Let's Talk About Jazz

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Postby qmass » Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:35 am

After taking stock of my Jazz collection, it seems that I don't really have anything BEFORE 1955 and AFTER 1977. Is all 80's/90's jazz... terrible? Why does every modern jazz album sound so clean and awful?

I am slowly warming to Kamasi Washington, but what else is out there in this vein right now?
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Postby Kenny » Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:37 am

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I saw her when she played here in London and it was legit one of the best shows of my life. The whole band was so good.

I got her to sign my copy!
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Postby Repo » Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:31 am

qmass wrote:After taking stock of my Jazz collection, it seems that I don't really have anything BEFORE 1955 and AFTER 1977. Is all 80's/90's jazz... terrible? Why does every modern jazz album sound so clean and awful?

I am slowly warming to Kamasi Washington, but what else is out there in this vein right now?


there's pretty decent jazz in the 80s and 90s for sure:

william parker
brotzmann
ken vandermark
matthew shipp
evan parker
wadada leo smith
peter evans
masada / john zorn
vijay iyer
joe lovano
kenny wheeler
charles lloyd
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Postby ANU » Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:29 am

bill dixon 90's records
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Postby sevenarts » Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:46 am

qmass wrote:After taking stock of my Jazz collection, it seems that I don't really have anything BEFORE 1955 and AFTER 1977. Is all 80's/90's jazz... terrible? Why does every modern jazz album sound so clean and awful?

I am slowly warming to Kamasi Washington, but what else is out there in this vein right now?



Anthony Braxton's 80s/90s quartet
Bengt Berger - Bitter Funeral Beer
Lester Bowie - The Great Pretender
Ornette Coleman - In All Languages, Virgin Beauty
Philip Cohran - African Skies
Bill Dixon, yes
Sonny Sharrock - Ask the Ages
bunch of Cecil Taylor
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Postby Geoff » Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:55 am

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Postby qmass » Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:16 am

yes! these are all great leads.

I love "Virgin Beauty" actually and this Rova Saxophone Quartet stuff sounds cool!
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Postby Geoff » Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:22 am

If you like straight ahead piano jazz, a create live series is the Live at Maybeck Recital Hall, on Concord records.

The best I've heard from the series is Jaki Byard, but I can't find it anywhere.

Probably his most similar album was this one ;



For the Maybeck series, Denny Zeitlin's one is pretty good



But personally the best stuff in the 80s/90s were mostly avant-garde / free jazz.
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Postby alaska » Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:24 am

this is such a rich thread

what are ppl's favorite anthony braxton records
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Postby Geoff » Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:33 am

this one has one of my favourite covers of Night in Tunisia

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Postby Hal Jordan » Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:35 am

this thread and geoff in particular has done more to push me towards listening to jazz and expanding my scope than anything else and i am truly thankful for that :)
well that was intense
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Postby Geoff » Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:36 am

but the most influential Braxton album for me would be For Alto.

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Postby Geoff » Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:39 am

Hal Jordan wrote:this thread and geoff in particular has done more to push me towards listening to jazz and expanding my scope than anything else and i am truly thankful for that :)


Love sharing my love of jazz with all :) 8-)
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Postby Geoff » Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:44 am

Jaki Byard was really great, this was the last record of his before he was murdered :(



Lovely solo double bass solo of Coleman's Lonely Woman at the start of the track.
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Postby Autarch » Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:55 am

love denny zeitlin. He was my fashion hero for a couple years. Still kind of is. Love carnival and cathexis. Never heard that thing you posted but it sounds real good. Picked up one of his newer ones a couple years ago and I remember it sounding insane, which I always appreciate when old people make something really experimental.
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Postby sevenarts » Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:09 pm

alaska wrote:what are ppl's favorite anthony braxton records


In chronological order, including some choice later ones because his later output, after his second classic quartet ended, doesn't get nearly enough love:

For Alto
Creative Orchestra Music 1976
Quartet (Santa Cruz) 1993
Four Compositions (GTM) 2000
Quintet (London) 2004
Quartet (Moscow) 2008
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Postby Repo » Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:08 am

harvey pekar runs into sun ra

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Postby Grey Poupon » Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:42 am

iacus wrote:
Grey Poupon wrote:
Geoff wrote:
Grey Poupon wrote:I’ve always liked jazz but I don’t think I’ve ever felt like I truly “get” jazz and I don’t appreciate it on the same visceral or cerebral level I do rock-related forms of music

Can you guys recommend a good book or two, and a documentary perhaps? Should I just dig into Ken Burns for an introduction into why jazz matters and what I can look for in jazz to deepen my appreciation for it?


Ken Burns jazz doc is terrible.

can you recommend any other documentaries in that case that will teach me about jazz


The best guide is the penguin jazz book that everyone talked about one page ago. (aka, read the thread dude)

I don't want an encyclopedia of albums though, I want something that will allow me to deepen my appreciation for something like that Anthony Braxton 10 minute skronk fest Geoff shared a youtube of

I listen to jazz, I like it, but I can't tell what's going on
the way I learn things is to understand what is going on, that's just how I get stuff to click and become an active listener

like "the rest is noise" really helped me appreciate modern classical composers

has anyone read this? https://www.amazon.com.au/Jazz-Gary-Gid ... 0393068617
'jazz' by gary giddins and scott devaeux
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Postby sevenarts » Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:35 pm

This may be too specific but it came up in another thread recently and Graham Lock's Forces In Motion, about Anthony Braxton, is one of the best books on music I've ever read. It follows Braxton and his band on a tour of the UK in the 80s and just does an amazing job of making really difficult music accessible and understandable, getting at the musicians' thoughts and ideas, their musical systems, etc. I'm a dummy who doesn't know much music theory but still loves challenging avant garde music and it helped me understand the underpinnings, not just of Braxton's music but of a lot of more "out" jazz, a whole lot better.

I'm sure somebody else could recommend a good more general book as well, I haven't read that Giddins one.
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Postby alaska » Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:20 pm

also maybe too specific -- i read big chunks of this book https://www.press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/M/bo18802194.html in a bookstore once and found it immensely helpful and interesting

Miles Davis’s Bitches Brew is one of the most iconic albums in American music, the preeminent landmark and fertile seedbed of jazz-fusion. Fans have been fortunate in the past few years to gain access to Davis’s live recordings from this time, when he was working with an ensemble that has come to be known as the Lost Quintet. In this book, jazz historian and musician Bob Gluck explores the performances of this revolutionary group—Davis’s first electric band—to illuminate the thinking of one of our rarest geniuses and, by extension, the extraordinary transition in American music that he and his fellow players ushered in.

Gluck listens deeply to the uneasy tension between this group’s driving rhythmic groove and the sonic and structural openness, surprise, and experimentation they were always pushing toward. There he hears—and outlines—a fascinating web of musical interconnection that brings Davis’s funk-inflected sensibilities into conversation with the avant-garde worlds that players like Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane were developing. Going on to analyze the little-known experimental groups Circle and the Revolutionary Ensemble, Gluck traces deep resonances across a commercial gap between the celebrity Miles Davis and his less famous but profoundly innovative peers. The result is a deeply attuned look at a pivotal moment when once-disparate worlds of American music came together in explosively creative combinations.
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Postby Grey Poupon » Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:21 pm

Thanks Alaska those sound perfect!
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Postby Autarch » Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:27 pm

Geoff wrote:Jaki Byard was really great, this was the last record of his before he was murdered :(



Lovely solo double bass solo of Coleman's Lonely Woman at the start of the track.


:o so sick!
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Postby Repo » Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:16 pm

grey poupon, I don't mean no harm, but it always baffles me when people say they don't "get" jazz (or any other musical genre for that matter)
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Postby Geoff » Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:30 pm

Personally I don't really enjoy reading books about jazz, I just like listening to it
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Postby alaska » Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:24 pm

that book was helpful for me because it contextualized the particular point in davis' career in which the performances i was listening to took place, and it went in-depth into a few moments of performance and helped me perceive the way the musicians were communicating with each other, the choices they were making, etc.

also reading him articulate what was interesting and surprising and beautiful in the music allowed me a few more ways "into" it than i'd had before -- i remember distinctly him expressing shock at the way chick corea's keyboard sounded at the beginning of one tune, which i didn't even really notice at first because it was in the background, but which helped the whole record seem a lot more surprising and exciting to me
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Postby FourLegsGood » Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:55 pm

Geoff (or anyone for that matter), do you have any idea what jazz artists/abums were important to early mod culture? I know that late 50's/early 60's mods drew inspiration from Miles Davis and and I've read that West Coast Jazz was popular. The mod jazz comps I've come across seem alright but I'd rather check out proper LPs.
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Postby Autarch » Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:56 pm

man i don't even know how to read
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Postby Geoff » Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:04 pm

FourLegsGood wrote:Geoff (or anyone for that matter), do you have any idea what jazz artists/abums were important to early mod culture? I know that late 50's/early 60's mods drew inspiration from Miles Davis and and I've read that West Coast Jazz was popular. The mod jazz comps I've come across seem alright but I'd rather check out proper LPs.





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Postby Grey Poupon » Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:08 am

Repo wrote:grey poupon, I don't mean no harm, but it always baffles me when people say they don't "get" jazz (or any other musical genre for that matter)

that's just how I consume media I guess?

I mean yes, I 'get' jazz in that I enjoy listening to jazz, and I like some kinds of jazz over others, but I'm reading the Gary Giddins book up there and it's almost like a textbook, and reading it in bed while "So What" plays and noticing the 'language' of jazz as well as the fact it sounds nice was both a very pleasing intellectually and I guess sensually experience

I just haven't listened to a lot of it in my life, and so to paraphrase the book, it's like as a kid you watch a movie, then you watch a few movies and you start to see stuff you like and stuff you don't and how movies are assembled

that's how I feel about jazz

I have listened to rock 90% of the time and so I get for example I get folk and blues and butt rock and death metal and all those other things that are sort of in the orbit, whether as ancestors or descendents

but connecting the dots between ragtime and new orleans jazz and dancehall kinda jazz and bebop and blues singer jazz.. it's like exploring something new and I find it compelling in that way

plus I also have basic knowledge of music theory and hearing, I guess, that conversation between the players which is something far more prominent in jazz than 'song' oriented stuff is something I find really compelling to tap into because it's like a new way of listening

I know not everything needs to be enjoyed cerebrally, but I find that I usually go from visceral sensual experience -> wanting to learn more -> learning more and having an enhanced visceral sensual experience as a result after the tropes of the style are muscle memoried into my brain



if that's offensive to jazz listeners I'm sorry
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Postby Repo » Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:17 am

makes perfect sense
what I meant is, first you have to feel the music in your heart and then your mind can start learning the language + history
if you listen to coltrane and you don't feel an immediate attraction then there's no book that can help you with that

here's some books that I think can help you provide a deeper analysis of jazz grammar + syntax :)
-ashley kahn books about kind of blue, a love supreme and impulse ("the house that trane built", I'd start with this one, if you haven't read it already)
-miles' biography written by ian carr
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