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Thread: Jazz Inquest

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by sadmanbarty View Post
    i might be a bit off with the timing, but this was also probably the stage when jazz was at it's most innovative.
    well that's a moot point innit - it's innovative in a certain sense where the assumption is that innovation = difficulty, harshness, emotional opacity, extremism

    but you could argue that there is nothing more innovative than the initial birthing of a new form of music

    is Louis Armstrong really less innovative than Charlie Parker or Ornette Coleman?


    with that particular sense of innovative (challenging, confrontational etc), you are dead right - bebop / free etc = the point when jazz is peaking artistically, it's following its logic right out there, where it seems to want to go (c.f. the feeling among classical composers around end 19th / start 20th C that the music had some internal drive in it pushing towards atonality, and that they had to go along with that)

    and of necessity that is the point at which jazz's functionality (as dance music) fades away, it becomes a head music - contemplative

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    Genres often reach the point where the only way forward involves the music becoming increasingly difficult and unpleasant, to the point where the cutting edge is actively mutilating and wrecking whatever was appealing about the music in the first place.

    That explains the neoclassical approach, whether it's Wynton Marsalis, or in rock figures like Jack White and The Black Keys. They are going back to a moment when the music grooved or swung.

    Often there's an impulse to dress the part - Marsalis with his sharp suit, White et al dressing like Leon Russell or somebody of that ilk.

    An earlier example of the syndrome is the trad jazz people in Fifties UK, going back to New Orleans 1920s style. They wanted a high-energy dance music and bebop wasn't that, and the swing bands were too genteel and mild.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Corpsey View Post
    Oxford bollocking = vampire weekend Sleaford mods collaboration
    What happened to them? Either of 'em.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sadmanbarty View Post
    that's not all. please explain.
    what do you want me to say? was big in the loft jazz scene of the 70s, and is still putting out great stuff, check the session he did with Kikanju Baku called conversations II. some very speech rhythm drumming from Baku on that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blissblogger View Post
    well that's a moot point innit - it's innovative in a certain sense where the assumption is that innovation = difficulty, harshness, emotional opacity, extremism

    but you could argue that there is nothing more innovative than the initial birthing of a new form of music

    is Louis Armstrong really less innovative than Charlie Parker or Ornette Coleman?


    with that particular sense of innovative (challenging, confrontational etc), you are dead right - bebop / free etc = the point when jazz is peaking artistically, it's following its logic right out there, where it seems to want to go (c.f. the feeling among classical composers around end 19th / start 20th C that the music had some internal drive in it pushing towards atonality, and that they had to go along with that)

    and of necessity that is the point at which jazz's functionality (as dance music) fades away, it becomes a head music - contemplative
    you can dance to free jazz. not so much for Euro free improv.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thirdform View Post
    you can dance to free jazz. not so much for Euro free improv.
    Did people really dance to free jazz?

    It seems more like an inward, cerebral kind of music - as fierce and blasting as it could be, and physically strenuous for its players

    I wonder if people danced to fusion? That was jazz embracing - and trying to siphon renewed currency and popular appeal from - dance forms of the time such as funk and disco

    But it's hard to picture people cutting a rug to Weather Report or Herbie Hancock, let alone Miles in On The Corner onwards mode.

    As fantastic as the grooves and the drumming etc are in a lot of that music

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    Quote Originally Posted by blissblogger View Post
    Did people really dance to free jazz?

    It seems more like an inward, cerebral kind of music - as fierce and blasting as it could be, and physically strenuous for its players

    I wonder if people danced to fusion? That was jazz embracing - and trying to siphon renewed currency and popular appeal from - dance forms of the time such as funk and disco

    But it's hard to picture people cutting a rug to Weather Report or Herbie Hancock, let alone Miles in On The Corner onwards mode.

    As fantastic as the grooves and the drumming etc are in a lot of that music
    yeh, jazz funk and rare groove was huge in london. according to greg wilson the top dogs in that scene didn't want to play the electro tunes coming out from 82 into 83!

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    although more roy ayers donald byrd kinda vibes.

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    Gilles Petersonn definitely had people dancing to some far out shit in the 80s. There's a podcast of him talking to one of his main dj peers from back then (maybe snowboy) and they're talking about how it got to the point where there were no women dancing and just a few really serious heads and how this was a bad thing. Kinda wish I could hear recordings.

    Theo Parrish also plays some heavy fusion and definitely gets people moving with it. He used to do it all the time at plastic people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blissblogger View Post
    well that's a moot point innit - it's innovative in a certain sense where the assumption is that innovation = difficulty, harshness, emotional opacity, extremism
    i was talking about the 10 years from roughly 1955-65 where you get hard bop/soul jazz, modal jazz and then (as you mention) free jazz being birthed.

    hard bop and soul jazz were very much a populist undertakings.

    modal jazz, despite it's conception in dry music theory, produced the best selling jazz album of all time. it went on to influence (or at the very least pre-empt) ragga/acid rock, psychadelic folk and minimalist classical music.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sadmanbarty View Post
    i was talking about the 10 years from roughly 1955-65 .
    a bit of an arbitrary timeline that. push it to 1970 and you get the emergence of spiritual jazz, fusion and jazz funk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sadmanbarty View Post

    modal jazz, despite it's conception in dry music theory, produced the best selling jazz album of all time. it went on to influence (or at the very least pre-empt) ragga/acid rock, psychadelic folk and minimalist classical music.
    and funk by way of james brown's 'cold sweat' lifting heavily from 'so what'

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    There's several points of dissolution in Jazz as such a singular moment but easily the first and most important is the beginning of Bebop which both legitimizes Jazz musically and also defeats itself.

    Bebop is incredibly important because it frees Jazz from the dancefloor and prevents Jazz from being 'dance music'. Jazz was and remained dance music even after the arrival of bebop, because obviously your Armstrongs, Calloways, Basies, etc. still remained but as a result the music that succeeded in it's wake was more redundant and straight-forward; one could argue that R&B/Rock n' Roll/whatever other titles were a 'dumbing down' but I think if anything they were done with a sense of functionality.

    In another thread somebody invoked the infamous Adorno criticism of jazz and my interpretation is that he seized on it as a rejection of its obvious sense of Utility and Function. That the music was always going to be the soundtrack of dance-halls and meant to service people having a celebration, not be recognized for itself like so called Art Music was done in Europe. You could argue this role would later be played by discoteque musicians or DJs and we know that line is much more easy to blur but certainly there's a logic that this music positioned itself in a devalued state. It kind of works in opposition to the Eno/Satie theorem that music that serves an environment in functionality for a greater hosting purpose is good to become art music that's celebrated for it's development and virtuosity, but it's an inevitable aspect of such a competitive musician culture and when quality of the musicality becomes a selling point to the connoisseur.

    (Luka's gonna see this and bitch about "fucking Marxism again!" but like, that's the thing, it isn't like say Gospel where it's an inner community competitive circuit, it becomes the fact that people are going to Hire The Best Musician, seek The Best Solos, the whole emergence of Down Beat critic culture, these external forces beyond just the music for it's own sake both defeat the mere functionality and also introduce their own sort of aggendaist elitism)

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  16. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by blissblogger View Post
    Herbie Hancock


    IDK.

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    yeah the Headhunters sound funky as fuck

    however - scanning through a bunch of live clips of fusion bands playing in the first half of the 70s, hoping for a cut away to the audience - you see the audience at this Weather Report concert determinedly staying sat in their seats, even though Jaco & Co are cooking



    so i think it was probably received - despite the furious funk energy of the grooves - in the same way that prog rock was (which could also be rhythmically dynamic and near-funky) ie as head music

    i'm talking about fusion, rather than jazz-funk which was more or less a side-stream to disco

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