Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Page 2 of 2 < 1 2
Topic Options
#1986443 - 11/14/12 01:53 AM Re: When have you gone too far? [Re: etcetra]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
etcetra,

I am not certain why we are still going back-and-forth over a simple difference of opinion. You obviously like what you hear on that “landmark” recording, and I do not. Judging from your other comments, you enjoy similarly far-out jazz, and I generally do not care for it. I think I am up for about one last round here.

Originally Posted By: etcetra
Please, stop making all these false assumptions Sonny Rollins intent about music. You are not doing him any justice. . . . . . It seems like you took one sentence out of the entire interview to make a very narrow, selective point. Nowhere does Sonny says he "pulled back" because he felt inside playing is inherently better.

I did not bring up Sonny Rollins, you did. I did not extract anything out of any interview. As I mentioned, I am a fan of Mr. Rollins, and I follow his playing. His creative path into the extremes of jazz, and back has been obvious. For the sake of conversation, I might be making some assumptions about WHY he returned to a more tonal concept. And on the subject of assumptions , how do YOU KNOW that my assumptions are false?

Originally Posted By: etcetra
Again your experience with Sun Ra Big band sounds a lot like confirmation bias.

I have already written that all my thoughts are biased, as are yours. In this particular case, my “bias” was instilled by first-hand experience over a several day period, confirmed by years of reflection on those personal experiences. .

Originally Posted By: etcetra
Btw you haven't answer [sic.] my question about Miles. What is your explanation for him not going back to going to his roots?

Unfortunately, he died.

I have enjoyed reading your opinions. We are listening with different ears. So be it.
Ed
_________________________
In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

Top
Piano & Music Accessories
#1986476 - 11/14/12 04:00 AM Re: When have you gone too far? [Re: LoPresti]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1335
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
My “take” on it then, and my “take” on it forty-seven years later, is that the ensemble was deliberately playing harsh, disjointed, and UN-musical sounding, rhythmic noise, in a forced effort to be “new and different”.
Funny how your "critique" sounds much like what the early critics of Jazz wrote.
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

https://soundcloud.com/chrisb/sets
https://www.youtube.com/user/djboing/videos

Top
#1986481 - 11/14/12 04:22 AM Re: When have you gone too far? [Re: chrisbell]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Originally Posted By: chrisbell
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
My “take” on it then, and my “take” on it forty-seven years later, is that the ensemble was deliberately playing harsh, disjointed, and UN-musical sounding, rhythmic noise, in a forced effort to be “new and different”.
Funny how your "critique" sounds much like what the early critics of Jazz wrote.



This is also very similar to the kinds of critique many Classical musicians give to jazz music in general. There have been numerous discussion here(and other forums) where a die hard-classical fans have claimed that jazz was just a bunch of incoherent, unmusical nonsense(I'm not talking about Cecil Taylor, they are making this kind of criticism against people like Miles Davis, Bill Evans and the like.)


Edited by etcetra (11/14/12 04:24 AM)

Top
#1986613 - 11/14/12 11:54 AM Re: When have you gone too far? [Re: chrisbell]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: chrisbell
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
My “take” on it then, and my “take” on it forty-seven years later, is that the ensemble was deliberately playing harsh, disjointed, and UN-musical sounding, rhythmic noise, in a forced effort to be “new and different”.
Funny how your "critique" sounds much like what the early critics of Jazz wrote.

I had not noticed that, but I am certain you are correct. When you think about it, the "early critics of Jazz" were writing about early jazz, weren't they?

So now tell me, straight-faced, that some of the Bix Biederbeck, or the Louis Armstrong Hot Fives sessions were pretty da*m bad sounding ... ?
_________________________
In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

Top
#1986918 - 11/15/12 01:29 AM Re: When have you gone too far? [Re: keystring]
scepticalforumguy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/08
Posts: 1475
Loc: Lower Mainland, BC
Originally Posted By: keystring


On a total tangent now - I have recently discovered the chef Gordon Ramsay, which is odd since I don't like cooking. A surprising number of musicians seem to be into fine cooking, and I think there are some similarities between the two arts. In particular, I'm watching Ramsay's forays into "kitchens that are in trouble". If I could summarize his diagnoses, it would be something like: not cohesive, not real, doesn't work together, pretentious (fancy for the sake of being fancy). The cook did not taste his food, and forgot that he is feeding people. Does this apply to music? Must it still have substance and work together, and if it is fancy or fanciful, must there also be something else?

(goes off to hide somewhere)


I think this is brilliant for comparison. Sometimes jazz musicians need to be reminded that their goal ought to include communication. If things don't sound good together, it is most likely the fault of the person who put them there with little regard to the final outcome. Aside from taking true risks in improvising, I'd hope that most understand that it when soloing one should always keep in mind the intention to say something.
_________________________
Recordings of my recent solo piano and piano/keyboard trio jazz standards.



Top
#1986965 - 11/15/12 05:50 AM Re: When have you gone too far? [Re: LoPresti]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2300
Loc: Sydney
Hi LoPresti
Have you listened to Sonny's ATTYA Village Vanguard version from 1957 ?
To me it is one of the most beautiful interpretations of ATTYA.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPdO1XwF91E

Top
#1987016 - 11/15/12 10:07 AM When have you gone too far? [Re: custard apple]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Hey Custard,

It almost seems that I once owned that album, although the graphic used on YouTube I do not remember at all. In any event, I could not find it here.

With only the bass outline of the harmonies, and weak bass on that recording, I am having trouble fully appreciating what Mr. Rollins was doing. Not helping my cause was the trend at the time of playing one-note or two-note "phrases". I guess I need to "break down", and to pipe my computer through my sound system, so I can hear it correctly.

So far my favorite part was his quote of "I'll Take Manhattan" around 5:28, when he is "trading" with the drummer. That should say something about my love of reference.

So, do you have a "take" on what, if anything, constitutes playing too far outside of a tune's framework?
Thanks.
_________________________
In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

Top
#1987337 - 11/16/12 05:39 AM Re: When have you gone too far? [Re: LoPresti]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2300
Loc: Sydney
Hey Lo Presti
Thanks for pointing out the quotation. I don't know too many jazz standards so I'm sure I miss out on many of Sonny's quotations. When I went to his concert in Sydney one and a half years ago, I did recognise Jingle Bells smile in his brilliant original called Patanjali.

At this stage of my jazz development, I'm still finding the last John Coltrane phase hard on my ears. I don't have enough theory or vocabulary to know what Joy/ Compassion/ Love are on about.
Could anyone please shed light on how to relate to these late 1960s avant-garde-like pieces ? Are they an essential part of the jazz curriculum ?

Top
#1987346 - 11/16/12 06:24 AM Re: When have you gone too far? [Re: LoPresti]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
custard apple,

I think the best way to go is to read his biography, and watch documentaries like Ken Burn's Jazz. From what I read, John Coltrane went avant-garde because he felt this strong spiritual need to express his music and he felt avant-garde music gave him that freedom. It allowed him to express himself in a way that is free from the tradition and convention.

I've also read that he was into a lot of Indian music and eastern philosophy back then, and that can shed some insight into his music too. You can hear a lot of drone notes and extended improv over static harmony because of that. Generally speaking western thought tend to emphasize idea of conflict&resolution, you see it in religion/philosophy (Hegel's dialectics, Marx, Christianity..etc) and the western harmonic system is built around that notion too(creating tension/resolution of harmony). Eastern philosophy, on the other hand don't tend to be dualisitc and non-linear. The music, likewise doesn't have strong sense of direction or resolution, but it's more like a constant shifting of texture and color, like constant changing images on a reflection.

IMO it's really important to listen to Coltrane's avant-garde music with that kind of "eastern" mindset. Whatever you do, please don't judge it as nonsense, or it's done out of need to be pretentious, or aforced effort to be different... IMO I'd rather not make value judgement about whether it's better or worse than inside playing, because it's just different. The music is supposed to challenge what music is supposed to be, to our western ears/mindset.

Here's liner notes written by Bill Evans about "Kind of Blue" Although kind of blue is still within harmony, I think the principle still applies. It's just that people like Coltrane took it much further.


"There is a Japanese visual art in which the artist is forced to be spontaneous. He must paint on a thin stretched parchment with a special brush and black water paint in such a way that an unnatural or interrupted stroke will destroy the line or break through the parchment. Erasures or changes are impossible. These artists must practice a particular discipline, that of allowing the idea to express itself in communication with their hands in such a direct way that deliberation cannot interfere.

The resulting pictures lack the complex composition and textures of ordinary painting, but it is said that those who see well find something captured that escapes explanation."

This conviction that direct deed is the most meaningful reflections, I believe, has prompted the evolution of the extremely severe and unique disciplines of the jazz or improvising musician.



Edited by etcetra (11/16/12 06:39 AM)

Top
#1987399 - 11/16/12 10:10 AM When have you gone too far? [Re: etcetra]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Etcetra,

For starters, allow me a couple of over-arching statements:

Your post immediately above is absolutely full of amazing insights! Because of it, I need to return to about fifty albums that have sat on my shelving, collecting dust, for decades. I thank you for that.

I love MOST of John Coltrane's work, especially when he had McCoy Tyner to keep him focused. He truly changed the way players thought about their saxes (and other instruments) for evermore.

That having been written, Mr. Coltrane was engaged in many other mind-bending activities beside the study of Eastern philosophy, and his desire to be free of conventonal improvisational constraints, and the avant-garde age in general.

You have quoted many interesting points of view - ones that I had never before read. This brings me to a personal question: How do YOU distinguish between free improvisation, and simply playing random notes, and sometimes non-traditional musical sounds?

Thanks,
Ed
_________________________
In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

Top
#1987439 - 11/16/12 11:58 AM Re: When have you gone too far? [Re: LoPresti]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3491
Quote:
Quote:
Is there such a thing as “going too far out”?
If there is such a thing, how do YOU know when you have gone too far?

Yes, when your ears start to hurt


+1

Someone used to experimental jazz may not think it's out or may even get bored, 'too predictable'.
Someone listening only to pop instantly throws up I guess.

A musician is playing in some context, and you need to train your ears to hear it. More specific, you need to understand the harmonies, rhytms, polyphonic structure, and maybe also the social setting, the statement it wants to make etc, and not on an intellectual level but you must be able to really hear it. Then if the brain hears something similar it can neatly categorize what it hears, and we say that we "comprehend" the piece.

Actually, training your brain to learn to listen to new music is hard, I tried with several genres but it did not really work in most cases. maybe it's much easier if you are really young or maybe it is a matter of growing into it gradually and spending much more time with it.


Edited by wouter79 (11/16/12 11:58 AM)
_________________________

Top
#1987533 - 11/16/12 04:13 PM Re: When have you gone too far? [Re: LoPresti]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
Etcetra,

Your post immediately above is absolutely full of amazing insights! Because of it, I need to return to about fifty albums that have sat on my shelving, collecting dust, for decades. I thank you for that.



Thanks!!

Originally Posted By: LoPresti
Etcetra,


You have quoted many interesting points of view - ones that I had never before read. This brings me to a personal question: How do YOU distinguish between free improvisation, and simply playing random notes, and sometimes non-traditional musical sounds?

Ed


That's a really good question, and I don't claim to have a definite answer for it. But one thing I can say about any of the jazz greats is that they went avant garde only after they spent a lot of time mastering the traditional stuff. So I try to keep to that context in mind. For example Miles Davis' band with Herbie, Tony Williams, George Coleman and Ron Carter became progressively out in their interpretation of standards. If you compare My funny Valentine (recorded in 1964) to live at Plugged Nickel(recorded in 1965), I think you'll notice how far they've come along in "deconstructing" standards. The youtube recordings of miles in late 60s goes even further out.

I guess what you can do is trace the artist's step. Instead of listening to the really avant garde stuff, maybe it'll help by starting out with a CD that was immediately before the avant garde period and work your way through the CD chronologically. It will also help to do some research about the artist too. I guess one thing I learned from listening to contemporary classical music is that it's an exploration of sound in ways that is very different from what we are used to. Often time it has nothing to do with functional harmony but other things like acoustics, and other sonic aspect of music, and what they do requires a lot of thought, skill and dedication. Learning about historical context can really help.

wouter79

I guess I am lucky in that I've had chances to work with people in different genre of music inside/outside of school. I've met a handful of people who have dedicated their lives on hiphop, avant-garde and other types of music, and I've learned a lot from listening to their insights. I am guessing the reason younger people may be more open minded may have to do with the fact that we are exposed to a lot of different kind of music early on. Even back in the 80s-90s most high school kids listening to pretty much one kind of music..saying I listen to hiphop and rock at the same time was kind of a taboo.. nowdays it's not like that anymore.


Edited by etcetra (11/16/12 04:16 PM)

Top
#1987659 - 11/16/12 11:40 PM When have you gone too far? [Re: wouter79]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: wouter79
Actually, training your brain to learn to listen to new music is hard, I tried with several genres but it did not really work in most cases.

Wouter79,

Sometimes we need something to put a small hole in the barrier -- a crack that later expands to a large opening. During the late 1950s and into the early 1960s, I became an avid follower of Igor Stravinsky's work. During that time, I could listen for hours to his ballet music, his oratorio and choral pieces, and naturally his symphonies. I purchased full scores, and followed the recordings. I loved the textures, and particularly his orchestration.

In the early years of the '60s, there was much fanfare about his latest opus that was composed specifically for American television – THE FLOOD. Like so many of his works that were based upon ancient myths and rituals, this was to be about the biblical Noah story. I could not wait to hear, AND SEE this brand new composition by my favorite “modern”. Anticipation was killing me!

The night finally arrived. With reel-to-reel tape and microphone set up, I watched and listened. It was THE WORST piece of music imaginable. Listening - really listening - was agony!.

THE FLOOD, and his similarly painful AGON, were so very extreme that they created a small crack in my hearing barrier. I did not realize it at the time, but as the fissure widened, I began to really enjoy Bela Bartok, William Schuman, and Vincent Persichetti. (Charles Ives, who I also really enjoy, is mild by comparison.)

So, maybe I need a nice penetrating crack in my Jazz Hearing Barrier!?!? (Incidentally, I still hate THE FLOOD.)

Ed
_________________________
In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

Top
#1987707 - 11/17/12 05:38 AM Re: When have you gone too far? [Re: etcetra]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2300
Loc: Sydney
Originally Posted By: etcetra
custard apple,

I think the best way to go is to read his biography, and watch documentaries like Ken Burn's Jazz. From what I read, John Coltrane went avant-garde because he felt this strong spiritual need to express his music and he felt avant-garde music gave him that freedom. It allowed him to express himself in a way that is free from the tradition and convention.

I've also read that he was into a lot of Indian music and eastern philosophy back then, and that can shed some insight into his music too. You can hear a lot of drone notes and extended improv over static harmony because of that.



Oh that's interesting. I watched the Ken Burns series two years ago, and really should watch it again in 2013.
I haven't read Coltrane's bio. Did he ever go to India or eastern countries ?
By drone notes and static harmony, are you suggesting modal ?

Top
#1987708 - 11/17/12 05:44 AM Re: When have you gone too far? [Re: LoPresti]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
custard apple,

I am not sure if Coltrane traveled to india but he definitely had an interest in the country.


As far as modality is concerned, yes some of his music are modal, but as far as I know he was getting his influences from a lot of different places, including swedish folk music.


here's an article about coltrane and indiian influence.
http://depthome.brooklyn.cuny.edu/isam/Newslet%20F07/Clements%20F07.htm

Top
#1988037 - 11/18/12 05:45 AM Re: When have you gone too far? [Re: LoPresti]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2300
Loc: Sydney
Hey etc
Thanks for this well-written article.
I didn't know the drone came from Indian music.
I also found it interesting that the pedal point is both a jazz and an Indian-music concept.

Top
#1988513 - 11/19/12 12:06 PM Re: When have you gone too far? [Re: LoPresti]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
Wow! Awesome. But over my head. Pardon me for interjecting into this thread. I am a beginner piano player. I know about the Aebersold books but they seem difficult for a beginner to put it together.

Do any of you people on this thread you know of a good book for beginners on play jazz/improvisation that sort of walks you through like you learning to play the piano from book 1, book 2, etc.

Thank you for any direction.

Top
#1988538 - 11/19/12 01:10 PM Re: When have you gone too far? [Re: Michael_99]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Michael,

I am personally very pleased to read you asking about BOOKS, in particular. There are plenty of beginning books that purport to teach jazz. However, the musical cart needs to be solidly in front of the horse here.

Are you studying with a teacher? Do you have a background reading music, or performing on another instrument?

Most individuals have the best success learning the basics of playing, rudiments, and music reading, from method books and beginning theory texts, BEFORE venturing into improvisation and jazz. But that is not to imply that you should not experiment.

From very early ages, I encouraged my granddaughters to "jazz up" their little tunes and exercises. In addition to learning to play your beginner books "straight", try really swinging hard on Three Blind Mice, or on Mary Had a Little Lamb. If you can make those sound convincing, you are on your way.

Once you have a good grounding in the basics, then Abersold will become "do-able". There is also a very well executed package that Dave Frank here on this Forum offers, known as The Joy of Improvisation. And, for learning to perform jazz, listening to good jazz is CRITICAL.

Ed
_________________________
In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

Top
#1989021 - 11/20/12 04:59 PM Re: When have you gone too far? [Re: LoPresti]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3491
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
Originally Posted By: wouter79
Actually, training your brain to learn to listen to new music is hard, I tried with several genres but it did not really work in most cases.

Wouter79,



THE FLOOD, and his similarly painful AGON, were so very extreme that they created a small crack in my hearing barrier. I did not realize it at the time, but as the fissure widened, I began to really enjoy Bela Bartok, William Schuman, and Vincent Persichetti. (Charles Ives, who I also really enjoy, is mild by comparison.)

So, maybe I need a nice penetrating crack in my Jazz Hearing Barrier!?!? (Incidentally, I still hate THE FLOOD.)

Ed


Ed, what makes you so sure that your perception was changed by listening to THE FLOOD? Maybe something else happened?
_________________________

Top
#1989032 - 11/20/12 05:32 PM Re: When have you gone too far? [Re: wouter79]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: wouter79
Ed, what makes you so sure that your perception was changed by listening to THE FLOOD? Maybe something else happened?

Well, as your question so correctly points out, there is absolutely no way of actually knowing which "something", or combination of "somethings" allowed me to make an improvement in hearing (and comprehending) more complex and dissonant pieces. Undoubtedly, a part of it was personal musical maturing.

I do like the metaphor of penetrating some barriers, and I do believe that there are certain events or musical pieces that have a more profound effect in that regard than others.

Ed
_________________________
In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

Top
Page 2 of 2 < 1 2

Moderator:  sharpsandflats 
What's Hot!!
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Seiler Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
118 registered (barbaram, Alux, anotherscott, albumblatter, AndrewJCW, 35 invisible), 1497 Guests and 21 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
75843 Members
42 Forums
156798 Topics
2303965 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Jazz"y" improvisation/cover issues
by kobethuy
08/20/14 02:00 AM
Jazz"y" improvisation/cover issues
by kobethuy
08/20/14 01:33 AM
My Steinway M birth information.
by ciftwood
08/19/14 08:30 PM
Breathy tone
by JoelW
08/19/14 07:59 PM
HELLO!!
by Synner
08/19/14 07:23 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
|
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission