[JPL] Joshua Redman
jaejazz at yahoo.com
Wed May 2 11:53:24 EDT 2007
I didn't think you would Lazaro and I would also agree that when you take away repetitive rhythm it becomes problematic for many with jazz and even more of one.... IMO.....is the improvisation. The chordless thing is to some for sure but not as much as these two.
My initial point about this turned into something else.....a classroom about how you can use scales which was puzzling to me and really added nothing to what I was talking about. Speaking of Sonny......in a couple of my jazz history classes over the years for the "community," not my university teaching......although I've use this on them as well....I've played Sonny's Vanguard trio sessions with Elvin and Wilbur Ware and "Way Out West" with Ray and Shelly to see how they respond. This technique by the way with the use of chordless trio textures was for a while called "strolling." Sonny obviously pioneered this so I felt it was important to introduce them to this part of the history. Before hand I didn't tell them what they were getting ready to hear and that there was no piano or guitar. The general reaction was "something is missing." It's like they kept waiting for the piano or guitar to come it. That's fact.
I've done this many times over the years and it's always the same reaction for "general" listeners. There are exceptions of course and I would say 50% of the class felt that way. Now you don't think Wilbur and Ray walked lines using a variety of scales and Sonny? Of course they did but those in the class still felt something was missing and that something was the chord. You can play a scale a kzillion different ways but without the chord you'll still get this reaction from many. This is my point when I said that some (listeners) feel the chord is necessary.....and I'll add.....to give them a better point of departure. Good bass or horn players don't need a chord but having them certainly appears to help many that listen to this music.
I think some forget most on this list don't represent with what I would describe as being the average jazz listener. We by far don't represent what that general listener understands jazz to be. I use to be surprised by what folk don't get in the general jazz community but not anymore. This is why I teach my community classes because they need someone to teach them about this music. The common problem areas with jazz in what they hear......the improvisation.....they lose their place in the form.....difficult to follow.....the rhythm.....syncopation throws them off.........group interplay.....sounds confusing.....like musicians just going off in different directions......simply being instrumental.....like learning a foreign language......and there are more but these are areas I focus on to help them understand and it's worked. I think more of us in the industry should get involved in the community to teach these folk about this great music.
Lazaro Vega <wblv.wblu.fm at gmail.com> wrote:
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No problem playing Josh's new CD on the radio because there's no
chordal instrument -- Sonny Rollins, the trio Air, opened up these
doors long ago. Digging Joshua's new one.
P.S. Ornette's concentration on melody was underscored by "letting"
the emotional message of the song dictate or determine the form, a la
blues musicians before W.C. Handy standardized blues form so groups
could play it. That is, bluesmen wouldn't often sing/play standard
length phrases: they'd play/sing whatever length it took to get the
And for all the discussion of harmony it would seem the average
listener is more thrown when you take away a steady, determined,
measurable, predictable rhythm.
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