Guy Berger

Stewart Copeland on why jazz sucks

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I read something where a writer said that you have some sort of aversion to jazz?

It's a fun party trick, but I am allergic to jazz. I was raised to be a jazz musician, my father was a jazz musician and I was steeped in jazz from the moment my ears blinked open, which is why I am immune to jazz. And my main reason why I love dissing jazz is jazz musicians. The problem with jazz musicians is that they are all crap. It's sort of like jazz is the refuge of the talent-less. If you really want to be a musician and you are prepared to really work hard at it, but you don't have the gift and you don't have any soul and you don't have any talent, jazz is what you should do; because all you need to do is just spend hours training your fingers to wiggle very quickly and you'll be a hero in the jazz world. Not so in blues. In blues you need talent, you need X factor, you need heart, you need to have lived a life, you have to have something to say, you need to be an actual musician to play the blues. Jazz, any fool can do it; all you gotta do is practice.

And do you think that hold true for the elite, for folks like Jack DeJohneete?

I love Jack DeJohneete. Some of the others – Miles [Davis], mostly crap. Some of his early records where he had Tony Williams, great, I love those. But mostly it was crap. He was out of tune and he was a fucking junky and it sounded like shit. It was utterly preposterous. The king just wasn't wearing any clothes. Coltrane, same thing. [in a condescending voice] "Love supreme, love supreme" it's a joke.

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Oy vey.

Well, never was a Police fan. . . probably some fault of mine, I must have no listening talent. :)

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Is Andy Summers the nice guy in the group? :rfr

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I just trashed my Police's albums :g

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No talentless, soul-less hacks in the rock world!

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Anyone wanna sell me some of Miles' early records that feature Tony Williams? :huh::wacko:

That rare pressing of Birth of the Cool with Larry Young, Tony and McLaughlin maybe?

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"....spend hours training your fingers to wiggle very quickly..." Hell, I'm a finger wiggling MASTER. I should become a "jazz hero!"

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Fuck_the_Police_by_fredoplaydoh.jpg

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I was raised to be a jazz musician, my father was a jazz musician and I was steeped in jazz from the moment my ears blinked open...

Reading this, and the rest of the interview - the guy clearly has 'issues'.

Wouldn't be the first time a talented musician turned out to also be a major jerk. <_<

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I've seen Andy Summers at Birdland playing Monk and Mingus tunes, playing with one of Miles Davis' bassists from the 1980s (name is escaping me).

He was decent, but other than that, I hate the Police.

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Does anyone here think Copeland is being serious?

Check the rest of the discussion on jazz:

It's commendable to hear people speak up for what they believe.

Well half of all this is just because I enjoy the frisson caused by such comments, and the other thing that colors all this is that it's not about the music, it's about the guys. Jazz musicians as a rule are stuck up snobs. And the reason is because they don't get laid! Rock musicians get laid, jazz musicians don't!

That would piss anyone off.

And it turns them into grouchy people to hang with. There are many exceptions to that rule. One of my best friends is Stanley Clarke; he's great fun to hang out with.

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Also maybe he is taking a stab at Sting for ditching the Police and then playing with Branford and

kenny kirkland

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I thought Copeland's father worked for the CIA, hence the name of the band. Of course, he could have been finger-wiggling on the side...

As for his comments about jazz, just a reminder: before the Police reunion, he was drumming with the Doors reunion. A gig John Densmore did not want to have a part of!

Bertrand.

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Does anyone seriously care what Stewart Copeland thinks about jazz?

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anything for press,

anything for ticket sales for the old folks reuinion tour

anything for a buck

like a Madonna wanna-be

next thing "Sting hangs from cross on controversial New Tour"

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Somebody should ask him about Andrew Hill. Rooster needs to know!

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Seems Copeland's opinion of jazz is somewhat variable...

Interview from October 2001

Interviewer: Your dad was a big-band fan. Did this make Buddy Rich the main guy for you early on?

Copeland: Yeah, I'd put Buddy Rich as the main guy. Him, Mitch Mitchell and Ginger Baker, I guess. Listening to those first two Buddy Rich albums, "Big Swing Face" and "The Buddy Rich Band," the drumming on those things still just cuts right through time. And I realize, all these licks that I thought I made up, there they are. Particularly the hi-hat technique. S---, I thought I made that stuff up! [laughs] A lot of jazz people sneer when he's mentioned, but you play Buddy's stuff and I can't see how any sentient being can fail to respond to the vitality of it, the power of it, the swing of it.

You know, I'm the only drummer who Buddy Rich ever asked for an autograph, to my knowledge.

Interviewer: Get out.

Copeland: Well, I don't know if I'm the only one or not, but I can tell you that I was standing there at the Grammys and Buddy Rich walked up to me, moi, and asked me for an autograph. You don't need to print the next part, which is that it was for his daughter. ( :g )

Edited by Rooster_Ties

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More, with a little explaination of why he (supposedly) hates jazz, or at least (clearly) loves saying he does...

November, 2001 -- Modern Drummer

MD: Speaking of listening, and Trey [Anastasio] called you a better listener than any of the jazz drummers he's played with.

Stewart: Hah! Well, the problem with jazz musicians is that they're all crap!

MD: Yeah? Can we quote you on that?

Stewart: Oh, yes! It's an old favorite of mine. And I don't mean it, of course. I just enjoy saying it. But most jazz players are crap.

MD: Trey said that for a guy who doesn't listen to jazz?

Stewart: "and the reason I don't listen to jazz is not because jazz people are bad, or because I'm a jazzist, or something, but because I was raised to play jazz. I was brought up to be a jazz drummer. My dad's trumpet is sitting right there. But to me, jazz was safe, Sunday-lunch-with-the-family music. It was the opposite of rebellion. And my whole musical angst comes from rebelling against jazz. Occasionally I'll rub elbows with someone who calls themselves a jazz player - stanley Clarke, Tony Williams, Branford Marsalis. But apart from about ten guys who are friends of mine, the rest of them are all shit! With attitudes. That suck. They play music of the mind. Music is not of the mind, music is of the heart.

MD: And the classical music that you're writing for Orchestralli, is that music of the mind or heart?

Stewart: Ahhhh - you got me. It's a mental exercise, and my heart is gladdened by non-libidinal things. I was just soaring into a pontification, but you shot me right down there [laughing]. OK. Let me regroup here for a second.

What I'm saying here is that even the philosophy of the music of Stewart [Copeland] the composer is different from the philosophy of Stewart the drummer. The basic credo is different. The composer guy [stewart Copeland] is some other artsy-fartsy intellectual jerk! He's a jazz musician! [horrified laughter] Wow. What a strange realization.

MD: I hope this hasn't ruined your day.

Stewart: No! It's kind of an intriguing thought.

Edited by Rooster_Ties

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Still, to say Miles and Trane were completely crap is pretty fucking stupid.

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I don't care what a rock drummer thinks about jazz. However, it is troubling that some music lovers who read what he has said, and who might have thought about checking out jazz at some point, may be influenced in some conscious, or subliminal/subconscious way, and never give jazz a chance.

Edited by Hot Ptah

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Still, to say Miles and Trane were completely crap is pretty fucking stupid.

You didn't understand.

What Copeland is saying is that Miles and Trane as composers are some other artsy-fartsy intellectual jerks, but Miles and Trane as musicians are crap. :crazy:

Anyway I was luckier with my old dad then the poor Stewart, my dad hated jazz. :)

Edited by porcy62

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I don't care what a rock drummer thinks about jazz. However, it is troubling that some music lovers who read what he has said, and who might have thought about checking out jazz at some point, may be influenced in some conscious, or subliminal/subconscious way, and never give jazz a chance.

Wow, I wouldn't worry about it. At the end most of the Police's fans are well over the age of "subliminal/subconscious way". :D

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Anyway I was luckier with my old dad then the poor Stewart, my dad hated jazz. :)

But your kids will again hate jazz !

Oh no, I forgot, we jazz snobs have no kids because we don't get laid.

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I don't care what a rock drummer thinks about jazz. However, it is troubling that some music lovers who read what he has said, and who might have thought about checking out jazz at some point, may be influenced in some conscious, or subliminal/subconscious way, and never give jazz a chance.

Wow, I wouldn't worry about it. At the end most of the Police's fans are well over the age of "subliminal/subconscious way". :D

Perhaps. There will be some young people who turn out for the curiosity value though. There always seem to be a lot of younger people at these stadium concerts of gray haired old geezers.

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