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Nothing But Jazz July

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Goodsir





#1 | Posted: 06/29/2016 18:31 | Post subject: Nothing But Jazz July Reply with quote
So I'm going to be hosting an event called Nothing But Jazz July, and, well, the title is pretty self-explanatory.
The goal is obviously to listen to nothing but jazz, but if you can't do that you can still participate. Just try to at least somewhat keep up with what the rest of the group is listening to. The most important thing, of course, is to discover and enjoy.

We might try to go through certain artists' discographies, but I'm not exactly sure how we're going to do everything just yet. I'm going to try and host a daily listen-a-long to a classic jazz album, starting with obvious selections such as Kind of Blue and A Love Supreme. Originally this was going to be something that I was going to by myself, but after some others showed interest I decided to change it into a group event. It'd be great if I could get some of the jazz buffs here to join in and share recs, as my original intention was to discover and learn more about jazz.

There's going to be a Skype group, so if you're interested in participating, send me a PM with your Skype name.

Happy listening!

Skype Group

Listen-a-Long Schedule

Plug Room


Last edited by Goodsir on 07/02/2016 20:18; edited 1 time in total
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dividesbyzero
logging on without parent's permission since 2015



Location: up and out

#2 | Posted: 06/29/2016 20:13 | Post subject: Reply with quote
sign me up my man
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Applerill
Autistic Princess <3


Gender: Female
Age: 25
Location: Chicago
United States

#3 | Posted: 06/29/2016 20:38 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Luke and I plan to be celebrating this month very... sentimentally before bed, but I'd love to take part in this, too.

My first rec is

Thumbnail. Click to enlarge.

Pneuma by Michael White
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alelsupreme
Awful.


Gender: Male
Age: 22
United Kingdom

#4 | Posted: 06/29/2016 21:07 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Applerill wrote:
Luke and I plan to be celebrating this month very... sentimentally before bed, but I'd love to take part in this, too.


what do this mean
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Skinny
birdman_handrub.gif




#5 | Posted: 06/29/2016 22:38 | Post subject: Reply with quote
I accidentally started early and went to see Kamasi Washington tonight. Best gig I've been to since D'Angelo. Amazing.
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stangetzaway



Gender: Male
Age: 48
Australia

#6 | Posted: 06/29/2016 23:15 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Saw Kamasi a few months ago and one of the top 5 gigs I've seen.. Utterly brilliant and his collaborators equally good. The core of the band have known each other since they were 3, 4 years old and perhaps explains the chemistry.
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craola
my name's not craig



Location: Mobile
Unknown

#7 | Posted: 06/29/2016 23:39 | Post subject: Reply with quote
stangetzaway wrote:
Saw Kamasi a few months ago and one of the top 5 gigs I've seen.. Utterly brilliant and his collaborators equally good. The core of the band have known each other since they were 3, 4 years old and perhaps explains the chemistry.

What are they, siblings!? Hot damn. Outside of family, I don't think I've kept any connections running that long.
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rkm





#8 | Posted: 06/29/2016 23:43 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Sounds great. Not sure I can do only jazz, but I'm interested in being involved. I've been listening to a lot of Miles and Coltrane. Earlier this year I bought several collections that I've been working my way through.

Just got through Coltrane's "Heavyweight Champion" set.
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Kool Keith Sweat
skronkist



Location: Tejas
United States

#9 | Posted: 06/30/2016 18:57 | Post subject: Reply with quote
I'd love to drop into this thread occasionally and discuss things. I figured since this project is largely intended to get people into jazz, that my first post might be some sort of primer on how to quickly find something that you enjoy...

Style Jazz is a massive umbrella term, encompassing musics made for about a century. If you're gonna find something that you enjoy quickly, you need to know where to drop into that history. Going forward chronologically, you have roughly: New Orleans jazz; "the golden age," featuring the rise of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Charlie Parker; Harlem jazz; swing; modern; bebop; postbop; third stream; modal; free jazz; free improvisation; fusion; and traditionalism. I personally have a bias towards free jazz, free improvisation, and fusion from about 1960 to today (with some interest in postbop, modal, and third stream around the '50s), so I've likely missed a lot of key movements in those early years. I suggest searching for acclaimed albums through sites with genre tags (e.g. allmusic, rym) for albums in genres and time periods that might interest you; sample at least an album from each of these genres and see what you fancy. And though New Orleans jazz may have been "the" movement at the turn of the 20th century, and though free jazz may have been "the" movement at around 1960, you will find albums following the tenets of these and the other movements being made today, so recording quality shouldn't scare you off the earlier ones (in fact the decrepit, sometimes eerie recording quality is what draws me most to earlier jazz sometimes). I have a hunch that most of the people on BEA tend to think of postbop, third stream, and modal when they think of jazz (maybe modern too); that's where you get names like Kind of Blue, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk, The Modern Jazz Quartet, Eric Dolphy, Lee Morgan, Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, early John Coltrane, early McCoy Tyner, etc., so you might begin somewhere around there. So, the first step of "getting into jazz" should be loosely determining what styles you're interested in. There is no wrong answer to this, except traditionalism.

Players One of the (I believe) fundamental ways that jazz distinguishes itself from rock to the listener is focus on the player, rather than focus on the group. In rock, we tend to think of groups, e.g. Slowdive, and offshoot groups of that group, e.g. Mojave 3. In rock, of course each musician has their (hopefully) characteristic style, and you might follow that musician through their various groups, but the focus is on the group. For instance, you like the White Stripes. The White Stripes is largely characterized by Jack White's style, you love Jack White, and you'll follow Jack White through his various groups, but they're the White Stripes, The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather... they're groups and you're only listening to them because they're Jack White's groups. In jazz, the focus is on each player. For instance, you might really like Joe Zawinul's playing on Miles Davis' In A Silent Way... so you would check out Joe Zawinul's recordings as a leader, his recordings with Weather Report, and his recordings as sideman elsewhere. I think this shift in focus is in one part because players are highly mobile in the jazz landscape, and though there might be many fruitful collaborations that they constantly return to over the years, typically jazz players will be in brand new lineups for many of their recordings. I think the other part is because jazz is highly dependent on improvisation; think of an improviser like a conversationalist - the conversation will change based on who is taking part in the conversation, not just the content, but the delivery and tone. Jazz leaders are also typically lax in their direction, at least past 1960, so what a player brings to the table is the genius of that player, not necessarily the leader. All that might be speaking out my ass, but the conclusion is that, when navigating the styles of jazz you like, it's helpful to latch on to players and follow them through their projects, as leaders and sidemen. You might pick these players by hearing them as sidemen on recordings of other leaders that you happened upon, or you might pick them because of the instrument they play. For instance, if you already know you really like drumming, you'll want to latch onto drummers, and if you already know that you really like the timbre of soprano sax, you'll want to latch onto those players, and so on. Keeping in mind that I have a bias towards free jazz, free improvisation, and fusion since the '60s, here's 2-3 of my current favorite players for each instrument (I'm still trying to find some better vibraphone players, so hmu):

Tenor sax: Albert Ayler, John Coltrane, Sam Rivers
Alto sax: Anthony Braxton, Marion Brown, Ornette Coleman
Soprano sax: Lol Coxhill, Evan Parker, Steve Lacy
Trumpet/Cornet: Don Cherry, Leo Smith, Rob Mazurek
Trombone: Grachan Moncur III, Clifford Thornton, Roswell Rudd
Vibraphone: Jason Adasiewicz, Milt Jackson, Karl Berger
Piano: Cecil Taylor, Matthew Shipp, McCoy Tyner
Violin: Leroy Jenkins, Polly Bradfield
Guitar: Fred Frith, Derek Bailey, Jeff Parker
Banjo: Bela Fleck, Eugene Chadbourne
Drums: Ed Blackwell, Han Bennink, Steve Noble
Bass: Dave Holland, Charlie Haden, John Edwards

Format Finding your favorite jazz albums won't just depend on the style and players, but also the format, e.g. solo, duo, trio, big band, etc. How many people are in the studio is going to affect who you hear how often and how well you hear them, and could determine the space of the recording. For instance, if I enjoy Don Cherry's playing, I'm going to be able to focus on his playing more in a duo setting (e.g. Mu, with Ed Blackwell) than in a double-quartet setting (e.g. Ornette Coleman's Free Jazz). I personally typically enjoy solos the most, then duos, trios, and big band. Remembering that you can think of the improviser as a conversationalist, a solo recording will let you hear what that person is like when they're alone in a room; a free improviser on a solo recording is as personal as music ever gets, I don't even think that's debatable. For me, it's then interesting to see if and how their style changes when they have one other person (duo): how they share the space, what they "talk" about, and how they "talk" about it. Trio settings are typically (but not always) a bass, drums, and a soloing instrument, so it's like you're getting a solo performance but under the constraints of behaving within some sort of rhythm. And then I like big band stuff (Jazz Composer's Orchestra, Anthony Braxton's orchestral recordings, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, Company, ICP Orchestra, Art Ensemble of Chicago) because I like trying to pick out players styles in a mess as a kind of challenge, and it's always interesting to see how large improvising ensembles manage space (for instance Company has some particularly sparse recordings for a large ensemble, whereas most of these recordings get very crowded). Many of the "great" jazz recordings (e.g. Kind of Blue, A Love Supreme, Black Saint and the Sinner Lady) fall somewhere between these smaller and larger formats, e.g. septets. Unfortunately, some formats are time-dependent, e.g. solo recordings will only be found after ~1970.

Jazz and rock So after doing some research, some soul-searching, and some meandering through various recordings, even after you've more-or-less picked out your favorite styles, players, and formats, jazz can still seem daunting to "get into." I imagine most everyone here was raised with the rock idiom, so it might be helpful to explore those groups that exist in the liminal space between jazz and rock. The '70s saw the rise of jazz fusion, which is exactly jazzrock. The big groups here are Weather Report, Mahavishnu Orchestra, and Miles Davis' run of albums Tribute to Jack Johnson, Bitches Brew, Live-Evil, and On the Corner (but there are many, many others). The fusion tradition grew directly out of jazz traditions, so you can trace back some of the players on these recordings back into "pure" jazz albums, e.g. Sonny Sharrock, Chick Corea, Miles Davis, Jack DeJohnette, early Herbie Hancock, etc. If you like trip hop, check some of the samples used and you'll find that several trip hop groups sampled several fusion groups. Other, more modern groups blending jazz and rock traditions would include Penguin Cafe Orchestra, Tortoise, Talk Talk (last two albums), HiM (particularly Sworn Eyes), and Spring Heel Jack ('00-'08 ); Spring Heel Jack would be particularly useful in jumping into jazz because they used "pure" jazz players on their later recordings (I highly suggest their last two albums). And of course, the staple of rock is the guitar, so it might be helpful to explore jazz guitarists and then work your way into jazz by selecting some of your favorite players in the guitarists' recordings that you enjoy. Some of my favorite jazz guitarists are: Fred Frith; Derek Bailey; Jeff Parker; Nels Cline; Sonny Sharrock; James "Blood" Ulmer; Henry Kaiser; John McLaughlin; Larry Coryell; and Pat Metheny (and then of course there's Django Reinhardt and Wes Montgomery). If you're into hip hop/electronica, it would be useful to check where "jazzy" hip hop and electronica are getting their samples from.

Time Lastly, it’s quite understandable that some bias against jazz not being timely in the world of music is a thing for some people. Jazz has not been particularly popular since at least the ‘70s, jazz has arguably been a poor source of significant change in music since at least the ‘70s, and sometimes it seems like there’s not many new great musicians in jazz through the ‘80s and beyond. But, as mentioned previously, all styles of jazz are still being made today, from New Orleans to free jazz and free improvisation. And, though this year’s best jazz releases are typically from musicians that established themselves in the ‘70s, there are plenty of fresh new faces with fresh ideas that come onto the scene throughout the decades. (Keeping my biases in jazz in mind) the ‘80s saw the rise of Bill Laswell, Henry Threadgill, Anthony Davis, John Zorn, The Lounge Lizards, Pat Metheny, and Henry Kaiser, among others; the ‘90s saw the rise of Ivo Perelman, Guillermo Gregorio, Matthew Shipp, Ken Vandermark, Rob Mazurek, and Jeff Parker; and I’m personally not sure who has made grand debuts in the ‘00s, but I’m positive they’re there, just harder to find because the form is less popular, and I haven’t given that decade a serious look. So the point is that jazz is still very alive and a very relevant artform, you’re probably just not going to be able to chat about it to many of your friends.

In closing, I think it would be very helpful for the purpose of this project that, when people ask for recommendations or give recommendations, we keep style, players, format, and time in mind. For instance, if someone says they enjoyed this year’s Wadada Leo Smith + Vijay Iyer’s A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke and are looking for something similar, you might consider giving them another free jazz/free improvisation record in a duo format, featuring trumpet/cornet and/or piano (perhaps with one of the same players) that was released relatively recently (e.g. Evan Parker + Alexander Hawkins Leaps in Leicester from this same year). There’s a lot of jazz to wade through, with a lot of players and styles to familiarize yourself with, so let’s help each other out to appreciate the artform in our own ways. Looking forward to the possibilities here.
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CryingGameDahlin
impertinente et beau, contrairement à vous



Location: Austin

#10 | Posted: 06/30/2016 19:10 | Post subject: Reply with quote
alelsupreme wrote:
what do this mean


please applerill don't explain
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