Author Topic: ....genre of music - what's it about??  (Read 334 times)

Seren

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....genre of music - what's it about??
« on: July 11, 2021, 09:34:43 AM »
   I remember as youngster I'd listen to a wide range of music, I might not enjoy it all in the same way, but I'd give it a go.
   Recently I have been enjoying listening to music so much I have even bought CDs from genre's I normally avoid and thought I'd start a thread where I / we can ask 'what's it all about?'
   I'm hoping we can share our understandings and pleasures and learn from each other - I'm not looking for simple I like / I don't like type interactions. I'd really like to get to understand genre's I struggle with - clearly many people enjoy listening to them.

So as a start:
   Jazz - what's it all about?

   I have been listening to 'Charles Mingus at Carnegie Hall' (recorded 1972). The musicians are extremely talented and know what they are doing. They can take a song they know well, improvise around it together for a long time - starting, stopping, changing key and musical direction etc at what seems the drop of a hat - no one having to catch up or get back in the groove.
   There is what sounds like a great drum solo at one point which as a drummer I can hear the skill involved.
   But I don't get it...despite my enjoyment of discordant electronic music and strange rhythms I don't really know what I'm supposed to be enjoying - where do I hang my hat? How do I get the groove??
   The discordant harmonies are consistent enough to show they are deliberately chosen and explored - and different musicians use them at the same time so they 'disharmonise' together.
I know Jazz evolved out of other music (as do they all) so is there any history I need to check, to understand how the linked forms evolved and what they were trying to achieve or explore as they responded to what went before?

Your knowledge and experience very welcome

chris23

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Re: ....genre of music - what's it about??
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2021, 11:36:10 AM »
I'm not a big fan of jazz. I don't dislike it, but I've never really had it click with me. One of my friends from long ago, however, was an avid collector. His take on it was that jazz was a visceral experience; you have to play it or experience it live before you can begin to listen to and appreciate recordings.

I can appreciate his perspective. I really enjoy seeing live jazz. There is something about the fever of the stage, the way the musicians can implicitly communicate with one another, the disharmonies, etc.

Seren

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Re: ....genre of music - what's it about??
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2021, 12:49:58 PM »
I get that - one of the best gigs I saw was at Glastonbury - in a small tent, 3 guys playing jazz and stoned as hell. The energy of their interaction was infectious.

stargazer

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Re: ....genre of music - what's it about??
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2021, 10:05:12 AM »
Jazz is an old black soul. You hear it in small bars and clubs. You hear it live.

Maybe there are too many different stylistic developments today. Some are pretty weird and the performers are even a bit weirder than their sound is.

I especially love the double bass, a good Fender Rhodes and the deep soul that is in jazz. With jazz, you should immerse yourself in the rhythm and the magic of the moment.

Somewhere I read that jazz originated around 1900 from European marching music and African influences. The center was first in New Orleans, shifted to Chicago in the 1920s.

My favorite performance by Amy Winehouse at the North sea jazz festival 2004 (taken from the documentary film AMY) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdQ29UpEHMg


Seren

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Re: ....genre of music - what's it about??
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2021, 12:02:33 PM »
Saw a couple of youtube clips of Joe Morello drumming with Dave Brubeck
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Kx1GVYPOos

and

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tTyTc6FjjU

as a drummer I found them both interesting and exciting - I think I've found the way in I was looking for

Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: ....genre of music - what's it about??
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2021, 06:05:35 AM »
Interesting topic,

I have enjoyed jazz and its musical abstraction much in the way I listen to avant-garde classic music from the  Stockhausen, Ligeti and Messiaen.  It is hard to describe what it does for me but in a way it is akin to reading heavy philosophy from the likes of Derrida or Deleuze, and their impenetrable text.  My brain responds in a similar way with jazz, perhaps triggering new parts of the mind.

My first introduction to jazz which was actually fusion was Stanly Clarke's first album.  I was 10 years old and I claimed it from my mothers record collection.....https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DPqXyJfXqA.  It was the drums and bass.  The power of them and what I came to know later was the quality of the musicians.   Who was Tony Williams, Jan Hammer?   I think it was this album that stirred my interest in drumming which a few years later I started to play.

When I was older I did look into the records that Tony Williams played on prior to the Clarke album and through that discovered Miles Davis.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiCsi5cRchA&list=PL15ACF5DD5C3AEFFD 

It was Elvin Jones's drumming that lead me to John Coltrane.....https://vimeo.com/177349753[

I followed the jazz fusion path much more than pure jazz because, as with Tony Williams, it was when these drummer moved away from their core jazz that for me they became truly inspiring and that kind of drumming really spoke to me.

So drums are the gateway in Jazz.



 
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