[JPL] SAX Heritage/Walter Becker blindfold

jazzrockworld rick at jazzrockworld.com
Wed Aug 9 18:20:16 EDT 2006


All due respect Jae, but what are you talking about? 

Demonstrative bite? Excuse me, never heard of Demonstrative bite - is that a
dental condition? 

Pain in the ass studio musicians? 

W.C. Fields was an anti-Semite - does that mean he's not funny. Henry Ford
was an anti-Semite, is that going to stop anyone from buying a Ford. So they
are a pain in the ass to work with - what's the point of saying that? 

Who said he was joking?
He's dead serious I'm sure - that's what makes it funny. He's just saying
what a lot of people (that aren't narrow minded Jazz fans) are thinking and
that Jazz fans are afraid to say. Besides the humor, he's got a very good
point. Just because a musician plays a Soprano doesn't make him a good
musician or a good Soprano player. Steve Grossman is an incredible Soprano
player, but his playing on Miles' Black Beauty borders on screeching. It
took him quite a while to master the instrument. 

Becker isn't a Jazz musician. He's a talented musician, but didn't choose
Jazz to make his mark. Soprano doesn't fit what he's trying to do. What is
there to be careful about - polluting the concept that Jazz is only what the
"experts" say it is? 

I should point out that some of the remarks made here are much funnier than
Becker could have hoped say, even if he was trying to be funny.  

I've been told by many people that barking up the JPL tree is a bad idea if
you're a Fusion fan. All I can say to that is "So What" - no one's getting
hurt and with all due respect to tradition, there's a reason for the
expression "Jazz Snob"

I'm laughing as I write this, so please don't get too carried away or take
what I say too personally. Jae, you just happened to say something that I'm
sure a lot of people think and I'm questioning the thought process, not the
remarks directly. 
 
I'll be the bad guy. I'm ok with that. Sometimes we get too wrapped up and
take ourselves too seriously. I'm just the comic between acts. 

Thank you all.

Rick Calic
www.jazzrockworld.com 



-----Original Message-----
From: jazzproglist-bounces at jazzweek.com
[mailto:jazzproglist-bounces at jazzweek.com] On Behalf Of Jae Sinnett
Sent: Wednesday, August 09, 2006 2:36 PM
To: Jazz Programmers Mailing List
Subject: RE: [JPL] SAX Heritage/Walter Becker blindfold

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Fewer dealt with the soprano as I think Ricky alluded to.....because of
being technically challenging....mainly in the intonation department. All
reed instruments are difficult to play in tune but you would have to put the
soprano saxophone up near the top in that category. This is why I admire
saxophonists like Steve Wilson and Branford Marsalis so much on that
instrument....because they play in tune. 
   
  Back to Becker.....He may have a sense of humor but I seriously don't
think he was joking about the soprano or the drum solos in that blindfold
test. I've heard Wayne playing tenor on their music but I don't recall ever
hearing soprano. Has anyone else? I also remember reading a while ago -
somewhere.....and I think it was Harvey Mason.....saying that he would never
work with them again because they are a pain in the ass in the studio.
Actually I've heard several musicians talk about this. The thing that makes
"Aja" (song) so unique to "Dan's" music is that 95 percent of the drumming
in their music is throught out and written as parts of the composition -
consequently leaving little or no room to explore - even writing out the
drum "fills" - but "Aja" was the exception - for the most part. It was Steve
Gadd's drumming and their "writing" that brought attention to this band from
within the jazz community. 
   
  When someone relates them to jazz....as I do and have done in the
past......they should be careful in how that association is connected.
While their music has always be influenced by jazz harmonic
structures.....composed sections to be specific......the improvisation
levels were always limited to one soloist with very little inter-active
qualities - as that of jazz - from the "group" perspective. Granted this is
a pop/rock organization we're talking about here and in that regard they are
amazing and certainly innovative as was Maurice White of EWF - Stevie Wonder
and Billy Joel - but I think the talk was bigger then their demonstrative
bite.
   
  Jae Sinnett 

jazzrockworld <rick at jazzrockworld.com> wrote:
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Yep, there it is...

In the words of a famous Soprano player Dave Liebman "Lighten up, Please"

Becker and Fagen (besides being quality musicians) are also good comedians
and should be laughed with, not at. I loved Roland Kirk and Benny Maupin
playing the Stritch, but it's certainly not on my List of Favorite
Instruments. Does that invalidate the Stritch? I don't think Becker
invalidated the Soprano either. 


Thank you Ricky!!!

Rick Calic
www.jazzrockworld.com 





-----Original Message-----
From: jazzproglist-bounces at jazzweek.com
[mailto:jazzproglist-bounces at jazzweek.com] On Behalf Of OntheBeach at aol.com
Sent: Wednesday, August 09, 2006 12:21 PM
To: jazzproglist at jazzweek.com
Subject: Re: [JPL] SAX Heritage/Walter Becker blindfold

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This week's sponsor: Anton Schwartz ''RADIANT BLUE''

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The Jazz Programmers Mailing List is a free service provided by JazzWeek.
For more information visit us at http://www.jazzweek.com/jpl To become a
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folks:
eric jackson makes an excellent point. both soprano sax [and clarinet] had
mighty influences on the development of saxophone playing and major
saxophonists.

there exists for just one example, an unmistakable linkage between the
soprano of sidnet bechet to the clarinet of alvin batiste with the (tenor
and) soprano of john coltrane.

it should not be overlooked that mr. becker (along with mssr. fagen) has
demonstrated a preference for tenor players [and always employed outstanding
ones on their recordings]; is a master of irony, sarcasm and self
effacement. 
this is one very smart (and frequently smart-assed) musician/artist. he did
after all title his first solo LP "12 Tracks of Whack"

never forget that becker and fagen can frequently be found with tobgue
squarely planted in cheek. ..

without question this extends to drummers: Steely Dan always used the best
of the best

i found walter's blindfold very entertaining. let us not forget Steely Dan
probably did more to create recognition for jazz and jazz musicians than any
"pop" group ever. Becker & Fagan's respect for jazz is obvious. 

okay--my bias should be revealed here: Weather Report and Steely Dan were my
two favorite groups during my radio days in the 70s...and remain all these
years later right up there with the all-time greats.

...don't take me alive...i still haven't lost that number

ricky schultz 


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Anton Schwartz ''RADIANT BLUE''

The tenor saxophonist and composer's strongest release to date ... at radio
now.

Featuring
Anton Schwartz (tenor sax)
Peter Bernstein (guitar)
Taylor Eigsti (piano)
John Shifflett (bass)
Tim Bulkley (drums)

''Sharp arrangements and crisp straight ahead playing that seems to hit all
the right notes.''
-- Tad Hendrickson, JazzWeek

''Vibrant jazz... dreamy interplay... relaxed and warm... a welcome
addition.''
-- George Harris, All About Jazz: Los Angeles

''This is the kind of young jazz the majors keep saying they are looking for
but not delivering.''
-- Chris Spector, Midwest Record Recap

Radio Contact: GROOV Marketing
Mark Rini - (877) 476-6832 x1 - mark at groovmarketing.com -or- Josh Ellman -
(877) 476-6832 x2 - josh at groovmarketing.com

Interviews and Station IDs available upon request.

visit http://antonjazz.com

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The tenor saxophonist and composer's strongest release to date ... at radio
now.

Featuring
       Anton Schwartz  (tenor sax)
       Peter Bernstein  (guitar)
       Taylor Eigsti  (piano)
       John Shifflett  (bass)
       Tim Bulkley  (drums)

''Sharp arrangements and crisp straight ahead playing that seems to hit all
the right notes.''
                     -- Tad Hendrickson, JazzWeek

''Vibrant jazz... dreamy interplay...  relaxed and warm... a welcome
addition.''
                     -- George Harris, All About Jazz: Los Angeles

''This is the kind of young jazz the majors keep saying they are looking for
but not delivering.''
                     -- Chris Spector, Midwest Record Recap

Radio Contact: GROOV Marketing
Mark Rini - (877) 476-6832 x1 - mark at groovmarketing.com  -or- Josh Ellman -
(877) 476-6832 x2 - josh at groovmarketing.com

Interviews and Station IDs available upon request.

visit http://antonjazz.com

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