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 3 < 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
#2042297 - 03/03/13 11:50 AM Re: Who influenced Tatum? [Re: etcetra]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5044
etcetra,
I don't know why you feel the need to defend jazz by attacking classical: classical musicians have to put up with criticism all the time from jazz pianists for their 'inability' (as they see it) to improvise, when in fact most classical pianists who have reached a certain standard can improvise quite well - only we don't tend to use 'added-note' chords all the time, and we use a wider range of pianistic figuration derived from Bach, Mozart, Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninoff et al. Not to put too fine a point on it, classical pianists have a wider range of pianistic 'devices' at our disposal to use in our improvisations, from centuries of keyboard music, whereas many jazz musicians are one-trick ponies.

Earlier, I mentioned Denis Matsuev, a classical pianist steeped in the Russian classical tradition who won the Tchaikovsky Competition some years ago. He improvises in jazz style for fun, but would never dream of calling himself a jazz pianist. His improvisations typically throw in Lisztian and Rachmaninoff-type octaves and chords and runs as well as all the typical blues notes, added note chords etc of jazz - to my mind, a lot more interesting than the improvisations of most pure jazz pianists. And I don't just mean Art Tatum - in my CD collection, I also have several of Oscar Petersen, Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, George Shearing, David Gazarov, Giorgio Gaslini, Irene Schweizer, Brad Mehldau, Herbie Hancock, and Leszek Mozdzer (and a few others I can't recall at present).

As for polyrhythm, cross-rhythm etc (not to mention bitonality, polytonality, pantonality, atonality....), that's been around a long time in classical music. There're also pieces written by Charles Ives and others that have two or more completely different music (including different keys and different rhythms) played simultaneously and going in and out of phase with each other. Stockhausen's Gruppen requires three different orchestras, each with its own conductor, each playing different music, simultaneously.

Classical pianists - even in something as straightforward musically as Chopin's Nocturne Op.9/1 - have to learn to play 22 notes in one hand over 12 notes in the other. You learn to 'free' your hands to accomplish this and much else, while keeping your basic rhythm.

BTW, I also have quite a few 'world music' CDs from the East (including Indian ragas and Indonesian gamelan music), South America, joiks from Lapland etc, which I find quite enjoyable to listen to. Especially the ones using microtones. But even microtones have been used by Nicola Vicentino (16th century composer) who invented a keyboard with 36 notes to the octave to play his keyboard music. (His microtonal vocal music has to be heard to be experienced.......).

There really isn't much that's new under the sun grin.

Top
Ad 800 (Pearl River)
Pearl River World's Best Selling Piano
#2042375 - 03/03/13 02:36 PM Re: Who influenced Tatum? [Re: bennevis]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5276
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
I don't know why you feel the need to defend jazz by attacking classical: classical musicians have to put up with criticism all the time from jazz pianists for their 'inability' (as they see it) to improvise, when in fact most classical pianists who have reached a certain standard can improvise quite well - only we don't tend to use 'added-note' chords all the time, and we use a wider range of pianistic figuration derived from Bach, Mozart, Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninoff et al. Not to put too fine a point on it, classical pianists have a wider range of pianistic 'devices' at our disposal to use in our improvisations, from centuries of keyboard music, whereas many jazz musicians are one-trick ponies.

I'm sure there are many fine classical pianists who can improvise very well. I've never personally run into them though.

The classical musicians I've run into are the ones who are typically slaves to the printed page. Most of the jazz musicians I encounter typically don't read extremely well (though I do) but use their ears to a much greater degree.

Being able to improvise is more than a one trick pony skill. We have to be able to improvise in many diverse styles. When I was a church organist I had to improvise in a much different set of styles. In a more jazz like setting, if the bass player shows up late, I have to cover his part while playing what I'm expected to cover. If the singer comes in late I have to make sure things keep on rolling along and the audience thinks what just occurred is what was planned .

Classical musicians, especially those who play in large groups, tend to almost always use music while for many jazz groups the music might more often be an A4 with a few ideas sketched out.

Typically musicians who spend many months perfecting one or several pieces of music don't prioritize being able to improvise sections of those works in other keys or in other styles. We do our best with the amount of time we have to practice and we all have different priorities.

It's all these differences that make it interesting.
_________________________
website

mp3\wav files

AvantGrand N3, CP5

Top
#2042386 - 03/03/13 03:06 PM Re: Who influenced Tatum? [Re: bennevis]
beeboss Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1198
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Earlier, I mentioned Denis Matsuev, a classical pianist steeped in the Russian classical tradition who won the Tchaikovsky Competition some years ago. He improvises in jazz style for fun, but would never dream of calling himself a jazz pianist. His improvisations typically throw in Lisztian and Rachmaninoff-type octaves and chords and runs as well as all the typical blues notes, added note chords etc of jazz - to my mind, a lot more interesting than the improvisations of most pure jazz pianists. And I don't just mean Art Tatum - in my CD collection, I also have several of Oscar Petersen, Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, George Shearing, David Gazarov, Giorgio Gaslini, Irene Schweizer, Brad Mehldau, Herbie Hancock, and Leszek Mozdzer (and a few others I can't recall at present).




Just because you own a few jazz cds doesn't mean you understand jazz. From your words it is pretty obvious that you don't get it. That is quite ok though, it doesn't matter at all. Taste is subjective.

A comparison is illuminating.

Denis Matsuev playing autumn leaves ….
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JR255oxNfU4
piano solo is at about 3 minutes.

art Tatum
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EEdCICnyL0
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/davebeeboss

Top
#2042393 - 03/03/13 03:26 PM Re: Who influenced Tatum? [Re: JoelW]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19280
Loc: New York City
In terms of jazz piano playing Matsuev is like a beginner compared to Tatum. IMO he's really quite boring. OTOH Tatum wouldn't sound so good playing classical.

I think there have been less than a handful of pianists who excelled at both jazz and classical and Matsuev is not among them.

Top
#2042394 - 03/03/13 03:26 PM Re: Who influenced Tatum? [Re: beeboss]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5044
Originally Posted By: beeboss




Just because you own a few jazz cds doesn't mean you understand jazz. From your words it is pretty obvious that you don't get it. That is quite ok though, it doesn't matter at all. Taste is subjective.

A comparison is illuminating.

Denis Matsuev playing autumn leaves ….
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JR255oxNfU4
piano solo is at about 3 minutes.

art Tatum
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EEdCICnyL0


Art Tatum does exactly the same stuff in just about everything else he plays - the same kind of RH twiddles, the same kind of chord sequences etc.

Look up Matsuev playing solo improvisations, and you'll see what I mean about pure jazz pianists like Tatum being one-trick ponies in comparison with classical pianists who dabble in improvisations - whether in jazz style or not.

But that's OK, it doesn't matter at all; tastes are subjective, as you say.

Top
#2042397 - 03/03/13 03:45 PM Re: Who influenced Tatum? [Re: JoelW]
Bob Newbie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/06
Posts: 1549
The problem with classical musicians who attempt to play jazz come across as being to ridged and stiff..a result of too many years in classical studies...
I'm just not sure where the jumping off point is, many older players of the past jazz ledgends
said they had maybe 3yrs of lessons as a kid in classical then went off on there own to play pop/jazz..perhaps this broke them out of the ridged mannerisms and pratices of classical..

Top
#2042458 - 03/03/13 05:43 PM Re: Who influenced Tatum? [Re: bennevis]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Originally Posted By: bennevis
[quote=beeboss]


Art Tatum does exactly the same stuff in just about everything else he plays - the same kind of RH twiddles, the same kind of chord sequences etc.


If you think Art Tatum is doing the same thing you clearly don't get jazz. For explanation, see below

Originally Posted By: Bob Newbie
The problem with classical musicians who attempt to play jazz come across as being to ridged and stiff..a result of too many years in classical studies.


It's not really result of too much classical training, but it has more to do with their lack of understanding of rhythmic aspect of jazz and time feel. Feel is something that can take years and years, if not your entire lifetime to master, and jazz musicians are trained to work with different feels. Even swing feel can be vastly different depending on the time period. It seems like a lot of classical musicians overlook this aspect of playing when they compare classical improv to jazz improv

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
In terms of jazz piano playing Matsuev is like a beginner compared to Tatum. IMO he's really quite boring. OTOH Tatum wouldn't sound so good playing classical.


I mentioned this somewhat in the response above, but the problem i see is that it seems like some people are only paying attention to the harmonic aspect of it and ignoring other important aspect of jazz improv. Sure, concert pianists probably have the chops to play what jazzers play harmonically but rarely do I hear them experiment with rhythm like jazzers do.

I find Matsuev's soloing dull too. No feel, No thematic development, every phrase seems very predictable(in other words no over-the-bar-line stuff), no rhyhmic tension.. it's just lines after lines that goes nowhere. It's impressive for like 10 seconds and after while it gets rather dull. What makes Oscar Peterson so great is that he never fails to swing hard when he is playing those virtuossic runs.

Here's an example of what I am talking about.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIfHtPwF8wY

In the interview Bill Evans talks about rhythmic displacement and how he uses it in the improv(2:30). If you skip to the last 60 seconds of the video, Marian actually tries to play the melody on top of what Bill plays and she kind of gets lost. I think that little demonstration really shows the rhythmic aspect of jazz that's often overlooked by classical musicians.


Edited by etcetra (03/03/13 06:37 PM)

Top
#2042463 - 03/03/13 05:54 PM Re: Who influenced Tatum? [Re: JoelW]
Miguel Rey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 295
To play Jazz you need to have Jazz blood, as mentioned earlier it's not just about improvising and one can't just go and study with a Jazz Master and expect to really "play jazz". Same goes for true classical pianists...

I'm a classical guy first, Jazz second but I really despise the classical purists who belittle the Jazz greats foer whatever envious reason. By the way, the jazz guys never had the privilege to ever have formal training like the Classical Greats! And for the poster who said Tatum "seems" to just play the same thing then I suggest you get your ears cleaned and go back a read the quotes from "real classical pianists" and just leave it at that. If you have any respect for Classical those guys then you should accept their overwhelming positive remarks they have made for Tatum.

Moreover, real music lovers and pianists be it Jazz or Classical should appreciate all legitimate forms of music and get over the fact that there are some things you just cant do on the piano.
_________________________
Bechstein B c1905


Top
#2042473 - 03/03/13 06:07 PM Re: Who influenced Tatum? [Re: Miguel Rey]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Miguel Rey

I am starting to wonder whether some people's instance of classical music being superior may have to do with their educational background. Don't get me wrong, classical music education is great, and it's great to pursue music in such high standard of excellence. I think the problem is that some people kind of get locked into thinking those sets of standards they've learned are the only legitimate standard that matters.. in other words you get locked into thinking what good music is supposed to be.

This is not a problem exclusive to classical music though. There are plenty of jazz purists who vehemently denies the musical significance of any jazz that happened after the 60s. While younger musicians are generally open minded, some people were pretty outraged when someone suggested that the music of J Dilla had tremendous impact on jazz on another forum.

I personally had to do a lot of that too. I was able to open up to a lot of different types of music by setting aside what I thought good music is supposed to be.. but then again I was lucky enough to be around people with diverse music interest who were willing to explain to me what they saw in the music they loved.


Edited by etcetra (03/03/13 06:09 PM)

Top
#2042487 - 03/03/13 06:33 PM Re: Who influenced Tatum? [Re: pianoloverus]
beeboss Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1198
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
In terms of jazz piano playing Matsuev is like a beginner compared to Tatum. IMO he's really quite boring. OTOH Tatum wouldn't sound so good playing classical.

I think there have been less than a handful of pianists who excelled at both jazz and classical and Matsuev is not among them.


Rachmaninov said that he understood what Tatum played, but was unable to do the same.   And also 'If this man ever decides to play serious music we're all in trouble'

These days a lot of the younger jazz guys have a pretty serious classical background from a young age but there isn't time in life to make the required commitment to both classical and jazz except for the odd genius (ie Jarrett).
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/davebeeboss

Top
#2042499 - 03/03/13 06:55 PM Re: Who influenced Tatum? [Re: JoelW]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Here's another interpretation of Autumn Leaves, this time by Wynton Marsalis and Marcus Roberts on piano. Compare what they are doing rhythmically to Denis Matsuev's rendeition and the difference is tremendous.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Xi-emWNePw


Edited by etcetra (03/03/13 07:03 PM)

Top
#2042503 - 03/03/13 07:05 PM Re: Who influenced Tatum? [Re: JoelW]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5044
People want to defend their corners. That's only natural.

Benny Goodman, when he played Copland's Clarinet Concerto (as jazzy a piece of classical music as they come) played it very stiffly, whereas pure classical clarinettists let loose and swing in the jazzy finale. Even when he played Bernstein's Prelude, Fugue and Riffs (tailored for a jazz band), he was stiffer than most classical clarinettists. When Keith Jarrett plays Bach's and Shostakovich's Preludes & Fugues, his playing sounds so metrical.....

Is that what jazz musicians think that's what classical music should be? No rhythmic freedom? Everything by the book?

Listen to Baroque specialists playing Bach's WTC on the harpsichord, and you'll hear quite a bit of rhythmic licence.

Interestingly, as to the question of whether classical pianists can ever play jazz properly, I recorded a few tracks of Jean-Yves Thibaudet playing Bill Evans (from his CD) and Denis Matsuev in a solo improvisation (from a live radio show) and asked my two jazz friends to comment on them, without telling them that the pianists were classically bred and trained. They were very impressed........until I told them that both the players were classical pianists moonlighting in jazz for fun. At which, they became very sniffy, and even cross that I'd 'deceived' them grin.

In case people think I'm having a rant at jazz because I'm steeped in classical, as I said earlier, I actually enjoy quite a bit of solo piano jazz (but not the kind where the drummer overwhelms the proceedings, as I once had the misfortune of hearing at Ronnie Scott's in London); it's just that when jazz enthusiasts look down their noses at classical pianists whenever the subject of jazz crops up, citing the so-called inability of classical pianists to improvise, play on the hoof, or 'swing' - just because they've never heard classical musicians do so; I feel duty bound to correct them grin. Yes, improvisation isn't taught as part of normal classical music teaching, and we read music from day one. But that doesn't mean we cannot improvise, if we choose to have a go at it. I used to have fun with a violinist friend at school where we took a tune (usually from a pop song - for some reason, Abba's tunes were our favourite....) and played around with it as a duo. No, it wasn't jazz improvisation, but it was improvisation. These days, I improvise on the piano by myself, and occasionally with others, but it doesn't form a major part of my piano playing. There's far better written music by great composers to be learnt than my doodlings at the piano.

It's also interesting that jazz people love to quote well-known classical pianists' enthusiastic praise of jazz pianists (like Horowitz's on Tatum, which was also in my Tatum CD box's booklet), but never the other way round. Do jazz pianists have an inferiority complex, that they love praise from people like Horowitz who can't even swing or 'displace' his rhythms? wink After all, what does Horowitz know about jazz?

Top
#2042517 - 03/03/13 07:31 PM Re: Who influenced Tatum? [Re: etcetra]
Miguel Rey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 295
I completely agree with purists on both sides. And perhaps we are all purists in some way, In fact I actually don't care too much for most Avant Garde Jazz or some 20th century musics like Expressionism & Futurism but definitely understand the high degree of technicality and have respect for those composers and musicians.
_________________________
Bechstein B c1905


Top
#2042524 - 03/03/13 07:44 PM Re: Who influenced Tatum? [Re: bennevis]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19280
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: bennevis
People want to defend their corners. That's only natural.
One does not need to have any corner or be defensive.

Originally Posted By: bennevis
Benny Goodman, when he played Copland's Clarinet Concerto (as jazzy a piece of classical music as they come) played it very stiffly, whereas pure classical clarinettists let loose and swing in the jazzy finale. Even when he played Bernstein's Prelude, Fugue and Riffs (tailored for a jazz band), he was stiffer than most classical clarinettists. When Keith Jarrett plays Bach's and Shostakovich's Preludes & Fugues, his playing sounds so metrical.....
But this is just personal opinion although you state it as if it was factual. However, even if Goodman's performance was as you describe it, I don't see any relevance. It's easy to see how a jazz musician might feel constrained or uneasy by a written score even if it was in the jazz style. Trying to say that the classical clarinetists who recorded the Copland were better at playing jazz is frankly nonsensical.


Edited by pianoloverus (03/04/13 07:06 AM)

Top
#2042525 - 03/03/13 07:44 PM Re: Who influenced Tatum? [Re: etcetra]
Miguel Rey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 295
Now that you've mentioned Wynton Marsalis, I think he's the only professional musician that I can think of who as actually professional excelled in both Classical & Jazz music. He is also an outspoken opponent of the modern jazz movement and has been criticized as well by other jazz musicians (modern jazz purists?) for his criticisms about the modern jazz art form. Personally I think he's OK at jazz and excellent as a classical musician but nonetheless he has Grammys in both areas.
_________________________
Bechstein B c1905


Top
#2042528 - 03/03/13 07:54 PM Re: Who influenced Tatum? [Re: pianoloverus]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5044
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Trying to say that the classical clarinetists who recorded the Copland were better at playing jazz is frankly nonsensical.
[/quote]

Kindly, if you please, re-read what I wrote.

It's very silly to criticize someone for something he didn't say.

Have you actually heard Goodman's recording of the Copland Concerto? And compared it to, say, Richard Stoltzman's?

Have you ever heard Copland's Clarinet Concerto at all?

Top
#2042535 - 03/03/13 08:12 PM Re: Who influenced Tatum? [Re: Miguel Rey]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Miguel Ray

I had conversation with some well known jazz musicians about this, and the consensus is that at one point in his career he was a brilliant jazzer with lots of potential. You don't get to play with likes of Kenny Kirkland, and Jeff Tain watts unless you are really good. The problem is that he was put in the spotlight too early and pursue a wrong path. There are plenty of people who wished Wynton continued experimenting like he did on "Black Codes from underground", which IMO is one of the seminal jazz album of last 20-30 years.

bennevis

It seems like you are being really defensive about this. In my experience most jazz musicians are very respectful of classical musician and vice versa, and jazz musicians are very aware of the fact many classical musicians improvise and improvise very well.

The only time we have a real beef is when classical musicians tries to play jazz and try to pass it off as if it's a real thing. Of course you'll get a reaction from jazz musicians when someone tries to pass of Mei Ting or Denis Matsuev as jazz. It's the same reason you have negative reaction about Keith Jarret recording classical music.

I think it's pretty clear most of the comments here are saying comparing jazz and classical is like comparing apples and oranges and should be compared on it's own merits.. but for some reason you keep on making this about classical musicians being more capable than jazz musicians and keep on making these crass statement (Art Tatum being one trick ponies and what not) about jazz when you don't understand it all. With all due respect, you are the one who started attacking jazz first.

I am not attacking classical pianist or classical pianist improvisers, but I have problem with people making it about who is superior and who isn't. I brought the example of rhythm because there are certain areas of jazz music improv that classical musician don't really understand.. and IMO excel at far more than classical musicians do. I'm just trying to get you to stop pretending like you know what jazz is and stop comparing it to the merits of classical improv.

as far as your last paragraph is concerned... do you realize how often great jazz musicians cite classical composers as their influence? These quotes only show how people of different musical background can appreciate music of different genre respect each other's achivements



Edited by etcetra (03/03/13 08:19 PM)

Top
#2042578 - 03/03/13 09:39 PM Re: Who influenced Tatum? [Re: bennevis]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7802
Originally Posted By: bennevis


Interestingly, as to the question of whether classical pianists can ever play jazz properly, I recorded a few tracks of Jean-Yves Thibaudet playing Bill Evans (from his CD) and Denis Matsuev in a solo improvisation (from a live radio show) and asked my two jazz friends to comment on them, without telling them that the pianists were classically bred and trained. They were very impressed........until I told them that both the players were classical pianists moonlighting in jazz for fun. At which, they became very sniffy, and even cross that I'd 'deceived' them grin.



Well, you DID deceive them, at some level.

But, yes, it is funny how some anonymous classical musicians can play jazz just fine, until it becomes known that they are classical musicians, at which point it suddenly becomes apparent to those who fancy themselves to be jazz aficionados that the musicians aren't playing "real" jazz at all, or can't really swing.

Of course, sometimes that really is true. As is the reverse (e.g., Chick Corea playing Mozart). Playing idiomatically in any genre can be tricky for those outside of the tradition - I've heard some Russian classical players doing some mid-20th-century American classical music in a way that somehow gained a distinct Russian Romantic inflection (which could be heard either charming or merely unidiomatic). And I remember that Hamelin was offended when critics said his Iberia was unidiomatic - he seemed to think that his idea of being "true to the score" was all that should matter.

I've also heard some non-American jazz players and groups whose style sounded oddly stilted to me on first hearing, even though they were full-time jazz players. But then, why should they sound like American players? It is only if they tried to claim that they sounded exactly like their American counterparts that a problem arises, IMO. Of course, there are those who say that jazz is just what they think it is, and nothing else is allowed. I think that's not very useful, since it is clear that many jazz musicians themselves have gone through all sorts of stylistic developments - think Miles - and unless they themselves say "What I am doing is not jazz", then it still must be.

Top
#2042643 - 03/04/13 12:59 AM Re: Who influenced Tatum? [Re: JoelW]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
wr

I don't have any problem with people playing music outside of their tradition and making a sincere effort, but I have a problem when people say something like "Art Tatum frankly couldn't hold a candle to his(Denis Matsuev's) brilliant and intricate runs" when it's clear to me and others here that the person who made such comment doesn't seem to understand(or care to understand) what jazz is.

IMO It's great that Jean-Yves Thibaudet is doing a tribute to Bill Evans, he plays very beautifully. But I am pretty sure he is doing so with the awareness that he is coming from a different tradition. He is not trying to pass his effort off as jazz, nor does he think his output to be superior to Bill Evans' output(I think). I'd imagine that's an attitude commonly shared by most classical musician attempting jazz and they probably wouldn't care for this who's better nonsense either.


Edited by etcetra (03/04/13 12:59 AM)

Top
#2042678 - 03/04/13 04:14 AM Re: Who influenced Tatum? [Re: etcetra]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5044
Originally Posted By: etcetra


I don't have any problem with people playing music outside of their tradition and making a sincere effort, but I have a problem when people say something like "Art Tatum frankly couldn't hold a candle to his(Denis Matsuev's) brilliant and intricate runs" when it's clear to me and others here that the person who made such comment doesn't seem to understand(or care to understand) what jazz is.

...and they probably wouldn't care for this who's better nonsense either.


From my experience, it's jazz aficionados who are openly contemptuous of classical musicians who venture into jazz, rather than the other way round - as is already obvious from many posts here. (As well as my own experiences with my jazz aquaintances). When Benny Goodman played Mozart's Clarinet Concerto, noone in the classical world (as far as I know) turned up their noses at a jazz player playing a venerated classical masterpiece. Nor when Keith Jarrett ventured into Bach and Shostakovich - his CDs were reviewed in the classical press in the same way as any classical pianist's recordings would be. Nor when Chick Corea played Mozart with Friedrich Gulda.

But when a classical player plays jazz, it seems jazz musicians can't wait to join the queue to lay on the criticism - 'no swing', 'no sense of jazz rhythm', etc, etc. I've heard some laughable comments from such people when Thibaudet's Bill Evans CD was released. One even criticized his dress code (Armani suits, I think) as if labeling him as a 'cocktail bar' pianist is valid music criticism.

As for my comment on Matsuev, I didn't say that what he was doing was true jazz (whatever that means) - he does lots of stuff that no jazz pianist would do, like interlocking octaves and chords, double octaves and the like (the sort of stuff that's bread and butter to someone who plays Liszt and Rachmaninoff). What I meant was that Tatum can't compare to Matsuev in purely technical terms, nor in the variety of the latter's pianistic 'tricks'.

Top
#2042689 - 03/04/13 04:50 AM Re: Who influenced Tatum? [Re: wr]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5044
Originally Posted By: wr
[quote=bennevis]

I've heard some Russian classical players doing some mid-20th-century American classical music in a way that somehow gained a distinct Russian Romantic inflection (which could be heard either charming or merely unidiomatic). And I remember that Hamelin was offended when critics said his Iberia was unidiomatic - he seemed to think that his idea of being "true to the score" was all that should matter.

I've also heard some non-American jazz players and groups whose style sounded oddly stilted to me on first hearing, even though they were full-time jazz players. But then, why should they sound like American players? It is only if they tried to claim that they sounded exactly like their American counterparts that a problem arises, IMO. Of course, there are those who say that jazz is just what they think it is, and nothing else is allowed. I think that's not very useful, since it is clear that many jazz musicians themselves have gone through all sorts of stylistic developments - think Miles - and unless they themselves say "What I am doing is not jazz", then it still must be.



I agree with you - even in jazz, there're 'accents', for want of a better word. David Gazarov's jazz sounds to me Russian-inflected, though as far as I know, he's long been accepted into the jazz fraternity.

And Hamelin's Iberia is certainly a far cry from Alicia de Larrocha's or Rafael Orozco's more typically Spanish inflection. And his Scriabin isn't very Russian-sounding either. But it's still wonderful playing, on its own terms.

Top
#2042712 - 03/04/13 06:55 AM Re: Who influenced Tatum? [Re: JoelW]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
bennevis,

Where i am I've heard plenty of classical players talk trash about Jazzers doing classical music too. I've read some really negative and mean spirited reviews on Uri Caine's classical arrangements. I've also met plenty of people who claim classical music is the only legit music and jazz is garbage too. So don't pretend like you guys are the only victim and the problem goes only one way.


I understand that technically Matsuev does things that jazz players can't do, I am not disagreeing with you there, but don't go around belittling what jazzers do as "Pianistic tricks". People work long and hard to develop those "tricks" and these skills are just as demanding, but in different ways. There are rhythmic aspect of Bill Evan's playing that Matsuev cannot touch too, and that's bread and butter stuff for jazz musicians nowdays. Technical prowess is not the sole determining factor for what makes a good improvisation.

Just to be clear, I only criticize classical pianist only in respect of how they improvised in jazz setting, That doesn't take away from the enormous amount of respect I have for their achievement in their field of expertise. I didn't go around dissing their musicianship as a whole by calling them "one trick ponies".


Edited by etcetra (03/04/13 07:29 AM)

Top
#2042715 - 03/04/13 07:08 AM Re: Who influenced Tatum? [Re: bennevis]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19280
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Trying to say that the classical clarinetists who recorded the Copland were better at playing jazz is frankly nonsensical.


Kindly, if you please, re-read what I wrote.

It's very silly to criticize someone for something he didn't say.


You said:"Benny Goodman, when he played Copland's Clarinet Concerto (as jazzy a piece of classical music as they come) played it very stiffly, whereas pure classical clarinettists let loose and swing in the jazzy finale. Even when he played Bernstein's Prelude, Fugue and Riffs (tailored for a jazz band), he was stiffer than most classical clarinettists.

Unless you think "stiff" is a compliment you clearly said what I said you did.



Edited by pianoloverus (03/04/13 07:15 AM)

Top
#2042717 - 03/04/13 07:24 AM Re: Who influenced Tatum? [Re: JoelW]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5276
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
To very slightly detour this discussion, let me say that I listened to and enjoyed several video tracks that beeboss posted on YouTube. Very nice.

I always like to put a face to a name so to speak.
_________________________
website

mp3\wav files

AvantGrand N3, CP5

Top
#2042743 - 03/04/13 08:40 AM Re: Who influenced Tatum? [Re: JoelW]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 650
Loc: Leicester, UK
One way to look at who influenced Tatum is to listen (and, of course - that's obvious). Complement that with score study (of Tatum). Tatum transcription books from Hal Leonard exist and there are some other sources as well. One thing anyone might notice (and quickly at that) in a Tatum transcription is the sophistication of his rhythmic language. His voice leading skills and ability to create a kind of extended counterpoint are another delight. A look/listen to his harmonies and voicings will show some incredible stuff as well (Aunt Hagar's Blues in one of the John Mehegan books is a great place to see this). If you still feel after you look and listen that Tatum isn't the artist/innovator many say he is, well, at least a look/listen approach gives you something substantial and credible to support your point of view - which would be Tatum examples and your specific analysis of them.

Another great source is Ted Gioia's book: The Imperfect Art: Reflections on Jazz and Modern Culture. Gioia discusses the differences and similarities between so-called "classical" music and jazz in a very, very insightful way. The interesting thing is that Gioia isn't particularly critical about anything on either side (classical or jazz). But he's very skilled at identifying basic questions and pointing out odd (and often misleading) assertions that have been made when comparing assorted styles and streams and branches. Of course, if you've already read the book and didn't find it helpful or interesting - or if you found it to be just plain wrong much less not so interesting - well, please suggest something else that covers the same ground in a better and accurate way.

Hope this helps ... and if you've played Tatum transcriptions at tempo and if you're still not particularly impressed or inspired, well "C'est la vie" as the French say or "It is what is" as some in New Jersey say.

Top
#2042745 - 03/04/13 08:42 AM Re: Who influenced Tatum? [Re: etcetra]
beeboss Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1198
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: etcetra


Just to be clear, I only criticize classical pianist only in respect of how they improvised in jazz setting, That doesn't take away from the enormous amount of respect I have for their achievement in their field of expertise. I didn't go around dissing their musicianship as a whole by calling them "one trick ponies".


The techniques involved in playing jazz are just very different than those required to play classical. Concert pianists don't have time to spend a decade or so working on playing swing so consequently they can't do it to the same level as people who specialise in that (generally, there is always the odd exception). If you measure technique purely in terms of speed/eveness of fast notes played then obviously classical guys have the upper hand (in this imagined battle) but playing with swing is also a technique. In jazz the importance of what I could call 'pure' technique is relatively unimportant in comparison with the other techniques that it requires (such as doing something interesting with a chord progression, playing with swing, responding to what the other musicians are playing, knowledge of harmony etc). Jazz players should be evaluated by what they say in their music and not by how fast they can play double octaves. This is why Monk is regarded a jazz great despite having an extremely unorthodox technical approach. Of course having a good technique (in the pure classical sense) is going to be a help in the expression of ideas in improvisation but without the knowledge of how the music is put together it is by itself totally useless.

(I know you know all this etcetera, I am just using your quote as a way of putting down my thoughts)
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/davebeeboss

Top
#2042746 - 03/04/13 08:43 AM Re: Who influenced Tatum? [Re: Dave Horne]
beeboss Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1198
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
To very slightly detour this discussion, let me say that I listened to and enjoyed several video tracks that beeboss posted on YouTube. Very nice.

I always like to put a face to a name so to speak.


Thanks Dave
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/davebeeboss

Top
#2042750 - 03/04/13 08:50 AM Re: Who influenced Tatum? [Re: Mark Polishook]
beeboss Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1198
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: printer1


Hope this helps ... and if you've played Tatum transcriptions at tempo and if you're still not particularly impressed or inspired, well "C'est la vie" as the French say or "It is what is" as some in New Jersey say.


There is a story about Tatum that once in a club a brilliant classical player came up to him and explained that he had worked out a transcription of one of Art's pieces and wanted to play it for him. Afterwards it was clear that Art was unimpressed and when asked why he said something like 'you played all the right notes but you have no idea why I played them'.


Originally Posted By: printer1


(Aunt Hagar's Blues in one of the John Mehegan books is a great place to see this)



I didn't know that. I transcribed it myself once, it almost killed me. I could have saved the effort ;-)
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/davebeeboss

Top
#2042758 - 03/04/13 09:15 AM Re: Who influenced Tatum? [Re: pianoloverus]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5044
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Trying to say that the classical clarinetists who recorded the Copland were better at playing jazz is frankly nonsensical.


Kindly, if you please, re-read what I wrote.

It's very silly to criticize someone for something he didn't say.


You said:"Benny Goodman, when he played Copland's Clarinet Concerto (as jazzy a piece of classical music as they come) played it very stiffly, whereas pure classical clarinettists let loose and swing in the jazzy finale. Even when he played Bernstein's Prelude, Fugue and Riffs (tailored for a jazz band), he was stiffer than most classical clarinettists.

Unless you think "stiff" is a compliment you clearly said what I said you did.



'Jazzy' does not equate to jazz. Ravel's G major Concerto has jazzy elements - plenty of blue notes etc in the first movement, but it's not jazz. Copland's Clarinet Concerto has plenty of jazzy passages in the latter parts, but it's not jazz; it's not even anything like Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. Its beginning, in fact, is very wistful and nostalgic, like the beginning of Appalachian Spring.

Goodman seems to be inhibited when playing fully-composed music, like the Copland and the Bernstein, unlike classical clarinetists. Whereas one would think (and expect) that he'd take the opportunity to really swing where Copland gives him the opportunity.

Top
#2042766 - 03/04/13 09:48 AM Re: Who influenced Tatum? [Re: bennevis]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19280
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Trying to say that the classical clarinetists who recorded the Copland were better at playing jazz is frankly nonsensical.


Kindly, if you please, re-read what I wrote.

It's very silly to criticize someone for something he didn't say.


You said:"Benny Goodman, when he played Copland's Clarinet Concerto (as jazzy a piece of classical music as they come) played it very stiffly, whereas pure classical clarinettists let loose and swing in the jazzy finale. Even when he played Bernstein's Prelude, Fugue and Riffs (tailored for a jazz band), he was stiffer than most classical clarinettists.

Unless you think "stiff" is a compliment you clearly said what I said you did.
'Jazzy' does not equate to jazz.
Then why even bring up the this example at all? This is just playing games with words.

If you want to distinguish "jazzy" from "jazz" then any relevance about the ability of classical musicians in playing jazz is lost because you say this piece isn't jazz.

Originally Posted By: bennevis
Goodman seems to be inhibited when playing fully-composed music, like the Copland and the Bernstein, unlike classical clarinetists. Whereas one would think (and expect) that he'd take the opportunity to really swing where Copland gives him the opportunity.
So what? It's obvious why Goodman might have felt inhibited since, as I already mentioned, he was not used to playing this kind of music. Since you say this piece isn't jazz it's irrelevant to any discussion about the ability of classical performers to play jazz.

Top
Page 2 of 3 < 1 2 3 >

Moderator:  Brendan, Kreisler 
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.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(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
82 registered (Allard, AZNpiano, AZ_Astro, 23 invisible), 1088 Guests and 20 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
76042 Members
42 Forums
157227 Topics
2309229 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
"railroad track" symbol in Debussy
by Eric NYC
09/02/14 02:52 AM
P155 or FA-08
by Yussnan84
09/02/14 01:59 AM
Blac
by Aviram
09/01/14 11:56 PM
Blackbird - Piano Cover - The Beatles
by Aviram
09/01/14 11:49 PM
Kawai CA95 Recordings
by wolferblade
09/01/14 11:32 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