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  #201  
Old 12-04-2009, 01:03 AM
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Default Re: Why is Jazz a Four Letter Word?

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But it's sure great for the rest of us later to study, learn from and ponder over and consider in regards to the true worth and value of their contributions they brought to the table and left behind for generations to come. Leonardo da Vinci's works are hundreds of years old at this point but still have a MAJOR impact on other artist TODAY. Legacies DO have importance whether intended or not for following generations by example to use as reference points in any area of study just as it also goes applied to music and the musicians and what they brought to the table.

I'll take Tony any day of the week for my own personal {musical} reasons........:}
Fair point, Stan. The legacies of inspired artists are great for the rest of us.

For me, I've been too close to the tortured artiste and seen how much good it did her personally (ie. bugger all) to ever have an interest in creating my own legacy, and that includes areas where I am a more influential "player" than in music (where my impact is zip). My concern is the now and the immediate future. Maybe that's good in some ways, maybe not, but that's how it is. In music that translates to focusing on having a good time and hopefully giving others a good time since I am a wheel in mammon's machine during the day.

The worst thing was when Mum got tired of being a poor artiste and went commercial. She simply couldn't get the stuff published. And that's something I think gets forgotten at times. It's a different skillset in writing in the same way as there's a different skillset required to play simple forms of music to jazz.

Some can cross over and some can't. Interest is the key. Mum could write powerful and harrowing tales of family life but couldn't cut it in pulp romance. In hindsight, she didn't believe in it and that was the missing link. Whatever you do, you need that sincerity.

I sometimes see an assumption that jazz players, with their wonderful techniques can easily encompass all that simple rock/pop drummers can do. Technically yes, emotionally no.

Most jazzers would go nuts with all the simple ostinato. You'll hear jazzers play excellent simple pop sessions ... but playing it night after night in a band without feeling like a caged lion and either leaving or eventually pissing everyone else in the band off? Not impossible, depending on the personality, but ...

There is a such a thing as being overqualified for the job. We all have our place.

If Tony W was alive I'd take him over Meg W too but he'd need to lose the beard :)

Last edited by Pollyanna; 12-04-2009 at 01:49 AM.
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  #202  
Old 12-04-2009, 01:14 AM
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Default Re: Why is Jazz a Four Letter Word?

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Does anyone know of any musical genre that can be considered "dead"?

Anything that was not recorded. What was the most popular tune in Rome circa AD 42?

Sadly we have lost a great deal.
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  #203  
Old 12-04-2009, 01:19 AM
Michael McDanial Michael McDanial is offline
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Default Re: Why is Jazz a Four Letter Word?

"There is hardly any money interest in art, and music will be there when money is gone." - Duke Ellington

I think this is something that has not been addressed in this discussion, and it certainly does play a large role. Whether people like it or not, there are two types of music: music that is being made solely for the purpose of making money, and music that is being made for the love of the music.

That, for me, is the difference between music that is art and music that is simply being made by people with dollar signs in their eyes. The only pop musician in recent memory that I feel is making music for the love of music is Alicia Keys. It certainly shows in her interviews, where she talks about the music of Bach, Beethoven, Gershwin, and Ellington among others. She takes the time to study the musicians that came before her and appreciates great artists in other styles of music. How many pop stars out there have you seen talking about musicians like these in interviews? I certainly don't recall any. That's why I have great respect for somebody like Alicia Keys. She's writing and playing her music and not what some record producer wants to bring in the dough. Do you think you could have a conversation with Britney Spears discussing the composers mentioned? I don't think so.

Why does pop music not last? Because other than the very few exceptions (like Alicia), it's simply made for the almighty dollar, and nothing more. How many times have you seen this scenario?: There's a song that's really hot that is getting all the attention. Constantly played on the radio, at clubs, etc. People love it! Six months down the road, it's time has passed and everybody that so loved that song six months ago couldn't give a rat's behind about it now.

Jazz is a style of music that is made for the love of the music. People don't become jazz musicians because they want to be popular and make the big bucks. The same can be said for other styles of music. I'm a big fan of Celtic music, and have even been trying to learn to play bodhran. Celtic musicians aren't playing their music because they want to be popular. They're doing it for the love of the music. I think Duke said it best in the above quote.
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  #204  
Old 12-04-2009, 01:20 AM
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Default Re: Why is Jazz a Four Letter Word?

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I sometimes see an assumption that jazz players, with their wonderful techniques can easily encompass all that simple rock/pop drummers can do. Technically yes, emotionally no.
Even technically there can be, well, issues. I got a house-band gig when I was a kid, and the drummer I replaced was a jazz drummer, a quite good one too, he'd played with some big names and all that. He was a friend of the club owner but the band was playing rock music, "popular music." It sounded terrible. It sounded like a jazz drummer playing with a rock band. The thing is he just didn't have the crispness, the steadiness and groove to play that music. The guys wanted me and I got the gig.

I was once in an R&B band and we decided that it would be cool to get a saxophone. We had one guy come up and he was all over the place, he just didn't know what he was doing. This guy could probably burn through chorus-after-chorus of "Cherokee" but he was clueless when it came to playing the blues.

Now both of these guys needed the work but in the real world of popular music they were anachronisms, they couldn't do the job. And in both cases their resentment was palpable. We didn't get it. Why not just, you know, play jazz if that's what you do?

Since then I've come to know a lot more about the jazz scene than I did then. And I can see how frustrating it must be to have to take a day job of some sort while "lesser" musicians are working. That's got to hurt, no?
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  #205  
Old 12-04-2009, 01:44 AM
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Default Re: Why is Jazz a Four Letter Word?

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I think we're talking about different things. I can't deny that Meg White is influential. The question is do I like the message she is being influential with? I'm all in favor of women playing drums, I just want them to play well. I think much the same way about Brittany Spears. Sure she is influential, but do I want my 4 year old wearing a belly shirt and acting all crazy?
Certainly, the influence to whom is important as well. It's easier to argue your point with Brittany than with Karen Carpenter. I was thinking the same thing about Johnny Lydon. There does need to be a perceived level of honest expression as a musician in the equation. My point is that in order to get a rich and full perspective on the history of music, you need to be honest about the phenomenon as a cultural process. Ultimately, Bach is "Bach" because he is still influential on musicians like Alicia keys, Stanley Clarke or Stevie Vai. Pretty amazing when you think about it. Who alive in the alst fifty years will be able to say that 200 hundred or so years from now?

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Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
A. I meant to give Ken kudos for a fascinating post. Love your work, Ken.
You should. I was setting you up to say, "It's not always about art, it's about expression." What happened? (I would have agreed with you in this context.)
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  #206  
Old 12-04-2009, 01:48 AM
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Default Re: Why is Jazz a Four Letter Word?

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Originally Posted by Michael McDanial View Post
"There is hardly any money interest in art, and music will be there when money is gone." - Duke Ellington


Whether people like it or not, there are two types of music: music that is being made solely for the purpose of making money, and music that is being made for the love of the music.

"There are only two kinds of music, good and bad."
Duke Ellington

There has been a lot of bad music made for money that people loved. Usually the composer. I know, I had to play some of it! ;-)



The only pop musician in recent memory that I feel is making music for the love of music is Alicia Keys.

This statement cannot be verified with proof, it is too far reaching. I believe many pop musicians love what they do. This can only be seen as a matter of opinion. Until one has met and spoken to every pop musician on earth, one simply cannot know. I personally know some very fine pop musicians who have been schooled and know what they are talking about.




It certainly shows in her interviews, where she talks about the music of Bach, Beethoven, Gershwin, and Ellington among others. She takes the time to study the musicians that came before her and appreciates great artists in other styles of music. How many pop stars out there have you seen talking about musicians like these in interviews? I certainly don't recall any.

This is really no different to any one of the fine drummers on this website who have taken the time to research Zutty Singleton, Chick Webb, Art Blakey Tony Williams, Ginger Baker Gavin Harrison and any other of the wonderful people to have played drums. That she did her work properly should not be seen as any special or unusual virtue.

That's why I have great respect for somebody like Alicia Keys. She's writing and playing her music and not what some record producer wants to bring in the dough. Do you think you could have a conversation with Britney Spears discussing the composers mentioned? I don't think so.

Does she have 100% control over her career? Am I really to believe that in the high stakes game of the music business that the accountants, managers, studio heads, press agents and the like have no say??? If Alicia wanted to release an album called "Polka for aging lovers", they'd really let her do it???

Why does pop music not last?

It does last. How many times has Motown been sampled?


Because other than the very few exceptions (like Alicia), it's simply made for the almighty dollar, and nothing more.

The wrecking crew did not record pop music for the love of it. At least Earl Palmer didn't. It was for the money. However, look at the resulting decades. Many old pop tunes are now studied and taken very seriously. James Gadson said "Old school is the school."

While something may have it's roots in an economic basis, this does not in itself discredit it.




How many times have you seen this scenario?: There's a song that's really hot that is getting all the attention. Constantly played on the radio, at clubs, etc. People love it! Six months down the road, it's time has passed and everybody that so loved that song six months ago couldn't give a rat's behind about it now.

Just wait 15 to 20 years. You'll hear it again.

Jazz is a style of music that is made for the love of the music. People don't become jazz musicians because they want to be popular and make the big bucks.

It is not only the style of music, also the instrument. How many superstar accordian players are there? Your statements are too all encompassing to be accurate.



The same can be said for other styles of music. I'm a big fan of Celtic music, and have even been trying to learn to play bodhran. Celtic musicians aren't playing their music because they want to be popular. They're doing it for the love of the music. I think Duke said it best in the above quote.

There is money in Celtic music. I know many people who make a decent living from it. Good luck with the bodhran. I too play it.
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  #207  
Old 12-04-2009, 02:07 AM
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Default Re: Why is Jazz a Four Letter Word?

Michael, I agree with Wy that the lines are more blurred than you suggest. Many, many popular artists have played for the love of it. They often compromise, sure, but they still find ways of slipping their passions into the music. After all, what prompted them to put in the work to build enough skills to go pro? Once you start learning an instrument, once you get carried away with it enough to be functional the bug inevitably bites.

My band, for example, is purely hobbyist. We have no plans. It's not by any stretch my first choice of genre but it's what I have available in a pain-free way - convenient, nice people and the musicians are of reasonable standard but not too good for me. If you're not a beast player, pragmatism often plays a role, and many brilliant players make pragmatic musical decisions. Bill Bruford rejoined Crimson in 1993 even though he preferred jazz. He simply needed the gig at the time.

Sadly, the business really has taken over big time now and there certainly are plenty of people whose focus is more on stardom and $$ than the art, who have forgotten the things about music that got them high. Thank god for the internet, I say. Lots of crap, of course, but also lots of people playing for the love of it and the chance for bands to control their own promotion and distribution. At least the record companies don't control the web (yet).

And let's not forget the other form of payment that corrupts music-making - ego and status - brilliant chops on display that would make any circus acrobat proud but not much depth of expression or passion on show. Same coin, just the flipside.

Haha Ken, but isn't expression an inevitable byproduct of art - even when it's unintended? What's expressed might just be cynicism or conservatism or the wish not to express but our art, regardless of quality or motivation says something about us. For all I know my music might say I'm a complete gronk but it says something about me.

That's something I love about the Your Playing section here. It really fleshes out the personalities.
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  #208  
Old 12-04-2009, 02:31 AM
Michael McDanial Michael McDanial is offline
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Default Re: Why is Jazz a Four Letter Word?

Unfortunately, it's not allowing me to quote the entire post, so I'll just have to number my responses:

1. I said that "the only recent pop musician that I feel is makeing music for the love of the music is Alicia Keys". In other words, I clearly stated that it's my opinion, not gospel.

2. I'm referring to modern day pop music, not Motown. Marvin Gaye refused to make any more recordings for Barry Gordy unless he released "What's Going On". I certainly seem to notice a difference in older people talking about pop music from their younger years than the younger generations nowadays. Today, when younger people hear a song that was popular say 7 or 8 years ago the first thing I usually hear is "Oh my gosh, this song is so old!" not "Man, I really love this song!" Sorry, but I don't consider the music of Britney Spears on the same level as "What's Going On" or "Songs In The Key Of Life". Just wait 20 years and see if people now value the pop music of today the way my parents' generation does of the albums I mentioned.

3. No, I wasn't implying that she has 100% control over her record company, just that she's still doing her thing and not changing what she does simply to follow everybody else. In my eyes, that does count for something.

4. I don't disagree that it's also the instrument. But it also depends on how the band utilizes the instrument. Flogging Molly is a very well known group (and a personal favorite of mine) that uses the accordion very effectively.My "statements are too all encompassing to be accurate". I never said that this was all that there was to it. You're just taking it that way. Would you then say that my statements have no accuracy at all? If you want me to go into a million details, well, I honestly don't have the time (especially after all the energy the students take out of me!). However, just because I can't go into every single detail doesn't mean that my statements have no truth whatsoever.

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Originally Posted by wy yung View Post
There is money in Celtic music. I know many people who make a decent living from it. Good luck with the bodhran. I too play it.
Yes, there is money in Celtic music, just like there is money in jazz music. Recent guys like Herbie Hancock and Michael Brecker (RIP) make/made a darn good living playing jazz. However, do people go into jazz with the motivation to make the big bucks like Herbie and Michael? I hope not because they're in for a let-down. The same applies for Celtic music. Just because there are some musicians making a good living off of it doesn't change the fact that it's a million times harder to make a whole lot of money playing Celtic music than pop music.

Thanks for the good luck wishes on the bodhran! It's certainly a lot harder than it looks to the naked eye (not that I was expecting it to be easy - I've already learned that lesson with instruments)! Always good to see another bodhran player. Have you checked out John Joe Kelly?

Here's a cool link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ChbigufBC8
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  #209  
Old 12-04-2009, 02:48 AM
Michael McDanial Michael McDanial is offline
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Default Re: Why is Jazz a Four Letter Word?

Polly, like I said, it's my opinion. I'm not saying that no pop artist has ever done it for the love of the music. I only said that of the pop musicians out there today, she's the only one that has come across to me as doing her thing and playing her music rather than just being another sheep in the herd. Sorry, but today's pop music isn't Motown. How can you really compare the two? Pop music of three or four decades ago is not being made like it was during the great Motown years. It's a whole different ballgame now. If you listened to a whole lot of pop music from the golden years of Motown and a lot of the pop music of today, you certainly recognize a lot more of a difference than just the sound of the music.

Nobody here is going to draw a definite line. I think that's one of the problems is that in our society nowadays we always want definite lines drawn. Nobody can explain the complexity of music by drawing definite lines. It just isn't possible. So we can't expect peoples opinions to be something that is all encompassing. Just because somebody voices their opinion on something doesn't mean that they consider their opinions to be all encompassing. That's what makes it an opinion - how you perceive it. I'm not implying that anything that I'm saying is gospel, but I do have my opinion, and I shouldn't have to go into a million details because, after all, who on here is going to say something that is all encompassing and just nail every single point? Nobody. It's always going to be a matter of opinion between all of us. All that anybody truly knows is their own experiences, and those experiences are what we base our opinions off of. In other words, who is right? Nobody. Because one person's experiences are not another's. Your experiences are not mine, and mine are not yours.

Polly, that second paragraph is just a general thought that I'm expressing. Not directed at you personally in any way. :)

This thread is great! Just when you think it's about to stop, something else gets it going again!

Last edited by Michael McDanial; 12-04-2009 at 03:33 AM.
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  #210  
Old 12-04-2009, 03:52 AM
wy yung
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Thanks for the good luck wishes on the bodhran! It's certainly a lot harder than it looks to the naked eye (not that I was expecting it to be easy - I've already learned that lesson with instruments)! Always good to see another bodhran player. Have you checked out John Joe Kelly?

Here's a cool link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ChbigufBC8

Hi Michael.
I think we agree then more than disagree.

Thanks for the link. You may enjoy this site: http://www.bodhranworld.com/


You may also enjoy trying this instrument, the pandeiro. http://www.pandeiro.com/

A solo. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnLV-_psQpQ

It's a great little portable drumkit for drummers. I use it to play accoustic shows where I could never use a drum set. Fantastic drum.
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  #211  
Old 12-04-2009, 04:50 AM
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Default Re: Why is Jazz a Four Letter Word?

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Fair point, Stan. The legacies of inspired artists are great for the rest of us.

For me, I've been too close to the tortured artiste and seen how much good it did her personally (ie. bugger all) to ever have an interest in creating my own legacy, and that includes areas where I am a more influential "player" than in music (where my impact is zip). My concern is the now and the immediate future. Maybe that's good in some ways, maybe not, but that's how it is. In music that translates to focusing on having a good time and hopefully giving others a good time since I am a wheel in mammon's machine during the day.

The worst thing was when Mum got tired of being a poor artiste and went commercial. She simply couldn't get the stuff published. And that's something I think gets forgotten at times. It's a different skillset in writing in the same way as there's a different skillset required to play simple forms of music to jazz.

Some can cross over and some can't. Interest is the key. Mum could write powerful and harrowing tales of family life but couldn't cut it in pulp romance. In hindsight, she didn't believe in it and that was the missing link. Whatever you do, you need that sincerity.

I sometimes see an assumption that jazz players, with their wonderful techniques can easily encompass all that simple rock/pop drummers can do. Technically yes, emotionally no.

Most jazzers would go nuts with all the simple ostinato. You'll hear jazzers play excellent simple pop sessions ... but playing it night after night in a band without feeling like a caged lion and either leaving or eventually pissing everyone else in the band off? Not impossible, depending on the personality, but ...

There is a such a thing as being overqualified for the job. We all have our place.

If Tony W was alive I'd take him over Meg W too but he'd need to lose the beard :)

None of us Polly know when we are alive what kind of impact what we do will have {if any} on future generations but we have to keep moving forward if it's our life blood on the line. All we can do is be honest with ourselves and let the cards fall where they may in that department unless we directly play the power/political status game to directly seek fame past the coffin which may fail in the grand scheme of things. Real meat of content is the only hope for that.

Sometimes we need to make choices to get a better grip on dealing with the true realities of life which can create difficulties with our "ideals" we wish to achieve. Your story of your mother is a great example of that never ending struggle many have {and will} be faced with.

Only thing I take issue with is the premise of the jazz musicians state of mind over "others". Most honest jazz players don't look at the playing over others but are just honestly trying to just do their "thing" without judgment on what others choose to do. Playing the technical card bothers me too greatly to be quite honest. Technique is a part of emotional expression and not a seperate thing from the degree of technique needed to conceptually express what is needed within the CONTEXT of the music at hand. You can't make blanket statements that cover all forms of emotional musical expression and can't condemn a jazz drummer of lacking emotion if by choice they work on and the degree of skill they work on to achieve the musical end result. If a certain degree of technique or skill knowledge is required to deliver the final musical end product then that's just part and parcel of the combined whole for me to play honest music at your personal best. Most mature players in any genre of music know how to use their technique within each individual musical context to the best effect. Jazz drummers are no different just that it requires its own language of technical/musical skills to best express emotionally what you're trying to get across. I have lots to say emotionally on the drums within music and spent years on working on my "technique" to express it successfully without feeling like i'm being held back in achieving that goal in some way or another. That's my point.....
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  #212  
Old 12-04-2009, 05:55 AM
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The unspoken concept here is sort of bothering me. That concept is that only jazz drummers can play jazz. I don't buy that, and I know that's going to make some people angry and that's the last thing I want to do, believe me.

See, playing the drums well is just not the same as barely getting by, being a weekend-hobbyist drummer. Playing the drums well is exactly the same thing as playing the trumpet well. And to play well you have to do it all the time, it has to be your life, it's all encompassing and it is, in fact, your livelihood, the way you make your living.

Of course I know that a lot of people here do not play the drums professionally and that's cool, eveyone's cool here but maybe that's the whole source of all this conflict where jazz is concerned.

The thing is that I can play jazz and I can play it pretty well, but I'm not a "jazz drummer." What is a jazz drummer anyway? The only answer I can come up with is that a jazz drummer is someone who makes his or her living by playing jazz and nothing but jazz. But then you look at a guy like, say, Ted Poor, who's a very fine jazz drummer but he doesn't rely on jazz to pay his bills. If he did he'd be living on the street.

The idea that jazz is only for the select few is so far outdated that, if it was a fact, jazz would have been well and truly dead for years if not decades. It's just not that big a deal, and that is where I part ways with the jazz guys who insist that jazz is some sort of esoteric society that is only open to those who've passed some sort of test, those who have finally arrived at the secret innner sanctum by passing some kind of initiation rite.

What I'm trying to say is that there seems to be a certain strictness, a sort of finger-wagging "you-must-obey-the-rules-you-have-to-do-it-this-way" sort of attitude where jazz drumming is concerned, and that's, well, that's no fun at all, and it's not at all encouraging to someone starting out and seeking to express themselves, rules be damned.
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Old 12-04-2009, 06:14 AM
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The unspoken concept here is sort of bothering me. That concept is that only jazz drummers can play jazz. I don't buy that, and I know that's going to make some people angry and that's the last thing I want to do, believe me.

See, playing the drums well is just not the same as barely getting by, being a weekend-hobbyist drummer. Playing the drums well is exactly the same thing as playing the trumpet well. And to play well you have to do it all the time, it has to be your life, it's all encompassing and it is, in fact, your livelihood, the way you make your living.

Of course I know that a lot of people here do not play the drums professionally and that's cool, eveyone's cool here but maybe that's the whole source of all this conflict where jazz is concerned.

The thing is that I can play jazz and I can play it pretty well, but I'm not a "jazz drummer." What is a jazz drummer anyway? The only answer I can come up with is that a jazz drummer is someone who makes his or her living by playing jazz and nothing but jazz. But then you look at a guy like, say, Ted Poor, who's a very fine jazz drummer but he doesn't rely on jazz to pay his bills. If he did he'd be living on the street.

The idea that jazz is only for the select few is so far outdated that, if it was a fact, jazz would have been well and truly dead for years if not decades. It's just not that big a deal, and that is where I part ways with the jazz guys who insist that jazz is some sort of esoteric society that is only open to those who've passed some sort of test, those who have finally arrived at the secret innner sanctum by passing some kind of initiation rite.

What I'm trying to say is that there seems to be a certain strictness, a sort of finger-wagging "you-must-obey-the-rules-you-have-to-do-it-this-way" sort of attitude where jazz drumming is concerned, and that's, well, that's no fun at all, and it's not at all encouraging to someone starting out and seeking to express themselves, rules be damned.

I don't get your point of view at all in the latest rambling Jay... opps I mean Conrad. Got some "issues" to deal with? If you're a jazz drummer post some clips . If you don't consider yourself a jazz drummer.....well...... whatever........ who cares since life goes on.

A jazz drummer..... a drummer that plays jazz.... pretty simple answer really. No gray area or confusion on the subject for me. Cut the crap and BS. Life to short for unnecessary "complications" on the subject and jazz is far from dead as are jazz drummers to those who really still enjoy playing it.

Enough smoke already.........i'm not going to put up with this parlour game of hide my true identity yet again to derail this thread with further confusing spin talk. At least I know what {and who} I am.
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Last edited by Steamer; 12-04-2009 at 06:40 AM.
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  #214  
Old 12-04-2009, 06:17 AM
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The unspoken concept here is sort of bothering me. That concept is that only jazz drummers can play jazz. I don't buy that, and I know that's going to make some people angry and that's the last thing I want to do, believe me.

See, playing the drums well is just not the same as barely getting by, being a weekend-hobbyist drummer. Playing the drums well is exactly the same thing as playing the trumpet well. And to play well you have to do it all the time, it has to be your life, it's all encompassing and it is, in fact, your livelihood, the way you make your living.

Of course I know that a lot of people here do not play the drums professionally and that's cool, eveyone's cool here but maybe that's the whole source of all this conflict where jazz is concerned.

The thing is that I can play jazz and I can play it pretty well, but I'm not a "jazz drummer." What is a jazz drummer anyway? The only answer I can come up with is that a jazz drummer is someone who makes his or her living by playing jazz and nothing but jazz. But then you look at a guy like, say, Ted Poor, who's a very fine jazz drummer but he doesn't rely on jazz to pay his bills. If he did he'd be living on the street.

The idea that jazz is only for the select few is so far outdated that, if it was a fact, jazz would have been well and truly dead for years if not decades. It's just not that big a deal, and that is where I part ways with the jazz guys who insist that jazz is some sort of esoteric society that is only open to those who've passed some sort of test, those who have finally arrived at the secret innner sanctum by passing some kind of initiation rite.

What I'm trying to say is that there seems to be a certain strictness, a sort of finger-wagging "you-must-obey-the-rules-you-have-to-do-it-this-way" sort of attitude where jazz drumming is concerned, and that's, well, that's no fun at all, and it's not at all encouraging to someone starting out and seeking to express themselves, rules be damned.
But there is a difference, Conrad.

I, like you fall in the second category of a non jazz drummer who loves and plays jazz and can get away with it. But I do recognize the difference between the two camps you describe.

I recognize the difference between Colauita's jazz and Brian Blade's jazz. And thats two astounding players that both play jazz. Or Weckl and Eric Harland... and so on and so on.

I'm not making a qualitative judgement here, but one is fully and singularly soaked in jazzjuice while the other is bringing a lot of other flavors to their jazz as well.

I dont think anyone is proposing that jazz is for a select few. Like its been said before, the real cats dont really care, and the fact that it isn't mainstream music, it will therefore have fewer takers anyway.

...
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Old 12-04-2009, 06:25 AM
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But there is a difference, Conrad.


I dont think anyone is proposing that jazz is for a select few. Like its been said before, the real cats dont really care, and the fact that it isn't mainstream music, it will therefore have fewer takers anyway.

...
Right on........


The real players simply play the music, that's all that matters Abe.

I say save the BS talk to the posers who want to muddy the waters of true understanding with further confusion and "issues".
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Old 12-04-2009, 06:47 AM
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I dont think anyone is proposing that jazz is for a select few. Like its been said before, the real cats dont really care, and the fact that it isn't mainstream music, it will therefore have fewer takers anyway.
Yes, that is what it boils down to Aydee. Jazz is not for the select few. Since when has jazz tried to turn people away? I think people are confusing the refusal of jazz musicians to join the crowd and play what's popular as a refusal to let people in. I don't think that jazz is exclusionary by any means. Just look at how many different styles of music have been incorporated into jazz. Jazz is one of the most inclusionary styles of music out there. I don't recall Tito Puente or any of the great Latin jazz artists being excluded by jazz musicians/fans. Where does this whole notion of jazz musicians/jazz fans being exclusionary come from?
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Old 12-04-2009, 06:57 AM
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Yes, that is what it boils down to Aydee. Jazz is not for the select few. Since when has jazz tried to turn people away? I think people are confusing the refusal of jazz musicians to join the crowd and play what's popular as a refusal to let people in. I don't think that jazz is exclusionary by any means. Just look at how many different styles of music have been incorporated into jazz. Jazz is one of the most inclusionary styles of music out there. I don't recall Tito Puente or any of the great Latin jazz artists being excluded by jazz musicians/fans. Where does this whole notion of jazz musicians/jazz fans being exclusionary come from?
No worries and it's just simply BS talk guys to derail the truth we've tried to present in the thread that actual players understand and share and the respect they have for other folks going about the business of doing their own thing.

It's all smoke and mirrors from the man behind the curtain just like in the movie.........
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Old 12-04-2009, 07:04 AM
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Default Re: Why is Jazz a Four Letter Word?

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Polly, that second paragraph is just a general thought that I'm expressing. Not directed at you personally in any way. :)
No drama, Michael. I didn't see it as personal, just that my own example came to mind regarding musical compromises and pragmatic decisions we make. All of my bands has had mucho pragmatism. For a start, it's hard for a drummer with oddball tastes to find others with the same taste. Then there's compromise for audiences. If you're playing in a beer barn, you need plenty of dancy numbers, even if you prefer more esoteric fare.

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None of us Polly know when we are alive what kind of impact what we do will have {if any} on future generations but we have to keep moving forward if it's our life blood on the line. All we can do is be honest with ourselves and let the cards fall where they may in that department unless we directly play the power/political status game to directly seek fame past the coffin which may fail in the grand scheme of things. Real meat of content is the only hope for that.

Sometimes we need to make choices to get a better grip on dealing with the true realities of life which can create difficulties with our "ideals" we wish to achieve. Your story of your mother is a great example of that never ending struggle many have {and will} be faced with.
Heh, I have a pretty clear idea of what my impact on future generations will be :) Maybe there's a tiny chance I'll make a minor splash if I eventually drink from the poisoned chalice that is my only obvious talent in life - writing. I inherited the creative urge from Mum, albeit watered down, but I prefer to channel it into less productive (for me) but more social / interactive pursuits.

The creative urge is a mixed blessing and you talked about that struggle. Creative activity gives us wonderful moments but it sends us down terribly rocky roads. We put in massive effort that eats heavily into our capacity to earn good $$ and build a sustaining personal life. A lot of artists struggle in those areas (I'm one), yet if we don't create ... something ... anything ... then we go stir crazy. There's no choice - caught between the devil and the deep blue.

Somtimes I wish I never had this urge to create, that I could just be a normal, sane human being but each attempt has resulted in spectacular failure. I can function in the normal world as a somewhat amusing loony on the sidelines who can occasionally be useful. The pain comes when I see that what I've created is third rate shite unworthy of appearance on a pack of breakfast cereal. At other times, when the muse is with me, it's better than sex

I think this could just as easily apply to a lot of artists :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSd73J6OAXA
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Old 12-04-2009, 07:11 AM
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I think this could just as easily apply to a lot of artists :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSd73J6OAXA
Beautiful Polly..........:}
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Old 12-04-2009, 07:17 AM
Michael McDanial Michael McDanial is offline
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No worries and it's just simply BS talk guys to derail the truth we've tried to present in the thread that actual players understand and share and the respect they have for other folks going about the business of doing their own thing.

It's all smoke and mirrors from the man behind the curtain just like in the movie.........
Indeed, Stan. We have both made our POV as jazz musicians clear, and some people - no matter how many times you have tried to get your point across - just constantly have to stir the pot. Luckily that only makes up a very small minority of posters, so the discussion, by all means, has been quite enjoyable overall. But yes, there are people who are always looking to prod to get one of us PO'd enough to go on a rant, and in turn, make us look like examples that will support the stereotypes which we have been discussing.
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Old 12-04-2009, 07:18 AM
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Jazz is one of the most inclusionary styles of music out there. I don't recall Tito Puente or any of the great Latin jazz artists being excluded by jazz musicians/fans. Where does this whole notion of jazz musicians/jazz fans being exclusionary come from?
I agree. Even beyond latin, jazz has been pretty non-judgmental and has welcomed so much 'other music' as well. Coltrane recorded the raga based 'India' in 1961. In 2009, Chis 'daddy' Dave's trio plays a mean street version of hip hop jazz that verges on free and groove simultaneously, and is pretty breakthrough, in my view.

...
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Old 12-04-2009, 07:20 AM
Michael McDanial Michael McDanial is offline
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I agree. Even beyond latin, jazz has been pretty non-judgmental and has welcomed so much 'other music' as well. Coltrane recorded the raga based 'India' in 1961. In 2009, Chis 'daddy' Dave's trio plays a mean street version of hip hop jazz that verges on free and groove simultaneously, and is pretty breakthrough, in my view.

...
Or Duke Ellington's 'Far East Suite' which he wrote after coming back from a tour of the Middle East.
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Old 12-04-2009, 07:32 AM
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Indeed, Stan. We have both made our POV as jazz musicians clear, and some people - no matter how many times you have tried to get your point across - just constantly have to stir the pot. Luckily that only makes up a very small minority of posters, so the discussion, by all means, has been quite enjoyable overall. But yes, there are people who are always looking to prod to get one of us PO'd enough to go on a rant, and in turn, make us look like examples that will support the stereotypes which we have been discussing.
Just "straight talk" here Michael. Amazing isn't it on your point #2?

That's just part of the smear tactic at work to make actual jazz musicians look {fit} the part to fufill the trolls misguided prophecy. NOT playing into that clever {or not so clever} game of deception.......
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Old 12-04-2009, 04:54 PM
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Some great discussions everyone. A very nice read since I last logged off.

Polly, thanks for mentioning that my less than serious posts are only meant to be funny. Also, for reading between the lines in my use of MW and TW in one sentence. It was a less than successful attempt to illustrate that rules and boundaries are often not productive when it comes to making music much less discussing it.

A few have mentioned again some of the negative or exclusionary attitudes by some that seem to be on topic but also distract us from the bigger picture.

Stan, I'm not exactly sure where the ongoing concern of smear tactics and posers stems from. Perhaps, it's from previous discussions that didn't go well. It is relevant to our discussion though, so I have a few questions. Their answers will help me understand your POV better.

Since you consider yourself a Jazz drummer and musician, do you ever play in other styles of music? Do you exclusively play Jazz? ALSO MICHAEL, you could jump in here.

Can you shed a little more light on what you mean by "honest" Jazz musicians? Since I don't quite understand what a dishonest Jazz musician is, it would help to not focus so much on the word(s) you choose but the underlying meaning.

Also, what you mean by "real" and "actual" players? ConStruct and Average have mentioned relevant observations of the attitudes of some Jazz musicians (certainly not all or most) that perpetuate the misunderstandings of each other in different "camps" of opinions.

Lastly, this thread is called "Why is Jazz a Four Letter Word", yet has evolved into an interesting discussion about how people feel about Jazz and Jazz musicians. I have considered starting a thread simply titled, "The Jazz Thread", however, I think it would be more appropriate if you did it. Also, this way you could start if off and set the tone for it.

If it takes off, we could request that the Mods merge this thread with that one.

For example, I want to start, "The Practice Thread" and everyone can post thoughts and opinions on their practice sessions, much like a journal.

Maybe I'll start "The Rock Thread".

I think it may be interesting to see how even by classifying certain topics that cross genre topics will be part of the discussion. The premise of this thread precludes us having a discussion solely on Jazz. This might be why there is an ongoing lament regarding the "pot stirring" that takes place. By the same token, it also helps by providing context to everyone's opinions. Jazz does not exist as an isolated genre in my opinion. That's just another reason why Meg White and Tony Williams can be mentioned in the same comment.

Con Struct, can you expand on this post a little:

The unspoken concept here is sort of bothering me. That concept is that only jazz drummers can play jazz. I don't buy that, and I know that's going to make some people angry and that's the last thing I want to do, believe me.

See, playing the drums well is just not the same as barely getting by, being a weekend-hobbyist drummer. Playing the drums well is exactly the same thing as playing the trumpet well. And to play well you have to do it all the time, it has to be your life, it's all encompassing and it is, in fact, your livelihood, the way you make your living.

Of course I know that a lot of people here do not play the drums professionally and that's cool, eveyone's cool here but maybe that's the whole source of all this conflict where jazz is concerned.

The thing is that I can play jazz and I can play it pretty well, but I'm not a "jazz drummer." What is a jazz drummer anyway? The only answer I can come up with is that a jazz drummer is someone who makes his or her living by playing jazz and nothing but jazz. But then you look at a guy like, say, Ted Poor, who's a very fine jazz drummer but he doesn't rely on jazz to pay his bills. If he did he'd be living on the street.

The idea that jazz is only for the select few is so far outdated that, if it was a fact, jazz would have been well and truly dead for years if not decades. It's just not that big a deal, and that is where I part ways with the jazz guys who insist that jazz is some sort of esoteric society that is only open to those who've passed some sort of test, those who have finally arrived at the secret innner sanctum by passing some kind of initiation rite.

What I'm trying to say is that there seems to be a certain strictness, a sort of finger-wagging "you-must-obey-the-rules-you-have-to-do-it-this-way" sort of attitude where jazz drumming is concerned, and that's, well, that's no fun at all, and it's not at all encouraging to someone starting out and seeking to express themselves, rules be damned.


Is this unspoken concept apparent because of semantics? Is this an issue of the words chosen to relate ideas or perhaps an overall misunderstanding of the Jazz musician's point of view?

I do understand what you mean by all the finger wagging. It is not exclusive to Jazz though. I've noticed it most in Classical music and Fine Art.
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Old 12-04-2009, 05:19 PM
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I have considered starting a thread simply titled, "The Jazz Thread", however, I think it would be more appropriate if you did it. Also, this way you could start if off and set the tone for it.

If it takes off, we could request that the Mods merge this thread with that one.
The was an epic thread; jazz's version of War & Peace, right here on DW called the Big Jazz Thread( http://drummerworld.com/forums/showt...ig+jazz+thread ). It had everything. action, adventure, romance, drama, and some great conversations.

...
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Old 12-04-2009, 05:25 PM
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Thanks, I'll read it. I looked around and didn't find one. Was it an archived thread maybe?
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Old 12-04-2009, 05:53 PM
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Stan, I'm not exactly sure where the ongoing concern of smear tactics and posers stems from. Perhaps, it's from previous discussions that didn't go well. It is relevant to our discussion though, so I have a few questions. Their answers will help me understand your POV better.

Since you consider yourself a Jazz drummer and musician, do you ever play in other styles of music? Do you exclusively play Jazz? ALSO MICHAEL, you could jump in here.

Can you shed a little more light on what you mean by "honest" Jazz musicians? Since I don't quite understand what a dishonest Jazz musician is, it would help to not focus so much on the word(s) you choose but the underlying meaning.

Also, what you mean by "real" and "actual" players? ConStruct and Average have mentioned relevant observations of the attitudes of some Jazz musicians (certainly not all or most) that perpetuate the misunderstandings of each other in different "camps" of opinions.
My comments were directed squarely at the singular "man behind the curtain" who loves to send smoke screeens up to confuse the readers about what jazz musicians are all about even after several attempts to clarify an actual jazz musicians POV has been established.

Nothing more just internet games of deception behind the scenes.........real and actual just refers to people who actually do it and not the ones hiding out without a true identity on internet forums who try and troll a response and reaction out of the straight up in the public eye jazz playing forum members to prove we're something we're not out of issues of deception. That's all.......

Yes I play a whole bunch of different kinds of music and have studied many different types of music in my life but i've primarily been playing acoustic jazz professionally for going on 35 years now.
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Old 12-04-2009, 06:00 PM
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Stan, I'm not exactly sure where the ongoing concern of smear tactics and posers stems from. Perhaps, it's from previous discussions that didn't go well. It is relevant to our discussion though, so I have a few questions. Their answers will help me understand your POV better..
Yes, there is also a lot of politics going on that in some way Abe's thread is addressing. The politics are both board related and generally the politics of jazz or music in any point in history. I think it comes down to an honest negotiation of what it entails to have a poignant discussion. The ultimate question of me has always been who gets left out and why.

Yesterday, you mocked my question. If you go back to my post # 154, you will see why I reacted the way I did. I think most any one can have something valuable to say if they are honest, upfront and respectful towards the other members of the forum.

Jay, Conrad has a long history of doing exactly what Stan says he is doing. And it comes down to this in the end. You know who Stan is; You know who Michael is. You now who Matt is. You know who I am. But most of the people that you discuss with are nameless and formless. They could be Dennis Chambers for all we know; they could be the kid who hangs out with your son or daughter. When you are not honest and upfront with who you are and where you are coming from, warts and all, how can you have an honest and upfront discussion?
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Old 12-04-2009, 06:58 PM
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Ken,

Thanks for posting. Sorry for the mocking. I am learning to get a better feel for when people would prefer to have a serious conversation as opposed to also coloring the discussion with sarcasm and humor. Thanks for not viewing this an attack.

I wish I could have gotten a little more from Stan on some of my questions, but that's OK too.

I went and read the "BIG Jazz Thread" and Jay Norem's post toward the end of the thread (after it was resurrected) was very telling. It falls in line with a lot of what Stan is getting at.

Posted by Jay:

I wonder why talking about jazz always makes people so angry? I've read through a lot of this thread and man! It's a monster of an argument, even if I can't for the life of me tell what it is people are arguing about.
Jazz does live a funny sort of life on this forum, like it's some big deal. It's not. Jazz isn't anything to get upset about, not really. If you play it, you play it. If you don't, you don't. I just don't see what there is to get all riled up about anymore. But I do think that some people here have played a little fast and loose when it comes to putting down some very fine jazz drummers, just because those drummers play in a more-or-less traditional manner.
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Old 12-04-2009, 07:08 PM
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I wish I could have gotten a little more from Stan on some of my questions, but that's OK
I am glad you asked because I am Stan's agent, and he is available for commentary on these issues. I'll have my people get in touch with your people.:)

I would imagine that the issues that people bring up are sometimes a bit silly for a seasoned player. And though a seasoned player can answers questions about playing; there is no substitute for getting out there and doing it.
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Old 12-04-2009, 07:16 PM
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See, playing the drums well is just not the same as barely getting by, being a weekend-hobbyist drummer. Playing the drums well is exactly the same thing as playing the trumpet well. And to play well you have to do it all the time, it has to be your life, it's all encompassing and it is, in fact, your livelihood, the way you make your living.
As a non jazz playing drummer here I have little of worth to add to this thread except to disagree with your statement above. I used to make my living playing drums but eventually decided to give up for artistic, business politics & lifestyle reasons. Now, after 20 years out, I'm back playing again by choice. My "hobbyist" status affords me the luxury of being able to play whatever pleases me, and when I want. I'm certainly not an uber chops or mega accomplished player but, by the opinion of others who know what they're talking about, I can play well. Ok, I have a very limited repertoire but I know I'm bloody good at what I do yet I don't play 365 and it isn't the numero uno in my life. If there is a stereotype to be broken it's the "I'm a pro & therefore automatically to be worshiped" vs. "You're a hobbyist & therefore not worthy" approach. Your statement makes sense if you're aspiring to be one of the best players globally but there's many very accomplished "hobbyists" out there making quite superb music & playing well. It's not all about the playing, it's about being a musician. Interpretation, expression & performance are often talents that are lacking in some professional players yet exist aplenty within many talented "hobbyists". I'm not often offended by posts on this forum, but I find your propensity towards high handed sweeping statements annoying. I judge other players by the product of their efforts, not by their often self promoted status. Sorry to sound a bit prickly but you're not the only member to have this attitude, and it stinks. I've been on both sides of the fence and I can tell you, THERE IS NO FENCE!!

Last edited by keep it simple; 12-04-2009 at 08:40 PM. Reason: typo & clarification
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Old 12-04-2009, 07:19 PM
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Anyone who wants to PM me can have my real name, links to my website etc. I'm just a little wierded out by having my name all over a drum forum. Identity theft etc. etc. etc. So I'd be happy to tell you who I am and just about anything you would want to know, I'm just not crazy about having it searchable by google. There are a couple guys who have posted in this thread who already know everything about me.
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Old 12-04-2009, 11:34 PM
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Since you consider yourself a Jazz drummer and musician, do you ever play in other styles of music? Do you exclusively play Jazz? ALSO MICHAEL, you could jump in here.
I mostly spend my time playing jazz, but I have also played blues, r&b, and rock. I've never toured or anything like that in those styles, but I've gone to quite a few open mic nights and jam sessions playing songs in those different styles, and I enjoy it very much. To me there is nothing that I find more rewarding than being part of a group of musicians feeding off each other and pushing each other, no matter what style of music. It's something that you can't fully understand if you're not a musician. You may appreciate it, but if you're not playing with that group on stage there's just something that you're not really going to understand that feeling that a musician gets from it. It's kind of how like men could never truly understand what pregnancy feels like. What it feels like to have a child growing inside of you. Sure, they understand that there are certain things that a woman experiences during pregnancy, but thy can never truly understand what it feels like.

I'm also learning to play Celtic music on bodhran. However, I do not yet consider myself a Celtic musician due to the fact that I don't feel that I have been playing the instrument long enough to make that claim. Hopefully I will get to that level soon. There is the Irish American Heritage Center here in Chicago where you can come in for get-togethers that they have a couple of days a week, and I like to stop up there when I can. I certainly try to take home as many pointers as possible from the more experienced players, and there are some very good musicians up there. I really enjoy it, and I'm certainly going to keep working on it.
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Old 12-04-2009, 11:59 PM
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As a non jazz playing drummer here I have little of worth to add to this thread except to disagree with your statement above. I used to make my living playing drums but eventually decided to give up for artistic, business politics & lifestyle reasons. Now, after 20 years out, I'm back playing again by choice. My "hobbyist" status affords me the luxury of being able to play whatever pleases me, and when I want. I'm certainly not an uber chops or mega accomplished player but, by the opinion of others who know what they're talking about, I can play well. Ok, I have a very limited repertoire but I know I'm bloody good at what I do yet I don't play 365 and it isn't the numero uno in my life. If there is a stereotype to be broken it's the "I'm a pro & therefore automatically to be worshiped" vs. "You're a hobbyist & therefore not worthy" approach. Your statement makes sense if you're aspiring to be one of the best players globally but there's many very accomplished "hobbyists" out there making quite superb music & playing well. It's not all about the playing, it's about being a musician. Interpretation, expression & performance are often talents that are lacking in some professional players yet exist aplenty within many talented "hobbyists". I'm not often offended by posts on this forum, but I find your propensity towards high handed sweeping statements annoying. I judge other players by the product of their efforts, not by their often self promoted status. Sorry to sound a bit prickly but you're not the only member to have this attitude, and it stinks. I've been on both sides of the fence and I can tell you, THERE IS NO FENCE!!
Well, you're right and I apologize for coming across as high-handed. Really, when I read my post you've responded to here I can see that I didn't get my point across at all and did indeed appear to be, well, chauvinistic. Believe me when I say that I just don't hold to the idea that hobbyist musicians have nothing to say or can't play. That's just not me, and I'm truly sorry if I caused any offense.

And thank you for giving me both a heads-up and an opportunity to set the record straight.
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  #235  
Old 12-05-2009, 01:48 AM
wy yung
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Default Re: Why is Jazz a Four Letter Word?

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Where does this whole notion of jazz musicians/jazz fans being exclusionary come from?
Excellent question. I believe it has its base in time, and that time was the birth of rock and roll. Just as many of the swing players resented be bop, so too the jazz guys resented those playing rock and roll, because those were the people getting most of the work.

As the years passed many jazz guys put down rock drummers. This is well known and recorded. The problem today is that this memory exists as a thing of the now. So even though many jazz players - especially younger ones - like rock the idea that jazz guys look down upon rock drummers remains.
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  #236  
Old 12-05-2009, 02:44 AM
Michael McDanial Michael McDanial is offline
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Default Re: Why is Jazz a Four Letter Word?

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Excellent question. I believe it has its base in time, and that time was the birth of rock and roll. Just as many of the swing players resented be bop, so too the jazz guys resented those playing rock and roll, because those were the people getting most of the work.

As the years passed many jazz guys put down rock drummers. This is well known and recorded. The problem today is that this memory exists as a thing of the now. So even though many jazz players - especially younger ones - like rock the idea that jazz guys look down upon rock drummers remains.
Well, at the same time there are plenty of rock musicians with the same attitude towards jazz. I remember one rock musician saying to me "You know what jazz is? It's some guy playing a saxophone on the street with his open case next to him, hoping that some people with throw some spare change in there." Another time a rock musician said to me "Jazz is dead. Nobody cares about jazz." And that's just a couple of the many experiences I've had with rock musicians having condescending attitudes towards jazz. I think that jazz musicians get that label put on them way too often. You certainly don't see those accusations of rock musicians that act that way towards jazz musicians (and trust me, there are plenty of them). Everybody is pretty quick to talk about the jazz musicians that act that way, but they are certainly not quick to talk about the Louie Bellsons of the jazz world.

Again, we are blaming the majority for the actions of a few.

Once again, I'll repeat what Stan and I have said over and over throughout this thread when it comes to how much or how little we are getting paid: we...don't...care!
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Old 12-05-2009, 02:56 AM
wy yung
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Once again, I'll repeat what Stan and I have said over and over throughout this thread when it comes to how much or how little we are getting paid: we...don't...care!
I don't see how this pertains to what I wrote. I wrote of the historical beginning of the "rock drummer" and the reactions that occured. What I wrote was historically accurate.

As for the attitudes of the rock musicians you mentioned, I cannot speak for them and need not bother. The historical fact is that rock supplanted jazz. Personally, I am not thrilled about that because I love jazz and find most rock to be too much of the same damned thing. Believe me, I'm a jazzer at heart but found during my career there were no gigs available for me to play. I have been a jazzer playing rock and pop and ska etc for my entire career. It's been frustrating. I wish it were different. Yesterday I got to teach a purely jazz oriented drum class and it was a blast.

Please in future do not mistake comments based on historical fact as attitude on behalf of the poster.
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  #238  
Old 12-05-2009, 03:23 AM
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con struct con struct is offline
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Default Re: Why is Jazz a Four Letter Word?

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I remember one rock musician saying to me "You know what jazz is? It's some guy playing a saxophone on the street with his open case next to him, hoping that some people with throw some spare change in there." Another time a rock musician said to me "Jazz is dead. Nobody cares about jazz."
I don't mean to stir the pot but those rock musicians you mention are not wrong in their assesments, no matter what their personal opinions on jazz might be.

The truth is that jazz is floundering. People aren't buying the recordings and they're not going to the clubs. Sure, Sonny Rollins or Wayne Shorter or Keith Jarret may sell tickets but that's hardly indicative of the general state of jazz where the public is concerned.

My point is that it doesn't do any harm for a jazz musician to accept the fact that the music isn't being heard or even recognized by the general public, and to start asking questions about why that is and maybe, just maybe, to consider that part of the reason could be the attitudes of the musicians themselves. Or not. I don't know. And as you yourself have said, you...don't...care.

But how can you not care? After all the work you've put in, all the hours of learning and practice to get to the point where you can actually get up and play jazz! How can you not care?

Maybe I'm just not understanding any of this properly. In that case I apologize.
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  #239  
Old 12-05-2009, 04:08 AM
Michael McDanial Michael McDanial is offline
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Default Re: Why is Jazz a Four Letter Word?

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Originally Posted by wy yung View Post
I don't see how this pertains to what I wrote. I wrote of the historical beginning of the "rock drummer" and the reactions that occured. What I wrote was historically accurate.

As for the attitudes of the rock musicians you mentioned, I cannot speak for them and need not bother. The historical fact is that rock supplanted jazz. Personally, I am not thrilled about that because I love jazz and find most rock to be too much of the same damned thing. Believe me, I'm a jazzer at heart but found during my career there were no gigs available for me to play. I have been a jazzer playing rock and pop and ska etc for my entire career. It's been frustrating. I wish it were different. Yesterday I got to teach a purely jazz oriented drum class and it was a blast.

Please in future do not mistake comments based on historical fact as attitude on behalf of the poster.
Not blaming you for the contents of the interviews. Nor did I think you personally were having a negative attitude. I just feel like jazz musicians are getting singled out way too much on this "my music is better than yours" attitude. I just think it's unfair to say that just because these interviews exist that they spoke for the majority of the jazz musicians out there. I'm not saying that applies to you, just that people do use these interviews to stereotype jazz musicians as a whole, and that is unfair. Are there jazz guys with that attitude? Yeah there are! Are there rock musicians with that attitude? You betcha! Even back then, do you think that there weren't rock musicians who had an attitude of "rock is where it's at, and jazz doesn't matter anymore" towards jazz?

People can bring up interviews where jazz musicians have had this superior attitude, but you can also bring up the many interviews with jazz musicians who have shown no negative attitudes toward other forms of music, and in fact talk about how much they enjoy other styles of music, as well as how it has influenced them and made them decide to incorporate it into their own music. From all the interviews with the jazz musicians that I've read, the latter certainly outweighs the former by a wide margin. So there were some jazz musicians that made negative comments about rock, and rock musicians making more money. What about the countless other jazz musicians that just said "whatever" and just kept on doing their thing?

I remember a while ago, before I even joined the forum and just observed there was a comment in a thread where the poster was saying "what's so great about jazz drummers? Name me a jazz drummer that can play blast beats!" That's not the exact quote, but that was the poster's message: jazz drummers don't use blast beats, therefor jazz drummers are overrated.

So is it fair that people categorize jazz as exclusionary simply because of comments made by some musicians at the rise in popularity of rock and roll? I don't think so. Problem is, a lot of people who haven't even read those interviews and are too young to comment on what it was like in those times are very quick to throw out the snobbery accusation at jazz musicians and label jazz itself as exclusionary, and that gets on my nerves. I just don't see why so many musicians in other genres of music can talk about jazz being "snobby", but conveniently ignore the fact that there are musicians in their genre doing the exact same thing.

The fact remains that these condescending attitudes are everywhere across the board, not just in jazz, and people are blaming the vast many for the actions of the few. I love jazz, I love rock, I love blues, r&b, gospel, soul, celtic, latin, flamenco, etc.

Glad to hear you had a blast teaching that jazz drum class! It's always nice when you get to focus on your main music (no matter what style that might be) after playing a lot of music outside your main genre.
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Old 12-05-2009, 04:31 AM
Michael McDanial Michael McDanial is offline
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Default Re: Why is Jazz a Four Letter Word?

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My point is that it doesn't do any harm for a jazz musician to accept the fact that the music isn't being heard or even recognized by the general public, and to start asking questions about why that is and maybe, just maybe, to consider that part of the reason could be the attitudes of the musicians themselves. Or not. I don't know. And as you yourself have said, you...don't...care.

But how can you not care? After all the work you've put in, all the hours of learning and practice to get to the point where you can actually get up and play jazz! How can you not care?

Maybe I'm just not understanding any of this properly. In that case I apologize.


Because I never expected to make a lot of money playing jazz. I love playing jazz and that's all that matters to me. Sure I've put in a heck of a lot of work to get to where I'm at, but my whole motivation was never about money or recognition. I don't even make my living playing jazz. I'm a teacher. But that doesn't decrease my love for the music in any way. It doesn't matter if I'm making money, or simply just joining in on a jam session and just jamming all night making no money at all. I love to play this music! :) It was, is, and always will be about doing what I love to do. Nothing more, nothing less.

I love teaching, and I love playing jazz. And I love the fact that I can do both of them!
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