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"Birth of the Cool!" A {Jazz} Thread.

MatthewMatthew Registered User regular
With my recent purchase of various Jazz albums, I thought it was time that we have a proper Jazz thread. Jazz is one of the longest lasting forms of American music, from classics like....



To the Fusion filled 70's, embodied in such songs as...



To the kind of stuff you tend to hear on the weather channel like...



To more modern stuff like....



All this is considered Jazz in one form or another.

The music we call Jazz has it's origins in the early twentieth century, and perhaps sooner, as stated by wikipedia....

"within the African-American communities of the Southern United States. Its roots lie in the combining by African-Americans of certain European harmony and form elements, with their existing African-based music."

It is mostly associated with Horns, though any musical instrument can be used for Jazz music (Guitarist John Mclaughlin is a personal favorite of mine,) though the horn is still the most prevalent instrument in Jazz.

What about you guys? What are your thoughts in Jazz, how often do you listen to it?

Feralmonikerdavidsdurions

Posts

  • Flying CouchFlying Couch Registered User regular
    edited December 2013


    I had wanted to get into jazz as early as elementary school. But it didn't really happen until I started listening to Charles Mingus toward the end of my teen years. This was the composition that got me hooked, and this is probably my favorite performance of it.

    Flying Couch on
  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    I find arhythmic and discordant jazz completely unapproachable except as an academic exercise. :(

    I've tried, I really have.

  • syndalissyndalis Getting Classy On the WallRegistered User, Loves Apple Products regular
    I've met Wynton Marsalis. He is a classy dude, and knows his way around the trumpet better than anyone living, in my opinion.

    When I lived on the east side, I would go to a jazz club on my block a few times a month and listen to a broad variety of really great stuff.

    Yeah, I dig it.

    SW-4158-3990-6116
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  • metaghostmetaghost Registered User regular
    inside//outside's self-titled debut was kicking my ass all year. Highly recommended if you're into fusion.

    Twitter / PSN: Mugen_Kikaider
  • FeralFeral That's what I do. I drink, and I know things. Location: ByakkoyaRegistered User regular
    I have nothing to contribute but I love that you made this thread and I'm going to be following it closely.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • CoinageCoinage Hey there! Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    I find arhythmic and discordant jazz completely unapproachable except as an academic exercise. :(

    I've tried, I really have.
    It's okay, it's not for everyone. However, I do get a little cross when people like Wynton go off about it not being jazz. I honestly think that kind of music has much more appeal than people think (dissonant music from the early 20th century went from shocking to being a staple of some of our most popular films), but when the media has been saying jazz is dead for the past 30 years...

    Albert Ayler is possibly my favorite musician ever.

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  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    I find arhythmic and discordant jazz completely unapproachable except as an academic exercise. :(

    I've tried, I really have.

    Yeah, a lot of the newer or more experimental stuff really doesn't strike my fancy. However, Miles Davis is one of the best terrible people ever.

    Linespider5joshofalltrades
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    Also, for some reason, I always think of Chicago and home when I hear Jitterbug Waltz and I don't know why. It's like Rhapsody in Blue bringing to mind Harlem, but without the actual artistic intent where that would make sense.

  • 101101 Registered User regular
    I have a passing interest in Jazz, but I've never sat down and gotten into some jazz music properly.

    Gonna be lurking this thread a lot
    Matthew wrote: »

    Only a few songs in, but I'm really enjoying this

  • RichardTauberRichardTauber Kvlt Registered User regular
    This thread seems kind of blue

    syndalisSalvation122spool32Rchanen
  • Alistair HuttonAlistair Hutton Dr EdinburghRegistered User regular
    What can be said about Herbie Hancock that has not been said already?

    Here is the sound of him reworking his own Jazz Standard Watermelon Man on the massively influential album Headhunters

    I have a thoughtful and infrequently updated blog about games http://whatithinkaboutwhenithinkaboutgames.wordpress.com/

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  • SorceSorce Registered User regular
    There's a local radio station that plays jazz non-stop, which is a nice way to drive into (or from) work. I, of course, have no idea who's actually playing the music 98% of the time (the other 2% is when I hear the Peanuts or Sanford and Son Theme), but I've noticed that whatever the tempo, I prefer instrumental Jazz over songs with a singer.

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  • syndalissyndalis Getting Classy On the WallRegistered User, Loves Apple Products regular


    Here's some Wynton tearing up some Jelly Roll. Good stuff.

    SW-4158-3990-6116
    Let's play Mario Kart or something...
  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    I did a semester of jazz appreciation in college and learned some cool shit, but that was a decade ago and much is lost to the mists of time.

    Those of you who know your stuff, what would be really handy, if you could find the time, would be a guide for laypersons to the different kinds and styles of jazz. What is cool jazz? What does it sound like> What is hard bop? What is fusion? What about stuff like big band or swing? Et cetera. I feel like this might be more helpful than recommending individual artists because, like, someone liking Kind of Blue is no guarantee that they'll be into Bitches Brew, y'know?

  • Salvation122Salvation122 Registered User regular
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    I did a semester of jazz appreciation in college and learned some cool shit, but that was a decade ago and much is lost to the mists of time.

    Those of you who know your stuff, what would be really handy, if you could find the time, would be a guide for laypersons to the different kinds and styles of jazz. What is cool jazz? What does it sound like> What is hard bop? What is fusion? What about stuff like big band or swing? Et cetera. I feel like this might be more helpful than recommending individual artists because, like, someone liking Kind of Blue is no guarantee that they'll be into Bitches Brew, y'know?

    I'll get on this later tonight. It won't be exhaustive, but at least a good starting point for people to build from.

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  • ElendilElendil Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    friedrich gulda, one of my favorite classical musicians, loved jazz, too

    and apparently the doors

    Elendil on
  • MatthewMatthew Registered User regular
    Just bought my second copy of this album (lost my first). Made big news a few years ago, and still really worth listening too.

  • SolventSolvent Econ-artist ኢትዮጵያRegistered User regular
    I studied jazz for a little while and discovered that I don't quite have the level of desire required to be a good muso. But the experience was interesting. I go through stages of not listening to much jazz to those where I do, and at the moment I am happily back into my collection appreciating the form again (and even blowing a few tunes as well).

    My personal experience in learning to like jazz may be helpful for anyone looking for a way in - cool jazz and the Kind of Blue era modal jazz is what most people, including myself, find to be their entry point. I think the melodies are more at the front of the music and easier to listen to and appreciate. The recordings available from this period are of a far better quality than many classic bebop or big band recordings. Besides the obvious Kind of Blue, acolytes may want to try Herbie Hancock's 'Maiden Voyage'.

    Bebop is great, but it took me a long time to appreciate it. IMO, this style relies on the listener being better able to follow (hear) the way the soloist works his way through and resolves complex harmonic changes, often at fast tempos. To a less experienced listener, as I was (and to some extent have become again), the resolutions can't be heard. Music's like many things: you can learn to like things you're exposed to repeatedly, and this is relevant because the harmonic structures used in bebop aren't much like what you'll hear constantly in pop music these days. Unless you train your ears to pick up on what's going on, it may sound like just a jumble of notes to you (or maybe not, I'm not saying this is the case with everyone).

    I found I could never really dig big band music all that much. It's awesome to play in a big band, mind you. Not really sure why, but I've just never really come around to the classic swing style of the big band era, it just sounds too old-fashioned for me. But, as above, I'm sure i could change that! I just haven't put in the required listening hours.

    What probably features most in my personal collection is often called 'hard-bop'. I've never been all that clear on strict boundaries of this sub-genre. I suppose hard-bop tends to have similar instrumentation to bebop, but it reverts to a bluesier, funkier feel than bebop, and doesn't have the same incessant harmonic movement. The lines played by the horns probably rely more on rhythmic development and motifs than constant melodic development.

    For my obligatory Youtube link I'm going to put in Kenny Dorham's 'Buffalo', off the album Whistle Stop, because I think it's a little less well-known and I might have the pleasure of introducing some people to it. The tune is a blues. The first solo by Hank Mobley is one of my favourites of all time. Not over-played, just interesting, with great delivery and of a length that doesn't make you wonder when it will end. It's one of the few solos I managed to transcribe, learn, and play by heart before switching out of my jazz program.



    What about jazz clubs? How about you all name-drop all the famous jazz clubs you've been to and who you saw performing there? Not having been to the US (or Europe or Japan) I can't say I've been to any clubs that are legendary in jazz history.
    I reckon the best show I actually saw was, believe it or not, in a club on Le Loi in Saigon called Sax N Art. The internet now tells me that the guy who I saw performing, Tran Manh Tuan, is actually the owner of the club. He had some guests from New York whose names I do not recall, a trumpet player and a drummer, who were fantastic too.
    The experience was brought down a little by the expensive drinks and the unadvertised cover charge which appeared on the bill, but this thread is about the music.

    I don't know where he got the scorpions, or how he got them into my mattress.
    Pi-r8wandering
  • Space PickleSpace Pickle Registered User regular
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    I did a semester of jazz appreciation in college and learned some cool shit, but that was a decade ago and much is lost to the mists of time.

    Those of you who know your stuff, what would be really handy, if you could find the time, would be a guide for laypersons to the different kinds and styles of jazz. What is cool jazz? What does it sound like> What is hard bop? What is fusion? What about stuff like big band or swing? Et cetera. I feel like this might be more helpful than recommending individual artists because, like, someone liking Kind of Blue is no guarantee that they'll be into Bitches Brew, y'know?

    Cool jazz came on around the same time as bebop in the 40's (IIRC). It was an alternative to bebop played by guys like Lee Konitz, Warne Marsh, and Lennie Tristano. The tunes still have a lot of chord changes but the musicians approached improvisation in a different way than the beboppers.

    Hard bop is the most direct continuation of the bebop tradition. It sounds a lot like bebop, guys still played standards but in many cases the music was more overtly funky/bluesy...the solos could also be edgier (both harmonically and rhythmically) than the bebop of the 40's. Musicians that come to mind are Clifford Brown, Wes Montgomery, and Charles Mingus.

    Swing was the popular music of the 20's and 30's. Think guys like Louis Armstrong, Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, etc. Improvisers tended to play more off the melody and more vertically than the beboppers who came later. Rhythm sections tended to play 4-on-the-floor and players used a more exaggerated dotted-quarter / sixteenth-note swing feel.

    Fusion came on in the late sixties...IIRC Miles Davis 'going electric' in 1969 was one of the big moments that ushered in this era although like all styles of music the exact beginning is never that well defined. Fusion is basically the combination of rock/funk rhythms with jazz harmony. Think Alan Holdsworth, John Mclaughlin, Weather Report, and a ton of electric guitarists. Sometimes fusion can sound a lot like progressive rock (which is another hard to define genre).

    Big band is more of an ensemble format than a style of music, typically the following: 4 trumpets, 4 trombones, 5 saxes, 3 or 4 rhythm and occasionally fronted by a singer. I don't remember when the big bands were in their heyday, I'm going to say 30's to 50's. Big band music has evolved with the times, and although there are still big bands that emulate specific eras or styles there are modern big bands at the forefront of jazz. Maria Schneider and Darcy James Argue are two modern big band leaders. The oldschool big bands are sometimes referred to as dance bands because they played music that was intended for swing dancing (one of the biggest dance-band tunes I can think of is Sing, Sing, Sing by the Glenn Miller band).

    Salvation122
  • TeucrianTeucrian Registered User regular
    As a lover of his music I once picked up a copy of Charles Mingus's autobiography "Beneath the Underdog" on a whim for fifty cents from a used book store. It is both bizarre and engrossing and also not exactly an autobiography as it contains numerous invented incidents and people. To be honest I'm not 100% sure what the book is or means even after reading it twice. Part of me thinks it's a genius meditation on jazz, sex, race, and life, part of me thinks it's pure garbage. But it's definitely something. If you're interested in Mingus and/or jazz it might be worth a look.

  • Space PickleSpace Pickle Registered User regular
    mingus was a really crazy dude

    Bogart
  • ThomamelasThomamelas Only one man can kill this many Russians. Bring his guitar to me! Registered User regular
    Cool Jazz isn't so much one style as many. But the thing that unifies them is really a slower tempo and a less aggressive style than you'd find in bebop. Hence the name.

  • MatthewMatthew Registered User regular
    Anyone who's going to be in or around Ohio in July might want to check this out.

    http://www.hotribscooljazz.org/

    I'm definitely going.

  • MatthewMatthew Registered User regular
    Just thought i'd bring this thread back to talk a bit about some of the stuff i'm listening to right now. Mostly some of John mclaughlin's older works. Jeff Beck is reported as saying that Mclaughlin is the best guitarist alive, and listening to "Now Here this" (his most recent album), i'm almost inclined to agree. Right now i'm listening to this stuff.



    Not to mention this.

    Sorce
  • Space PickleSpace Pickle Registered User regular
    TO THE JAZZMOBILE

    Campy
  • CampyCampy Registered User regular
    Thankyou for reminding me that Mahavishnu Orchestra exists. I used to listen to Inner Mounting Flame all the time.

  • urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular


    This is my go-to relaxing song.

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  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades Demodog It's a play on wordsRegistered User regular
    I need to go back into my archives and see what kind of amazing stuff I can find from the UNT One O' Clock Lab Band. I went to see them when I did jazz in high school (harmonica, trombone) and it was just a stunning experience and really inspired me to dive into music, knowing that these guys were maybe 3 or 4 years older than I was and doing what they were doing. I don't do pure jazz anymore and have pretty much dropped the 'bone, but I credit jazz for my early forays into improv which really changed me into the musician I am today.

    And it isn't just me, lots of modern non-jazz music owes a debt to jazz.

    Friends don't lie.
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