Branford Marsalis Masterclass w/ some interesting musical philosophies that can be applied to drums

A

Anthony Amodeo

Guest
fantastic.....every second of it ...and I agree with every word

what he says here @ 5:24......I preach that on a daily basis
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
Branford has a real gift for communication. I could listen to him talk all day about music.

All of these concepts can be applied to the drums just as well as the saxophone, D. You're absolutely correct.

I think my favorite part was around the 12:30 mark when he talked about improvising and having a conversation. The part about how some musicians are rewarded for consistency, well, doesn't that say it all. Not his bag, obviously, and certainly not mine, either. I also liked his remark about how many musicians have a conversation when they play, but it's the same conversation over and over. Ain't that the truth.

Thanks for sharing.
 

dmacc_2

Well-known member
...
I think my favorite part was around the 12:30 mark when he talked about improvising and having a conversation. The part about how some musicians are rewarded for consistency, well, doesn't that say it all. Not his bag, obviously, and certainly not mine, either. I also liked his remark about how many musicians have a conversation when they play, but it's the same conversation over and over. Ain't that the truth.

Thanks for sharing.
I think that was the part that resonated most to me as well. Consistency within that context is not my forte either. Never has been. Not even interested in it to be honest.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
I think that was the part that resonated most to me as well. Consistency within that context is not my forte either. Never has been. Not even interested in it to be honest.
I've heard similar comments about conversational playing in masterclasses by Kenny Werner and Hal Galper (both brilliant, as is Branford).

It's very much a jazz POV. While I enjoy the flexibility and conversational aspect of some jazz I also enjoy the clarity of minimalism and the trance-inducing aspect of ostinatos (and apparent ostinatos) in other forms.

The trouble with not committing to one general approach is that I sometimes get confused and end up in a queasy zone where I'm too repetitive to be conversational, too inconsistent to be trance-inducing and too busy for minimalism's power of clarity ...
Grant me the serenity to lay pavement
The courage to take the lead
And the taste to know which way to go.

 

porter

Platinum Member
It's very much a jazz POV.
Indeed- with more theoretically complex music, consistency seems to become more of a necessity, though if you spend enough time getting comfortable with the time signatures you could still improvise quite a bit there. Matt Halpern's one of the only drummers I know who actually does that, however, the music he plays isn't necessarily very structured.
 

dmacc_2

Well-known member
I've heard similar comments about conversational playing in masterclasses by Kenny Werner and Hal Galper (both brilliant, as is Branford).

It's very much a jazz POV. While I enjoy the flexibility and conversational aspect of some jazz I also enjoy the clarity of minimalism and the trance-inducing aspect of ostinatos (and apparent ostinatos) in other forms.

The trouble with not committing to one general approach is that I sometimes get confused and end up in a queasy zone where I'm too repetitive to be conversational, too inconsistent to be trance-inducing and too busy for minimalism's power of clarity ...
Grant me the serenity to lay pavement
The courage to take the lead
And the taste to know which way to go.

Completely and totally agree in regards to style specific. Pop, Country, R&B, etc... requires and demands consistency.

When I played other styles, I drove some (not all) people nuts as I'd never play a song the same way twice. Simply drove them crazy.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
Indeed- with more theoretically complex music, consistency seems to become more of a necessity, though if you spend enough time getting comfortable with the time signatures you could still improvise quite a bit there. Matt Halpern's one of the only drummers I know who actually does that, however, the music he plays isn't necessarily very structured.
I was thinking for of simple stuff but yeah. Also Bill Bruford. Always improvising and yet super tight.


Completely and totally agree in regards to style specific. Pop, Country, R&B, etc... requires and demands consistency.

When I played other styles, I drove some (not all) people nuts as I'd never play a song the same way twice. Simply drove them crazy.
David, I note that you the craziness didn't convince you to play it their way heehee

But yes, most pop singers don't like musos messing with successful arrangements. They find it distracting and can sometimes break their flow.

To be fair, none of the singers I've played with have been total tyrants and demanded that I stay in my box ... they've all seemed to enjoy it when I've added some drummy ham to the story they're telling.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I relate to the part where he talks about the need to distill what you have in your head. To me that means that whatever you are playing, it has to be simplified to its essence. Which shouldn't be mistaken for a minimizing of notes per se, I take it as distilling the idea to it's essence, and using as many or as few notes as you need to convey that distilled idea.

I take it as eliminating any impurities of the line, or figure, or beat you are playing. All very personal stuff that happens between the musicians thoughts and what is actually played.
 

radman

Senior Member
Really nice stuff there, dmacc. I didn't realize how well Branford could articulate. The guy has been immersed and paid his dues ... wonderful to hear him speak like that.

Interesting comment about "the TV show" too ... lol. I never did think they presented him correctly to get his personality across on that.

My buddies thought he stole the show waaaaay back in Sting's "Bring on the Night" movie. Well, Omar stole it for me ... ;-)

best,
radman
 
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