Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 04:03 pm
But I don't like to 'hate' things, because largely in the past when I've hated a genre of music it has been because I've not known much about it.
But I just really hate jazz, I think it's tonality is totally sterile, I think the improvisation sounds so predetermined and predictable it is completely lifeless. I can't associate it with any passion or integrity at all, it's just banal.
More so, I come close to stereotyping all the people who like jazz as having the same traits. I don't really like any of the people on the 'language of jazz' course in my department, I largely see them as boring and with no integrity.

Can anyone put forward a song I should listen to, or an argument against mine, to make me 'see the light'?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 18 • Views: 8,541 • Replies: 57
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kuvasz
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 04:12 pm
duke ellington's A single petal of a rose performed by mary macpartland

http://www.rhapsody.com/marian-mcpartland/the-single-petal-of-a-rose
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 04:15 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
The Pentacle Queen wrote:
Can anyone put forward a song I should listen to, or an argument against mine, to make me 'see the light'?


Doesn't sound like that's possible, but I think the best Jazz standard of all time is 'Round Midnight. This isn't my favorite interpretation of the piece but should give you an idea of what it's about:




Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 04:51 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
I don't talk to people who are so predetermined, predictable and lifeless that they can't appreciate America's great musical gift to the world. Laughing Laughing

It's probably true that you have to know a little bit about musical theory to fully appreciate it. Listen to Duke Ellington, probably the most versatile and representative of the composers/bandleaders of the 1930s and 1940s. Listen to the piano playing of Oscar Peterson, the trumpet of Miles Davis, the alto sax of Charlie Parker. I also recommend a book by Eileen Southern, professor emerita at Harvard U., The Music of Black Americans: A History. It's not about jazz per se. Only two chapters out of twelve deal specifically with jazz and the background to its inception. First published in 1971 (second edition 1983), the book details the European influences on indigenous African rhythms as well as concentrating on the musicology itself. [N. W. Norton Co, 1983.]

For a chronological listening experience, I would suggest the five-CD album "Ken Burns/Jazz" [Verve Music] which includes much-expanded versions of the music Burns used in his PBS documentary "The History of Jazz." If you listen to the CDs in sequence, you get a real feel for the progression of the music from its rag and blues inspired roots at about the time of World War I, through the Harlem Rennaisance and right up to the experimental stuff of the 1990s and the present day.

For me, if it ain't Mozart or Beethoven it's gotta be jazz. You can keep the popular pap of today's "hits." Popular music hasn't been worth listening to since the Beatles disbanded.
0 Replies
 
hingehead
 
  2  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 05:08 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
Hiya Queenie

I think making a blanket claim about Jazz shows a lack of breadth in your experience of it - it has as many polar differences as rock or classical, and to not listen to something because it's been branded a particular genre is a risk I'm not prepared to take Wink .

Certainly some jazz does fit your description, but your statement:
Quote:
I think the improvisation sounds so predetermined and predictable it is completely lifeless. I can't associate it with any passion or integrity at all, it's just banal.

intrigues me - what genre are you proposing does improvisation better?

I hope I don't sound defensive - I'm no fan of jazz either, I like songs/pieces and occasionally the songs/pieces I like happen to be jazz. I'm wondering what jazz you have listened to, because if it's the English trad jazz scene you have every reason to recoil in disgust, IMHO.

You're studying composition aren't you? I wonder if that colours your opinion.

My recommendation is to borrow Miles Davis' Sketches of Spain from your local library for a brilliant jazz interpretation of Rodrigo's Concerto de Aranjuez.



hingehead
 
  2  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 05:09 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
As for disliking elitist wankers who are fans of a genre, well every genre has it's tossers, and academic institutions have more than most.
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 05:11 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
What types of jazz have you been listening to?

Saying you hate jazz is much like saying you hate vocal music or classical music.

Jazz is an enormously broad category, with many styles and exponents and traditions.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 05:15 pm
@hingehead,
Very true. Patiodog once said something very funny about Jazz on one of the "rap is crap" threads that she may appreciate though, it was something like:

"You can't spell 'crap' without 'rap', you can't spell 'crock' without 'rock', and you can't spell 'pretension' without 'jazz'."
0 Replies
 
Sglass
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 05:26 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Who are the members of the quartet.

Takes me back to Villages days. Long time ago. The jump from Hank Williams to T. Monk only took one listening.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 05:31 pm
@Sglass,
Sglass wrote:
Who are the members of the quartet.


The youtube description says:

Quote:
Thelonious Monk(p) Charlie Rouse(ts) Larry Gales(b) Ben Riley(ds) Norway 1966 dvd"LIVE in '66"


That video has Monk doing some very Monkish improvisation. I usually like it but I prefer his more traditional interpretations of his composition. Thelonious Monk at the Blackhawk has one of my favorite versions.
0 Replies
 
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 05:33 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,

" In A Mist" played by Bix Beiderbecke on the piano. It's early, but it's good, and the man was approaching genius.
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 05:46 pm
Thank you everyone.

I'm a radio 3 buff, and so here a lot of free jazz on there... I've listened (and studied somewhat) Ellington, Coltrane and Miles Davis, but not extensively.

Yes, blanket statements are largely ignorant, but I never said 'All jazz is rubbish' I expressed subjective personal dislike, which is different. I don't think slamming a whole genre of music is really THAT unintelligent- if you don't like the timbre/tonality/whatever that are compulsory components for the genre to be classed as such, then it is perfectly legitimate.
I'm on here because I want to know what all the fuss is about... Why can't i appreciate it?

Hingehead, you asked me what genre I think does improvisation better? Maybe no other western genre.. but what about Mugham music from Azerbaijan? The Indian Raga concept? To me, these two musics have a much more interesting tonality...

As for pretentiousness... I think all that indicates is a really narrow world view that can't understand other peoples preferences. If people can back it up with something substantial then I've got no qualms... if it's riding on the back of an institute then it's pretty stupid. If I had no sense of shame then I'd go around promoting Richard Strauss as the pinnacle of western culture, because to me, he is.
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 05:49 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
And thank you for the links. I shall go through them systematically and listen and then report.
0 Replies
 
The Pentacle Queen
 
  0  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 06:04 pm
@hingehead,
Quote:

My recommendation is to borrow Miles Davis' Sketches of Spain from your local library for a brilliant jazz interpretation of Rodrigo's Concerto de Aranjuez.


Ok, well this is the first of the pieces I've been ok with, listened on youtube- but thats because it was a piece I liked anyway and I still much prefer the original. I think Rodrigo's instrumentation was more delicate, the harmony more intricate... in this version it is more blunt, it lacks definition, it's a crude copy of what it once was. I think the jazz instrumentation makes the homophony more blatant whereas in the original it is subtle. Plus... if I did like it I think it would be because of the spanish/classical tonal influences.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 06:10 pm
@McTag,
Bix! Haven't heard that name in a while.

And on Parker, I'm going to have to dig out an old album.

Jazz varies, hot, cool, boring, engrossing, inventive. exploratory. I have a soft spot for latin jazz. On the other hand, a friend's husband used to put stuff on that bored me (he was a jazz pianist and did jazz radio shows). In that case, I think it was I who was absent understanding.
The Pentacle Queen
 
  0  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 06:21 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Quote:
Doesn't sound like that's possible, but I think the best Jazz standard of all time is 'Round Midnight.


Yeah... it's not as 'bad' as some other Jazz... I can see it is well constructed. I don't like the 'colour' of the tonality, but then again I never do. To me the piano just seems really aimless, the whole thing has a meandering kind of quality that I don't really 'get.' Perhaps that is because I don't like meandering.

Made me think of something though. I like a lot of baroque music, out of the obvious, not so much Bach but a lot of Handel- I get a real sense of satisfaction from listening to the chords progress and resolve, with Jazz I just don't get this. Like baroque music, and like the other musics I mentioned, Indian classical music, I can largely 'hear' where the harmonic progression is going to go, and it arrives there, and it feels 'nice'. When the chord progressions take me somewhere else, there is a sense of interest, but they always resolve and it feels 'nice' again.
With jazz I can here exactly where the music is going to go, and it NEVER really surprises me, it just bobs along, it is completely predictable. It's a weird paradox that Jazz is meant to be one of the more free improvisatory genres, but to me it may as well be completely mathematically determined.
It must really be the easiest genre to improvise, maybe not on a harmonic instrument but for a sax player it really would be a piece of cake.
How odd, as I typed that last sentence my flatmate just knocked on my door and gave me a piece of cake he'd just made. Man, I'm just too good at predicting.
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 06:31 pm
@ossobuco,
Quote:
On the other hand, a friend's husband used to put stuff on that bored me (he was a jazz pianist and did jazz radio shows). In that case, I think it was I who was absent understanding.


Yeah... I mean it works on two levels. Most people don't enjoy opera. (Personally, that was why I was so irate that it was the main vocal quality featured in Patiodog's thread about scientifically constructed 'awful' music). But if you just don't like the timbre of an opera singer's voice (and I think this is largely dependent on what we are constantly exposed to, opera does tend to sit outside mainstream public perception) then no matter how well you understand Wagner culturally, instrumentally, even harmonically, then his 12 hour ring cycle would still be hell.

Having absent understanding is in some ways irrelevant- maybe you just liked a more engaging and structurally interesting form of jazz than your friend's husband.
I often think that a lot of musicians just like 'music.' I mean if you just really liked jazz tonality or the timbre in general, then it would be easier to listen to pieces that are quite structurally flat.
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 06:45 pm
Hey Pentacle Queen,

Having been a working musician for many years and studied jazz full-time in college, and taken many years of jazz guitar lessons, I can still sympathize.

It can indeed sound frenetic, disjointed, needlessly complex, pretentious, over-intellectualized, presumptuous, overburdened, discordant etc.

So, if it does not suit your tastes, good for you, you don't have to please anyone but yourself. I am not going to suggest what you should or should not listen to.

The Pentacle Queen
 
  0  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 07:07 pm
@Chumly,
Quote:
Having been a working musician for many years and studied jazz full-time in college, and taken many years of jazz guitar lessons, I can still sympathize.



Really? I didn't know that, that's really interesting.

Quote:
It can indeed sound frenetic, disjointed, needlessly complex, pretentious, over-intellectualized, presumptuous, overburdened, discordant etc.


Yeah... those aren't the main reasons I don't like it though.
I love dissonance, my favorite composers are messiaen/cage/mosolov/rawsthorne and that tradition.
I certainly don't like the frenetic quality of some jazz, but I think that is because it's like a magnification of the tonality i don't like.

I can't say it's 'over-intellectualized' since I love over-intellectualizing the classical tradition... admittedly It wouldn't want to be something I would want to intellectualise.

Perhaps, if you would be so kind, would you mind explaining the reasons why you LIKE jazz... be as complex as you like.
2PacksAday
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 07:08 pm
I don't dig jazz either.
 

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