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  #81  
Old 10-30-2008, 03:10 AM
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Default Re: Artistic statement is a balance between head, heart and hand

I see the word serious has lost its meaning.

I was talking in the sense of thing the opinions you have built up on any related jazz subject and implying there anywhere you feel is wrong. Actually I don't think that constitutes as being "too serious" like I originally said.

Now that I think about it, it seems more of an elitism issue. I don't even know anymore.
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  #82  
Old 10-30-2008, 04:06 AM
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Default Re: Artistic statement is a balance between head, heart and hand

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I was talking in the sense of thing the opinions you have built up on any related jazz subject and implying there anywhere you feel is wrong.
Well if you put it that way then, yes, the word serious has lost its meaning. That sentence has lost its meaning. This is not to say that I don't get your point.
I think that maybe the best thing for me to do is to just check out of this thread. Later...
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  #83  
Old 10-30-2008, 07:37 AM
VedranS VedranS is offline
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Default Re: Artistic statement is a balance between head, heart and hand

Head, heart, and hands, eh? That's a really cool way to put it. I don't know if there is a right combination, as far as how much of which is appropriate. The varying degrees of those elements are part of what creates the individuality and expressiveness of music, and different players have had many ways to approach the instrument. Moon was all heart, Lang is mostly head, Rich had crazy hands, though I found his ideas somewhat limited. He did make up up for what I consider to be his lack of head with plenty of heart, though. Once again, I found Buddy Rich's ideas somewhat limited. Again anyone?? I believe that Buddy Rich had a limited view of musicality, which to me comes across in the way he spoke, the way he played, and his general attitude, including his moronic "only good and bad music" statement everyone likes to quote.

What I'm trying to say there, which once again takes us off-topic and back to the minefield of the previous discussion, is that MUSIC IS A COMPLETELY SUBJECTIVE EXPERIENCE. Sorry about the yelling.

Anyway, what we find pleasing in a musician is based on our upbringing, what we've listened to, the experiences we were having when we first heard something, and countless other variables. While people may be passionate about favorite players and the history of where the way we play today comes from, they still need to realize that music is completely, uttery, and undeniably subjective. Even our sense of harmony is a historical, social construct. Our sense of time is too. There are and have been cultures whose highest, most respected music would sound terrible to our ears. This is because they come from a different harmonic, melodic, rhythmic background.

There is no right way to play, not even a good way to play. There's only a good way based on the tradition you come from and are trying to stay within. When something in music sounds new and exciting to us, experimental, it's only if it's surrounded by enough familiar old noise to be accepted by our ears as fitting within our musical framework.

A blast-beat played by Stevie Wonder sounds crazy and innovative. A shuffle in an extreme-metal song played by Derek Roddy also sounds crazy and innovative. If you were to switch the context of those two rhythms, each would have blended in and sounded perfectly trite in the contexts they're common in. What does that mean?? I'm pretty sure I don't know, just sayin'.

Sorry, but getting shot down for a completely subjective matter of opinion just pisses me off. You can tell Ken he's wrong for thinking Elvin didn't know what he's doing, but Ken has all the right to say anything Elvin ever played doesn't sound melodic TO HIM (I know you didn't say that, Ken) if he has a different ear that's been entrained through a different environment. Philosophers have been arguing over aesthetics forever, and philosophers are a bunch of stupid cranky old men who instead of smelling a rose have to tell everyone else why they think they should think it smells good.
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  #84  
Old 10-30-2008, 08:39 AM
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Default Re: Artistic statement is a balance between head, heart and hand

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Originally Posted by VedranS View Post
You can tell Ken he's wrong for thinking Elvin didn't know what he's doing, but Ken has all the right to say anything Elvin ever played doesn't sound melodic TO HIM (I know you didn't say that, Ken) if he has a different ear that's been entrained through a different environment.
Which is what we said. And specifically differentiated between those 2 perspectives. If you, or anyone reads our posts closely enough, you'll see the part we took issue with wasn't the unmusical part.

Furthermore, it was an ignorant statement (i.e. statement based on ignorance) in that Ken was not aware how Elvin works or of Elvin's approach, as he later demonstrated and subsequently took suggestions on how to remedy it, to his credit. Who would not argue with a claim that Elvin put head over heart? No one who has studied Elvin, Elvin was all heart first. That is as indisputable a fact (including Elvin saying so) as the Eb in Beethoven's 5th NOT being a mistake. So, here we are, page 3 and people still making up things like name calling and clearly missing some of the fundamental points that we have put forth. You cannot make things up to argue with and expect to be taken seriously, though apparently you can admit to coyness later on and still be 'the victim'.

Presumably those who've come forward to attempt to skewer Stan and I on Ken's behalf did so because Ken almost immediately (only 8 total posts after Stan and I first post) began complaining we were being too hard on him again, as he did the last 2 threads I participated in with him. Personally, I haven't got time for this whining from a grown man and merely said so, yet again to him.

You cannot say that Ornette did not play 'Harmolodically', you cannot say that Dolphy did not stretch the boundaries of both his instrument and Jazz itself, you cannot say that Coltrane did not change Jazz forever, you cannot say that Miles' second Quintet wasn't one of the most influential Jazz ensembles of all time. You cannot make a huge blanket (initially he didn't confine his mistaken perception of Elvin to the single 'Inner Urge' solo) false statement like 'Often Elvin was trying to do too much in his solos and the melodic idea was lost: too much hand not enough head'.

There is a difference between saying 'I like the USA' and 'The USA has 30 States is located next to Capetown and it's citizens are made of Jam'. One is opinion and the other is a statement based on lack of knowledge, plain and simple. I agree with much of what you say, Vedran and as I posted earlier, I certainly wouldn't have a problem with anyone saying 'I can't stand Elvin' or anything like that. That's fine, no problem, I could certainly understand that, but to not understand THAT and say that THAT was wrong, that is your 'Elitism'. And that was no where to be found.

G
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  #85  
Old 10-30-2008, 09:21 AM
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Default Re: Artistic statement is a balance between head, heart and hand

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Which is what we said. And specifically differentiated between those 2 perspectives. If you, or anyone reads our posts closely enough, you'll see the part we took issue with wasn't the unmusical part.

Furthermore, it was an ignorant statement (i.e. statement based on ignorance) in that Ken was not aware how Elvin works or of Elvin's approach, as he later demonstrated and subsequently took suggestions on how to remedy it, to his credit. Who would not argue with a claim that Elvin put head over heart? No one who has studied Elvin, Elvin was all heart first. That is as indisputable a fact (including Elvin saying so) as the Eb in Beethoven's 5th NOT being a mistake. So, here we are, page 3 and people still making up things like name calling and clearly missing some of the fundamental points that we have put forth. You cannot make things up to argue with and expect to be taken seriously, though apparently you can admit to coyness later on and still be 'the victim'.

Presumably those who've come forward to attempt to skewer Stan and I on Ken's behalf did so because Ken almost immediately (only 8 total posts after Stan and I first post) began complaining we were being too hard on him again, as he did the last 2 threads I participated in with him. Personally, I haven't got time for this whining from a grown man and merely said so, yet again to him.

You cannot say that Ornette did not play 'Harmolodically', you cannot say that Dolphy did not stretch the boundaries of both his instrument and Jazz itself, you cannot say that Coltrane did not change Jazz forever, you cannot say that Miles' second Quintet wasn't one of the most influential Jazz ensembles of all time. You cannot make a huge blanket (initially he didn't confine his mistaken perception of Elvin to the single 'Inner Urge' solo) false statement like 'Often Elvin was trying to do too much in his solos and the melodic idea was lost: too much hand not enough head'.

There is a difference between saying 'I like the USA' and 'The USA has 30 States is located next to Capetown and it's citizens are made of Jam'. One is opinion and the other is a statement based on lack of knowledge, plain and simple. I agree with much of what you say, Vedran and as I posted earlier, I certainly wouldn't have a problem with anyone saying 'I can't stand Elvin' or anything like that. That's fine, no problem, I could certainly understand that, but to not understand THAT and say that THAT was wrong, that is your 'Elitism'. And that was no where to be found.

G
Gregg has nailed the very core of the point I was trying to make to a tee I was making over and over again to get across to deaf ears it seems having been missed by many here. Read all my post in this thread very carefully. Calling a duck a cow doesn't make simply make it a cow. Has anyboby really understood the valid point of view put forth about calling things as they really are based on known truths especially in regards to anyone who has taken the effort to put in some serious time to study Elvin?. Really I don't have any more time for this. When people get defensive and the learning process stops cold dead in it's tracks this is where you end up. Nothing gained nothing learned and back to square one and people behave like wounded children in the process. Sorry to be so blunt but it's late. Goodnight!
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Last edited by Steamer; 10-30-2008 at 10:05 AM.
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  #86  
Old 10-30-2008, 05:42 PM
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Default Re: Artistic statement is a balance between head, heart and hand

Well, my feeling about it is basically this. The reason why we can have jazz discussions of interest on this forum is because Stan and Gregg are here. The reason we can't have jazz discussions on this forum is because Stan and Gregg are here.

I've learned so much from both these guys. And yes, when it comes to matters of Jazz Stan is most always right, offering great insights from his years of experience as a jazz drummer and listening to the great drummers. When it comes to matters of the history of recordings, and who played with whom when, Gregg has a wide ranging knowledge that seems unparalleled by most anyone on the board.

But the discussions most always disintegrates because of the language used that offers personal insult or criticism. Saying, "You are wrong," rather than "that statement is off base or wrong." It's the simple courtesy of acknowledging what someone else has said. It seems that more can be accomplished by simply asking what one meant by that. So my confusion was that I had been reading that Elvin's solos were confusing to the performers, and I thought, "Well, if McCoy Tyner doesn't even know when to come in, then maybe there is a problem here." But with some insight from Stan, I could then see that what had happened was that the leader of the band had probably let the solo extend further than expected for the purpose of letting the solo come to its natural close. Like Stan said, 'letting the player 'play out' what he is doing. So I think my ignorance actually revealed an insight and I learned something. So in that sense most anyone's listening can be used to further the discussion and deepen insights into Jazz.

and let me tell you playing with my quartet last night was so dead right on because I listened more attentively. There were points where we returned to the head in unison so beautifully and we all had our eyes close. Then at the end of the session, I was thinking about Stratus and what a great song that was, and my bass player said,"You know what a great song Stratus is by Billy Cobham, We should do that. " And I do have you guys to thank for that.

So in the interest of keeping things going:

I wish we could have a thread where you could ask any question and not be judged by it. Where we could ask the real pressing questions like:

Jazzercise, Does it really have anything to do with ‘Jazz?’
How did Jazz influence Cream and Led Zeppelin?
Were The Beats really ‘Jazz aficionados?’
Who invented the ‘Tony Williams shuffle?’
Why do we ask the question “Is Jazz Dead?” but never ask "Is Jerry Garcia is still alive?”
Is Wynton Marsalis the artist foe or just a faux artist?

It was jokes likes this that kept me out of comedy .

The LIebman statement is a great place to start.
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Last edited by Deltadrummer; 10-30-2008 at 06:22 PM.
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  #87  
Old 10-31-2008, 06:24 AM
VedranS VedranS is offline
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Default Re: Artistic statement is a balance between head, heart and hand

Just so I'm not the guy who posts an inflammatory post and then doesn't respond, I can see your point Gregg and Stan, and maybe I hadn't read your criticism of Ken's statement closely enough to catch the specific part that you had issue with, and where it was differentiated. Anyway, thanks for updating me.

How about this for a random thought, then? Ken felt that the melodic idea in Elvin's solos was sometimes lost. If this is indeed caused by not having listened to the player frequently and closely enough (which I don't doubt it is), it raises the question of who we're playing for. Obviously, understanding of a particular piece of music, style, or player increases the more one is invested in that music. Also, our emotional response is heightened and the way we relate to the music deepens as we come to understand the nuances and ideas behind it. So then, is it right or even logical to fault a listener for not "getting" someone or their ideas (I'm not referring to the previous argument or anything in particular here) when those ideas and their execution are so virtuosic that only close and involved repeated listening can bring about the intellectual and emotional understanding necessary to appreciate them? What is the right balance between hedonism and accessibility? Do you just play for yourself and only the things which turn you on, despite the fact that you may have such a deep and complex feel for time that it may at first sound incomprehensible to an average audience? Or are you trying to catch anyone that listens? Is that a good thing? I don't know, these are just a lot things that floated through my head upon reading the previous argument....anyway, anyone got some thoughts??
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  #88  
Old 10-31-2008, 06:44 AM
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Default Re: Artistic statement is a balance between head, heart and hand

Well, it's all over now, and it's not about me anyway.

And yes the melodic idea is transcended in a certain sense in the solo. But if you listen closely, even when he is battling out the triplets, he is trying to stay with the melodic idea, which is articulated in the snare drum. Thanks to Stan, I can hear that now.

I always loved Elvin. But growing up in the 70's when there was so much production technology, I never liked the sound of his drums in those early recordings. But now that I am trying to play jazz, ahem, looking back, Elvin is the man I would want to emulate. And as much as I am ignorant of much of what he did, (I do have most every Coltrane album) I have been spending the last several months trying to understand it, and maybe even play it. And that is a frustrating experience, but well worth the effort. So that is the truth behind my flippant comment.
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  #89  
Old 11-01-2008, 03:20 AM
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Default Re: Artistic statement is a balance between head, heart and hand

I'm just curious as to when every drum solo had to keep a melodic idea/intent...? It's like saying that improvisation has to be some sort of call & response...
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  #90  
Old 11-01-2008, 05:22 AM
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Default Re: Artistic statement is a balance between head, heart and hand

I feel really special now, because its been quite a while now and no one has scolded you for your question. I think it is a good one, Is this something that Elvin actually brought to jazz drumming, or do you see it earlier in guys like Max, Roy Haynes or Art Blakey? When does this approach first appear?

When you look at what he is doing from a classical music point of view, it is actually quite impressive. The solo is spontaneous, but well developed. It builds to a point, comes down builds to a climax and finishes. Hmmm . . . I read too much Freud in college.
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  #91  
Old 11-01-2008, 06:03 AM
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Default Re: Artistic statement is a balance between head, heart and hand

Lots of ways of approaching soloing based on individual jazz concepts including Elvin's own approach of combining melodic/rhythmic/poly- time developed concepts/motives to the drum set as we touched on with a very loose, raw, organic and flowing sensibility going on combined with on the spot improvisation and solo development. Lots of tension and release and over the bar line phrasing from his poly-time ideas incorporated into his solo playing.

The drummer who really nailed the combined melodic/rhythmic extended solo drum style and related concepts making the drums a distinctive solo voice and instrument into to the jazz frontlines was Max Roach for me. Certainly Art Blakey and Roy Haynes too but Max was the first real standout for this approach to the instrument for me
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  #92  
Old 11-01-2008, 06:16 AM
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Default Re: Artistic statement is a balance between head, heart and hand

I am listening to Max (Basic Street) now, and I can hear what you mean. The solos have more rhythmic cadence and end with some kind of a cadential gesture. You cans still hear some sense of melodic phrasing though.

PS: I found a place in NYC that has "The Film."
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  #93  
Old 11-01-2008, 06:31 AM
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Default Re: Artistic statement is a balance between head, heart and hand

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Originally Posted by Deltadrummer View Post
I am listening to Max (Basic Street) now, and I can hear what you mean. The solos have more rhythmic cadence and end with some kind of a cadential gesture. You cans still hear some sense of melodic phrasing though.

PS: I found a place in NYC that has "The Film."
When I first saw Max when I was a early teen on several PBS TV specials in the late 60's and early 70's with his larger kit with beautiful open sounding well tuned toms combined with his melodic/rhythmic ideas for his extended compositional style of soloing on the drums I was in love with his playing.

Great to here you found a source for the Elvin film.
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  #94  
Old 11-01-2008, 06:48 AM
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Default Re: Artistic statement is a balance between head, heart and hand

I had the same reaction when I first saw him at a clinic in the late 1970's. Everything he played seemed so well thought out and abstract. He was using matched grip and approached the drums like a percussion instrument. I remember him saying that your left hand should equal your right hand, and you should be able to do anything with it. JR reminds me of Max in some ways. He'll sit there meticulously tuning the drums before lessons.
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Old 11-01-2008, 05:41 PM
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Default Re: Artistic statement is a balance between head, heart and hand

It seems that people use the phrase "play melodically on the drums" with 2 distinct meanings.

1) To use the different pitches of the drums (especially the toms) to LITERALLY play melodies.

2) To sing the actual melody of the song to yourself and to use this device for keeping your place, rather than counting. This will also tend to make your rhythmic phrasing reflect the rhythmic phrasing of the song's melody.

From what I've heard, Max seems to be one of the first drummers to do #1.

As for #2, Max has said in numerous interviews that this was his approach to soloing in a tune.

So I guess Max was one of the first truly "melodic" drummers in BOTH definitions of the phrase!
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  #96  
Old 11-01-2008, 08:19 PM
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Default Re: Artistic statement is a balance between head, heart and hand

I wish my tone in my last post could've been conveyed somehow - I wasn't asking some naive question (in fact, now I wish I *had* been scolded - would've been fun)- I was actually saying "for F's sake, you don't NEED to make every solo have some sort of melodic quality" not "can I get a quick historical fact-check here?" I was actually *this* close to keeping the part about "Yeah Max Roach, yeah" but I cut it out

the music moves forward with conceptual ideas. If you keep playing with the same concepts, then the music will sound stagnant, as it does a lot, these days. There are other methodologies one can use in order to construct a solo - beyond "melodic/rhythmic" and other methods of what to play rather than "call & response" - which was where I hoped my last post's intent was obvious...Ah well.
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Old 11-01-2008, 08:47 PM
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Default Re: Artistic statement is a balance between head, heart and hand

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I wish my tone in my last post could've been conveyed somehow - I wasn't asking some naive question (in fact, now I wish I *had* been scolded - would've been fun)- I was actually saying "for F's sake, you don't NEED to make every solo have some sort of melodic quality" not "can I get a quick historical fact-check here?" I was actually *this* close to keeping the part about "Yeah Max Roach, yeah" but I cut it out

the music moves forward with conceptual ideas. If you keep playing with the same concepts, then the music will sound stagnant, as it does a lot, these days. There are other methodologies one can use in order to construct a solo - beyond "melodic/rhythmic" and other methods of what to play rather than "call & response" - which was where I hoped my last post's intent was obvious...Ah well.
Oh it was conveyed perfectly, no scolding needed as you well know.

G
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Old 11-01-2008, 09:24 PM
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Default Re: Artistic statement is a balance between head, heart and hand

I don't get the current problem here. I clearly stated in my first sentence in post #91 there are several ways of soloing and have no issue with the reference or discussion of that myself after the Colonel made his comment. During this discussion the subject of Elvin was brought up and his ideas and concepts towards his soloing {in his words} which we were focusing in on and as of late in the thread Max Roach and his melodic/ rhythmic approach to drumming. Never touched much on other forms {or players} in the thread towards soloing thus far but no dismissal of them took place from my read of the post and certainly not from me. Many forms of ideas for jazz improvisation related to the drums and soloing can happen in the big world of music.
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Old 11-02-2008, 12:18 AM
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Default Re: Artistic statement is a balance between head, heart and hand

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Originally Posted by The Colonel View Post
I wish my tone in my last post could've been conveyed somehow - I wasn't asking some naive question (in fact, now I wish I *had* been scolded - would've been fun)- I was actually saying "for F's sake, you don't NEED to make every solo have some sort of melodic quality" not "can I get a quick historical fact-check here?" I was actually *this* close to keeping the part about "Yeah Max Roach, yeah" but I cut it out

the music moves forward with conceptual ideas. If you keep playing with the same concepts, then the music will sound stagnant, as it does a lot, these days. There are other methodologies one can use in order to construct a solo - beyond "melodic/rhythmic" and other methods of what to play rather than "call & response" - which was where I hoped my last post's intent was obvious...Ah well.
Well, E, the tone was the tone, and yes we all got it. I know you are a great jazz drummer. But I am a historian at heart, and wanted to know the answer to the question, When does this come into play? Is this Elvin's contribution to jazz soloing. I knew my jazz guru, Stan, would answer it for me; but i was already listening to Blakey, Haynes and Max to find the answer. This is what your comment brought up for me, like you comment about Jason Moran got me to thinking, is there a difference between downtown and uptown jazz?, and if so how does that play out? So I learned something from that comment because there most certainly is.

I am not as knowledgeable as many here about jazz history. But it was I who said several months ago, that one could make distinctions about music based on fact other wise you could never acknowledge something that you did not like as yet having quality. To which Gregg, said, "I am going to use that." So in the jazz tune thread I continued to fight for the right to say yes these recordings are a defining moment in jazz and both Gregg and Stan came around to the Miles Davis Quintet of the 60's, which I figured was the answer. It was the only time I had seen them agree. So when Gregg says that there are moments in jazz like The John Coltrane Quartet or Miles Davis Quintet that are no to be reckoned with, he knows I agree because I have been the one who has been saying that all along.

If you think I'm naive, read Schiller. :)
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