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#1300755 - 11/06/09 07:59 PM Re: The most misunderstood words in Jazz [Re: nitekatt2008z]
tremens, delirium Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/16/09
Posts: 155
Originally Posted By: nitekatt2008z

My philosophy is, in order to play effective jazz piano, get your technique to the max and use it when necessary to burn on a solo and make the audience sweat a little after hearing you blow some terrific, inspiring HD lines.

silence plays too, in fact that distinguishes mature player performance from the beginner. But I agree, nothing wrong with developing techniques to the max although usually the better you are the less you show off.

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#1300803 - 11/06/09 10:10 PM Re: The most misunderstood words in Jazz [Re: tremens, delirium]
YadielOmar Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/08/05
Posts: 84
Loc: P.R.
So you're basically saying jazz should be limited to pentatonics, chromatic approaches and the natural timbrial properties of said instrument in question while maintained a fairly limited amount of technical virtuosity and also maintaining a limited use of dissonance and rhythmic complexity... Well that's no fun!

Not to say that I don't agree with some of the things you are saying, silence is very important and the excessive use of random notes is annoying, but basically calling Michel Petrucciani an amateur is a pretty ballsy statement. As JazzWee stated; Jazz is the 'Musician's Music' I play for the people when I'm out giging for some artist or band, when I'm playing jazz or any sub-genre inspired by it I am more occupied with having a good time with fellow musicians and expressing myself though my instrument.

Honda makes formula one cars and even though you don't see them on the streets you see the advancements made on there road cars.... sometimes in those random flurry of notes something beautiful and different can emerge

#1300833 - 11/06/09 11:05 PM Re: The most misunderstood words in Jazz [Re: YadielOmar]
nitekatt2008z Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/08
Posts: 552
I have basically analyzed 3 types of jazz piano players. One set of players has developed an adequate technique and reading ability from classical studies and uses it to their advantage. They grab a few lick books that have some pentatonic jazz patterns and another more traditional be-bop pattern set. They go through the books, pick out what they like, memorize some of the patterns and learn them in several or all 12 keys. They can predict what will sound good over a particular set of changes. And they don't take chances, they know what works and uses it to their advantage. Not improvisation exactly, but a set of "recipes" that taste and sound ok.

The second player may or may not be technically adept in classical, possibly not a good reader, but spent a lot of time listening to jazz records and developed a good ear and has done a fair share of transcribing. Theoretically, they may not know what they're playing, but whatever they play is unique and sounds good on a tune and a set of changes.

Player no 3 has the whole gamut, technique, feel, the ears, good reading chops and can play about anything they put their mind to.

I will hear some good players that basically have a set of predetermined licks and basically play the same patterns over and over on any tune, not really improvisation, or 100 % creative, but they are getting a sound good enough to land the gig and please themselves.

Player 2 knows a few pre-determined licks that sound good, except this player uses his/her ear more as an instinct and takes risks in improvisations. this player might sink or blow it time to time, but might be the more creative player than player one. Player 3 has it all and can do anything and everything. This class of player might fit into the Bill Evans, Oscar P, Chick c, Herbie H, Michel P, etc.

So all three players have done their homework and put the time into what it takes to be a decent jazz musician. There are no wrongs or rights in either choice of the 3 types of players methods either.

I heard a lady pianist, great classical background, great sight reader, so she went out and got all the famous jazz pianists transcription books and could read and play any of the pages. The only problem was for her was, she couldn't improvise, she could only read and play what was written. give her a set of changes or a tune and ask her to blow on it and she didn't have a clue on what direction to take to tap into her own creativity. But with the right teacher perhaps, she may develop and get positive results.

But it really gets into the area of whether a jazz piano player wants to play for themselves and entertain friends or aspires to be a working pro. To be a pro takes a lot of work and other jazz musicians, the better players will expect higher standards if they are paying you for your art. If that is the case, honestly the player will have to learn to be a great soloist. And the players that do get paid can cut the soloist part pretty well. They don't necessarily have to play a lot of notes on a solo, just the right ones the sound good.

I think it depends on what direction the player wants to take.


Edited by nitekatt2008z (11/06/09 11:10 PM)

#1300887 - 11/07/09 01:24 AM Re: The most misunderstood words in Jazz [Re: nitekatt2008z]
Wizard of Oz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/09
Posts: 873
Interesting side note, Herbie Hancock's River album, the one of Joni Mitchell songs, sold "only" 50,000 copies before winning the Grammy Album of the Year. After that, it sold another 50,000, so about 100,000 total.

Pretty good for a jazz album but for music sales a pittance. I think the biggest sellers in jazz are Diana Krall, Michael Buble, Norah Jones and Jamie Cullum. They are all singers first, and some play the piano but the mass audience doesn't care about that.

Face it, jazz will never be a mainstream music.

#1300900 - 11/07/09 02:01 AM Re: The most misunderstood words in Jazz [Re: Wizard of Oz]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7203
Loc: So. California
Neither is Classical. Let's face it. Instrumental music limits the market.

On the other hand, I'm watching these videos of Brad Mehldau and was noticing the size of the audience, especially in international venues. Maybe it's just a US thing.
Pianoclues.com for Beginners
My Jazz Blog
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