Microtonal jazz

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I've been cooling off on jazz over the last six months, haven't been hearing much, then I got joe maneri quartet's 'dahabenzapple' on hatart. Microtones (I identify them as this sort of 'buzzing' sounds, fucked if i know) used all over here but anyway from the one listen I gave this the contours of the playing seem to completely screwed with and disfigured in a really strange way. maybe I'm dreaming it, but its the sort of 'modern' classical-type approach to jazz (rather than lame dicking around with a string section) that pushed my buttons here.

anyway I guess I'm looking for more of this!

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Tuesday, 19 July 2005 21:48 (fourteen years ago) link

i sort of doubt the buzzing sounds are the microtones (but also, fucked if i know). i'm assuming they're just notes within the notes. kinda like listening to arabic or indian music.

there's some really great info at wikipedia (less about microtonal jazz, more about just microtonal music in general) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microtonal_music

i assume milton would have some info on this?

The Amazing Jaxon! (jaxon), Tuesday, 19 July 2005 22:03 (fourteen years ago) link

thanks for that wikipedia link, those recording lists are great. have been thinking of doing a 'top 100 microtonal albums' thread recently to learn more about this, been listening to a _lot_ of this stuff

ysi a good track from the maneri, julio?

don't know as much about the jazz side of this, Emil Richards & the Microtonal Blues Band comes to mind remotely but I'm sure that's different.

milton parker (Jon L), Tuesday, 19 July 2005 22:11 (fourteen years ago) link


OLD SPICE® CHEMTRAILS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (ex machina), Tuesday, 19 July 2005 22:16 (fourteen years ago) link


though the term is usually reserved for music that's using a determined scale as an alternative to equal temprament rather than someone who's just aiming scattershot between the notes

julio, haven't heard the Catler Brothers but they're always referred to as 'jazzy' hey hey

Catler Bros. Crash Landing (custom electric guitars, just intonation) The Catler Bros. take the intonational explorations of virtuoso jazz to their next natural step, just intonation. Includes a rendition of Ornette Coleman's "Free."

milton parker (Jon L), Tuesday, 19 July 2005 23:06 (fourteen years ago) link

Whenever a rocker masturbates his guitar neck, God kills a microtone.

donut ferry (donut), Tuesday, 19 July 2005 23:19 (fourteen years ago) link

here's my micrtonality thread from a while back - the boston microtonal soc page that paul links to is excellent! I spent sometime there but I need to read some more again.

not sure abt ysi-ing stuff - never done it

I guess I'm looking for other albs that show an use of microtones in a jazz context, maybe I can start comparing

thanks for the recommendations milton - need some just to comparison and more thinking

I'm playing the maneri CD now and its the playing around with the pitches at the beginning that's coming from maneri's horn that threw me sideways but I'm only half-hearing

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Wednesday, 20 July 2005 21:33 (fourteen years ago) link

YSI is pretty easy.

1) convert whichever track(s) you like to mp3
2) go to http://www.yousendit.com
3) type in your email address
4) find the mp3 on your computer and upload it
5) copy and paste the link they give you when it's done to this thread.

The Amazing Jaxon! (jaxon), Wednesday, 20 July 2005 21:37 (fourteen years ago) link

I am a microtonal musician.

OLD SPICE® CHEMTRAILS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (ex machina), Wednesday, 20 July 2005 21:39 (fourteen years ago) link

is converting to mp3 easy cuz I haven't done before

if I get a track onto my computer I'll try it tomorrow sometime

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Wednesday, 20 July 2005 21:42 (fourteen years ago) link

Microtonal means based on a 12-tone scale, correct? I'm not familiar with any jazz in this vein but surely it exists beyond Maneri?

mcd (mcd), Wednesday, 20 July 2005 22:03 (fourteen years ago) link

Microtonal music is music using microtones -- intervals of less than a semitone, or as Charles Ives put it, the "notes between the cracks" of the piano. The term is also used to refer to any music whose tuning is not based on semitones, such as western just intonation, Indonesian gamelan music and Indian classical music.

Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Wednesday, 20 July 2005 22:05 (fourteen years ago) link


Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Wednesday, 20 July 2005 22:05 (fourteen years ago) link

ellis played with mingus, george russell, & on zappa's absolutely free... can anyone recommend one of his own albums that showcases his quartertone horn?


milton parker (Jon L), Friday, 22 July 2005 23:15 (fourteen years ago) link

i picked up Ellis' "Electric Bath" for a buck from a thrift store. i always thought it was pretty vanilla. i think i listened to it once thinking it was a standard big band album? i had no idea that he was so avant. the first paragraph of the liner notes is pretty hillarious:

In less than one hundred years, this album will be obsolete. Reverb amplifiers, clavinets, loop delays and quarter-tone trumpets (not to mention conventional instruments) will all be junked. Time signatures such as 5/4, 7/4, or 17 will be too simple for the latest teen dances. And the hard-driving Rock sound will be supplanted by evenings spent receiving electrical jolts to the frontal lobes

The Amazing Jaxon! (jaxon), Saturday, 23 July 2005 00:11 (fourteen years ago) link

i took off some gentle giant to listen to this Ellis and wish i hadn't. it really does just feel like some happy big band. i'm only in track one. we'll see.

The Amazing Jaxon! (jaxon), Saturday, 23 July 2005 00:21 (fourteen years ago) link

I have "Live" at Monterey!, but the emphasis is definitely on outrageous time signatures* rather than anything he was doing with the quartertone trumpet. Even on "Concerto for Trumpet," I can't hear anything very strange in his solo.

*"33 222 1 222," "27/16," "Beat Me Daddy, 7 to the Bar," etc.

Truckdrivin' Buddha (Rock Hardy), Saturday, 23 July 2005 00:33 (fourteen years ago) link

the first side of Electric Bath was pretty boring. there was one part where i could tell it was pretty microtonal. sounded very "out of tune" and eastern. but overall, still pretty upbeat big band stuff.

second side and the first track is really nice. lots of ambient weirdness. delays. kinda trippy. maybe because i'm on the second beer? it sorta sounds like something carla bley woulda done

The Amazing Jaxon! (jaxon), Saturday, 23 July 2005 00:51 (fourteen years ago) link

Jaxon, is "Turkish Bath" the one that's moving you? Great track even if I don't recall it being particularly microtonal.

doug watson (solid air), Saturday, 23 July 2005 01:31 (fourteen years ago) link

actually, Turkish Bath is pretty microtonal. that's the one i said sounded pretty eastern. listening again. it's pretty funky, almost a latin feel, but with really outta tune horns and a catchy melody.

the song i was refering to as a bit trippier is "Open Beauty".

The Amazing Jaxon! (jaxon), Saturday, 23 July 2005 01:37 (fourteen years ago) link

I've got a Mat Maneri (w/ papa Joe on clarinet) record on Aum Fidelity that is very good, but damned if I know if I'm hearing microtones, sounds like typical jazz to me. When I think of microtones I think of Tony Conrad.

mcd (mcd), Saturday, 23 July 2005 01:44 (fourteen years ago) link

I think of U. Srinivas freaky carnatic mandolin.

Truckdrivin' Buddha (Rock Hardy), Saturday, 23 July 2005 02:02 (fourteen years ago) link

been thinking of this concept of 'microtonal jazz' today... the funny thing about classic jazz is that the intonation is usually so pure, when horn & string players line up behind a vocalist, they're going to nail the pure intervals and fuck a piano player, the good sounds aren't quite what's on the keyboard... nothing like pure intonation to make things leap straight out at you, that's one of the secrets of those early records

& then in the sixties the free players _really_ started in on overtones and playing between the notes... all of the free players who are typically brought up were pushing away from the twelve notes & finding new things that worked

that's not what Julio's talking about with 'microtonality' where someone defines an alternate, fixed set of intervals and composes for it: that's what that New Music Box interviewer linked above meant when asking Eaton 'who else was working with microtones in jazz besides Don Ellis' ... systematic exploration. points to Ellis for designing trumpets with extra valves to nail quarter notes

but put on (one of ten thousand examples) the first two minutes of Coltrane's "Meditations" with Sanders & Coltrane battling it out and the same question seems a little naive, they're playing off the scale and they know what they're doing

I bought Maneri's 'Kalavinka' last night, need to spend some more time with it... definitely a lot of strong precise between-note sustains there

milton parker (Jon L), Saturday, 23 July 2005 23:48 (fourteen years ago) link

fourteen years pass...

that is.. a lot of frets?


Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Wednesday, 29 January 2020 00:11 (one month ago) link

That was pretty interesting.

With considerable charm, you still have made a choice (Sund4r), Wednesday, 29 January 2020 01:20 (one month ago) link

Yeah, kinda...idk what I'd be looking for from microtonal rock.

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 29 January 2020 14:26 (one month ago) link

feels like if Allan Holdsworth grew up listening to Muse

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 29 January 2020 20:16 (one month ago) link

dunno about how it applies to jazz, but I researched some microtonal theory recently. Our familiar music divides the octave into 12 tones, but you can divide it in other ways too. Some work better than others, e.g. 5 tones gives a pentatonic scale, but harmonic music can also be found in other divisions, e.g. 53-TET is 53 tones, others that work include 19-TET

Dr X O'Skeleton, Thursday, 30 January 2020 16:21 (one month ago) link

xyzzzz do you like Horse Lords?

ogmor, Wednesday, 12 February 2020 10:54 (two weeks ago) link

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