jaejazz at yahoo.com
Sat Jul 29 13:22:29 EDT 2006
Bobby, I understand your post and perhaps it reflects the position of other "programmers" here but I would say it's okay to deal with issues on this list that relate directly to the "music" once in a while. This doesn't happen often so why not? After all isn't this ultimately what we are dealing with? Music? Without jazz music there would be no jazz radio. Without jazz radio there would still be jazz music.
We talk about programming issues all the time and in that regard how has it helped? Formats keep changing, numbers are getting smaller and I keep saying....like a broken record.... that if we can't figure out a way to get folk to understand more clearly what they are listening to with jazz music - without dumbing down the music to nonsense... then jazz radio and jazz music in general will continue to have problems. So lets have some occasional musical conversations. Look at the post Giz just sent in....the sales are flat which isn't news. The same reasons for this are the same across the board - including radio. Few are listening to me when I talk about this mainly because this observation is viewed to be coming from a musician. I am also a programmer and clearly understand radio programming and clearly understand this music and how it's interpreted by it's listeners. So once in while let a "music" thread run.....if not for anything else - to present folk another
Lazaro, keep in mind I didn't make that statement about playing out. I just quoted. You asked if I believed it.....well...yes and no because there is validity in the genre and then there's BS. I'll say this before I go further.....you don't know much about my music past but I've been on stage with Blythe, Freeman, Abdu Salim and a host of other so called "outside" musicians. That's part of my musical make up. In fact I was in this before I played straight up jazz.
Now to say I was putting down the genre.........why would I do that? I didn't go there at all with the exception of Braxton but you put other names in my bag when I wasn't looking :>) I don't care for him for various reasons but I love Cecil, Ayler, Ornette. You say Braxton's fundamentals started with Ornette but you're speaking about conceptual fundamentals. I wasn't. How you embrace "technical" fundamentals early on will determine your level of limitations or possibilities and THEN determine how you work with "conceptual" fundamentals.
You don't start with Ornette anyway because in doing so you would never understand him. Braxton missed chapters in my opinion. The most important ones. The ones that dealt with emotional pullulating. They would have shaped him in terms of methodology... the way the Texas blues tenor out of the 40's shaped Ornette. Then he would understand Ornette. Do you think he really does? The blues permeated Ayler, Trane and Cecil and they let it. That's why they reach you. I hear...not feel Braxton. What about you? I bet you feel Ornette and Ayler. I can't help but feel he simply wins by association if you will.... in your book of "experimentalists" because he is one. I am curious as to which of the "experimentalists" you don't care for and why?
What's also interesting and something I greatly appreciate is that your post makes me think about how surprisingly small and underappreciated the genre is today and how your articulation can perhaps get some to place renewed value on in this category of creative music.
You asked if Jackie McLean lacked fundamentals........ Ah oh......I would answer yes in some areas and I guess any musician does in some regard but one area with him was in his embrochure. Not using spell check here. I know when the Jackie McLean thread was happening many talked about his intonation and to me some were trying to justify why he played out of tune. I stayed out of that conversation because I truly believe Jackie simply couldn't play in tune - which from my perspective isn't a good thing. This perhaps added a sense of intrigue and unique-ness to his presentation but it's still out of tune and for me....never sounded good. He's always been a puzzle to me anyway. I never could figure out how someone could play so much saxophone that out of tune. I'll leave this one here.
"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."
Nope. Not what I said or implied but I will say those "terms" can be subjective. Again I'm talking about fundamentals and they have nothing to do with outside or in. Lets put it in questions.....What kind of programmer would you be if you didn't understand the "clock?" Or your audience research? Or how much depth would you have heard from Ayler if Trane never preceded him? Or if the blues never existed what kind of Ornette would we have? Everything great has a point of departure that helped in defining that greatness. This is my point but as I'm sure you know greatness can be acheived with a narrow scope of perfected fundamentals.
Lazaro Vega <wblv.wblu.fm at gmail.com> wrote:
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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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