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  1. #201
    Here is what I mean. You can totally hear the abstract, embellished form of the melody in the solo (pickup to the solo at 0:54). The melody totally runs through the solo as a theme. The feeling of mental connection you get with Joe Pass when you hear the abstract melody in the solo is very cool.
    I don't know it's fair to expect a listener to hear the melody that well if they only heard the head in the introduction.

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  3. #202

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    IMO the main point of having standards is not the performers, it's the listeners. The more listeners know the melody of a tune, the more they can enjoy the solos. If you don't know the melody, then the solo is just bla-bidi-guk-duba. It's rare that a player can create spontaneous composition detached from the tune that is very memorable.
    The songs we now call standards were popular at that time and jazz was popular music. The likes of Mingus and Monk and a host of critics made it an art form, in which original composition by the performer is primary. So no new standards.

  4. #203

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    This thread = people who listen to jazz from the 1950s and then are surprised that there are no songs written later than the 1950s.

  5. #204

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    Where this thread might have a little tiny bit of a point is that if I go to a jam session and call a pop song of the past 40 years, no one is going to know it or want to play it.

    This has, I think, much more to do with the jazz is taught; with people learning songs from written sources such as the real book where the repertoire is somewhat reified. If players were more comfortable using their ears to play songs, it wouldn't be a big deal to bust out something a bit more recent. (And this counts for myself.) Players like Robert Glasper just know a lot of tunes, old and new. Pro musicians are also very fast at learning tunes.

    In professional jazz circles playing a recent pop or rock tune is so unremarkable as to be scarcely worthy of note.

  6. #205

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    his royal highness, King Sco of Field
    This is so beautiful.


  7. #206

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    Has any one listed this or does it qualify.Halie Loren 'A Womans Way'

  8. #207

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick
    The songs we now call standards were popular at that time and jazz was popular
    Jazz has always - with perhaps the exception of the big dance bands of the ‘30s - been a marginal music, in terms of sales and popularity. And there’s nothing wrong with that, some of the best music and other great artistic and cultural products are not “popular”.

    If you look at sales numbers, radio play, and charts, you discover that pop singers, songs from Broadway musicals and films, novelty numbers, ethnic and regional styles, and saccharine instrumentals ruled. Jazz went up and down, but, except for Goodman, Miller and Dorsey (and Guy Lombardo), it was never generally popular. And never will be.

    Why did the jazz musicians of the ‘20-‘60s lean on what we now call “Standards” - pop songs/show tunes written by professional songwriters? Maybe they liked the songs. Maybe there’s enough melodic and harmonic content to make something out of. Maybe they knew the audience would at least have the pleasure of hearing a tune they recognize for a minute of so before the musicians proceeded to express their superior melodic “artistry” for the ensuing 12 minutes. Maybe the proximity of Tin Pan Alley, Broadway, the major record companies and recording studios (before they moved West), the sheet music publishers, and the Jazz Center of the World, all there on the tiny island of Manhattan?

    Maybe there are no more “Standards” because there is no longer a culturally unified popular audience, fed the same songs, across the nation and the world, by the major labels and radio networks. Everybody is their own niche audience now, and hears what they want when they want.

    There are just special times when a lot of diverse elements converge and magic happens - nobody plans it, and nobody could. And there’s never any going back.

    Besides, we already have enough “Standards” - have you learned them all? I haven’t.
    Last edited by BickertRules; 01-04-2021 at 10:29 PM.

  9. #208
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Where this thread might have a little tiny bit of a point is that if I go to a jam session and call a pop song of the past 40 years, no one is going to know it or want to play it.
    I agree that it's not that unusual for modern tunes to be performed in jazz style. But these tunes do not become part of the "standards" even when the tunes are considered modern classics.

    Probably partly because of the more diverse and geographically dispersed nature of the jazz community now compared to the 30's and the less improvisation inspiring progressions.
    Last edited by Tal_175; 01-04-2021 at 08:42 PM.

  10. #209

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    I agree that it's not that unusual for modern tunes to be performed in jazz style. But these tunes do not become part of the "standards" even when the tunes are considered modern classics.

    Probably partly because of the more diverse and geographically dispersed nature of the jazz community now compared to the 30's and the less improvisation inspiring progressions.
    I agree with all your points here.

    Whenever I hear a jazz group play something like “Smells Like Teen Spirit” or “Creep”, it comes across as ironic, not like someone picked the tune because they love it and saw all the potential improvisational developments they could do. It’s like those Bluegrass groups that play stuff like “Highway to Hell” and “All the Single Ladies” - reminds me of Spike Jones.

  11. #210

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    Quote Originally Posted by BickertRules
    I agree with all your points here.

    Whenever I hear a jazz group play something like “Smells Like Teen Spirit” it comes across as ironic, not like someone picked the tune because they love it and saw all the potential improvisational developments they could do.

    Sigh .. This forum doesn't get excited easily, does it?

    There are people that actually love Smells like teen spirit .. I'm not the only one ... It's a great melody (starting at 7:40):


    Brad Mehldau's covers of Radiohead are stellar btw ... Don't think he has done creep, but Paranoid Android and especially Exit music (for a film)
    Last edited by Lobomov; 01-04-2021 at 10:51 PM.

  12. #211

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobomov
    There are people that actually love Smells like teen spirit .. I'm not the only one ... It's a great melody (starting at 7:40):
    Does it take 22 minutes to explain (convince?) why “The Way You Look Tonight” is great, or do you just hear it in the minute and a half it takes to play it?

    Jerome wants to know.

    Why no new standards?-20c69532-737c-49bd-9e2d-2ec9b4fd2358-jpeg

    Nirvana only sounds great if your expectations are low. Very low.

    Before you assume I’m an old crank, I was in my 20s when “Teen Spirit” came out, and I played it in bar bands for at least 5 years after. Maybe it only sounded “great” because we had been previously subjected to Michael Bolton, Whitney Houston, and Mariah Carey, who’s to say.
    Last edited by BickertRules; 01-04-2021 at 11:35 PM.

  13. #212

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    Quote Originally Posted by BickertRules
    Does it take 22 minutes to explain (convince?) why “The Way You Look Tonight” is great
    That is one way to look at it .. Another way is to note that it apparently is a totally irrelevant song as no one can be arsed to talk about it.

  14. #213

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    Quote Originally Posted by BickertRules
    Jazz has always - with perhaps the exception of the big dance bands of the ‘30s - been a marginal music, in terms of sales and popularity. And there’s nothing wrong with that, some of the best music and other great artistic and cultural products are not “popular”.

    If you look at sales numbers, radio play, and charts, you discover that pop singers, songs from Broadway musicals and films, novelty numbers, ethnic and regional styles, and saccharine instrumentals ruled. Jazz went up and down, but, except for Goodman, Miller and Dorsey (and Guy Lombardo), it was never generally popular. And never will be.
    The twenties and thirties were called the Jazz Age for good reason. Of course, if you exclude the dance bands of the thirties, jazz appears to be marginal, but that is akin to excluding the Beatles and Motown from a survey of the sixties. Jazz was a popular music form, played by dance bands in ballrooms. But then it went to the Philharmonic and became an art form, played by combos in clubs. They wrote their own tunes, which were undanceable. Jazz became respectable. The New Yorker hired a jazz correspondent, Whitney Balliett (Phillips Exeter, Cornell). In December 1956, he wrote:
    But now jazz is played in concert halls and colleges around the world, as well as taught in accredited university courses. It is sent abroad under the sponsorship of the U.S. State Department as a benevolent cultural ambassador. Heavily attended summer festivals of jazz are sprouting around the country. The New York Times has a jazz critic. And lastly, jazz has become, with the combined help of the long-playing record and an economic boom, a big business – perhaps the most heartfelt blessing Americans can bestow on a native endeavor.

    Perhaps there are few new jazz standards because jazz as art music is largely indifferent to songs from outside. It has turned inwards. Its practitioners have college degrees in jazz. They have been taught to compose. They may acknowledge the tradition with a standard or two in a set, but they are mostly interested in making original work. That is probably a good thing, because the contemporary songs that might be candidates for canonisation can never be free of their creators: while the original Stella by Starlight is now forgotten, one cannot listen to a version of Teen Spirit without thinking of Nirvana’s recording, and of lobby music.

  15. #214

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick
    The twenties and thirties were called the Jazz Age for good reason. Of course, if you exclude the dance bands of the thirties, jazz appears to be marginal, but that is akin to excluding the Beatles and Motown from a survey of the sixties. Jazz was a popular music form, played by dance bands in ballrooms. But then it went to the Philharmonic and became an art form, played by combos in clubs. They wrote their own tunes, which were undanceable. Jazz became respectable. The New Yorker hired a jazz correspondent, Whitney Balliett (Phillips Exeter, Cornell). In December 1956, he wrote:
    But now jazz is played in concert halls and colleges around the world, as well as taught in accredited university courses. It is sent abroad under the sponsorship of the U.S. State Department as a benevolent cultural ambassador. Heavily attended summer festivals of jazz are sprouting around the country. The New York Times has a jazz critic. And lastly, jazz has become, with the combined help of the long-playing record and an economic boom, a big business – perhaps the most heartfelt blessing Americans can bestow on a native endeavor.

    Perhaps there are few new jazz standards because jazz as art music is largely indifferent to songs from outside. It has turned inwards. Its practitioners have college degrees in jazz. They have been taught to compose. They may acknowledge the tradition with a standard or two in a set, but they are mostly interested in making original work. That is probably a good thing, because the contemporary songs that might be candidates for canonisation can never be free of their creators: while the original Stella by Starlight is now forgotten, one cannot listen to a version of Teen Spirit without thinking of Nirvana’s recording, and of lobby music.
    I think that's a bit of a simplistic account. Which is to say I actually think it's possible for you to both be right. What complicates things vastly is the definition of jazz itself was open to constant revision.

    As I understand it jazz in the 1930's meant really New Orleans jazz to many; swing was something distinct. Later Parker himself was keen to differentiate the new music he made from 'jazz.' And then there are differentiations between 'hot' and 'sweet' music in dance orchestras... and that jazz emerged from an early century environment with many related forms of music, including ragtime and society marches... jazz meant something quite specific; music in the New Orleans style. Scott Joplin hated jazz!

    It's hard to untangle these threads. 1920s-40s dance music and jazz are two not entirely separate but not entirely identical things. The first trad jazz/New Orleans revivals happened during the height of the swing era. And people were always moaning about this or that music not being 'real jazz.' If we take real jazz to mean Lester Young blowing after hours in Kansas City, that was always niche. That's the bit we're left with now, really, as popular culture marches on...

    Furthermore, the raw material of jazz is not itself jazz necessarily; while there was overlap with early jazz, film music and music theatre. Watching Tom and Jerry cartoons* with my daughter, there are constant references to songs like All God's Chillun in the the soundtrack, which is a dance orchestra with strings (so not really jazz?); nowadays if someone plays All God's Chillun, they are probably thinking of Bud Powell or someone. BUT - the original was played by Duke Ellington in a Marx Brothers film, so where does that put us?

    So, I'd say what's gone is that continuum; from society dance orchestras, music theatre, film music and of course jazz which meant that jazz could thrive as an artistic reinterpretation of pop culture tropes, moving from the accessible, popular music of Benny Goodman to the very niche jam sessions of Minton's playhouse. And there are all sorts of social layers to that story...

    The idea of a 'cover version' is as you say a construct of the recordings becoming definitive. Robert Glaspar is 'covering' Smells Like Teen Spirit in a way that he is not if he plays a mid century popular song. It's complicated!

    *Oh and doesn't that little lick at the end of the main theme remind me a bit of Bird's Cool Blues?

  16. #215

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    I was fascinated by the music of Tom and Jerry as a child, especially "Shortnin' Bread”, which the maid often sings. I now know, because Internet, it is an African-American folk song dating back at least to the 1890s, song number 4209 in the Roud Folk Song Index. Reading further, I now realise she is singing "Shortened Bread", the first folk version of this song, which E. C. Perrow collected from East Tennessee in 1912 and published in 1915.

    Mammy's little baby loves short'nin'
    Mammy's little baby loves short'nin' bread (rpt.)

    All God's Chillun Got Rythym, played by Duke Ellington in a A Day at the Races, was written by Walter Jurmann, Gus Kahn and Bronislaw Kaper: an Austrian, a German and a Pole.

    The man behind the Tom and Jerry music was Scott Bradley. According to Wikipedia:

    As was common practice in scores for animation, Bradley's early style incorporated fragments of popular and traditional melodies. By the mid-1940s, however, his compositions and orchestrations had become more original and complex, occasionally utilizing the twelve-tone technique devised by Arnold Schoenberg; the first being the 1944 Tom and Jerry cartoon Puttin' on the Dog. Other influences were Béla Bartók, Igor Stravinsky and Paul Hindemith.

    Hooray for Hollywood. All these different musical influences are found together in the music for a cartoon series about a cat and a mouse.





  17. #216

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    There are no new standards because Cole Porter is dead. Sorry to be the one to break that to you...

  18. #217

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick
    The twenties and thirties were called the Jazz Age for good reason.
    Maybe because the intellectuals, writers, artists, and celebrities of the time in New York, Chicago, Hollywood, and Paris liked jazz? And maybe that’s how we define eras in retrospect. I’m not sure that the millions of people living outside that narrow milieu were jazz fans, or lived the lifestyle we associate with the “Jazz Age” or the “Roaring Twenties”.

    When people today think of “The Sixties” I don’t think what they have in mind is this list of the top selling albums of the decade.

    Why no new standards?-0ecf4fcb-bed5-4aec-a715-051c2e6fcfb6-jpeg
    List of best-selling albums by year in the United States - Wikipedia

    Three things jump out for me:

    • Broadway Show Original Cast/Soundtrack Recordings (for over HALF the decade!)
    • The Monkees!!??
    • No Jazz (actually, not surprising)
    • No Beatles


    Sometimes the stories we are told (or tell ourselves) are very incomplete, if not romanticized fictions.
    Last edited by BickertRules; 01-05-2021 at 05:08 PM.

  19. #218

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    Broadway Show Original Cast/Soundtrack Recordings, for the first half of the decade, when albums were bought by adults and pop music was sold in singles.
    The Monkees were a very popular group, with their own TV show from 1966 to 1968.
    Herb Alpert’s album had a woman covered in shaving cream on the cover; very popular.
    Then Hendrix and Iron Butterfly: album rock had arrived

    Of course, history is contingent: it is not a record of events in the past but a narrative written to serve the present. This was the theme of my PhD, incidentally. But I have not seen any evidence to cast doubt on my understanding that jazz was a popular medium in the 1920s and 1930s. All those bands were playing to audiences. People wanted to dance.

    Here are the top artists of the 1930s

    1: Bing Crosby
    2: Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians
    3: Tommy Dorsey
    4: Duke Ellington
    5: Benny Goodman
    6: Eddy Duchin
    7: Fred Astaire
    9: Fats Waller
    10: Louis Armstrong
    11: Leo Reisman
    12: Billie Holiday
    13: Glenn Miller
    14: Rudy Vallee & his Connecticut Yankees
    15: Ray Noble
    16: Cab Calloway & his Cotton Club Orchestra
    17: Hal Kemp
    18: Glen Gray
    19: Artie Shaw
    20: Shep Fields & his Rippling Rhythm Orchestra



    A lot of jazz in that list.








  20. #219

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick
    Broadway Show Original Cast/Soundtrack Recordings, for the first half of the decade, when albums were bought by adults and pop music was sold in singles.
    The Monkees were a very popular group, with their own TV show from 1966 to 1968.
    Herb Alpert’s album had a woman covered in shaving cream on the cover; very popular.
    Then Hendrix and Iron Butterfly: album rock had arrived

    Of course, history is contingent: it is not a record of events in the past but a narrative written to serve the present. This was the theme of my PhD, incidentally. But I have not seen any evidence to cast doubt on my understanding that jazz was a popular medium in the 1920s and 1930s. All those bands were playing to audiences. People wanted to dance.

    Here are the top artists of the 1930s

    1: Bing Crosby
    2: Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians
    3: Tommy Dorsey
    4: Duke Ellington
    5: Benny Goodman
    6: Eddy Duchin
    7: Fred Astaire
    9: Fats Waller
    10: Louis Armstrong
    11: Leo Reisman
    12: Billie Holiday
    13: Glenn Miller
    14: Rudy Vallee & his Connecticut Yankees
    15: Ray Noble
    16: Cab Calloway & his Cotton Club Orchestra
    17: Hal Kemp
    18: Glen Gray
    19: Artie Shaw
    20: Shep Fields & his Rippling Rhythm Orchestra

    A lot of jazz in that list.

    All well put.

    Of course, “adults” count in popularity, too, but yes, the spending power of 30-40 year olds probably trails what the kids are enjoying by a generous margin.

    I have always suspected that many people bought the Herb Alpert album for extra-musical reasons. It was in every household in my childhood.

    Why no new standards?-f0f8eb1e-8967-4fca-ac66-5da2eef49026-jpeg

    I don’t dispute your 1930s list, but I think of most of those individuals and groups as jazz-informed pop and dance music. Of course, Armstrong is the quintessential jazzman, but his biggest hits were a Broadway show tune and a very sappy 12/8 pop ballad.

    I did concede a few posts back, that if jazz was ever popular, it was in the ‘30s. Even if I were willing to include the ‘20s, the jazz that many of us probably listen to and idolize now (I doubt many of us are making playlists including Ray Noble and Rudy Vallee) - Bird and Diz and Miles through Trane and Herbie all the way down to Bill Frisell and Robert Glasper, etc., was never widely popular. We know about it because we WANT to know about it and we seek it out. But just mention any of those names to 10 random people in your local market and “Watch What Happens”, so to speak.

    I’m not trying to burst anyone’s balloon, but the urge to mythologize a so-called “golden age” is strong, and not just in music.
    Last edited by BickertRules; 01-05-2021 at 08:21 PM.

  21. #220

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    Quote Originally Posted by BickertRules
    I have always suspected that many people bought the Herb Alpert album for extra-musical reasons. It was in every household in my childhood.

    Why no new standards?-f0f8eb1e-8967-4fca-ac66-5da2eef49026-jpeg
    That is a photo shoot that probably was a lot of fun and laughs.

  22. #221

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    That is a photo shoot that probably was a lot of fun and laughs.

    Erickson, who wore a bikini with the shoulder straps pushed down and hidden, was for the most part surrounded by cotton batting and many cans’ worth of shaving cream because actual whipped cream turned runny and smelly under hot lights. The real thing was used only on her head and on the index finger she touched to her lips.

    Here

  23. #222

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    Quote Originally Posted by BickertRules
    Even if I were willing to include the ‘20s, the jazz that many of us probably listen to and idolize now (I doubt many of us are making playlists including Ray Noble and Rudy Vallee) - Bird and Diz and Miles through Trane and Herbie all the way down to Bill Frisell and Robert Glasper, etc., was never widely popular. We know about it because we WANT to know about it and we seek it out. But just mention any of those names to 10 random people in your local market and “Watch What Happens”, so to speak.

    I’m not trying to burst anyone’s balloon, but the urge to mythologize a so-called “golden age” is strong, and not just in music.

    Yes, I think you are right. We listen to the good stuff, and it is good because it is ours. We would probably resent the masses liking it. Back in the day, most people just wanted to dance. Whitney Balliett, writing in 1958, is helpful:

    There were at least three distinct types of big band: the milky, unabashed dance band (Guy Lombardo, Charlie Spivak), the semi-jazz dance band (Tommy Dorsey, Artie Shaw), and the out-and-out jazz band (Duke Ellington, Fletcher Henderson). The demise of this small but lively industry was due largely to economics; it is also true that the big jazz band had just about run dry. It ended as it had begun as a plump, highly regimented expansion of the traditional New Orleans instrumentation of cornet, clarinet, trombone, and rhythm section.

  24. #223

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    Smells Like Teen Spirit is a 30 year old song. That audience is now in their 40's and 50's.

    Who do we think 'Jazz Standards' are for? Historians? A very small number of hipsters in very large urban areas?

    Jazz musicians must be flexible, adaptable, and change their daily repertoire or remain wallpaper for expensive restaurants. Because without an audience, musicians are nothing.

  25. #224

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook410
    Smells Like Teen Spirit is a 30 year old song. That audience is now in their 40's and 50's.
    Yes, they are, and they still don’t want to hear an instrumental jazz quartet play Nirvana covers with 7-minute Slonimsky-informed saxophone solos. (A person who already likes jazz might)

    They want to hear the original recording, or at least maybe a graying, thicker-around-the-middle cover band of their own generation playing a note-perfect cover, more or less.

    As someone mentioned below (or above), at some point we went from a time when there would be 100 versions of a Cole Porter tune out there by different singers, orchestras and instrumentalists, but once we hit the songwriter-IS-the-singer/band era since the mid-sixties, the original recording IS the only version, with rare exceptions.

    I disagree about the need for flexibility. The jazz listening public outside of musicians is small; I doubt you’re going to add any new Gen Xers to that audience by covering grunge classics, but you might chase away the existing fans.

    I like playing in restaurants, private parties, and bars; it’s where jazz was born and probably where it should have stayed. When it became “America’s Only Original Art Form”, it doomed itself to a elite exclusivity only surpassed by Classical Music (which I also love).

  26. #225

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    Yes. They do want to hear a jazz quartet play Nirvana. And other tunes they are familiar with. Wouldn't worry about 'jazz standard' fans being run off. There aren't many to chase away. And those left can't really move that fast in their walkers.

    The definitions and labels need to change. Michael Hedges should have been labeled a jazz artist as well as Bela Fleck. If there are no new jazz standards, then jazz is over. And those of us looking to perform and listen to interesting music will find different names for the music we like. While those that have invested in the pureness of jazz will die off with it.

  27. #226

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook410
    While those that have invested in the pureness of jazz will die off with it.
    That’s very poetic, almost biblical.

    We all do what we think is right, and then, sooner or later, we all “die off”. That’s how it works.

    and Jazz, too, shall pass away...

    Peace be with you.

  28. #227

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    Quote Originally Posted by BickertRules
    Yes, they are, and they still don’t want to hear an instrumental jazz quartet play Nirvana covers with 7-minute Slonimsky-informed saxophone solos. (A person who already likes jazz might)

    They want to hear the original recording, or at least maybe a graying, thicker-around-the-middle cover band of their own generation playing a note-perfect cover, more or less.
    This is mixing apples with bananas ..

    Yeah, you're right that in general very little people want to involuntarily be exposed to jazz and prefer the original recording. But we're not talking general listening habits here. We are talking jazz standards .. So the setup is a jazz gig

    And at a jazz gig hell yeah .. a lot of us would love to hear Smells like teen spirit.

    The nightmare is something like the standard rendition of Love for Sale, which has to me become the pinnacle of torture at a jazz gig. Same shit every time .. a bit of latin, a bit of swing and 4-5 people taking turn sounding just more or less like the 4-5 that played the last time I heard that tune

    There is this notion that every jazz performance brings unbridled creativity. But it doesn't .. It often get's very samey. after 30 years with concerts where there is a 70% chance of Love for Sale ... at least you could throw some new tunes our way. I say thank you very much to a Nirvana or a Radiohead song

    Edit:
    Whether that is feasable in 2021 where culture is just people showing up and blowing without rehearsal is up for debate. .. Given that a coherent standard repertoire is vital. Time is money.



    Last edited by Lobomov; 01-06-2021 at 07:03 PM.

  29. #228

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    I think it’s helpful if we stop worrying about the word ‘jazz.’ (At least for music that isn’t an obvious historical recreation.)

  30. #229

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    I might share my study of the use of the word ‘jazzy’ in British architectural criticism.