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The Arrested Development of the Jazz Standard


Adan

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Thank you... you are making my point that I am getting my ass handed to me, for making. I beyond all shadow of a doubt KNOW that Mozart was in the very top of the top of greatest composers of ALL time.

With all due respect to many many fine composers- Bach, Beethoven and Mozart have always been gods for me. BUT I don't especially LIKE much of Mozart.

It is a subtle thing. I ask myself what the heck is wrong with you Mr missRT.. this guy is a giant, and I KNOW it.

THAT is why I keep reiterating my points, possibly in vain here.

There is an X FACTOR, that I am uncomfortable calling it UNDERSTANDING. Understanding has always had a heavy intellectual component to it;

Whereas I feel this x factor is not intellectual, it is just some unfortunate weirdness in humans... In my case Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart... god it is SO weird.

 

I had huge break through with Satchmo, Ellington and Metheny. But I still wait for Mozart.

Does ANYONE ( not yelling, just emphasizing ) here relate?

You don't have ideas, ideas have you

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are. "One mans food is another mans poison". I defend your right to speak hate. Tolerance to a point, not agreement

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Perhaps there is a better word phrasing, maybe you could say "connecting with it" rather than "getting it".

 

OK for me "understanding" is not the right word.

And for whatever reason, my phrase "get it" is off putting, is that it?

YES "not connecting with" is fine.

It has more of a like/ not like aspect, than a brain thing.

 

Because if anything, my dumbass brain thinks that Mozart is not THAT complicated. Say compared to 100 years newer composers, like early Schoenberg who I like very much.

I tend to like turn of the century, on the border of atonality, but not quite, music. That is turn of the 20th century. To my intellect, making music that is almost atonal ( is that term still in use- atonal- I thought it might have been replaced ) , but still tonal, is a difficult and "musical" thing to attempt.

If the music becomes essentially atonal, it loses me... that balance being lost.

I have attended performance of "Transfigured Night" an early Schoenberg piece... and I'm not really a classical guy.

This explains why Cecil Taylor ( with all respect to him and his admirers ) kind of loses me... but in his case I am less concerned about it. Atonal music is much less interesting to me... but borderline atonal tonal... that is another thing. So Herbie Hancock, and other jazz people ring my bell for that reason, I suppose.

But MOZART SEEMS ( seems ) less complicated intellectually. But something DEEPER within me, knows my brain or intellect is lying to me... Mozart is NOT simple at all, so there is a cognitive dissonace there between my not so smart intellect, and that deeper faculty that barely senses that there is far far more to Mozart than my intellect suggests superficially.

 

This is subtle. Yes, It is about MEEEEE. But what is about ME, is also about you.

 

 

You don't have ideas, ideas have you

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are. "One mans food is another mans poison". I defend your right to speak hate. Tolerance to a point, not agreement

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The offensive phrase here was your declaration that one who does not care for jazz has a mind that is "not ready for it".

 

That implies a mental deficiency, in comparison to someone who "likes" (as you've now backpedaled to) it.

 

The reason people like or dislike just about any music is typically rooted in the emotive qualities of said music, in congruence with a person's emotional history, background, exposure, and subconscious associations. You don't have to understand music to like it, nor is it a demonstration that you don't understand it if you don't like it.

 

If this were the case, then we're all so droolingly retarded that we don't "understand" current top-40 synth pop, because none of us like it. It's not.

 

I like brooding music. I like angry music. There are many, many reasons (none of which I'll bother to explore here) why it is I like those specific qualities in music. I don't particularly care for happy music. Joy in music does not move me. I don't feel uplifted when I hear "Over the Rainbow" - though I do connect with the wistfulness of that ukelele guy's version. The 1812 Overture does not excite me, cannons or no cannons, but I could sit and listen to a hundred different versions of the Moonlight Sonata in succession and, so long as they are well executed, feel the same excruciating grief each time those opening arpeggios are played, and ENJOY it.

 

Jazz, despite my respect for the musicians who play it and their incredible technical prowess, rarely moves me, because so much of it is very bright and bouncy and happy, and I just don't like bright, bouncy, happy music very much, unless there's an ironic twist to it, like a bouncy, happy song about cutting up your wife into little tiny pieces and serving her in chili to your in-laws.

 

OK, maybe I went a little far there... :freak:

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Griffinator

 

I am not being a car salesman or politician when I assure you that every word you said in yiur last post , I am in sync with ( your presumed hyperbole was plain funny )

 

I am trying to bring out musical PRINCIPLES that I have never seen recorded.

Your words here are a well articulated powerful expression of what i believe hints at a Principle in music.

 

My concept ( mentioned in earlier post ) seems to contradict what is your experience, but I say our ideas are not mutually exclusive.

Not

 

 

You don't have ideas, ideas have you

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are. "One mans food is another mans poison". I defend your right to speak hate. Tolerance to a point, not agreement

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My concept ( mentioned in earlier post ) seems to contradict what is your experience, but I say our ideas are not mutually exclusive.

Not

 

Then I would implore you to clarify your concept, because it does appear, based on what you have stated to this point, that it is completely at odds with what I just posted.

 

your presumed hyperbole was plain funny

 

Amazing what situational humor will do for you. I had a big old argument with my wife about 20 minutes before I posted that, though it was calming down by that point. :D

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I am like a fly on the wall ( unflattering. But a tad eccentric- not stupid. Just see the world differently )

Another few concepst I will bring up are mystery, paradox, 1 and 1 can equal 3.

I am not college educated so my ability to express these difficult concepts esp seemingly contradictory ones, is a trial for me.

 

I will keep trying, but be patient, because it takes me time to find the correct best descriptions of vague ambiguous concepts in music!

 

What you describe is very similar to MY experience. So that is two people with different tastes and backgrounds who discover a commonality, namely

Neither of likes happy, silly music.

I am that way with cinema as well. I like dark stuff, but on occasion I like a great comedy , but generally I like darkness!

 

So we are in 110% agreement about taste ( is taste the right word )

Ok?

Now it's my turn to somehow interest you in what I have experienced IN ADDITION to that aspect of music that I believe we agree about- "taste", "being in the mood for", "emotive" stuff .

 

I do not have the perfect terms for my experience, so please cut me some slack, help me out, ask some more questions to help me flesh this thing out. I'm not a wordsmith, but a musician. Some guys are great at both, not me!

 

One more time. I , like you have always had musical preferences.

Eg I prefer minor mode to major mode. When I tried writing music

I prefer the complexity of borderline tonal atonal music

I like blues based music

Etc etc etc How ever you wish to label this, I am all ears

 

But the phenomenon that I am getting nowhere with anyone here is this

 

To be succinct

Decades go by- and I really can't get myself to really LIKE satchmo. I highly respect him for obvious reasons , but I don't FEEL emotional about it

 

A few decades pass, Then very SUDDENLY I have a SHARP change of heart. I made ZERO effort to try to like him, I did not listen at all, I did not EDUCATE myself, nope.

This feels transformational- and is of a different flavor than what we agreed upon earlier about sweet melodies vs angry music etc etc- our tastes.

 

I know the experience you have shared here.. Why? Because I HAVE the same one.

This other "thing" I am struggling with communicating ( it is not so much me trying to shove anything down your throats, but more a difficult topic, and my lack of education- it is a DIFFERENT thing Griff, trust me

 

It is shocking experience when it happens. and it is also very rarely happens.

 

Another feature of "it" , is it is reserved for known acknowledged great musicians or composers ... Not just some pop band..

I have also had changes of heart about less great artists too, but it is less sudden, less shocking, less dramatic, less 180.

 

Your turn !

You don't have ideas, ideas have you

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are. "One mans food is another mans poison". I defend your right to speak hate. Tolerance to a point, not agreement

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Jazz, despite my respect for the musicians who play it and their incredible technical prowess, rarely moves me, because so much of it is very bright and bouncy and happy

OK, maybe I went a little far there... :freak:

We must listen to different jazz.

 

Allow me to recommend the CD "Nocturne" by Charlie Haden. While not depressingly dark or moody, it has a nice dark tone. Little or no "bouncy". Works equally well as background or for intense concentrated listening. Also, "Ballads" by Stanley Turrentine, which is a nice set of bluesy standards with a great lead tenor player. Not quite in the same category as Nocturne, but a great jazz album for folks who don't think they like jazz.

 

One of the challenges of great jazz -- especially covers of standards -- is that for much of it, the exquisiteness comes from playing against expectations. The musicians assume you have a fairly solid background and already know the standard melody and harmony, and they play against your expectations. The higher into avante-guarde one gets, the more demanding are the expectations. They pretty quickly get to where I can't follow, and a lot of times, have no desire to!

 

In any case, we all have our preferences, somewhat aside from our experiences. I'm a bit of a tone freak, and I prefer classical tones with perfect intonation. There's lots of great jazz where the performances are buzzy and rough, and while I can appreciate the genius, I just don't enjoy listening to it so much.

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This topic is important enough to be worthy of extensive and penetrating discussions. Because it is a complicated one.

 

You don't have ideas, ideas have you

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are. "One mans food is another mans poison". I defend your right to speak hate. Tolerance to a point, not agreement

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As always, a "Jazz" thread will lead to a spirited discussion. I'd read through most of this one and good points have been made in the midst of the noise. ;)

 

It is inevitable that every genre/style of music will undergo changes, subtle or dramatic over time due to the social climate in which it exists.

 

IMO, the "new" Jazz standards in the 2040 edition of the Real Book will contain a few Pop tunes recorded between the 1990s-2000s.

 

In order to get an early jump on the game, Jazz musicians might want to incorporate D'Angelo's "Brown Sugar" into their repertoire. :laugh::cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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This topic is important enough to be worthy of extensive and penetrating discussions. Because it is a complicated one.

 

I think you probably have useful things to say. I just don't have time to read through it. I humbly suggest that if you write less, you'll be read more.

 

Also, when you say "this topic," I think you referring to jazz in general, not the topic of the thread, which are two different though obviously related things.

Gigging: Crumar Mojo 61, Hammond SKPro

Home: Vintage Vibe 64

 

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Adan

I appreciate your suggestion and your patience with my verbosity.

I will try much harder to make points.

I believe there is left brain categorical thinking that suggests that I have gone all over the map

But I am a more right brain kind of guy- eg your topic and my words are related at least in the sense that the knee bone is connected to the thigh bone!!

I will try harder !

You don't have ideas, ideas have you

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are. "One mans food is another mans poison". I defend your right to speak hate. Tolerance to a point, not agreement

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