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Thread: Jazz

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    Jazz

    My wife and I went to Drake last night, to hear our 15 y.o. daughter play in the Drake Honor Jazz Band. First of all, it was an honor and a joy to watch our daughter ripping on the trombone like that. She has a true talent, which I hope she continues to develop.

    We both like jazz, blues and soul music.... however, I just don't "get" when jazz musicians go into their seemingly endless and pointless free form improv solos. Frankly, it seems to me a kind of musical masturbation, where the only one who enjoys it is the musician themselves. My wife agrees.

    I realize that personal preference and taste is involved here, and would like to hear from people who feel differently than my wife and I.

    Are there any other jazz fans on the forum? If so, what do you think of regular jazz and jazz solos?


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    Re: Jazz

    Jazz fan here, and I agree with you on the solos. That's why I generally listen to stuff that is more structured.


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    Re: Jazz

    Sometimes free form make sense. I enjoy jazz but admit my tastes are probably pretty dated.



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    Re: Jazz

    I'm a jazz fan, and can do without long solos as well. I have gotten into Big Band lately (Count Basie, Buddy Rich, Charles Mingus, etc.) probably because it's more structured.

    I do like jazz combos, though, as it's neat hearing each individual piece mesh with the others, and then stand out from one another with solos.

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    Re: Jazz

    Lots of enjoying improv comes from being pleasantly surprised and satisfied by the ideas they lay down, and not necessarily the musicality of the solo. Does that make sense? I totally agree though - I have often found myself wondering when the vamp will end and the rest of the band will come in....

    In terms of favorite songs...and seeings that your daughter's a bone player, one of my favorite trombone solo pieces is Bill Waltrous' "Fourth Floor Walkup." Not classic jazz per se....definitely a funk tune. But I like it.


    Last edited by MidwestZest; 02-04-2009 at 03:03 PM.

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    Re: Jazz

    I wouldn't describe myself as a jazz fanatic, but I was in my very small high school's very small jazz band and also worked at WOI radio on nights and weekends long enough to listen a bit. By no means do I consider myself an expert (or even close). But since you asked for an opinion...

    I think it's very subjective. I agree that many jazz solos seem to be enjoyed only by the people playing them. The majority of jazz solos I've heard at high school and college concerts seem that way, I think primarily because the musicians are amateurs. When I say "amateurs," I mean it as respectfully as possible--after all, I was once one of those amateurs myself, and everybody has to start somewhere.

    For me, improv solos and jazz music in general gets more interesting when you listen to the pros. Even some of the "semi-pros" (some of the local bands I've heard) can be fun to listen to. That said, I've heard a lot of jazz music even from the professionals that I just don't "get."

    I don't know how to describe my feelings about it beyond that. I guess all I can say is that I know what I like when I hear it.




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    Re: Jazz

    Does she play the "Yaz flute"



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    Re: Jazz

    Quote Originally Posted by isucyfan View Post
    I'm a jazz fan, and can do without long solos as well. I have gotten into Big Band lately (Count Basie, Buddy Rich, Charles Mingus, etc.) probably because it's more structured.
    I love Count Basie...his rhythm section rocks...

    The song that Jerry Lewis is pantomiming in this clip is the ending of Basie's Blues in Hoss' Flat, which is my favorite Basie tune. I'm not a huge Jerry Lewis fan, but this is pretty clever, plus the song is great...

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MA3406YJUg]YouTube - Jerry Lewis - The Errand Boy (1961) Pantomime[/ame]


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    Re: Jazz

    Quote Originally Posted by dustinal View Post
    guess all I can say is that I know what I like when I hear it.
    Same here. Over time, I admit to becoming more of a blues fan than straight jazz. Even in professional improv, it seems that it can be quite rehearsed, and that takes the fun out of it for the listener.



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    Re: Jazz

    I play jazz semi-professionally in Denver. (meaning, I have a real job to support myself, but do get hired regularly to play) I have started a Big Band playing Buddy Rich, Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Stan Kenton charts. We currently have a steady gig at a local swing dance club. I have toured internationally playing jazz. I recently was part of a big band started by Count Basie's former lead trumpet player and arranger, Sam Bivens.

    So those are my qualifications. Now my opinion of jazz improv. Done properly, the solo should elevate or keep the flow of the chart going. It should not be a stumbling block in the song. Jazz improv is truly an art form and a skill that takes time, practice and creativity. It can be and usually is somewhat nerve-racking to get up infront of a crowd and make up something on one's instrument and hope that it doesn't sound like a lawnmower running over a small animal.

    Duke Ellington was known for listening to his musicians solos, hearing a rythm or lick he liked and turning it into a chart.



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    Re: Jazz

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    Frankly, it seems to me a kind of musical masturbation, where the only one who enjoys it is the musician themselves.

    he said masturbation...


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    Re: Jazz

    Not a huge jazz fan, but Time Out by the Dave Brubeck Quartet is one of my favorite albums of all time.



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    Re: Jazz

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    My wife and I went to Drake last night, to hear our 15 y.o. daughter play in the Drake Honor Jazz Band. First of all, it was an honor and a joy to watch our daughter ripping on the trombone like that. She has a true talent, which I hope she continues to develop.

    We both like jazz, blues and soul music.... however, I just don't "get" when jazz musicians go into their seemingly endless and pointless free form improv solos. Frankly, it seems to me a kind of musical masturbation, where the only one who enjoys it is the musician themselves. My wife agrees.

    I realize that personal preference and taste is involved here, and would like to hear from people who feel differently than my wife and I.

    Are there any other jazz fans on the forum? If so, what do you think of regular jazz and jazz solos?
    Never seen me do it. Done well, it is a true spectator sport.


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    Re: Jazz

    Quote Originally Posted by balken View Post
    Not a huge jazz fan, but Time Out by the Dave Brubeck Quartet is one of my favorite albums of all time.
    +1

    So, do you think the drum solo in Take Five is too long?

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwNrmYRiX_o]YouTube - The Dave Brubeck Quartet - Take Five (1961)[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVGotpIxkGU"]YouTube - Dave Brubeck Quartet - Take Five[/ame]


    Last edited by jbhtexas; 02-04-2009 at 04:19 PM.
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    Re: Jazz

    A solo depends on the performer and the song. Sometimes, a long solo just fits. Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk. Can you imagine telling any of them, yeah you were great and all, but could you shorten the solo? Ain't gonna happen.

    Sometimes less talented performers try to make up for their shortcomings with long solos that don't fit. And that does bother me. I do love listening to Jazz though. Especially on vinyl. Jazz is fantastic, and is a great pick me up or mood music for entertaining.

    With that said, here is some Ramsey Lewis Trio for everybody, with a great piano solo in the middle.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Slv0j5USBa4]YouTube - ♫♪ Ramsey Lewis Trio, "In Crowd."♫[/ame]


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