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  1. #81
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    Default Re: Jazz is...

    What canon? That's a harmful myth. IMO jazz is a musical art form that continues to grow in many different ways and directions, just like "classical" music. I would like to know just to whom the power was given to declare that there is a canon and what it is. Wynton Marsalis and his ilk?
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    Default Re: Jazz is...

    I have a friend who is a successful composer of what is sometimes called "modern classical" music or "new music" or "new orchestral music." It's a similar struggle with the label. His works have been performed in several countries and he has won many prizes. He is a professor of music composition and theory at a major university. I just thought of him now because it occurred to me that you could substitute words like "new music" for "jazz" in this thread and have the same discussion without really changing much of the posts.
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    Default Re: Jazz is...

    Quote Originally Posted by gary View Post
    What canon? That's a harmful myth. IMO jazz is a musical art form that continues to grow in many different ways and directions, just like "classical" music. I would like to know just to whom the power was given to declare that there is a canon and what it is. Wynton Marsalis and his ilk?
    Good question. Wynton would be in as good a position as anyone.

    I don't necessarily endorse the idea of a canon of important works, because someone worth listening to always gets excluded. However, at least it keeps some historical music alive and being played.

    Where it gets complicated with jazz, I think, is that jazz isn't so totally a composer's music. You'd have to keep ensemble and solo styles, techniques, certain instruments, a whole esthetic alive that are not relevant to living memory...but in some ways transcend living memory.
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    Default Re: Jazz is...

    My father hasn't gotten a new hair style in twenty years and he's not dead...

    Jazz has seen plenty of new things since 1959 (including some of my favorite music ever) but it's "dead"

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    Default Re: Jazz is...

    Quote Originally Posted by Meatballfoot View Post
    Jazz has seen plenty of new things since 1959 . . . but it's "dead"
    What is that supposed to mean? You just categorised things seen by this idiom seen since 1959 as jazz, so how could it be dead?
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    Default Re: Jazz is...

    Quote Originally Posted by gary View Post
    Like and don't like what you shall, but to imprison "jazz" within the confines of any specific time frame or rigid stylistic parameters just hurts us all.
    Well said, gary.

    One thing that I think is missing from this sort of discussion is the fact that 'jazz' is an improvisational music. Sure, there are stylistic traits and compositions, but the heart of a jazz performance is, and always has been, improvisation. Given that, even if someone were to play a bebop tune from the '40s today, it would (or could, depending on the player) be a fresh interpretation and a newly-improvised performance. That's what keeps it alive today, imo. Not whether it's a brand new style with no connection whatsoever to what's gone before. I think this is just as true for blues/funk/rock & roll for that matter, to the extent it is improvised and not a carbon copy of a historic recording or specific solo.

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    Default Re: Jazz is...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorns Bergenson View Post
    What is Jazz? I know and have always known...

    Jazz is the one true music form risen from below the conscious threshold of modern living in the stratus left behind through the years of incongruous cultures mingling, embracing classic structure but not shackled to it, finding no boundaries in the holistic dreams that men long for without rhythmic or harmonic constraint, having passed through the generations of those experiencing the splendors but also the failings of post-transient melodic development and escew the conventions of conformity but only consider dark underpinnings which are incorporated in the collective emotions of the world's music-minders and especially those who commit to understanding the sublime heritage and diversity of the form. Simply put… Jazz Is!

    Now where did I put my evening medication?
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    Default Re: Jazz is...

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary
    What is that supposed to mean? You just categorised things seen by this idiom seen since 1959 as jazz, so how could it be dead?
    I put the quotes to show sarcasm, but I guess that was a too subtle. My message is that jazz is not dead by any stretch of the imagination. And because I like to rant:

    I don't think we should be fazed by Payton's preaching... there are plenty of us who know jazz is alive. People who ignore the wealth of wonderful music past and present don't deserve my sympathy. I'm not a racist, and I think that very few people find the word "jazz" incriminating. The word jazz hasn't meant anything other than a style of music for almost a hundred years now. What would make someone say that "Black American Music" is a less racially discriminatory label than "jazz?" And why would Payton say jazz is dead? Was he accused of not being a jazz musician and this is his comeback? Is he just a little weird? Does he just want attention? Jazz is not dead, and if someone wants to try to bring it down by badmouthing it, couldn't it at least be someone who doesn't make a living playing it??? How can music die? Mozart's music blows my brain out my butt and he died in the 1700's! That stuff is alive! Go by Dexter Gordon, 1962. Was jazz dead? Speak No Evil by Wayne Shorter, 1964. Was jazz dead? Song for My Father? Inner Urge? These are CLASSIC jazz albums that came out after 1959. That's not to mention the millions of other great jazz recordings more recently than those. I love jazz and it's not dead.

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    Default Re: Jazz is...

    Jorns Bergenson put it more beautifully than I ever could, but I still feel the need to add my own stamp to the discussion.

    I got into a discussion about what jazz is with a professor of jazz studies, and neither of us could come up with a definition that fits all its subgenres suitably. Jazz has been turned on its ear so many times, it's almost as hard to describe as music itself. Personally, I can't possibly describe what jazz is; I can say pretty definitively what it isn't, but for the life of me I can't say why. That's a huge reason why I love jazz more than any other type of music: from Louis Armstrong's first dixieland recordings to Trombone Shorty's jazz-funk-soul-metal hybrid, Supafunkrock, there's something for everybody.

    So in the end, I consider jazz to be what moves you personally. What makes jazz unique among the other genres of music is that while in most forms of music you fit your sound to a genre, in jazz the genre fits around your sound. It's not something that you define- it's something that defines you. One could go on forever about instrumentation and rhythm and all that- no pun intended, I swear- jazz, but there's gonna be at least one jazz artist who defies any definition you come up with. Each person has their own definition of what jazz is, and that's truly beautiful.

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    Default Re: Jazz is...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorns Bergenson View Post
    What is Jazz? I know and have always known...

    Jazz is the one true music form risen from below the conscious threshold of modern living in the stratus left behind through the years of incongruous cultures mingling, embracing classic structure but not shackled to it, finding no boundaries in the holistic dreams that men long for without rhythmic or harmonic constraint, having passed through the generations of those experiencing the splendors but also the failings of post-transient melodic development and escew the conventions of conformity but only consider dark underpinnings which are incorporated in the collective emotions of the world's music-minders and especially those who commit to understanding the sublime heritage and diversity of the form. Simply put… Jazz Is!

    Now where did I put my evening medication?
    That reminds me of this

    The contemporary classical composers bs generator
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    Default Re: Jazz is...

    Jazz was invented so that people can listen to piped-in Christmas melodies without retching.
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    Default Re: Jazz is...

    Man, I love that 8ullsh!t generator!

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    Default Re: Jazz is...

    Who needs threads about Jazz when there is this thing already http://www.dominicirving.com/temp/cccbsg.pl

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    Default Re: Jazz is...

    Rofl.
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    Default Re: Jazz is...

    This has to be the greatest invention ever...

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    Default Re: Jazz is...

    Here's an actual piece of writing by Milton Babbit about 12-tone composition:
    The identification of the "prime" set in a given composition is not a meaningful task, since the property of "primeness" is not an immanent one, but a relational one; thus, the designation of a particular set form at a specific transpositional level as "prime" is, analytically, usually determined by temporal priority or emphasis, since the closure and symmetry properties of the system assure that the musical relationships remain unaltered, regardless of the choice of the "prime" from the, normally, forty-eight possible compositional sets.
    I was going to say. "You can't make this stuff up" — but I see that a bs generator can.
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    Default Re: Jazz is...

    There is no jazz "economy". If there were, market forces would drive competition. Almost all "professional jazz musicians" are music educators, earning very little if any, and actually operating at a loss much of the time, any significant income from said performances. They perform and create new music that is not an extension of a school activity out of love of the music, but mostly professional obligation. Berklee faculty are required to do a certain amount of new music performances in the Boston area every year, and believe me, many of them wouldn't if they didnt have to.

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    Default Re: Jazz is...

    Esperanza Spaulding. Robert Glasper. Chris Dave. Julian Lage. Brad Mehldau. If Jazz is dead, what are these people doing going out on tour and winning Grammy's? They need to be writing angry blogs and complaining more! Because that's "Keeping it Real"!!!

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    Default Re: Jazz is...

    Does anyone here know what immanent means in shotguns quote from Babbitt

    Actually can anyone explain what all those words meant. Beyond me
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    Default Re: Jazz is...

    It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that ... gazortenplatz.
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