[spam] RE: [JPL] Hello and a major query

DPolletta at aol.com DPolletta at aol.com
Wed Jun 13 09:28:07 EDT 2007


In a message dated 6/12/2007 4:47:01 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
jwilke123 at comcast.net writes:

Since  most all pop 
groups today do their own music,  "cover band" has  become a derogatory 
term used to dismiss a band as having little  significance.  I wonder if 
fans of rock bands want to hear jazz  covers of their favorite bands.  
Is it maybe the band's sound they're  interested in and not the tunes 
per se?>
 
this is the reaction that I have often had from listeners who are familiar  
with the original rock or pop tunes and hear a jazz band play them.  A kind  of 
"That's lame, a cover version. Sounds like a band at the Holiday Inn"   I've 
even heard it from more causal jazz fans, who are also big pop/rock  fans.  
"What is that?  Someone covering "All Blues?"  
 
I have had a hard time explaining to them that jazz is about personal  
interpretation of the work, not the work itself.  I try to tell them that  jazz 
doesn't really have cover versions any more than the when the Cleveland  Orchestra 
records Beethoven's 3rd for 145th time, they aren't "covering" him or  the an 
older recording they made.  But many of them see it as cheap.  
 
 
In addition to the lame factor, some of it may have to do with  the 
"sentimentality" or "nostalgia" that rock/pop creates among listeners.   The kind of  
feelings of "I remember the summer of 78 when "Some Girls" was  released" or "I 
fell in love with my first girlfriend the same time the Police  were on tour 
with "Synchronicity." A cover version is jarring to the feelings  attached to 
these songs.  
 
If you don't have a sentimental attachment or don't know the material, it  
can really change your opinion.  I really have enjoyed the two recordings  by 
the band "Jewels and Binoculars" who play the music of Dylan.  For me,  because 
I really don't know his music that well, they were just interesting  tunes.  
But when I played the recordings for Dylan fans, they met with a  cold 
reaction.  Same with Alex Skolnick.   My hard rocking  friends thought it was a joke.  
Those who weren't familiar with the tunes,  had much less problem with it.
 
 
 There have been a few exceptions.  Sting's "Fragile,"   Lonnie Smith playing 
Gaye's "Trouble Man," and the Radiohead tunes seem to get  very positive 
reaction. (although, IIRC, drummer Matt Wilson, in  a recent issue of downbeat was 
already dismissive of  the Radiohead repertory declaring it "passe")  The two 
Motown  tunes on the Allen/Whitaker date were well received.
 
Interesting question....
 
Dan Polletta
WCPN-FM



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