I think this is part of the point of this post; what is it that the modern players are lacking? what parts of that EVERYTHING are missing?
Harmony and Guitar.(46 posts)
I think this is a really interesting topic, and I appreciate that everyone is approaching it with civility. Also I think Quintricacy has opened an interesting dialog. However, what this is all lacking is concrete musical examples. All these terms - "outside" "modern" "hip" "advanced" are getting bunched together and we are forgetting that each player has a specific aesthetic that is unique.
I am interested in some specific examples - transcribed - that reflect this gap between guitarists and other jazz instrumentalists. In my own transcription I haven't found it necessary to do this kind of work because I am too busy internalizing the sounds to really care about this idea that guitarists are behind the curve.
Quintricacy (or anyone else) - i'd be really interested in a specific example within a line or approach that you have found.....perhaps in my work I will come across something as well.
They aren't lacking of anything.
This is kurt rosenwinkel's forum, not the forum of a saxophonist. Why we are here?
Because we love his music? what does his music have? melody overall, great compositions, awesome solos that are memorable.
There is not much to think about. What do you like about kind of blue? Man, it sounds amazing. I don't care about "what's going on" even if I know. What I do know more than what those guys are playing, is that their feel, sound and mood is awesome.
Is there really anything else more important that those 3 things?
Btw, pianists didn't developed a great sense of rhythm in their solos as guitarist did IMO. If I could hear a pianist playing like Adam Rogers, now THAT would be awesome.
I suppose I'm coming from the Dave Liebman school of chromatic harmony. I studied with him last August, and did a subsequent tour around Ireland with him in October. Dave's approach is very much got to do with superimposing different chords on top of existing chords, so its coming very much from and Coltrane background and this is a sound that really attracts me. I currently am trying to get through his book How to Approach Standards Chromatically, it's an amazing book full of insights and transcriptions of his solos over really basic standards. If I were to give an example, it would be his solo on Mr.PC with the Airmen of Note, especially the line he plays at 4.10. You never hear guitar players play lines like that.
Liebman, what a mMaster...I had the luck to study with him too, in Poland and in Italy, but not one on one...
Thank you for this video Quintricacy!!
Tim Miller does
^ likes this ^
Maybe he does, I have to admit to not listening to too much of Tim Miller. I've checked a few things and haven't been completely blown away, maybe I'm looking in the wrong place. Suggestions?
As for this "There is not much to think about. What do you like about kind of blue? Man, it sounds amazing. I don't care about "what's going on" even if I know. What I do know more than what those guys are playing, is that their feel, sound and mood is awesome.
Is there really anything else more important that those 3 things?" Well if you are just a listener there isn't, if you are a serious musician then yes you have to go beyond just liking the sound. If you are serious about your craft, you have to get into the nitty gritty details of why you like it and sometimes why you don't like it and this is true of all art forms. I think there is a prevailing attitude in jazz music of people saying you don't have to listen to this guy or analyze that guy, just do what you think sounds good and while I believe that at a certain stage of your development you do have to let go of the past and forge your own path, I think it is a big mistake to bypass the what, why and how? stage. If you study literature, you have to check out Joyce, Beckett, Hemingway etc, if you study art you have to go from all the way before the renaissance up to Picasso and Rothko whether you like it or not. It should be the same if we are to call ourselves Jazz musicians.
Actually what makes something good is it's sound, it's feel rather than "what note is it".
I'm sure that guys like Mark Turner can use all 12 notes even more easily than the rest of us, because of his awesome sound.
As far as examples of miller's relevance to this conversation ( which for me if we are getting a similar picture from your cravings and inquiry I think of these player's structures : the contours , the harmonic depth, the fluidity and flexibility of transitioning or superimposed harmony, the ornamentation, the physical and rhythmic conviction- which really communicates a non accidental statement and command of this stuff), can be found in this clip:
Check out this video on YouTube:
This is along the lines of the things I hear in veras, felder, crocco, some krantz , some Moreno , some joe Morris . It's the kind of thing that I feel I'm not going to get just from a transcription. Again , my little rant about sleepwalking through a learned ballet. Their command of it isn't a through composed thing or a shtick : it would require the footwork to get this in me.
Aside from this, it seems like to get into the " who cares ... Go with the way it sounds " thing is another conversation ( which is totally valid ).
I've seen that many come to music from different places and bring to it or look for different things. Within this broad range, I feel that there is a demographic whose methodology or pressures could benefit greatly from an effortless mastery vibe for a bit. I also can see why people ( liebman perhaps also Outspoken on this ) find that vibe doing a huge disservice to the music, listener and musician.
There is a way and vibe and path which is coming from ' use your ear', period.
You like music that you LISTEN to. You transcribe by LISTENING. Making choice and responses based on what you're hearing from players next to you in real time. Maybe even going as far as to say that checking out all these books and stuff is good coffee table talk but not the 'real deal' . This isn't my notion or some touchy feely thing that I try to tell myself so I can feel better about my playing ( and I have felt like " oh, they're telling me to follow my heart cause I'm old and sucky and should just really ' go with it' and get down with my weekend warrior bad self and just feel like I'm rockin a köln concert in my living room whenever I play ... Because its hopeless to get to some ' successful place' at my juncture.) - no, this is something I've gleaned from a conversation with a P R O ( in my somewhat confident estimation ) to be the way you take care of business Again, LISTENING not as touchy feely but the tough stuff needed to internalize or access things... Or maybe both??).
I have been paying attention to this way more. It is streamlined : you just need your instrument ( and maybe some other minimal tools , tuning tool, paper pencil metronome ) that maybe it. It's harsh and scary but something feels liberating and direct.
I do know listening to things and just really digging it and not needing to know about it ( even if it is within my grasp yo get it under my fingers) . That's cool. That means I'm just really into digging it and I love pretending I am there and straddling hearing even more in how cool something is played and getting higher resolution on the whole intention AND pretending I've never heard it before and living its impact anew . If I think that is going to be enough for me that is fine. But if I think I'm going to be really making some shit in the world and discovering mary had a little lamb in the privacy of my home masturbation köln concerts and then showing the world my research and not ever checkingout what people have done - that is wack. It may also be wack to start from ' I'm going to do things that show people xy or z from the get go and not fishing for what feels right or may just be my mundane current struggle or thing I feel to make.
I still purchase music books. I really am trying to not buy the things. I buy books I know are going to be a more long haul book that requires work . I'm also very happy with my gear: I do not need a different guitar or pedal or amp. I know when I'm postponing the fear of sucking and feeling my limits and running to " I really need this pick to advance my thing ".... ( granted I just posted about neoprene straps ... Aside from spending time on here anyways ). I do believe in the power of a book: if I really check it out and the material is deep , it may take a lot of work but it should be something that is fundamental and improves an overall understanding and informs things previously internalized and feels like a bigger meta deal than some flash in the pan magic tricks . What comes from heavy teachers and books are things that maybe aren't obvious in the current culture or my immediate environments - ideas that weren't shared or if they were , were experienced as only it's real magic and as a fleeting ineffable thing rather than the harsh fact that perhaps some elements can be understood and learned . Thay process of shattering stuff and windows into sounding different forever are super exciting to me .
Something I recently read that perhaps appeals to both conversations ( and i realy enjoyed hearing for the first time and yet have something resonate with something )was from an interview with Steve lacy:
" I feel that music can be comprehended from many levels.it can be regarded as excited speech, imitations of the sounds of nature, an abstract set of symbols,a baring of emotions,an illustration of interpersonal relationships, an intellectual game, a device for inducing reverie,a mating call, a series of dramatic events, an articulation of time and or space,an athletic contest , or all of these things at once.A jazz musician is a combination orator, dialectician,mathematician, athlete,entertainer, poet, singer, dancer,diplomat, educator, student, comedian,artist,seducer,public masturbator, and general all around good fellow.as the diversity indicates, no matter what you do, some people are going to like it and other people will not. Therefore all you can do is satisfy yourself , by trusting the man inside".
That lacy quote is soooooo on! Thanks for posting that!
Guitar being less complex is truly something only a musician would speculate on. IMO Mile's solo on "so what" is "better" then Holdsworth's solo on "city nights" even though the latter is more complex than the former. Thats just me though.
i think quinticacy and floatingbridge bring up great points about learning and developing our craft.
as a general statement coming from a guy who lives in the midwest of america, we cant forget our audience. i think we can dig as deep into harmonic complexity and what not and we will enjoy the sound, other musicians will enjoy the sound, but unless we want only to play for other musicians, we have to either:
a) abstain from playing complex music as to attract a larger audience
b) teach our audience
jazz is, for a lot of people, like watching a play in a foreign language; it sounds nice, they can grasp an idea of what the plot is, etc, but they miss the deeper, more profound themes in it. we, as musicians, i think, must educate them [the uneducated audience] in our language in order to fully communicate. i think that a lot of people would love jazz more than they do if someone introduced them to it in a proper way.
i know some guys say,"who cares about the audience? i play for myself, my shit is what matters to me" and i guess that is a valid idea and maybe some degree of that is necessary.
Yeah, that's tough. Negotiating a sort of compromise. I do feel if it's done with conviction ( whatever it is ) I find it more respectable than the stuff that is attempting to cater to an alleged common denominator that may resonate with me. It is so transparent in jingles what they heard or are shooting to induce.
The metaphor of the play in a foreign language is so apt here. Then again, some are down for the challenge... My wife and I ( who neither of us speak Korean ) found ourselves making a little ritual of dinner and a Korean soap opera. After a couple weeks we would ask eachother what was happening ( if one of us was missing episodes ). We couldn't understand what they were saying but we were hooked regardless. It was so clear: the young man was super successful , carrying the torch in his father's architecture firm; the secretary he was falling for actually dug him all along; she was from the wrong side of the tracks; his family would be ashamed; her family would obviously not have enough cash to throw down for the wedding - which had to be an over the top big deal; what would people say? This was stuff that was so obvious ! But, you have to be open to it despite the challenge.
thought this interview with kurt might be of some interest:
"One of the revelations I got from listening to Frank Hewitt is that at the core of bebop there�s an inventiveness that�s also reinventing the harmony as it�s happening; you can take many harmonic pathways through these songs, so the harmony itself is being improvised in a very changeable way. I learned from Frank Hewitt that, in addition to the context and structure, and everything else that already exists in the song, there�s a whole world of imagination and magic. The song is the nucleus, but there�s an entire atmosphere around the nucleus. It�s this atmosphere that is the most exciting and engaging and important thing in the music.
Even though you might compare a band that�s playing at Small�s�let�s say Ari Roland and Sacha Perry�with my band, and think that they have nothing to do with each other, the truth is that we have a lot in common. I think mostly it is this concept, this idea, this truth that the most important thing in music is the atmosphere around the literal nucleus of the actual nuts and bolts of the music. But also, there is a language commonality between my band and bebop. Definitely, if you�re going to play in my band, you need to have that foundation, because that language is part of where we�re coming from, even though the rhythms are different and the harmony is different."
In regards to the above interview, there is something profound about having the opportunity to
develop your formative years in a place where there is a living jazz tradition. I had the good fortune to spend
my earlier years at the velvet lounge in chicago. I learned to play by having vincent davis (drummer) hammer me with tempos every week.
There is something that you eventually take on in regards to harmony, language, rhythm, and atmosphere that
becomes a part of you in a way just "shedding" will never provide. In regards to the post perhaps there is a cultural element to the development of harmony, along with the other elements listed, and all of this is an integral part of the player's development.
I haven't lived in Chicago for years, but any time I play with the people I came up with, and even one's I didn't, we have
a common language rhythmically, directionally, etc. It was always interesting for me to hear guys from other places (mostly coming out of academic settings) and how limited, first and foremost, their rhythmic perspectives initially were. Jazz, in my opinion, is urban music and there is an edginess that is hard to develop in rural Indiana or elsewhere. It's as if you need to be functioning at a faster rate to play it, because naturally, the speed of life in New York or Chicago is different than other contexts, and rhythm, being a part of the body, matters. Also, I don't think any academic setting can re-create the rawness of being in a scene, nor can any amount of shedding in a vacuum (though these things are steps in preparation). In the end, if you want to develop the kind of harmony we have been discussing, find a circle of people that are doing that (ie dave liebman), who will allow you the space to develop and help you develop it. Context.
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