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Thread: Jazz

  1. #1
    Polk-a-dweeb
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    My wife gave me the 10 DVD Box Set of this Ken Burns PBS documentary for Christmas and I have to say that it has been an eye/ear opening experience, and I've only watched 2 of the disc's so far.

    If any of you guys or gals is interested in the origins of the only truly original form of American music, then this set is a "must own." I've always loved different types of music and researched various topics and styles when they really made an impact on me, but jazz music just seemed out of reach. I just couldn't understand how an artist could play this style of music and provide a different interpretation each time he/she played the same piece of music. Now I'm starting to get the hang of it, actually I'm starting to understand that I've missed the point for a long time!

    Many of the images that I've seen so far are rather stark black & white photos and film clips, but they blend very well with the narration by Keith David, and commentary by a variety of writers, critics, and musicians. Foremost among these is Branford Marsalis, who exhibits a keen sense of his own racial history and how all of the social issues of the day helped mold the men and women that created this unique form of music. This is a man that really lives his music, not just another guy blowing a few notes.

    The set includes a lot of history about the first jazz musicians, both Black and White, as well as how the music came to be. Some of the stories (so far) are both wonderful and reek of sadness in an instant. I'm learning a bit more each time I'm able to sit down and view the DVD's. My wife has always liked jazz but that fact was lost on me entirely, I guess I'm not as good of a communicator as I thought. It was surprising to me to find out how much she knows about a style of music that I'm just starting to grasp. She commented that watching had brought back a lot of things that she had learned about jazz when she was in school. ( Uhhhh!?! You like this stuff......You knew this already.....Where did you learn that? Yeah I really know my wife!)

    Watching this series has caused an epiphany of sorts for me, kind of like Richard Dreyfuss in "Mr. Holland's Opus" when he is explaining his first experience with a John Coltrane album, "Finally, I just got it!" Well I haven't "got it" completely, but I'm on my way to a better appreciation of Jazz and what makes it work.

    If you're interested in learning more about this fantastic set, click
    here.
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    Thanks Frank I will check it out. Congrats on your awakening I still listen to more rock but jazz is #2 and gaining, I have played keyboards most of my life and jazz is a study unto its own.

    Watch out Jazz and a wife with warmed heart can be a dangerous situation.D Dont hurt yourself.

    I thought Country was also an Amercian owned genre of music. Much different that jazz.:
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    Frank - That is a neat Christmas present, very cool.

    I like to relax after work, while driving home sometimes, and Jazz is just the ticket for me.

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    Originally posted by reeltrouble1
    I thought Country was also an Amercian owned genre of music. Much different that jazz.:
    I'm not a music historian, but an arguement could be made that it is not a truly original form of American music, but rather a blending of music and the tradition of story telling through songs brought over from European and other countries as well.

    It's kind of strange, but I've liked some jazz for a while, but there were some songs that I've heard that just didn't fit the mold of what I'm used to hearing. I could listen to a jazz rendition of a contemporary song (insrumental) and think " Why are they butchering a classic?!?" A good example is A Hard Days Night as performed by Ramsey Lewis on the album The "In"Crowd. First time I heard it I'm thinking that this guy has never heard the original, cuz if he had, he would know what it's supposed to sound like!!! He's a BUTCHER!!! Now I'm a little more open minded and realize that that the deviations from the norm are all about improvisation as well as interpretation.

    Keyboard player! COOL! I love all kinds of music but can't play a note. I do sing tenor though.......


















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    Grab Herbie Hancock's "Maiden Voyage" and Tony Williams will make ocean sounds for you on a basic set of drums (circa 1963).

    Mainstream jazz from the 40's-60's is where it's at. To use the word jazz after the word smooth is almost a sacrilege. You could spend a lifetime listening to the stuff from that time period, and really have very little need to listen to the stuff from the 70's to the present which ALMOST passes for jazz.

    I realized in the 70's that there was a lot more to life than rock.

    George Grand (of the Jersey Grands)

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    George - Was that Tony Williams that you played for Jesse and I??? The ambidextrous drummer?? What album was that?

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    Billy Cobham - I think I let you hear stuff from his first three albums, which in order would be:

    Spectrum
    Crosswinds (the thunderstorm solo)
    Total Eclipse

    All jazz fusion albums from the early 70's. Not really mainstream jazz, but excellent stuff nonetheless.

    EDIT- After thinking about it, I don't think I played anything from Spectrum for you. Look for Total Eclipse Doro. It is the real monster of the three, and will make you look for the other two. Spectrum has no woodwinds or brass on it, while the other two do.

    Tony Williams was 16 yrs old when he performed as part of the Miles Davis rhythm section in the 60's along with Herbie Hancock and Ron Carter. Try to find "Seven Steps to Heaven" by Miles. This is more mainstream jazz than some of the stuff that Williams did later in his career with his own band, The Tony Williams Lifetime. "Emergency" is a stand-out album from that jazz/rock fusion band. I think it also featured Mahavishnu John McLaughlin on guitar, and Jack Bruce (from Cream) on electric bass. As an aside, Billy Cobham was the original drummer for The Mahavishnu Orchestra, which also featured Jan Hammer on keyboards, Jerry Goodman on electric violin, and John McLaughlin on guitar.

    George Grand (of the Jersey Grands)
    Last edited by George Grand; 01-01-2004 at 11:35 PM.

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    Originally posted by George Grand
    Grab Herbie Hancock's "Maiden Voyage" and Tony Williams will make ocean sounds for you on a basic set of drums (circa 1963).

    Mainstream jazz from the 40's-60's is where it's at. To use the word jazz after the word smooth is almost a sacrilege. You could spend a lifetime listening to the stuff from that time period, and really have very little need to listen to the stuff from the 70's to the present which ALMOST passes for jazz.

    I realized in the 70's that there was a lot more to life than rock.

    George Grand (of the Jersey Grands)
    I agree although some fo the fusion stuff from the early to mid 70's was good too..anything after that is relegated to elevator duty for me

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    I agree with you Bill, I just don't consider fusion stuff REAL jazz, even though some of it is fantastic. Like..

    Hancock's "Headhunters"

    The first 5 or 6 Weather Report albums

    Cobhams first three albums

    Airto Moreira's early stuff on CTI and Salvation Records

    Larry Coryell's "Eleventh House"

    Return to Forever's early stuff

    Keith Jarrett's two releases from then "Treasure Island" and "Fort Yawuh"

    The first two Mahavishnu Orchestra albums

    I'm sure you know of and can name a ton more, and if I went inside and ran through my stuff, so could I. But the gentleman above is talking about MAINSTREAM jazz, and not fusion.

    There are also releases from the early 70's, that try and bridge the gap between mainstream and rock. People who can't immediately identify with mainstream, may get their appetites whetted by stuff like:

    Gerry Mulligan's "The Age of Steam"
    Tom Scott & The L.A. Express ("Express" and "Tom Cat")

    George Grand (of the Jersey Grands)
    Last edited by George Grand; 01-02-2004 at 10:10 AM.

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