[JPL] Feel/Intellectual

Jae Sinnett jaejazz at yahoo.com
Thu Sep 14 14:35:40 EDT 2006


Lenny, 
   
  You are right. It's mainly a subjective thing. If you took ten of us from the JPL and put us in a room and someone played something for us to judge......lets say we all liked it. I would bet though we would have close to ten different reasons why we liked it. Also, I respect the opinion of anyone who "respectfully" disagrees. That's important. That's the beautiful part of a democracy but at times in disagreement the logic isn't as clear. I need logic....at times more than others and this is why I explain to someone when I don't agree with them as to why....mainly out of respect. 
   
  Part of my delimma in talking about "music" on the JPL or anywhere is the fact that besides being a programmer, I am a musician. A very serious one. I find myself in "musical" discussions many times with folk that aren't practicing musicians so to me it becomes tricky. I can see where I can fluff a few programmers but that certainly isn't my intention. I try very hard to balance musical logic with what I think the lay person can understand.  
   
  For example and please note in this case that what I'm getting ready to share isn't for the purpose of trying to get someone to rethink how they hear the Gladys Knight CD......... the musician part of me obviously hears this Gladys Knight CD differently than most on the list. I'll explain further what that is......What I'm surprised with the most is her sense of swing in her phrasing. Somewhere she has been dealing with jazz on a very serious level. Truly. Either in lessons or singing away from the recording studio. The blues element has been there from her beginnings so I knew that wasn't going to be an issue. From that point of view she would more than likely be approaching this conceptually more from a blues perspective but how she is swinging brings it into a jazz context. 
   
  The other surprising point with this for me and perhaps more challenging and complex to articulate is how she is paralleling the arrangements. John Clayton's arrangements are out of a Basie concept ....which was based on the blues. So for me it's a completely logical fit for her - only if she can swing and she proves she can. However, the Billy Childs arrangements aren't and that's where I thought she would have a problem but she doesn't. She plays it smart and doesn't take many melodic chances. In a way it's a minimalist approach to singing his arrangements but the arrangements take care of any piece of sophisticated "jazz" harmonic choices someone may want to hear - not coming from her. Because she is a seasoned vocalist she understands that space is also a sound and interestingly enough she knows how....at least here....to not get in the way of the arrangement. That's impressive to me and particularly considering her history as we think we know it...it's even more so. 
   
  In my opinion, I don't think most in the jazz community will listen to her with an open ear. I think they will see the name and write her off or let this create a preconceived idea as to what they are getting ready to hear. I've always said it's hard to make someone see and hear something they don't want to see and hear. That's unfortunate but it's what I think. This is the way it works in this business at times. One individual making that choice and in the case of the programmer, it's that one person making that choice for perhaps thousands of people.
   
  Sidebar to this..... I had a contest with the Gladys Knight CD to see if the listerners could tell who was singing. Not one out of about 20 that called knew...but they WANTED to know. I have not received one call on this new Diana Krall CD which I find strange but it could also me the fact that they recognize her voice and know her in jazz but I have received many on the Knight disc - simply wanting to know. In several cases with me not telling them who they where listening to until after and I know why. It's what they are feeling. One thing about listeners is that for the most part they don't listen like we do. That's telling in this case. Our listening is more critical because it has to be but at times that can get into the way of objectivity. Also one of our favorite local "jazz" record stores is telling me today.... that her disc is being requested more so than the Diana Krall release. These are jazz buyers. Interesting. 
   
  Know that I appreciate your comments as well Lenny. 
   
   
  Jae Sinnett
   
  
Lenny Mazel <jazz at kcme.org> wrote:
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Jae,

Let me preface my remarks by saying that in the years that I have been
reading messages on the JPL, and occasionally participating (I prefer to
stay out of the fray), I have the greatest respect for your posts and the
knowledge and experience that you bring to the table. When you say you like
someone (Wendolina, for example, from a while back), I feel they're worth
checking out. Naturally, I don't always agree with you, but this whole
thing of music appreciation is very subjective. We each feel what we feel,
appreciate what we appreciate, and like what we like. 
I didn't feel Ms. Gambarini when I saw her live, though I did appreciate
her. The recording I like, appreciate and feel. Karrin's CD knocked me out
on the first listen, and continued listens haven't changed my opinion. I
was a big Motown fan growing up outside NYC in the 60s, but thought Smokey's
singing was totally inappropriate for the material on his new CD. I prefer
Gladys' new one, but don't feel it or like it, and don't hear her as a jazz
singer. Diana Krall...don't feel her (except for the chill she gives me
from her coldness), don't like her, but I do play her on my shows. Diane
Schuur...don't feel her (except for the nails on a chalkboard effect she
sends down my spine), don't like her, but I do play her on my shows. For
the most part I play music that I like, but Diana and Diane are two examples
of artists that I would never listen to at home, but because people like
them, I do include them in my programming. I seem to have changed the
subject, but what the hell. 
As for Judi D, I like her CD, though the Sarah influence is mighty
strong. And I dig the Beatles. 

Lenny Mazel
Jazz Director
KCME-FM
1921 N Weber St
Colorado Springs, CO 80907
719-578-5263
www.kcme.org


-----Original Message-----
From: jazzproglist-bounces at jazzweek.com
[mailto:jazzproglist-bounces at jazzweek.com] On Behalf Of Jae Sinnett
Sent: Thursday, September 14, 2006 9:43 AM
To: Jazz Programmers Mailing List
Subject: [JPL] Feel/Intellectual


I grew up in the Pittsburgh PA area - just south of the city. The town
baseball great Ken Griffey grew up in. In fact he was my neighbor. While
growing up I sang in our gospel church choir. My grandmother also sang in a
choir and my mother played piano in the church choir. Outside of having
James Cleveland, the Mighty Clouds of Joy, etc.....we had Aretha, Otis,
Motown, Sam and Dave, Dinah, etc.....in my household. My point with this is
that for me I was very exposed to gospel and blues and some jazz music as a
young boy. In fact that's all I was exposed to until I heard the Beatles.
They sounded strange to me when I first heard them. I didn't understand why
at the time but later it became apparent. The soul I was use to hearing and
feeling wasn't there. Initially I only appreciated them because of the hype
and I thought Ringo was cool. 

Then I heard Hendrix. I heard this screaming loud guitar like I had never
heard before but something reached me. I felt him. That was it for me. I
learned what that "feeling" was. So from that point on with instrumentalists
and vocalists I needed that "feeling" to be able to really enjoy the music I
was listening to. Later I learned to "appreciate" talent. Like opera. I
don't particularly care for opera but I respect the craft. I respect the
level of talent required to perform opera but it was an intellectual
appreciation. I learned to differentiate these sensations. That's how I hear
much of classical music and unfortunately too much jazz. Intellectual
appreciation. 

This is why I love this Gladys Knight release because it reaches my soul.
Roberta Gambarini doesn't. With her it's an intellectual appreciation. I
admire her control and pacing but her voice is thin to me. She sings pretty
but I don't "feel" her - even when she's singing the "Centerpiece" blues. I
should definitely feel her there but I don't. I feel Ann Hampton Callaway.
Sorry Lenny but I don't feel Karin Allyson but I like her. I feel Sarah,
Ella, Billie and Carmen. I feel Leika. I don't feel Diana Krall but I like
her. I liked the Beatles but I didn't feel them. I felt Cream. I feel Jeff
Beck. I feel Cold Blood. I feel vocalist Judi D. Anyone check out that CD
yet? There's a surprise. Why these wild set of emotions for me? I'm not
really sure but I'm sure it has much to do with how I was brought up and
what I was exposed to very young. For me that's the fundamental difference.
What I can feel and what I can intellectually appreciate. It's the
proverbial cherry on the
toping when both can happen. 

Jae Sinnett 




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www.russkassoff.com/somewhere

For more information, interviews, etc. -- please contact:
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-------------------------------------------

This week's sponsor: Russ Kassoff - ''SOMEWHERE'' (2006) - RHK JAZZ 

-------------------------------------------

''It goes without saying that FRANK SINATRA could have enlisted the services of any accompanist he wanted. The fact that he chose RUSS KASSOFF speaks volumes about Kassoff's unequivocal artistry, which is splendidly showcased on SOMEWHERE'' (Jack Bowers-AAJ). After almost 40 years as a professional musician, KASSOFF's first album as a leader features his serene beauty, intriguing style, and vivid concepts as an outstanding composer and gifted improviser. With MARTIN WIND (bass) and TIM HORNER (drums), ''SOMEWHERE is vibrant, compelling, and destined to become an essential component of collections that favor jazz trios'' (Paula Edelstein-AMG). ''Performed with class and a fine touch'' (Marion McPartland), ''SOMEWHERE is a masterpiece'' (Bucky Pizzarelli).

ON YOUR DESKS NOW!

GOING FOR ADDS: 8/28

Available on-line: www.cdbaby.com/kassoff

FALL ITINERARY (including Knickerbocker in NYC with BUCKY PIZZARELLI Sept. 28-30), (Midtown Jazz at Midday - Saint Peter's @ Citicorp NYC - 1 PM Oct.11), UPDATED BIO, PRESS RELEASE, PHOTOS and more, please visit www.russkassoff.com/somewhere

For more information, interviews, etc. -- please contact: katesmith999 at yahoo.com and visit www.katesmithpromotions.com

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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