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  #31  
Old Nov 9, 2005, 10:28 AM
Yodi2
 
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Actually music school was some of the best years of my life. Living in wonderland is fabulous. Miss it.
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  #32  
Old Nov 9, 2005, 10:36 AM
Shonwise Shonwise is offline
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I think John and Cam have hit this one right on the head. It's important to be in school these days; it's something we have to respect. But remember, the school isn't selling you education, you don't go to school and shop for a degree. There's a great deal of work involved. It's also a place to figure yourself out, and learn to express yourself musically. The institutions make an effort to make sure you know your history and harmony. With that in mind, people who have themselves figured out early, and are truly involved in what they're learning can excell at music faster than any school can teach them. If you find something you really like, you will try to sound like that automatically.
I read a good quote in the liner notes to Soulive's "Next": every great musician is the sum of their record collection.

Graham
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  #33  
Old Nov 9, 2005, 10:37 AM
Yodi2
 
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John this statement pretty much outlines your context.

Quote:
Well, I'm afraid I have to disagree with you there. While it may be true that the graduate school of jazz is the bandstand I think you'd be surprised how many jazz musicians have a B.mus degree or some amount of formal training, including every musician on this board that I am personally aquainted with. The notion of jazz musician as Holy Primitive never did stand up to serious scrutiny. Even a lot of old school cats had post-secondary paper, Charles Brown, Wayne Shorter, Cannonball Adderly, all university educated guys.
As well thanks for the "simplistic" compliment. I believe the most powerful and effective things in life are quite simple.
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  #34  
Old Nov 9, 2005, 10:42 AM
Jesse Cahill Jesse Cahill is offline
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"I mean if you send me to review a Django Bates concert, you won't get a sympathetic review, and what's just as bad, you won't get a dispassionate, unbiased one either. My personal agenda as a musician might interfere too much"

That's an interesting point Mike. I know exactly what your saying.

As for what Cam had to say about his students, I think it's very true. I had a student bring me a song he was transcribing a while back, I asked him if he new what album it was from and who was in the band. He didn't know anything about it, other than the name of the track and the leader. The name of the track just happened to be the title of the recroding.

That's probably food for a whole different thread though.
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  #35  
Old Nov 9, 2005, 10:58 AM
John Doheny John Doheny is offline
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Quote:
Well, I'm afraid I have to disagree with you there. While it may be true that the graduate school of jazz is the bandstand I think you'd be surprised how many jazz musicians have a B.mus degree or some amount of formal training, including every musician on this board that I am personally aquainted with. The notion of jazz musician as Holy Primitive never did stand up to serious scrutiny. Even a lot of old school cats had post-secondary paper, Charles Brown, Wayne Shorter, Cannonball Adderly, all university educated guys.
I still don't see it Yodi. Where in there does it say "and the guys who DIDN'T go to university suck." Including Dexter Gordon, one of my favorite tenor players and a guy whom I have, to some extent, modelled my own playing after.

You've got this idea in your head of me as someone who embodies all the things you dislike about music and the arts. Sorry, but that person is not me.


Jessie, it's sounds like your student isn't very interested in jazz. Beyond getting the grade, anyway.
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  #36  
Old Nov 9, 2005, 10:59 AM
LAZZ LAZZ is offline
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"I mean if you send me to review a Django Bates concert, you won't get a sympathetic review, and what's just as bad, you won't get a dispassionate, unbiased one either. My personal agenda as a musician might interfere too much"

Mike and Jesse - I'd be interested to understand more about your shared perspective on Master Bates, if it isn't too strenuous.
(I have a personal agenda involved here, too.)
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  #37  
Old Nov 9, 2005, 11:17 AM
Yodi2
 
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Quote:
Really in the end, unless you plan to be a basement dweller, what the general public and the critics think, formally educated or not, is of concern to you. In the real world I am 99.9% sure there are plenty of non institution trained musicians that just play. I am sure they are well worth crossing the street to hear. To make such a broad sweeping statement such as John did in his previous post is just absurd. I bet those musicians have a more real and applicable education when it relates to the business of musical performance.
Sorry John I am not taking the same drugs as you maybe? I dont see where I put the words in your mouth that non educated musicians suck. John you dont pass go my freind. Maybe you had a freudian slip?
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  #38  
Old Nov 9, 2005, 11:26 AM
Jesse Cahill Jesse Cahill is offline
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Lazz,

I wasn't offering anything with regards to Django Bates, I was agreeing with Mike about the whole "you won't get a dispassionate, unbiased one either. My personal agenda as a musician might interfere too much" thing.
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  #39  
Old Nov 9, 2005, 11:28 AM
Jesse Cahill Jesse Cahill is offline
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John,

This student seems quite into being a Jazz Drummer, he just downloads everything, I guess that's what high school kids do these days.
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  #40  
Old Nov 9, 2005, 11:46 AM
LAZZ LAZZ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yodi2
Maybe you had a freudian slip?
That should be "freudian slit".

And dearest Yodi2, please stop trying to bait our good friend JD so indiscriminately - it compromises your rehabilitation programme and gives completely the wrong impression about your essentially good nature and the depth of your compassion and understanding.
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  #41  
Old Nov 9, 2005, 12:02 PM
Yodi2
 
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Quote:
That should be "freudian slit".
I could be wrong for sure, but I cant find a definition of Freudian Slit anywhere. Are you sure? Ive always heard it as slip.
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  #42  
Old Nov 9, 2005, 01:25 PM
LAZZ LAZZ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yodi2
Ive always heard it as slip.
Come on, my lovely - give us a smile....
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  #43  
Old Nov 9, 2005, 01:39 PM
BDavies BDavies is offline
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euro vs. america's

After reading through the post's I though I would actaully say something about what the thread was actaully about. I really dig jazz music coming from both sides of the gamit. There are alot of great musicians on both sides of the atlantic. Now I might have an opinion different than other's because I lived in Amsterdam for two years studing jazz at the conservatorie there. Upon arrival there I got a bimpass, a year long acces pass to the bimhuis (www.bimhuis.nl, for anybody who has never heard of this club). i went to countless shows all the time. Reading through that article I was shocked about that one shot at american music being like a museum piece. I saw the Chris potter trio in concert and it was like nothing I had ever heard before. Deffinetly not anything for the smithsonian jazz affectionado. The best though I have to say was hearing guy's like Archie Sheep and the late Benny Bailey. These guy's would play with a rugged wisdom and style that wouldn't compare to anything coming out of anywhere. Musicians in europe may be doing more "hip" things with there music but I think that it has alot to do appreciation of Jazz. Europeans love jazz, ranging from the great big band's to the Miles legacy to the ICP and much more. Young people go to shows and buy albums from the musicians. There is a thriving scene all across europe. Here in Vancouver there is a great scene with so many good musicians, but the appreciation for good jazz by the masses is very minimal. There seems to be alot of "hipster's" in vancouver these day's who think it's cool to know who Coltrane is but ask them if they have ever seen Hugh Fraser's VEJI, or Brad Turner, and they'll just turn the other way and talk about DJ cash money or whatever. I think it's great that coastal jazz and blues brings great group's from europe over here, and the cellar brings in alot of great american jazz musicians. People need to go to these show's and here what kind of jazz is out there, not what kind of jazz is on there itunes, thats the greatest classroom availible. On the critic note, only the weak minded fall into the trap of believing that kind of bullshit. If you can't make up your own mind about what you like and don't like and just fall into the masses of top 40, billbord say's it's number one so I must like it, belive the critics viewpiont without seing the show for yourself, your an idiot. And of course, everybody has different opinions and likes so, figure it out for yourself. On the disco abba front, it's either dancable or not, but's it's mostly all shit so smoke one and get some earplugs and have a good time with your friends.

grts.

B
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  #44  
Old Nov 9, 2005, 02:58 PM
LAZZ LAZZ is offline
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Let's provide a little overlooked context here, if you will indulge me.

This is about the UK scene over the last half-century - but my ears' memory suggests the core of it may also likely be true for the rest of Europe.

There never used to be academies or training facilities where one could study jazz per se. The learning environment was provided and supported largely by informal structures like the big bands thast survived through the post-war years and on into the tip of the '60s. These guys generally had come out of the forces where they did get some opportunities to learn and play parades and develop their chops and do dances and stuff and occasionally benefit from interaction with player-conscripts from across the pond. Several of 'em - more famously I guess folk like Ronnie Scott and Johnny Dankworth etcetera - had gigs on cruise ships during the '50s that enabled them to visit NY regularly and buy records, catch gigs, and pick up what they could from whoever they were lucky enough to make contact with. But by and large they had to stumble around and figure it all out for themselves. And there were a few clever bastards who made incredible strides somehow and were willing to share what they'd learned with their colleagues. Dankworth and chums even had a little club scene in Soho there for a while.

During the '60s all these characters were busy in studios and pits - while on the sidelines there grew-up a kind of alternative "free" experimental scene that provided a hot-bed of another unique and again kinda stumbling approach to making jazz music. John Stevens had a little club going for this stuff. And there was the People Band and a whole creative nexus centred around a teacher training college in North London called Trent Park - which gave us Mike Figgis and Mel Davis etcetera - and around the near revolutionary Hornsey College of Art (which gave us Terry Day etcetera) - and there was the Starting Gate pub where you could catch the hungry and youthful likes of McLaughlin and Holland and a bunch of other names you'd recognise, and then there was the small but crucial influx of players from South Africa like Dudu Pukwana and Mongezi Feza and Johnny Dyani and Chris McGregor etcetera. And we had Tubby Hayes and Phil Seaman and Shake Keane and Joe Harriott. Ronnie's opened up on Gerrard Street, too, where we had a chance to hear US players despite the tough Musicians' Union restrictions.

There is a lot more detail to all this jumble, I know - but largely there were no formal places to learn and study. Except maybe the diploma course in Leeds - where the pianos were kept locked up away from the jazzers - and a little later the courses offered at the Mabel Fletcher school in Liverpool. That's all I'm aware of anyway. But what I'm trying to describe is a circumstance in which there was little genre-education on offer, and in which a legacy began of the still whinnying experimental "squeaky-bonk" tradition of beatnik pretenders doing their best to be hip, while stalwarts like Michael Garrick and John Taylor de-coded in their own way all the modern theory and harmony that is now offered as the basic essential bread and butter of all the colleges and courses you guys have been able to attend.

So.
The last quarter of the last century did eventually see some courses open up at Guildhall and the Royal College and elsewhere, as well as those other initiatives offered as often as they could manage by Garrick and Dankworth etc - but that historically happened in the context of a pretty general self-conscious sense of inferiority compared to the "real thing" of the US music. But at least they now had the opportunity to learn all that stuff the we take for granted over here so easily.

Nonetheless - and about time too - there were developed finally some mighty fine players of their generation, whose names I will not trouble you with, who fed into the notorious "UK jazz boom" of the '80s (in which I played a not insignificant role) which was somehow a little more competitive and determined to demonstrate their individual worth in a more international arena. For good or ill. There are still legitimate qualifications regarding rhythm sections for instance - well, drummers particularly - and for reasons we won't go into here.

It was during this period that I first met Stuart Nicholson. And I found him knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and more than willing to promote and "boost" the notion that the UK had important players of its own., This was very important in historical context. He has now taken this ball and run with it in the wider terms of Euro-jazz in general - which is where he sails into dodgy waters with his extended flackery/thesis. But he is well respected and serves a positive function in those areas. Even if you and I disagree with him on many points. Just look at the writing he's done more recently for the Jazz Institute in Chicago for instance, or his books on Ella, Billie, and Duke, and then try and convince me he doean't know his stuff. And at least he owns opinions – unlike, say, Mark Miller, bless him, whose very worthy tome on jazz in Canada is rendered execrable by the absence of any sense of discrimination between the significant and the inconsequential.

Now, this dumb thesis of his, which any of us here can punch holes in easily with a flaccid noodle, which is largely complete bollocks (a colloquial english term for “context-free”), is one he’s been punting since around the end of the last millenium (I mean, look at the date on the NYT article that Mel posted – it’s from four years ago) in various journals on both sides of the atlantic and which he has eventually rendered into another new book called something like “Is Jazz Dead – or has it moved to another address?”. His approach to this area of “debate” (I’m a charitable guy) is intentionally provocative – and it’s a living: I mean, how many other guys do you know who work as hard making a living writing about jazz? And succeed in getting people arguing about it? In the NYT? And now here – with a piece nearly five years past its health warning.

It's an old issue and an old story - but Stuart has performed loyal and valiant service in the trenches and in all honesty is not that easily dismissed as a critic

There - that's my bit done.

As for this disco thing....
When I was a seasoned traveller throughout the jazz capitals of Europe I was impressed by the fact that you could be in Istanbul or Rome and yet the dance music played was pretty much the same everywhere - no ABBA or Culture Club but plenty of Mori Kante and Ofra Haza and the like - which I thought was pretty hip.
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  #45  
Old Nov 9, 2005, 03:41 PM
mike rud mike rud is offline
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Week-Minded Fools Unite! Django Bates, etc.

What a tempest this thread has become!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BDavies
After reading through the post's I though I would actaully say something about what the thread was actaully about.
Umm... sorry. I have a talent for tangents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BDavies
On the critic note, only the weak minded fall into the trap of believing that kind of bullshit. If you can't make up your own mind about what you like and don't like and just fall into the masses of top 40, billbord say's it's number one so I must like it, belive the critics viewpiont without seing the show for yourself, your an idiot.
Strong words alright. There is much truth in that, BDavies. But if I have 10 things I could go hear, and only enough cash or time to hear one thing, and I've never heard of any of the acts before, couldn't a critic be of some assistance to me there? I could pick at random, of course, but how is that better than seeing what a critic says? Couldn't someone with a strong mind read a critic, and still retain the ability to think it through for himself?

As for Django Bates, I don't know enough about him to comment meaningfully. About 10 years ago I heard a recording of his arrangement of 'New York, New York'. While I acknowledge and defend the rights of others to enjoy it, that sort of thing just holds very little value for me. Part of knowing who you are is knowing what you do and don't like.

There is so much in current jazz that I don't like, that I just don't often bother trying to find out about more modern stylists. Perhaps I suffer from the disorder that Yodi2 mentioned about schools etc. But I refuse to jive myself about what I like. I'm not closed-minded. It's worse than that; I'm incurious. But it's a free counrtry.

Now Yodi, you distinguished, like many before you have, between "school" and "the real world". Having studied and taught at a number of post-secondary music schools, I have to say, this distinction makes me feel awful. Personally, I too had a wonderful time in music school. I hate the idea that these schools are crushing people's creativity, or being perceived to do so. I hate the idea that students are being set up to fail by the post-secondary jazz establishment. I also don't really think that these things are the case.

I know my experiences with these schools have been overwhelmingly positive and even useful. But when I went to school, it was specifically to learn to play straight-ahead, so the schools I attended were well-suited for me.

Maybe this should be another thread, but how would you structure a college music program?

Here. I'll go start it as a new thread. Last one there's a rotten egg...
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