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Keith Jarrett a umbria jazz 07 Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 27th August 2007
  #151
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soultrane's Avatar
ok this has been a very interesting thread.

sharp 11, i really should say i don't mean to remove jarrett from his place in the pantheon of late 20th century post bop pianists...

i personally do not rate him as highly as some other pianists, but that's just me.

but i do think this thread has given me a little insight into jarret's psychology.

it seems what he is trying to do is legitimize his improvisation to the point that it is appreciated with the same seriousness as "classical" music.

in other words, its de riguer that if you go to dorothy chandler pavillion, or lincoln center, and cough, you're going to get dirty looks.

this is why young people don't go to those places unless they're doing a report for their music appreciation classes.

i remember hearing barry douglass, the tchaikovsky winner, in his premier at the hollywood bowl. the kid behind me, about 10 minutes into the first movement of the piano concerto, asked his mom, loudly "how long does this song last?"

the way to get a broader audience for live improvised music is not to clamp down at people at a jazz festival as if they were having an audience with the pope.

heck, even the pope himself would be more amenable than jarrett.

we all need to loosen up a bit.

i quote one more time from duke ellington, (who was the greatest jazz composer and, by the way, said that too much improvisation would be the death of jazz.)

"do not criticize the wait staff... they are like us... we are all working for tips."

call yourself an artist... but without people sending their hard earned discretionary income our way, we'll be waiting tables too, if we're lucky.
Old 27th August 2007
  #152
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
OK then explain to me how being a typical classical musician, not a composer, where reading and interpretation is your forte, how that equals creating improvisations on structures of your own invention or on tunes from Body and Soul to You're Everything. I'm not talking which is better, or moves you more. I'm talking merely the process of creating. One is defined by the process of creating. The other is defined by the process of interpreting.
No, I don't need to explain anything to you. You have pontificated enough here for all to know your point of view and what you base it on. I find some of it interesting and other bits of it merely provocation to stir the pot.

I simply do not accept your basic premise and therefore we are worlds apart.
I find your viewpoint provincial and your views echo the thinking in a small isolated village.
Old 27th August 2007
  #153
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Originally Posted by Plush View Post
No, I don't need to explain anything to you. You have pontificated enough here for all to know your point of view and what you base it on. I find some of it interesting and other bits of it merely provocation to stir the pot.

I simply do not accept your basic premise and therefore we are worlds apart.
I find your viewpoint provincial and your views echo the thinking in a small isolated village.
man that is a bit harsh...

well, let me ask you this question, plush;

who is greater; johann sebastian bach, or andras schiff?

schiff may be better at playing bach's music than bach was.

but that's because he had alot more time to practice it.

bach himself was always moving on to create the next piece.
Old 27th August 2007
  #154
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Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
Lucey -- I cannot debate with you, ever. You don't listen.
I don't know where you're making this distinction between play and creativity. But you can do that. To me it's always been creativity.
Now there you go, being rude, just because my points are creeping up on yours. I am listening, and you are saying that the act of Play is Creativity. I disagree, seeing that as a very low standard ... as does the reality of day to day music making.

Creative is a result not just an intention. If there is no standard beyond Play, then EVERYTHING is "creative" and the word has no meaning at all. ****ting, blabbering, driving. All creative? This is perhaps where you and Jarrett diverge, on the notion of a standard. A standard implies an authority, and you seem to resist that, preferring the comfort of individual subjectivity over any sense of authority or judgment. Yet I don't know his ideas so I'm guessing about them having standards.

It's not about being right Henry, you're projecting from defensiveness there ... to me it's about the idea of creativity being destroyed by a lazy definition that requires no discipline and no further skill than the intention to Play.

I've said it well enough, from enough angles, to let it go now.
Old 27th August 2007
  #155
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
No, I don't need to explain anything to you. You have pontificated enough here for all to know your point of view and what you base it on. I find some of it interesting and other bits of it merely provocation to stir the pot.

I simply do not accept your basic premise and therefore we are worlds apart.
I find your viewpoint provincial and your views echo the thinking in a small isolated village.
Well it certainly might be useful to explain why you feel this way rather than simply accuse me of pontification and being provocative. See I don't see my provocativeness. My blind spot, for sure. But it's very difficult for me to see this because I haven't said one is better than the other. I've merely defined what I think jazz is. I do have a pedigree and perhaps my snobbishness comes out, but I'm not trying to. I really am not.

As butterfly noted I'm passionate about what I chose for a career many moons ago. There was a reason I wanted to play jazz. I never thought jazz was better than classical or rock or anything. But it more suited me. But the role of improvisation was key to everything for me. Why would that be provocative? Why is having an opinion about my chosen field be pontificating? Yes, I know I do tend to pontificate from time to time . . . heh

So maybe you or someone can point out where I've been an "agent provocateur" I'll cease and desist.

If someone wants to rail on about why he loves speed metal and how, he doesn't think it's better than anything else, but why it moves him, and why he personally values it more than say country, I wouldn't argue with him, you know? It's what moves HIM. I can't argue with that. Maybe I could learn something . . .

Man, as you can see I could go on and on! LOL. I could talk about the creative PROCESS and how it is for me, and Lucey can say how that's not creative at all, but it's pushcart or something.

I create from structures, not from licks or learned musical patterns. There are a lot of guys, most even, who do. I create a structure for the tune or music with shapes and colors. The structure is held together by tones, altered or not. Perhaps substitutes. But it's rarely the same. It's CREATED. I guess it's not creativity at all but playing, or pushcart or pushkin something. Maybe it's painful rectal itch.
Old 27th August 2007
  #156
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Originally Posted by lucey View Post
Now there you go, being rude, just because my points are creeping up on yours. I am listening, and you are saying that the act of Play is Creativity. I disagree, seeing that as a very low standard ... as does the reality of day to day music making.

Creative is a result not just an intention. If there is no standard beyond Play, then EVERYTHING is "creative" and the word has no meaning at all. ****ting, blabbering, driving. All creative? This is perhaps where you and Jarrett diverge, on the notion of a standard. A standard implies an authority, and you seem to resist that, preferring the comfort of individual subjectivity over any sense of authority or judgment. Yet I don't know his ideas so I'm guessing about them having standards.

It's not about being right Henry, you're projecting from defensiveness there ... to me it's about the idea of creativity being destroyed by a lazy definition that requires no discipline and no further skill than the intention to Play.

I've said it well enough, from enough angles, to let it go now.
Yes, that was rude and I apologize.

Well then you'll have to tell me what creativity is, by definition. You are applying some definition of creativity I'm not aware of. To me words are crucial. and knowing and using definitions of words and symbols we can agree on is the hallmark of good communication. Otherwise we have, what we have, miscommunication, which causes frustration, at best.

You haven't defined, from what I can see, your terms "play" and "create". You loosely have. Perhaps I'm dense, but I don't see it. And I don't see the reference in a dictionary which can make those distinctions, beyond your own world purview.

From my vantage point you're adding much complexity and significance to what are to me, simple concepts. You seem to think the act of creation is some godly, saintly thing. I see it as an occurrence which most of us don't realize we do daily, but that it's a high act of spirituality. But that it's also as simple as breathing.

I think there is a quality of creativity. That the act of creation of a Beethoven is greater than an act of creation of Henry Robinett, but they are both acts of musical creativity. You seem to want to separate them into qualitative definitons. But I don't see that definition. I dont see a lexicon reference separating this less great act into the word "play." Where is that reference?

Last edited by henryrobinett; 27th August 2007 at 05:28 AM.. Reason: typos
Old 27th August 2007
  #157
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lucey's Avatar
Play is the process of being in the moment. Creative is a big word you're using for play, which as you say is a simple thing. You say there is a scale to creativity, but then you don't see how Play is basic and Create is higher? To simply alter is not to create, to mimic is not to create. To jam or improvise is only creating where there is high level of discipline and musicality.

Creativity is true freedom for the artist, and if it was all day, the sheer power of the energy would kill you or me or anyone. It's powerful stuff, creativity, life changing stuff.

We can play music all day and not have a single inspired or creative moment.
Old 27th August 2007
  #158
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henryrobinett's Avatar
Where oh where are you getting this from?

I don't do the jam band thing.

Where are you getting this play/create thing? You just made this up?

I'm sorry but I have inspired creative moments all the time. It's rarer when I don't.
Old 27th August 2007
  #159
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lucey's Avatar
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Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
Where oh where are you getting this from?

I don't do the jam band thing.

Where are you getting this play/create thing? You just made this up?

I'm sorry but I have inspired creative moments all the time. It's rarer when I don't.
Where? From 30 years of guitar playing and from studying with great musicians. Seemingly the same kind of places you get your "I'm mostly creative" ideas.

My point with your definitions is about the standard we apply to the idea of "creative". Jam band is an analogy to jazz band, it's mostly wanking in derivatives of established patterns ... most of the time ... with moments of inspired playing depending on the day and the player. These inspired moments are rare in a solo, more rare in an evening. It's not a given that simply playing in an improv setting is a creative act. If jazz were not a familiar language no one would get it. There needs to be a framework of familiarity wherein we interpret standards, etc. Classical playing is creative in this same way ... interpretation of a familiar language.

The classical language is more rigid, specific notes, I'll give you that. And most classical players cannot improvise ... I'll agree there too. Yet the jazz language is equally familiar, with patterns of chords, and styles of soloing and inversions. Only the specific notes themselves are more free. To look at the micro (the notes with a tune's established structure) and to then call the macro (the style of music) "more creative" is to ignore the familiar patterns in jazz composition and soloing, and the habitual nature of both the soloist and the audience, who needs familiarity and repetition for understanding, meaning and interpretation.

Unless you're avant, for real, it's a familiar language that all jazz players play. Focus on the notes if you want to define it so narrowly, but it's no more creative a process to have the choice between voicings of an Asus4, and to be asked to arpegiate that same chord in a specific way to serve the larger intention of the classical piece.

What you see as free choice and thus creating is more a derivative of habit, most of the time. Playing something that has been pre-distilled well in advance, and notated or passed down, and playing it very well, brings the original creativity to life again, in the new moment. This is creativity too.
Old 27th August 2007
  #160
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henryrobinett's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
Play is the process of being in the moment. Creative is a big word you're using for play, which as you say is a simple thing. You say there is a scale to creativity, but then you don't see how Play is basic and Create is higher? To simply alter is not to create, to mimic is not to create. To jam or improvise is only creating where there is high level of discipline and musicality.

Creativity is true freedom for the artist, and if it was all day, the sheer power of the energy would kill you or me or anyone. It's powerful stuff, creativity, life changing stuff.

We can play music all day and not have a single inspired or creative moment.
Once again I ask, where do you get this stuff from? Kill me or anyone?? I must've been dead along time ago. What are you talking about? Creative is a BIG WORD I'M USING FOR PLAY?? And you know this how?? Please provide me with a dictionary definition or some kind of reference that indicates to me what you're talkig about. Or define your terms. Say you just made this up, that's OK. But let me know what you're talking about.

Creativity is a process of KNOWING and applying that knowledge to an aesthetic or otherwise creative endeavor. Intuitiveness. Knowingness. A high function of reaction and application. Pure intuitiveness and invention. That's at the core of creativity. One can also call this playing. One can call it hot dog. Schmerallty. It includes but is so much more than "playing in the moment." What are you talking about?

You already admitted you've never heard me play, yet you can with no equivocation state that I am talking about "playing" and not "creating." And you don't explain clearly what the heck you mean. "We can play all day and not have single creative moment." WHO?
Old 27th August 2007
  #161
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lucey's Avatar
What does it matter where I get my ideas? Where do you get yours? Who cares?

I get mine from experience. You're not the only one with years of guitar playing and famous teachers. Did you practice for hours a day for years on end? Me too. Have you performed all over the world? Me too. I'm not talking about your playing in a negative way, you may well be a great player, but you're also far more habitual than you think. Everyone is habitual and disguises it well, to others and mostly to themselves. Jazz is a language of disguised pattern and personal touches on established themes. This is no more creative than playing a steel stringed guitar interpretation of JS Bach's cello music.

If you think that play and creativity are the same thing, then this is a semantics discussion then we're wasting time. I'm talking in principle about levels of effort and energy, which relate back to your initial comment about classical players not experiencing creativity like jazz players do.

Classical players don't improvise, but to improvise is not to be any more creative than the classical player interpreting a master composer in the moment with a personal touch.
Old 27th August 2007
  #162
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henryrobinett's Avatar
It matters because you are making up definitions of words. I don't care if it's your idea or not, but I'm not making up words. If you have a specific definition you've come up with, say it. But don't act like "play means X" and "creative means Y", because, beyond your own mind, they don't.

Of course everyone has habits. You seem to be adding something to this that I'm not. Someone can repeat themselves. They can play little habitual things. That doesn't mean they're not being creative. I think of it as a momentary holding pattern. It's like in speech, someone can stammer, say "uh" and "er"; he can use a series of words too many times, but then he can still have improvised the most wonderful poem. He created it. Is it perfect? Maybe not. But that's the nature of improvisation. IT'S NOT PERFECT.

You seem to think that if one were plugged into creativity for too long they'd die. I think that's funny. Interesting idea, but I just don't happen to agree.

I'm not trying to invalidate you or anyone else who has played guitar for 30 plus years or far less. I'm not trying to invalidte your experience. But don't also invalidate mine. Because you can't conceive of something based on your experience don't then think others can't as well.
Old 27th August 2007
  #163
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You're getting defensive Henry and mixing up my point to fit your argument. I'm sure you're a great player and I'm not here to invalidate you in any way. It's Monday now and I need to turn knobs ...

"Create" away!


All the best,
Old 27th August 2007
  #164
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lucey - I'm not getting defensive. I'm getting a little angry, but not defensive.

I understand what you're talking about, but I disagree. Dickie Betts played this certain lick over and over. Yes, that wasn't particualrly creative. But he was still creating on a solo; rearranging his own creations.

I don't do this, quite like that. But that doesn't matter to you. You already know how I play. That's what makes me angry. You know how all jazz guys play and approach things. Its not creative. Not defensive. Angry. Don't presume to know things you MAY not know.

I played classical guitar for a few years. It wasn't the same creative process for me, not by a long shot. I wasn't making the music up. Was my experience universal? No, I'm sure not. But I am careful to say FOR ME.
Old 27th August 2007
  #165
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post

What you see as free choice and thus creating is more a derivative of habit, most of the time.
i was always taught, and have always believed, that one of the hallmarks of the great composer is an instantly recognizable sound.

so, you can tell a chopin piece, for instance, within about 2 bars...

now, when you think about it, if you put it in a negative light, you could be saying that chopin was "wanking about" with pre-ordained structures or that he had a "habit" of playing the same way over and over again.

in which case, you could say chopin didn't really write 24 preludes, but one big prelude with many sections. he didn't write 24 etudes, just one etude in different keys... he didn't write x number of nocturnes, he just wrote one nocturne.

now, is there a person on earth silly enough to believe chopin was not a creative genius?

and yet, his signature stamp is right there on all of his pieces.

when a recording of a chopin piece comes on the radio, you can tell right away "that's chopin" but, unless you are familiar with all the recordings of this or that chopin piece, you can't tell whether its pollini, or zimmerman, or lupu, or whoever else that are actually doing the performing.

if the piece of music has 2 components, the composition and the performance, certainly the composer's component is the pre-eminent ingredient in the sound of the piece.

now, in jazz, the composer and the performer are one. in someone like coltrane, you can say immediately, THAT is coltrane. in fact, you can probably tell its coltrane BEFORE you even recognize what particular piece of music he's playing.

you could look at this negatively and say, well, coltrane is not really improvising right out of the blue, he's leaning on patterns etc. he's worked out in the practice room.

but why should the definition of "creation" be different for a jazz musician than for a composer?

coltrane was a creative genius. so was chopin.

a jazz musician is "creative" in the way that a classical composer is. but a performer, while definitely, obviously, being a high level performer, is not a composer in the same way.

horowitz certainly saw the difference. look at rachmaninoff... he was a composer and a performer. but a performer is not a compser, UNLESS the performer composes!

man, i can't believe after this long thread, i've come around to defending jarrett.

BE QUIET EVERYONE... OFF WITH THE FLASHBULBS. LET THE MAN COMPOSE.
Old 27th August 2007
  #166
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Originally Posted by soultrane View Post
BE QUIET EVERYONE... OFF WITH THE FLASHBULBS. LET THE MAN COMPOSE.
yes,he can as much compose as he wants. but when he continues to call his audiences assholes he will be alone.

no-one likes to play with the stinker
Old 27th August 2007
  #167
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soultrane -- very well put. I'm just amazed we're on the same page, for once. DON'T SPOIL ANYTHING ANYBODY!!!
Old 27th August 2007
  #168
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oooh........I'm so tempted.....nah enough already. Honestly I can't believe you guys are still at it. It's like when u crash out during a party get up in the morning......and everybody is still exactly where you left them when u went to bed. However.....I'm not going to get into the essential differences between a "composer" and an "improviser 'cause I have to get some work done. However I think what you said was very eloquent soultrane......henry you are tenacious aren't you? I imagine Lucy has thought better of re-involving himself in this debate. Best wishes to all.

ps. All we need now is for Mr Jarret to join the forum!....I think I have his email somewhere!
Old 27th August 2007
  #169
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Originally Posted by butterfly View Post
...ps. All we need now is for Mr Jarret to join the forum!....I think I have his email somewhere!
Imagine that remote possibility.
Old 27th August 2007
  #170
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Originally Posted by lucey View Post
My point with your definitions is about the standard we apply to the idea of "creative". Jam band is an analogy to jazz band, it's mostly wanking in derivatives of established patterns ... most of the time ... with moments of inspired playing depending on the day and the player. These inspired moments are rare in a solo, more rare in an evening. It's not a given that simply playing in an improv setting is a creative act. If jazz were not a familiar language no one would get it. There needs to be a framework of familiarity wherein we interpret standards, etc. Classical playing is creative in this same way ... interpretation of a familiar language.
Therein lies the problem. You equate jazz with a "jam band." That in itself is pretty offensive. That to you improvisation is merely "wanking." Obviously we're not talking about the same kind of jazz.

I wouldn't mind being in one of those jam bands and make some of that jam band money for a minute. But that's not at all what I do or what I'm talking about. I have a couple of good, good friends who play in some of those Grateful Dead spin offs. One I think actually plays in the Dead. Great jazz player. He thinks it's kind of funny and complains that he's lost his jazz chops, but the money is great.

No, I'm not talking a situation where most anybody can jump in and "jam" on one chord or a familiar tune and "wank" endlessly at the expense of a bored audience.

Yes there is framework. Even free jazz has a mocked up framework. Yes there are patterns, and familar landscapes. Hell, nobody would be able to understand music without them. The WONDERFUL thing about music is it uses these familiar landscapes and associations to communciate. A deceptive cadence is effective because you've set up this relationship with the audience of the dominant (V) to the tonic (I). Going somewhere else, like the submediant (vi) instead of the tonic creates a wonderful effect BECAUSE it throws off the audience prediction. The audience doesn't have to know what a tonic is to know with absolute certainty what a tonic is. This isn't "wanking" simply because you know what you're doing.

Prediction is very important to the musician and audience alike. The audience has only one opportunity to hear a performance, if it's done live, as it's intended. And in order to follow it you have to have reference points. You have to be able to predict. The jazz fan has the reference points from Parker to Coltrane to McCoy, Brownie, Hubbard, Herbie, Brecker, Hawkins, Lester Young, etc.. If the audence member is listening closely he's following the arc of the solo and can, perhaps, predict the direction to a degree and the players influences. Sometimes it's the left turns that make it a great and unique experience.

But too much originality can upset the applecart. People, as a rule, don't like too much originality no matter how much they may assert that they do. It's just too much to process. It bears repeated listening to comprehend. Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy, Cecil Taylor can all attest to this.

But creativity is not necessarily originality. Something doesn't have to be original to be creative. At least that's not a definition of creative I've read. A person who writes a poem doesn't also have to invent the alphabet first.

I'm not inventing new chords every time I play. That middle C is still middle C. I haven't invented new scales, but I do reorder notes in ways I don't even know. Personally I don't think scales or modes. i just see notes and grab the ones I think would be appropriate, within a given framework, based on several criteria - what chord is being played, what the other musicians are playing, what I hear, what I feel, what I see, what the previous notes were that I played, because most often I'll play something influenced by what came before.

I think this is being creative. This isn't me. This is jazz. It's just another form of music, no bettter, no worse, except for those who don't like it, who are legion. Jazz is a very acquired taste and therefore has a very small audience share. Most jazz fans, to the detriment of the players, prefer it like that. They would hate for their Coltrane to suddenly be as popular as Paris Hilton. We like that it's esoteric and UNPOPULAR.
Old 27th August 2007
  #171
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henryrobinett's Avatar
Ha! Sorry buttefly. I know. I must stop. Yes, I've been called tenacious before!
Old 27th August 2007
  #172
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Dale's Avatar
 

Lightbulb

Henry
"Yes there is framework. Even free jazz has a mocked up framework. Yes there are patterns, and familiar landscapes. Hell, nobody would be able to understand music without them. The WONDERFUL thing about music is it uses these familiar landscapes and associations to communicate."

ah, the limitations you do impose are no less restrictive then the classical musicians!
I subscribe to the Chaos theory ... John Cage
and the aesthetic of listening ... Pierre Schaeffer
Old 27th August 2007
  #173
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale View Post
Henry
"Yes there is framework. Even free jazz has a mocked up framework. Yes there are patterns, and familiar landscapes. Hell, nobody would be able to understand music without them. The WONDERFUL thing about music is it uses these familiar landscapes and associations to communicate."

ah, the limitations you do impose are no less restrictive then the classical musicians!
I subscribe to the Chaos theory ... John Cage
and the aesthetic of listening ... Pierre Schaeffer
Cool! Another excuse to continue! heh

I love freedom. But I also love boundaries. There isn't much freedom that's worth much of anything without some boundaries, IMHO!

When I started playing jazz I played a lot of free jazz. It gave me a great way to enter this complicated music. The more I played the more I respected the boundaries. Free jazz became a little tiresome to listen to after awhile, no matter how fun it was to play.

But more and more I loved playing against the boundaries or the structure. Give me a C7 chord and I might play all the alterations and extensions, or I might play Gb7, Ab7, or E7, Eb7, or I might do a series of ii-V distantly related or not related at all. Or I might super impose entirely different chord changes, while soloing on top of the given chord sequence. I might go modal. Or I might not THINK at all in any organized kind of way. Ultimately, for myself, it's more satisfying to play against the pre-established boundaries or within the framework altogether. It's a matter of choice up to myself, the group and the given circumstances.

I see the average classical musician not having those kinds of choices. He plays the piece, more or less, as prescribed by the notes and directions on the page. But you know, maybe I'm wrong. I could be wrong . . .

I can play a tune like "Cherokee" and turn it upside down in terms of chord sequences, as a soloist. The band doesn't get lost and neither does the audience, for the most part -- I hope! The framework is pre-established and another subset, complicated though it may be, that lies on top or astride it won't sound necessarily dissonant to an objectionable degree. But it's really cool!

See, for myself, the system of music I think is absolutely stunningly brilliant. Nobody has to know the theory, as in an audience, for everyone to know how it works, because the ear reveals all. Speaking for myself, when I start throwing out all the rules that the ear has developed over centuries, it's less fun. I used to think I was helping hear a brand new way. That's been going on since the beginning of the LAST century. It's no longer new. The old way works so much better to me. And yet there are STILL new ways of figuring out how to slice that same old pie.
Old 27th August 2007
  #174
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BTW Dale -- I'm familiar with Cage of course. Not so much the specifics of his Chaos theory. I'm not familiar with Pierre Schaeffer and the "Aesthetic of Listening" at all. I'd like to check him out.

As a PHILOSOPHY I don't subscribe to chaos theory at all. But you know, I could be wrong . . .
Old 27th August 2007
  #175
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Henry,

it's interesting that you seem to be offended by the jam band comparison but at the same time reduce classical players to robots that 'just play what's on the page'.

Any music, except nature sounds of course, only exists thru an act of creativity. The player turns a pre-written or freely improvised piece into MUSIC by playing it or by programming a machine or whatever. That is creation.

Now you might argue that a composer can actually hear the piece he wrote in his head or that somebody can read a score do the same but that's not making music in the sense of communicating it to an audience.

The classical musician, most obviously in an orchestra,holds his ego in check and helps to CREATE a composition. He or she is creative in the sense of helping to let a score come to life in the same sense that the conductor is shaping it. It can only come to life when the musicians are technically and musically able to play it in the intended way. This obviously still leaves a lot of room for interpretation, especially with older styles of so-called 'Classical' Music.

I'd like to stress that I listen to an awful lot of jazz and have been doing so for decades. Although I don't play jazz per se, I'm still very influenced by its phrasings and sense of swing in my own guitar playing. Though I have a tremendous amount of respect for great jazz players, I realized a long time ago that my own 'ideals' are different. I'm fascinated with finding great parts to pop/rock songs and I also like to create moods and colors with different instruments.

Jazz is fascinating but I often wonder 'why'. Like why do you need play around a great melody when it would be much more beautiful in its original state. So the 'uncreative' way might be the better one sometimes. Also, knowing every subsitution there is doesn't automatically guarantee freedom in your playing. I believe that a certain amount of randomness can be great in music sometimes. Too many jazz players use their knowledge as a crutch and ultimately have a paint-by-numbers approach....though it's admittingly a very complex and advanced painting-by.numbers.

Ultimately, I try to listen with open ears and an open heart and some stuff reaches me and other doesn't. The level of sophistication has nothing to do with it. I dig early Mahavishnu not because it's complex but because it touches me deeply and has done so since a very early age. But almost all other 'Fusion' stuff leaves me totally cold. Same with Miles, his playing is always reaching me, no matter what period he was in and I don't even like the trumpet as an instrument per se.

To each his own, but if I have the choice between 10 hours of 'free' Jarrett improvisation or something like say George Harrison's guitar solo to 'Something' then I choose the latter. It might have been laboured over and pieced together but it is a great musical statement IMO and not just a display of amazing musical ability.

o.k, back to work now.......
Old 27th August 2007
  #176
Gear Guru
 
lucey's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
lucey - I'm not getting defensive. I'm getting a little angry, but not defensive. ...

.... But that doesn't matter to you. You already know how I play. That's what makes me angry. You know how all jazz guys play and approach things. Its not creative. Not defensive. Angry. Don't presume to know things you MAY not know.
Your anger is making you misread and put words in my mouth. I have said over and over that I dont know how you play, and it may well be great. What I know is what human beings can do, what they are all capable of. Pure genius is not it MOST of the time. Creativity in your definition is wanking in mine. "Noodling" if you prefer. "Pattern playing with occasionally inspired moments" if you prefer. It's normal, but not special, most of the time.

I sense an air of "special". Correct this if wrong, but it seems that you think you're special, because you can improvise and classical guys can't. You did say that, right? Seems like you feel that Jazz is more creative than Classical for the players. Not just for you, but for real, it's more creative for everyone? Is it possible that the forms are equal but different?

You are on the one hand playing the subjective card (saying "for me" jazz is creative) and on the other calling the whole form more creative than classical? That makes no sense and is an insult to great classical players the world over. How is it they they not creating, when they play something beautifully?

And you are insulted by Jazz being compared to a Jam Band? Do you not improvise over chord changes? So do they. Jam bands do not do "one chord" tunes. How arrogant you are about jazz. It's no wonder the form is stale, as I assume you're accomplished and you seem to have pedigree both.

Music is either musical or not, or in between ... what you call creative seems to mask arrogance about Jazz's superior creativity for the player. Improv is occasionally creativity buy BY AND LARGE is derivatives of pattern. Nothing more special than a great performance of a pre-composed piece.

It's not like everything you play has never been heard before, and everything a classical player plays has been heard already. That would be "creative" and "not creative"
Old 27th August 2007
  #177
Gear Guru
 
henryrobinett's Avatar
doorknocker -

Damn. I was just running out the door.

I don't see anything contrary to what you say. I don't disagree with a single word, except that I don't find the same kind of creativity present with most classical players It's just not the same. I have said again and again and again that it was a mistake when I said there is NO creativity in classical music.

I don't know why I'm the pariah here. LOL. Some of the most asounding musicians the world has created have been, without question, classical musicians. I listen with an open mind, ALWAYS. You migt be astounded at what I listen to. I don't just listen to jazz. Some times I don't like to listen to jazz at all. I love Beatles, and Jimi, and Hank Williams, and Opera, (Damnation of Faust I think is one of the most amazing pieces of music I ever heard!), string quartets of Bartok, Beethoven, I listen to the Sex Pistols, Billy Joel, Kinks, Aretha Franklin, NWA. There isn't anything I won't listen to and there isn't anythig I can't appreciate except for White Stripes.

I don't know what pigeon hole you've painted me into (talk about mixed metaphors) but that guy ain't me. I'm not the jazz snob you think I am.

Sure classical guys can spend hours honing their technique and tone. I used to spend 6-8 hours a day just on technique. But I can't approach the virtuoso classical dude. The musics are DIIFERENT. They are not the same. They shouldn't be compared as the same. I keep saying this, but I think other people want to make this comparison. I just see jazz as being creative, in the sense of making the music up as you go, type of creative. I'm not sayig it's better. As a matter of fact, I'll say it's worse. Any time you play something off the top of your head, it's going to be rough around the edges to one degree or another. That's the nature of the music. It's not perfect. When they were on Sonny Rollins, Miles, Coltrane, Cannonball, Bill Evans, Corea all come damn close.

But Bartoks 4th string quartet is about as perfect as you can get. Petrouska, Firebird Suite, Prokofievs 2nd piano concerto, Rachmaninoff 2nd piano concerto in D minor, Tchaikovskys violin concerto, as over played as it is, this is stuff is godly and perfection. I am PRO CLASSICAL MUSIC! But classical music and jazz music are not the same, not by a long shot. I don't think one is bettter than the other. They do different things. They are ABOUT different tihngs. I don't think it's INFERIOR because creativity is not measured in the same degree or in the same manner. In classical music you are not expected to make up the music as you go! LOL!! As a matter of fact you'd lose the gig.


Back on topic, I heard a radio program many years ago of Dvo?áks New World Symphony, I believe. I just caught the tail end and the pianist was going wild. The final chord and the pianist was going wild and continued to play for a few seconds after the orchestra finished. I thought, "Geez, that sounds like Keith Jarrett". The announcer said, somewhat chagrined, that it was indeed Jarrett. This was classical, not some excuse for Jarrett to start improvising, like he thought he'd turn the world on it's ear by his breathing new brilliance into these classical pieces. Maybe I'm wrong and the score calls for an improvised cadenza.

One is one and the other is the other. Classical music is creative in it's way, but you don't sit there and compose the music as you play, unless Cage or Stockhausen instruct you to "play a vibration emanating from the mallet player on your left," as one of his score indicates.
Old 27th August 2007
  #178
Lives for gear
 
doorknocker's Avatar
I could say that my ideal 'modern' jazz musician is Brad Mehldau. A classicaly trained sensitivity and touch, fantastic command over the tradition but not neglecting pop music either.

He will play here in town soon, it was billed as a trio gig first but turns out to be a solo concert. I'm not going, I'm sure it will be great but I'd MUCH prefer hearing him with his trio. The 'solo jazz' concert is something I really am not so interested in. Unless it's Dave Holland, at least judging from his great 'Emerald Tears' solo record.
Old 28th August 2007
  #179
Gear Guru
 
henryrobinett's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
Your anger is making you misread and put words in my mouth. I have said over and over that I dont know how you play, and it may well be great. What I know is what human beings can do, what they are all capable of. Pure genius is not it MOST of the time. Creativity in your definition is wanking in mine. "Noodling" if you prefer. "Pattern playing with occasionally inspired moments" if you prefer. It's normal, but not special, most of the time.

I sense an air of "special". Correct this if wrong, but it seems that you think you're special, because you can improvise and classical guys can't. You did say that, right? Seems like you feel that Jazz is more creative than Classical for the players. Not just for you, but for real, it's more creative for everyone? Is it possible that the forms are equal but different?

You are on the one hand playing the subjective card (saying "for me" jazz is creative) and on the other calling the whole form more creative than classical? That makes no sense and is an insult to great classical players the world over. How is it they they not creating, when they play something beautifully?

And you are insulted by Jazz being compared to a Jam Band? Do you not improvise over chord changes? So do they. Jam bands do not do "one chord" tunes. How arrogant you are about jazz. It's no wonder the form is stale, as I assume you're accomplished and you seem to have pedigree both.

Music is either musical or not, or in between ... what you call creative seems to mask arrogance about Jazz's superior creativity for the player. Improv is occasionally creativity buy BY AND LARGE is derivatives of pattern. Nothing more special than a great performance of a pre-composed piece.

It's not like everything you play has never been heard before, and everything a classical player plays has been heard already. That would be "creative" and "not creative"
Well sorry, but it's my understanding jam bands "jam" over one or two chord changes. Or very few. My bad if I'm wrong. But I know a bunch of jam bands. I've played jammed in a bunch too. And most were grooves or some simple sequence of chords. Not making a value judgement perse, but I think of jazz as much more than jamming ******s, you know. The guys I think about and aspire to "wank" is not part of what I think about. But obviously I have more respect for those guys and the art form than you do. Hence my reaction.

I don't think I'm special. I think this is something that I seem to be conveying however. No. I do take playing seriously. I've been playing seriously for a long time, but I certainly don't think I'm special. I maintain that nothing anybody does is "special." I've said earlier I don't think there's anything special about improvisation. It's as simple as breathing. Most people do not do it though. But that's not special. Creativity is a simple thing. You're the one that' making it awe inspiring. I don't thnk there's anything remarkable about it, in particular, except that I love what it says about the human being doing it. It's like listening to a conversation about someone's life in musical shapes and colors.

OTOH I think everybody is special.

There are only two things I know anything about. Only two things I'm eminently qualified to talk about. One is jazz, especially jazz and improvisation. And the other is racism. So I get excited about it, given the opportunity. I won't talk about racism on these boards any more. So I jump at the chance to talk about the only other thing I know anything about, seriously.

I DO think the practicing musician is going the way of the Do Do bird. I do think that living with and getting trained by Charles Mingus personally gives me a certain insight some folks might not have, but it doesn't make me special. But on the same token I will never make myself smaller so as not to ruffle feathers. I think that's the wrong way to do anything. People are in the habit of making themselves smaller all the time. And therefor they get "smaller." I think people have their own buttons. I won't go out of my way to push them but I won't say "I suck" so other peoples insecurities won't get bothered.

But why do you think I think I'm special? I've never even said I think I can play WELL. Half the time I think I play like ****. I said I can play.

BTW I'm no longer angry. I was angry for about an hour. The subject is between you and me and we can take it off list. I think that would be a very good idea. I'm actually having a blast.

BUT I DO know what I'm doing, whether it's considered good or not. I don't know why this should push peoples buttons. And for the umpteenth time, AGAIN, there's is nothing I said, or intended to say, if I inadvertantly DID say it, that is to be construed that I think jazz is superior IN ANY WAY TO ANY OTHER MUSIC PERIOD. I listen and enjoy every type of music. I never intended to give that impression, nor did I ever say anything to the contrary.

I think people are arguing with phantoms of other jazz ethusiasts who DID feel jazz was a superior music. But that's not me. I don't think jazz is superior to anything. As I said I don't think like that. I don't think Jarrett is betterr, that Chick is better, that Hendrix is better or worse, that Jack Johnson is better or worse, that Erick Johnson or Robert Johnson or anybodies Johnson is better or bigger or smaller or less refined than anybody elses? OK????? Didn't say it. I don't believe it.

And no, I don't think I'm special because I can improvise and classical guys can't. Show me where I EVER SAID THIS. I never said it because I don't believe it. You are bringing that to the table by interpreting something I never said. I'm not a "read between the lines" kind of guy. I have no problem saying what I mean, no matter whose feathers get ruffled. There is no read between the lines. I didn't say it and I don't think like that. Period.

Sheesh.
Old 28th August 2007
  #180
Gear Guru
 
lucey's Avatar
Your previous post to doorknocker was great Henry. I get you and I agree with you.

Jazz is rough around the edges. Classical is refined. Each is creative, jazz is your home.

Nuff said stike
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