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  #1  
Old 04-27-2010, 05:07 AM
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Default the future of jazz, is it a dead end for me?

i have really enjoyed playing jazz the last 2 and a half years, and i am still very young,
i would like to be a professional musician some day, preferably known for jazz,
so my question is if i keep my self in the jazz instruction, the way i have been ( nothing but jazz) is it going to bight me in the ass when im older?
if i keep rock and funk on the way side like i have been will i still be able to find work, what jazz jobs are there?

i really love jazz, but i love the idea of a career in music more, would i have a better chance if i just dabbled with jazz and really focused on my straight rock stuff?

thanks, Zachary Hopper
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Old 04-27-2010, 05:17 AM
Michael McDanial Michael McDanial is offline
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Default Re: the future of jazz, is it a dead end for me?

I say play the music you are most passionate about, and at the same time keep an open mind when it comes to other types of music. I love taking my horn to a local jam session every Wednesday night and playing on some rock, blues, and funk tunes with the guys, but I still spend my practice time playing/studying jazz because that's my passion. I enjoy playing rock, blues, funk and other styles of music, but I'm not going to stop playing what I love just because it's not as popular. You can still focus on jazz and play other types of music as well. I don't like the idea that a person should focus on one specific style. Like I said, focus the majority of your time on the music you're most passionate about, and stay open to playing other styles as well. Don't feel like you have to discard jazz as your main focus simply because you can't find as much work playing it. You can still learn those other styles as well.
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Old 04-27-2010, 05:19 AM
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Default Re: the future of jazz, is it a dead end for me?

The best way to make a career in music nowadays is to be a chameleon...be able to play jazz, rock, blues, as well as other instruments, run sound, production work, songwriting, publishing, etc. When I was starting out, I took any job I could find...I have recorded with punk bands, and I'm as far from a punk guy as you can get! The bummer of doing this is that you have to play a lot of music that you either don't care about, or don't love, or whatever. The good news is that you occasionally get to play some really great stuff, and then get paid for it, and that is like a dream come true. The more of a name you make for yourself, the more you can focus on doing what you want to do, of course.

Also, if you can make a good living as a musician, even if it's in rock or something that isn't your first love, you will make a name for yourself, connections for yourself, etc, that will help you build a great jazz band, even if it's just a side project that doesn't make money or anything. The beauty of being a professional musician is that you can still have music as a hobby, too! Best of luck to you!
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Old 04-27-2010, 05:51 AM
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Default Re: the future of jazz, is it a dead end for me?

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Originally Posted by zakhopper316 View Post
i have really enjoyed playing jazz the last 2 and a half years, and i am still very young,
i would like to be a professional musician some day, preferably known for jazz,
so my question is if i keep my self in the jazz instruction, the way i have been ( nothing but jazz) is it going to bight me in the ass when im older?
if i keep rock and funk on the way side like i have been will i still be able to find work, what jazz jobs are there?

i really love jazz, but i love the idea of a career in music more, would i have a better chance if i just dabbled with jazz and really focused on my straight rock stuff?

thanks, Zachary Hopper
Zachary,

You answered your own question really well. While jazz is great, the future is going to be in playing what the 98% of the Earth's population (who don't play a musical instrument) can relate to. Study jazz but study and immerse yourself in other styles as well. This means that, if you study jazz that you can automaitcally have every other style down. Be humble enough to know that you don't have to be a jazz player to be great!

Many great players took Pop gigs in order to get to the point where they could put out their own project's cd. Vinnie Colaiuta is one as is his former Zappa bandmate, Warren Cuccurrullo.


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Old 04-27-2010, 05:54 AM
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Default Re: the future of jazz, is it a dead end for me?

I've heard it said from people more informed than me that starting with jazz is a great springboard to drumming in other genres because it's so challenging. Once you have the control and coordination to play jazz, then playing other styles is a matter of listening to the approaches and adapting.

That intuitively makes sense to me because so many great players in all genres started with jazz. I'd be a much better player today if I'd started with jazz.

Have fun :)
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Old 04-27-2010, 09:45 AM
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Default Re: the future of jazz, is it a dead end for me?

Quote:
I've heard it said from people more informed than me that starting with jazz is a great springboard to drumming in other genres because it's so challenging. Once you have the control and coordination to play jazz, then playing other styles is a matter of listening to the approaches and adapting.

That intuitively makes sense to me because so many great players in all genres started with jazz. I'd be a much better player today if I'd started with jazz.
Can some-one please explain this to me...jazz is talked about like there is something very special about it, you know...playing the right notes and the right time...etc...

...where does one start with learning jazz?
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Old 04-27-2010, 09:57 AM
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Default Re: the future of jazz, is it a dead end for me?

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Originally Posted by BassDriver View Post
Can some-one please explain this to me...jazz is talked about like there is something very special about it, you know...playing the right notes and the right time...etc...

...where does one start with learning jazz?
Have you posed this to your teacher?

IMO the thing about jazz is it's freakin' hard to play so if you can play that, then you're in a good position to plat anything :)
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Old 04-27-2010, 10:30 AM
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Default Re: the future of jazz, is it a dead end for me?

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Originally Posted by BassDriver View Post
...where does one start with learning jazz?
Listen to it a lot first. After that there are many options, a teacher is a good choice but most importantly you should always be playing with other musicians. And lots of improvising.
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Old 04-27-2010, 10:34 AM
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Default Re: the future of jazz, is it a dead end for me?

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Have you posed this to your teacher?
He's a funk, fusion, and latin player, I'll have to ask.

Playing along to song and learning it note-by-note is one thing, it shows you have ability, going over learning jazz standards for example. But when it comes to your band making something original, you know, creativity...(takes a look at systematic comping thread)...it is something different, although it helps to have the technique, a good inner clock and "swing"...

...as far as I know, the drumming that I play off charts is mechanical, notes with a specified length, arranged in patterns that have repetition and played on certain parts of the kit, it may or may not sound how I want it sound. What I want to know is meaning...I don't think that listening to a lot jazz records will suddenly brighten up my creativity and make me produce musical ideas from my sub-conscious (although...like I said before about technique...it helps...and it is necassary to listen to it to learn it).
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Old 04-27-2010, 10:48 AM
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Default Re: the future of jazz, is it a dead end for me?

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Originally Posted by Skitch View Post
Zachary,

You answered your own question really well. While jazz is great, the future is going to be in playing what the 98% of the Earth's population (who don't play a musical instrument) can relate to. Study jazz but study and immerse yourself in other styles as well. This means that, if you study jazz that you can automaitcally have every other style down. Be humble enough to know that you don't have to be a jazz player to be great!

Many great players took Pop gigs in order to get to the point where they could put out their own project's cd. Vinnie Colaiuta is one as is his former Zappa bandmate, Warren Cuccurrullo.


Mike
That is just utter crap from every dimension, sorry. One, it assumes that only musicians enjoy jazz while the rest of the world doesn't. That is a gross underestimation of jazz popularity and versatility. It may hold true for, let's say, standard bop bands (and even then that's not the case), but jazz as a musical genre enjoys enormous popularity amongst musicians and non-musicians alike. Yes, musicians might appreciate some forms of jazz more than non-musicians (phrased another way, those who enjoy jazz tend to be interested in musicianship as well), but that's not the point here. Lots of people relate to jazz. Ever been to the North Sea Jazz festival or Montreux? If so, you know what I mean.

Second, there is an assumption that jazz bestowes one with all the technical skills necessary to play other styles, and the only thing you have to do is get familiar with that style. Very false. While most jazz musicians and jazz drummers value technical capabilities and those technical capabilities make it easier to learn other styles, playing afro-cuban styles or even pop is a whole different discipline in itself. Ever heard Danny Gottlieb's pop instruction videos? He's a great jazz player, but his pop fills suck, sorry. Also, interpreting mambo with swing will get you a lot of angry looks from the conguero you'd be playing with. Moreover, you assume that 'jazz' is one style with one way of playing. There's a major difference between bop drumming and bigband drumming, between trio playing and jazz fusion. It may all be 'jazz' (whatever the hell that means), but its a whole different league of playing. This is also why your comparison with Vinnie Colaiuta doesn't really fly. He's an amazing drummer, his bigband and fusion skills are beyond comparison and from that perspective he's (also) a great jazz drummer. However, I tend to see him as a pop/fusion player, because that's largely his background. You wouldn't put him together with the John Scofield trio, only if you want a powerful backbeat-driven vibe to it.

Lastly, what annoys me the most here is the presumption that in the future, there will be no jazz scene or only a limited one, a scene that cannot support fulltime jazz musicians. Don't fool yourself, in many countries the scene is still expanding in numerical terms. It's largely eclipsed by pop music, but apart from the swing era, it has never been that big. Do you really think Coltrane sold more cd's than Joshua Redman? Nah. Furthermore, don't underestimate the power to adapt. Jazzy lounge (St. Germain, Gare Du Nord, even Goldfrapp) is huge. Here in the Netherlands, the New Cool Collective bigband sells out major pop venues. Overall, I'm not too worried.

That said and to directly answer the OP, of course you have to pursue different styles - but from an artistic perspective. I see myself as a jazz/bigband drummer, but I couldn't do without my ska and funk bands, and even crave for playing hardrock every now and then (my favorite record at the moment is still Them Crooked Vultures). Only playing one style will surely end you up in a dead end, regardless if it's jazz, afro-cuban mambo, pop or Balkan. Learning more styles will also improve your playing within your favorite genre. So, explore, but don't kid yourself in believing that you should abandon the genre you enjoy for career purposes.
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Old 04-27-2010, 10:58 AM
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Default Re: the future of jazz, is it a dead end for me?

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Originally Posted by BassDriver View Post
He's a funk, fusion, and latin player, I'll have to ask.

Playing along to song and learning it note-by-note is one thing, it shows you have ability, going over learning jazz standards for example. But when it comes to your band making something original, you know, creativity...(takes a look at systematic comping thread)...it is something different, although it helps to have the technique, a good inner clock and "swing"...

...as far as I know, the drumming that I play off charts is mechanical, notes with a specified length, arranged in patterns that have repetition and played on certain parts of the kit, it may or may not sound how I want it sound. What I want to know is meaning...I don't think that listening to a lot jazz records will suddenly brighten up my creativity and make me produce musical ideas from my sub-conscious (although...like I said before about technique...it helps...and it is necassary to listen to it to learn it).
I do think that seeing jazz players in action, noting not just what they play but also the interactions with what the other musos are doing can give you ideas. Once you have ideas and the chops then then you can put your own spin on it.

Maybe send a PM to Stan (Steamer?). He knows a lot about that stuff. I'm just a fan who's spent most of her drumming life playing beats :)
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:12 PM
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Default Re: the future of jazz, is it a dead end for me?

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Originally Posted by Rascul View Post
Second, there is an assumption that jazz bestowes one with all the technical skills necessary to play other styles, and the only thing you have to do is get familiar with that style. Very false. While most jazz musicians and jazz drummers value technical capabilities and those technical capabilities make it easier to learn other styles, playing afro-cuban styles or even pop is a whole different discipline in itself. Ever heard Danny Gottlieb's pop instruction videos? He's a great jazz player, but his pop fills suck, sorry. Also, interpreting mambo with swing will get you a lot of angry looks from the conguero you'd be playing with. Moreover, you assume that 'jazz' is one style with one way of playing. There's a major difference between bop drumming and bigband drumming, between trio playing and jazz fusion. It may all be 'jazz' (whatever the hell that means), but its a whole different league of playing. This is also why your comparison with Vinnie Colaiuta doesn't really fly. He's an amazing drummer, his bigband and fusion skills are beyond comparison and from that perspective he's (also) a great jazz drummer. However, I tend to see him as a pop/fusion player, because that's largely his background. You wouldn't put him together with the John Scofield trio, only if you want a powerful backbeat-driven vibe to it.
I get some of this, but it's just not as cut and dry as all that, although you're dead on correct about this over cooked jazz is dead stuff. I can play as much jazz in Bucharest, Romania as I want. And if I were to relocate in Tokyo the answer would be close to the same. I think the correct answer is that jazz is dead in my personal neighborhood. Besides it will historically never be lost as an art form because it has firmly planted itself into the universities who will celebrate it in detail for the next 1000 years. You know this part in your native Holland quite well where over 20 jazz conservatories exist in a radius of less than 200 kilometers.

Regarding the point you make above-

Here's how you come to the truth about this one. Put the most capable pop drummer you know alongside the most capable jazz drummer you know, then have them switch roles. You will find out in 5 seconds who does the better job. As for Vinnie C. playing with Scofield, it's already happened. Gottlieb sucks as a pop player? I've seen him perform with Natalie Cole and Whitney Houston, and he made those singers sound like a billion dollars. One of my own former teachers Tom Knight is a dyed in the wool jazz guy, but is also the best drummer TLC has ever had.

The most important thing about being taught in the jazz education tradition is it gives you the most versatile path to musical creativity. People who are brought up in this mindset are taught from the beginning that they will have to explore numerous genres of music, not only to survive, but to expand their own music. I don't know of a single serious jazz musician whose tastes are not all over the board, including all the jazz styles, fusion/that often sounds best using 70s Miles Davis as the first reference/ classical/especially impressionism that started big time integration with jazz in the 1920s/ world music and these days a good dose of hip hop. Jazz musicians as a group also read better than the other genres/including the classical crowd/ and that's just a fact, and the primary reason that when you see a pop show that requires a large group of backup musicians, most all of them label themselves jazz musicians, including the conductor.

Often I get kinda tired of talking to some who see all this music as either/or because I just don't think they've heard enough music, and that alone has created their incorrect perspective about everything else. Yes you will get the ocassional person affiliated with the other genres who will claim they are also listening to this, this and this, and often it's true. But they're the exception not the rule. One dimensional jazz musicians have really been dead for 50-60 years except for a small group of celebrated American neo con guys who in no way represent the majority outlook you see throughout the world. Still even these guys claim to have been influenced by a wide cross section of music when they were younger, and can speak in detail about those genres past the same handful of catchphrases you hear everywhere else.

I'm a hardcore lover and player of jazz, but for me it's never been an exclusive. In fact my main band over the past 3 months has become the fastest rising pop band of its kind in Eastern Europe. Interestingly enough, before I joined, this group was warned that because of my tech/jazz background I would never be able to contain my inner ego enough to play simply. Of course it was all a crock. I also scratch records convincingly /and for money/. One of the reasons I get more calls than I would ever expect is due to the fascination with combining old school hip hop with Coltrane, Freddie Hubbard etc. Then I get church gigs you wouldn't think I would have because the music minister often wants a guy who can play a pop style, but can also survive a tympani moment for the Easter service, or a spur of the moment pencil written chart that helps the band adapt to the expanded chorus, that the classical guy won't even look at because his part isn't cropped and printed..

I don't know or not if I could have done all that with an exclusively pop, rock, classical etc, etc education, but /although not close to perfect/ I feel my jazz background affords a far more adaptable and successful perspective.

IMO Zach, a comprehensive jazz education will never hurt you. Just my 2c
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:28 PM
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Default Re: the future of jazz, is it a dead end for me?

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Originally Posted by Rascul View Post
Ever heard Danny Gottlieb's pop instruction videos? He's a great jazz player, but his pop fills suck, sorry. Also, interpreting mambo with swing will get you a lot of angry looks from the conguero you'd be playing with. Moreover, you assume that 'jazz' is one style with one way of playing. There's a major difference between bop drumming and bigband drumming, between trio playing and jazz fusion. It may all be 'jazz' (whatever the hell that means), but its a whole different league of playing. This is also why your comparison with Vinnie Colaiuta doesn't really fly. He's an amazing drummer, his bigband and fusion skills are beyond comparison and from that perspective he's (also) a great jazz drummer. However, I tend to see him as a pop/fusion player, because that's largely his background. You wouldn't put him together with the John Scofield trio, only if you want a powerful backbeat-driven vibe to it.
I saw Danny Gottlieb with the Lew Soloff Band: It fitted fine and was a real inspiration for me. Danny was also drummer with the Blues Brothers (movie).

John Scofield played now totally with 1357 drummers all in all. So just wondering why not with Vinnie? Are you sure? Must be something personal i suppose????

Bernhard
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Old 04-27-2010, 08:04 PM
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Default Re: the future of jazz, is it a dead end for me?

Bernard, I think you're misreading my examples. I like Danny Gottlieb, I like his playing on the BB records, but his instructional DVD for Basix is a great example of a jazz drummer not really playing pop grooves and fills. That's my only point here, I'm not dismissing his drumming in any way (I wouldn't dare, really). I don't know why Colaiuta never played with Sco, I just saw the Sco trio with Bill Stewart and that was the first example that came to mind.

Just to re-emphasize my point somewhat shorter than my previous post: it is not true that only being a jazz drummer limits your creative or career possibilities, and it is not correct that being a jazz drummer is automatically a good starting point for other styles because of the technical requirements. What is true is that you will become a better drummer exploring various styles and being versatile is always a good thing, but there were some presumptions here that got and still get on my nerves. If the OP feels comfortable only playing jazz at the moment, he shouldn't be worried about his drumming career at all, something which some posters are suggesting. Basta.
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Old 04-28-2010, 10:04 AM
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Old 04-28-2010, 08:12 PM
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Default Re: the future of jazz, is it a dead end for me?

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Originally Posted by Rascul View Post
That is just utter crap from every dimension, sorry. One, it assumes that only musicians enjoy jazz while the rest of the world doesn't. That is a gross underestimation of jazz popularity and versatility. It may hold true for, let's say, standard bop bands (and even then that's not the case), but jazz as a musical genre enjoys enormous popularity amongst musicians and non-musicians alike. Yes, musicians might appreciate some forms of jazz more than non-musicians (phrased another way, those who enjoy jazz tend to be interested in musicianship as well), but that's not the point here. Lots of people relate to jazz. Ever been to the North Sea Jazz festival or Montreux? If so, you know what I mean.

Second, there is an assumption that jazz bestowes one with all the technical skills necessary to play other styles, and the only thing you have to do is get familiar with that style. Very false. While most jazz musicians and jazz drummers value technical capabilities and those technical capabilities make it easier to learn other styles, playing afro-cuban styles or even pop is a whole different discipline in itself. Ever heard Danny Gottlieb's pop instruction videos? He's a great jazz player, but his pop fills suck, sorry. Also, interpreting mambo with swing will get you a lot of angry looks from the conguero you'd be playing with. Moreover, you assume that 'jazz' is one style with one way of playing. There's a major difference between bop drumming and bigband drumming, between trio playing and jazz fusion. It may all be 'jazz' (whatever the hell that means), but its a whole different league of playing. This is also why your comparison with Vinnie Colaiuta doesn't really fly. He's an amazing drummer, his bigband and fusion skills are beyond comparison and from that perspective he's (also) a great jazz drummer. However, I tend to see him as a pop/fusion player, because that's largely his background. You wouldn't put him together with the John Scofield trio, only if you want a powerful backbeat-driven vibe to it.

Lastly, what annoys me the most here is the presumption that in the future, there will be no jazz scene or only a limited one, a scene that cannot support fulltime jazz musicians. Don't fool yourself, in many countries the scene is still expanding in numerical terms. It's largely eclipsed by pop music, but apart from the swing era, it has never been that big. Do you really think Coltrane sold more cd's than Joshua Redman? Nah. Furthermore, don't underestimate the power to adapt. Jazzy lounge (St. Germain, Gare Du Nord, even Goldfrapp) is huge. Here in the Netherlands, the New Cool Collective bigband sells out major pop venues. Overall, I'm not too worried.

That said and to directly answer the OP, of course you have to pursue different styles - but from an artistic perspective. I see myself as a jazz/bigband drummer, but I couldn't do without my ska and funk bands, and even crave for playing hardrock every now and then (my favorite record at the moment is still Them Crooked Vultures). Only playing one style will surely end you up in a dead end, regardless if it's jazz, afro-cuban mambo, pop or Balkan. Learning more styles will also improve your playing within your favorite genre. So, explore, but don't kid yourself in believing that you should abandon the genre you enjoy for career purposes.
I agree that jazz will live long into the future, and the importance of playing other styles. I just have to find a balance.
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