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The Trombone ForumCreation and PerformancePerformance(Moderator: BGuttman) Why Do Jazz Artists Always Play The Same Old Stuff?
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Geezerhorn

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« on: Mar 04, 2017, 04:43AM »

In this thread about Delfeayo Marsalis a side discussion sprang up about what songs jazz performers seem to always gravitate towards. If the side discussion continues, no doubt someone will jump up waving their arms about the thread getting - insert words like - "hijacked", "digressed", etc. So I opened up a new thread on the "side discussion".

Okay, so why is it that jazz artists always have to dig up "old standards" from the 30's and 40's? Is it because said jazz artists are old and that's all they know? Is is because those tunes lend themselves better to jazz than anything else? Is jazz a dying art that only the older performers are managing to keep alive?

Why aren't contemporary jazz artists performing more current stuff? Is it because they feel that the more contemporary tunes lack melodic complexity? I could seriously argue that. In fact, I think it's quite the opposite. Melodies were never more simplistic than they were in the 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's. It was the 90's were pop song writers seemed to start to throw away the "rule book".

Try picking up your horn and playing along with "Top Pop On Prime" if you have an Amazon Echo! First of all, you will find that contemporary songs are often in the "guitar keys" - A, E, etc. Secondly, a lot of them seem to have a floating key center - for lack of a better description, where the actual melody is a little tough to pin down and it changes as the song progresses so much so that it seems like there are maybe two or more different songs combined into one. I've also found that they often tend to have speak/sing melodies - as in "Uptown Funk" or parts of "Poker Face". How do you play those parts well where they are still recognizable in a jazz format?

Also, there seems to be quite a lot of songs where the original melody is so defined that "jazzing it up" would alter the melody line so much it would not be recognizable any more. The song "You Don't Own Me" seems to fit into that category, as does the more contemporary "Dream On", by Aerosmith. I suppose a very talented artist could weave around the melody line convincingly, but the rest of us would sound awful trying to do so.

So is THAT why jazz artists resort the the same ole, same ole? Is it because it's easier than more contemporary tunes?

I think it's time for a rebirth or a reinvention of jazz! Both Bob Dylan and David Bowie managed to keep themselves fresh and current through the decades by reinventing themselves and leading the way for others to follow. Is this why jazz is dying - because it has become stagnant? Who will step up to reinvent jazz?

...Geezer
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« Reply #1 on: Mar 04, 2017, 04:52AM »

A great demonstration of the modern pop idiom and its use of 4 chords

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lw3eYsnl31c
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« Reply #2 on: Mar 04, 2017, 05:09AM »

A great demonstration of the modern pop idiom and its use of 4 chords

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lw3eYsnl31c

I agree! Love it! But I don't see a trad jazz instrumentalist in that little group. Where's the trombone-player? That is my point.

Is Paul The Trombonist the only trombone-player out there who is doing what I am discussing? My hat's off to him; taking the trombone to the YOUNG crowd! BRAVO!

...Geezer
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vito
« Reply #3 on: Mar 04, 2017, 05:37AM »

Is this why jazz is dying - because it has become stagnant? Who will step up to reinvent jazz?

Jazz is neither dying nor stagnant.

Come to NYC and check out:
The Stone (http://thestonenyc.com/)

I-Beam (http://ibeambrooklyn.com/)

and many other venues...

Trombone specific:
Jacob Garchik (http://jacobgarchik.com/)
Brian Drye (http://www.briandrye.com/)

Downtown Music Gallery (http://www.downtownmusicgallery.com/) (Old and new recordings become available every week; Really terrific free live shows just about every week)

Also online:
Taran's Free Jazz Hour (http://taransfreejazzhour.com/) (A good sampling of what's new and/or exciting; my starting point when looking for recordings for my library)

Jazz is alive and well and the subject nightly reinvention. In fact there is so very much going on that it's impossible to keep up.

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« Reply #4 on: Mar 04, 2017, 05:43AM »

Paul is not the only jazz musician who happens to play modern songs...some are good, others not so. Yes, standarts are a big thing. But not the only one. I don't get what is this rant about...
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« Reply #5 on: Mar 04, 2017, 05:49AM »

...

Try picking up your horn and playing along with "Top Pop On Prime" if you have an Amazon Echo! First of all, you will find that contemporary songs are often in the "guitar keys" - A, E, etc. Secondly, a lot of them seem to have a floating key center - for lack of a better description, where the actual melody is a little tough to pin down and it changes as the song progresses so much so that it seems like there are maybe two or more different songs combined into one. I've also found that they often tend to have speak/sing melodies - as in "Uptown Funk" or parts of "Poker Face". How do you play those parts well where they are still recognizable in a jazz format?

...

...Geezer

Relatedly, it seems jazz got going by having fun with staid melodies.  "Jazz them up", as it were.  To make fun of a melody, it seems it has to start out a little too serious about itself.  Today's pop melodies are typically sung so embellished already, it's hard to hear anything to do with them.  The bare melodies without the original artist's embellishments hardly sound like anything at all.  I overgeneralize, as there do seem to be some workable melodies out there, but only a little. 

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« Reply #6 on: Mar 04, 2017, 05:55AM »

I agree! Love it! But I don't see a trad jazz instrumentalist in that little group. Where's the trombone-player? That is my point.

Is Paul The Trombonist the only trombone-player out there who is doing what I am discussing? My hat's off to him; taking the trombone to the YOUNG crowd! BRAVO!

...Geezer

The point of the video was your earlier comment about the chord structure of a modern pop song......  also to demonstrate that most if not all of the pop tunes written in the last 40 years are interchangable
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« Reply #7 on: Mar 04, 2017, 05:58AM »

Jazz is neither dying nor stagnant.

Come to NYC and check out:
The Stone (http://thestonenyc.com/)

I-Beam (http://ibeambrooklyn.com/)

and many other venues...

Trombone specific:
Jacob Garchik (http://jacobgarchik.com/)
Brian Drye (http://www.briandrye.com/)

Downtown Music Gallery (http://www.downtownmusicgallery.com/) (Old and new recordings become available every week; Really terrific free live shows just about every week)

Also online:
Taran's Free Jazz Hour (http://taransfreejazzhour.com/) (A good sampling of what's new and/or exciting; my starting point when looking for recordings for my library)

Jazz is alive and well and the subject nightly reinvention. In fact there is so very much going on that it's impossible to keep up.


Thanks for the enlightenment! New York City SHOULD be the font of all cultural change and enhancement on the East Coast of the USA! Even though perhaps it really all begins on the grass roots level, NYC is where it either makes it or not. I'll check them all out in due course but right now I'm due for a huge morning practice session.  :D

Relatedly, it seems jazz got going by having fun with staid melodies.  "Jazz them up", as it were.  To make fun of a melody, it seems it has to start out a little too serious about itself.  Today's pop melodies are typically sung so embellished already, it's hard to hear anything to do with them.  The bare melodies without the original artist's embellishments hardly sound like anything at all.  I overgeneralize, as there do seem to be some workable melodies out there, but only a little. 

You noticed that too! I always keep my ears open for something I can have fun with, but it has to be that certain something that will ALLOW me to have fun with! Not all of them do. In fact, as you mentioned, few of them do these days for various reasons, including the ones you mentioned. I've gone down a few blind alleys this winter trying to work more contemporary pop songs that I like but alas have discovered that they just don't lend themselves well to me.

...Geezer
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« Reply #8 on: Mar 04, 2017, 06:18AM »

Relatedly, it seems jazz got going by having fun with staid melodies.  "Jazz them up", as it were....

I think I first noticed that process when I was about 6 or 7...

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/GKvkuGhZI2Q" target="_blank">https://www.youtube.com/v/GKvkuGhZI2Q</a>


...and forever after that it all seemed terribly corny, every jazz singer is basically Jane Jetson, jazzing it up.

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« Reply #9 on: Mar 04, 2017, 06:22AM »

Paul is not the only jazz musician who happens to play modern songs...some are good, others not so. Yes, standarts are a big thing. But not the only one. I don't get what is this rant about...

I may have been a tad unkind in my rant. But it does bug me that it SEEMS when we all have a conversation about jazz - either on this Forum or that "conversation" being a local group at a local joint playing - it's the same old tunes.

...Geezer
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« Reply #10 on: Mar 04, 2017, 06:23AM »

I dont really know anything about this but im curious to see where this topic goes....

I would assume that a lot of the 'ol favorite tunes for jazz musicians are recycled frequently for the same reason we see orchestras performing mostly the same older rep.... those songs are good, thats why they have survived. Audiences enjoy familiarity. I think you can hear why Beethoven 5 has become almost a cliché, and no matter how many times you listen to the ring cycle, there is always something to enjoy.

Having said that, I have made the point of actually going out when I can to jazz clubs and Comercial band performances recently on a relatively regular basis. I dont get to play jazz anymore in my day to day life as a musician, and I love the different vibes at the gigs, it also is refreshing to hear trumpets and trombones not played in an orchestral setting. Most of the gigs I hear where the Jazzers are playing modern music, they really go all out with extended techniques and improv. Sometimes, to me it starts to not sound like music anymore, just weird effects over very complicated structures. Other Jazzers go nuts over it, but more often than not I find it difficult to listen to. I get a real kick if I hear something i recognise played really well! But thats rare for me.... surprised to read that you think there is not enough new stuff!
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« Reply #11 on: Mar 04, 2017, 06:33AM »

I dont really know anything about this but im curious to see where this topic goes....

I would assume that a lot of the 'ol favorite tunes for jazz musicians are recycled frequently for the same reason we see orchestras performing mostly the same older rep.... those songs are good, thats why they have survived. Audiences enjoy familiarity. I think you can hear why Beethoven 5 has become almost a cliché, and no matter how many times you listen to the ring cycle, there is always something to enjoy.

Having said that, I have made the point of actually going out when I can to jazz clubs and Comercial band performances recently on a relatively regular basis. I dont get to play jazz anymore in my day to day life as a musician, and I love the different vibes at the gigs, it also is refreshing to hear trumpets and trombones not played in an orchestral setting. Most of the gigs I hear where the Jazzers are playing modern music, they really go all out with extended techniques and improv. Sometimes, to me it starts to not sound like music anymore, just weird effects over very complicated structures. Other Jazzers go nuts over it, but more often than not I find it difficult to listen to. I get a real kick if I hear something i recognise played really well! But thats rare for me.... surprised to read that you think there is not enough new stuff!

I don't get around much anymore.  :D

But if you think that mold is being broken - THANK YOU!

I agree it's nice to hear "old standbys" and it's also nice to hear new stuff. I guess the "old standbys" are the anchor. I just don't want to see that anchor sinking the boat.  :D

...Geezer
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« Reply #12 on: Mar 04, 2017, 06:34AM »

I think I first noticed that process when I was about 6 or 7...

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/GKvkuGhZI2Q" target="_blank">https://www.youtube.com/v/GKvkuGhZI2Q</a>


...and forever after that it all seemed terribly corny, every jazz singer is basically Jane Jetson, jazzing it up.



Lol. Not to mention the SNL vocal parodies of the 90's!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

...Geezer
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« Reply #13 on: Mar 04, 2017, 06:38AM »

The American Song Book are great tunes! What is there not to like?
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« Reply #14 on: Mar 04, 2017, 06:39AM »

I compose and arrange big band charts intended for high school/college "consumption".  I would say 95% of my work is new, original compositions in a variety of styles, but I really try to incorporate "modern" harmonic and rhythmic elements whenever appropriate.

In asking educators what they are programming for their jazz groups, I invariably get the same answers.  They are playing standards and arrangements from name bands' books, plus the occasional pop arrangement...but rarely any "new" music.

Jazz educators are funny people.  They will tell you they want jazz music to move forward and stay fresh, and in the next breath tell you all about the 50 or 60 year old charts their band is performing.  Lots of that music is fantastic and needs to be performed by young musicians, but it has to be balanced with the newer stuff, too.  
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« Reply #15 on: Mar 04, 2017, 06:43AM »

The American Song Book are great tunes! What is there not to like?

I had to Google it. Looks like the same old stuff to me, Dusty. Nice, but that's the point - not fresh & new. After all, wasn't jazz supposed to be the young upstart of music back in the day?

...Geezer
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« Reply #16 on: Mar 04, 2017, 06:44AM »

I compose and arrange big band charts intended for high school/college "consumption".  I would say 95% of my work is new, original compositions in a variety of styles, but I really try to incorporate "modern" harmonic and rhythmic elements whenever appropriate.

In asking educators what they are programming for their jazz groups, I invariably get the same answers.  They are playing standards and arrangements from name bands' books, plus the occasional pop arrangement...but rarely any "new" music.

Jazz educators are funny people.  They will tell you they want jazz music to move forward and stay fresh, and in the next breath tell you all about the 50 or 60 year old charts their band is performing.  Lots of that music is fantastic and needs to be performed by young musicians, but it has to be balanced with the newer stuff, too.  

There you go! Nicely put. Great stuff when it gets a little kick in the butt, eh? That's what I'm talking about! Consider though that educators are in a tough spot. They may want to have kids play new stuff that the kids can relate to, but they are playing concerts for their PARENTS and GRAND PARENTS.

...Geezer
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« Reply #17 on: Mar 04, 2017, 06:45AM »

I had to Google it. Looks like the same old stuff to me, Dusty. Nice, but that's the point - not fresh & new. After all, wasn't jazz supposed to be the young upstart of music back in the day?

...Geezer

A good tune is a good tune and it was music to dance too!
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« Reply #18 on: Mar 04, 2017, 06:54AM »

A good tune is a good tune and it was music to dance too!

Dancing to it is a great point! Try dancing to the new composition! Sooooooo, why can't we have both? Why can't we have newer, more contemporary music "jazzed up" that we can dance to? I know there are pitfalls already mentioned. But it isn't impossible to come up with good, viable candidates from the pool of the most contemporary music. I'll go out on a limb and state that that's what the best bands of today are doing - and some old standards for the old people and the people who are old at heart. lol. There's a different take on that meme! Why do we never hear that sentiment expressed that way? Because no one wants to be thought of as "old at heart" - or do they? I don't. And please don't tell people - when I turn 85 (if I get to do that) - that I'm 85 years young. I hate that.

...Geezer
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« Reply #19 on: Mar 04, 2017, 07:06AM »

I had to Google it. Looks like the same old stuff to me, Dusty. Nice, but that's the point - not fresh & new. After all, wasn't jazz supposed to be the young upstart of music back in the day?

...Geezer

Well, since I'm a youngster, most of the tunes are all 'new' to me anyway. Beautiful melodies that are not found so much anymore.

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« Reply #20 on: Mar 04, 2017, 07:07AM »

I recall a music pundit saying that if a music form is getting taught in schools, it has died as a creative platform.

Classical music is taught in schools.
Jazz is taught in schools.
Now even Rock is taught in schools.

Quote
Today's pop melodies are typically sung so embellished already, it's hard to hear anything to do with them.  The bare melodies without the original artist's embellishments hardly sound like anything at all.

That is a big problem.  What happened? How did melody fall (once again) from its place in music?  No one had trouble coming up with good melodies in the 80s and then something happened.
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« Reply #21 on: Mar 04, 2017, 07:10AM »

Well, since I'm a youngster, most of the tunes are all 'new' to me anyway. Beautiful melodies that are not found so much anymore.


If it's what you like exclusively...

If your group is out there playing for an older population - then, yeah, by all means play what the audience wants to hear! Would you play those tunes exclusively at a wedding reception for a young bride & groom? Maybe a given one if they are doing a retro thing. But otherwise, I think you better have some newer stuff ready.

...Geezer
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« Reply #22 on: Mar 04, 2017, 07:12AM »

I recall a music pundit saying that if a music form is getting taught in schools, it has died as a creative platform.

Classical music is taught in schools.
Jazz is taught in schools.
Now even Rock is taught in schools.

That is a big problem.  What happened? How did melody fall (once again) from its place in music?  No one had trouble coming up with good melodies in the 80s and then something happened.

Mathematicians tell us that it is IMPOSSIBLE to exhaust good melody creation.

...Geezer
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« Reply #23 on: Mar 04, 2017, 07:16AM »

If it's what you like exclusively...

If your group is out there playing for an older population - then, yeah, by all means play what the audience wants to hear! Would you play those tunes exclusively at a wedding reception for a young bride & groom? Maybe a given one if they are doing a retro thing. But otherwise, I think you better have some newer stuff ready.

...Geezer

I think that no one is making the argument that trad jazz, bebop jazz, or pop arrangements from the American Song Book are applicable for everything. There is a time and place for all types of music.

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« Reply #24 on: Mar 04, 2017, 07:17AM »

Is melody even necessary?
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« Reply #25 on: Mar 04, 2017, 07:20AM »

Mathematicians tell us that it is IMPOSSIBLE to exhaust good melody creation.

And yet the people who have applied mathematical principles to melody creation have created nothing of note.


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« Reply #26 on: Mar 04, 2017, 07:25AM »

It sounds to me that a lot of contemp pop music consists of someone swearing, bass, and beats.
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« Reply #27 on: Mar 04, 2017, 07:25AM »

I think that no one is making the argument that trad jazz, bebop jazz, or pop arrangements from the American Song Book are applicable for everything. There is a time and place for all types of music.


Touché!

Is melody even necessary?

Not always. But then again, not always not always either.

And yet the people who have applied mathematical principles to melody creation have created nothing of note.

I was wondering if you were going to go there. They can't do it yet. The Band-in-a-Box engineers might have a few thousand words to say in agreement with you!

...Geezer
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« Reply #28 on: Mar 04, 2017, 07:28AM »

I think jazz artists play oldies because oldies are still nice to listen to. We are more exposed to these tunes because radio stations and record companies think they are nice to listen to too.

It's misinformed to say jazz artists are not creating new music -- they are. If you go to hear them play live, especially at open mic nights, you'll hear it. The audience is mostly going to be other jazz musicians or jazz wannabes. To my ears, the music has moved pretty far away from what sounds nice. This new creative stuff is music for musicians, and at it's best it is very well played, and very technical -- your brain really has to work to just listen. If it floats your boat then great, but to me it's like watching someone *****tiptoe through the tulips***** on stage.

Like anything though,  there are so many different people doing so many different things musically. You kinda have to dig in and see some live stuff and you'll find some real gems of groups playing new music.
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« Reply #29 on: Mar 04, 2017, 07:33AM »

It sounds to me that a lot of contemp pop music consists of someone swearing, bass, and beats.


They still like to go for the shock value of seeing how far they can go with their f-bombs and such. Curious that some radio stations sanitize some songs. PMJ sanitized "All About That Bass" on YouTube.

I think jazz artists play oldies because oldies are still nice to listen to. We are more exposed to these tunes because radio stations and record companies think they are nice to listen to too.

It's misinformed to say jazz artists are not creating new music -- they are. If you go to hear them play live, especially at open mic nights, you'll hear it. The audience is mostly going to be other jazz musicians or jazz wannabes. To my ears, the music has moved pretty far away from what sounds nice. This new creative stuff is music for musicians, and at it's best it is very well played, and very technical -- your brain really has to work to just listen. If it floats your boat then great, but to me it's like watching someone *****tiptoe through the tulips***** on stage.

Like anything though,  there are so many different people doing so many different things musically. You kinda have to dig in and see some live stuff and you'll find some real gems of groups playing new music.

Playing egghead jazz for eggheads is one thing. But I really think more groups or artists ought to play contemporary music in the jazz format.

...Geezer
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« Reply #30 on: Mar 04, 2017, 07:37AM »

But I really think more groups or artists ought to play contemporary music in the jazz format.

...Geezer

Groups should play what they want to play. You just need to find the groups that play what you want to hear. Pretty simple.
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« Reply #31 on: Mar 04, 2017, 07:40AM »

Groups should play what they want to play. You just need to find the groups that play what you want to hear. Pretty simple.

The best groups get to do that and they are so good at it that it's what their audience also wants to hear! The rest of the groups may play what they want to play but their dance card only gets punched by those select audiences that coincidentally want to hear it.

...Geezer
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« Reply #32 on: Mar 04, 2017, 07:42AM »

What do you mean by contemporary music in a jazz format. I'm not having a go, I really don't know what that means.

To me, contemporary music is like the Nyman trombone concerto. Easy to listen to but veryyyy out there. I don't even know what the jazz format is.

Do you mean like, top 40s tunes jazzed up? Groups like Lucky Chops, Trombone Shorty's band and No BS already are doing that.
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« Reply #33 on: Mar 04, 2017, 07:43AM »

The best groups get to do that and they are so good at it that it's what their audience also wants to hear! The rest of the groups may play what they want to play but their dance card only gets punched by those select audiences that coincidentally want to hear it.

...Geezer

Sure!
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« Reply #34 on: Mar 04, 2017, 07:48AM »

What do you mean by contemporary music in a jazz format. I'm not having a go, I really don't know what that means.

To me, contemporary music is like the Nyman trombone concerto. Easy to listen to but veryyyy out there. I don't even know what the jazz format is.

Do you mean like, top 40s tunes jazzed up? Groups like Lucky Chops, Trombone Shorty's band and No BS already are doing that.

That's it. They are, but they are doing it so stylistically that you either love it or hate it. I'm referring to a more casual kind of jazz cover for pop tunes. Maybe on the order of PMJ - but featuring brass a LOT more than the vocals.

...Geezer
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« Reply #35 on: Mar 04, 2017, 08:16AM »

Interesting article on past systems to manufacture music

Musikalisches Würfelspiel

Quote
A Musikalisches Würfelspiel (German for "musical dice game") was a system for using dice to randomly 'generate' music from precomposed options. These 'games' were quite popular throughout Western Europe in the 18th century.
Quote

According to Stephen Hedges, "The 'galant' middle class in Europe was playing with mathematics. In this atmosphere of investigation and cataloguing, a systematic device that would seem to make it possible for anyone to write music was practically guaranteed popularity.


In "20th Century Music" class in college (back when in the 20th Century) we were taught that even Mozart had investigated randomized music making, as if that somehow validated the random noises current composers were making.  But it turns out the Mozart connection has never been authenticated.
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« Reply #36 on: Mar 04, 2017, 09:01AM »

First off, in my opinion, one is going to have a really hard time becoming a "jazz musician" (regardless of one's personal definition of what that means) if one does not spend some serious time in a practice room learning the roots of the music.

This means learning hundreds (perhaps thousands over one's career) of standards from the American Songbook and being familiar with how the pantheon of jazz performers interpreted those songs. These are (in my opinion and the opinion of roughly 99.9% of people who play this music on the level) the greatest collection of popular compositions in the history of man thus far. If you have less than a passing acquaintance with Louis Armstrong, Cole Porter and Duke Ellington, what you play is probably not jazz. Doesn't mean it isn't good, it just isn't informed by the history of the music.

This also means learning the blues. It isn't jazz if it isn't informed by the blues. I don't mean one should aimlessly cram a "blues scale" (there's a lie) into every solo - it doesn't work that way. I mean that one's melodic approach should incorporate elements of the blues informed by actual listening (observation), imitation and assimilation. One doesn't play the blues by placing irrelevant and unnecessary "blue notes" or "blues licks" into random spots in a solo. If one experiences the blues aurally, one will eventually assimilate elements of the blues into their palette.

This also means learning about the cuban, caribbean and south american music traditions. New Orleans has more in common culturally with the caribbean than it does with the southern U.S. or even the state of Louisiana. Why is this? Learn about the history of the Black Codes, a system of laws that attempted to suppress African culture in the United States. In the caribbean, Africans did not have their culture as brutally suppressed (generally) as was the case in the states. The roots of the music were better preserved. This also explains why the mother of jazz is New Orleans... and Cuba, and why every time I had the privilege of playing with one of the old masters a mention of Cuban music was almost a given in conversation afterwards.

This also means developing your ears - listening, theory, practicing in all 12 keys, learning piano - these are all things that develop and expand your ability to identify and react to what you hear. If you're not a good "ear player", this music will be difficult indeed. Work on your ears, folks, just being able to sit in a dance band and sight read charts doesn't make one a jazz musician.

There are plenty of modern jazz musicians who are playing stuff that isn't "standards and bebop heads". Almost all of them started out playing standards and learning their history.

And by the way, if you're avoiding the bebop and post-bop eras out of some ******** idea that fast lines in jazz isn't music or somehow lacks melody, you're missing out on a lot of great music. Transcribe some of that stuff and you'll see that it isn't BS, you're just not hearing the melody probably because you're ego can't stand hearing stuff you can't play or don't understand. To play this music, one has to be humble and be willing to learn and move forward. Some people don't hear Bach. That's okay, they should either put the work in and learn it or if that;s to much work there is no shame in sticking to playing 4 chord pop songs. There are some great 4 chord pop songs out there. No jazz required.

Don't let your own limited knowledge of the music fool you into thinking jazz has "died" or is "stagnant." It's not. There are plenty of jazz musicians doing stuff that isn't just a re-hash of the older styles. Look. Listen. Learn. STOP JUDGING. When you hear a great musician and your first reaction is "I don't get why everyone likes this person" or "I don't like that high fiddly crap" that's a sign that maybe you need to listen a little deeper. That's an opportunity for growth.

Jacob Garchik, Josh Roseman, Ryan Keberle, David Gibson, Marshal Gilkes, Michael Dease - these are all modern guys who can play the mess out the horn and are doing original new music. And don't stop with trombone players. Mark Turner, Josh Redman, Donny McCaslin, Tivon Pennicott and Chris Potter on Tenor, Will Vinson, David Binney, Kenny Garrett and Sharel Cassity on Alto, Christian Scott, Dave Douglas, Cuong Vu, Jeremy Pelt and Ron Horton on trumpet, Robert Glasper, Vijay Iyer, Bram Weijters and Brad Meldau on piano, Ben Street, Linda Oh, Robert Leslie Hurst III and of course Esperanza Spaulding on bass, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Chris Dave, Dafnis Prieto and Rudy Royston on drums, David Gilmore, Kurt Rosenwinkle, Ben Monder and Lage Lund on guitar. Large ensemble composers like Maria Schneider and Darcy James Argue are doing music that doesn't sound like any big band you've ever heard.

This is just a small sampling of guys on the modern scene who are doing new, relevant music. I left out hundreds of people. This is just a way to get started - some of these guys play music that is still grounded in the tradition, some of these guys are branching out into different directions. All of these musicians (and so many more) are playing real, modern, relevant music of high artistic value and contributing to the great tradition of jazz and improvised music.
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« Reply #37 on: Mar 04, 2017, 09:10AM »


^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

 Good!

It's a discussion. Thanks for taking part in it. I was hoping you would.

I believe it is needed on this Forum as I don't recall seeing any of the names you listed being mentioned in the past five years.

No argument about learning the rules before moving on. It's just an impression (perhaps faulty) I have that many have not moved on.

Anyway, there has been a lot of participation on a thread this morning that isn't specifically about classical music and bass trombone parts in it.  Evil 

...Geezer
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« Reply #38 on: Mar 04, 2017, 09:22AM »

Anyway, there has been a lot of participation on a thread this morning that isn't specifically about classical music and bass trombone parts in it.  Evil 
:D :D :D that stuff's important too, man, but I hear ya.


For some examples of covers of modern popular songs that still retain a true artistic shape and not just a cheezed out swing cover ala Paul Anka or Richard Cheese, check out the following:

Brad Mehldau - has done a ton of covers of pop tunes, and they are all excellent: Exit Music For a Film (Radiohead), Riverman (Nick Drake), Blackbird (Beatles) - I couldn't list all of them here or I'd be going through my CD collection all day.

Robert Glasper - also covers a fair amount of popular material, His "Everything in it's right place" (Radiohead) is pretty awesome combined with Herbie Hancock's Maiden Voyage. Compare his tratment of "Everything" to Brad Mehldau's.

Bad Plus - "Smells Like Teen Spirt" takes a turn for the savage on this, and their "Comfortably Numb" cover gives me chills, especially listening to it on the highway in dark and lightless rural oklahoma at 4AM coming back from a gig in KC.

(I have a cover of Smells Like Teen Spirit I did a few years, if you're interested in checking it out I can send you a link to it. It could've been better on my end but the band is killing.)

Jacob Collier - young wunderkind from the UK who's been doing "jazz" arrangements of pop stuff on youtube for a while now, check out his stuff. Very interesting, mashes up soul, gospel, r&b, funk with jazz harmonies and aesthetic and just writes really interesting stuff. I love this "kid" (i think he's in his 20's now, so no longer a kid.)

And I haven't even started with all those great New Orleans brass bands and their renditions of modern pop tunes - hint, if a NO brass band covers Marvin Gaye, you need to check it out.

I could write about this all day. There are plenty - and I mean plenty of jazz musicians covering modern popular music. Google "covers of modern pop by jazz group" or some variation of that and see what pops up on google....  When I assign stuff to my students about selecting a pop tune and arranging it, they don't have any problems finding inspiration.
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« Reply #39 on: Mar 04, 2017, 09:40AM »

^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

 Good!

I will do as you suggest, Zach.

I get it about how to really learn the basis of the different forms of jazz through assimilation.

But here's a thought as to style and I'll use JJ as an example. Why do we have to actually play "Laura" if we want to learn how to channel JJ? I don't want to play "Laura" or almost any song from that era in which he played. Love his sound. Love his technique. Love his style. Those elements are certainly lofty goals to strive for.

I feel that I could listen to someone intently, come to understand what they are doing in particular phrases in particular ways and maybe even more importantly why - and then go play what I want to play in a style that has a few elements of their style in it. And isn't that enough? It is for me. Do we want JJ imitators out there as there are - gag - Elvis imitators?  :D

...Geezer
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« Reply #40 on: Mar 04, 2017, 11:38AM »

NO BS was about as close to what I'm interested in as it got on your list, Zach - but still not my idea of the kind of pop music I'm looking for; no Meghan Trainor stuff there. However, they can inspire me for what I do in street band, though. Thanks for that turn-on!

The rest of them didn't interest me.

I ended up bookmarking NO BS. Mr Reginald Pace reminded me of what I'm trying to do - on a much more elementary basis - with my street band solos.

I'd love to hear your work. You could PM me if you don't want to make it public and I would respect that.

...Geezer

OBTW - Graham - When you get out of bed in your corner of the world, make a nice cup of coffee. You have some reading to catch up on.  :D
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« Reply #41 on: Mar 04, 2017, 12:41PM »

...can't stay away from NO BS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! RVA ALL DAY!

Hmmmmmmmmm. SM58 mics in the 'bone yard?

Found it! This popped up after the NO BS roll-through:

Lucky Chops

NICE!!!!!

...Geezer
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« Reply #42 on: Mar 04, 2017, 01:37PM »


But here's a thought as to style and I'll use JJ as an example. Why do we have to actually play "Laura" if we want to learn how to channel JJ? I don't want to play "Laura" or almost any song from that era in which he played. Love his sound. Love his technique. Love his style. Those elements are certainly lofty goals to strive for.

If you want to assimilate, you have to imitate. It's your choice. If you're not interested in JJ's aesthetic that's okay, but in my opinion, if you're looking to develop the vocabulary, you need to get into JJ.

I'm not suggesting you have to transcribe every performance, although that isn't a bad idea.

Look at a cat like Steve Davis - he's obviously done his homework on the masters. He's perfectly capable of sounding just like JJ, perfectly capable of a mean Curtis Fuller impersonation. But he has his own sound. David Gibson is coming so hard out of Slide Hampton that he can sound just like him, but he has his own sound as well. Both of these players would not be the special voices they are if it weren't for their study of the masters they studied. You can't develop that deep of a vocabulary without exploring the masters in depth.
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« Reply #43 on: Mar 04, 2017, 01:48PM »

If you want to assimilate, you have to imitate. It's your choice. If you're not interested in JJ's aesthetic that's okay, but in my opinion, if you're looking to develop the vocabulary, you need to get into JJ.

I'm not suggesting you have to transcribe every performance, although that isn't a bad idea.

Look at a cat like Steve Davis - he's obviously done his homework on the masters. He's perfectly capable of sounding just like JJ, perfectly capable of a mean Curtis Fuller impersonation. But he has his own sound. David Gibson is coming so hard out of Slide Hampton that he can sound just like him, but he has his own sound as well. Both of these players would not be the special voices they are if it weren't for their study of the masters they studied. You can't develop that deep of a vocabulary without exploring the masters in depth.

THE quote of the day: If you want to assimilate, you have to imitate.  Love it!

...Geezer
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« Reply #44 on: Mar 04, 2017, 02:59PM »

snip
OBTW - Graham - When you get out of bed in your corner of the world, make a nice cup of coffee. You have some reading to catch up on.  :D

Yeah, I could not believe there was a topic with over 30 posts which did not even exist yesterday. Nice to see the forum is talking about music again, especially jazz, instead of those boring equipment posts.

It actually did not take long to read and I must say that I agreed with most of what was said by the jazz musicians amongst us. Except the post that said, "Is melody even necessary?". I hope that was a joke because in the Aussie vernacular, "Bloody Oath it is!", especially in the solos.

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« Reply #45 on: Mar 04, 2017, 03:01PM »

Haha "HH" is No BS!'s best track
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« Reply #46 on: Mar 04, 2017, 03:35PM »

Modern jazz musicians who have produced beautiful reinterpretations of popular and other important music (i.e., they've made it their own):

Sex Mob (Steven Bernstein, soprano trombone) - hear them live if you can! Appearing at The Stone in March.

Conrad Herwig's 'Latin Side' series - my favorite trombonist on some of my favorite albums. I could listen to the Wayne Shorter disc every day.

Ed Palermo Big Band's work on the music of Frank Zappa and others - hear them live if you can! There is so much going on that one can't take it all in. The trombonist is dynamite.

I get to hear Conrad Herwig with his Rutgers U jazz ensemble on Monday night. Can't wait!
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« Reply #47 on: Mar 04, 2017, 04:53PM »

^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

I am going to check them all out!  Good!

Thanks!

...Geezer
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« Reply #48 on: Mar 04, 2017, 05:13PM »

The Sex Mob Rota/Fellini album:

https://www.allaboutjazz.com/cinema-circus-and-spaghetti-sex-mob-plays-fellini-the-music-of-nino-rota-sex-mob-royal-potato-family-review-by-troy-collins.php

is really neat.

Steven Bernstein also leads the Millennial Territorial Orchestra, which has a fun album of Sly and the Family Stone tunes. Billy Martin's Wicked Knee (with Bernstein, Curtis Fowlkes on t-bone and Marcus Rojas on tuba) album 'Heels Over Heat' is also cool. Bernstein is quite prolific, so I'm sure that there's a lot of great stuff that I haven't yet encountered.

Edit: also just about anything with Roswell Rudd, old and new. The  recent Trombone Tribe and Trombone for Lovers (with several well-known tunes) are on regular rotation in my house. Also the old stuff with Steve Lacy.

^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

I am going to check them all out!  Good!

Thanks!

...Geezer
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« Reply #49 on: Mar 05, 2017, 05:38AM »

Thanks Vito.

I sampled everything you suggested. The closest to what I was looking for was Ed Palermo's band, although - for pure trombone non-pop jazz - Conrad is rad! I bookmarked him for trombone sound/technique listening - although I certainly would NOT want to emulate the slide-pumping technique I saw! Yikes! Broken arm!

Other than some of the Palermo Band I wouldn't call most of the other stuff "pop" music, by my definition of the Billboard Top 100 Pop Songs.

Maybe it's just me but it seems that very few on this Forum actually know what pop music is. I guess if it isn't classical, it must be pop. Nope.

Thanks!

So far, NO BS and Lucky Chops win my approval - for what that's worth (nothing to anyone except me) hand's down.

...Geezer
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« Reply #50 on: Mar 05, 2017, 06:03AM »

I remember when Kenton and Ferguson did jazz arrangements of pop tunes in the 70's,
critics labelled it as "Bad Jazz". (as in sub par)
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« Reply #51 on: Mar 05, 2017, 06:17AM »

I remember when Kenton and Ferguson did jazz arrangements of pop tunes in the 70's,
critics labelled it as "Bad Jazz". (as in sub par)

Yes. See! It has that stigma. I blame the eggheads. lol

So far, almost no one has the "right" (my) concept of pop music performed in a jazz format. The closest on this thread is NO BS, Lucky Chops and the Palermo Band. Almost everyone - in their attempt to argue my point - has validated my point by showing examples of other music being played in a jazz format and trying to pass it off as pop music being played in a jazz format!

I mean, I appreciate all the input, though!!!!! It made for some interesting interludes during practice session rest breaks.

...Geezer
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« Reply #52 on: Mar 05, 2017, 06:57AM »

I remember when Kenton and Ferguson did jazz arrangements of pop tunes in the 70's,
critics labelled it as "Bad Jazz". (as in sub par)

Even badder...

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/41v0eWL5L4I" target="_blank">https://www.youtube.com/v/41v0eWL5L4I</a>
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« Reply #53 on: Mar 05, 2017, 07:08AM »

"Too Marvelous For Words".

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« Reply #54 on: Mar 05, 2017, 07:23AM »

I'm chiming in as much to have this in my feed as to add much of substance. I think it was Glen Miller who said, "There is no such thing as a bad song, only bad arrangements". Not sure I can get totally behind the sentiment, but I have actually heard versions of "Tie a Yellow Ribbon" and "After the Lovin'" that were not horrible, so.......

Is Dave Gibson's arrangement of "Here Comes the Sun" off his latest album along the lines of what you are seeking?

I'm kinda with you on a lot of what you're saying. I am constantly looking for charts for my septet book that are not the standard "GAS" repertoire. Because the instrumental septet isn't done much anymore, it is largely a futile search. When I do find something a bit more "up to date" it is something like "Red Clay" or "Footprints". Wish I had the arranging chops to try to do some Bruno Mars or Michael Franti.

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« Reply #55 on: Mar 05, 2017, 07:25AM »

I guess it's up to the jazz musician(s).  There are lots of pop songs out there that could be turned into jazz studies.

Here is a simple Big Band arrangement of one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfmCEAXgX_o

That particular arrangement is rather, well, simple/easy/dull.  Far more could be done with that melody in the right hands.  We played a concert band arrangement that was really quite nice.

Where there's a will there's a way.
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« Reply #56 on: Mar 05, 2017, 07:35AM »

I'm chiming in as much to have this in my feed as to add much of substance. I think it was Glen Miller who said, "There is no such thing as a bad song, only bad arrangements". Not sure I can get totally behind the sentiment, but I have actually heard versions of "Tie a Yellow Ribbon" and "After the Lovin'" that were not horrible, so.......

Is Dave Gibson's arrangement of "Here Comes the Sun" off his latest album along the lines of what you are seeking?

I'm kinda with you on a lot of what you're saying. I am constantly looking for charts for my septet book that are not the standard "GAS" repertoire. Because the instrumental septet isn't done much anymore, it is largely a futile search. When I do find something a bit more "up to date" it is something like "Red Clay" or "Footprints". Wish I had the arranging chops to try to do some Bruno Mars or Michael Franti.


YEP!

I'll take a listen to Dave's arrangement a bit later; in a practice session right now.

Have you tried "Blue Bayou", "My Blue Heaven", or "Every Breath You Take"? They aren't the most current anymore, but they are still pretty cool tunes and I think there is some wiggle room in them for improv & such. I kinda like Jim Croce's "I've Got A Name" as well. But jack the temp way up to like 180 bpm. I actually think a talented trombone player could do some pretty cool legato double-tonguing on the chorus of this song. Simple tune but maybe has some potential and is very easily recognized by almost any audience. Trouble is with some of these "classic" pop tunes is that they get beaten to death in supermarkets and discount department stores.

P.S. Maybe try "You Are So Beautiful"? The trick on this short and repeated chorus is to change it up every time. Vocalists have the drop on us that way 'cuz the lyrics change.

P.P.S. I also think a variety of mutes is so essential as to be absolutely required. And FWIW, I also believe that a more delicate approach trumps a heavy beefcake approach on playing contemporary pop tunes.

P.P.P.S. I don't think I found the right Gibson recording, as the one I found was pretty straight.

P.P.P.P.S. I personally think a jazz arrangement of Aerosmith's "Dream On" would be fantastic, but you will have to find a brass virtuoso who could handle that immense octave jump near the end, which is one of the hooks in that song!!!!!!

...Geezer
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« Reply #57 on: Mar 05, 2017, 08:37AM »

I guess it's up to the jazz musician(s).  There are lots of pop songs out there that could be turned into jazz studies.

Here is a simple Big Band arrangement of one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfmCEAXgX_o

That particular arrangement is rather, well, simple/easy/dull.  Far more could be done with that melody in the right hands.  We played a concert band arrangement that was really quite nice.

Where there's a will there's a way.

That's nice and it's pretty much how we play it in street band. I think our's is the Paul Murtha arrangement. Great seasonal pop tune and that's what I'm kinda talking about - but I would like a more jazz arrangement featuring improvs and such - as you mentioned.

...Geezer
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« Reply #58 on: Mar 05, 2017, 09:21AM »

I'm going to guess that source material like "Tie a Yellow Ribbon" and "Here Comes the Sun" do not evoke the smoky, film noir mood that most jazz artists are aiming for.

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« Reply #59 on: Mar 05, 2017, 09:34AM »

I'm going to guess that source material like "Tie a Yellow Ribbon" and "Here Comes the Sun" do not evoke the smoky, film noir mood that most jazz artists are aiming for.


Prob'ly not. But then again, that smoky nightclub atmosphere doesn't necessarily have to be the poster-child for jazz either. Jazz can be cool at high noon as well - if it's done right. I put away my turtleneck sweater, martini glass and cigarette a LONG time ago 'cuz I don't want to be stuck in the past.

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« Reply #60 on: Mar 05, 2017, 03:40PM »

I'm going to guess that source material like "Tie a Yellow Ribbon" and "Here Comes the Sun" do not evoke the smoky, film noir mood that most jazz artists are aiming for.


Funny you should mention "Tie A Yellow Ribbon". Certainly not smoky mood but it was quite popular in the 60s hot jazz genre that most folks would call Dixieland. My favourite hot band Alex Welsh recorded it - as did Kenny Ball and Joe "Fingers" Webster. I have them all in my CD collection. :-P The Joe "Fingers" Webster & The Swing Fever Big Band version is a bit 'jazzy pop' but at least it has a trombone-stated melody and it is a swing rhythm. Not deep film noir jazz however:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nV7cs3zbV_E
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« Reply #61 on: Mar 05, 2017, 03:55PM »

Funny you should mention "Tie A Yellow Ribbon". Certainly not smoky mood but it was quite popular in the 60s hot jazz genre that most folks would call Dixieland. My favourite hot band Alex Welsh recorded it - as did Kenny Ball and Joe "Fingers" Webster. I have them all in my CD collection. :-P The Joe "Fingers" Webster & The Swing Fever Big Band version is a bit 'jazzy pop' but at least it has a trombone-stated melody and it is a swing rhythm. Not deep film noir jazz however:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nV7cs3zbV_E

Well good morning! I've been waiting for your input and you did not disappoint!

Dang it! See! I've always thought that a talented group/performer could take the corniest song of all time and make it sound like a million bucks! BRAVO! BRAVO! Okay, I know the jazz style may be a bit dated, but he made his point and so have you.

...Geezer
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« Reply #62 on: Mar 05, 2017, 04:03PM »

I don't think it is accurate to say that jazz artists play the same old stuff. Some? Sure

Maybe you aren't listening to a wider range of recordings. Are you talking local players? Jam sessions?
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« Reply #63 on: Mar 05, 2017, 04:07PM »

I'm afraid I am a little late to this thread but...

Geezer, I completely respect your point, but I disagree where you say that new music should be made, and we should not rely so heavily on the oldies.  

New music is a necessity, and it is always being made, but in jazz particularly, the old songs are truly what jazz is.

To me personally, jazz is much more than a type of music, is is a culture and feeling, and that feeling is best captured by the eras that truly defined the genre.  So the old tunes might be overused at some points, but they are often the tunes that really define and show what jazz is.

I believe that you cannot play music, especially jazz, if you do not understand and appreciate it's history. (This sounds like I am pointing fingers, but I am not, as I am high school age and some of the people on this forum are amazing musicians...)

But jazz is a culture, much more than music, and I do not think that you can truly play jazz unless you are fully part of the culture, and you can feel the music.  

This, of course, stretches across all eras of the music, but I think it is in the older tunes, the classics, that jazz is truly formed and where it is best felt.

I'm sure someone understands what I am trying to say, but I find that you cannot describe it with words.


Thanks,

T
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« Reply #64 on: Mar 05, 2017, 04:07PM »

I don't think it is accurate to say that jazz artists play the same old stuff. Some? Sure

Maybe you aren't listening to a wider range of recordings. Are you talking local players? Jam sessions?


It's a global impression I have. It may - admittedly - be faulty. But I think there has been a lot of merit in this discussion never-the-less.

...Geezer
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« Reply #65 on: Mar 05, 2017, 04:10PM »

I'm afraid I am a little late to this thread but...

Geezer, I completely respect your point, but I disagree where you say that new music should be made, and we should not rely so heavily on the oldies.  

New music is a necessity, and it is always being made, but in jazz particularly, the old songs are truly what jazz is.

To me personally, jazz is much more than a type of music, is is a culture and feeling, and that feeling is best captured by the eras that truly defined the genre.  So the old tunes might be overused at some points, but they are often the tunes that really define and show what jazz is.

I believe that you cannot play music, especially jazz, if you do not understand and appreciate it's history. (This sounds like I am pointing fingers, but I am not, as I am high school age and some of the people on this forum are amazing musicians...)

But jazz is a culture, much more than music, and I do not think that you can truly play jazz unless you are fully part of the culture, and you can feel the music.  

This, of course, stretches across all eras of the music, but I think it is in the older tunes, the classics, that jazz is truly formed and where it is best felt.

I'm sure someone understands what I am trying to say, but I find that you cannot describe it with words.


Thanks,

T

No, that's fine. You're making a solid point. I get it. I just want to hear more contemporary pop tunes played in a jazz format. I'm hungry for that and I think it's a market that is overlooked in favor of the more traditional stuff. And when I state "pop", I mean what's hot on Billboard Top 100. Others have a different definition of "pop" and I guess that's due to what the Boston Pops Orchestra and their like play. To me, that's "classical pop" - of the Gershwin ilk. Nice stuff. Not what I mean, though.

...Geezer
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« Reply #66 on: Mar 05, 2017, 04:20PM »

Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy: Avant Pop

Forgot about that one. Includes a few reinterpretations of well-known pop songs. Steve Turre and Bob Stewart play on this one. I'll have to dig out my copy for a listen tomorrow. Completely irrelevant story... I once had a fourth grade student who mentioned that he lived in Bowie's old house in Brooklyn. He knew that I had an interest in brass-playing jazz musicians and was excited that I was one of the few people he encountered who was familiar with Bowie.
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« Reply #67 on: Mar 05, 2017, 04:31PM »

Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy: Avant Pop

Forgot about that one. Includes a few reinterpretations of well-known pop songs. Steve Turre and Bob Stewart play on this one. I'll have to dig out my copy for a listen tomorrow. Completely irrelevant story... I once had a fourth grade student who mentioned that he lived in Bowie's old house in Brooklyn. He knew that I had an interest in brass-playing jazz musicians and was excited that I was one of the few people he encountered who was familiar with Bowie.

I did a quick sample of Lester; I'm in a practice session right now. I think there is a lot of merit for a deep listen a little later.

Thanks!

...Geezer
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« Reply #68 on: Mar 05, 2017, 04:39PM »

on jazzing things up... there's a CD out there somewhere of jazz-harmony accompaniments to the Bordogni vocalises. Same melodies, new harmonies.

The one sample I heard was effective. The original Bordogni accomps tend to be pretty ordinary stuff... four chords, maybe five. So maybe it would be feasible to take ordinary pop and do something with it if you had to.
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« Reply #69 on: Mar 05, 2017, 04:43PM »

on jazzing things up... there's a CD out there somewhere of jazz-harmony accompaniments to the Bordogni vocalises. Same melodies, new harmonies.

The one sample I heard was effective. The original Bordogni accomps tend to be pretty ordinary stuff... four chords, maybe five. So maybe it would be feasible to take ordinary pop and do something with it if you had to.


I mean, yeah. So what it has only four chords. "Little Bitty Pretty One" only has one chord - F. Try doing THAT one in a jazz combo. It could be done, but I believe the approach should be for the combo to come out of their mold and do some hand-jiving and acapella singing for at least part of the accompaniment, while they take turns wailing away on the melody line.

...Geezer
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« Reply #70 on: Mar 05, 2017, 05:33PM »

Modal pop?
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« Reply #71 on: Mar 05, 2017, 06:00PM »

In my band, I play maybe 75% or more originals of my own originals. But I treasure jazz standards. Timeless songs are worthy or reinterpretation (and respect).

Of course there are a lot of standards that have almost become hackneyed and trite because they are overplayed.

But I view it as a challenge to make the old tunes fresh. Reframe them via arrangement. Change the meter, even use mixed meters on some. Change the groove, etc. I like to use latin grooves on standards for instance. Nothing ground breaking I know, but it does liven tunes up and sets them apart.

Listen to how JJ interpreted standards for instance. Imagination goes a long way.
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« Reply #72 on: Mar 05, 2017, 06:09PM »

Modal pop?

I prefer soda pop!

In my band, I play maybe 75% or more originals of my own originals. But I treasure jazz standards. Timeless songs are worthy or reinterpretation (and respect).

Of course there are a lot of standards that have almost become hackneyed and trite because they are overplayed.

But I view it as a challenge to make the old tunes fresh. Reframe them via arrangement. Change the meter, even use mixed meters on some. Change the groove, etc. I like to use latin grooves on standards for instance. Nothing ground breaking I know, but it does liven tunes up and sets them apart.

Listen to how JJ interpreted standards for instance. Imagination goes a long way.

I understand the challenge. I've heard artists do fresh takes of older stuff. I think Bob Dylan did it at a recent event with an older song and he did a bang-up job. But I think it takes a giant of an artist to do it well and gain national respect. In the world of brass players, who would that currently be?

...Geezer
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« Reply #73 on: Mar 05, 2017, 06:46PM »

Hey Geez - Check out some of the stuff Nils Landgren does. His duo albums with guitars has some great stuff, as does the album he did with Joe Sample.....

https://www.discogs.com/Nils-Landgren-Joe-Sample-Creole-Love-Call/release/651276

Or, maybe..............

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HH3jMBfZixA
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« Reply #74 on: Mar 05, 2017, 07:03PM »

Hey Geez - Check out some of the stuff Nils Landgren does. His duo albums with guitars has some great stuff, as does the album he did with Joe Sample.....

https://www.discogs.com/Nils-Landgren-Joe-Sample-Creole-Love-Call/release/651276

Or, maybe..............

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HH3jMBfZixA

Some pretty nice stuff. I'll want to hear more brass, but I can't argue with the arrangements. Bookmark-worthy!

As I listen to more of his work, I'm delighted to find beautiful trombone solos embedded in a lot of selections.

When I come across a trombone solo gem in one of the selections, I'm very pleased to hear what I refer to as an "alternate melody" being played through the chord progression. It's an "alternate melody" that is every bit as beautiful or even more so than the original melody and is something that would never occur to me. That's inspiring!

...Geezer
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« Reply #75 on: Mar 05, 2017, 07:05PM »

One of the nice things I see going on in this thread, are contributions from members I haven't seen contributions from on any of the other threads I gawk at.  Good!

...Geezer
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« Reply #76 on: Mar 05, 2017, 08:11PM »

Hey Geez - Check out some of the stuff Nils Landgren does. His duo albums with guitars has some great stuff, as does the album he did with Joe Sample.....

https://www.discogs.com/Nils-Landgren-Joe-Sample-Creole-Love-Call/release/651276

Or, maybe..............

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HH3jMBfZixA

Yeah! I am a big Nils Landgren fan and have been for quite a few years. I've posted a few of his videos in YouTube Trombonists.

Whenever I do any kind of a search on the internet for anything about jazz and trombones, I get bombarded with Nils Landgren YouTubes. But, you know, he grows on you and I find myself selecting more and more of the tunes he does and playing them in a similar style. I even like his tone, although I think it is sometimes spoiled by the electronics he hangs of the back of his trombone.

Then there are his vocals...... Yeah, RIGHT. But, to tell the truth, they also get you in after a while. I guess I have become a bit of a fan:

"Sentimental Journey":
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgcP-4orhgk

"One Day I'll Fly Away", with Joe Sample who wrote it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCItZ0RJmmc

"Killing Me Softly":
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35lyTYabAZo&playnext=1&list=AL94UKMTqg-9Baq3vBbIS4GcJCawOJ8vt-

"Oh, You Crazy Moon":
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4cIG_VnRxw&list=AL94UKMTqg-9Baq3vBbIS4GcJCawOJ8vt-

"There Goes My Heart":
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vzEYGyxL4g&list=AL94UKMTqg-9Baq3vBbIS4GcJCawOJ8vt-

"Moon River":
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Rw0Uea0oJk&list=AL94UKMTqg-9Baq3vBbIS4GcJCawOJ8vt-

I am not too keen on the funk unit and the jump suit, however. Eeek!



Most of the time these days he fronts a Funk Unit which is legitimate crossover pop and jazz. But the ones he does on his own, or with his female vocalist (wife?) are fine:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWA6XSRD80Q


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« Reply #77 on: Mar 06, 2017, 01:37AM »

Nice discussion.
I'd second listening to Esperanza Spalding- also Kamisai Washington and Thundercat. Wonderful modern jazz (but few trombones).
Most of the "standards" that jazz players messed with were old songs- they played them because they were well known and had interesting chords, among other things. I'm not sure they were ever "pop" songs.
A couple of people have mentioned Radiohead- their stuff seems very promising for "jazz" treatment. I think there is even a Hal Leonard (?) book with arrangements that could be "jazzed" very easily.
Modern popular music is not "known" in the same way that, say, Cole Porter songs or Beatles songs were. Most older people I know have never heard of Drake for example but he is wildly popular as a streaming artist (and fabulous as well...).
My votes for modern pop music suitable for jazz treatment would be Adele's "21" album and more recently Beyonce's "Lemonade". Both full of songs that are  interesting, catchy and well known.

Rob.
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« Reply #78 on: Mar 06, 2017, 03:25AM »

If anyone can track down that Bordogni CD I'd love a copy.....
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« Reply #79 on: Mar 06, 2017, 05:34AM »

Nice discussion.
I'd second listening to Esperanza Spalding- also Kamisai Washington and Thundercat. Wonderful modern jazz (but few trombones).
Most of the "standards" that jazz players messed with were old songs- they played them because they were well known and had interesting chords, among other things. I'm not sure they were ever "pop" songs.
A couple of people have mentioned Radiohead- their stuff seems very promising for "jazz" treatment. I think there is even a Hal Leonard (?) book with arrangements that could be "jazzed" very easily.
Modern popular music is not "known" in the same way that, say, Cole Porter songs or Beatles songs were. Most older people I know have never heard of Drake for example but he is wildly popular as a streaming artist (and fabulous as well...).
My votes for modern pop music suitable for jazz treatment would be Adele's "21" album and more recently Beyonce's "Lemonade". Both full of songs that are  interesting, catchy and well known.

Rob.


Hmmmmmmmmmm. I personally think a little Adele goes a long way, but sounds like you are suggesting "Deep Tracks Pop"! Those albums sell by the zillions to ipodists, so you are definitely appealing to a very young crowd. But would that young crowd tolerate their music morphing to a jazz format?  Don't know

...Geezer
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« Reply #80 on: Mar 06, 2017, 05:46AM »

Hmmmmmmmmmm. I personally think a little Adele goes a long way, but sounds like you are suggesting "Deep Tracks Pop"! Those albums sell by the zillions to ipodists, so you are definitely appealing to a very young crowd. But would that young crowd tolerate their music morphing to a jazz format?  Don't know

...Geezer

One way to find out.
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« Reply #81 on: Mar 06, 2017, 05:50AM »

One way to find out.


YES!

I'm also wondering if anyone (other than my little pathetic efforts) has explored Doo-Wop in a jazz format. The tunes are dated to the 50's, but seem to still be popular sometimes at wedding receptions, in small doses.

...Geezer
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« Reply #82 on: Mar 06, 2017, 06:30AM »

If it's what you like exclusively...

If your group is out there playing for an older population - then, yeah, by all means play what the audience wants to hear! Would you play those tunes exclusively at a wedding reception for a young bride & groom? Maybe a given one if they are doing a retro thing. But otherwise, I think you better have some newer stuff ready.

...Geezer
Unfortunately most young Brides and Grooms aren't hiring live musicians anymore.  Without computer backing tracks and other tricks you would have a hard time producing a lot of today's popular music in a live setting.  Most of the weddings (which are few and far between) we get are for much older couples.  Yes we need a few 50's 60's rock tunes but if you're a jazz combo or big band you're probably not playing a lot of weddings these days. Most of our paying jobs these days are senior centers and nursing homes and they want to hear what they heard when they were younger.  They want the standards!! 

There are plenty of jazz musicians who are recording more contemporary music, and using pop tunes to improvise on.  Most of us learned to play jazz by doing the standards the challenge was to take that old tune and chord progression and try to do something new and fresh with it.  A lot of it depends on your market.  If you are in NY City or LA there is probably a market that is much more accepting of jazz musicians reaching out doing something new.  Even in the rock world unless you are a very well established band if you want to get one of the few paying jobs out there you have to do primarily covers or you won't get numbers in the seats (which typically means you won't get paid).  I went to hear a friend not to long ago who put together a Jazz group that was very talented, great improvisers, top notch players, and they were doing all original stuff there venue (a large coffee shop that routinely has live music) did a great job of advertising it, they all put it on facebook, and other social media, there was 20 people who stayed to listed all friends and family of the band. If you want to make money playing you are limited by your market and what they are willing to pay for.     
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« Reply #83 on: Mar 06, 2017, 06:31AM »

This doesn't happen just in jazz. I have a friend who has had season tickets to the Seattle Opera for 10+ years and she has complained about the company doing the same few operas over and over. Ask a symphony player how many times they have done Shaherazade.
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« Reply #84 on: Mar 06, 2017, 07:33AM »

Yesterday I was in a Walmart parking lot and heard a trombone player wailing away.

Turned out he was a college kid taking advantage of the flow of traffic to make a few bucks.  He was playing simple melodies by ear with a little bit of Dixieland style embellishment, nothing fancy (nothing high or fiddly, as RHM used to say).  He was doing Saints as I was loading my car. 

I walked over and put a couple dollars in the case and chatted briefly, seemed like a nice kid.  As I left I said hey, give me Basin Street on the way out.  He said what's that? 

Geezer would have been proud.
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« Reply #85 on: Mar 06, 2017, 07:40AM »

Yesterday I was in a Walmart parking lot and heard a trombone player wailing away.

Turned out he was a college kid taking advantage of the flow of traffic to make a few bucks.  He was playing simple melodies by ear with a little bit of Dixieland style embellishment, nothing fancy (nothing high or fiddly, as RHM used to say).  He was doing Saints as I was loading my car. 

I walked over and put a couple dollars in the case and chatted briefly, seemed like a nice kid.  As I left I said hey, give me Basin Street on the way out.  He said what's that? 

Geezer would have been proud.

Cool! I always stop to put a few bucks into the case, even if it's a trumpet player.  :D

...Geezer pride.  Good!
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« Reply #86 on: Mar 06, 2017, 08:14AM »

Unfortunately most young Brides and Grooms aren't hiring live musicians anymore.  Without computer backing tracks and other tricks you would have a hard time producing a lot of today's popular music in a live setting.  Most of the weddings (which are few and far between) we get are for much older couples.  Yes we need a few 50's 60's rock tunes but if you're a jazz combo or big band you're probably not playing a lot of weddings these days. Most of our paying jobs these days are senior centers and nursing homes and they want to hear what they heard when they were younger.  They want the standards!! 

There are plenty of jazz musicians who are recording more contemporary music, and using pop tunes to improvise on.  Most of us learned to play jazz by doing the standards the challenge was to take that old tune and chord progression and try to do something new and fresh with it.  A lot of it depends on your market.  If you are in NY City or LA there is probably a market that is much more accepting of jazz musicians reaching out doing something new.  Even in the rock world unless you are a very well established band if you want to get one of the few paying jobs out there you have to do primarily covers or you won't get numbers in the seats (which typically means you won't get paid).  I went to hear a friend not to long ago who put together a Jazz group that was very talented, great improvisers, top notch players, and they were doing all original stuff there venue (a large coffee shop that routinely has live music) did a great job of advertising it, they all put it on facebook, and other social media, there was 20 people who stayed to listed all friends and family of the band. If you want to make money playing you are limited by your market and what they are willing to pay for.     

I'm always looking for input from those who do this thing or something like it or know someone who does. Yes, NY & LA are probably more accommodating. Otherwise, it's probably best to stay with the safe approach, even if it's not what you really want to do.

But I just can't get the notion out of my head, though that a mixed audience of today would like to see artists performing jazz that is more within the age group of said audience. The older folk are leaving us. The young folk don't really care for their parents' music. How many of us rolled our eyes at our parents' worshiping of Lawrence Welk? I sure did. It was a huge turn-off for me and still is, even though I would run out of my room to the TV set when I heard Bob Havens play.

...Geezer   
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« Reply #87 on: Mar 06, 2017, 08:24AM »

Cool! I always stop to put a few bucks into the case, even if it's a trumpet player.  :D

...Geezer pride.  Good!

Seriously, though, a trombone player who never heard of Basin Street?  I should have taken dollars OUT of his case!
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« Reply #88 on: Mar 06, 2017, 09:04AM »

the common  jazz tunes  go back  maybe to 1900??????
---------------
many come  from broadway musicals --there  is something  to the lyrics -and melody lines
  a more modern flow  of melodies  is  coming  from  movie writing   //disney  especially
a revived genre is  the  new orleans [original based  bands or clones]
  there are current  melodies  --dont forget country and western for source  material
if you  have a jazz  band and  manage to draw a crowd
   go ahead and crank up the amps  and go WAY --OUT   OFF THE  PAGE  let the guitarist  keyboard
tenor stretch out on freeform  non structured  explorations
     dont blame me ---if  everybody splits
i dont get around much anymore ---------too much you tube--
    once  in awhile ---you might  like  three notes
tall paul--is  not  the only innovater
 ============
bobby   brookmeyer  did  a lot in  europe ///erling kroner
afro cuban////latin  forms  -------WHAT IS JAZZ ?????????????????
-------------------
   a  girl came  to the studio  to check out  a 3b
she reads fantastically  --her intrepretation is SQUARE   --we played some hal leonard duets
 i dug up jj transcriptions  ///the  miles   book //couldnt  find bird book //
put  JAZZ  FRAGMENT  studies up ///
  well  there  were lots of old  moldies  she didnt  know
------------
  as a player of limits  it is  way more enjoyable  to play  moldy standards
when sitting in    than attempting  to follow  an esoteric set of changes  composed  by an alto player
 ///the explorers are  still  writing  exploring  --
go ahead  --hit a bonerama  gig 
 mike dease ---david gibson   clark gayton-
lx isles  andy martin paul nowell
   so is  jazz   more  modern   in a  big band  setting 
   or  a  combo   trio  or single  act
i had guitarist  friends  who  had written hundreds   of songs
   a  piano  player    or percussionist
where  are  the  boundaries ??????????????????????
=====================================================================
while  in college  i did some jazz combos
 a very talented classical  guitaarist and first chair violinists trmpt sax bass drum
a stuck up snotty  punk alto  player too good to come  to rehearsals
===========
 and a room mate guitarist/composer
 composing very unique music  with unguessable chord progressions
at that  time -it was-new wave new age-and the schoolie combo  seemed  very very stale
-----------------------
  accoustic guitar///conn valve 5g section a bell fittedw  mellophone flare
------------------------------
 the horn style --a flowing melodic played as improvisational classic-with a melodic [head] fold formed and  forged    in pattern welded   crystalline  detents
-----------------------------------
    western swing  anybody  ??????????????????????????????????
   



Yesterday I was in a Walmart parking lot and heard a trombone player wailing away.

Turned out he was a college kid taking advantage of the flow of traffic to make a few bucks.  He was playing simple melodies by ear with a little bit of Dixieland style embellishment, nothing fancy (nothing high or fiddly, as RHM used to say).  He was doing Saints as I was loading my car. 

I walked over and put a couple dollars in the case and chatted briefly, seemed like a nice kid.  As I left I said hey, give me Basin Street on the way out.  He said what's that? 

Geezer would have been proud.
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« Reply #89 on: Mar 06, 2017, 09:36AM »

Seriously, though, a trombone player who never heard of Basin Street?  I should have taken dollars OUT of his case!

It didn't raise my eyebrows. Why should a youngster know that moldy-oldy. There is so much competition for a young mind's attention that only those things getting hyped the most are going to break through the haze. Who is hyping BSB? Now if Adele did a rendition... But don't get your hopes up. She won't. She would sing at a cat fight, but she won't sing THAT.

...Geezer
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« Reply #90 on: Mar 06, 2017, 10:21AM »

The assumption that contemporary jazz artists are rehashing old tunes is plain wrong. Take a sample of any of the jazz released in the past ten years and you will find the majority of it is new original music, or at the least a new arrangement of a standard. It's really important to check out the older music because it's really good, but if you don't like it, of course you can do whatever you want. Who cares what a teacher thinks of your music if you are truly committed to it. Take the band Kneebody, for example. They have said their band was made as an offshoot of having to learn old tunes; a rebellion from it. They are very successful and in my opinion have created an entirely new sound.

Jazz is really the only music that is constantly changing and pushing itself forward; it's written into its DNA. Of course you should learn the lineage, but to have your own voice and to be your own musician is paramount.  There are certain people who will say otherwise, and I for one absolutely love someone who can emulate styles of yesteryear, I practice that constantly, but there will always be a big push for jazz musicians to change the music.
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« Reply #91 on: Mar 06, 2017, 11:11AM »

The assumption that contemporary jazz artists are rehashing old tunes is plain wrong. Take a sample of any of the jazz released in the past ten years and you will find the majority of it is new original music, or at the least a new arrangement of a standard. It's really important to check out the older music because it's really good, but if you don't like it, of course you can do whatever you want. Who cares what a teacher thinks of your music if you are truly committed to it. Take the band Kneebody, for example. They have said their band was made as an offshoot of having to learn old tunes; a rebellion from it. They are very successful and in my opinion have created an entirely new sound.

Jazz is really the only music that is constantly changing and pushing itself forward; it's written into its DNA. Of course you should learn the lineage, but to have your own voice and to be your own musician is paramount.  There are certain people who will say otherwise, and I for one absolutely love someone who can emulate styles of yesteryear, I practice that constantly, but there will always be a big push for jazz musicians to change the music.

With all due respect, what I highlighted in red seems contradictory.

I understand the need for a serious student to study the classics. That pedagogy crosses lines in many, many disciplines. But then apply the learned stylistic playing to contemporary stuff for a contemporary non-schooled audience.

The future is in the youth of today. That's a meme. But it seems a no-brainer to me that artists should be playing to them and not to each other. Or why not both. I can still envision room for the artist to perform in such a way that I can appreciate the depth of what said artist might be doing while the more schooled of us is regarding what he is actually playing as superficial stuff. And what I discovered yesterday is that Nils Langren's playing seems to fill both needs.

In Tim's anecdote in a post above, my eyebrows were more raised that he would ask the young man to play something so from the past and I wonder if it may be because Tim wasn't up to speed on more contemporary music. Who is at fault there, the young man for not knowing a "classic" or Tim for possibly not knowing anything other than that?

...Geezer
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« Reply #92 on: Mar 06, 2017, 11:51AM »


Who is hyping BSB?

...Geezer

Not hyping it, but I played it on a gig last night with a really good fee, plus a £20 tip and the best steak meal that I've had in a long time. That's one of the reasons why..
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« Reply #93 on: Mar 06, 2017, 12:25PM »

I just played a gig with a big band behind Conrad Herwig. No old stuff there and we had a full house who ate it up.
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« Reply #94 on: Mar 06, 2017, 01:20PM »

The assumption that contemporary jazz artists are rehashing old tunes is plain wrong. Take a sample of any of the jazz released in the past ten years and you will find the majority of it is new original music, or at the least a new arrangement of a standard...

But note that in that 10 years jazz music recording sales have declined to lower numbers than even... classical music. :-0
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« Reply #95 on: Mar 06, 2017, 02:16PM »

With all due respect, what I highlighted in red seems contradictory.

I understand the need for a serious student to study the classics. That pedagogy crosses lines in many, many disciplines. But then apply the learned stylistic playing to contemporary stuff for a contemporary non-schooled audience.

The future is in the youth of today. That's a meme. But it seems a no-brainer to me that artists should be playing to them and not to each other. Or why not both. I can still envision room for the artist to perform in such a way that I can appreciate the depth of what said artist might be doing while the more schooled of us is regarding what he is actually playing as superficial stuff. And what I discovered yesterday is that Nils Langren's playing seems to fill both needs.

I might be missing something - are you saying you wish jazz musicians would draw on contemporary popular music more, or create entirely new, original music? Maybe I'm misunderstanding your premise, but to me, both of those things are happening quite a bit. .
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« Reply #96 on: Mar 06, 2017, 02:28PM »

On a side note, anyone got a decent backing track for the tune "Little Wing"? I'd start a thread, but I'm not sure where to put it.
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« Reply #97 on: Mar 06, 2017, 02:43PM »


I walked over and put a couple dollars in the case and chatted briefly, seemed like a nice kid.  As I left I said hey, give me Basin Street on the way out.  He said what's that? 


I did the same thing on a piano gig about 40 years ago.  The band leader called 'After You've Gone'. I told him I didn't know the tune. The band members looked at each other and laughed. They started playing the tune without me and I recognized it. I joined in and finished the tune with them. Even took a solo! 

At that age, you know what you know and not much else!
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« Reply #98 on: Mar 06, 2017, 03:20PM »

I might be missing something - are you saying you wish jazz musicians would draw on contemporary popular music more, or create entirely new, original music? Maybe I'm misunderstanding your premise, but to me, both of those things are happening quite a bit. .

It may be happening, but it isn't the common standard yet. I believe the commonly thought-of standard is still an old standard, pretty much stuck in an era where jazz became popular - 20's & 30's. I believe as the torch gets passed on, there will be many more instances where "Basin Street Blues" and "After You've Gone" will become more and more obscure, to be performed by period performers keeping it alive and taught by college profs in classrooms as part of their music history and/or theory lesson.

Disclaimer: I am not astutely studied in jazz as some of you are. My opinions and impressions are more man-in-the-street and I would wager they aren't too far off from the typical man-in-the-street.

Jazz itself as an art form will probably outlive the old standards that gave birth to it. Who really knows. But here-and-now, I believe if you ask anyone from the general populace what jazz is - if they can even muster a definition - it will be defined by the old music that spawned it. That, or some discordant (to them) new stuff. But not pop music. How many times in the past 30 years has a jazz chart reached the Billboard Top 10? "Popsicle Toes", anyone?

So what outcome are you playing for: wallpaper, polite golf-clapping, hearty enthusiasm or spontaneous dancing and celebration? I know which outcome I prefer!

...Geezer 
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« Reply #99 on: Mar 06, 2017, 03:29PM »

Unfortunately most young Brides and Grooms aren't hiring live musicians anymore.  Without computer backing tracks and other tricks you would have a hard time producing a lot of today's popular music in a live setting.  Most of the weddings (which are few and far between) we get are for much older couples.  Yes we need a few 50's 60's rock tunes but if you're a jazz combo or big band you're probably not playing a lot of weddings these days. Most of our paying jobs these days are senior centers and nursing homes and they want to hear what they heard when they were younger.  They want the standards!! 

snip.     

Very true! Last wedding I played was about 6 years back with my Dixieland band. But the bride and groom were jazz fans anyway.

Senior centres, villages etc. are certainly the main sources of gigs for big bands and jazz bands here in Queensland, Australia. But they do not pay enough to employ pro bands. Good for we semi pros, community big bands, however.  Good!

The community big band I play for gets the best audiences by putting on its own dances. For those you can play a lot of oldies but also arrangements of pop and rock tunes which have mainly been written for stage bands. Of course most of these are selected by the arrangers to attract the kids in high school stage bands. This is one written by Ed Wilson who is an ex big band leader who now concentrates on arranging. MacArthur Park played by the Generations in Jazz Academy Band 2011. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDDOUohc518

A bit of a steal from the Maynard Ferguson band, I feel. :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fC6ykRiQcvA

When Ed was co-leader of the Daley Wilson Big Band they used to say it was not at swing band but a big Rock & Roll Band. :D  Actually it was the best big band I ever heard in Australia but that was way back in the 1970s:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9A-drTsSeHI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqJ8PeinnCg

These days Ed writes some great arrangements, a lot based on pop tunes.

   
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« Reply #100 on: Mar 06, 2017, 09:05PM »

It may be happening, but it isn't the common standard yet.

What makes you say that?

I really dig this discussion, but if you look at the top 10 jazz radio play chart today, none of them are standards bands (ok, one is a Dizzy Gillespie reissue). I think it truly is a misnomer to pigeonhole jazz as being only about old tunes. Maybe that's what we play on restaurant gigs, or what you'd hear a local group playing at a community center gig, but to mistake that for the trajectory of a music that is very much alive is just not right.. The common man may think one thing, but the common man sometimes needs to do a good deal of work to find art that he is looking for. That doesn't mean it's not there.

Sorry to come down so hard on this type of thinking, it's just that the Internet makes so much music available without anyone having to do anything, and I know so many people who are making truly amazing, original jazz music. It's all a google search away.

I think you bring up a lot of great points in this thread, this being one of them:

Quote
What outcome are you playing for: wallpaper, polite golf clapping, hearty enthusiasm or spontaneous dancing....

Regardless of what some people are saying, I play weddings most weekends from May-November. So do many people I know. You know the music that gets people dancing? Michael Jackson. Al Green, Prince. Tower of Power. 85% is throwback to 40. Yes Bruno Mars and yes Cee-Lo, but you could argue that those artists are employing a 70's style themselves. I play in swing bands on weeknights, for young swing dancing people, and we're playing music from the 30s-60s. Enthusiasm and dancing. It's not as cut and dry as some might think.
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« Reply #101 on: Mar 07, 2017, 02:49AM »

The town where I live is a staging post for bands on tour, so every weekend there's a gig on somewhere near. Unfortunately they struggle pull in the punters, and my guess is that it's because the musicians have all had the same education, listened to the same sources and play the same measured way. If jazz is a hybrid it need to find newer or older forgotten sources to work from.
I think that a competent trombonist could gain more from studying with a (jazz) pianist than a trombonist, and he wouldn't be in so much danger of recycling the idioms of the "Big Three"
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« Reply #102 on: Mar 07, 2017, 04:15AM »

What makes you say that?

I really dig this discussion, but if you look at the top 10 jazz radio play chart today, none of them are standards bands (ok, one is a Dizzy Gillespie reissue). I think it truly is a misnomer to pigeonhole jazz as being only about old tunes. Maybe that's what we play on restaurant gigs, or what you'd hear a local group playing at a community center gig, but to mistake that for the trajectory of a music that is very much alive is just not right.. The common man may think one thing, but the common man sometimes needs to do a good deal of work to find art that he is looking for. That doesn't mean it's not there.

Sorry to come down so hard on this type of thinking, it's just that the Internet makes so much music available without anyone having to do anything, and I know so many people who are making truly amazing, original jazz music. It's all a google search away.

I think you bring up a lot of great points in this thread, this being one of them:

Quote
What outcome are you playing for: wallpaper, polite golf clapping, hearty enthusiasm or spontaneous dancing....
[\quote]

Regardless of what some people are saying, I play weddings most weekends from May-November. So do many people I know. You know the music that gets people dancing? Michael Jackson. Al Green, Prince. Tower of Power. 85% is throwback too 40. Yes Bruno Mars and yes Cee-Lo, but you could argue that those artists are employing a 70's style themselves. I play in swing bands on weeknights, for young swing dancing people, and we're playing music from the 30s-60s. Enthusiasm and dancing. It's not as cut and dry as some might think.



I believe that is the basis for the impression I have. Take that away and I believe everything else you stated is what is happening.

Great points!

I'm surprised someone didn't nail me on when jazz was invented. Again, regardless of when it was actually invented, I think the two most popular notions are that it was invented in the pre-Civil War American South by slaves or sometime in the early 1900's. Why the early 1900's, because apparently that is when it "came on the scene" in after-hours and/or trendy night-spots haunted by young socialites. It was considered hot and decadent; not for "proper" people. But then again, so was the waltz when it first "came on the scene". Now those two art forms are considered classic.

But how many artists modify pop songs to 3/4 time and how many artists perform pop songs as jazz. No, it seems more likely that tunes performed in those art forms must be written as such and that is why there is such a big gulf between them - usually.

The town where I live is a staging post for bands on tour, so every weekend there's a gig on somewhere near. Unfortunately they struggle pull in the punters, and my guess is that it's because the musicians have all had the same education, listened to the same sources and play the same measured way. If jazz is a hybrid it need to find newer or older forgotten sources to work from.
I think that a competent trombonist could gain more from studying with a (jazz) pianist than a trombonist, and he wouldn't be in so much danger of recycling the idioms of the "Big Three"

BINGO!

AOBTW: most jazz numbers are WAY too long! lol The average American attention span is a commercial break or red light length.

As good as parts of this is Lester Bowie does the world really need almost 17 minutes of it?  :D

...Geezer, The Great Pretender
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« Reply #103 on: Mar 07, 2017, 05:11AM »


MacArthur Park by The Beatles


Not to be anal/ compulsive, but the Beatles never did MacArthur Park that I am aware of. It was written by Jimmy Webb (who wrote a TON of great songs), and I think the closest thing to a hit on it was done by Richard Harris of all people. Great tune, though, and there were a lot of good big band charts written on it.
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« Reply #104 on: Mar 07, 2017, 05:22AM »


I think that a competent trombonist could gain more from studying with a (jazz) pianist than a trombonist, and he wouldn't be in so much danger of recycling the idioms of the "Big Three"


I would suggest pushing the envelope even further and studying rock guitarists. Many of the conceptual tools guitarists use (fretting, bends, etc.) are things one can immitate quite nicely on the trombone. I listen a LOT to Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Stevie Ray Vaughn, etc. Just throwing it out there. I think it also fits the basic idea of this thread of bringing more contemporary ideas into the nomenclature. Maybe we're being a little too hung up on calling things by labels?
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« Reply #105 on: Mar 07, 2017, 05:26AM »

Attention span?

I have friends who will listen to smooth jazz all day long.

They aren't interested in something that requires deep concentration or attention.  But they like the consistent predictability and flawless execution of a good smooth jazz sax.  (I'm speculating on their motives, but certain about their action.)  

There's a book recommended by one of the oldtimers who used to be here that says music can be put on a continuum from shallow to profound, and listeners will be found on a continuum from background to engaged, and you want to match music to listener.  

I think we need a popular smooth jazz trombonist.  
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« Reply #106 on: Mar 07, 2017, 05:28AM »

I would suggest pushing the envelope even further and studying rock guitarists. Many of the conceptual tools guitarists use (fretting, bends, etc.) are things one can immitate quite nicely on the trombone. I listen a LOT to Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Stevie Ray Vaughn, etc. Just throwing it out there. I think it also fits the basic idea of this thread of bringing more contemporary ideas into the nomenclature. Maybe we're being a little too hung up on calling things by labels?

I know a pro trombone player who does exactly that! And why not. Specific tools of the trade for a specific need. There's no right or wrong, only what works well in a given situation. Just because trombones are played in a traditional way in symphonic settings doesn't mean they should be locked into that in all circumstances.

...Geezer
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« Reply #107 on: Mar 07, 2017, 05:30AM »

Attention span?

I have friends who will listen to smooth jazz all day long.

They aren't interested in something that requires deep concentration or attention.  But they like the consistent predictability and flawless execution of a good smooth jazz sax.  (I'm speculating on their motives, but certain about their action.)  

There's a book recommended by one of the oldtimers who used to be here that says music can be put on a continuum from shallow to profound, and listeners will be found on a continuum from background to engaged, and you want to match music to listener.  

I think we need a popular smooth jazz trombonist.  

Indeed, but I question "listening". It is true, deep listening for such an extended period of time or does it slowly become wallpaper? Mental fatigue is bound to set in.

...Geezer
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« Reply #108 on: Mar 07, 2017, 05:59AM »

Indeed, but I question "listening". It is true, deep listening for such an extended period of time or does it slowly become wallpaper? Mental fatigue is bound to set in.

...Geezer

Good stuff is worth the time you invest in it.

Caravaggio ain't for everybody, and thank god he didn't dumb his art down so everybody would like it.

Fine art is for anyone who wants to invest in bettering theirself. It's not for 12 year olds with earbuds, a bag of funions and a bad attitude. Put the funions down, take out the earbuds, and still your mind. If you can't get to that point, come back when you can. Ellington (or Mozart, or Debussy, or Gil, or Coltrane) will still be here when you're ready.

It's not about the quantity of listeners, it's about the quality of music. Let Kenny G worry about album sales. The rest of us will worry about experiencing art on the highest level.
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« Reply #109 on: Mar 07, 2017, 06:27AM »

Good stuff is worth the time you invest in it.

Caravaggio ain't for everybody, and thank god he didn't dumb his art down so everybody would like it.

Fine art is for anyone who wants to invest in bettering theirself. It's not for 12 year olds with earbuds, a bag of funions and a bad attitude. Put the funions down, take out the earbuds, and still your mind. If you can't get to that point, come back when you can. Ellington (or Mozart, or Debussy, or Gil, or Coltrane) will still be here when you're ready.

It's not about the quantity of listener, it's about the quality of music. Let Kenny G worry about album sales. The rest of us will worry about experience art on the highest level.

The more I listen, the more I listen. I believe it's an acquired skill.

OBTW, for students, there is an excellent MMO play-along series by Ira Nepus. I particularly like the "Motown Trombone" book. I think it's an excellent book to study from for timing and the feel of pop songs played in a jazz format. For those of us who don't have a clue how to play like this on-the-fly, it's a terrific little taste of what the big boys can do.

We pick on the youth a lot on this Forum. Maybe we shouldn't. Lots of us adults are numb-nuts as well.  Evil

...Geezer
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« Reply #110 on: Mar 07, 2017, 06:52AM »

I would suggest pushing the envelope even further and studying rock guitarists. Many of the conceptual tools guitarists use (fretting, bends, etc.) are things one can immitate quite nicely on the trombone. I listen a LOT to Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Stevie Ray Vaughn, etc. Just throwing it out there. I think it also fits the basic idea of this thread of bringing more contemporary ideas into the nomenclature. Maybe we're being a little too hung up on calling things by labels?

I got a lot from having access to Guitar tuition DVD's by people like Joe Pass and Jimmy Bruno. Being a Bassist (both) and a one time cellist, the idea of the Tbn being laid out like a stringed instrument with the advantages of multiple fingering options doesn't seem unusual, hence some of my recent comments about laying a note position chart out as grid rather than a stave.

The Bass guitarist Jaco Pastorius is a perfect demonstration of how to create a whole new style by combining Be-bop and Funk, with an unimaginable about of swagger.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSUk8bSVHYc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdqje73KQwg&list=PLyAjytBLG7Cdf7VUZCD7-rmq-WpvjIPIC

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boNCY0Ai44M

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEs5sKDXZuk
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« Reply #111 on: Mar 07, 2017, 11:06AM »

Not to be anal/ compulsive, but the Beatles never did MacArthur Park that I am aware of. It was written by Jimmy Webb (who wrote a TON of great songs), and I think the closest thing to a hit on it was done by Richard Harris of all people. Great tune, though, and there were a lot of good big band charts written on it.

Yes, I bit of a mind flip on my part because I was really thinking about "Hey Jude", which is one of Ed Wilsons most popular arrangements and also done by Maynard Ferguson:

Ed Wilson Arrangement by GIJ Academy Big Band:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aE2-FNXuoE8&index=10&list=PLgV4Hz_Ir0s7zkDzzA4ILFmYUe7wactj5

Maynard:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wUeCX11no4

We used both the 'Hey Jude' and 'Macarthur Park' Ed Wilson arrangements as the big finale with bands in which I played. A lot of Aussie bands do the same tunes for a finale.

And it is very much a fact that the Daley Wilson big band got a lot of their ideas from the Maynard Ferguson band of the 70s.

Changed the post so as not to confuse others. 
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« Reply #112 on: Mar 07, 2017, 11:26AM »

Yes, I bit of a mind flip on my part because I was really thinking about "Hey Jude", which is one of Ed Wilsons most popular arrangements and also done by Maynard Ferguson:

Ed Wilson Arrangement by GIJ Academy Big Band:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aE2-FNXuoE8&index=10&list=PLgV4Hz_Ir0s7zkDzzA4ILFmYUe7wactj5


Maynard:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wUeCX11no4

We used both the 'Hey Jude' and 'Macarthur Park' Ed Wilson arrangements as the big finale with bands in which I played. A lot of Aussie bands do the same tunes for a finale.

And it is very much a fact that the Daley Wilson big band got a lot of their ideas from the Maynard Ferguson band of the 70s.

Changed the post so as not to confuse others. 

Horrid little video but one HECK of a good show! BRAVO!!!

...Geezer
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« Reply #113 on: Mar 09, 2017, 12:55AM »

I am surprised there have been no country music fans on this topic. So, just to appease them here is Kai dong his version of modern country:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NksYAdVR1CA
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« Reply #114 on: Mar 09, 2017, 04:55AM »

I am surprised there have been no country music fans on this topic. So, just to appease them here is Kai dong his version of modern country:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NksYAdVR1CA


Without sifting back through all of the posts to give the individual due credit, I think country music was mentioned once and maybe it was you. Anyway, a waltz - a country waltz no less! Gotta love that. And it's a great point - why not! Why not indeed.

I had a fantastic session with my instructor yesterday and as far as his personal performances are concerned, I got the distinct impression that NO kind of music was off the table - if the audience wanted to hear it - and he has the vocabulary to pull it off.

I have to find a suitable candidate from the country music genre to butcher! Maybe something from Hank Williams, since I just watched a movie about his life & times.

As far as Kai playing country music, It's Alright With Me.  :D

...Geezer
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« Reply #115 on: Mar 09, 2017, 05:25AM »

I can't believe people are bagging on Kenny G!

<a href="https://youtube.com/v/7P6QYWqRxww" target="_blank">https://youtube.com/v/7P6QYWqRxww</a>

He closes stores in China!
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« Reply #116 on: Mar 09, 2017, 05:33AM »

I just stabbed my eardrums with a mouthpiece stem!

...Geezer
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« Reply #117 on: Mar 09, 2017, 06:52AM »

Country Western? Study Bob Wills Swing Music.
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« Reply #118 on: Mar 09, 2017, 07:09AM »

Dave Douglas's Brass Ecstacy: Spirit Moves is a great small brass band album. A few years ago I was lucky enough to get to perform this music (DD was the director) in Banff and Dave gave us all copies of the album. It stayed in the CD player for a while (up until I got an album by Havana D'Primera, Pasaporte which stayed in the CD player up until it broke.)

He does my favorite Hank Williams song on this album, "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry."

Country Western? Study Bob Wills Swing Music.
This stuff is pretty hip, they put this stuff in our baby bottles around here. There were so many guys with a strong command of the bebop language that toured in those bands. Benny Garcia, one of Bob Wills' guitarists, was a local legend from OKC. So many of us as kids went to jam sessions Benny fronted back in the day. He knew every jazz standard and bebop head you could think of and he was one of the hardest swinging guitarists I've ever heard. Listening to him turn a complex set of changes into the most beautiful lines you've ever heard was a great learning experience. He passed onto the other side a few years ago, but his spirit lives on in so many young musicians that came out of that scene. There's a little bit of Benny everywhere now.

On another note, if you're looking for "pop" tunes arranged in the style of___________, there is a sleeper album out there that I don't see mentioned much. Unity: The Latin Tribute to Michael Jackson was arranged and produced by Tony Succar. The arrangements are a great departure from the original superb work done by Quincy Jones. I use this album with my students to introduce them to the forms and concepts found in "salsa" music. The "Smooth Criminal" arrangement is one I use a bunch. The playing on it is superb, and for the listener who finds the spanish language a little intimidating, it's a way to introduce gringos to salsa with familiar songs and a familiar language.
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« Reply #119 on: Mar 09, 2017, 01:15PM »

Country Western? Study Bob Wills Swing Music.

I'm listening to some of his work right now on YouTube. To our ears today, it might sound awfully corny. But I can also hear some nice melody lines. What the heck happened to "country" music of today that the vocals got so mutated? Sounds to me that "back in the day", country music was more about the instrumental make-up of the group than it was the sound of the lead vocalist, although I can hear a Southern twang - but not near as perverted as it has become today to where I have no idea what area of the South would sound like they do. The subject matter of the lyrics seems to have held constant through the decades, though.

Anyway, yeah - why not? I believe it would have to come from some Billboard Top 100 all-time country hits though for a general audience anywhere to recognize the tune - like "Ghost Riders In The Sky". I think that one could be made into a great jazz chart. Probably some of Johnny Cash as well as Merle Haggard. "Oakie From Muskogie" in a jazz format. lol Why not...

Oops. I just used the term "jazz" a few times. I think Zack would prefer I use the term "     ". lol If I remember correctly, Zach doesn't like the term "Dixieland" either. I wonder if Zach is in the room.  :D  And I wonder why we aren't "allowed" to use those terms. No I don't.  Yeah, RIGHT.

...Geezer
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« Reply #120 on: Mar 09, 2017, 01:32PM »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxVM9_ANbjg

Bob Wills 'Who walks in when I walk out"
Smoking hot at about a tempo of 250 to 254 or so.

Trombone included too!

Here is a Trad Version by Bob Schulz's group:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bw6SnUX-u5U

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« Reply #121 on: Mar 09, 2017, 05:19PM »

To our ears today, it might sound awfully corny. But I can also hear some nice melody lines. What the heck happened to "country" music of today that the vocals got so mutated? Sounds to me that "back in the day", country music was more about the instrumental make-up of the group than it was the sound of the lead vocalist, although I can hear a Southern twang - but not near as perverted as it has become today to where I have no idea what area of the South would sound like they do. The subject matter of the lyrics seems to have held constant through the decades, though.
Nothing wrong with corn. Unless it's monsanto - in which case you get sued if you grow it without a contract (lame) and worst of all it has no freaking taste (lameX2). I remember as kids that even the corn that came in the can had a great taste to it, and the stuff on the stalk was as strong and sweet as nothing most of today's youth will ever experience. GMOs, stripped soils, and industrial growing have all but killed the produce we had as kids. The "organic" stuff, when it ain't just some BS with "organic" slapped on it, has a taste. You smell it and it's like perfume.

The real deal is always a damn sight better than the fake stuff.

Now-a-days, county is trying so hard to sound like the pop music on the radio. Singers that ain't from the south are injecting "twang" from a vocal coach. Failed pop songwriters are sending their stuff to nashville where they take a pop track and sing it with a little twang and call it country. Bro-country, guns and jesus, creepy objectification of girls, big $50,000 trucks that no farmer or country boy of my generation could've ever afforded, pressed jeans with nary a grass stain and pressed mo-betta shirts, ridiculous hats, chaw, show dogs instead of real bird dogs, and for the love of God, autotune????? - the country music you hear today for the most part is a giant wal-mart/pickup truck/guns/republican party commercial. It lost it's heart and it's edge when it became more about selling a "lifestyle" than it did about telling a story. The political landscape of country music used to actually be pretty diverse - some of the most liberal cats I know were some old country musicians (and they had some stories.)  Now it's largely about a target audience. Not all of it, mind you - like any genre, there are some gems, and the best artists don't play the "target audience" game. It's just that what you hear dominating the airwaves is for the most part aimed at the lowest common denominator, like pretty much all the "in" stuff. There are some great current artists doing good work - Brad Paisley and Chris Stapleton will change a lot of people's minds about country. If bluegrass is your thing Allison Krauss and

Anyway, yeah - why not? I believe it would have to come from some Billboard Top 100 all-time country hits though for a general audience anywhere to recognize the tune - like "Ghost Riders In The Sky". I think that one could be made into a great jazz chart. Probably some of Johnny Cash as well as Merle Haggard. "Oakie From Muskogie" in a jazz format. lol Why not...
It's "Okie" and "Muskogee" - and if you're from California, you can't say "Okie". If you're from Cali and you call me an Okie, well, dem's fightin' words. And in this part of the country, most of us grew up on the old country standards. Johnny Cash, Hank Williams (Jr. and Sr.), Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson (one of my grandmother's favorites, I get teary when "blue eyes cryin' in the rain comes on), Reba McEntire, Patsy Cline, Jimmy Rogers, Loretta Lynn, George Strait, Charley Pride, heck even Garth Brooks is a classic now - as poppy as his stuff seemed, much of it has held up well. One could put together about 3 sets worth of music representing those artists and do well just about anywhere around here. I used to do an arrangement of Willie's "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys" to close sets. There's so much good material in there.

Oops. I just used the term "jazz" a few times. I think Zack would prefer I use the term "     ". lol If I remember correctly, Zach doesn't like the term "Dixieland" either. I wonder if Zach is in the room.  :D  And I wonder why we aren't "allowed" to use those terms. No I don't.  Yeah, RIGHT.

The only problem with "Jazz" is that it's just a horrible identifier - it applies to such a wide range of music (and in some cases not correctly in my opinion.) Despite it's questionable origins that's a term that isn't overtly objectionable.

"Dixieland" has three huge strikes against it: 1) the term "Dixie" is closely associated with the south at a time when the oppression of african americans was a normal way of life, and is also a term used specifically to describe the south when slavery was legal. 2) It implies a southern origin for the music and attempts to take the credit from the african americans who invented to style and by association give it to the white bands who "stole" it. 3) The term "New Orleans" music is both more accurate and less offensive.
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« Reply #122 on: Mar 09, 2017, 05:36PM »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxVM9_ANbjg

Bob Wills 'Who walks in when I walk out"
Smoking hot at about a tempo of 250 to 254 or so.

Trombone included too!

There should be a 'like' button on the forum.
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« Reply #123 on: Mar 09, 2017, 08:40PM »

I like to listen to good Dixieland. I would like to find some all-time great pop tunes to play in a Dixieland format, but I've given up trying to learn how to play in that style. There simply are NO good learning books currently on the market. This is the place where someone will jump up and exclaim how good the Hal Leonard and/or Jamey Aebersold books are. Been there; tried that. They were terrible for me! I guess it's just too minor of a niche for them to put much effort into.

...Geezer
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« Reply #124 on: Mar 09, 2017, 10:17PM »

I like to listen to good Dixieland. I would like to find some all-time great pop tunes to play in a Dixieland format, but I've given up trying to learn how to play in that style. There simply are NO good learning books currently on the market. This is the place where someone will jump up and exclaim how good the Hal Leonard and/or Jamey Aebersold books are. Been there; tried that. They were terrible for me! I guess it's just too minor of a niche for them to put much effort into.

...Geezer

Just listen and copy. What better book than that?
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« Reply #125 on: Mar 09, 2017, 10:19PM »

I've been toying with the idea of using John Lennon's 'Imagine' as the basis of either a ballad or a jazz piece for Big Band.  I think it can work either way.

Dixie land ... not so much, but hey ... fruit form a different mind?  Why not?
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« Reply #126 on: Mar 09, 2017, 10:22PM »

I like to listen to good Dixieland. I would like to find some all-time great pop tunes to play in a Dixieland format, but I've given up trying to learn how to play in that style. There simply are NO good learning books currently on the market. This is the place where someone will jump up and exclaim how good the Hal Leonard and/or Jamey Aebersold books are. Been there; tried that. They were terrible for me! I guess it's just too minor of a niche for them to put much effort into.

...Geezer

mmmmm......, interesting. I thought the same thing quite a few years back and set about writing a tutor on how to play the style. I actually distributed it to a few youngsters (then) on this forum and even had it posted on a website at one time. But then I decided it was lacking in some areas and started a rewrite that was never completed.  :/ Yeah, RIGHT. But I'll have a look and see if there is anything there that I can rescue for you.

I also have never been happy with the term 'Dixieland', for somewhat the same reasons as explained by Zac. However, the book is called "Dixieland to Denmark and onwards", "A guide to playing 'hot' jazz (for frontline instruments)" In the Prelude to the book, I say:

"This book is about playing `hot´ jazz, by which I mean the genres that are variously described as Traditional Jazz, Dixieland, New Orleans Jazz, Small-band Swing and Mainstream (British definition). If you want to play Bebop, Cool Jazz or Free Jazz, this is probably not your tutor although the basic theory is more-or-less the same. That being said, there have been advances in jazz teaching that are mainly associated with Modern Jazz (Bebop and onwards) playing and improvising, and I make no excuses for referencing some practice methods and techniques used by jazz educators teaching those styles." :D



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« Reply #127 on: Mar 09, 2017, 10:52PM »

Nothing wrong with corn. Unless it's monsanto - in which case you get sued if you grow it without a contract (lame)
Even if it gets blown unexpectedly into your field by a wind storm, post harvest.  But I digress.

We all like to hear jazz on melodies we are familiar with.  Free-form jazz has a loyal, but at least around these parts, limited following.  It will never be mainstream.

Geezer has a point.  We need to move forward. Jazz, in all it's forms is still valid.  My 26 year old son loves jazz, especially swing.   These are the people we need to cultivate.  Since jazz naturally co-opts other music by it's very nature, this should not be so difficult.  There is lots of suitable music out there to co-opt.  It just needs Jazz musicians to stand up and move the genre forward.
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« Reply #128 on: Mar 09, 2017, 11:45PM »

I've been toying with the idea of using John Lennon's 'Imagine' as the basis of either a ballad or a jazz piece for Big Band.  I think it can work either way.

Dixie land ... not so much, but hey ... fruit form a different mind?  Why not?

One of my favourite tunes of all time and I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments expressed in the lyric. There are several big band arrangements of the tune but that is not to say there is no room for another. Good luck with it!

Here is one of those arrangements by John Berry:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53Fd8ddaChY

I find that many Beatles tunes adapt very well to being played by a big and small jazz bands. I mentioned 'Hey Jude' earlier and I did an arrangement for my own band of 'Here There and Everywhere', although I will admit it was a bit of a steal from the James Morrison version.
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« Reply #129 on: Mar 10, 2017, 05:01AM »

I believe the point of transcribing a Dixieland piece is valid. That is what we are urged to do with jazz licks. Some also state that to learn how to play jazz, it is helpful to just take a chord progression and learn how to improv through it. That may be fine for an art form like jazz where it's a kinda free-form thing. But my understanding of Dixieland is that it is more structured, at least the trombone part is.

Seeing a book on how to learn Dixieland, where the chords are laid out over measures with nothing but slashes through them teaches me nothing. Give me a book with ALL the trombone notes and all of the musical notation laid down and I'll memorize all of the songs. Then hopefully I will have a chance to assimilate the pattern and repeat it in a song of my own choosing. It would be a process very similar to transcribing a jazz solo and absorbing it to the point of being able to use it as a guide in another song, minus the tedium of transcribing.

I know. I know. Transcribing is good for us and I've done some. But I'm not a music major with his whole music life ahead of him. At this point in my life I want shortcuts; the easy way, if you will. Other than what notes are in basic chords, I'm not interested in learning much about music theory. If anything, I'm learning how to "play by ear". Every educator among you thinks in terms of educating youth and that's fantastic. But also learn to think in terms of senior adult education. It's different. I don't want to know the "why", I want to cut straight to the "how" in a more "down and dirty" or "meatball" way. Flawed though that approach may be, it will get me - I say me - to a usable point quicker.

With respect, perhaps a discussion on the use or disuse of the commonly-used term "Dixieland" should best be served on the "Purely Politics" board or it's like.

...Geezer
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« Reply #130 on: Mar 10, 2017, 05:23AM »

" 2) It implies a southern origin for the music and attempts to take the credit from the african americans who invented to style and by association give it to the white bands who "stole" it."
"the genres that are variously described as Traditional Jazz, Dixieland, New Orleans Jazz, Small-band Swing and Mainstream (British definition)."

Not to hi-jack the thread, and I am sure there is another devoted to the topic somewhere on the forum, but my belief is that the birth of "Jazz" in America had both a mother and a father. I won't speculate on which played which role, but I believe the Klezmer tradition coming out of Eastern Europe played as much a part in the birth of "Jazz" as did the music of black suppression in the south. I would suggest that Be-Bop is where the two traditions finally met and melded completely, but there is certainly as rich a history of great improvisational soloists coming out of the klezmer tradition in the late 19th and early part of the 20th centuries as there is of those coming out of the "traditional or Dixieland" era in the south.

Back to the suject at hand, I have mentioned Sting and Prince as more modern, up-to-date examples of folks whose music will, with the passage of time, someday be the "same old stuff" everybody plays. Toto, Phil Collins, and Peter Gabriel come to mind as others from the end opf the 20th century who will rise to that level over time.
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« Reply #131 on: Mar 10, 2017, 05:29AM »


...

Back to the suject at hand, I have mentioned Sting and Prince as more modern, up-to-date examples of folks whose music will, with the passage of time, someday be the "same old stuff" everybody plays. Toto, Phil Collins, and Peter Gabriel come to mind as others from the end opf the 20th century who will rise to that level over time.

Outside of maybe "Little Red Corvette" and "Purple Rain", I never really "got" Prince. But those two songs alone make him more than a "one-hit wonder" to me. I also never "got" The Grateful Dead. Are there songs from their rep that would work in a jazz format?

...Geezer
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« Reply #132 on: Mar 10, 2017, 06:22AM »

Some also state that to learn how to play jazz, it is helpful to just take a chord progression and learn how to improv through it. 

Seeing a book on how to learn Dixieland, where the chords are laid out over measures with nothing but slashes through them teaches me nothing. Give me a book with ALL the trombone notes and all of the musical notation.

Geezer, you sure are missing out on how much more a trombone and player are capable of once measures with just slashes are learned or how to use them.  Sure it's easier with all the notes written for you.  We all learned that way, at least the ones who played in school.  After you start dinking around with the slashes trying to solo with no notes to read what you think sounds corny at first may very well sound great to others. 

Any chance of you listing the chord changes to some of your tunes that you've been working on?  Then you could possibly get free lessons here on what to do with them in regards to making your own solos.
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« Reply #133 on: Mar 10, 2017, 06:35AM »

Thank you sir!

Honestly, I would rather that part of it stay between me and my instructor. It's that "too many hands in the soup" thing and I prefer to go exclusively in the direction in which he is teaching me. It and more advanced written-out play-alongs are a large part of my sessions with him. I want to preserve a continuity with his instruction and not introduce other directions at this point, however valid they may be.

But as far as Dixieland is concerned, yes - I would like to see it all written out, even if it's not "good for me", as it were.

Thanks again!

...Geezer
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« Reply #134 on: Mar 10, 2017, 06:55AM »

That's not the tradition in traditional jazz, Geezer.

If you want to perform that music, you should do it the way they did it.
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« Reply #135 on: Mar 10, 2017, 06:59AM »

That's not the tradition in traditional jazz, Geezer.

If you want to perform that music, you should do it the way they did it.

I respect your opinion. I hope you know that.

...Geezer
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« Reply #136 on: Mar 10, 2017, 07:59AM »

One of the band leaders (trad jazz) that I play with explains that Trad Jazz is soul music. You listen to the original artists, and they played from their heart. Each instrument of the front line plays from the heart of the player. However, there are 'rules' or 'roles' that each instrument plays during the ensemble portion, or head portion.

Out of the three roles, the trombone has the easiest role to play, but one of the most important, because the trombone is the traffic cop that helps the other two instruments always know where the next section is heading.

In that light Geezer, to start out with, just play the root note of each chord, and do the walking up to the next chord. After a while, you will find more creative ways to achieve the same effect. You hear a lot of trombonists use glisses into the next chord, and a lot of trad fans love it when the trombone plays effective glisses.

Bottomline, listen, listen, listen. Don't listen for your own pleasure though. I used to do that. I would crank it up and listen and just be thoroughly entertained, but I wasn't paying attention to what the trombone player was doing, to see how he was performing his role in the front line, so all those years of listening, I really didn't learn as much as I could have.

When your chops are tired, listen. Listen with purpose, just like you practice with purpose.


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« Reply #137 on: Mar 10, 2017, 09:16AM »

One of the band leaders (trad jazz) that I play with explains that Trad Jazz is soul music. You listen to the original artists, and they played from their heart. Each instrument of the front line plays from the heart of the player. However, there are 'rules' or 'roles' that each instrument plays during the ensemble portion, or head portion.

Out of the three roles, the trombone has the easiest role to play, but one of the most important, because the trombone is the traffic cop that helps the other two instruments always know where the next section is heading.

In that light Geezer, to start out with, just play the root note of each chord, and do the walking up to the next chord. After a while, you will find more creative ways to achieve the same effect. You hear a lot of trombonists use glisses into the next chord, and a lot of trad fans love it when the trombone plays effective glisses.

Bottomline, listen, listen, listen. Don't listen for your own pleasure though. I used to do that. I would crank it up and listen and just be thoroughly entertained, but I wasn't paying attention to what the trombone player was doing, to see how he was performing his role in the front line, so all those years of listening, I really didn't learn as much as I could have.

When your chops are tired, listen. Listen with purpose, just like you practice with purpose.


Okay. That's actually the best guidance I've seen yet on this particular art form. So I can go through a typical "how to" book and mark in the root tones for all the listed chords, even though I guess the root tones are pretty much self-evident. It will still give me a written place in which to "walk".

I wonder if there any merit in playing a "walking" trombone part as fond in "trad jazz" as a bass line for a pop "_____" arrangement.

Thanks!

...Geezer
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« Reply #138 on: Mar 10, 2017, 02:40PM »

I just remembered something.  The first lesson we had in high school was to learn what the walking bass line was for 12 measure blues Bb and 16 measure blues key of F.  Then the only notes we were allowed to improvise with were the root, lowered third, fourth, sharped fourth. fifth, lowered seventh and the octave root aka 1, 3b, 4, 4#, 5, 7b and 8.
  Those were the only notes allowed at first though we could go above or below the given range only if the formula was still followed.  The idea was to train the ears to what sounds go together well when soloing while alternating notes long, short, long etc.  The trick was to make music with only the blues scales without sounding generic.  After Bb 12 measure blues it was on to 16 measure blues in F though I have seemed to have forgotten that progression.  Just a longer version in a different key - good for high school basketball halftime intermission, for example.

  Then after all that was hopefully understood it was on to the measures with slashes and chord names only when it was solo time.  Was told if you get lost while playing a non written solo that if you resort to your blues scale for the key or chord you're in that you can save face some until you find your way back.  Sometimes it sound good and sometimes it don't.   
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« Reply #139 on: Mar 10, 2017, 02:40PM »

I just remembered something.  The first lesson we had in high school was to learn what the walking bass line was for 12 measure blues Bb and 16 measure blues key of F.  Then the only notes we were allowed to improvise with were the root, lowered third, fourth, sharped fourth. fifth, lowered seventh and the octave root aka 1, 3b, 4, 4#, 5, 7b and 8.
  Those were the only notes allowed at first though we could go above or below the given range only if the formula was still followed.  The idea was to train the ears to what sounds go together well when soloing while alternating notes long, short, long etc.  The trick was to make music with only the blues scales without sounding generic.  After Bb 12 measure blues it was on to 16 measure blues in F though I have seemed to have forgotten that progression.  Just a longer version in a different key - good for high school basketball halftime intermission, for example.

  Then after all that was hopefully understood it was on to the measures with slashes and chord names only when it was solo time.  Was told if you get lost while playing a non written solo that if you resort to your blues scale for the key or chord you're in that you can save face some until you find your way back.  Sometimes it sound good and sometimes it don't.   
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« Reply #140 on: Mar 10, 2017, 02:45PM »

Thank you. Worth delving into.

...Geezer

Thank you. Worth delving into.

...Geezer
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« Reply #141 on: Mar 10, 2017, 03:52PM »

Okay. That's actually the best guidance I've seen yet on this particular art form. So I can go through a typical "how to" book and mark in the root tones for all the listed chords, even though I guess the root tones are pretty much self-evident. It will still give me a written place in which to "walk".

I wonder if there any merit in playing a "walking" trombone part as fond in "trad jazz" as a bass line for a pop "_____" arrangement.

Thanks!

...Geezer

You can if you want to. It's all a matter of taste. I would say that in Bebop the role of the trombone is not as rigid as in Trad, so you have more freedom. (Ensemble playing or playing the head)

Finding counter point lines that connect the chords is another technique when not doing the root line in ensemble playing.

For instance:

I've Found a New Baby - Key of F

Chord progression for the A,A section only:

|dm7///|em7/A7/|dm7///|D7/// |
|G7/// |C7///  |FM7///|em7///|
dm7/// |em7/A7/|dm7///|D7/// |
G7///  |C7///  |FM7///|fm7///|

The counter point line connecting the chords (at least one version):
|F ----|E------|D-----|C-----|
B------|Bb-----|A-----|G-----|
|F ----|E------|D-----|C-----|
B------|Bb-----|A-----|You can choose F,A,C,or E, whatever you like sounds best|

This is a very simple illustration, not anything spectacular.

 

 
 
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« Reply #142 on: Mar 11, 2017, 12:56AM »

It's worth getting to know about "Fewest notes least movement or FNLM", which is 3rds becoming Dom 7th, Dom 7th becoming 3ds, as in Sweet Georgia Brown. I don't know if this taught now.
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« Reply #143 on: Mar 11, 2017, 05:19AM »

I have watched this thread for quite a while, hoping that someone would say something that made some real sense. Today I have given up waiting.

Title question: Why Do Jazz Artists Always Play The Same Old Stuff?

Title answer: If they are playing the same old stuff, they are not jazz "artists."

End of story.

S.
P.S. And..if you think that they are "jazz artists"...those people who you think are truly playing the same old stuff...then you either don't understand the difference between an artist and an imitator or you have no idea what "jazz" is.

End of postscript.

P.P.S. Eyewitness account, early '60s: Charles Mingus in Ithaca after a concert at Cornell to a young fan from the music school at Ithaca College:

Mingus: Do you play jazz?

Student: Yes.

Mingus (loudly): NO, YOU DON'T!!!

P.P.P.S. That student...no, it wasn't me...had his life changed by that confrontation and eventually became a truly wonderful player and teacher.

P.P.P.P.S. There are people...real artists, real creators...in NYC who have chosen to make "art"...to be truly creative...in some very old jazz idioms. There are others who do the same sort of thing in the mainstream/bebop/standards styles, and of course others who have grown through the John Coltrane/Miles Davis/Wayne Sorter-dominated "avant garde" to create their own styles. And there are also (regrettably) any number of players who are playing totally new music that is...quite objectively speaking...terrible!!!

i offer a Zen koan that goes to the heart of this common misconception about "new" and "old," style and content.

Quote
What are you drinking, the cup or the water?

Think on it.
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« Reply #144 on: Mar 11, 2017, 07:24AM »


Title question: Why Do Jazz Artists Always Play The Same Old Stuff?

Title answer: If they are playing the same old stuff, they are not jazz "artists."

There are people...real artists, real creators...in NYC who have chosen to make "art"...to be truly creative...in some very old jazz idioms.

Sabutin, could clarify this?
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« Reply #145 on: Mar 11, 2017, 08:47AM »


Quote
Title question: Why Do Jazz Artists Always Play The Same Old Stuff?

Title answer: If they are playing the same old stuff, they are not jazz "artists."

There are people...real artists, real creators...in NYC who have chosen to make "art"...to be truly creative...in some very old jazz idioms.
Sabutin, could clarify this?

I am not sure. How do you mean, exactly? I'll give it a try, though.

If someone is playing say an arrangement of a Louis Armstrong or Fletcher Henderson piece, being true to the idiom in which they were originally played and yet playing something "new"...something from their own heart, not just a bunch of cobbled-together, stolen licks...then they are making art as far as I am concerned.

"Art" doesn't have to be new to be art. If it was, there would be no reason to play Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and all of the other grandmasters of the Western European concert tradition. Denis Brain playing the Mozart Horn Concerti or Jascha Heifetz playing anything are "art." So is the great Northern Indian musicians playing centuries-old idioms, just for one example.

Ditto with jazz.

I understand the complaint...the so-called "jazz industry" is making recordings of third-rate imitators and then flogging them out there on their so-called "jazz" radio stations and in their mags/websites to be used as background music in automobiles and dining establishments. Anybody who can do a barely passable Miles Davis imitation can get nationwide coverage if he or she is in some other way "identifiable." A haircut, an outfit and a bunch of nonsense about their "art" is all it takes. Meanwhile, honest musicians continue their quest. Get outta your house and away from your digital media...they're all over the place. Where do you live?

S.

P.S. I see you live in the UK. I can't speak for the UK, but in the U.S. real, creative jazz musicians are all over the place. Not just in the big cities, either. They are teaching at universities, working at other jobs, teaching at pre-university levels. They are simply not being hyped, mostly because they don't want to waste the time and make the compromises that said hype requires.

Probably something quite similar is going on in the UK...
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« Reply #146 on: Mar 11, 2017, 09:52AM »

Sam,

Imagine this scenario. Say there is an elderly acclaimed musician who is all but retired; only taking an occasional gig - more for the social outlet than anything - or to give some others some work. Say he has stopped accepting or otherwise making up arrangements on popular tunes for the past - oh - 15 years or so. He has an immense rep of music from the 40's on through the mid-80's or so. In a gig, he will perform those same old songs. And yet, you really don't know what is going to come out of his instrument because he will play what he feels in the given song in the moment. Tomorrow, it will most likely be different. Is he an artist? By your statements, I would say a resounding YES!

That's a different take on my original question. But I think it's a very keen point.

Thanks,

...Geezer
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« Reply #147 on: Mar 11, 2017, 12:31PM »

I am not sure. How do you mean, exactly? I'll give it a try, though.

If someone is playing say an arrangement of a Louis Armstrong or Fletcher Henderson piece, being true to the idiom in which they were originally played and yet playing something "new"...something from their own heart, not just a bunch of cobbled-together, stolen licks...then they are making art as far as I am concerned.

"Art" doesn't have to be new to be art. If it was, there would be no reason to play Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and all of the other grandmasters of the Western European concert tradition. Denis Brain playing the Mozart Horn Concerti or Jascha Heifetz playing anything are "art." So is the great Northern Indian musicians playing centuries-old idioms, just for one example.

Ditto with jazz.

I understand the complaint...the so-called "jazz industry" is making recordings of third-rate imitators and then flogging them out there on their so-called "jazz" radio stations and in their mags/websites to be used as background music in automobiles and dining establishments. Anybody who can do a barely passable Miles Davis imitation can get nationwide coverage if he or she is in some other way "identifiable." A haircut, an outfit and a bunch of nonsense about their "art" is all it takes. Meanwhile, honest musicians continue their quest. Get outta your house and away from your digital media...they're all over the place. Where do you live?

S.


Sam,

I can't disagree with any of this post, but it seem at odds with your previous one. There are many musicians I know who are serious about playing well but in a GASB and modern mainstream manner. Isn't jazz about owning your own voice? And isn't it contrived to play in a manner because you should. Been there on the Bass Gtr.

In a few days time I'll be arriving at UK retirement age, and looking back it's always paid me to have a skill set that could be seen as old fashioned. I now play in 2 regular bands where the guests are usually eating, i.e. hotel lunches and "canapé" music at weddings and family events. My role as I see it, is to support the other horn player, and I get as much solo space as anyone wish hope for, melodic and improvised. Very often if a request comes up from the floor, it's usually me that has to lead on it (by ear), while the rest of the band get the chords from their phones.

Am I an artist? More of craftsman some might say, but I'm always trying to play my best, and now even that I don't need to play gigs, I certainly don't intent to let my standard drop without a fight..
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« Reply #148 on: Mar 11, 2017, 12:51PM »

Back when Miles recorded 'Time After Time' (the Lauper song, not the Great American one), he caught some flak for playing a pop tune and pointed out that jazz players mostly played over pop tunes--just older ones.

But most people still play the older ones--either old pop and show tunes, or original jazz based on similar changes.

A couple of reasons for this:
1) The jazz vocabulary was set to this style of pop tune, and is to some extent set in amber by much of jazz instruction. At least at an early and intermediate level, people are taught to play scales over ii-V7-I progressions. This simply works better with older tunes.

2) The economics of music have changed to where there is less money and more unrehearsed bands. I've been on many gigs where the phrase 'It's time to introduce the band' meant to introduce them to one another. You're going to call "Autumn Leaves" and "Time After Time" (the Great American Song, not the Lauper one).

3) As Sam points out, there are people making real jazz that's fresh rather than imitative, but it's more challenging for listeners. It's easier to regurgitate a pre-chewed version of Miles, now that it's no longer surprising, than to ask people to be surprised again.

I don't think the distinction between the fresh stuff and the stale rests entirely on the material, anyway. I can listen to Ahmad Jamal take apart 'Wave' and put it back together again without feeling like I'm at a dinner dance. And as Pre59 said, I can enjoy the heck out of listening to people play the 'same old thing' as long as they play well, and as long as it doesn't sound like it's the 'same old thing' to them. Call it 'art' or call it 'craft', but skilled, inspired playing is still enjoyable.
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