Thread: Simon Phillips
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Old 10-25-2009, 01:21 AM
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Default Re: Can Simon play jazz?

Originally Posted by con struct View Post
Well that's a pretty lofty statement. I very much doubt that Simon Phillips is making any claims that he's a "master of the complex jazz ensemble language." It looks to me that he just likes to play jazz.
Surely you don't consider yourself to be a master of the complex jazz ensemble language, do you?
How many jazz drummers could be considered to be masters of the complex jazz ensemble language? All of them, just because they play jazz? Is every jazz drummer on every jazz record or CD you own a master of the complex jazz ensemble language? Come on.
I don't buy the idea that it's necessary to study jazz for year after year before you can be considered a jazz musician. I think one is a jazz musician because that's the kind of music he plays.
I'm going to say something that's really going to cause a lot of people here to take umbrage. I just don't think that jazz can be all that hard to play. Obviously it's learnable or else nobody would know how to do it. I think jazz could benefit from lightening up a little. Saying that you must play the drums like Philly Joe Jones or you must play the trumpet like Clifford Brown or you must play the bass like Ron Carter, that's just setting up impossible goals to reach, and if everyone did do that then jazz would just be a music filled with imitators, not innovators.
But come to think of it...
You think that the jazz ensemble language should be complex. I don't think any kind of music should be or has to be anything other than what the creator of that music wants it to be.
Just my thoughts and observations, take it or leave it, no worries.

Learn the language, play the music.... I did and have for some 34 years now. My clips are out there for all to see in the playing section draw your own conclusions on where I stand as a veteran jazz player on the subject of which I speak........ mastering to me simply means covering all the elements and fundamentals needed to learn the music with a sense of depth and speaking it with your own voice after the fact.

Jazz does have a complex language all of its own but you can learn to speak it freely in a flowing relaxed conversational manner with liked minded musicians when you''ve done your homework on the subject. Not a lofty comment but basic musical common sense applied to everyone learning this or any other craft. If some important elements are missing the finished effect isn't totally covered, that's my point.

If you want to argue back and forth for the sake of argument on what makes for elements of jazz language or some basic common sense stuff applied to this music i've done my best.

I enjoyed the clip very much but if I want the real jazz deal i'll listen Tony, Elvin, Eric etc.. deliver all the important details in this type of ensemble setting needed to deliver it to the max to my "jazz" ears. Just me....

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