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  #1  
Old 12-14-2010, 08:31 AM
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Default Wynton Marsalis

As part of my Drummerworld-inspired jazz education, I'm wondering about Wynton M. I know he's annoyed a lot of jazz people with some closed-minded attitudes about what constitutes good or "valid" jazz.

YouTube just recommended this Wynton clip to me:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTvhcbrUaSI ... he and his band are tearing it up, including Elvin on fire at the back.

What I don't understand is that the players are really going off with all the syncopation, turnarounds and modes, yet I always thought hard bop was the kind of thing he rebelled against. Am I missing something or did he have a change of heart after this clip was made?

Can anyone enlighten?

Cheers

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Old 12-16-2010, 02:54 AM
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Default Re: Wynton Marsalis

As much as I like a lot of jazz, I find out that I no longer can define the term. If you add one instrument it's no longer jazz but prog. jazz or if you play a certain feel or speed them its Smooth Jazz. My sister once told me there was no such thing as country music. Just country stations(radio). I just listen to music and if I like it I like it regardless of the name of the genre.
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Old 12-16-2010, 03:03 AM
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Default Re: Wynton Marsalis

The important thing is this, Did You Like It? Well, Did You Polly?
If you did then all is right with the world.
I liked it and I don't care what Wynton and anyone else has said about Jazz.
Talk is cheap, Music speaks for itself!
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Old 12-17-2010, 06:03 AM
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Default Re: Wynton Marsalis

Wynton's main dislikes are of free jazz and fusion. In essence, his opinions are just a regurgitation of those of Stanley Crouch, the lamest excuse for a "jazz historian" of all time.

I'll take a look at that clip in a little. As much as I dislike Wynton's attitude, his album "Black Codes From The Underground" is pretty solid. Kenny Kirkland (RIP) and Tain Watts shine in particular. That's about all I've heard of his music tbh.
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Old 12-17-2010, 09:03 AM
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Default Re: Wynton Marsalis

Dan, I think you'll like it .. after all, Elvin's playing :)

Yes Bob, I enjoyed it plenty.

GD, in some ways I agree but a lot of music kind of screams its genre at me. Having said that, most of my favourite groups are eclectic - mixing up grooves, sounds, dynamics, arrangements, moods etc.

On the face of it, I can see where Wynton's coming from but it seems most people think he's romanticising older jazz at the expense of vital new forms. It's as though he wants to exclude free jazz from "the club" in the same way as the swing guys wanted to do to bop. I'm surprised that he goes as far as to play hard bop. It's not like there's a hard and fast line between edgier hard bop and free.

In the end I guess genres can only tend to go three ways - more extreme until it becomes avant garde, more spare until it becomes minimalist or look for the sweet spots within and between genres.
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Old 12-17-2010, 12:49 PM
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Default Re: Wynton Marsalis

I personally find all the bickering about what "real" jazz is - in particular by great players - to be unbecoming of the music, in a way. Just play, say your piece, and let other players say their piece. It seems like a whole heap of pointless "horn measuring" to go around that mulberry bush time and again.
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Old 12-18-2010, 07:14 AM
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Default Re: Wynton Marsalis

I like him, I believe he deserves the respect and acclaim that he gets, he is a fantastic sax player, one of the best I've ever seen.

He was an integral part of my education as a brass musician and I don't resent it.

I do however find him to be a bit easy listening most of the time, he composes some great journeys musically, he tells a story and tells it well, but I'd prefer to listen to some wild, chaotic, fun free jazz when I'm in a jazz mood, Wynton isn't fun in my kind of way of fun.
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Old 12-18-2010, 07:21 AM
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Default Re: Wynton Marsalis

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Originally Posted by Frost View Post
I like him, I believe he deserves the respect and acclaim that he gets, he is a fantastic sax player, one of the best I've ever seen.
I didnt realize he played Sax? Anyhow, great trumpet player, and a highly opinionated and arrogant person in my view.

...
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Old 12-18-2010, 07:25 AM
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Default Re: Wynton Marsalis

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Originally Posted by aydee View Post
I didnt realize he played Sax? Anyhow, great trumpet player, and a highly opinionated and arrogant person in my view.

...
He earns a fortune and has very rich heritage. He helped a lot in the reconstruction of New Orleans and while he is arrogant, I'd say it's more pretentious than anything else. A lot of the time it is a case of he does actually know what he is talking about, I don't mean everyone should bow down and just agree with him on everything, but a lot of his critics have hardly read a thing he has wrote on jazz. He is a prestigious teacher at a very prestigious school.
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Old 12-18-2010, 08:01 AM
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Default Re: Wynton Marsalis

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Originally Posted by Frost View Post
He earns a fortune and has very rich heritage. He helped a lot in the reconstruction of New Orleans and while he is arrogant, I'd say it's more pretentious than anything else. A lot of the time it is a case of he does actually know what he is talking about, I don't mean everyone should bow down and just agree with him on everything, but a lot of his critics have hardly read a thing he has wrote on jazz. He is a prestigious teacher at a very prestigious school.
He might be all the things he is, but for a jazzman to talk down other view points is quite.. how should I put it..unjazzy?

So I'd say he's a phenominal player and perhaps a significant jazz historian. Historians never agree with each other because everyone's got a different version.. like the music itself.

My issue with him is that he tries to come across like the high priest of jazz or something.... like the Chairman of Jazz Inc.. I dont like that. Jazz cant have a supreme leader. I dont think Parker, Coltrane or Miles ever thought of themselves in that way.

Conversly, I do appreciate his tremendous virtuosity and I admire the fierce passion he has for his music.

...
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Old 12-18-2010, 08:34 AM
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Default Re: Wynton Marsalis

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Originally Posted by Frost View Post
A lot of the time it is a case of he does actually know what he is talking about, I don't mean everyone should bow down and just agree with him on everything, but a lot of his critics have hardly read a thing he has wrote on jazz.
How do you qualify these statements?

His contribution to Ken Burns' Jazz was was the single most watched jazz commentary of the past 30 years. Almost anyone who cares knows what this guy is all about. The famed Marsalis big mouth is hardly encased in a vacuum seal nor are the larger number of his better known perspectives even within his own intellectual property. In fact for many years his jazz history pontifications were such nonsense that the research wing of the old International Association for Jazz Education used to spend the first half hour of each convention correcting the baloney this guy randomly inserted as fact the year before. The reason I know this is because one of those researchers was my old man.

As for the bickering issue, it's beyond all that. Jazz only survives for the next 1000 years via its correct insertion in history. Since World War II thousands of educators have been documenting the contribution of jazz to 20th century culture as if they were putting aside valuable treasure for eventual burial to be hopefully discovered by future civilizations that would appreciate it. They fought 1000 battles with the classical crowd and education bureaucrats to have the music granted its rightful and equal place. In fact a lot of incredible people lost their jobs fighting those old battles.

So imagine then, one of the most privleged /albeit talented/ people of his generation swooping down from the sky to tell the world he had come to save jazz, while brushing aside the very existence of all those other guys, and simultaneously claiming to have reinvented what was a perfectly good wheel while calling Stanley Crouch's anger laden politically motivated intellectual property his own thoughts.

The whole thing is a joke. And the only reason it's been allowed to perpetuate is because a bunch of clueless self righteous jazz aficiandos parading as journalists and social commentators have convinced thousands of even lazier journalists and social commentators that this guy knows what he's talking about, while punking all the true educators who did the real work that no one now wants to know about. This isn't a stupid difference of opinion. This is a bunch of self important pseudo intellectual hacks diverting a river for reasons that have very little to do with music, and because they think it makes them appear smart and cool.

And before we get too far into it, let me clarify. Yeah the guy can play a trumpet, although he is in no way an important innovator. And rule #1 is when you play jazz you don't get to the top of the pile unless your musical voice is entirely your own. That point is not up for debate nor will it ever be. In fact it is the most uncontestable part of being a jazz musician...period. Therefore, wonderful non innovative jazz musicians don't get first dibs on the crusader gimmick. If such was the criteria then Doc Severinsen would have been called the savior of jazz back in the 1970s. But of course we know that would have been silly. Well this is really no different except that Severinsen probably reached more people in a night playing on Johnny Carson then Marsalis reaches in a month.

Nor is jazz about being popular. Except for the swing era it has never been. Therefore there isn't a serious jazz musician in the known universe who cares if a bunch of Lady Gaga loving music bottom feeders like them or not. Those kinds of people/ and some of them are among the most important in my life/ only care about the elevation of the music itself, and that history records that they did all they could do to insure that elevation.

So instead, much of that almost spiritual journey has been replaced by a series of nonsensical opinions parading as facts, that in the past 25 years have become so much a part of the psyche of this music as to have rewritten one the richest historical legacies of the past 100 years.

And people really ask why so many don't like this guy?
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Old 12-18-2010, 08:50 AM
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Default Re: Wynton Marsalis

..

I was trying to be polite and diplomatic, but yup, Matt's nailed it.

from Wiki;

Jazz Critic Scott Yanow praised Marsalis's talent but questioned his "selective knowledge of jazz history considering post-1965 avant-garde playing to be outside of jazz and 1970s fusion to be barren."

Trumpeter Lester Bowie said of Marsalis, "If you retread what's gone before, even if it sounds like jazz, it could be anathema to the spirit of jazz."

In his 1997 book Blue: The Murder of Jazz Eric Nisenson argues that Marsalis's focus on a narrow portion of jazz's past stifled growth and innovation.

In 1997 pianist Keith Jarrett criticized Marsalis saying "I've never heard anything Wynton played sound like it meant anything at all. Wynton has no voice and no presence. His music sounds like a talented high-school trumpet player to me."


In 1986, in Vancouver, Miles Davis stopped his band to eject Marsalis, who had appeared onstage uninvited. Echoing Clarke's comment, Davis said "Wynton can't play the kind of shit we were playing", and twice told Marsalis to leave the stage saying "Get the @#$ off."[16]

Besides insinuating that Davis was pandering to audiences, Marsalis said Davis dressed like a "buffoon"

Trumpeter Lester Bowie called Marsalis "brain dead", "mentally-ill" and "trapped in some opinions that he had at age 21...because he's been paid to.


So yea, other opinions exist and from some very credible sources.

..
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Old 12-18-2010, 09:06 AM
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Default Re: Wynton Marsalis

I qualify the statement with observations, if you want me to link them to some tabloid, I can't, but it is my experience that most of the people that claim to have an opinion on it have borrowed it, a lot of people that criticize him do it because it is the popular thing to do in the jazz community, not that I'm throwing accusations at you over that.

I don't agree with every statement he has ever made, but he is a big advocate of classical and jazz music. As far as the not caring whether or not it is popular, that is bull. There is nothing wrong with something being popular, if a younger audience can truly appreciate something it is nothing but beneficial. Perhaps jazz musicians should care more about making others interested in what they do. I agree that it doesn't matter if they don't as if you love something, you love it, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth trying to introduce others to it, that kind of attitude is why a lot of jazz musicians are considered snobs.

I don't believe he is the greatest jazz "historian" he is very selective in his opinions of what is and isn't jazz, but as for a composer and a musician, too many people take stabs at his person, judging him for his opinion and completely forgetting about the wonderful music he creates. I hate hearing from jazz musicians who pipe up one minute that it is all about the music and the next minute lay hate on Wynton for something he said, then to turn around and saying that the Pulitzer he won was deserved. If it is about the music, it's about the music, and he is doing a lot for that particular style of jazz.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattsmith View Post
How do you qualify these statements?

His contribution to Ken Burns' Jazz was was the single most watched jazz commentary of the past 30 years. Almost anyone who cares knows what this guy is all about. The famed Marsalis big mouth is hardly encased in a vacuum seal nor are the larger number of his better known perspectives even within his own intellectual property. In fact for many years his jazz history pontifications were such nonsense that the research wing of the old International Association for Jazz Education used to spend the first half hour of each convention correcting the baloney this guy randomly inserted as fact the year before. The reason I know this is because one of those researchers was my old man.

As for the bickering issue, it's beyond all that. Jazz only survives for the next 1000 years via its correct insertion in history. Since World War II thousands of educators have been documenting the contribution of jazz to 20th century culture as if they were putting aside valuable treasure for eventual burial to be hopefully discovered by future civilizations that would appreciate it. They fought 1000 battles with the classical crowd and education bureaucrats to have the music granted its rightful and equal place. In fact a lot of incredible people lost their jobs fighting those old battles.

So imagine then, one of the most privleged /albeit talented/ people of his generation swooping down from the sky to tell the world he had come to save jazz, while brushing aside the very existence of all those other guys, and simultaneously claiming to have reinvented what was a perfectly good wheel while calling Stanley Crouch's anger laden politically motivated intellectual property his own thoughts.

The whole thing is a joke. And the only reason it's been allowed to perpetuate is because a bunch of clueless self righteous jazz aficiandos parading as journalists and social commentators have convinced thousands of even lazier journalists and social commentators that this guy knows what he's talking about, while punking all the true educators who did the real work that no one now wants to know about. This isn't a stupid difference of opinion. This is a bunch of self important pseudo intellectual hacks diverting a river for reasons that have very little to do with music, and because they think it makes them appear smart and cool.

And before we get too far into it, let me clarify. Yeah the guy can play a trumpet, although he is in no way an important innovator. And rule #1 is when you play jazz you don't get to the top of the pile unless your musical voice is entirely your own. That point is not up for debate nor will it ever be. In fact it is the most uncontestable part of being a jazz musician...period. Therefore, wonderful non innovative jazz musicians don't get first dibs on the crusader gimmick. If such was the criteria then Doc Severinsen would have been called the savior of jazz back in the 1970s. But of course we know that would have been silly. Well this is really no different except that Severinsen probably reached more people in a night playing on Johnny Carson then Marsalis reaches in a month.

Nor is jazz about being popular. Except for the swing era it has never been. Therefore there isn't a serious jazz musician in the known universe who cares if a bunch of Lady Gaga loving music bottom feeders like them or not. Those kinds of people/ and some of them are among the most important in my life/ only care about the elevation of the music itself, and that history records that they did all they could do to insure that elevation.

So instead, much of that almost spiritual journey has been replaced by a series of nonsensical opinions parading as facts, that in the past 25 years have become so much a part of the psyche of this music as to have rewritten one the richest historical legacies of the past 100 years.

And people really ask why so many don't like this guy?
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Old 12-18-2010, 09:21 AM
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Default Re: Wynton Marsalis

...

Wynton has done a lot more talking and expounding than your average jazz luminary, so it follows that people will react not not just the to music but also to his words.

I also think more people think of him as a good player than not.

...
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Old 12-18-2010, 11:34 AM
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Default Re: Wynton Marsalis

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Originally Posted by Frost View Post
I qualify the statement with observations, if you want me to link them to some tabloid, I can't, but it is my experience that most of the people that claim to have an opinion on it have borrowed it, a lot of people that criticize him do it because it is the popular thing to do in the jazz community, not that I'm throwing accusations at you over that.

I don't agree with every statement he has ever made, but he is a big advocate of classical and jazz music. As far as the not caring whether or not it is popular, that is bull. There is nothing wrong with something being popular, if a younger audience can truly appreciate something it is nothing but beneficial. Perhaps jazz musicians should care more about making others interested in what they do. I agree that it doesn't matter if they don't as if you love something, you love it, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth trying to introduce others to it, that kind of attitude is why a lot of jazz musicians are considered snobs.

I don't believe he is the greatest jazz "historian" he is very selective in his opinions of what is and isn't jazz, but as for a composer and a musician, too many people take stabs at his person, judging him for his opinion and completely forgetting about the wonderful music he creates. I hate hearing from jazz musicians who pipe up one minute that it is all about the music and the next minute lay hate on Wynton for something he said, then to turn around and saying that the Pulitzer he won was deserved. If it is about the music, it's about the music, and he is doing a lot for that particular style of jazz.
Did you read a single word I posted?

Man, I've liked you on other threads, but it appears as if you retained nothing from a very detailed post. Again... and I cannot make it any clearer than this. Those seriois musicians I mentioned absolutely do not care what others think about what they're doing or other's personal opinions of them. That's just a fact. Yes it may be unfortunate that you have such a negative opinion of musicians and educators who made actual contributions who would question this person based on actual facts and real observations/experiences. My old man used to hang with those guys. My grandfather used to play with Ellis/ the class of that family/ They know the real scoop and I'll take their word for it alongside the obvious lack of innovation alongside a genuine ability to perform on a trumpet.
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Old 12-18-2010, 02:36 PM
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Default Re: Wynton Marsalis

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Originally Posted by aydee View Post
Trumpeter Lester Bowie said of Marsalis, "If you retread what's gone before, even if it sounds like jazz, it could be anathema to the spirit of jazz."

In 1997 pianist Keith Jarrett criticized Marsalis saying "I've never heard anything Wynton played sound like it meant anything at all. Wynton has no voice and no presence. His music sounds like a talented high-school trumpet player to me."


In 1986, in Vancouver, Miles Davis stopped his band to eject Marsalis, who had appeared onstage uninvited. Echoing Clarke's comment, Davis said "Wynton can't play the kind of shit we were playing", and twice told Marsalis to leave the stage saying "Get the @#$ off."
Wow, to be dissed so hard by those three marvels of jazz ... Wynton must have a hide like a rhino not to seriously question himself. Lester's comment is great - if you retread then all that's left is to polish the music up to an ever brighter sheen, which is cool in its way, but you can't say goodbye to the confronting, nasty, raw side of things. You can't go telling people what they should and shouldn't play - we all have to go to hell our own way or, in some cases, our teacher's way.

The Keith diss is too harsh IMO - I thought that the Wynton vid in the OP was great. I didn't know he could be that cool - I thought he was all about classy old time. Still what Keith said is no worse than what WM's been saying about people like Keith. Tit for tat. Oh well. I bought a Keith DVD a few months ago with Jack D on drums and it's magic. I've played it heaps and can forgive Keith anything at the moment. Jack didn't thrill me in a few records I'd heard in the past but on this DVD he plays with a ton of fire - like Elvin Mk II. His instinct for choosing the right note at the right time is genius. Sorry about the digression. The KJ quote made me think of the vid ...
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Old 12-18-2010, 02:49 PM
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Default Re: Wynton Marsalis

I read your entire post, I just thought you were focusing too much on him as an educator and his blunders in that department and not enough on his compositions. Your main argument regarding his compositional work was that he isn't an important innovator, and perhaps he isn't due to the fact he plays it safe stylistically, but he still makes fantastic music.

You admitted he was a good trumpet player, that much is plain to see, but to say he doesn't innovate and that innovation is all that jazz is about is wrong. Perhaps it is the soul of jazz, but at the same time to say that something isn't jazz unless it is new is like saying jazz as a genre can't possible exist as anyone doing the same thing must not be making jazz. I view his work more as a homage to a particular style of jazz and leave the controversy out of it.

Perhaps he doesn't play free jazz or avant-garde but I don't understand what the issue is with the music he does create. Does every composition ever made have to be a revelation to be considered good. His orchestral Baroque work with trumpet is fantastic. He creates a lot of music that tells a story, that invokes a journey, I'm not saying others don't but I don't understand why you believe it is bad.

I certainly don't get where you are pulling that I have a negative opinion of musicians or educators who make contributions, I never once mentioned anyone in my post other then Wynton Marsalis. I understand that a lot of people dislike him, and I'm not saying they are all wrong, but he wouldn't be where he is if people didn't like his music, and isn't that what it boils down to in the end, he makes good music.

I certainly have tons of respect for a lot of great, innovative players and composers doing their own thing. I did say quite clearly that making the music you like to make regardless of what you think is the way to go. I make a mixture of depressive black metal and post rock, I don't believe it is wrong, regardless of how non-commercial it is. That doesn't mean that if I think my friends might enjoy listening to a band I like, I don't try expose them to it. If exposing a younger generation to a style of music helps foster future innovators and extends the genres longevity how is that a bad thing.





Quote:
Originally Posted by mattsmith View Post
Did you read a single word I posted?

Man, I've liked you on other threads, but it appears as if you retained nothing from a very detailed post. Again... and I cannot make it any clearer than this. Those seriois musicians I mentioned absolutely do not care what others think about what they're doing or other's personal opinions of them. That's just a fact. Yes it may be unfortunate that you have such a negative opinion of musicians and educators who made actual contributions who would question this person based on actual facts and real observations/experiences. My old man used to hang with those guys. My grandfather used to play with Ellis/ the class of that family/ They know the real scoop and I'll take their word for it alongside the obvious lack of innovation alongside a genuine ability to perform on a trumpet.
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Old 12-18-2010, 04:01 PM
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I read your entire post, I just thought you were focusing too much on him as an educator and his blunders in that department and not enough on his compositions. Your main argument regarding his compositional work was that he isn't an important innovator, and perhaps he isn't due to the fact he plays it safe stylistically, but he still makes fantastic music. .
Ok Listen to Blood on the Fields /the Pulitzer winner/ then listen to Ellington's Black Brown and Beige. I'll show you entire liftings of Ellington that go on uninterrupted and undisguised for 5 minutes or more. Yes, I agree that much of Blood on the Fields is really good. Ellington was a great composer.

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You admitted he was a good trumpet player, that much is plain to see, but to say he doesn't innovate and that innovation is all that jazz is about is wrong.
Perhaps it is the soul of jazz, but at the same time to say that something isn't jazz unless it is new is like saying jazz as a genre can't possible exist as anyone doing the same thing must not be making jazz. I view his work more as a homage to a particular style of jazz and leave the controversy out of it. .
1. I hear Who Can I Turn To? I hear the Miles solo often note for note. When he plays Armstrong's DinahI hear the Armstrong solo note for note from the famous 1931 film. Close to entire solos from his second album were lifted Freddie Hubbard solos from Blues and the Abstract Truth. No I am absolutely without a shadow of a doubt not wrong to say that he doesn't innovate. He doesn't...that's it. These things are beyond debate.

2. No one said that paying homage was not important. In fact it is part of the historical referencing issue. I said that you don't get to claim the savior gimmick when you're not an innovator because in jazz individual innovation reigns supreme. And on that score maybe I was not clear enough. Genres are a different ballgame seeing as how there are many ways to individually innovate within a chosen genre. But no, talented mockingbirds don't get to be head dog. In fact this is the very first time anyone was even arrogant enough to pull this one. Your homage to the music reference is also a tough defense to sell. Are you aware that he sends minions to educational organizations to strong arm guys into altering textbooks and teaching strategies? You actually have a guy trying to force feed the jazz historical canon on the next 1000 years of history, while Stanley Crouch and Albert Murray hand him talking points. It's sheer nonsense.

3. You can't ignore the controversy when he's the guy bringing it to the table. But he loves it when intelligent well meaning guys like yourself say I leave the controversy out of it. It makes his job a lot easier.

Quote:
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Perhaps he doesn't play free jazz or avant-garde but I don't understand what the issue is with the music he does create. Does every composition ever made have to be a revelation to be considered good?.
Re: your last question...No but at least one to handful have to be. Re: your first question see above. And avant garde was never brought into this discussion, nor does playing such music make one a trend setter or an innovator.

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His orchestral Baroque work with trumpet is fantastic. He creates a lot of music that tells a story, that invokes a journey, I'm not saying others don't but I don't understand why you believe it is bad. ?.
I never said his classical work was bad. In fact I think his playing of the Hummel from that first album is excellent. But what music are you saying was created there? I thought the Hummel Trumpet Concerto was composed by Hummel. Now if you're saying his improvisations tell a story, then yes I will agree with you. Freddie Hubbard was a great trumpeter, making him an excellent person to copy. but again those ideas belong to Hubbard, not the guy copying him. And it's too bad he no longer plays classical music. But when he walked away from that Bach Strad and started using those goofy French trumpets with the mouthpiece already built in, even most of his most diehard disciples will admit that a lot of that celebrated tone of his went with it.

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I certainly don't get where you are pulling that I have a negative opinion of musicians or educators who make contributions, I never once mentioned anyone in my post other then Wynton Marsalis. I understand that a lot of people dislike him, and I'm not saying they are all wrong, but he wouldn't be where he is if people didn't like his music, and isn't that what it boils down to in the end, he makes good music. ?.
Man this Marsalis thing is the most polarizing thing that's probably hit music since Beethoven brought the extra notes back. You're either on one side or the other. And yes I know that in this bizarre historical period when all opinions are equal and there is no good/bad or right /wrong people don't like to take a stand. But when it comes to this guy, when you stand in the middle of the road, the only thing that happens is you get hit by a truck. He punks the real educators and historians while his goofy yes men try to run you off any jazz forum where you dare offer this very popular perspective. I watched Jazz at Lincoln Center employees pretend to be unafilated objective Marsalis enthusiasts on jazzcorner forum for years. This is really an issue much deeper than you imagine.

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I certainly have tons of respect for a lot of great, innovative players and composers doing their own thing. I did say quite clearly that making the music you like to make regardless of what you think is the way to go. I make a mixture of depressive black metal and post rock, I don't believe it is wrong, regardless of how non-commercial it is. That doesn't mean that if I think my friends might enjoy listening to a band I like, I don't try expose them to it. If exposing a younger generation to a style of music helps foster future innovators and extends the genres longevity how is that a bad thing.
Before I finish Frost, let me say one thing. I just stated a philosophical viewpoint close to universally shared by a huge number of the greatest jazz musicians. And for the record, I often view the intransigence of jazz criticism and the musician culture harsh. For this reason I also try to embrace a number of genres outside of jazz because to be honest with you I often need a break from the tension of it all. but when it comes to this Wynton M. thing I do see the issue, and I hope I succeeded in explaining myself fully.

I think you're a very intelligent guy and an interesting read. But on this one thing we're going to have to stand in another place. Some things are beyond consensus and this is one of them.
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Old 12-18-2010, 07:57 PM
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Default Re: Wynton Marsalis

I don't think we are completely at odds on this point, we are not exactly debating known facts here, I'm not saying you're wrong, the difference is, you care quite intensely over it, jazz is a secondary interest for me musically, it was part of my education but I don't live and breathe it.

While you really dislike the guy, I am merely ambivalent, but I know that I enjoy listening to a lot of what he makes, original or not, I enjoy it. I'm not sticking up for him as an educator, I'm not debating any of the issues you've brought forward in this thread, frankly I'm out of my depths trying to argue this even if I wanted to as I am not versed enough in jazz society. If we were debating Bathory's importance in early 90's extreme metal it would be another matter, but we are not.

Thank you for the compliments, I respect your opinion and viewpoint, this is obviously one can of worms I never should have opened.


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Ok Listen to Blood on the Fields /the Pulitzer winner/
then listen to Ellington's Black Brown and Beige. I'll show you entire liftings of Ellington that go on uninterrupted and undisguised for 5 minutes or more. Yes, I agree that much of Blood on the Fields is really good. Ellington was a great composer.



1. I hear Who Can I Turn To? I hear the Miles solo often note for note. When he plays Armstrong's DinahI hear the Armstrong solo note for note from the famous 1931 film. Close to entire solos from his second album were lifted Freddie Hubbard solos from Blues and the Abstract Truth. No I am absolutely without a shadow of a doubt not wrong to say that he doesn't innovate. He doesn't...that's it. These things are beyond debate.

2. No one said that paying homage was not important. In fact it is part of the historical referencing issue. I said that you don't get to claim the savior gimmick when you're not an innovator because in jazz individual innovation reigns supreme. And on that score maybe I was not clear enough. Genres are a different ballgame seeing as how there are many ways to individually innovate within a chosen genre. But no, talented mockingbirds don't get to be head dog. In fact this is the very first time anyone was even arrogant enough to pull this one. Your homage to the music reference is also a tough defense to sell. Are you aware that he sends minions to educational organizations to strong arm guys into altering textbooks and teaching strategies? You actually have a guy trying to force feed the jazz historical canon on the next 1000 years of history, while Stanley Crouch and Albert Murray hand him talking points. It's sheer nonsense.

3. You can't ignore the controversy when he's the guy bringing it to the table. But he loves it when intelligent well meaning guys like yourself say I leave the controversy out of it. It makes his job a lot easier.


Re: your last question...No but at least one to handful have to be. Re: your first question see above. And avant garde was never brought into this discussion, nor does playing such music make one a trend setter or an innovator.


I never said his classical work was bad. In fact I think his playing of the Hummel from that first album is excellent. But what music are you saying was created there? I thought the Hummel Trumpet Concerto was composed by Hummel. Now if you're saying his improvisations tell a story, then yes I will agree with you. Freddie Hubbard was a great trumpeter, making him an excellent person to copy. but again those ideas belong to Hubbard, not the guy copying him. And it's too bad he no longer plays classical music. But when he walked away from that Bach Strad and started using those goofy French trumpets with the mouthpiece already built in, even most of his most diehard disciples will admit that a lot of that celebrated tone of his went with it.



Man this Marsalis thing is the most polarizing thing that's probably hit music since Beethoven brought the extra notes back. You're either on one side or the other. And yes I know that in this bizarre historical period when all opinions are equal and there is no good/bad or right /wrong people don't like to take a stand. But when it comes to this guy, when you stand in the middle of the road, the only thing that happens is you get hit by a truck. He punks the real educators and historians while his goofy yes men try to run you off any jazz forum where you dare offer this very popular perspective. I watched Jazz at Lincoln Center employees pretend to be unafilated objective Marsalis enthusiasts on jazzcorner forum for years. This is really an issue much deeper than you imagine.



Before I finish Frost, let me say one thing. I just stated a philosophical viewpoint close to universally shared by a huge number of the greatest jazz musicians. And for the record, I often view the intransigence of jazz criticism and the musician culture harsh. For this reason I also try to embrace a number of genres outside of jazz because to be honest with you I often need a break from the tension of it all. but when it comes to this Wynton M. thing I do see the issue, and I hope I succeeded in explaining myself fully.

I think you're a very intelligent guy and an interesting read. But on this one thing we're going to have to stand in another place. Some things are beyond consensus and this is one of them.
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Old 12-18-2010, 09:42 PM
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Default Re: Wynton Marsalis

Marsalis came up at a time when the great heritage of jazz was seen as a past occurrence, when great innovators like Armstrong, Duke and Parker were gone. He blamed it on the over-commercialization of music, like everyone did. And there is some credence to that.

In New York, in the 1950s you could go into clubs and they would be jamming until three or four in the am. Everyone was high and the smell of reefer filled the air. Never mind those dodged up on junk. You could be at a gig and Byrd, Diz or Coltrane would walk in and just start playing. Now you go in to the club, have dinner, hear a set, pay your bill, and make it home before 10pm. If you stay the whole night, you can spend $150-200.00. There's big money in it. You can still get some of that experimentation; but you have to know where it's happening.

I liked his early stuff, someone mentioned Black Codes from the Underground, and his playing with Herbie and Blakey. But then he just got too old, too quick. Truthfully, I never found his classical playing to be very moving. He saw/sees the music as a black expression, and there is a undertone of racism and African Nationalism that has underscored his belief. There was a time when his orchestra was all male, all black. That has changed.

What he is doing is bringing jazz into line with the western heritage of music, like Ellington, Billy Taylor and John Lewis had done before, though I wouldn't compare him to those musicians. In that sense, it can be integrated into that process. It is a part because European composers like Stravinsky, Weill, Milhaud were influenced by it. And American composers like Gershwin, Copland and even Elliot Carter saw it as a fundamental to the compositional process. You have musicians who are overly commercialized like Ramsey Lewis, Bob James or Kenny G. Then you have the guys who are just out there playing like Vijay Iyer, Joe Lovano, Dave Liebman or Joshua Redman and putting out good albums. But you have guys like Jason Moran, Brad Meldhau and Ethan Iverson who are finding that blend or composition and free jazz. All those guys are really doing that.

Marsalis has a very limited perspective on jazz; but it is also a perspective that many have adopted to some degree. It's uptown jazz. Jazz with a mink coat. I don't mind it; but I don't prefer it. There was a time when he railed against Free jazz and fusion saying that is was not really jazz. It's a bit different now because he's had Ornette Coleman and John McLaughlin to visit at JALC. I've heard people whom I respect call him a modern day Beethoven. He must pay them well to play at that Theater.

I went to the theater once, to see John Mclaughlin. It is not acoustically sound. Dizzy's club is really nice because the band plays on a band stand that overlooks Columbus Circle. There is a statue of Columbus and Central Park in the background. You can see the the Big Yellow taxis going by with the red taillights. It's certainly a place where the history of jazz is celebrated; but not a place where innovation will take place.

You have the boppers in the 50s, the politicians and political activists of the 60s, the rock stars in the 70s and the software innovators of the 80s and early 90s. What is captivating the idealism of young people today? I love this clip. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Crgzp...layer_embedded
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Old 12-18-2010, 10:08 PM
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for a jazzman to talk down other view points is quite.. how should I put it..unjazzy?
...
Any time these sorts of topics come up, that thought comes to mind.

I'm not really familiar enough with Wynton's music catalog to comment one way or another on his him per se.

But what I've noticed, or at least my perception, is back when I was young, and I'd picked up Modern Drummer magazine and read interviews with Elvin, Tony or whomever, a constant theme was innovation, and doing something different. Respect the music, drive the band, and do something different.

These days when I picked a magazine, and read an interview with a more modern jazz artists, I see more comments along the lines of "respecting history" "honoring the past" "attempt to do what so-and-so did."

Which always strikes me as a bit odd. I'm going back to the earliest days of jazz, the art form has been based on new ground. from dixie land to swing to be-bop and post-bop, the idea was to not repeat the previous generation and do something different. But it seems others these days would rather take what's been done and lock it up in a neat box and not let it breathe. Which, you know, it's nice that some people are willing to be the historians, but at the same time, I though the lessons from the greats was to take what's been done and move forward.

But as I said, maybe that's just my perception of being a 40 and having read Modern Drummer for 23 years as opposed to when I was 17 and was reading such interviews for the 1st time. And the fact I rarely spend much time listening to jazz compared to back when I was younger.
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Old 12-19-2010, 01:38 AM
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I don't think that Wynton Marsalis matters much, really. I don't think he's all that much of a jazz trumpet player and he's surely no innovator but that doesn't bother me. I don't understand why jazz musicians hate him so much. I just see him as a very savvy businessman. He's definitely shown his skill at playing the game. And he's always dressed very well.

Who cares? He's really more of a curator than a down-in-the-trenches jazz musician. Sure, he's paid his dues and he's earned his stripes but his primary and everlasting achievement was creating "Wynton Marsalis."

He's the Campbell's Soup of jazz, the family-friendly 42nd Street of jazz.

And he's always dressed very well.
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Old 12-19-2010, 01:42 AM
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... but I know that I enjoy listening to a lot of what he makes, original or not, I enjoy it.
If that's the case then why not check out the original guys he's imitating. You'll probably love that because a guy like yourself will be able to hear the difference.

I think drum forum guys could understand the issue if I used this analogy. You know how so many complain about drummers who make well produced youtube covers, where the guy plays the original song note for note and the lesser informed think its equal or superior to the original?

There's no difference here.

Wynton Marsalis is the Cobus of jazz, except he's not as original.

Now imagine if Cobus or the best imitator of the Moby Dick solo were the leader of the entire drumming world, controlled most of the available funding for your art form and was powerful enough to insert himself into the very history of the music via can't win political assertions based on racial divisions and a willing journalist base.

You think people would object to that?
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Old 12-19-2010, 01:52 AM
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Default Re: Wynton Marsalis

Thanks for that background, Ken. There have been some very good posts that have helped enlighten me. I take it that the clip I posted is as "out" as Wynton gets?


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That's encouraging! Fingers crossed ...
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Old 12-19-2010, 02:12 AM
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I like a lot of his "influences" as well, I don't feel the need to dislike one thing because it sounds like something else, it isn't like he plays solo, you can't discredit the musicians he plays with simply because they're playing a Wynton "composition".

I never claimed he was here to save jazz, he is conservative and traditional (in a sense similar to a classical musician), he doesn't tear down boundaries, he reinforces them if anything and funnily enough, that is what a lot of people like about him.

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If that's the case then why not check out the original guys he's imitating. You'll probably love that because a guy like yourself will be able to hear the difference.

I think drum forum guys could understand the issue if I used this analogy. You know how so many complain about drummers who make well produced youtube covers, where the guy plays the original song note for note and the lesser informed think its equal or superior to the original?

There's no difference here.

Wynton Marsalis is the Cobus of jazz, except he's not as original.

Now imagine if Cobus or the best imitator of the Moby Dick solo were the leader of the entire drumming world, controlled most of the available funding for your art form and was powerful enough to insert himself into the very history of the music via can't win political assertions based on racial divisions and a willing journalist base.

You think people would object to that?
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Old 12-19-2010, 02:16 AM
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Now imagine if Cobus or the best imitator of the Moby Dick solo were the leader of the entire drumming world, controlled most of the available funding for your art form and was powerful enough to insert himself into the very history of the music via can't win political assertions based on racial divisions and a willing journalist base.

You think people would object to that?
It's really stretching it, though, to say that Wynton Marsalis is the leader of the entire jazz world, no?

And as for his control of most of the funding for jazz, I'd have to see some concrete evidence to back that up.
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Old 12-19-2010, 04:16 AM
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Wow. What a heated discussion. I'm almost afraid to say anything. But that's never stopped me....

Would it be ironic to note that Tony Williams was the guy who said, if jazz made alot of money, then it wouldn't be jazz?. I find it a little strange that jazz is this heritage that needs nurturing and protection of its history and all that. There's such a huge institutional rage over jazz-as-educational-goal that I think alot of people are tired of that. Not necessarily playing jazz.

I mean, nobody argues about what the guys in rock n' roll are doing. Nobody disputes any history there, I don't think anybody cares. Why should we care so much about jazz? Apparently they care more about it across the Atlantic than we do here in the States. But I think you either play jazz, or you don't. I think the world is smart enough to know if they're being hoodwinked by Wynton Marsalis, and if they still like him, what does it hurt?

Excuse my naivete, but in the long view, does it matter?
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Old 12-19-2010, 04:55 AM
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And as for his control of most of the funding for jazz, I'd have to see some concrete evidence to back that up.
I'm pretty sure you asked this identical question when I made this assertion on aaj three years ago. I then supplied the 2001 NEA appropriations where Ken Burns Jazz (Wynton Marsalis artistic director) accounted for 68% of total jazz funding, meaning that every other jazz musician in the US was eligible for the remaining 32%. That was followed by the usual well buts and you're an idiot from the usual cast of aaj know it alls ...and that was followed by a flame on character slam deal that I'm pretty sure you also participated in. I then got a letter from the aaj forum owner asking me to refrain from incindiary posting. So I just erased it and stayed out of Wynton commentary on the JAZZ sight.

I always do my homework. I don't just post stuff.

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... it isn't like he plays solo, you can't discredit the musicians he plays with simply because they're playing a Wynton "composition".
Huh? Who said anything about the musicians he plays with? I ask again...are you truly reading the posts or are you merely replying with things you wanted to say in advance?



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Wow. What a heated discussion. I'm almost afraid to say anything. But that's never stopped me....

I mean, nobody argues about what the guys in rock n' roll are doing. Nobody disputes any history there, I don't think anybody cares. Why should we care so much about jazz? Apparently they care more about it across the Atlantic than we do here in the States. But I think you either play jazz, or you don't. I think the world is smart enough to know if they're being hoodwinked by Wynton Marsalis, and if they still like him, what does it hurt?

Excuse my naivete, but in the long view, does it matter?
I don't think there's anything wrong with being passionate. Frost and I are cool and have already said as much. I'm not mad at anyone here. I love talking about this stuff and I'm having a great time.

I can't speak for what rock historians care about because I don't know any. I do feel that past a hall of fame induction ceremony that you're right in your assertion that the rock guys don't care so much about archival stuff. And ironically that's also the reason /fair or no/ that their music is considered second tier in the same academic circles that will ultimately decide what makes the history books and what doesn't. Again is that fair? I'm not a historian so I'm not qualified. But I do know that's the assertion. Personally if I were the greatest lover of rock music I would find it disconcerting to think that future cultures may not even know of an entire genre of music. That won't happen with jazz or classical music, nor do jazz historians care if the current general population is getting tired of their work. They merely keep working oblivious of all things except what gets in their way. As previously mentioned I've been around people like this all my life. I am also saying that I am not as hardcore as they are. So don't shoot me I'm just the messenger.

But I do have to say that of course people can be hoodwinked by Marsalis. On this very post I just mentioned an incident of once providing very concrete evidence only to be flamed like a blow torch, while the same guy comes back to ask the same question three years later as if the previous incident never occured. I honestly don't know the reasons for such things, but they obviously happen.

Does all this matter? Well that crowd making it happen certainly thinks so. Will it make a difference in 1000 years from now? I have no idea. But I know that a lot of people believe this.
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Old 12-19-2010, 05:14 AM
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Matt,

I've been through all those discussions about Marsalis at JazzCorner, and before that at JazzCentralStation. So, I've been going at it for about 15 years now and I haven't had much to say about any of it for a long time now. Let it suffice to say that I'm generally in alignment with you on Marsalis and his place in the music, with the minor caveat that I believe he has at least turned some people onto jazz through his visibility and I consider that a good thing.

But here's the question I want to ask you: Where do you see the innovation coming from in the jazz world today?
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Old 12-19-2010, 05:34 AM
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Default Re: Wynton Marsalis

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You have the boppers in the 50s, the politicians and political activists of the 60s, the rock stars in the 70s and the software innovators of the 80s and early 90s. What is captivating the idealism of young people today? I love this clip. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Crgzp...layer_embedded
great speech! Wow,they didnt make 15 year olds like this in my day!

I dont know where it's going to go, Ken but it is reassuring to know the good stuff is out there. Hardly heard, unsupported, completely unmarketed, not easyily accessible, but its there. It exists and people are playing it.
Like Matt said, people will create this music unconditionally so it will exist, and develop, and mutate. And no single person can be a puppeteer and guide its destiny.

Also, you make a very significant point about the political need for some to put jazz music on the same mantle as Western Classical and to accord it the same respectability. Ellington certainly did and Wynton perhaps sees himself as his torch bearer. That this music has a political dimension connected to the Civil Rights Movement might have a lot to do with the sharpness of Wynton's position.

All music at some level has a political dimension I suppose, but it clouds issues because eventually music gets past all of that and reaches for a unversal acceptance that is beyond any kind of boundaries designed by man.

( perhaps we can exclude Wagner ? ; )

...

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Old 12-19-2010, 06:07 AM
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Matt, But here's the question I want to ask you: Where do you see the innovation coming from in the jazz world today?
I think the most creative jazz artists right now are in Europe, and that irritates me because I think that the best jazz musicians as a group are still Americans. It's our music and that's the way it should be. Interesting though how Wynton M, Stanley Crouch and Albert Murray are unimpressed with Europe although I strongly believe they've heard little of it. On that front I think there's also probably a little race politicking going on.

Still there is no truly ground breaking genre in Europe that follows along the lines of those famous 10 year transitions that used to happen with US jazz in the 20th century, and yeah I think the whole Wyntonization of jazz is largely responsible for that. In fact I strongly believe that a large number of cutting edge young African American hip hop artists would embrace jazz if the current American jazz establishment were more accepting of them. I have no doubt that 50-70 years ago guys like JayZ and Lil Wayne would have been jazz musicians.

With that said I firmly believe that hip hop culture will be responsible for the next significant jazz movement and yes, that one has a chance of actually becoming popular.

But interesting again how the Wyntonians have talking points already out there about how all the hip hop guys are also crap.

I'm just not wrong about this.
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Old 12-19-2010, 06:08 AM
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Wynton Marsalis is the Digiorno's Pizza of jazz.

"It's not delivery, it's Wynton!"
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Old 12-19-2010, 06:16 AM
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There's a place on the corner of 52nd and Lexington, or maybe it's 51st, anyway it's a little sandwich/coffee shop place. I went in there and asked for a tuna salad sandwich on whole wheat with lettuce and mayo. I was told that they don't make sandwiches, they only have sandwiches that are already made.

That's Wynton Marsalis. Sandwiches that are already made.
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Old 12-19-2010, 06:47 AM
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I don't think there's anything wrong with being passionate. Frost and I are cool and have already said as much. I'm not mad at anyone here. I love talking about this stuff and I'm having a great time.

I can't speak for what rock historians care about because I don't know any. I do feel that past a hall of fame induction ceremony that you're right in your assertion that the rock guys don't care so much about archival stuff. And ironically that's also the reason /fair or no/ that their music is considered second tier in the same academic circles that will ultimately decide what makes the history books and what doesn't. Again is that fair? I'm not a historian so I'm not qualified. But I do know that's the assertion. Personally if I were the greatest lover of rock music I would find it disconcerting to think that future cultures may not even know of an entire genre of music. That won't happen with jazz or classical music, nor do jazz historians care if the current general population is getting tired of their work. They merely keep working oblivious of all things except what gets in their way. As previously mentioned I've been around people like this all my life. I am also saying that I am not as hardcore as they are. So don't shoot me I'm just the messenger.

But I do have to say that of course people can be hoodwinked by Marsalis. On this very post I just mentioned an incident of once providing very concrete evidence only to be flamed like a blow torch, while the same guy comes back to ask the same question three years later as if the previous incident never occured. I honestly don't know the reasons for such things, but they obviously happen.

Does all this matter? Well that crowd making it happen certainly thinks so. Will it make a difference in 1000 years from now? I have no idea. But I know that a lot of people believe this.
I'm cool. I dig your passion about it. It sorta' reminds me of a single pane cartoon I saw years ago: in the future, an archeologist finds books by Madonna, Danielle Steele, and Michael Crichton and declares, "Behold! The Masters!"
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Old 12-19-2010, 07:08 AM
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I'm cool. I dig your passion about it. It sorta' reminds me of a single pane cartoon I saw years ago: in the future, an archeologist finds books by Madonna, Danielle Steele, and Michael Crichton and declares, "Behold! The Masters!"
Funny you would reference that cartoon, because here is what my old man said during his Jazz Ambassador acceptance speech in Toronto three years ago.

Ten thousand years from now when humanity digs through the strata to make sense of these confusing times, they will not be concerned with supply side economics, artificial social networking or the mental condition of underaged pop stars. They will instead marvel at what's left of the Eiffel tower, the Chrysler Building and that giant needle thing outside. At the apex of their journey they will stop dead in their tracks when they discover a definitive mother load of awe inspiring culture. It will have names attached to it like Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, John Coltrane, Bix Beiderbecke, and Miles Davis. They will find this magnificent treasure because a loyal cadre of meticulous educators protected it when the conventional wisdom was to trivialize.

I believe that with all my heart.


Does that sound like someone interested in a contrary viewpoint?
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Old 12-19-2010, 07:13 AM
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Default Re: Wynton Marsalis

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great speech! Wow,they didnt make 15 year olds like this in my day!

( perhaps we can exclude Wagner ? ; )

...
I was thinking Wagner too. Wagner thought that he was forging a new musical theater and launched a Music Festival and opera house in Bayreuth to cater exclusively to his music. A cult statue grew around Wagner as people saw him as Supreme Artist, prophet, visionary. I don't remember if he believed others would follow; but the festival is a annual homage to the man himself. Such is not the same with Wynton; but one would have to ask where will it all be in 50 or 100 years.

I don't really know the history of the movement to found a Jazz Center in Lincoln Center. I remember Wynton started talking about the baroque and how in the 18th century there was an improvisational musical culture. This culture diminished in the early 19 century when composers decided that they could write in the cadenza's, coloratura and trills better than the performers. I think he though that jazz could refuel that improvisational element of the western tradition. He also felt that the brothels, and drug and mafia infested clubs of jazz's past were not the best place to develop a tradition. I really think that culturally he was right, and I am sure he got that from someone at Julliard.This was a long road coming in which Wynton was the public face. But it wasn't all done through him and I am sure someone else had that idea.

It's kind of funny to hear someone like Jarrett disparage Wynton because Jarrett was a free jazzer. Now he is an interpreter of standards. He was doing all that classical cross over like Wynton and getting good reviews Chick was also doing some of that but with less critical acclaim. Then you had that whole groups of New Schoolers that came out of Mannes. Now a lot jazzers are conservatory trained.

The point I was alluding too was the idea of the imperative of innovation. The later 18th early 19the century was a time of conflict and struggle. It saw the American and French Revolutions and the Napoleonic Wars. There was a lot of innovation and the birth of democracy and Republicanism, and you had musical innovation in Mozart and Beethoven. The nineteenth century was more tame in Europe although you did have uprisings. The music was more conservative. They really lived in the shadow of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven.

By the early 20th century people were ready for some political upheaval. You had these two world wars and the music and artistic worlds had a time of great innovation with Picasso, the Impressionists and Expressionists. You had modernism, then the invention of jazz, rock and roll, the suburbs, the A bomb, the computer and internet. So my question was, will the 21st century be a time of intense innovation and does it have to be? And are we living in a post-ideological world?

Here's a brilliant parody by Orson Welles from The Third Man, the famous cuckoo clock speech.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8i47-QBL4Qo
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Old 12-19-2010, 07:19 AM
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Default Re: Wynton Marsalis

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In fact I strongly believe that a large number of cutting edge young African American hip hop artists would embrace jazz if the current American jazz establishment were more accepting of them. I have no doubt that 50-70 years ago guys like JayZ and Lil Wayne would have been jazz musicians.

With that said I firmly believe that hip hop culture will be responsible for the next significant jazz movement and yes, that one has a chance of actually becoming popular.
This was Max Roach's opinion as well. He drew parallels between hip-hop in today's music (I guess it's been 10 or 15 years since he said it, but the point stands, I think) and jazz 60 years ago.

I think the key element that's missing from jazz today is the political context. Those huge transitions you speak of, the major evolutions the music went through in its heyday, were as much about social politics as music. New schools came in and challenged older schools. I mean, today, it's easy to lump all the jazz greats from years gone by together as if they were all part of the same musical culture. But Louis Armstrong trashed bebop at the time and Miles said he thought Cecil Taylor played like someone with psychological problems, etc. Those seismic shifts in the evolution of jazz were passionate, controversial affairs.

With Wynton, all this music is presented like museum pieces, and I think that's the greatest disservice he does to it. Jazz is a rebellious music at heart, and trying to dress it up and make it all proper misses the point completely. Taking what came before and turning it upside down is what made a jazz musician great. A jazz musician needs to be irreverent if he wants to be a historical figure.

What I wonder is, if jazz evolves, who will listen to it? Will the jazz fans of today get on board, or will it need a brand new audience? I know a lot of jazz fans who claim they want to hear the music advance but when the slightest non-traditional element rears its head, they tune out. They don't want to hear anything electric beyond a guitar or organ. I agree that the Crouch/Wynton movement has influenced this trend, but it's heavily entrenched in the jazz culture now.
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Old 12-19-2010, 07:45 AM
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Default Re: Wynton Marsalis

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By the early 20th century people were ready for some political upheaval. You had these two world wars and the music and artistic worlds had a time of great innovation with Picasso, the Impressionists and Expressionists. You had modernism, then the invention of jazz, rock and roll, the suburbs, the A bomb, the computer and internet. So my question was, will the 21st century be a time of intense innovation and does it have to be? And are we living in a post-ideological world?
Agree, those were times of accelerated change, Actually begining with the Renaissance in the 14th century ( ? ), the first major cultural upheaval, to the post industrial revolution period, to America growing up the 60s , all the the wars etc..landmark times.

But I also believe that those of us living in our time are often ill equipped to pass judgment on the present. It always looks insipid by comparision to the past upon which we had had time for reflection, analysis and nostalgic glorification.

Also I think every generation since the Birth of Man has used the phrase " Back in my day it was all sunshine ....". Something funny about that though...Maybe its just the way our egos are built, us humans.

I think we havent even begun to scrape the surface or fully comprehend the power and capability of the babes of the 21st century, the internet, mobile telephony, artifical intelligence, stem cell technology and cracking the genome code. The 21st century will be a time for intense innovation for sure, and the musical arts will be a mirror to all of it.

We might not like it, you and me, but hey, we aint going to around to smell that cuppa coffee! ; )

...

Last edited by aydee; 12-19-2010 at 09:24 AM.
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Old 12-19-2010, 09:11 AM
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Default Re: Wynton Marsalis

Sorry to butt into an interesting conversation with my relatively prosaic inanities, but would I be right in guessing that Wynton M draws the line at hard bop? I take it Bitches Brew would be too modern for him? :) I take it A Love Supreme would have had some worrying developments for him ...

8 Mile mentioned that "Louis Armstrong trashed bebop at the time and Miles said he thought Cecil Taylor played like someone with psychological problems" ... and was it Miles who accused Monk of playing the wrong notes?
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Old 12-19-2010, 09:25 AM
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Default Re: Wynton Marsalis

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Huh? Who said anything about the musicians he plays with? I ask again...are you truly reading the posts or are you merely replying with things you wanted to say in advance?
I was just attempting to clarify the point about listening to him; you made a reference to it and I was just reaffirming that by listening to him I'm not exactly listening to him in person, I am listening to a whole collaboration of brilliant musicians, that was all. I probably shouldn't have used the word "you", by "you" I meant the universal "you" as in everyone but me. I didn't accuse you particularly of slandering the people that play with him, maybe that came across wrong, internet posts often do with little sleep and rushed words. I am also Australian, we use a lot of grammatically incorrect figure of speeches.

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I don't think there's anything wrong with being passionate. Frost and I are cool and have already said as much.
I agree, there is certainly no issue and never was.

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Personally if I were the greatest lover of rock music I would find it disconcerting to think that future cultures may not even know of an entire genre of music.
Metal has survived and evolved over the past three - four decades depending on your definition of when it actually started. While popular, more so then most people believe, it is a complete anathema of commercial music and has gained little to no acceptance within the academia, despite certain artists making incredible leaps forward stylistically and creatively.

Regardless of the fact that many people still have the opinion that metal is loud noise and that the people that listen to it are troubled teenagers and Satanists, I doubt it will disappear any time soon, regardless of who writes what about it.
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