[Norton AntiSpam]Re: [JPL] Zenph "re-performance"

Lazaro Vega wblv.wblu.fm at gmail.com
Wed Nov 9 09:31:52 EST 2011

Thank you Fredejazz.


There's a tremendous difference between what Off the Record did with
King Oliver's recordings and what is happening here with Oscar and it
goes to the nature of what a recording is. Not sure how to proceed
without getting preachy and skreechy, but the notion that a recording
is the thing itself completely loses the place recordings have in the
evolution of jazz. As a performance art, the music exists in a
continuum of the imagination, and recordings, as imperfect as they
are, capture snapshots along the ever moving evolutionary path of
human expression. It is through recordings that we reach the music,
not through recordings that we reach recordings. The media is not the
message, the music is the message.

So taking current technology and appying it to an acoustic recording
to better reveal the musical interplay that went on in a collective
ensemble performance brings one closer to understanding what it would
have been like to stand in front of the band at the Lincoln Gardens in
Chicago in 1923, and that is far different than treating the recording
as the template for a "re-performance." Again, this is the arguement
from traditional jazz fans -- that it sounds better to hear these old
Johnny Dodds records played by bands today, which completely misses
the value of what Johnny Dodds left us, and what his standing is in
the world of jazz. Because no one, even playing Dodds horn, will ever
be Johnny Dodds. To be Johnny Dodds is not a principle goal of a jazz
musician. It may be the goal of some musicians, but jazz is not about
that. Replacing a trad jazz re-creator with a machine makes no
difference. That "sounds better" arguement is about technology and not
about music.

Which is fine if that's what you want to do, but excuse me if I don't
take it seriously.

Personally, I'd like to hear what Zenph could do with the music of
Colin Nacarrow, who worked with player pianos. That would make
artistic sense. Otherwise, this is a fun use of technology, but it
isn't telling me anything about Oscar that I didn't already know from
the real guy.

Jazz, which comes to you in the best of taste, from Blue Lake.

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