Posted by fumblefingers View Post
    thought i read somewhere that it was in fact based upon an exercise.
    I was told that it's based on, or at least similar to, the bridge of Have You Met Miss Jones? Open to be corrected on this, before someone on this somewhat feisty thread launches into one.

    As for Parker heads as a rite of passage - actually, I agree with that; it was something of which I felt that I needed some understanding of what was going on there musically, before I was ready to give them a proper go. Now I know half-a-dozen or so and I'm starting to pick apart what he played as solos, having got the heads under my fingers.

    First time I heard Bird though (and he was one of the first jazzmen that I actually heard), I almost felt like his music was something that as a mere mortal, I'd never be able even to approach, it was that overwhelming. Even 40 years later, I still feel like I'm merely wandering in the foothills of Mt. Parker, looking up......

    Maybe not necessarily my favourite saxophonist, but I cannot deny a massive respect for his playing, nor an awareness of his place in the development of this music.

  14. #113

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    Quote Originally Posted by Broyale View Post
    when I listen to Parker's music, all I hear is notes on notes on notes with nothing for me to latch on to like, for instance, that bitchin' GB solo on Red Clay.
    Found that Red Clay solo (I assume it's the live CTI All Stars one) - yes that's a great solo. Reminded me a bit of Pat Martino playing 'Sunny' (the chord progression sounds very similar).

    Interesting to note that Benson has stated in interviews that Parker was 'the best jazz musician and one of my biggest inspirations'.

    Benson did a great version of the Parker tune Billies Bounce - could be worth checking out:


  15. #114
    destinytot Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by mangotango View Post
    I was told that it's based on, or at least similar to, the bridge of Have You Met Miss Jones?
    The opening phrase of this Beatles song sounds similar, too.

  16. #115

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    I think it is beneficial to learn a few Parker heads if you are learning to play jazz, even if you don't like his music so much, because they encapsulate a lot of his virtues in a few bars, and will teach you some approaches which go against the grain of your normal habits.

    For example, say you've reached the point of being able to play a nice melodic solo on a tune like Autumn Leaves, where you can connect up all the chord tones and play long lines of 8th notes. That's great, but it's also a bit of a trap, because now you're going to play like that on all the tunes, and for the average listener it could all get a bit 'samey'.

    Now learn some Parker heads, and they will probably force you out of those habitual patterns, because they are full of devices such as:
    - unusually placed accents
    - unusually placed rests
    - triplets
    - chromaticism
    - delayed phrases/resolutions
    - anticipated phrases/resolutions
    - asymmetrical note groupings
    - tied notes
    - across-the-bar phrasing
    - interval jumps

    The point is, at first it is HARD to play these things, precisely because they are counter-intuitive. I would never have thought of using most of these devices if I hadn't played some Parker stuff. But eventually they will get into your brain and under your fingers. Then when you solo, you can try and apply some of these concepts and it will definitely make your playing more interesting.

  17. #116

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    Quote Originally Posted by destinytot View Post
    The opening phrase of this Beatles song sounds similar, too.
    I think this is still my favourite version of Giant Steps:


  18. #117

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    I think it is beneficial to learn a few Parker heads if you are learning to play jazz, even if you don't like his music so much, because they encapsulate a lot of his virtues in a few bars, and will teach you some approaches which go against the grain of your normal habits.

    For example, say you've reached the point of being able to play a nice melodic solo on a tune like Autumn Leaves, where you can connect up all the chord tones and play long lines of 8th notes. That's great, but it's also a bit of a trap, because now you're going to play like that on all the tunes, and for the average listener it could all get a bit 'samey'.

    Now learn some Parker heads, and they will probably force you out of those habitual patterns, because they are full of devices such as:
    - unusually placed accents
    - unusually placed rests
    - triplets
    - chromaticism
    - delayed phrases/resolutions
    - anticipated phrases/resolutions
    - asymmetrical note groupings
    - tied notes
    - across-the-bar phrasing
    - interval jumps

    The point is, at first it is HARD to play these things, precisely because they are counter-intuitive. I would never have thought of using most of these devices if I hadn't played some Parker stuff. But eventually they will get into your brain and under your fingers. Then when you solo, you can try and apply some of these concepts and it will definitely make your playing more interesting.
    This is why I bought the Omnibook besides having something to practice my reading with. Actually, I ctrl-C'ed that list above to give me some context for my practice, thanks for that.

  19. #118

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    Quote Originally Posted by mangotango View Post
    I was told that it's based on, or at least similar to, the bridge of Have You Met Miss Jones? Open to be corrected on this, before someone on this somewhat feisty thread launches into one.

    As for Parker heads as a rite of passage - actually, I agree with that; it was something of which I felt that I needed some understanding of what was going on there musically, before I was ready to give them a proper go. Now I know half-a-dozen or so and I'm starting to pick apart what he played as solos, having got the heads under my fingers.

    First time I heard Bird though (and he was one of the first jazzmen that I actually heard), I almost felt like his music was something that as a mere mortal, I'd never be able even to approach, it was that overwhelming. Even 40 years later, I still feel like I'm merely wandering in the foothills of Mt. Parker, looking up......

    Maybe not necessarily my favourite saxophonist, but I cannot deny a massive respect for his playing, nor an awareness of his place in the development of this music.
    maybe it was the 1235 fragment thing instead of the changes... can't remember

  20. #119

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    Quote Originally Posted by larry graves View Post
    When in doubt quote... you know.. "Imitate......L..

    uh-huh. are you advocating the idea that student musicians can be counted on to effectively learn the art of improvisation strictly from learning CST and tapping into their own creative instincts?

  21. #120

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchbopper View Post
    People here are describing Broyale in terms what he is not. He is not a kid. He is in his mid 30s for crying out loud. I'm not going to father him. Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.

    DB
    I hear what you are saying DB. At least I think I do. Please see my PM. Thanks.

  22. #121
    destinytot Guest
    First time I heard Bird though (and he was one of the first jazzmen that I actually heard), I almost felt like his music was something that as a mere mortal, I'd never be able even to approach, it was that overwhelming. Even 40 years later, I still feel like I'm merely wandering in the foothills of Mt. Parker, looking up......
    +1

    I've known (personally) two guitarists who've scaled up that fabled mountain, and it's scared me back to my senses. I take the view that Parker's music is not to be trifled with or trivialised; it's a discipline, not a refuge.

    But, ultimately, it's a discipline of Self. (On the question of sanctity of self, I agree with Broyale - and with Henry - that it's wrong to arbitrarily or artificially impose a value system on anyone when opinions differ.)

    I'm quite content picking flowers in the foothills - channelling my energies into fashioning something of Beauty, wrought from my own experience.

    Maybe not necessarily my favourite saxophonist, but I cannot deny a massive respect for his playing, nor an awareness of his place in the development of this music.
    +1 again.

  23. #122

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    Way back in 1977 - 1978 I had an every Saturday hour and a half drive to my guitar instructor. I spent a lot of that time playing Charlie Parker on my car stereo and singing along, I got to really appreciate him that way. I think anyone that put that kind of time in listening to Parker would learn to really appreciate him. Not sure it's possible to not appreciate Confirmation once you really know it. Same can be said for his other tunes.

  24. #123
    destinytot Guest
    The point is, at first it is HARD to play these things, precisely because they are counter-intuitive.
    I believe that many of the rhythmic aspects come naturally because they are actually culturally-determined schema stored in long-term memory.

    I think 'teaching', counter-intuitively, makes them 'hard' - bad teaching, that is.

  25. #124

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    Good questions, FF.

    As far as I'm concerned, almost everything about the jazz language, rhythmically and harmonically--or at least the first things any player should be learning, are right there in Parker. And while his stuff is a technical challenge, it's also straightforward enough that even a beginner can see what's going on in a lot of it...so in my opinion, its a perfect learning tool...
    I agree. One of the amazing things about Bird's playing---Thomas Owens in his writing on Bird help me to understand this---is that it is very logical. He plays a lot of notes but he's never "noodling". This is why his soloing has been called "formulaic" (--which is not meant as a criticism). He had a lot of stock phrases for the kinds of changes he played over and the wonder lies in how he could vary them and make them sound fresh all the time. (Charlie Christian was like this too, though he did not have Parker's level of technique.)

    Herb Ellis suggests that guitar players study Charlie Parker solos to learn how to make the changes. Charlie was brilliant at it. So much of what he did is now part of the common vocabulary of jazz.

    That said, it would be daunting to start with Parker's solos. They challenge professionals---they are too much for beginners. But listening to Parker is good, and learning some of the simpler heads is good, then picking out maybe one chorus of a blues, and then, and then....

  26. #125
    destinytot Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    I think this is still my favourite version of Giant Steps:

    That is truly hilarious.

  27. #126

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    Quote Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
    Any opinion is sacred to THEM. Who in the hell is it sacred to? Not you or me. But NOBODY holds the corner on truth. Not even me. .
    Well, Henry, this is easily said, but when you say it in front of people like me, you get this back: "Uh, when you say 'NOBODY holds the corner on truth' do you take that to be a true statement or just your opinion on the matter?

    If it's true, then it's not just your opinion. Further, a contrary statement (such as 'somebody holds the corner on truth') would be false, not just another opinion.

    But if it is just your opinion, why should anyone else agree that it is true (-or a worthy opinion)?

  28. #127

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    Mark, if the forum rules here were such that one should not fall foul of logical or lexical semantics, then you'd be the only member left!

  29. #128

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    Mark, if the forum rules here were such that one should not fall foul of logical or lexical semantics, then you'd be the only member left!
    Ha! I'm afraid I make many more such errors than I should, given that I've put in quite a bit of study on those areas.

    But I used to have a roommate---he's a doctor now---and he used to say, "Everyone has an opinion and they're all worth exactly the same." That irked me. I once asked him, "How come when you have a problem with your motorcycle you never ask me what I think it is?" He said, "Duh, you don't know [beep] about bikes." And I said, "Exactly! Some opinions are worth more than others..." He agreed with this. Yet he would still say, "Everyone has an opinion and they're all worth exactly the same." Still irks me... ;o)

  30. #129

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    Quote Originally Posted by Broyale View Post
    This is why I bought the Omnibook besides having something to practice my reading with. Actually, I ctrl-C'ed that list above to give me some context for my practice, thanks for that.
    Great, that's cool. I need to save that list as well and pay more attention to it!

    Another guy whose solos you might want to check out is Dexter Gordon. I actually found it easier to learn a lot just by listening to him, because his playing, while influenced by Parker, is a lot more straightforward. Also tenor sax lines are easier to transfer to the guitar, I mean they fit inside the range of the guitar better than alto sax.

  31. #130

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    Quote Originally Posted by destinytot View Post
    I believe that many of the rhythmic aspects come naturally because they are actually culturally-determined schema stored in long-term memory.

    I think 'teaching', counter-intuitively, makes them 'hard' - bad teaching, that is.
    I never found that the rhythms used by Parker (and in jazz generally) came naturally to me. They were not in my cultural memory, I had to learn them.

    I always assumed this was because the ultimate source of those rhythms was non-Western, i.e. African.

    Which I hasten to add, makes the music sound so great to me.

  32. #131

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    Ha! I'm afraid I make many more such errors than I should, given that I've put in quite a bit of study on those areas.

    But I used to have a roommate---he's a doctor now---and he used to say, "Everyone has an opinion and they're all worth exactly the same." That irked me. I once asked him, "How come when you have a problem with your motorcycle you never ask me what I think it is?" He said, "Duh, you don't know [beep] about bikes." And I said, "Exactly! Some opinions are worth more than others..." He agreed with this. Yet he would still say, "Everyone has an opinion and they're all worth exactly the same." Still irks me... ;o)
    Ah, but you're not being entirely fair to your good friend the Doc, you know as well as he that he surely meant "subjective" opinions are all worth the same! Your (uninformed) opinion about Motorcycle repairs might be subjective, but a bike Mechanic's opinion would surely have more objective weight.

    In Jazz, there is much speculation about the historical importance of various players, and most of it subjective (naturally). But I sense, in the Jazz community, a de facto acceptance of the following indisputable "truths" -

    You don't fuck with Satch, Prez, Bird, Miles, Monk or Trane!

    Amen.

  33. #132
    Dutchbopper Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    That said, it would be daunting to start with Parker's solos. They challenge professionals---they are too much for beginners. But listening to Parker is good, and learning some of the simpler heads is good, then picking out maybe one chorus of a blues, and then, and then....
    Bird is especially hard on guitar. His phrasing/timing/articulation concept (much more than his harmonic concept) is so unique that in 60 years after his death, not a single guitarist has even approached his style on guitar. None of the classic (bop) guitarists (Farlow, Pass, Raney, Bean, Green, Smith, Wes, Martino et. etc) played like Bird and none of the contemporary ones that I know of do (no, not Holdsworth either).

    This is not meant as detraction of the art of jazz guitar. Most guitarists play jazz in a, well ... guitar way. Personally, I don't think it can be done physically on guitar.

    But of course this could be said about other instrumentalists too. I realize that. I mean, you can hardly play like Keith Jarrett on a guitar. Or like Chris Potter. Check this out. Note how the solo develops into stellar orbit (after 3.30 minutes) ... and than imagine having to do this on guitar. Yikes.



    DB

  34. #133

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    Just think, maybe there's some horn players sitting around talking about how they wish they could play like a guitar...maybe...

    But yeah, nothing "guitaristic" about Parker. I bought that "Charlie Parker for GUitar" book like 15 years ago, looking for a shortcut into the tunes...and learned that pretty quickly!

  35. #134

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    Well, Henry, this is easily said, but when you say it in front of people like me, you get this back: "Uh, when you say 'NOBODY holds the corner on truth' do you take that to be a true statement or just your opinion on the matter?

    If it's true, then it's not just your opinion. Further, a contrary statement (such as 'somebody holds the corner on truth') would be false, not just another opinion.

    But if it is just your opinion, why should anyone else agree that it is true (-or a worthy opinion)?
    Maybe you didn't see or quote my follow up - ". . . . not even me."

    I'm not sure what you're trying to say or why you are always arguing with almost everything I say. But no, I don't believe there are any absolutes. And I don't believe there is a god who is holding the corner on truth regarding aesthetics or even ethics and mores. And even gravity relates in density and amount to this planet and might not apply to others. So for this moment the adage "what goes up must come down" is even relative. And even here, if the moon changes even that will change.

    So let me clarify - as regards aesthetics nobody holds the corner on truth. I love Bird. That he has changed the face of music since the 1940s is without question. But there can be very learned, creative people, even jazz aficionados who do not like him or his music. I've met them. That's OK with me. I don't take it as personal affront. Even though I've spent the better part of my life dedicated to understanding Bird, it means nothing to me if someone thinks it sounds like note-vomit. I will either think he hasn't the taste refined enough to understand it, or maybe it's just not for him. Parker IS an acquired taste.

    It's taken me YEARS to not be offended when someone takes exception to jazz or my playing or my music or something else very personal to me. Sometimes it can be a personal attack - a passive aggressive assault. But sometimes the person himself is tired of being assaulted by groups massive assumptions and disagrees in a big offensive way. Who cares? I feel this way by opinions from certain political or religious groups, let alone metal guitar players, shredders and the like who assault jazz. Most of these guys hate jazz. Who cares? That's their right for whatever reason. I can get ruffled and snobbish, but that's what they want.

    I think that everyone has a right to their opinion regardless how wrong headed I think it is. Now if that opinion directly affects me - like it's a racist opinion and he is using that opinion to block me or in anyway cause harm to me or my family, THEN we might have a problem. But regarding Bird? Jazz has other more pressing problems.

  36. #135
    Dutchbopper Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
    I think that everyone has a right to their opinion regardless how wrong headed I think it is. Now if that opinion directly affects me - like it's a racist opinion and he is using that opinion to block me or in anyway cause harm to me or my family, THEN we might have a problem. But regarding Bird? Jazz has other more pressing problems.
    I get what you are trying to say. But if all this is true for you why did you tell me and Jack we are full of it? We are of the opinion that B. is talking shit and speak out and apparently you deny us the right to express our opinion. B's opinion is ok and ours isn't? That's not helping your argumentation here much. B. used strong words. So did we. All parties did. Why is our opinion full of it (your words) and his is ok and should be tolerated? Does B. have some kind of special status here?

    I don't get it. I call that selective indignation. And you are not practising what you preach.

    DB

  37. #136

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    Quote Originally Posted by destinytot View Post
    +1

    (On the question of sanctity of self, I agree with Broyale - and with Henry - that it's wrong to arbitrarily or artificially impose a value system on anyone when opinions differ.)


    +1 again.
    I think the point of contention with Broyale was the use of the term "note-vomit" to describe his opinion of C. Parker's music.

    I got in trouble one time with an owner of an art shop when I used the term "anal-retentive." We used it all of the time in my workplace so it did not carry any "bite" for us, but for that owner, it was very offensive. Out of courtesy, I no longer used it in casual conversation once I found out the weight it carried.

    Also, when you apply it (the term "vomit") to the revered art form that Charlie Parker ushered you, its easy to see how those who are passionate about his music could be offended.

    Just imagine applying the "vomit" description to the utterances of a your young child, your favorite political figure and his views which you share, or maybe your even your elderly mother who likes to talk a lot and may be experiencing dementia.

    I don't see how anyone can find it acceptable considering the connotations the comparison to vomit carries - very irreverent and disrespectful. Of course, giving Broyale the benefit of the doubt, this may not have been his true intent. One can only know that by asking the direct question to him.

    Personally, I give him the benefit of the doubt as I try to do with everyone.

  38. #137

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    Back to the music, here's some Charlie Parker for non Charlie Parker fans. 2.6 million views on YouTube:


  39. #138

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    This has been a very enlightening thread for me. I too came to straight ahead jazz guitar backwards ie. Rush, pink floyd, hendrix, vaughan, holdsworth,scofield,ecm era frisell,jim hall, wes...then ed bickert who really floats my boat. I remember a time when I was searching jazz artists that I could "feel"... not just be amazed at what sounded at the time to me like emotionally empty massive technique fanciness. It took years. I remember trying to listen to "bird" early in my development and not being able to connect with any of it but kc blues... I finally eventually bought an omnibook and tried and tried and tried to find another "bird" tune I could comprehend, feel, hear... I kept trying because I could recognize his genius in comparison to my not-genius. Anyhow as flawed as the omnibook approach may be it helped me in the sense that by reading it so slowly I finally started to "hear" the melodies in his lines and licks..Then all of a sudden I could hear the "blues" in it and the light in my brain became a little bit more bright. I am glad I stuck with my initial intuitive belief that there was someting important in his music to learn that would benefit me greatly. Bird Lives!!!!

  40. #139

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    Yeah, I would think coming to jazz backwards is more and more common...I've said often that the Dead were my ticket to jazz, when I heard they and Duane Allman were into Miles I checked that out, but it wasn't instantaneous for me...

    I think my first experience with Parker was somebody playing me a recording of "Kim," and you can bet I couldn't hear that at all!

  41. #140

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchbopper View Post
    I get what you are trying to say. But if all this is true for you why did you tell me and Jack we are full of it? We are of the opinion that B. is talking shit and speak out and apparently you deny us the right to express our opinion. B's opinion is ok and ours isn't? That's not helping your argumentation here much. B. used strong words. So did we. All parties did. Why is our opinion full of it (your words) and his is ok and should be tolerated? Does B. have some kind of special status here?

    I don't get it. I call that selective indignation. And you are not practising what you preach.

    DB
    Broyale didn't call you ignorant or say anything that I saw to attack you personally. I felt others did that to him. Because he stated he thought CP sounded like note vomit some took PERSONAL offense when most likely none was intended. He was stating a PERSONAL opinion.

  42. #141

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchbopper View Post
    Bird is especially hard on guitar. His phrasing/timing/articulation concept (much more than his harmonic concept) is so unique that in 60 years after his death, not a single guitarist has even approached his style on guitar. None of the classic (bop) guitarists (Farlow, Pass, Raney, Bean, Green, Smith, Wes, Martino et. etc) played like Bird and none of the contemporary ones that I know of do (no, not Holdsworth either).


    DB
    I agree with this. Bird is one reason several jazz guitarists started experimenting with their picking. It's hard to play that fast on guitar (-and play the kinds of lines Bird was playing with the articulation and rhythmic variety he used.)

    I think Jimmy Bruno mentions this in his material on picking. (I think what Jimmy does is what is generally referred to as 'economy picking.')
    George Benson couldn't play as fast as he needed to the conventional way either. His "Benson picking" is what I'm after now. It's a lot of work for a long time. But I think George is a great player and seems to be able to do whatever he wants to do on the guitar.
    Frank Gambale developed his "sweep picking" technique because he couldn't play as fast as sax players the conventional way. (<<<He is very fast but what he plays fast doesn't grab me the way Parker's playing does. Or Charlie Christian's, for that matter.)

    Some of what Charlie Parker did had a lot to do with how the alto saxophone is made and played. (Thomas Owens talks about this in his analysis of Parker's playing.) If he had played guitar himself, he probably would have played differently, but we'll never know just how....

  43. #142

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchbopper View Post
    I don't get it. I call that selective indignation. And you are not practising what you preach.

    DB
    I don't see this as selective indignation. I saw B as being attacked en masse for stating an opinion. His opinion could have been articulated better. I've often used terms like that. More often I've stated about my own playing, "diarrhea of the fingers". But I get what he was trying to say and to novice ears I can imagine what he meant.

    He attacked no one that I saw. He only attacked the bop sensibility. It wasn't personal. I don't see where this is contrary to my beliefs.
    Last edited by henryrobinett; 03-23-2015 at 03:09 PM.

  44. #143

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    Quote Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
    Maybe you didn't see or quote my follow up - ". . . . not even me."

    I'm not sure what you're trying to say or why you are always arguing with almost everything I say. But no, I don't believe there are any absolutes. .
    I get that, but you don't seem to get it that THAT is an absolute, which you just claimed to deny the possibility of. (If there are no absolutes then the claim "there are no absolutes" must be false, which means there must be at least one absolute....)

    Similarly, if Broyale's "personal opinion" is to be respected, then why not the personal opinion of someone who thinks Broyale's personal opinion is objectionable?

  45. #144

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    Mark, c'mon, that's getting a bit petty and silly wouldn't you say? I think Henry's been pretty clear about what he's saying.

    Let's get back to talking more Parker...I was in the half dozen or so camp...let's see, I know Scrapple, Billie's Bounce, Now's the Time, Little Suede Shoes, Moose, Au Private...lol...I know the easy ones
    Last edited by mr. beaumont; 03-23-2015 at 03:22 PM.

  46. #145

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    I get that, but you don't seem to get it that THAT is an absolute, which you just claimed to deny the possibility of. (If there are no absolutes then the claim "there are no absolutes" must be false, which means there must be at least one absolute....)

    Similarly, if Broyale's "personal opinion" is to be respected, then why not the personal opinion of someone who thinks Broyale's personal opinion is objectionable?
    I totally respect people objecting to his opinion. I don't agree with it myself. I disagree
    with attacking THE PERSON for said opinion.

    No. I'm not playing this silly intellectual game. It is my opinion that there is no god standing over us pontificating what is good vs bad taste. That is an opinion. It can be no other. That is not an absolute.

  47. #146

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    I agree with this. Bird is one reason several jazz guitarists started experimenting with their picking. It's hard to play that fast on guitar (-and play the kinds of lines Bird was playing with the articulation and rhythmic variety he used.)

    I think Jimmy Bruno mentions this in his material on picking. (I think what Jimmy does is what is generally referred to as 'economy picking.')
    George Benson couldn't play as fast as he needed to the conventional way either. His "Benson picking" is what I'm after now. It's a lot of work for a long time. But I think George is a great player and seems to be able to do whatever he wants to do on the guitar.
    Frank Gambale developed his "sweep picking" technique because he couldn't play as fast as sax players the conventional way. (<<<He is very fast but what he plays fast doesn't grab me the way Parker's playing does. Or Charlie Christian's, for that matter.)

    Some of what Charlie Parker did had a lot to do with how the alto saxophone is made and played. (Thomas Owens talks about this in his analysis of Parker's playing.) If he had played guitar himself, he probably would have played differently, but we'll never know just how....
    FWIW, it's not just speed. Parker was a master of rhythmic control in ways that other fast players don't come close, no matter how fast they can play. Accents, note placement, dynamics and intonation, this is all stuff he would mess with which can't be notated, or understood any way other than listening. Sure, he'd play fast stuff, but that's a tiny fraction of his genius.

  48. #147

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    Quote Originally Posted by pkirk View Post
    FWIW, it's not just speed. Parker was a master of rhythmic control in ways that other fast players don't come close, no matter how fast they can play. Accents, note placement, dynamics and intonation, this is all stuff he would mess with which can't be notated, or understood any way other than listening. Sure, he'd play fast stuff, but that's a tiny fraction of his genius.
    I agree it was not just speed, but such speed was a hard wall for many guitarists of Parker's time, just playing a guitar that fast (-and playing bebop on it rather than speedy technical exercises). It took some work just to play such things at that tempo. Then adding the rhythmic variety and overall flow, well, that's a higher orbit.

  49. #148

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    I think it best if we veer back onto the main topic---playing Charlie Parker tunes. How many do you know? Which are your favorites? Which were the biggest challenges for you? Like that.

  50. #149

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    You know, of all the things Parker has done and of all the reasons he is so widely revered today, the one thing I respect him for more than anything else is how he GOT BACK at those cats in the famous jam session where he was laughed out of the jam following a certain cymbal related incident. His embarrassment and subsequent dedication involving (as I understand) 15 hours of his day is one of the most inspiring things I have ever heard.

    Another one is how Coltrane reportedly took his saxophone to a dinner once, asked for an empty room, played right until dinner was served, ate his meal and packed off...what a legend.

    While we are talking about good stories, one of the best ones I heard is when Bud Powell reportedly took a solo so good, he walked off the stage mid-tune, applauding himself!

    But the Parker story is the greatest.

    Maybe worth a separate thread? Sharing famous anecdotes?
    Last edited by pushkar000; 03-23-2015 at 04:44 PM.

  51. #150

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchbopper View Post
    Bird is especially hard on guitar. His phrasing/timing/articulation concept (much more than his harmonic concept) is so unique that in 60 years after his death, not a single guitarist has even approached his style on guitar. None of the classic (bop) guitarists (Farlow, Pass, Raney, Bean, Green, Smith, Wes, Martino et. etc) played like Bird and none of the contemporary ones that I know of do (no, not Holdsworth either).

    This is not meant as detraction of the art of jazz guitar. Most guitarists play jazz in a, well ... guitar way. Personally, I don't think it can be done physically on guitar.

    But of course this could be said about other instrumentalists too. I realize that. I mean, you can hardly play like Keith Jarrett on a guitar. Or like Chris Potter. Check this out. Note how the solo develops into stellar orbit (after 3.30 minutes) ... and than imagine having to do this on guitar. Yikes.



    DB

    I find this very interesting for a variety of reasons, the first of which is Potter's playing. I've heard him live a few times, and he never disappoints. I also began to wonder what other saxophonists have approached Bird's style. And by approached, I mean more than borrowed from it, which they all did. I'm not sure I know enough to tell, but the first name that came to mind was Sonny Stitt because Sonny's playing reminds me of Bird more than many other great saxophonists. I think this is because Sonny had monumental chops of his own, and he sometimes sounds like someone strapped a jetpack to his behind. I'm not sure about his timing and phrasing - I know these are important - but Sonny had speed when he wanted it. I suspect Coltrane's name would be offered up too.

    Part of my limitation is that I'm a swing person at heart, and I don't listen that much to the saxophonists who may be approaching Bird (guys like Potter, Bergonzi, Berg, Liebman, etc.). A short list of my favorites includes Stitt, Dexter Gordon, Ernie Watts, Sal Nistico, Sam Butera, Zoot Sims, Buddy Tate, Houston Person, Stanley Turrentine, and Stan Getz. My point is that none them sounds to my ear a lot like Bird except Stitt on some recordings. I'm not sure what to make of that. I'm also not sure I can distinguish between Parker's "style" and his "voice". All these guys have a beautiful voice. If their phrasing and timing is like Bird's, I am not yet able to discern that. (They do certainly have masterful timing and phrasing though.)

    I'd be interested in other people's thoughts on this.


    BTW, thanks for this post too DB. I went to the source, Charles McNeal's website, and downloaded the Potter transcription. Just to 'fess up to how humble my perch is: I could not even follow along very well except where the playing was punctuated with longer tones or rests. So my first goal is to be able to read along at speed. Not that I would ever download a video, but if I did, I would run it through Transcribe at slower speed.

    Incidentally, saxsolos.com is another good source of transcriptions. I have used them a few times in the past.