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#2141649 - 08/31/13 03:13 AM jazzification of classical music
Michael Sayers Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 1283
Loc: Stockholms län, Sverige
Hi Everyone,

The subject of jazz pianists came up in another post and I am interested to know what other members think of the efforts originating with pianist Jacques Loussier such as:

J.S. Bach - Air on the G String
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14AhD3xdoMk

Chopin - Nocturnes Op. 9
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVTR-9HyjPA

And also involving other pianists, such as the first 12 minutes of this Dave Brubeck Quartet link:

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


M.


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#2141660 - 08/31/13 04:13 AM Re: jazzification of classical music [Re: Michael Sayers]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
I can't comment much on Loussier himself not having been familiar with him before you brought him up, but the efforts to "modernize," or improvise over, works of the past (as well as those of the present) didn't originate with Jacques Loussier. I remember reading once about a journalist who gave a concert Liszt once gave a rave review, mentioning in one part how he (Liszt) embellished - on-the-spot - a piece of Handel's with the "most beautiful harmonies". A good short summary of the great composers' experiences with improvisation can be read here: http://ericbarnhill.wordpress.com/facts-about-improvisation/

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#2141677 - 08/31/13 06:33 AM Re: jazzification of classical music [Re: Michael Sayers]
wr Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 8027
Loussier usually seems tasteful and intelligent enough to me not to be outright offensive. As jazz, it's a little too unadventurous to get me very interested, though.

I'm not sure how to explain why, but jazzing up classical music always seems to have a kitschy aura about it. Sometimes that bothers me; other times, not so much.

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#2141695 - 08/31/13 07:42 AM Re: jazzification of classical music [Re: wr]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5548
In principle, I don't have a problem with jazzers jazzing up classical tunes - after all, few jazzers come up with decent original tunes of their own wink .

But if you're going to jazz a classical tune up, do it whole-heartedly, like Leszek Mozdzer did with Chopin, and (in parts) Uri Caine with Bach and Mahler. Loussier's often saccharine treatment is just ladling extra sugary syrup on something that cannot withstand such treatment - his Air on a G string is especially nauseating....
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2141752 - 08/31/13 10:38 AM Re: jazzification of classical music [Re: wr]
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1382
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
Originally Posted By: wr


I'm not sure how to explain why, but jazzing up classical music always seems to have a kitschy aura about it. Sometimes that bothers me; other times, not so much.




I think it can work very well in Bach, if it's done right. The arrangements by the Swingle Singers are among my favorite listening. Jazzers have been doing that since the 1930s I believe.

But for other composers, and especially Chopin, I don't think it works well at all.
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
http://www.triangleassociates-us.com/about_us (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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#2141772 - 08/31/13 11:20 AM Re: jazzification of classical music [Re: Michael Sayers]
Music Me Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 10/23/12
Posts: 235
Loc: New York
You either like it, or you don't. If anything, braiding two genres together can get young or new listeners to become interested in listening to either genre extensively. I will agree that it works well with some compositions and not others.

I credit The Modern Jazz Quartet's "Blues on Bach" with sparking my interest in Bach, along with "Switched on Bach" (performed on a Moog Synthesizer). Give a listen. It may surprise you. I still listen to both.
_________________________
Barbara
...without music, no life...

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#2141773 - 08/31/13 11:24 AM Re: jazzification of classical music [Re: Michael Sayers]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6248
Loc: St. Louis area
Here was a fun bit that was posted in the forums awhile back.

_________________________
It's been scientifically proven that Horowitz sucks.

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#2141779 - 08/31/13 11:33 AM Re: jazzification of classical music [Re: Music Me]
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1382
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
Barbara,

Switched on Bach was the first classical album I ever listened to as a kid. I still love it.

Thank you for reminding me!
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
http://www.triangleassociates-us.com/about_us (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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#2141781 - 08/31/13 11:38 AM Re: jazzification of classical music [Re: Michael Sayers]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13818
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I tend to like jazz versions of things if done well. I have several Loussier and Bolling albums that I like, and I've played some Bolling as well. Art Tatum's Dvorak is also amazing:

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

On the flip side, I'm also a big fan of the classified Beatles albums by John Bayless.

And the rock/electronica versions of Mussorgsky and Holst by Emerson Lake and Palmer.

And Wendy Carlos and Don Dorsey's electronic treatments of Bach.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#2141783 - 08/31/13 11:42 AM Re: jazzification of classical music [Re: Kreisler]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6248
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: Kreisler

On the flip side, I'm also a big fan of the classified Beatles albums by John Bayless.

And the rock/electronica versions of Mussorgsky and Holst by Emerson Lake and Palmer.

And Wendy Carlos and Don Dorsey's electronic treatments of Bach.


No Tomita?!
_________________________
It's been scientifically proven that Horowitz sucks.

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#2141784 - 08/31/13 11:46 AM Re: jazzification of classical music [Re: Michael Sayers]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13818
Loc: Iowa City, IA
ACK! Can't believe I forgot TOMITA!

Yeah, I went through a big electronic phase in high school. Jean-Michel Jarre, The Art of Noise, Laurie Anderson, Kraftwerk, etc...
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#2141801 - 08/31/13 12:19 PM Re: jazzification of classical music [Re: Michael Sayers]
Derek Hartwell Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/03/09
Posts: 219
Loc: United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: Michael Sayers
Hi Everyone,

The subject of jazz pianists came up in another post and I am interested to know what other members think of the efforts originating with pianist Jacques Loussier such as:

J.S. Bach - Air on the G String
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14AhD3xdoMk

Chopin - Nocturnes Op. 9
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVTR-9Hyj...h?v=iBCUaQeDPGg


M.



I like all of these and no longer have a problem with the mixture of classical music with the jazz idiom. Isn't this what is now known as 'classical crossover'?

rk
_________________________
Music Teacher (Piano/Theory/Musicianship)

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#2141803 - 08/31/13 12:22 PM Re: jazzification of classical music [Re: wr]
beet31425 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3836
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted By: wr
As jazz, it's a little too unadventurous to get me very interested, though.

Exactly! And my problem with a lot of jazz generally. It seems so unadventurous these days!

The best jazzified piece I ever heard was a version of Chopin's op.25/4 etude. It started normal, and kept launching into super-fast stride piano. If you think how that etude goes, you can almost imagine it.

-J
_________________________
Schubert Immersion: Bb Impromptu; C# minor and Ab Moments Musicaux; accompanying four songs (Suleika II, Rastlose Liebe, Du Liebst Mich Nicht, Im Fruhling); listening intensely to Die Schöne Müllerin and Winterreise

Chopin: first Ballade; Mozart: D minor concerto;

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#2141811 - 08/31/13 12:37 PM Re: jazzification of classical music [Re: Kreisler]
Michael Sayers Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 1283
Loc: Stockholms län, Sverige
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
ACK! Can't believe I forgot TOMITA!

Yeah, I went through a big electronic phase in high school. Jean-Michel Jarre, The Art of Noise, Laurie Anderson, Kraftwerk, etc...


Any thoughts on Vangelis, such as with this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGl3041zhAU

I found this interview with Vangelis on Al Jazeera from January of last year to be quite interesting:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5K0kiYSStZM


M.

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#2141826 - 08/31/13 01:23 PM Re: jazzification of classical music [Re: Michael Sayers]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13818
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Yeah, Vangelis' music became quite popular after Chariots of Fire was released. I still have my original Opera Sauvage CD I bought in the early 80's. smile
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#2141962 - 08/31/13 08:19 PM Re: jazzification of classical music [Re: Damon]
Music Me Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 10/23/12
Posts: 235
Loc: New York
Awesome! I never heard it sound better! Thanks for this!
_________________________
Barbara
...without music, no life...

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#2141975 - 08/31/13 09:08 PM Re: jazzification of classical music [Re: beet31425]
TwoSnowflakes Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1423
Originally Posted By: beet31425

The best jazzified piece I ever heard was a version of Chopin's op.25/4 etude. It started normal, and kept launching into super-fast stride piano. If you think how that etude goes, you can almost imagine it.

-J


This?

_________________________
Currently:
Bach, French Suite BWV 814 No. 3
Chopin, Fantaisie-Impromptu Op. post. 66
Tchaikovsky, Mars: Chante de l'alouette Op. 37a No. 3

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#2142023 - 08/31/13 11:27 PM Re: jazzification of classical music [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
beet31425 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3836
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted By: TwoSnowflakes
Originally Posted By: beet31425

The best jazzified piece I ever heard was a version of Chopin's op.25/4 etude. It started normal, and kept launching into super-fast stride piano. If you think how that etude goes, you can almost imagine it.

-J


This?




Yes!!!! I LOVE this. Thanks so much for finding it!

-Jason
_________________________
Schubert Immersion: Bb Impromptu; C# minor and Ab Moments Musicaux; accompanying four songs (Suleika II, Rastlose Liebe, Du Liebst Mich Nicht, Im Fruhling); listening intensely to Die Schöne Müllerin and Winterreise

Chopin: first Ballade; Mozart: D minor concerto;

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#2142076 - 09/01/13 01:25 AM Re: jazzification of classical music [Re: Michael Sayers]
erichlof Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 376
My favorite is Bill Evans' take on Valse by J.S. Bach. His jazz trio actually adds something to the music that wasn't there before - a rare feat indeed:



Bill could play both WTC books at an early age, and his touch and sensitivity show in this performance. Enjoy!



Edited by erichlof (09/01/13 01:25 AM)

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#2142085 - 09/01/13 02:16 AM Re: jazzification of classical music [Re: Michael Sayers]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21922
Loc: Oakland
An example of one of the best pianists to combine classical music into the jazz genre, Dorothy Donegan.

_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2142134 - 09/01/13 06:08 AM Re: jazzification of classical music [Re: Michael Sayers]
slipperykeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/03/12
Posts: 382
Loc: Dorset, England
I'm a big fan of Tomita, when I heard his, "Pictures at an Exhibition" in 1976 (IIRC) I thought it was fabulous and I still do.

I don't have a problem with jazz versions of classics, as long as they are credited as such.

Provided people know what they are going to see or hear they can make their own choice.

I had never heard of Jacques Loussier but he seems very good.

I have a Roland RD 700 NX and love experimenting with string quartet versions of pop/rock and classical.

Bach's Bouree cries out for jazzing, to me, at least.

This is not me, I don't have,
A) A Baby Grand
B) A room that tidy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RU_2utHzs8

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#2142139 - 09/01/13 07:10 AM Re: jazzification of classical music [Re: Michael Sayers]
slipperykeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/03/12
Posts: 382
Loc: Dorset, England
Here's an interesting video in the context of "un-jazzing".

Go to about 10 minutes 40 secs ( Although you may find the whole thing worth watching) in for demonstration on reversing Jazz to Baroque, short but fascinating.

Bach crops up again.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3yzH861MDY

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#2142681 - 09/02/13 06:41 AM Re: jazzification of classical music [Re: Michael Sayers]
beeboss Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1219
Loc: uk south
I like this - Bobo Stenson explores a theme by Purcell ...

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

and this - Gwilym Simcock explores a theme by Greig ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDvtX1BlxPQ
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/davebeeboss

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#2142770 - 09/02/13 11:30 AM Re: jazzification of classical music [Re: Michael Sayers]
Michael Sayers Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 1283
Loc: Stockholms län, Sverige
Thanks for all the responses so far and any additional ones which are forthcoming!

I wish some of these jazz pianists would do some classically oriented recordings but still preserving their sometimes unique sense of rhythm and timing. I've learned a lot from listening to jazz musicians and studying their work which includes such things as ragtime, such as with Scott Joplin who in his recordings did not adhere very strictly to his music in its published form - and it seems that the great classical pianist-composers of the past who we revere were the same in that respect at least until very recent times.

p.s. - Thanks for the Gwilym Simcock link, and others . . .


M.

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#2142785 - 09/02/13 12:28 PM Re: jazzification of classical music [Re: slipperykeys]
Michael Sayers Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 1283
Loc: Stockholms län, Sverige
Originally Posted By: slipperykeys
I'm a big fan of Tomita, when I heard his, "Pictures at an Exhibition" in 1976 (IIRC) I thought it was fabulous and I still do.

I don't have a problem with jazz versions of classics, as long as they are credited as such.

Provided people know what they are going to see or hear they can make their own choice.

I had never heard of Jacques Loussier but he seems very good.

I have a Roland RD 700 NX and love experimenting with string quartet versions of pop/rock and classical.

Bach's Bouree cries out for jazzing, to me, at least.

This is not me, I don't have,
A) A Baby Grand
B) A room that tidy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RU_2utHzs8


And as well Andrei Tarkovsky's Solaris movie uses Tomita's The Sea Named "Solaris" with the familiar Bach organ chorale prelude. I couldn't find the desired excerpt on youtube, but Tarkovsky seems to have been quite adept at matching music to a cinematic image:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YZ909wp_hw
(the music doesn't begin until about 1:30)

There is a lot in his book "Sculpting in Time" that might be of interest to pianists and musicians in a very general way if one reads between the lines . . . the book wouldn't normally considered to be in any way about music but I learned a lot from it.

Andrei Tarkovsky was such a genius!


M.

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