any jazz lovers out there?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mike Broadman, Aug 30, 2001.

  1. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Come on, I can't be the only one.
    Anyway, here's my dilemma:
    I like all kinds of music, but I'm always looking for stuff that is new, challenging, and really original. I'm pretty satisfied with new rock music I'm finding, primarily progressive rock bands, but have hit a wall with jazz.
    What I like:
    Be-bop (Parker, Dizzy, Monk)
    "Hard" or post-bop (Coltrane, Miles, Mingus, Silver, Blakey, Mobley)
    some "avant-garde": Coleman
    What I don't like:
    smooth jazz. it is evil
    "east coast": (Getz, Evans, etc)
    Basically, I want deep, brash, complex music.
    The problem is, I don't know of any newer jazz artists that do that. Everyone I see either tempers their music with "world," new-age, smooth, or pop, rendering the music souless and musically unadventurous, or plays to nostalgia: tributes, re-makes, etc.
    Is jazz dead? Is it becoming the thing that only Berkley students, NPR listeners, and old people listen to? What happened to the ballsy experimentation and soul of the 50s and 60s? Are there musicians out there trying to save this most precious American art form?
     
  2. Paul.S

    Paul.S Producer

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    Mike:
    It's 4 a.m. in L.A. as I type this. I read your post, should sleep on it, but have a few immediate thoughts, feelings and comments.
     
  3. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    If you don't mind electric jazz I like some of Marcus Miller's stuff. It's a little "smooth" but very innovative. "Tales" is a great album. I think the difficult to listen to experimentation of the 60s alienated many Jazz fans. Combined with some great pop from The Beatles and others, jazz sunk to the background.
    Jazz is dead. Long live Jazz!
    I like jazz, and have a great local station WPFW to listen to.
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    Philip Hamm
    Pat's the best!™
    AIM: PhilBiker
    click on the little green house to see the evolution of my home theater!
     
  4. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Hi Paul,
    I guess I did ask a couple of loaded questions. Well, I'm not against "preservation" or playing tried and true jazz. I love going to jazz clubs and hearing some good ol' fashioned blowing. Nothin' wrong with that.
    However, I do feel that in order for an art form to stay fresh, there has to be some people willing to experiment as well. In rock music, we have bands who just play the same old chords and verse-chorus pop song structure, and that's perfectly fine. We also have rock bands that are really doing some crazy things. Some of it works, and some doesn't, but there's an attempt to keep the music interesting and new. Classical has the war horses of Bach and Mozart, but there are composers out there experimenting with 12-tone, electronics, etc. I personally don't listen to that stuff, but I appreciate the effort.
    It just seems logical to me that jazz should be the same way. Modern jazz is a direct result of the musicians after World War II who puposefully set out to advance the jazz idiom. Most jazz musicians play stuff that is based on Parker, Miles, and Coltrane and that era. 1945-1975 was a thirty year period of constant musical experimentation, with a healthy mix of traditionalism and experimentation.
    I'm just not seeing that in current jazz, but it could be just because I am ignorant of the current jazz scene, which is why I asked the question in the first place. Basically, I'm thinking about my record collection. If I want a CD of 1950s style playing, I'd rather get a Sonny Rollins CD than a CD of some current guy who tries to sound like him. Again, that's not criticising that guy, I'm just saying that I would not buy the CD.
    As far as Wynton Marsalis is concerned, he's definitely one talented cat. He's the kind of guy I was talking about above. I'd gladly see him in concert, but feel no need to buy his albums.
    PS Paul, I like your picture thingy at the bottom of your post.
    [Edited last by Mike Broadman on August 31, 2001 at 09:42 AM]
     
  5. DonaldB

    DonaldB Supporting Actor

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    Mike, are you familiar with the music of John Zorn? I think he's easily the most complex and innovative musician to come along in the last 30 years, and the only one whose bop and avant-garde compositions compare favorably with those of Parker, Coleman, etc.
    Zorn is musician of eclectic tastes and influences, and these diverse interests manifest themselves in recordings which range from hard bop to avant-garde classical music. His extensive discography contains many collaborations with the likes of other outstanding jazz artists such as Bobby Previtte and Wayne Horvitz, and stranger collaborations with people like Yamatsuka Eye, the singer with the Japanese punk band the Boredoms.
    His most overtly bop material can be found in collaboration with the quartet Masada, led by Zorn and featuring Joey Baron, Dave Douglas, Greg Cohen. They've recorded ten studio albums, of which I think the most impressive is Masada 9 , but you can't go wrong with any of them. They've also done a few live recordings which contain an explosive energy strong enough to fix any hard bop craving. Also of interest should be Spy Vs. Spy , a collection of violent renditions Ornette Coleman songs.
    If you find that to your liking you may want to move on to some of the more challenging avant-garde material, like Kristallnacht and Ganryu Island , works that defy categorization.
     
  6. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Ah, John Zorn, yes. In my initial post, I should mentioned that Zorn is the one modern jazzer that I'm into. Oops.
    I like Masada. I have two studio and one live album. I also have Naked City.
    He's not the best player aroudn technically, but he makes up for it in guts and originality.
    I heard some of his orchestral stuff. I didn't get it. It's a bit too weird and experimental for me.
     
  7. Chris Madalena

    Chris Madalena Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Mike,
    I'm a HUGE jazz fan. Studied the artform in college. I'm a drummer. If you aren't "hip" to some of the newer guys, I'll make some suggestions:
    Cyrus Chesnut-He's a pianist that is awesome. Post bop at it's finest.
    Michael Brecker's last few cds have been great. He's a sax player that's been around for ever.
    There's a band called Tribal Tech Tones that's fantastic if you enjoy the fusion aspect of jazz. It's out there. The drummer is Steve Smith (formerly of the band Journey) who has a band called Vital Information, Scott Henderson on guitar who's own band is called Tribal Tech, and the bass player is Victer Wooten of Bella Fleck's band. They have 2 cds out.
    I could go on all day long about jazz. I love talking jazz!! I have about 1000 cds at home. You can email me privately if you want more info on the stuff you've been "missing." I'd be happy to burn you a few sampler discs if you'd like.
    Chris
     
  8. James RD

    James RD Supporting Actor

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    Here are a few of my recommendations:
    Terence Blanchard - "Wandering Moon","Jazz in Film"
    Patricia Barber - "Modern Cool","Companion","Nightclub"
    Bill Frisell - Anything!!!
    Branford Marsalis - "Requiem"
    Wynton Marsalis - Take your pick
    Herbie Hancock - ditto
    Gonzalo Rubalcaba - "Discovery"
    These are a few artists that I believe offer challenging and important music. I'm not a jazz expert, but I will question the expertise of anyone that says jazz is dead. That person just isn't listening.
     
  9. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Chris,
    Cyrus Chestnut, eh? I'll keep an eye out for that.
    I have Brecker's last two albums. I saw him appear as a surprise guest at an outdoor free concert in Manhattan. He signed my copy of his CD. I asked him to address it to "Peanut Butter and Jelly" and he did.
    I do enjoy fusion, but only some. I personally think it got too repetitive and hackneyed shortly after it hit big. I do like Miles' experiments, Mahavishnu Orchestra (older stuff, with Goodman and Cobham), Return to Forever, and Lifetime. I never could get into Weather Report, though I worship Jaco Pastorius.
    I haven't heard of Tribal Tech. I do know of Wooten from the Flecktones.
    Chris, I might just take you up on your offer for those discs [​IMG].
    James,
    I've heard / read mixed things about Frissell. What's with that guy?
    I saw Branford Marsalis at the Newport Jazz Festival a couple of years ago. I was amazed at how far he had come from Leno and Sting. I swiped up a copy of Requiem right after that. Did he make anymore CDs in that direction?
    I haven't heard any of Hancock's recent stuff. I saw him play with Wayne Shorter at Carnegie Hall. I was psyched to see them, but was dissappointed when they played structured ballads. It was just the two of them, no rhythm section or any other musicians. The focus was on the composition. I found it boring.
    I don't know those other people you listed, but I'll keep 'em in mind.
     
  10. Todd Hostettler

    Todd Hostettler Second Unit

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    That Kenny G guy, now there's an artist.
    Actually, I think jazz is alive and well. As far as jazz on the radio goes, here in Detroit we have the living legend Ed Love on WDET. I've been listening to his show since I was a wee lad.
    Myself, I think "A Night in Tunisia" should be the new national anthem.
     
  11. Ben Motley

    Ben Motley Supporting Actor

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    Mike, James is right. Frissell smokes. Any style he touches, he indelibly leaves his stamp on. I have bought maybe four or five cds, and have enjoyed each one immensely. I actually found one of his cds in a bargain bin, Have a Little Faith. Here, with Joey Barron and Kermit Driscoll, he puts his own spin on blues and rock, and with such feeling and emotion. This certainly was a bargain, as it is a great cd. The last one I got was Nashville, which has classic American country and bluegrass stylings, but in Frissell's unique and brilliant style. Nashville is a beautiful, beautiful cd. Actually, I think there was one more after that that I bought and liked; Quartet, that was it. That's the latest one I've got. It's good, but really, Nashville is great. Then there are the Buster Keaton cds. He did two cds where he orchestrated music to go with some of Keaton's films. I've had these cds for years - they were my first Frissells actually - and hope to get some Keaton on dvd soon and synch them up. The cds are very fun and playful, as you can imagine a Keaton soundtrack should be. Then I've got a live recording simply called "Live" which has Kermit Driscoll and Joey Baron. This was my second Frissell cd (I consider the Keaton cds as one, since I got them at the same time and are labeled Vol.s 1 and 2) and it rocks. As it is a live show, it's a bit impromptu, and spans a range of styles, whereas the studio cds tend to embrace one or two styles for the length of the cd. Not so here on the Live cd. I think this would be a great introduction to Frissell, especially for those already versed in Zorns music. Mind you, Frissell is nowhere near as outlandish as Zorn. A LOT of his music is downright "boring" to some, especially at first listen. I say get Live and Nashville, listen to them, and if you're not immediately enamored, put them away for awhile - then go back to them periodically. I'm sure, you'll find more and more in them as time goes on. I must admit, I found it a bit difficult to get into at first, but was going straight from Naked City to Frissell. Let me just say, leave your expectations at the door, and go in with a clear head. If you like truly good guitar music, you've got to check out Frissell.
    Okay, enough Frissell...
    Yes, Masada kicks booty. Don't forget though, Zorn has just released a remastered "The Big Gundown", his tribute to Ennio Morricone, with extra tracks. I can't wait to get my hands on that one!
    How can someone not dig Bill Evans? I take it this is the Evans you spoke of? The guys a national treasure. Oh well.
    Herbie Hancock? Yeah, I must admit, he does kick butt. I always thought of him as some commercial hack, but then I started listening to some of his stuff, and yeah, he's damn good.
    Someone no one has mentioned yet is pianist Ramsey Lewis. This guy is serious old school. He was a real player back in the day, the '50s and '60s, but damn if he didn't come out with a recent disc that smokes recently. Yeah, it's a little easy, but it's damn groovy too. Came out in '95. Hmm, guess I should see if he's released anything else recently.
    Dig the Hammond B-3? For some groovy electric tunes, try Big John Patton, or The Incredible Jimmy Smith. And good luck finding any Richard "Groove" Holmes. After years of trying to find him at second hand stores, I think I'm gonna just have to break down and order some new.
    And sorry if he's too "white", but Dave Brubeck back in the day was great. Take Five is a must have for any jazz collection, in my book anyway.
    Good thread. I don't know squat about jazz, but know I like some of it. Let's keep this goin', as it's certainly helped me out already. Hope I've returned the favor. [​IMG]
    Peace, groove on y'all.
     
  12. James RD

    James RD Supporting Actor

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    I picked up "The Big Gundown" yesterday. Wow! I don't know much about Zorn but I love this, even after only one listening. I also bought the new Greg Osby which I'll recommend - "Symbols of Light (A Solution)".
    As for the truly eclectic Frissell, here are a few others that I really like.
    "Good Dog, Happy Man" - along the lines of Nashville(my personal favorite).
    "Gone, Just Like a Train" - very electric.
    "Blues Dream" - once again, something different.
    Also, look for "Going Back Home" by The Ginger Baker Trio (Baker, Frissell, Charlie Haden) from 1994. Baker said Frissell was the best guitarist he'd ever worked with.
    I agree, let's keep this thread going!
     
  13. DonaldB

    DonaldB Supporting Actor

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  14. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Hey, I'm not knocking Evans. I was just saying that that isn't my "style." Brubeck, Getz, the whole West Coast thing.
    Before getting into jazz, I was a metal head. I still love Iron Maiden and Dream Theater. I didn't listen to jazz because I thought it was too mellow, too safe. John Coltrane showed me otherwise.
    Since then I've discovered that jazz can be the most visceral, artistically agressive style of music. That's why I'm such a huge Mingus fan.
    Yeah, I have my copy of Take Five, I just don't listen to it as much as some of my other discs.
    I'll keep Frissell in mind when I'm in the record stores.
    A good newer disc is Prime Directive by the Dave Holland Quintet.
    Herbie Hancock? A phenomenal talent that got lost. Listen to Miles Davis' second quintet (Williams, Carter, Shorter, Hancock) to hear some mind-blowing piano playing (and everything else, for that matter). His early Blue Note stuff is cool, too. At some point, he developed a belief that it was the musician's job to "make people happy." I think it had something to do with his religious beliefs. He felt that if people just wanted simple rhythms and disco, then he should give it to them. Of course, whenever an artist does that, they lose their integrity and direction, and the product will be forgotten.
     
  15. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Hey, just wanted to let y'all know that I picked up Gone, Just Like A Train by Bill Frisell. Nice. Very pretty. I generally don't like ballads, but I like these. Sophisticated texture, good use of space. I could hear that the guy really loves to play. That's refreshing.
    Thanks for the recommendation! Though I've heard of him before, you guys inspired me to get my ass over to Newbury Comics and pull out the ol' Visa.
    I've only just begun to explore jazz guitar, so this is good timing. I've been into Mahavishnu Orchestra for a while, but now I'm going back to the "pure" jazz guitar, specifically Wes Montgomery and Grant Green. Man, Green is so sweet. One of my favorite CDs I got in the past year was a double CD compilation of quartet stuff he did with Sonny Clarke. It's like a match made in heaven. Their smooth, stylin' sensebilities compliment each other nicely.
    As I'm typing this, I'm listening to Hank Mobley. Talk about soul, boy!
     
  16. Paul.S

    Paul.S Producer

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    Mike et al.
    Thanks! Speaking of (rock) artists doing "crazy things," it is an image from the back cover of Rush's 1985 album Power Windows. [Jan. 15, '03 postscript: I no longer have the Power Windows sig.]
    Cheers,
    Paul
     
  17. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Paul, understand that when I say I "don't need to buy his albums," it's not an attack on what he does (and also doesn't mean that I won't buy his albums). I'm talking from a record collecting point of view, a hobby that costs money. If I want to hear music that's done in the style of Miles Davis' second quintet, I'll buy a CD of Miles Davis' second quintet. The Bill Frisell CD I bought adds to my collection, not just as another disc on my rack, but as a new, original sound and artistic statement that I didn't have before.
    As far as sounding "fresh," remember that the "traditional" artists at one time did sound fresh.
    It's simply too expensive and impractical to try and buy every good CD ever made, because there are just too many. I already have almost 800 CDs. It's absurd. Yet I still buy more and more.
    So, I try to buy not just good CDs, but the best ones I can find. And, of course, I'll pick up more material from artists that I just really like. Yesterday I bought a McCoy Tyner CD, for example. The disc is good, very nice, but not earth-shattering. But I really like Tyner, so I'm happy with it. However, I'm not gonna buy a CD of someone who sounds a lot like him.
    Some musicians are blessed with a unique sound, which others try to copy with varying degrees of success. For my CD collection, where I have to be extremely selective, I choose to stick with those artists who have a unique sound.
    And let's be honest here. As good as Wynton Marsalis is, his success is based on timing as much as on anything else. When he hit the scene, jazz was in a pathetic state of disarray. The avant-gardists out-weirded themselves out, the fusionists ran out of ideas, and rock music was just too powerful. Wynton had the balls to play solid, no bullshit, acoustic jazz. Critics and journalists jumped on him like he was the second coming. They didn't even let him develop yet as an artist when they built their temples to him. If Wynton was partly responsible for revitalising interest in jazz, then that's great, good for him. A lot of the attention he gets, though, isn't really based on musicianship alone (normal practice in the politics of the music industry, not his fault). People complain about the hypocracy and corruption in the rock biz; that ain't got nothin' on the jazz biz.
    Yeah, I knew that picture was from Power Windows. I'm a huge Rush fan. "Wheels within wheels in a spiral array...."
     
  18. Ben Motley

    Ben Motley Supporting Actor

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  19. James RD

    James RD Supporting Actor

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    I recently heard that there are 35,000 CDs released each year. At a modest 60 min. each....well, there are only 8,760 hours in a year.
     
  20. Dave Morton

    Dave Morton Supporting Actor

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    I was just turned on to a Brazilian guitarist, Badi Assad, lately and think all her stuff is really great. She is a classically trained guitarist that incorporates that technique into jazz. I recommend her Echos of Brazil cd, but I like all her music. She's truly an amazing artist.
    ------------------
    ------ Dave ------
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    MY HT
     

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