Re: Rose Room: A Hot Jazz Revelation
- From: Just Me <jpdm45@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2008 23:32:24 -0700 (PDT)
On Oct 11, 6:13 pm, Kid Kool <kidkoo...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On Oct 11, 1:26 am, Just Me <jpd...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Maybe its got to do with my background in Blues, Folk and Rock (all
that "playing by ear" freedom since the time I was 15) that causes me
Miles said, theres'a a yewtoob vid somewhere, that you can't just play
what you hear, because you'll play a load of tripe.
You? Who? Can't be me, seeing as how I *can't* play what I hear, so
I'll have to blame the "tripe" I play on something else. Point is,
there just isn't any "just" about it--for me. I can't 'just' play what
I hear. Not like Django, or Jimmy Rosenberg. What I play "by ear" is
limited, not by what I hear, nor by hearing 'tripe', but by a lack of
capacity to download what I hear to my fingers--and that's how I get
Miles Davis, true genius and jazz revolutionary that he was, had a
notorious reputation for shooting from the lip, but even so, it's hard
to say what he meant by 'tripe'. It may be entirely subjective. Maybe
what *he* was hearing in *his* ear did strike him as a "lot of tripe"
and that's what moved him to become such an important innovator.
Maybe the kind of phrasing he was 'hearing' was, to *his* taste, a lot
of 'old hat' from the Swing and BeBop eras that struck him as
'schmaltz' and so he was driven in his personal Miles Davis quest to
leave that behind--and more power to him! What he came up with is
immortal. The thought of growing up in a world without Miles Davis
would be like living on an earth without a moon.
Still, for anyone without a lot of tripe in his ears, there is NO
"tripe" in great Swing and Hot Jazz. That anyone could suggest that
pre-1950 jazz is "not jazz" is outrageous! You one feisty cat, Jack.
Okay, two can play like that, so dig . . .
Can you play what Artie Shaw played with the same degree of facility
and melodic imagination? Can you get a whole ballroom floor of Lindy
Hoppers screaming with ecstasy behind the ride you give them on your
improvisational lines? If so, my hat's off to you! You've done it and
then moved on to what you've a mind to call "real jazz".
I can't move on from what I haven't mastered, and so I'm not in a
position to "advance" beyond what I hear, till like Miles I've somehow
already worn that out.
I can't advance beyond what I can't do. And if I ever should be able
to play with the fluidity and beauty of a Louis Armstrong, with that
effortless capacity to just pull a new melody out of the thin air,
man; when I have become such a master as that, then, in that state of
advancement, maybe I'll be able to know what kind of 'tripe' Miles was
talking about. As for now, I haven't a clue, not the vaguest.
He said you have
to educate your ear, and I believe he specifically mentioned the jazz
Education is hip, truly because if there was a college where I could
study to jump and jive along with everything Louis Prima's educated
ear and lip brought into some rockin' lounge at Vegas--I would
graduate from that with the science in my fingers to discover the
theory of what Mose Allison was hearing and putting down through his
hands. But as it is now, after all these years of listening to those
cats, maybe my ear already has it's Ph.D, it's just my mind where it
stands between my hands and my ears that is still in first grade--and
that's why I can't cook up anything but tripe.
I do need to get educated.
There is much voodoo in technical harmonic study, which is why
Bird Dizzy Trane Hawk etc etc all studied so deeply.
So they did, but now you're talking a kind of jazz that Benny, Ziggy,
Babe Russo and many Swing era jazzmen condemned as "tripe". It was
Benny's view that these BeBop cats were concealing a lack of ability
(an untrained ear) under a lot of abstraction and chaotic dissonance
that no matter the extent of theoretical knowledge behind it, from the
bandstand it's nothing but a lot of deadbeat anarchy with a college
diploma in place of a bomb in its hand--and nobody dancin'.
hugely erroneous belief out there that formal study will stultify your
playing . . .
I would never say that, but I will say that if what you study can't
make people jump and shout, but leaves them sitting stock still with
ears exploding, man, that is some kind of postmodern chamber music,
but it's Not Jazz. It's just Schoenberg with a set of drums.
but actually it's the other way around: lack of formal study
constricts your whole approach - your ears, lines techniques. Study
study study. This is music we're talking about, not needlepoint.
Well, I'd be loath to say anything deprecatory about the talent and
skill for needlepoint. But as to jazz, I know that neither Django nor
Satchmo could read a note of music. But when, during rehearsal for the
'46 tour, the Duke asked Django what key he'd like for such and such
a number, Django didn't know what the hell he was talking about. Like,
'key'? When it was translated, his answer was it didn't matter,
whatever key the Duke wanted! No knowledge of key was necessary for
Django Reinhardt. His ear was of such quality that he just knew
without being put hip to it in advance.
I'm not Django. I have to know what the key is. I like being able to
read music, and when I teach, I make my students learn to read music.
So I don't have much use for tabs, except for getting a quick grab on
a chord. I would like to know what Rachmaninoff, Chopin and
Tchaikovsky knew about the science of making transition from one key
to another around the circle of 4ths or 5ths but in the end, Jazz for
me is all about this . . .
Who ever knew that Gypsy Jazz would join with Jump Blues and
transmogrify at the Millennium into something like that! Or would you
believe this . . .
Christopher Walken doing it, with Caravan Palace Spiderman/Spacewalk
style . . .
The grandson of Django Reinhardt, with Samy Daussat and Noé
Reinhardt. . . .
- Re: Rose Room: A Hot Jazz Revelation
- From: Rick Stone
- Re: Rose Room: A Hot Jazz Revelation
- Prev by Date: Re: Finally, a useful guitar.
- Next by Date: Omega Seamaster Luxury Watch - Omega Watches
- Previous by thread: Re: Rose Room: A Hot Jazz Revelation
- Next by thread: Re: Rose Room: A Hot Jazz Revelation