― Rockist Scientist, Wednesday, 25 December 2002 21:46 (nineteen years ago) link
suzy and nick are USING THEIR POWERS FOR EVIL to take the piss out of me on the other board, so i must defend my honour...
― kate, Wednesday, 25 December 2002 21:51 (nineteen years ago) link
― Rockist Scientist, Wednesday, 25 December 2002 22:01 (nineteen years ago) link
i like the sound of a good ride cymbal. i like hearing it in jazz. as for why it became so common, one could ask the same of the guitar in rock or folk music, ie there are a lot of explanations, but ultimately the jazz ride pattern is so much a part of jazz that it becomes part of the definition, even if there are exceptions. i mean, you wouldn;t ask "why are there so many singers in choral music?" or "why are there so many synthetic sounds in synth-pop?"
― Aaron Grossman (aajjgg), Wednesday, 25 December 2002 22:04 (nineteen years ago) link
― kate, Wednesday, 25 December 2002 22:13 (nineteen years ago) link
[Incoming fire:] as for why it became so common, one could ask the same of the guitar in rock or folk music, ie there are a lot of explanations, but ultimately the jazz ride pattern is so much a part of jazz that it becomes part of the definition, even if there are exceptions. i mean, you wouldn;t ask "why are there so many singers in choral music?" or "why are there so many synthetic sounds in synth-pop?"
I think you gave some sort of technical explanation earlier in your message.
It's probably not a question with clear-cut answers. Fair enough. I think the comparison to the place of the guitar in rock or folk makes some sense, but surely jazz is not as defined by the ride cymbal sound as choral or synth-pop are defined by group singing and synthetic sounds, respectively. There has been enough jazz made that is not dominated by it (or doesn't feature it at all even) that it's certainly possible to imagine jazz being made without it.
― Rockist Scientist, Wednesday, 25 December 2002 22:13 (nineteen years ago) link
― Rockist Scientist, Wednesday, 25 December 2002 22:31 (nineteen years ago) link
kate are you being serious or sarcastic?
― Aaron Grossman (aajjgg), Thursday, 26 December 2002 00:17 (nineteen years ago) link
Playing on the ride also gives the drummer the opportunity to be more flexible with his or her other limbs. With the advent of bop, the bass drum was also gradually freed from most of its responsibilities, allowing it to be used for accents along with the snare drum. Also, many drummers, especially Tony Williams, who played with Miles Davis, use their left foot to crash the hihat, which becomes another accent. The more precise term in the context of bop and post-bop drumming would be comping as opposed to accenting. comping is a skill that can't be learned from a book, but rather involves years of practice and listening. a good jazz drummer will comp along to a soloist, and work at the same time to guide the soloist. a typical was of comping would be to play more notes on the drums with greater frequency in order to egg a soloist on, or to build up to a climax. gradually lessening the amount of strokes helps to bring a soloist down. the best bands in jazz are considered as such primarily because of the ability of the members to cohere into areal group and aid each other with their solos. What makes Miles Davis' quintet from the late 60s so amazing is to hear is that one can really feel a certain telepathy between the members of the rhythym section as they build in intensity or as they coast or as they decrease the energy of the music.
umm I hope this helped a little bit. I can go get out my drumming texts if you would like.
― Aaron Grossman (aajjgg), Thursday, 26 December 2002 00:44 (nineteen years ago) link
― Mike Taylor (mjt), Thursday, 26 December 2002 00:52 (nineteen years ago) link
If nothing else, this is making me interested in listening to more early recordings to hear how the sound of the rhythm section changed over the years.
― Rockist Scientist, Thursday, 26 December 2002 01:08 (nineteen years ago) link
― Rockist Scientist, Thursday, 26 December 2002 01:21 (nineteen years ago) link
― unknown or illegal user (doorag), Thursday, 26 December 2002 02:33 (nineteen years ago) link
― (doorag), Thursday, 26 December 2002 02:34 (nineteen years ago) link
regarding the evolution of the rhythym section, it is definitely an interesting progression. in the 60s the rhythym sections start to become very agressive, and become more advanced, though each era had its own innovations and excellent players. if you want to hear a great ensemble without too much ride cymbal, get one of the Bill Evans records from his 1961 dates at the Village Vanguard with Scott LaFaro and Paul Motian. I also like John Coltrane and I love his album "Live at Birdland." on the track "Afro Blue", the rhythym section of Jones, Tyner and Garrison bang multiple time signatures at the same time. the song is 3/4 but there are some improvised unison parts of them playing a slower 4/4 over top. very nice.
― Aaron Grossman (aajjgg), Thursday, 26 December 2002 02:46 (nineteen years ago) link
― hstencil, Thursday, 26 December 2002 02:52 (nineteen years ago) link
Also, saying all jazz = crap is so very, very retarded. Considering what a huge, huge, HUGE genre it is.
― David Allen, Thursday, 26 December 2002 03:05 (nineteen years ago) link
― man, Thursday, 26 December 2002 03:07 (nineteen years ago) link
An interesting counterpoint to this is New Orleans brass band music, in which cymbals aren't emphasized and the snare and bass drums are definitely the primary instruments, and there is still a large degree of rhythmic flexibility and interaction. This still lends itself to a certain sound though, blues and New Orleans standards (and transfers over well to rock and hip-hop), it just wouldn't sound right for modern jazz. As Aaron said, it was more a case of drummers changing the way they play to fit the needs of the music rather than some arbitrary or tradition-based decision.
― Jordan (Jordan), Thursday, 26 December 2002 03:11 (nineteen years ago) link
I have this. I'll have to listen and see if I can hear what you are describing, but I probably either won't or it won't do anything for me.
I'm unlikely to blindly buy any jazz CDs for a long time to come, but I might be able to borrow that Bill Evans recording.
(I still say that the problem with keeping time with the cymbals is that you then have to constantly hear them, which for me is a negative.)
― Rockist Scientist, Thursday, 26 December 2002 03:50 (nineteen years ago) link
― Rockist Scientist, Thursday, 26 December 2002 04:17 (nineteen years ago) link
― Rockist Scientist, Thursday, 26 December 2002 04:20 (nineteen years ago) link
― chaki (chaki), Thursday, 26 December 2002 05:15 (nineteen years ago) link
― Aaron Grossman (aajjgg), Thursday, 26 December 2002 08:07 (nineteen years ago) link
(cecil taylor p'haps the greatest free jazz drummer ever?)
― bob zemko (bob), Thursday, 26 December 2002 10:16 (nineteen years ago) link
Aaron's response that it's about time and the switch to cymbals in the bop era to free up the snare and bass drum more creative use is absolutely OTM as far as it goes. But at the same time the function of primary timekeeper in modern jazz switched from drums to bass. This is something of an oversimplification, obv., but as Wynton Marsalis says:
"The bass player is the key. He needs to keep a steady pulse, to provide the bottom and to hold the music together. This frees up the drummer to play".
Insofar as this is true, the cymbal is not a necessary time keeping device (think of small jazz combos that don't have a drummer for example). But it's hugely helpful in enabling drummer and bassist to lock together to provide the rhythmic pulse. It's the dynamic give-and-take relationship between the drummer's sense of where the beat should be - evidenced by the very hard, defined trebly sound of the cymbal - and the bassists, evidenced by the fatter, less well defined sound of the bass - that defines the pulse of much jazz.
What I'm really saying is that to see the cymbal's function as time-keeping is overly simple. It's an aesthetic solution to an aesthetic problem. Other functional solutions could be found (eg leave it to the bassist to keep time) but that one has been preferred because to practitioners and fans of the music alike it best conveys the dynamic interplay of the rhythm section. In short, it sounds better.
― ArfArf, Thursday, 26 December 2002 16:30 (nineteen years ago) link
In its crudest form, rock drumming often gets on my nerves as well.
Good to hear your alternate account, emphasizing the bass.
― Rockist Scientist, Thursday, 26 December 2002 16:46 (nineteen years ago) link
― Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 26 December 2002 18:38 (nineteen years ago) link
― Rockist Scientist, Thursday, 26 December 2002 18:49 (nineteen years ago) link
― Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 26 December 2002 19:33 (nineteen years ago) link
― Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Wednesday, 15 January 2003 20:27 (nineteen years ago) link
― Rockist Scientist, Wednesday, 15 January 2003 20:30 (nineteen years ago) link
― mark s (mark s), Wednesday, 15 January 2003 20:58 (nineteen years ago) link
― hstencil, Wednesday, 15 January 2003 21:03 (nineteen years ago) link
― mosurock (mosurock), Thursday, 16 January 2003 07:42 (nineteen years ago) link
Wynton Marsalis said on the Ken Burn's thing that his definition of jazz was music with a particular triplet-based rhythmic swing. (Despite having quoted WM twice approvingly on this thread I'm not a disciple or a particular fan). We are never going to get agreement on where the barrier between jazz and not-jazz should be drawn, but for various reasons I think this is the most practical place. The issue is clouded by the fact that "not-jazz" is too often used as a pejorative term by critics: in my view it should be a purely descriptive term with no value attached.
If you accept this definition "Bitches Brew", for example, is "not jazz" (I love "Bitches Brew" - this is not an attempt to sneak in a denigration of electric Miles).
You can see where my argument is headed: once you look at "jazz" that is influenced by Sly/JB, then if you accept my argument it is "not jazz" and even if you don't there is a quantum leap away from the jazz that went before. We are not talking subtle gradations of difference.
Looking at the characteristics of funk rhythm sections as opposed to jazz (caution: gross simplification/generalisations to follow)
- the implied triplet feel of jazz is replaced by a squarer 4/4 time where 8th beats are regularised.
- much more of the drum kit is given over to keeping time. Typically the bass drum and snare drum will play repetitive patterns as well as the cymbals. That so much more whole kit is dedicated to keeping time gives the drummer the choice of using cymbals to reinforce the regular pattern or frees them up for emphasis/decoration.
- These repetitive patterns can be extremely complex though. The mix of offbeats and on-beats is much more sophisticated than most earlier rock drumming. They would also vary between sections of the song (in some James Brown songs the tendency to stay on a single chord meant that subtle differences in the basic rhythm might be the only or main difference between verse and bridge, for example).
- Because many of the guys playing this style were virtuosi they could maintain and subtly vary these sophisticated patterns while
- The bassist will "lock" with this overall pattern (this is very different from the typical jazz pattern where, as mentioned, the bassist locks with the cymbal and the rest of the kit it freed up for more creative emphasis etc).
- The bassist will also play a repetitive rhythmic pattern, often on a single chord throughout. This has important implications:
1 In jazz the division of time into bars is much less obvious because there is a fairly even flow of quarter beats on cymbal and bass. In funk the more typical pattern is for the bass and drums to come together strongly on the "one" beat of the bar followed by the drums and bass playing divergent but complementary patterns of off and on beats. Hence in Funkadelic the constant quasi-mystical reference to the "One". (Just to illustrate how simplistic this is the repetition could be over two bars not one, so the "One" is emphasised only every second bar; and some patterns manage to emphasise the "One" even though neither the bass or drums play the one beat!
2 Funk tends to be harmonically very simple and is glued together by the bass playing a repetitive harmonic pattern. Jazz tunes tend to go on a harmonic journey coming "home" by resolving to the tonic periodically every 8 or 16 or 32 bars. Funk typically comes "home" harmonically at the beginning of every bar when the bass thumps out the root note of the chord. In any case the bass's use of repetitive patterns glues the harmony together.
One consequence of this is that extremely discordant elements can be introduced. The discordant elements in jazz tend to be "controlled": increasingly discordant harmonies are introduced as the music develops and the ear accepts these for two reasons:
1 These discordant harmonies are resolved to the more consonant tonic.
2. With familiarisation the jazz fan learns to regard these harmonies as beautiful (or semi-consonant) in themselves.
In funk the second reason can effectively be done away with: the "glue" of the harmonically repeated bassline and the return "home" to the root at the beginning of every bar means that the ear will tolerate a much greater amount of temporary dissonance, because it is so transient. There is no need for the dissonance to be controlled or consonant to the "educated" ear. This has huge implications for rap and other sample-based forms where the samples of non-musical materials, or music from different keys can be collaged together and be made to sound congruous by the repetitive harmonic and rhythmic patterns of bass and drums.
(A similar effect is achieved in a lot of free jazz where the use of modal harmonic background means that extreme discordancy can be offset by a continual returning home to harmonic familiarity. That's why lots of listeners brought up on funk or certain rock forms can respond more easily to free jazz than to mainstream jazz: it's a smaller leap, because it's much closer to what they are musically familiar with).
― ArfArf, Thursday, 16 January 2003 12:18 (nineteen years ago) link
― ArfArf, Thursday, 16 January 2003 12:29 (nineteen years ago) link
― mark s (mark s), Thursday, 16 January 2003 14:00 (nineteen years ago) link
― Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Thursday, 16 January 2003 14:05 (nineteen years ago) link
― ArfArf, Thursday, 16 January 2003 16:57 (nineteen years ago) link
One point (which doesn't contradict what you wrote above, I don't think) is that a lot of nonjazz uses the triplet-based rhythmic swing, too - if by "triplet-based rhythmic swing" you mean what I think you do: the basic time is 4/4, but each of the four beats subdivides into three rather than two, so that there would be twelve rather than eight of those short beats to the measure (12/8 would be a way of writing the time-signature, but that'd be extremely misleading, since the basic rhythm is still really 4/4; I think the usual way of writing it is "4/4, with swing feel," or something).
Anyway, when someone says "triplet-based rhythmic swing," I immediately think of boogie, not jazz (not that the two forms are unrelated, and obviously if Louis Jordan had been included within the definition of jazz way-back-when, a lot of subsequent music that ended up being called "pop" and "rock" would be called jazz; in another universe). Anyway, there are Slade songs with that triplet swing, there are hardcore punk songs with that triplet swing, and so forth.
Another question: What about Latin jazz, Palmieri and Puente and those guys? The bass is often in counterrhythm, playing in a three rhythm (though actually playing only two of the three notes) where the rest of the instruments are in two or four. What does this do to the drummer's role?
― Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Thursday, 16 January 2003 17:14 (nineteen years ago) link
I agree the triplet-based swing thing appears in other places, and 12/8 is a characteristic blues shuffle and much rock derives from blues. And some of the early pop players (eg the Motown guys) were basically jazzers and that feel steals in all over the place. (One of the subtler things is that in some r'n'b eighth-note rythms are played straight but 16th notes are swung - "Until It Comes Back to Me" by Aretha, an underrated classic with great bass playing by Chuck Rainey is a good example.)
My preference for a rhythmic distinction between jazz and not jazz is not that its perfect. But it has the virtue of simplicity and I think it gets it right more of the time than any other method, especially since the area of contention most often discussed is between jazz and rock/pop.
If we're going to call Bitches Brew jazz I can't see where you stop as you move through to Mahavishnu and then to Carlos Santana or Cream. And the popular notion that jazz = improvision is a non-starter because it's easy to think of so much improvised music, from rock to raga that's clearly not jazz.
A certain amount of music with a jazz feel contains little or no improvision (Sinatra with Nelson Riddle, etc). If Miles wrote out his trumpet parts on the Gil Evans stuff would it stop being jazz? Louis Jordan (or certainly early LJ) as far as I'm concerned, is jazz. I'm aware that he re-recorded a lot of stuff in the fifties with production-values and instrumentation designed to appeal to rock'n'roll fans (Scotty Moore-style guitar and a more heavily emphasised back-beat) but I'd need to hear that stuff again to offer an opinion on how far it moved away from a swing feel.
But this is semantics: I personally find it the most useful way to draw the distinction, and in an ideal world I'd like to see it become the norm, but realistically it ain't gonna happen. Record stores are not going to start filing pre IASW Miles in a different place from post.
Once you get into Latin music things start to get really hard to describe. Just to take the most basic traditional Cuban son, for example: the implicit feel is derived from the clave-pattern which can be 3-2 or 2-3. A 3-2 clave will involve a repeating 2 bar pattern. In the first bar the clave is struck 3 times, the first time on the one beat, the second and third time on the off beats ("2 and" and "3 and"); in the second bar the clave is struck twice (on the on beats 2 and 3). Against this the simplest bass can be a completely unsyncopated half note on 1 followed by quarter-notes on 3 and 4 (both bars). Two simple rhythms played against one another, but already the "egg rolling down a hill" feel of so much latin music is there. Against this the timbales might play 5 beats in the first bar (on one, 2, 2-and, 3-and, and 4) and 4 in the second (regular quarter note on-beats). You can see how complicated this is getting, but this is still the rhythm for a simple, rustic Cuban dance: think how rarely you hear a Cuban bass player playing regular on-beats and you'll realise just how much of a simplification it is.
The rhythms derive from traditional dances, and have their roots in African music. Already complex rhythms were made increasingly complex by brilliant innovators like Cachaito. And different parts of Latin America have different traditions.
Obviously people from a jazz or rock tradition will not import these rhythms unchanged: often they simplify them drastically , so that a basic bass rhythm in most jazz bossa is based on playing a dotted quarter note followed by an eighth note (the rhythm at the start of "Rikki Don't Lose That Number".
You're probably not going to find much of that helpful as it is overly technical but the subject is just so huge. I don't have much experience of playing Latin music and someone who does might be able to do a better job of simplifying the subject and extracting the essence.
― ArfArf, Thursday, 16 January 2003 19:14 (nineteen years ago) link
Have you heard his solo album? It's great.
― Ben Williams, Thursday, 16 January 2003 19:34 (nineteen years ago) link
The problem with Marsalis is that he (being the ideological fool he is... doesn't he know that he is working to consign jazz to the role of mood music for white bobos?) leaves out a lot of techniques of avant-garde jazz drumming. AG drumming, or Aaron Grossman drumming (oopps haha I mean Avant Garde) can be very abstract. I would compare some of it to Abstract Impressionist painting. WIth Pollack, Rothko, etc., color and mood take precedent over direct figurative representation (the jazz analogue being ting-ting ta-ting). In AG drumming, the drumer can be more of a soloist on an equal level with the other players.Here are some themes and highlights of post-bop drumming (a very incomplete survey):* Tony Williams playing "So What" on Miles' 1964 Complete Concert. On this track, one can really hear Tony pushing the band. He plays very loudly at certain moments, pushing the rhythym section more towards the forefront. He also uses some rolls and a few minimal little repeated parts to break up the time. There is a moment in which he plays a roll during a solo where he starts off more intensly and then brings the volume (and pitch too) down and effectively guides the solo.* Tony Williams playing on "Hat and Beard" on Eric Dolphy's "Out to Lunch". Listening to the beginning of this track, one can hear Marsalis' swing conception fall apart. Williams plays some very straightforward ideas. His playing at times is almost military.* Milford Graves playing on all of Albert Ayler's "Love Cry". I still can't decipher much of the drumming on this album, but it is worth noting that just as Ayler tried to bring the music back to its more chaotic and melodic roots in New Orleans, Graves sounds like a marching band that has had too much to drink. He plays a lot of rolls all around the kit, and the rolls add color, and sometimes seem to not have anything to do with timekeeping at at all.* Pete La Roca Sims playing "Sin Street" on his own album "Turkish Women at the Bath" This whole album is classic. It has John Gilmore on sax, a member of Sun Ra's band, and a major influence on Coltrane. It also has Chick Corea pre-scientology. Most importantly, Pete Sims plays very well on this record. Sims is one of the most underrated players in jazz. He played (undocumented) as one of the first drummer with John Coltrane's classic quartet, and he also worked with Sonny Rollins, Joe Henderson, and Jackie McLean (Sims' solo on "Minor Apprehension" on the album New Soil is supposed to be incredible but I have yet to hear it). Sims' playing on "Sin Street" is mind-boggling, as he manages to make the odd-time signature swing very hard. His solo, however, is incredibly loose and impressionistic. * There are a lot of other great AG drummers out there, but two more I would like to mention are Jim Black and Susie Ibarra, who are both doing a lot to advance the idea of the drummer as creator of texture. They both utilize a whole range of percussion onstage (or so I have heard, as neither have made it to DC recently). They have both played on a lot of different sessions, so just go to Allmusic...
― Aaron Grossman (aajjgg), Thursday, 16 January 2003 20:52 (nineteen years ago) link
And then on the record on which Miles most closely borrowed from funk, On the Corner, you could argue that the drumming in a sense takes funk's radicalism further, inasmuch as the drummer (I forget who it was) just plays the same extremely simple stacatto pattern for pretty much the whole 30 minutes (I don't know how to put it in technical terms, but it's a real short little riff on hi-hats, I think), with a breaks to lay out into the relatively straight-ahead, catchy rock groove, handclaps and whistles of "Black Satin" (maybe that's why that's the most well-known tune on the album).
If you compare it with Sly's "In Time" off Fresh, which was an inspiration for On the Corner, you can see how they sound similar, yet it's like Miles has cubed what Sly was doing. Not only is the basic drum pattern simpler, more aggressive and higher in the mix, but it's then supplemented by tablas (which lock into the drums' groove quite organically, unlike some of the other stuff on which Miles threw in tablas as superfluous atmosphere). Then you have the bass and the guitar playing these short, incredibly angular riffs against the grain of the drums, and the mix is panning around the soundfield, emphasizing and deemphasizing different elements with its own sense of rhythm, and the tabla is droning away in the backgroun... there's so much going on in that record.
The great thing about Miles' fusion stuff is that it's all so different. People tend to lump it altogether, but he was evolving from record to record just as fast as (or faster than) any other time in his career.
― Ben Williams, Thursday, 16 January 2003 21:28 (nineteen years ago) link
I think there was a lot of looping and splicing on On the Corner, but I haven't listened recently (and often can't tell when I listen, anyway).
Next question: what about no wave? When I was in New York in the late '70s early '80s, there were jazz musicians and nonjazz musicians going out of their way to play with each other, to see what would happen. Some of this was in no wave, some of this was in "improv." Bob Quine of the Voidoids and Jody Harris of the Contortions took lots from On the Corner, though they're guitarists, not drummers. Seems that there's so much ongoing cross-fertilization, and if you don't let it in to your sense of "jazz," you banish jazz from the present. It may be just the word jazz that gets banished, but nothing is just semantic.
― Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 17 January 2003 00:17 (nineteen years ago) link
As for defining jazz, some semi-famous musician (can't remember who) said that "the only tradition in jazz is innovation" and that is how I look at it. If one considers how quickly the music evolved over the last 100 years, reactionary attitudes make even less sense.
― Aaron Grossman (aajjgg), Friday, 17 January 2003 01:44 (nineteen years ago) link
― J0hn Darn1elle (J0hn Darn1elle), Friday, 17 January 2003 01:56 (nineteen years ago) link
― Aaron Grossman (aajjgg), Friday, 17 January 2003 02:29 (nineteen years ago) link
I don't think it was an identical pattern, but similar ones: he'd play consecutive sixteenth notes sometimes for just under a measure and sometimes just over a measure, and then stop dead for the next measure (plus or minus the remainder), which had the effect of screeching the car to a halt every other measure while the rest of the music tumbled forward into a ditch. I don't know enough about funk or jazz to know if this was unique to Miles' recordings, but I suspect it was; and it's related to what Miles himself would often do: just play a trumpet note or two, or a squiggle, and STOP. Same effect. (Or he'd fool around during the mixing, keep punching a hair-raising organ sound in and out, on and off; especially in "Rated X" (on Get Up With It), a track I refer to as "Shaft Goes To Hell." For better or worse, all this had an inspiring on my guitar playing, since I got the idea to play a couple notes and then stop and not play anything for a bar or two. I found this appealing because it seemed to give me great power to shape the music without having to actually play very much, which was good strategy, since I couldn't improvise for shit.
― Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Friday, 17 January 2003 07:46 (nineteen years ago) link
I'm being a little grumpy and trollish, obv there are lots of jazz ballad performances I like. It also overlaps with my feeling about standards generally -- not that they shouldn't be played, but that they can take on the quality of the dead hands of composers past at times. Because when standards were played by bebop and post-bop groups, the audiences were still full of people who knew those songs as pop songs/showtunes. As Marc Ribot once said, a standard is like playing a duet with the audience's memory. Only modern audiences no longer have that memory, or else they have the memory primarily from hearing other jazz recordings of the standards rather than the standards themselves. And for that reason, they can come to feel very stale, and jazz standard ballads particularly so imo.
― longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 15 January 2021 17:07 (one year ago) link
Like earlnash says above, I love them now just for ruminating on the textures and tone. Brushes, sizzle cymbals, nice breathy long tones...it's the jazz version of ambient music or asmr.
― change display name (Jordan), Friday, 15 January 2021 17:15 (one year ago) link
Does this count?
― pomenitul, Friday, 15 January 2021 17:15 (one year ago) link
yes "I'm not jazz" fuck off del boy
I agree with most of man alive's post though and I like standards. but is playing e.g. i got rhythm really any less stale than playing e.g. body and soul
― as#d,.F:ddz;,c#,;;,;,;,sdf' (Left), Friday, 15 January 2021 17:18 (one year ago) link
Marc Ribot and man alive otm
― alpaca lips now (Ye Mad Puffin), Friday, 15 January 2021 17:41 (one year ago) link
what does this make those hugely popular old classical works which include homages to/parodies of long forgotten folk melodies, popular trends etc
part of me wants to rebel against the demand for popular relevance and celebrate these tunes or this style as a folk tradition and part of me sees this kind of traditionalism as irrelevant or potentially reactionary so idk
what do people think about the attempts to turn "smells like teen spirit" or some Radiohead song into standards? I have mixed feelings
― as#d,.F:ddz;,c#,;;,;,;,sdf' (Left), Friday, 15 January 2021 17:54 (one year ago) link
The idea of turning some Radiohead song into a standard does not exactly thrill me. Not sure how something becomes a standard though.
― Waterloo Subset (Tom D.), Friday, 15 January 2021 18:03 (one year ago) link
I have mixed feelings about those too. I mean this is kind of a central tension in modern jazz since at least the 90s (maybe earlier I just wasn't old enough to know) -- standards formed a lot of the harmonic language of jazz up to a certain point, but the originals are lost on modern audience and the harmonic vocabulary itself is also a bit more obscure today. So do you just abandon them? Try to make "new standards" out of songs that mostly don't lend themselves as well to jazz improv? I like what Mehldau has done with a lot of pop and rock songs, but I don't know that they lend themselves to being "standards" in the sense that lots of different people would record their takes.
― longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 15 January 2021 18:13 (one year ago) link
I've heard way more jazz versions of the Beatles' "Blackbird" than I've heard interpretations of Nirvana and Radiohead combined, though I know the latter exist, obviously.
My take on standards is sort of mixed/bifurcated: I don't ever need to hear "What Is This Thing Called Love" or any of the other "standard standards" again. They've lost all their cultural relevance because, to put it crudely, most of the people who knew them as pop songs are dead now, so they exist only as re-interpreted jazz tunes, as discussed above. And players who spent the bulk of their careers just reinterpreting standards (the worst example, to me, is Lee Konitz) do absolutely nothing for me. So, you played the intro phrase to the bridge backwards, the 1001st time you played that song? Woo fucking hoo. Here's a dog biscuit.
The problem is, those tunes are objectively better than the tunes most jazz artists these days are writing themselves. Because they're whole songs, not just heads or a complex little melodic math problem you and your three buddies spent a week figuring out. So until jazz artists can figure out a way to write memorable, crowd-pleasing songs, we're probably gonna be stuck hearing "All The Things You Are" for another eighty years.
xpost with others
― but also fuck you (unperson), Friday, 15 January 2021 18:15 (one year ago) link
Does anyone actually intend those to become standards as such? I thought they were just trying to interpret newer songs. xp
― Inside there's a box and that box has another box within (Sund4r), Friday, 15 January 2021 18:18 (one year ago) link
Beatles songs otoh yeah, some are even in the Real Book.
― Inside there's a box and that box has another box within (Sund4r), Friday, 15 January 2021 18:19 (one year ago) link
"The people don't come because you grandiose motherfuckers don't play shit that they like."
― Dan I., Friday, 15 January 2021 18:21 (one year ago) link
The only thing that saps the energy worse are bass solos.
I've thought about posting this in 'controversial music opinions' a few times.
― jmm, Friday, 15 January 2021 18:22 (one year ago) link
I don't see the preservation of standards as that different from the preservation in the repertoire of classical and folk pieces. A Bach mass doesn't mean the same thing to people today that it meant to a Lutheran congregation in 18th century Germany but that doesn't mean it is not still great music worth preserving or that what it means to people now is less valuable. Even "Stairway to Heaven" probably hit people differently in 1971 than it does today. If artists really wanted to be 'relevant' in the nonsense way that music critics use the term, they would make pop records and wouldn't be playing classical or jazz at all.
― Inside there's a box and that box has another box within (Sund4r), Friday, 15 January 2021 18:23 (one year ago) link
Bill Dixon on his (and the new music's) development, as musicians moved away from standards:
It's very simple. I no longer felt the need to be playing the standard literature within the vernacular. I felt that you can't improve on that, so there must be something else. Because how many times can you play "'Round Midnight" or any of those beautiful tunes? All the pieces that we liked were already heavily identified with someone else's rendition anyway. What are you going to do? Change a key every eight bars? We tried all of that. We did a lot of crazy things in those days, trying to formulate a way of thinking for yourself. We listened, we analyzed. It didn't just happen with people standing up and blowing their brains out. This is what a lot of people don't understand.
― Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Friday, 15 January 2021 18:24 (one year ago) link
I would be fine if "no bass solos on uptempo tunes" became Jazz Law. On ballads (which I'm fine with!), sure, go for it. But when the band's slamming along and all of a sudden the drummer has to stop so the bassist can whip his bow out? Fuuuuuck that.
― but also fuck you (unperson), Friday, 15 January 2021 18:25 (one year ago) link
The only bassist allowed to take a solo is Tim Bogert, RIP.
― Halfway there but for you, Friday, 15 January 2021 18:28 (one year ago) link
what about mingus
― as#d,.F:ddz;,c#,;;,;,;,sdf' (Left), Friday, 15 January 2021 18:29 (one year ago) link
Unperson otm. And there was discussion on the 2020 jazz thread (also mostly unperson I believe) about how the culture and marketplace around contemporary jazz is much more about creating your own identity, so even when someone does write a fantastic original, it's relatively rare for that to be recorded by another jazz artist. Although those standout tunes are still probably performed by university ensembles, which after all is where a lot of jazz lives these days.
― change display name (Jordan), Friday, 15 January 2021 18:49 (one year ago) link
If this is just standard jazz pet peeves, i'm going to open myself to the firing squad and say 'death to all saxophones'. I'll take an entire album of nothing but tippy-tappy ride cymbals over a single bleat from a saxophone.
― brotherlovesdub, Friday, 15 January 2021 18:52 (one year ago) link
The problem is, those tunes are objectively better than the tunes most jazz artists these days are writing themselves. Because they're whole songs, not just heads or a complex little melodic math problem you and your three buddies spent a week figuring out.
this is painfully otm. only thing worse than a contemporary jazz album thats all hoary old standards is one that is all hoary old standards plus one lone original, extra demerits if the title includes the name of a band member, "danny's riff" or w/e. sends a chill up my spine when i see a tracklisting like that.
― nobody like my rap (One Eye Open), Friday, 15 January 2021 19:15 (one year ago) link
I love this album full of ballads and bass solos:https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71ssWfclzfL._SL1400_.jpg
― brimstead, Friday, 15 January 2021 21:08 (one year ago) link
― nobody like my rap (One Eye Open), Friday, January 15, 2021 2:15 PM (one hour ago) bookmarkflaglink
lol, jazz sucks doesn't it
― longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 15 January 2021 21:15 (one year ago) link
Song for Jeremy [the bass player]
― longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 15 January 2021 21:16 (one year ago) link
It does seem like there was a brief era, from roughly bebop through maybe mid 60s, where there was a focus on writing *new standards* and a bunch of those are in the real book and get played on gigs. All the main Charlie Parker tunes come to mind, Herbie tunes like Cantaloupe Island, various Coltrane compositions, Footprints, etc. There are even a few from later, like Chick Corea's Spain. I wonder if there are any original jazz tunes from, like, the 80s onward that get played with any regularity by others.
― longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 15 January 2021 21:23 (one year ago) link
I think I said this on the other thread, but there definitely are. When I was in college in the early '00s, it was stuff like Kenny Garrett's 'Sing a Song of Song', Mo' Betta Blues, and a bunch more that maybe you couldn't call at a jam session, but young groups would play at school and on gigs (thinking tunes by Joshua Redman, John Scofield, Leon Parker, etc).
I don't know to what degree that's happening now exactly, but you do see it a fair amount on youtube with people doing drum covers, breaking down licks, etc.
― change display name (Jordan), Friday, 15 January 2021 22:25 (one year ago) link
Is there an updated version of the real book that has more recent tunes in it? Would be really curious to see what's in it.
― longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 15 January 2021 22:31 (one year ago) link
Prob also bears noting that the 60s was a time when jazz composers were very deliberately trying to create a repertoire outside of standards, in part for reasons that I guess you would call black empowerment or something along those lines.
― but also fuck you (unperson), Friday, January 15, 2021 1:25 PM (four hours ago) bookmarkflaglink
The only kind of uptempo bass solo I like is one based around walking with the drummer still comping. I guess that's a little more like a rhythm section break than a solo, but I enjoy those.
― longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 15 January 2021 22:33 (one year ago) link
I think it generally smells like novelty, but the likes of Brad Mehldau or Bad Plus and Bill Frisell before them have done some incredible stuff in this vein.
― Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 16 January 2021 00:12 (one year ago) link
I've been more annoyed when jazz groups have recorded versions of Aphex Twin pieces, but that's at least partly because I hate his stuff to begin with.
― but also fuck you (unperson), Saturday, 16 January 2021 01:14 (one year ago) link
all for this tbh
― Looking for Cape Penis house (Neanderthal), Saturday, 16 January 2021 03:34 (one year ago) link
I would be fine if "no bass solos on uptempo tunes" became Jazz Law. On ballads (which I'm fine with!), sure, go for it. But when the band's slamming along and all of a sudden the drummer has to stop so the bassist can whip his bow out? Fuuuuuck that.― but also fuck you (unperson), Friday, January 15, 2021 1:25 PM (four hours ago) bookmarkflaglinkThe only kind of uptempo bass solo I like is one based around walking with the drummer still comping. I guess that's a little more like a rhythm section break than a solo, but I enjoy those.
― Next Time Might Be Hammer Time (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 16 January 2021 03:44 (one year ago) link
There have been so many jazz recordings of "Black Hole Sun," and I know I've seen several jazz groups perform it live, that it seems as if it has become a "contemporary" jazz standard. I wonder what it is about that song that draws the attention of jazzers. Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme recorded it back in 1997!
― Josefa, Saturday, 16 January 2021 05:11 (one year ago) link
brotherlovesdub at 12:52 15 Jan 21If this is just standard jazz pet peeves, i'm going to open myself to the firing squad and say 'death to all saxophones'. I'll take an entire album of nothing but tippy-tappy ride cymbals over a single bleat from a saxophone.
there are a number of the most demented opinions on this thread
― Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Saturday, 16 January 2021 16:02 (one year ago) link
That opinion was clearly coming from a jazz lover trying to work out a genre convention that puzzles them in their regular listening, though.
I can see why Radiohead and Sting/Police songs work in a jazz context but "Smells Like Teen Spirit" doesn't really seem like it offers that much to work with, although I love it (and like the Bad Plus version)? Maybe "Lithium"?
― Inside there's a box and that box has another box within (Sund4r), Saturday, 16 January 2021 16:13 (one year ago) link
Man, y'all would be furious about the acoustic / folkie scene, in which the standards are currently "Wagon Wheel," "City of New Orleans," and "Hallelujah."
― alpaca lips now (Ye Mad Puffin), Saturday, 16 January 2021 17:01 (one year ago) link
There's a (or, you know, there was) a bluegrass circle at the farmer's market every Saturday, with like 20 people or so with everything from fiddle to upright bass and then a few other more exotic things. I asked my guitar teacher if he's ever felt like sitting in, and he rolled his eyes and complained that it's basically just 30 minutes of "Wagon Wheel."
― Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 16 January 2021 17:05 (one year ago) link
Yep, I have spent many an open mic night placing bets with my drunken friends on whether the next song would be "Country Roads," "Hurt," or, alas, "Wagon Wheel."
That said, I miss those nights. And every once in a while you'd get an unexpected gem. I once heard a 14-year-old kid play an exquisite fingerstyle version of "Desafinado" and my heart grew three sizes.
― alpaca lips now (Ye Mad Puffin), Saturday, 16 January 2021 17:22 (one year ago) link
Flabbergasted unperson doesn’t like Lee Konitz. I have some calzino-like thoughts going through my head for that one.
― Boring United Methodist Church (Boring, Maryland), Saturday, 16 January 2021 17:24 (one year ago) link
I remember a 20something student wanted to learn "Don't Dream It's Over" so I pulled up the Crowded House video and started demonstrating the sus chords in the intro. She stopped me and said she preferred the 'other version', which, apparently, consists of strumming open-position triads with the campfire rhythm.
― Inside there's a box and that box has another box within (Sund4r), Saturday, 16 January 2021 17:26 (one year ago) link
(It's the version she was familiar with from open mics.)
― Inside there's a box and that box has another box within (Sund4r), Saturday, 16 January 2021 17:28 (one year ago) link
Why do u hate fun, sund4r?
― alpaca lips now (Ye Mad Puffin), Saturday, 16 January 2021 17:29 (one year ago) link
The Bad Plus version of Lithium is also fantastic.
― change display name (Jordan), Saturday, 16 January 2021 17:59 (one year ago) link
the funny thing is whenever I see this thread title I think of the beginning of “pharoah’s dance”
― brimstead, Saturday, 16 January 2021 19:12 (one year ago) link
I just hate that the bad plus or whoever it was chose “flim” as the afx song to cover because that song sucks and he has way more songs with more “jazzy” chords to play with
― brimstead, Saturday, 16 January 2021 19:13 (one year ago) link
So many wild opinions in this thread!
― change display name (Jordan), Saturday, 16 January 2021 20:07 (one year ago) link
A whole lot of pop music now does not really have that much harmonic information to really use it for something to improvise over. Some stuff is just a 4 bar beat loop, a sustained pad sound (maybe not even a chord) and then multi tracked vocal melody and a sample sound of some sort. Chord progression...eh, maybe kinda. Bassline...sometimes not even used. Vocal melody...lots are pretty childrens song like, which is often catchy, but not exactly some great leaps in intervals and the music juice that jazz musicians like, which is often a bit more obscure than the usual listener (at least now).
― earlnash, Saturday, 16 January 2021 20:47 (one year ago) link
There have been so many jazz recordings of "Black Hole Sun," and I know I've seen several jazz groups perform it live, that it seems as if it has become a "contemporary" jazz standard. I wonder what it is about that song that draws the attention of jazzers.
I didn't know that but going over it rn, it makes sense. The harmony and melody are filled with modal mixture, with a lot of bIII and bVI, and both major and minor versions of the 3rd and 7th scale degrees in the melody, and that weird bII at the ends of cadences in the verse, while the chorus ends with a good proper V chord. The melody is also syncopated and lends itself well to jazz rhythm.
― Inside there's a box and that box has another box within (Sund4r), Saturday, 16 January 2021 21:11 (one year ago) link