[JPL] Phat Band/Bruce Hornsby

Lazaro Vega wblv.wblu.fm at gmail.com
Sat Jul 29 01:20:08 EDT 2006

Jae: "Intonation. Your word choice is interesting...."different."
Funny. Come on Rick...you either play in tune or you don't. You know
it and I know it. We're not in Asia or India. Our cultural tuning
system is based on A-440 period - mainly because of the piano. Why do
so many play out of tune? A lack of fundamentals. Plain and simple.
I'm reminded of Max Roach........ When you listen to him with Clifford
just about every time he played a four or eight bar break or better
yet...a solo.... the tempo picked up - at times dramatically. But when
the band came back in he brought the tempo back to where they started.
His purpose for this was effectual - and intentional for emotional
impact. Same with intonation. If you want to play sharp or flat and
stretch tonalities do so as an "effect" and not have that as the

So we say Jackie McLean and Von Freeman lacked/lack fundementals? Or
that Pee Wee Russel should have left the clarinet at home?

Braxton's fundementals start with Ornette, Brubeck and Tristano and go
from there into experimentalist classical composers who are redefining
music basics on their own terms. That's why the music is called
"outside." They're outside of expecations or familiarity, and
fundementals are open to as much "fuckery" as contour, dymanics,
collective improvisations and ensemble organization and
disorganization, all the while soloing in a style starting, not with
Johnny Hodges, but with the strange and improbable intersection of
Paul Desmond and Albert Ayler.

I mean, look at Steve Lacy who recorded all kinds of extreme sonic
music with electronics, with Evan Parker and Derek Bailey, but who
also wrote "Esteem" for Johnny Hodges and led an ensemble who's
instrumentation was inspired by the Jimmie Noone Apex Club Orchestra
with Earl Hines (clarinet and alto for Noone, soprano and alto for
Lacy). Now there's a jazz musician: Steve Lacy. He was able to flow
with the one constant in jazz. No not the blues. Change. And he fused
music with his interest in literary and painterly masterpieces from
his generation, the art song tradition famliar to his wife -- an
amazing fusion of influences.

To say out pieces or bands don't work because they don't work with
inside principals is not meeting the music on it's own terms. Velocity
happens -- Braxton's bands during the Arista period played that hard
driving angular post-bop that had a strange, accordian like sense of
rhythmic tension and release. Mark Helias swung his ass off under
Braxton -- Anthony's on top of or ahead of the beat phrasing recalls
Stitt, or Earl Bostic - it comes out of the black musical tradition,
and then goes very much it's own weird way.

And there are many examples of Cecil playing the blues.

The blues are all Ornette is about.

To tweeze this influence out of them is to deny, or avoid, the effect
of the entire melange.

If you don't like it, fine by me. If you don't play it, let's hear
what you are doing on your terms. But before putting down the out cats
please consider Ornette and Albert Ayler were powerful enough
musically to turn the head of no less a musician than John Coltrane.

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