RE: [JPL] Mastery Redux

Jackson, Bobby Bobby.Jackson at ideastream.org
Fri Sep 15 13:49:55 EDT 2006


Rick and Jae,

I have my own take on the elements of what defines a master or an
innovator.  I think there are three basic elements.


1)  Finding something in their chosen craft whether that be a particular
sound, texture, look or point of view that is unique to only them. 

2)  Continual development over years of that particular thing.

3)  Imitation by others.


We see those three elements with greats such as Picasso, Louis
Armstrong,  Charlie Parker, with Miles Davis, with John Coltrane, Monk,
Duke Ellington, Jackson Pollock.

I don't think it helps programmers much in terms of radio programming
but if 
Someone can come up with a unique way of programming jazz that moves
more people to listen then we might have something here.  The matrix
we've used in conventional terms of back announcing tune, album, artist,
players, date of recording and next music set is at least 40 - 45 years
old.  It has been imitated everywhere but it is not the only way to
reach more people. It is convention.  A lot of the impulse to play more
of the current music in lieu of the jazz masters is part of the solution
to the problem but it involves so much more.  I have a lot more to say
about this but I don't have the time to address it in this email.  Have
a safe and happy weekend everyone.

Aloha,

Bobby




-----Original Message-----
From: jazzproglist-bounces at jazzweek.com
[mailto:jazzproglist-bounces at jazzweek.com] On Behalf Of Jae Sinnett
Sent: Friday, September 15, 2006 1:14 PM
To: Jazz Programmers Mailing List
Subject: Re: [JPL] Mastery Redux

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

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

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

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 sponsor contact Ed Trefzger 
at ed.trefzger at jazzweek.com or 866-453-6401.

-------------------------------------------
Rick, this is a somewhat simplistic response to your involved
fundamental question.......I remember Oscar Peterson talking about
technique. Someone asked him about his technique and how much does he
think the musician needs......his response was "you only need enough
technique to do what YOU are trying to do." Interesting. I guess it's
when you try to do what others are doing that you run into problems. 
   
  My point to this is that I look at someone like....lets say Herbie
Hancock. I view him as a "master" because he clearly is identified with
'his sound." Granted he has extraordinary technique but it's the sound
from my perspective that I think puts you in the master category. Look
at Monk. His technique wasn't the greatest but you know you're listening
to Monk when you hear him. No question. Could Monk play with Oscars
technique? No but he didn't need to in order to create "his" sound.
Think about it....every artists sound that we recognize we consider them
masters. There are great technicians everywhere but many don't have
"their" sound. 
   
  So from this perspective having mastery is significant because it
reveals to us one that has achieved something that is of paramount
importance.....the ability to create something that is solely connected
to them. So is it important? Absolutely because without it there would
be no valid points of departure because everyone would be emulating
everyone else. Mastery breeds...or should....individualism. It's offers
hope to those wanting to excel in their craft. Ironically, it also
discourages because it also reveals the effort necessary in acheiving
this level. One of the things that makes  a great programmer is the
ability to recognize the "sound" of that programmer. I doubt if any
programmer wants to sound like another.
   
  So lets embrace mastery. It offers hope and gives many of us something
to reach beyond our own comfortable sphere of understanding. 
   
  Jae Sinnett

Rick McLaughlin <rick at rickmclaughlin.com> wrote:
  -------------------------------------------

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

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

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 sponsor contact Ed Trefzger 
at ed.trefzger at jazzweek.com or 866-453-6401.

-------------------------------------------
Cats, I'll totally let this drop if the same resounding silence as
yesterday's happens. Sorry to be a nudge, but if the shoe fits...

So the questions are these:

- What is mastery, in jazz, in music, from whatever vantage point you
choose?
- Does this thought process actually help us learn from up and coming
artists, or does it hinder the process by unfairly tainting our ears in
some
way?
- Further, is it fair to use benchmarks when listening to new artists,
benchmarks that often a) come from a purely canonized view of jazz, b)
often
have little to do with the music a young-ish artist is creating, and c)
is
even sometimes arbitrary?
- Finally, given the context of this group, how does this help build an
audience of jazz listeners, and what does it do to hinder?

The context, from my original post is:

Hey everyone,

This discussion re: Roberta, combined with our earlier talk about big
bands
has piqued my interest, so thanks for that. There are a few questions
that
I have liked asking prominent musicians, things like "do you think of
yourself as a jazz musician?", "does the label 'jazz' matter to you and
to
your music?", "why do you play?", and then the very interesting question
"what does mastery have to do with your music?" Mastery, it turns out,
is
not exactly the easiest subject to deal with, and I'm curious about how
y'all view it. So let me set the stage a little more.

One problem with mastery is that it implies a hierarchical relationship
to
music, that somehow when someone has "mastered" their instrument or a
genre
of music, that they have conquered it. When I was finishing my master of
music degree at New England Conservatory, I used to joke, you know,
"that's
right, I'm about to be a master of music - music won't be pushing ME
around
anymore." 

And just because a musician has mastered their instrument or a genre,
that
does not mean that they always will. Everyone has off days, or, take
late
Bud Powell recordings, tough eras. Those records are the kind that, when
you go to a record store, the expert sort of explains away like, "well,
it
was pretty late in his life and he was really sick at the time, but they
are
Bud Powell recordings, and just by virtue of that, you must own these."
I
bought them.

Relative to this Roberta Gamberini discussion, who does it help to
consider
whether or not she is a master, and then to compare her to Ella and
Sarah
Vaughn and others? Does it help Roberta - is she aspiring to fill the
shoes
of these artists? Maybe, I really don't know because I never asked her,
but
I suspect that long-term, it does her a disservice. Does it help the
legacy
of these "masters" by somehow keeping their work as the benchmark for
all
singers who come after them? 

And is that really fair - the benchmark aspect? Is it fair to use Bud
Powell as a benchmark for all pianists who come later? Well, if one is
trying to specifically play the bebop language, then maybe. But I also
argue that Cecil Taylor is just as important in the context of this
music,
and I know that this comment will bring some sparks my way. Why
shouldn't he
be a benchmark, or Paul Bley, or someone else? Same with Anthony
Braxton,
and I hate to bring this up again, but I argue that his recording of You
Stepped out of a Dream, duo with Dave Holland on Quartets 1974 is
totally
unbelievable even though it has almost nothing to do with the canonized
language of jazz up to that point. Why shouldn't Braxton, or Ornette, or
Lee Konitz, or I don't know who else, pick someone, why shouldn't they
be
the benchmark. Anyone that isn't Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Charlie
Parker
or Dizzy - not that I don't totally love their music, I'm just asking
why,
or maybe, why not?

So I put it to you, and I am very curious about how you view [the
questions
above]:

Thanks again,

Rick McLaughlin
Bassist, composer, teacher, and frequent (hopefully not pompous)
blowhard


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

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

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

Send jazzproglist mailing list submissions to
jazzproglist at jazzweek.com

To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
http://lists.jazzweek.com/mailman/listinfo/jazzproglist
or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to
jazzproglist-request at jazzweek.com

You can reach the person managing the list at
jazzproglist-owner at jazzweek.com


 		
---------------------------------
Stay in the know. Pulse on the new Yahoo.com.  Check it out. 
-------------------------------------------

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

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

Send jazzproglist mailing list submissions to
	jazzproglist at jazzweek.com

To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
	http://lists.jazzweek.com/mailman/listinfo/jazzproglist
or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to
	jazzproglist-request at jazzweek.com

You can reach the person managing the list at
	jazzproglist-owner at jazzweek.com


More information about the jazzproglist mailing list