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Author Topic: Delfeayo Marsalis  (Read 5591 times)
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sonicsilver
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« Reply #40 on: Mar 09, 2017, 03:07AM »

Ah, I see now. You can hear these things in Delfeayo's playing, but you don't want to. Or don't want to say. Or don't want to categorise them as faults.

You don't want to criticise him because you like his playing overall and maybe him personally.

You don't want to go against received opinion in the trombone community.

You don't want to breach professional etiquette.

You feel that criticising one aspect of his playing might cast aspersions on others that are good?

You feel that criticising DM makes a claim for your own standard of playing that you don't wish to make?


All of that is understandable and I've no objection. However, perceiving - shall we say? - rhythm and intonation outside of conventional regular structures without any apparent design, and then making up ex post facto justifications for the deviations without establishing any consistent guidelines for them... Well, I don't think that's a very genuine approach.

Rhythmic and intonation accuracy aren't really subjective at heart: they are mathematically governed. We recognise these mathematical patterns because this is how the universe is built. Deviations from the pattern, like different degrees of swing, Viennese Waltz rhythm or outside lines, can be quantified if we really worked them out under the microscope, but it's easier and quicker - but less accurate - to "feel" them. Full quantisation sounds weird and inhuman (I get this impression from Bob McChesney sometimes. What a player, but soooo accurate that it sounds a little unreal). There's a bit of room for uneven and imperfect humanisation to bring a bit of life to the sound. That narrow space is where taste, style and subjectivity comes in. In this small respect, you're right that we don't all hear alike, but the great majority of it is a matter of numbers and ratios. Anyone who's spent time in front of the Cubase (or similar) screen will know what I mean. Again, you're right that not everyone hears like that, but a listener's opinion does not change the waveform. Interesting philosophical point though, about whether there is an objective reality that we can have in common, independent of our sensory perceptions.

The disagreement here isn't over whether these mathematical deviations are there or not, in Delfeayo's playing or anyone else's. The difference of opinion is whether they are musically acceptable, functional, appropriate. Without some kind of discernible rationale, deviations are just random inaccuracies, without musical intention or design and I wear my Sound Engineer's hat. If they follow a pattern then there is an intent behind them and some attempt at musical expression that we can consider, so I wear my Musician's hat. The blemishes I noted are things that I would certainly correct in a practice session or in studio editing/mixing. Maybe others wouldn't bother. When I'm wearing my Sound Engineer's Bat Ears™, I hear all sorts of stuff that other people swear to god isn't there, but that I can prove is there by pointing to the waveform. In live performance we just take a breath, do our best and hope no one notices or minds if we err, don't we?
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ModernJazzTrombonist
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« Reply #41 on: Mar 09, 2017, 07:25AM »



This should be well over by now, but let me finish this with an in depth look at this response.


You start off by saying that you see now.

And then you lay out three possibilites on my stance. 

Uhhh...which one of dems do you see??? All...None...2 outta 3...you guessin'?

If you saw clearly, you wouldn't need the word "OR" so many times.

You then follow that with three statements about me...which are then followed by two questions?

You sure do have a lot of asking in your clear seeing.
You shouldn't need to ask me any questions if you see clearly.



You characterize my approach as not genuine.  (I'm assuming you mean my approach to be one of the nine or so possibilities you mentioned in the labelling statements and questions and OR this's and Or that's...)

If we were having a worthwhile discussion, you should have said "mistaken" or "errant" or "aloof" - but to say it is not genuine throws a question of honesty, character and intent in the mix. 

Folks can search years of my previous posts and come to their own conclusions about how genuine I am.

I ain't new here.  And am glad to be the one you are throwing some shade on because by questioning me, you have picked a well-known, reliable, documented resource in the trombone community.  That makes this a whole lot clearer.  And will serve to make this a very simple matter for years as readers come across this thread.

You however have managed to draw the expressed trustworthiness eye of forum readers who openly question your motives quite quickly - and I personally have afforded you (as misguided and sad as I find your conclusions (not your observations, but your conclusions on DM to be) dealing with you without questioning the character or motive of your writing.  I have responded to you with the presumption of character.

Clearly we can all see that's more respect than you afford me.


Rhythmic and intonation accuracy aren't really subjective at heart: they are mathematically governed.

 

Rhythmic and intonation accuracy may be mathematically observable, and reflected on a waveform -- but they are aesthetically and spiritually enjoyed, and since enjoyment is subjective, where does that leave math?

Somewhere there is a man who is a sucker for a girl with a slow, deep Southern accent, and somewhere there is a man who is a sucker for the girl who sounds like Rosie Perez, full of NY edge and sass...And somewhere there's an English Professor to remind us that proper speech is about successful intonation, emphasis and clarity of vowels and consonants, and maybe to point out when others are saying things incorrectly....

Man, if what DM does bothers you, don't listen.  That is where your conclusions lead.

But thousands of the rest of us will continue to listen to the man because our conclusions based on his playing are enjoyment. 

You don't hear enough to enjoy?  That's no problem.  You aren't the first, and won't be the last to hear it your way.
 
(Most of my elders hated Charlie Parker....and loved Hank Crawford...do the math on that.)

But telling others what they should hear - that they should hear what you hear and come to similar conclusions based on your aesthetic paradigms to compare musicians of entirely different aesthetic agenda, and all the rest of this business...


No sir.

I expect a reply from you.  You seem to have an itch for the last word - but I think I have said enough to be done here.





(If a mic is dropped in a recording studio but no one is there to hear it....)








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« Reply #42 on: Mar 09, 2017, 07:36AM »

I hope you are finished with this topic. Agree to disagree with out all the pontification, please.
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« Reply #43 on: Mar 09, 2017, 07:41AM »


I hope you are finished with this topic. Agree to disagree with out all the pontification, please.
Hey, this is a serious and vital music discussion going on right now. Let's let it play out.



....

not to pile on or derail a conversation I quite enjoy, but....



Rhythmic and intonation accuracy aren't really subjective at heart: they are mathematically governed.

Um, yes, but not in the way you're implying.

If that were the case we'd all make our drummers use metronomes. You might dig that. I do not. I'll take any classic recording of the Basie or Ellington bands over those over produced metronomes coming out of hollywood studios.

If that were the case, roughly 95% of jazz musicians would sound like crap because the blues does not use a pythagorean or even tempered tuning system. The only even tempered tuning you'll hear on any jazz recording is the piano.

The blues (and the purposeful alteration of pitch associated with it) are an integral part of jazz. You don't recognize it? Fine. Some people think Indian classical music is out of tune. Those people are idiots.

For giggles, you should take those trombonists you dig so much and put them in audacity or transcribe, and slow it way down. Just do it... you hear those intonation issues in those fast runs? Explain that...

In good rhythm sections there is a natural push and pull between the bass and the drums (I DO listen to the bassist by the way, that's the guy you hold onto when the chaos gets thick). This push and pull (usually drummer on top, bass on the back end) is called "pocket." There's a reason why so many of those thrown together rhythm sections on those overproduced albums sound sterile, and why they don't usually have the swing that you hear coming from PC and Philly Joe, or Sam Woodyard and Jimmy Wood.
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« Reply #44 on: Mar 09, 2017, 08:40AM »

Delfeayo is a great player and musician.  HIs solo on the Marsalis Family live concert on Ellis' tune "Swingin' at the Haven" is one of my favorite trombone solos- it had a huge impact on me as a 19yr old student. I have my students work on it as well, and I love seeing them connect with it like I did.  I also really enjoyed his recording "Pontius Pilate's Decision"

Musically, I love hearing the influence of New Orleans and JJ reflected in his sound and improv approach.  To me, he has an especially full and both pretty/dark sound on a smaller horn- that's not easy.  The one time I met Delfeayo 15 years ago, we were both warming up for a performance at Jazz @ Lincoln Center. He didn't say anything to me, just demonstrated a Whisper Tone Long Tone exercise for me, them motioned (with a head nod!) for me to try it.  I tried it, failed, then tried it again- finally got it.  He finished his warmup and leaned over, said to me:  "whisper tones... good for your aperture, support, air speed, practically everything."  that exercise helped me big time, and I dug the old school way of showing me. 

Michael Dease
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« Reply #45 on: Mar 09, 2017, 09:45AM »

Whisper tones? is this the same as  breath "attacks"?
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« Reply #46 on: Mar 09, 2017, 10:08AM »

Whisper tones? is this the same as  breath "attacks"?

No.  If I'm understanding Mr Dease correctly, it's a Cat Anderson technique intended, at least in its original form, to help develop high range on trumpet.

Saw Delfeayo with his big band at Snug Harbor in New Orleans a couple of years ago.  Brilliant - his playing, arranging, leading.  Saw Jason there a few nights later with his vibes quartet doing their Bechet thing.  Also amazing - his drummer, a Treme legend whose name rather embarrassingly escapes me, was mesmerising, doing things with a tiny kit that left me almost crying.  Genetic freaks, I guess, those Marsalis boys.
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« Reply #47 on: Mar 09, 2017, 03:46PM »

I agree with Zach: it is a useful discussion, with the exception of our friend's little tantrum. Hope it was a dynamic mic he dropped, not a condenser or a ribbon.

A Delfeayo worship session isn't of much use or interest to me. We're really talking about what we think sounds good or not so good and how we decide.

Here's another version of Flintstones which I think is better https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsoBRIQCMII
I'm still hearing intonation problems. Eb sounds consistently very sharp. His solo uses much of the same material from the first video we saw and is harmonically a bit basic and bland compared to other efforts I've heard. Alternating by semitone appears several times, and his repeated note thing several times. There's a little fanfare motif he uses in his solo and again in the trades. This apparent lack of imagination or deliberately restricted choice bothers me. I'm thinking, yes I heard you the first time, what else ya got? There's still something about his playing that sounds clumsy to me. It's a combination of the rhythmic value of his swing feel, a relative lack of elided or ghosted notes, and a hard-ish articulation.

On the plus side, nothing's upsetting me timing wise. Tonal quality just what I like: fat and solid but with sizzly, burning edges. Strange, because the engineering is otherwise pretty gruesome. Different trombone (Bach), different mic (SM58), different group, different acoustic space so who knows? Too many variables.

Since Micheal Dease has posted, I thought I'd point out that his playing is super-good in the areas where I've criticised Delfeayo. I couldn't find him doing Rhythm but here's another up-tempo swinging standard  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApkhqfgLeUc
I like the way he moves around the instrument fluidly but with punch and energy: no hitches or glitches anywhere. Very accurate intonation. Great inside treatment of the changes but also some clever reharmonisation and a splash of outside colour in a couple of places. There's a fountain of ideas and great variety in the phrase shapes and lengths. I particularly like the way he develops little motifs. 0:40 and 1:24 are magic. On the downside, the trombone sound is terrible and not a fair representation of the man's tone at all. Or was baritone bumblebee what they were aiming for??  Don't know
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« Reply #48 on: Mar 09, 2017, 04:47PM »

I brought up this thread to a student today, and to a tenor player a couple of days ago. Both of them (like me) are fans of Delf - some of us through playing with him and digging his music - the other guy only through listening.

After reading the thread, my student asked to check out Pontius Pilate, he'd only heard the Ellington thing he did a few years ago.

Maybe it was just how my eyes lit up when the title track started, or how I got up and starting doing my best faux-burlesque to "Weary Ways" or how the last two tracks turned me into mush, but he seemed to dig it just as hard. Afterwards he said I must've listened to that album a lot, because he's heard me play so many of those licks. I did - I can still play PPD and Magdalene note for note (I checked.) A few years ago we had Delf in town as a guest artist. In the rehearsals before he came to town, I got to play his parts. It'd probably been 20 years since I bought that album, but I could still play just about every note of his solos on the PPD stuff. When something sticks to you that long, there's something special about it.

My student said he wanted to buy the album, I told him to track down a CD if he can find it, the liner notes are an awesome work of art. I rummaged through my bin of CDs, then had to run to the bank. I'll look later, but I'm pretty sure I have it one of my CD bibles. I think I'll frame the liner notes if I find them.
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« Reply #49 on: Mar 10, 2017, 07:00AM »

Analysing is good, but music is about soul and engaging emotionally. If you dig it, great.
Different cultures have different conventions and this is true within jazz. Are you able to listen to music with quarter tones? What about reggae? What about literally thousands of recordings of the greats? One person's out of tune note is another's blue note. Go back to your favourite recordings and listen as critically. What do you hear?
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« Reply #50 on: Mar 10, 2017, 07:35AM »


Since Micheal Dease has posted, I thought I'd point out that his playing is super-good in the areas where I've criticised Delfeayo.


Please know that people replying to a post in no way should lead the post off topic.  This is a thread about Delfeayo Marsalis, not about comparing Delfeayo Marsalis to everyone who posts an opinion of him (good or bad).

Following the logic of comparing Delfeayo to people who have posted on this thread --

Sonic Silver, you have posted a lot on this thread.

So....in the same logic you are using to keep the comparison games going ("Because Dease posted, I'll compare him to Delf") --

Don't you have a clip of YOUR OWN playing we can compare and contrast with Delfeayo's?????

Maybe a track from your last record?

as Katt Williams says,

"It's ok...I'll wait."

And you seem to have notice Dease posted, but not replied to a single word the brutha said...

Maybe you were in the studio recording a few choruses of rhythm changes for us :)

Fingers crossed. 

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« Reply #51 on: Mar 11, 2017, 07:01AM »


Don't you have a clip of YOUR OWN playing we can compare and contrast with Delfeayo's?????


I'll be away for a week but when I get back I'll try my best to entertain you with a couple of laps around Rhythm.

Is there a prize, and how do we decide if I've won it or not?
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« Reply #52 on: Mar 11, 2017, 07:04AM »

I'll be away for a week but when I get back I'll try my best to entertain you with a couple of laps around Rhythm.

Is there a prize, and how do we decide if I've won it or not?

You'll know if you won, because there won't be any comments made.  :-0 That's how it works on TTF. Very, very few people agree to something good, but just state something that is controversial...

lol

...Geezer
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« Reply #53 on: Mar 12, 2017, 02:44PM »

you'll know if you've won because all the cats reading this thread will contact you to start sending you on the gigs they can't make, and once you break out on the scene, maybe you'll get to play with the greatest jazz drummers of all time...and maybe you'll be recognized as NEA Jazz Master...and maybe the ITA will award you with a performing spot to close jazz night at an upcoming festival...

THEN you'll know...

just be sure to put the track on a new thread...maybe call it "Sonic Silver". 

This thread is not about YOU, nor is the proper place to submit performances for in depth reviews of yourself or other artists.

As for their being a prize - this is so not about competition...

But that doesn't mean you won't be famous when this is all said and done.

:)




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« Reply #54 on: Mar 17, 2017, 01:25PM »

No.  If I'm understanding Mr Dease correctly, it's a Cat Anderson technique intended, at least in its original form, to help develop high range on trumpet.

So, I'm just dying to ask...did you develop a high range on trumpet?
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« Reply #55 on: Mar 17, 2017, 03:55PM »

So, I'm just dying to ask...did you develop a high range on trumpet?

No, I did not.  I don't play trumpet much anymore.
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« Reply #56 on: Mar 17, 2017, 04:52PM »

DM and Carl Fontana don't really play enough alike to compare them, any more than Miles and Louie. They trade in a different currency. If you judge Miles by how good of a Louie he was, you might not think he was worth listening to. You could find that one phrase where Miles started late after a breath, almost for sure, or where he used pitch creatively, or where he chipped a note, and it would surely prove something, and by all means give the time stamp to prove you're right.

Maybe this is peculiar to trombone, because we play such a demanding and difficult instrument, so we're tempted to artificially elevate the technical aspects of playing onto some sort of pedestal over and above art. I wonder if you could go on the piano forum and hear side-by-side comparisons of Monk and Oscar Peterson each playing the same changes, designed to "prove" that one or the other wasn't very good.
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« Reply #57 on: Mar 17, 2017, 07:15PM »

DM and Carl Fontana don't really play enough alike to compare them, any more than Miles and Louie. They trade in a different currency. If you judge Miles by how good of a Louie he was, you might not think he was worth listening to. You could find that one phrase where Miles started late after a breath, almost for sure, or where he used pitch creatively, or where he chipped a note, and it would surely prove something, and by all means give the time stamp to prove you're right.

Maybe this is peculiar to trombone, because we play such a demanding and difficult instrument, so we're tempted to artificially elevate the technical aspects of playing onto some sort of pedestal over and above art. I wonder if you could go on the piano forum and hear side-by-side comparisons of Monk and Oscar Peterson each playing the same changes, designed to "prove" that one or the other wasn't very good.

On comparing Miles with Louis, it should be noted that Miles once said he never played anything that Louis had not already played. :D But that is just a bit of fun and your statement is correct.

I particularly wanted to agree with you on your point that I have changed to a red colour in your post. Unfortunately, it happens a lot on this forum that people elevate the importance of technical aspects used by some trombone improvisers. What they should really be looking at is the improvisers ability to melodically express his own personality in a particular sub-genre of jazz and hold the listener spellbound wanting to know where the solo is going to end up. Good!   
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« Reply #58 on: Mar 18, 2017, 12:30AM »

On comparing Miles with Louis, it should be noted that Miles once said he never played anything that Louis had not already played.

---snip---

I suggest that anyone who thinks Miles was kidding should go listen to the duet that Louis did w/Fatha Hines. Weatherbird. 1928. It is as simultaneously as free and as disciplined as anything the Miles/Herbie/Tony Williams/Ron Carter/Wayne Shorter quintet ever played. Total improvisation, total joy. The very beginning of real jazz. Pure improvisation, pure talent.



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