What's the deal with 60's jazz liner notes?

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

Does anyone have a theory on why the liner notes on all my 60's jazz LP's are written in that pipe-and-armchair faux-academic style?

Here's how the liner notes start for the 1969 Blue Note comp, "The Best Of Horace Silver", written by one Herb Wong:

A predictable conduct of record companies is the issuing of albums featuring "the greatest hits of..." or "the best of...". There has been more than an alluvial flow of such compilations, but only a few of these anthologies have faithfully and honestly displayed a valid sampling of the said performer's most representative best. The mutually nutritive fifteen-year association between Blue Note Records and pianist-composer-lyricist Horace Silver has borne a large share of good, delicious and lasting jazz sounds. Accepting the fact that the total Silver recorded repertoire spans a broad variety of musical colleagues, concepts, and predilections, initially it might appear to be a difficult assignment to select the specific items to include in the album."

Hemingway it's not. Now granted, this is probably the worst offender I can find in my collection, but it's not an outlier. This was how a lot of liner notes sounded: affected, convoluted, elitist. In Miles Davis' autobiography, he mentions that as soon as he had enough clout with Columbia, he made them stop including liner notes on his albums, and I can see why he did that.

Was music criticism in general this stilted back in the day? Who was the target audience for this stuff?

enochroot, Monday, 27 March 2017 12:16 (one month ago) Permalink

I enjoy the liner notes on Blue Note, Prestige, etc LPs, and have learned a lot about both the artist(s) and their music from such writing. What you call "stilted" I call erudite and informed music writing intended for an informed audience. I realize such writing is not currently in fashion--and may never be again--but that doesn't diminish its value.

Wimmels, Monday, 27 March 2017 12:36 (one month ago) Permalink

I know a guy who still writes like that. Nice guy, but his shit is unreadable.

Don Van Gorp, midwest regional VP, marketing (誤訳侮辱), Monday, 27 March 2017 12:37 (one month ago) Permalink

That said, I agree with Wimmels - the vast majority of jazz album liner notes are informative and interesting.

Don Van Gorp, midwest regional VP, marketing (誤訳侮辱), Monday, 27 March 2017 12:38 (one month ago) Permalink

Sure, I'll give you informative and interesting. At least for the ones that tell me something about the artist and the musical structure.

It's the tone that I can't understand. It's like a lot of them were trying to ape some writing style that I haven't really encountered elsewhere. "Erudite" is one word for the Herb Wong excerpt above, but probably wouldn't be the first adjective I'd choose.

enochroot, Monday, 27 March 2017 14:01 (one month ago) Permalink

xxpost:

Haha! So do I, and he posts on this forum!

Coolio Iglesias (Turrican), Monday, 27 March 2017 14:03 (one month ago) Permalink

internet describes herb wong as "US-amerikanischer Jazzhistoriker, Hörfunkjournalist, Musikpädagoge"

i wd describe that particular extract as "paid by the word but hadn't a lot to say"

mark s, Monday, 27 March 2017 14:21 (one month ago) Permalink

I thought this was just how people talked back then.

how's life, Monday, 27 March 2017 14:27 (one month ago) Permalink

i always wondered how miles felt about the liner notes to ESP:

The following abstract and impressionistic poem by Ralph J Gleason, syndicated columnist for The San Francisco columnist, is composed almost entirely of Davis' album titles, or titles of selections contained in these albums.

Miles...Musings
(To be read aloud as music is to be heard)

leaving the rest to yr imagination...

Dogshit Critic (m coleman), Monday, 27 March 2017 14:41 (one month ago) Permalink

In Miles Davis' autobiography, he mentions that as soon as he had enough clout with Columbia, he made them stop including liner notes on his albums, and I can see why he did that.

tbf, Miles records had some of the worst liner notes ever (with a handful of exceptions). The notes for Miles Smiles were something like (I'm paraphrasing), "Look at that! Miles is smiling! Smiling Miles! Who woulda thunk it? What a smile! And it's Miles!" etc. etc. ad infinitum

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Monday, 27 March 2017 14:54 (one month ago) Permalink

Blue Note liner notes were usually decent, particularly those by Nat Hentoff (ditto his Impulse notes). But sometimes you'd get shit like Ira Gitler's notes for Hank Mobley/Lee Morgan's Peckin' Time which were something like, "Do you like to play word-association games? I do!"

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Monday, 27 March 2017 14:57 (one month ago) Permalink

But the reissues for the '60s Miles albums have great liner notes. Super technical but not pseudo-intellectual and corny like in the op (although I haven't seen them since high school/college, so maybe?).

change display name (Jordan), Monday, 27 March 2017 15:31 (one month ago) Permalink

I love this stuff tbh

Οὖτις, Monday, 27 March 2017 16:03 (one month ago) Permalink

they should have hired cecil taylor to write all of them

mark s, Monday, 27 March 2017 16:06 (one month ago) Permalink

my first encounter with this was the song-by-song dissections in the liner notes of time out. i loved them and i felt like i was learning so much. no idea how they'd read to me today

the raindrops and drop tops of lived, earned experience (BradNelson), Monday, 27 March 2017 16:11 (one month ago) Permalink

a particularly indulgent example that comes to mind is ralph gleason's notes for bitches brew but they still feel like a pretty accurate, earnest reflection of hearing that record

the raindrops and drop tops of lived, earned experience (BradNelson), Monday, 27 March 2017 16:14 (one month ago) Permalink

wondering if these started before or after the very sober sleeve notes you got/get on classical records

jay kay huysmans (NickB), Monday, 27 March 2017 16:17 (one month ago) Permalink

Love these. May have to post some fave bits here as I come across them.

andrew m., Monday, 27 March 2017 16:26 (one month ago) Permalink

in the pro column: they often took the music/artist really seriously in a world that mostly didn't give a shit. and in the 50s/60s these were often records made by really young people who really wanted to be taken seriously.

there are plenty of cons in the con column. i have a lot of problems with jazz writing but it would take me all day to talk about it.

scott seward, Monday, 27 March 2017 16:29 (one month ago) Permalink

i thought of starting a tumblr for the anti-free jazz rants on the back of 60's albums. "not for so and so the formless rants and unschooled honks..."

which i always thought was a little unfair to begin with. pitting someone against an entire movement on the back of their album. they didn't ask for that.

scott seward, Monday, 27 March 2017 16:31 (one month ago) Permalink

why were they like this? because that was the sales pitch. to enjoy (read: buy) jazz/classical/avant garde music was to be hip, sophisticated and erudite, one step ahead of the pipe-and-armchair-lacking square next door.

Balðy Daudrs (contenderizer), Monday, 27 March 2017 16:34 (one month ago) Permalink

the people who bothered to do it for very little money were completely obsessed. and they all had their obsessions and blind spots. hentoff and gitler and morgenstern were always worth reading though.

scott seward, Monday, 27 March 2017 16:49 (one month ago) Permalink

there was a point in time when nat hentoff was writing almost entire ISSUES of down beat under different names. and writing for newspapers and other magazines and doing liner notes. 24/7 jazz life.

scott seward, Monday, 27 March 2017 16:51 (one month ago) Permalink

earliest i can track down -- via google and nous -- is "the modern jazz society presents a concert of contemporary music" (1955), notes by john lewis, a norman granz production, music arranged and conducted by gunther schuller

which is self-consciously very "classical" in tone and content and look (schuller invented the term "third stream" in 1957 to cover this kind of music) -- classical including sober discussion of forn and such, a mild element of musicological analysis

(i'd wondered if stan kenton had any for his "progressive jazz" releases, which begin in the late 40s, but can't pin any down)

classical releases certainly had notes before this -- i've got a columbia release from 1953 of albert schweitzer playing back on the organ -- though i think they were pretty rare in the era of 78s, ie pre-1948, except perhaps in quite fancy box sets of 78s (or "albums", as they were called)

mark s, Monday, 27 March 2017 16:51 (one month ago) Permalink

brubeck's time out (1959) had liner notes for steve race -- hip AND erudite -- which matched its crossover into a sutdent audience, brubeck as cover star on time magazine

grammies for liner notes date back to 1964 (first one went to an ellington record, liner notes by leonard feather and stanley dance)

mark s, Monday, 27 March 2017 16:54 (one month ago) Permalink

liner notes BY steve race, i mean

mark s, Monday, 27 March 2017 16:55 (one month ago) Permalink

jazz liner notes were already really common by 1955. even ten inch records in 1952 and later had full back cover notes.

scott seward, Monday, 27 March 2017 17:40 (one month ago) Permalink

"the modern jazz society presents a concert of contemporary music" (1955), notes by john lewis, a norman granz production, music arranged and conducted by gunther schuller

The music was also by Lewis, who would later form the Modern Jazz Quartet with some of the same guys, with the explicit aim of combining classical ideas and jazz improvisation.

Don Van Gorp, midwest regional VP, marketing (誤訳侮辱), Monday, 27 March 2017 17:40 (one month ago) Permalink

ira in 1953:

scott seward, Monday, 27 March 2017 17:41 (one month ago) Permalink

earlier than 1953 and you might just get a catalog on the back of a ten-inch.

scott seward, Monday, 27 March 2017 17:43 (one month ago) Permalink

before the 50's you had to read down beat and metronome to get the scoop.

scott seward, Monday, 27 March 2017 17:49 (one month ago) Permalink

1951:

scott seward, Monday, 27 March 2017 17:50 (one month ago) Permalink

and then there was Folkways. with their handy comprehensive inserts that could be long indeed.

scott seward, Monday, 27 March 2017 17:51 (one month ago) Permalink

so the question is, did any jazz get liner notes that wasn't linked to directly john lewis and/or MJQ?

(i think my 10" of birth of the cool does: that was recorded in 1949, with lewis on-board, but not issued in 10" form until 1954: anyway i can't find it to check)

mark s, Monday, 27 March 2017 17:53 (one month ago) Permalink

and come to think of asch recordings predates folkways for jazz liners. from the 40's:

scott seward, Monday, 27 March 2017 17:54 (one month ago) Permalink

so, anyway, jazz liners get going in the 40s and really get going by the mid-50's.

scott seward, Monday, 27 March 2017 17:55 (one month ago) Permalink

oh asch! good call -- never owned any

mark s, Monday, 27 March 2017 17:56 (one month ago) Permalink

how do we feel about Leonard Feather? unrelated aside: I just flipped thru some jazz LPs looking for liner notes and noticed that Eddie Harris' I Need Some Money was produced by Geoffrey Haslam, same guy who produced MC5's High Time. Small world.

Dogshit Critic (m coleman), Monday, 27 March 2017 17:58 (one month ago) Permalink

milt gabler was a big history buff and commodore releases could be pretty comprehensive. from 1949:

scott seward, Monday, 27 March 2017 17:59 (one month ago) Permalink

"how do we feel about Leonard Feather?"

he was an invaluable resource who hated lots of great stuff. but if you wanted to connect dots in the 50's he was your guy.

scott seward, Monday, 27 March 2017 18:01 (one month ago) Permalink

how do we feel about Leonard Feather? unrelated aside: I just flipped thru some jazz LPs looking for liner notes and noticed that Eddie Harris' I Need Some Money was produced by Geoffrey Haslam, same guy who produced MC5's High Time

... and VU's Loaded.

Bill Teeters (Tom D.), Monday, 27 March 2017 18:03 (one month ago) Permalink

I keep meaning to start a poll between Loaded and High Time: same producer, same label, same year (just about), both swan songs.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Monday, 27 March 2017 18:05 (one month ago) Permalink

great comparison, both are also refinement/reduction of earlier, raunchier more out-there work

Dogshit Critic (m coleman), Monday, 27 March 2017 18:09 (one month ago) Permalink

not reduction in a dumb way, more like boiling down to its essence

Dogshit Critic (m coleman), Monday, 27 March 2017 18:10 (one month ago) Permalink

loaded wins because i always forget to play high time and i don't even know if i still have a copy.

scott seward, Monday, 27 March 2017 18:10 (one month ago) Permalink

this has all led me to want to buy this on ebay because i can't find the stockhausen thing online...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Jazz-Pop-Magazine-Dec-1969-Steppenwolf-Electronic-Music-Best-of-A-Cappella-/361556005154?hash=item542e6ad122:g:5EMAAOSwHJhXM9mT

scott seward, Monday, 27 March 2017 18:12 (one month ago) Permalink

that's where threads about 60's jazz liner notes lead me. buying magazines on ebay. the internet wins again!

scott seward, Monday, 27 March 2017 18:13 (one month ago) Permalink

agree about Loaded. couple real clinkers on High Time along with some classics. Fred Sonic taking the wheel...back to jazz notes

Dogshit Critic (m coleman), Monday, 27 March 2017 18:14 (one month ago) Permalink

"Like A Rolling Stone by Ralph J Gleason"

wonder if this was about the magazine? RJG was mentor to J Wenner back in the day

Dogshit Critic (m coleman), Monday, 27 March 2017 18:16 (one month ago) Permalink

it was probably about dylan.

scott seward, Monday, 27 March 2017 18:23 (one month ago) Permalink

it's actually a manifesto:

http://www.jannswenner.com/press/like_a_rolling_stone.aspx

scott seward, Monday, 27 March 2017 18:28 (one month ago) Permalink

stockhausen's open letter just says "cosine this^^^"

mark s, Monday, 27 March 2017 18:32 (one month ago) Permalink

so, anyway, jazz liners get going in the 40s and really get going by the mid-50's.

The first 33 1/3 LPs were released in 1948, and stereo LPs took off in 1958. During those years, hi-fi equipment and LPs were fairly expensive compared to other music listening options, so prestige and cultural appeal were important aspects of their marketing. Liner notes like these let the buyer know he was not getting just any old jazz record but some seriously high-brow product, flattering his taste and helping him rationalize his investment in gear.

Brad C., Monday, 27 March 2017 22:44 (one month ago) Permalink

not all jazz liner notes etc

a but (brimstead), Monday, 27 March 2017 22:51 (one month ago) Permalink

Brad C's argument is why I went hunting for john lewis in the first place: suddenly from the late 40s there's this layer of music consciously pushing across into classical terrain -- kenton and progressive jazz, birth of the cool, MJQ, schuller's third stream, brubeck -- so i was pleased to get that so tidily confirmed, that the musicians' aspirations as composers and performers jigsawed so effectively into the marketing demands of a new (and somewhat pricey) format

the moe asch dimension is a bit different though -- i guess i've always thought of his roster more as a crankish hyper-documentary approach (at least after it became folkways, maybe less so when it was still on 78):

mark s, Monday, 27 March 2017 23:25 (one month ago) Permalink

ellington also begins composing long-form works in the early 50s that wouldn't be broken up on 33 the way they would have been on 78

(obviously his artistic aspirations predated this: black brown and beige was 1943, i think, but after its initial performance he only played it piecemeal for a long time, and didn't record it in full until 1958)

mark s, Monday, 27 March 2017 23:34 (one month ago) Permalink

The liner notes for In A Silent Way are . . . deeply odd, as if the guy was whacked off his head on weed while writing them, which of course he probably was. I'll try and transcribe a little bit of it when I get home from work later.

jon123, Wednesday, 29 March 2017 15:29 (one month ago) Permalink

Actually, here they are. In all honesty, not as weird as I remembered. But there's still something a bit strange about them which I can't quite put my finger on. It's like a mix of over-literal self-indulgence and stating the obvious.

"Miles the dresser, Miles the boxer, Miles the bon vivant, Miles the pioneer. I use the word "pioneer" because Miles has been ever searching for new sonorities, new ways of performing his music. In essence, new directions. I would chance to say that Miles is the most written about artist in the field of jazz, and I hate the word "jazz." I prefer using the phrase "field of music." Attendance in clubs has always been overwhelming. People come from all over to hear the one and only Miles Davis. A creative force is always at work within him. His albums are pointed to new directions for all who are interested in music. His has incorporated the best of jazz, so-called contemporary rock sounds and rhythms, a flair for the long thematic line reminiscent of the 16th-century composer, and the technique of the 20th century composer using polyrhythms (many rhythms at once) and polytonalities (different chords played together). He has come up with something new in music. The form is free, and from this freedom a masterful outgrowth of composition has emerged. People will follow him ten years hence.

"In my opinion, the rock groups are picking up on the early Miles Davis, trying to imitate but never quite making it. The rock groups, I am sure, dig Miles, but, here again, it will probably be years before they really understand his creativity, his compositions, his mastery of musicianship. He has inspired countless musicians to create, to be creative and to rise from obscurity to take a place in the musical foreground. "That's right," says Miles Davis. "

jon123, Wednesday, 29 March 2017 15:46 (one month ago) Permalink

People will follow him ten years hence

mark s, Wednesday, 29 March 2017 15:54 (one month ago) Permalink

there's some fawning hyperbole there, but mostly accurate imo

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 29 March 2017 15:55 (one month ago) Permalink

These sentences really capture the filler quality of 60's liner notes though - they could be on the back of an Al Hirt album sold at the A&P as easily as In A Silent Way.

"People come from all over to hear the one and only ____. A creative force is always at work within him. His albums are pointed to new directions for all who are interested in music."

Speaks to the taste-flattering and gear investment rationalization that Brad C mentions upthread.

pavane to the darryl of strawberry (bendy), Wednesday, 29 March 2017 16:35 (one month ago) Permalink

aside from style, sample upthread reminds me of 60s/70s rock reviews i've read recently, where what stuck out was the self-conscious connoisseur orientation. that tends to bring a lot of particular jargon, habitual terms of judgment, etc. with it, which might have an outsized influence on how liner note writing 'seems'. not just taste flattering, but trying to model a certain kind of rationality re taste, its expertise about a body of music and records, etc.

j., Wednesday, 29 March 2017 16:43 (one month ago) Permalink

so he says he hates the word jazz -- when did miles start saying this publicly? (i shd know this but i don't)

(if he'd been saying it for a while it's not that interesting, of course)

mark s, Wednesday, 29 March 2017 16:46 (one month ago) Permalink

wait who hates the word "jazz"? I tht that was the writer

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Wednesday, 29 March 2017 17:55 (one month ago) Permalink

the writer says he does here -- miles said he did elsewhere (but i can't recall when or where he began saying so) (it might have been years before, tho round about "in a silent way" would make sense, when he started feeling hemmed in the assumptions of critics and fans and record company and etc)

if it was already public knowledge that miles hated the word, then this isn't an especially interesting element in the liner notes, but if it *wasn't* already widely known then the writer was either channeling miles (presumably after talking to him) or taking a (fairly surprising) flyer all on his own

mark s, Wednesday, 29 March 2017 18:06 (one month ago) Permalink

1982 (altho I doubt this is the first instance of this): https://youtu.be/IHeYG9SNaS0?t=112

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 29 March 2017 18:10 (one month ago) Permalink

it's only mildly interesting but i wondered if this was a way-station between miles having stuff written about him he didn't like (or have control over) and getting columbia to stop wth it altogether -- a way-station where the liner notes were semi-based round an actual (unacknowledged) interview with him

mark s, Wednesday, 29 March 2017 18:14 (one month ago) Permalink

Haha, was about to google "miles the bon vivant" but it's already here.

Miles the dresser, Miles the boxer, Miles the bon vivant, Miles the pioneer. I use the word "pioneer" because Miles has been ever searching for new sonorities, new ways of performing his music.

who even are those other cats (Eazy), Wednesday, 29 March 2017 18:35 (one month ago) Permalink

Here's a question, though: were jazz DJs talking this way during this same time? I grew up in Minneapolis with Leigh Kamman's "The Jazz Image" and he was definitely a "Miles the boxer, Miles the bon vivant" jazz DJ.

who even are those other cats (Eazy), Wednesday, 29 March 2017 18:39 (one month ago) Permalink

kamman is an interesting figure -- similar to leonard feather, from what i understand, in his distaste for "the new thing" or avant-whatever.

his ex-stepson (i think?) helps run a legacy project here in the cities that is digitizing all of kamman's taped radio interviews and uploading them to youtube. i went digging around on that channel, hoping to find a "miles the bon vivant"-style formulation, but ended up listening to max roach tell a story about the "concrete jungle" sessions, during which duke ellington was constantly speaking about himself in a self-deprecating manner (in roach's view, to ease the anxiety of him and mingus, since they were obviously huge admirers), and at one point described himself as "the poor man's bud powell."

also, kamman wrote liner notes. from '56:
https://img.discogs.com/GNpe53vS7M3Gtzy3kxJnRzuQpR4=/fit-in/600x601/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-4111684-1357433691-2112.jpeg.jpg

budo jeru, Wednesday, 29 March 2017 20:56 (one month ago) Permalink

lol did people really call Stan Getz "THE SOUND"

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 29 March 2017 20:58 (one month ago) Permalink

yeah, "because of a certain intangible tone he produces" -- didn't you read the liner notes?

budo jeru, Wednesday, 29 March 2017 21:06 (one month ago) Permalink

If you didn't live in a major market or know trustworthy hipsters, figuring out which LPs to buy would have been tough. No Internet, few jazz record reviews in mainstream media, little or no LP-oriented radio programming, Down Beat not the easiest magazine to find ... I imagine much of the audience for 50s-60s jazz LPs did most of their research by reading a lot of liner notes while shopping.

Brad C., Thursday, 30 March 2017 03:34 (one month ago) Permalink

jazz fans kinda like sports fans. in good and bad ways.

scott seward, Thursday, 30 March 2017 03:36 (one month ago) Permalink

scott seward, Thursday, 30 March 2017 03:37 (one month ago) Permalink

What the

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 30 March 2017 03:54 (one month ago) Permalink

I got to figure for some mainstream listeners, Playboy was actually a way to find out about records and musicians as they did the yearly "all star team" and quite a few reviews and articles about jazz musicians.

earlnash, Thursday, 30 March 2017 04:09 (one month ago) Permalink

Holy shit xxp

Yoni Loves Chocha (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 30 March 2017 05:30 (one month ago) Permalink

I thought the term Directions In Music came from Miles dislike of the term Jazz. & that's late 60s/early 70s.
I thought it stemmed from the word Jazz being devalued from an early point like the 'King of Jazz' being a white popularising copy of something more original. Think that term dated back to the 20s or 30s, so wonder if Miles was ever happy calling the music Jazz.
I would think he must talk about it in the Autobiography but I haven't read that in years.

Stevolende, Thursday, 30 March 2017 07:10 (one month ago) Permalink

This thread is AWESOME!!

Mr. Snrub, Thursday, 30 March 2017 10:45 (one month ago) Permalink

Mingus and Miles aren't looking too happy in the 1967 Playboy All-Star Band, I can't imagine why.

I wonder what they thought about that Columbia ad over at Motown?

Brad C., Thursday, 30 March 2017 12:11 (one month ago) Permalink

In the context we're talking about, Motown would have been regarded as teenybopper malarky, right?

There's a lot to parse in that Playboy caricature. The Supremes showing up suggests maybe Motown wasn't just teen music, but then there's Al Hirt next to Miles, like Captain Kangaroo showing up at Woodstock. The Supremes presence might just be because there weren't any more jazz vocal groups, and they were trying to keep long-standing categories covered.

Still, I'd think that the hi-fi enthusiasts who were getting guidance from liner notes wouldn't have perceived Motown as possessing the prestige they were trying to cultivate.

pavane to the darryl of strawberry (bendy), Thursday, 30 March 2017 14:33 (one month ago) Permalink

that Playboy pic is hilarious. Don't think Miles would be cool w/getting first seat while Al Hirt gets 2nd and fucking LOUIS ARMSTRONG gets third

Οὖτις, Thursday, 30 March 2017 15:49 (one month ago) Permalink

They call 'em jazz mags for a reason!

The Roger Waters Experience (Turrican), Thursday, 30 March 2017 15:51 (one month ago) Permalink

it comes out of a horn and who knows where it goes

Οὖτις, Thursday, 30 March 2017 15:55 (one month ago) Permalink

miles thought that al hirt was a very good trumpet player. he always had compliments for people you wouldn't think he'd have compliments for. and the other way around.

http://www.forghieri.net/jazz/blind/Davis_4.html

scott seward, Thursday, 30 March 2017 17:07 (one month ago) Permalink

it's not that, it's that he idolized Louis

Οὖτις, Thursday, 30 March 2017 17:15 (one month ago) Permalink

susan sontag's "one culture and the new sensibility (collected in "against interpretation") was published in 1965 -- this is the essay where she stepped out as a supremes fan, so they had highbrow imprimatur if not the hi-fi stamp of prestige

(and this was a widely discussed declaration of fan-dom: tom wolfe had poked fun at it)

mark s, Thursday, 30 March 2017 17:22 (one month ago) Permalink

Michael Henderson who went onto being Miles bassist in the early 70s was on some Motown material. Not sure what, so would assume that Miles became interested in using him because of taht.

Stevolende, Thursday, 30 March 2017 17:30 (one month ago) Permalink

part of me feels like jazz is still trying to recover from the publication of Le Jazz Hot in 1934 by Hugues Panassie. he was obsessed with "authenticity" as so many writers have been since. i wonder if he ever hung out with robert crumb.

scott seward, Thursday, 30 March 2017 17:33 (one month ago) Permalink

Henderson isn't on any Motown recordings (at least, I'm pretty sure), but Miles heard him in Stevie Wonder's touring band:

Before working with Davis, Henderson had been touring with Stevie Wonder, whom he met at the Regal Theater in Chicago while warming up for a gig. Davis saw the young Henderson performing at the Copacabana in New York City in early 1970 and reportedly said to Wonder simply "I’m taking your fucking bassist."[3]

xp

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Thursday, 30 March 2017 17:37 (one month ago) Permalink

still picking away at this mildly interesting scab: when miles first publicly expressed dislike for the word jazz

from his december 1969 rolling stone interview with don demichael:
"But I don't like the word rock and roll and all that shit. Jazz is an Uncle Tom word. It's a white folks word. I never heard that shit until I read it in a magazine"

obviously this is several months after "in a silent way" came out (it was released june 1969) -- so frank glenn, the liner notes writer, couldn't have read them in rolling stone

had he said something like this in an earlier interview? (obviously not impossible, tho iirc the RS interview was conceived as a deliberate game-change and direction-shifter) (happy to be corrected on this, i'm working entirely from memory away from my books in a funny little edinburgh guest house w/children's drawings of HAGGISES as hotel art)

(who had interviewed him previously? down beat presumably, and ebony... any other suggestions? rolling stone was establishing a new approach to interviews, encouraging its interviewees to be more politically impolitic than more established publications, tho in practice the new journalism was already out there with the cusswords and the imagined internal monologues)

stevolende suggested he'd maybe always thought of the word like this: quite possibly, but there's plainly an evolution in the politics of his public statements -- for example he became (justiably) a good deal more dgaf testy after the nypd attacked him outside birdland (which was 1959)

mark s, Thursday, 30 March 2017 17:39 (one month ago) Permalink

xp Coltrane comes in as second tenor in a poll published a couple of months after his death ... it was a strange time.

By 1968 (maybe earlier) it had become the Playboy Jazz and Pop Poll. Winners that year included Ravi Shankar and the Beatles alongside the ever-popular Mancini and Fountain.

Brad C., Thursday, 30 March 2017 18:00 (one month ago) Permalink

i just call it "that so-called jazz music".

scott seward, Thursday, 30 March 2017 18:05 (one month ago) Permalink

miles thought that al hirt was a very good trumpet player.

Boy, maybe, but that whole entry reads like the definition of 'backhanded compliment.'

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 30 March 2017 18:08 (one month ago) Permalink

i love this essay. from 1920. Concerning Jazz by Henry F. Gilbert. he concludes by saying that so-called serious music in America won't be any good until it takes a cue from Jazz and gets away from Europa. which is not at all what you might think he's gonna conclude.

https://books.google.com/books?id=7hjlAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA439&lpg=PA439&dq=that+so+called+jazz+music&source=bl&ots=5aiKlu1bvW&sig=rIcAjC16FoFcYgLp616gziYkHxE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwitn4qo6P7SAhUS9WMKHVLBDh0Q6AEIQTAI#v=onepage&q=that%20so%20called%20jazz%20music&f=false

scott seward, Thursday, 30 March 2017 18:12 (one month ago) Permalink

ugh i am terrible at linking to google book stuff. sorry. you'll find it.

scott seward, Thursday, 30 March 2017 18:13 (one month ago) Permalink

"Boy, maybe, but that whole entry reads like the definition of 'backhanded compliment.'"

that's the thing though. for him to say ANYTHING good about you was pretty huge. but it could come with a lot of slander too. though i do see his point about al hirt.

scott seward, Thursday, 30 March 2017 18:14 (one month ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

DAMN. is a grab-you-by-the-throat declaration that’s as blunt, complex, and unflinching as the name suggests.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/damn/id1223592280

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Friday, 14 April 2017 07:49 (one month ago) Permalink

Kendrick. Shy Kendrick. Mouthy Kendrick. Bars and cars and you-get-yars. Like a doctor come to take the pulse of a nation, Kendrick has declared you fit to be funky. New music for new times. Kendrick.

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Friday, 14 April 2017 07:53 (one month ago) Permalink

I bet the booklet in this Modern Jazz Quartet 40th anniversary box set is great. (I'm listening to it on Spotify to decide whether I want to bring a physical copy into my home. There are copies for $20 plus shipping on Discogs.)

https://open.spotify.com/album/2nc1PR7xnJVKNQP0fceDRn

Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr, and Violent J (誤訳侮辱), Saturday, 15 April 2017 22:31 (one month ago) Permalink


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.