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Dan Gould

Blindfold Test #1 - Discussion

155 posts in this topic

So far we're a pretty small group here, eh? I hope more folks will weigh in soon...

Well, 15 went out, three to Europe, and six have commented so far. So, a small group but still 40% of the total class. I'm sure we'll get more after the holiday.

Another thought I've had. Everyone's commenting on the "who" and "what" of the test, but other than me and Moose, how about more on the "how," as in, how did the tune strike you? A big part of the blindfold test is evaluating the music by number of stars, and I'm the only one who bothered. Not that the stars are critical, but I know that when it comes time for my test, I am most interested in the evaluation of the music, more than whether or not someone sleuth's out who the player is, or fishes out a disc and figures out what the tune is.

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I'll bite; but first, what's the scale? How many stars does the perfect jazz performance rate? :)

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Well, I've always gone by a scale of zero to five stars, in half-star increments.

Makes the most sense to me.

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Well, actually, if you read those DB blindfold tests, the upper limit of stars is infinity (though usually those ratings are given after they know who the artist was ;)

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Five sounds good to me. By the way, Dan, your post of "after they know" causes me to think of a possible problem that may stop people from doing this. Okay, people, if one of us turns out to be the smart ass of all smart asses, and puts a Kenny G. cut on a disc, and you happen to rate it higher than half a star, here's some handy excuses for you. Keep 'em handy!

1. "Shit! Some dickhead hacked my password!"

2. "Oh, man; I had my John Tchicai disc in by mistake; my fault!"

3. "Did I tell you about the time I was going to start at QB for Miami?"

4. "No, really; run it through the garbage disposal, and it's pretty good!"

5. "What? I thought it was supposed to be an earplug test!"

6. "I deny any knowledge of this track or any test."

Edited by Jazzmoose

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Or Philadelphian shores, for that matter :( ...hopefully Tuesday!

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WE got back later than expected from taking the baby to see the great grandparents this weekend, so just reviewing and commenting now. A few thoughts:

1. DAMN, this is fun! And not just because I know the answers...I'm actually JEALOUS of all you folks getting to puzzle these out (and you're doing a damn fine job), and can't wait until I'm on the receiving end. So far, I have to say this has worked out almost exactly as I predicted in terms of which tunes would really be universal "hits," which would get mixed reviews, which would give people the most fits, etc. Those of you waiting to make CDs, you're going to have a BLAST.

2. I am THRILLED that I have (to quote Dan, a Type-A guy after my own heart!) "lost control of the classroom." This is EXACTLY what I had hoped for, everyone getting excited about it and kicking in ideas, not only about who is on the CD but how to make this blindfold test thing even better. For what it's worth, I am all for keeping the rules to a minimum and allowing any type of discussion that is desired in the discussion thread. If people don't want the answers given away on their first run throughs, then make sure to listen to the CD and log your answers FIRST, before joining the discussion. I would urge everyone to look back at how incredibly rich it's been, with people giving clues, kicking in ideas, and spurring thoughts about the music...any tighter reins on the thread would have squelched that. So again, listen and get your own head straight about your thinking first, before looking, but then jump in and join the fun -that's my two cents.

3. I do think Dan and others have good points about not being the first to post and giving away all the answers blatantly...'cause there might be someone new to the game who doesn't realize that there could be answers here. I love the idea of linking to the answers as Jim R did, really cool. However, I don't think anyone really did "give them all away" here, as far as I'm concerned everyone's comments and hints have been very artfully and thoughtfully done, with the intent of maximizing the fun.

4. Without giving any additional hints, I don't think I have seen anyone try and discern an overall "theme" to the CD - I will say it's kind of loose and general, so don't knock yourselves out trying to figure out things like "they're all played in the Key of A" or anything, but it might be fun to hazard guesses on this (unless you're sure, in which case mum's the word).

5. Finally, let me again emphasize everyone is doing really well and that my intention was not to stump folks but to get them thinking and listening carefully and it seems to be working. I'm on cloud 9, really, it's so great to see this happening! B)

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Based on a lot of what has been written, I can tell I will be completely stumped by every selection. To be honest, I'm more interested in hearing the sounds DrJ chose than figuring out who's playing--when I find out who is playing it will just be the icing on the cake. Is that against the rules? :unsure:

Edited by Noj

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Is that against the rules? :unsure:

It better not be! It's not like I have a choice. :g

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The only theme I can discern w/o having total knowledge of "who and what" is that there seems to be at least one non-American-born per5son on each cut, which makes #3 REALLY perplexing now, and also has me wondering where Eddie Lang was born...

Edited by JSngry

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Well, Tony, the lack of guesses on the "theme" might be a good indication that its too darn nebulous to be recognizable! :g

Honestly, I think maybe only I specificallly knew you had a theme in mind, but I didn't even think about it after I fouled a couple off, poked a single to left, and whiffed on the rest ;)

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The only theme I can discern w/o having total knowledge of "who and what" is that there seems to be at least one non-American-born per5son on each cut, which makes #3 REALLY perplexing now, and also has me wondering where Eddie Lang was born...

I swear to God, I was just returning here to post the exact same thoughts. This may help us to solve some of the remaining mysteries.

After reconsidering my earlier comments about who was involved on #8, I now think I have the answer (I don't own this recordiing, but I'm pretty confident that this is it:

#8... Click

==========

[sept. 1st edit]: I'm leaving the above link alone (although it was later shown to be incorrect), just to avoid any confusion...

Edited by Jim R

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BTW, Lang was from Pennsylvania. I think he's out. I've been wondering if #1 could be Oscar Aleman (Argentina-born). Been hearing about him for years, but have rarely heard anything by him...

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If I may chime in for a sec...

Even though I'm not participating yet, I'd like to congratulate the organizers of this game. It really does something for our community here. Just when you think bitterness, name calling, and political rivalry can take the fun out of this site, something like The Blindfold Test comes along and helps keep this the best place to be. I feel this game is going to precipitate endless good discussion and jazz exercise, and we'll all be sharper and happier for it.

I can't wait to get my copy of test #1.

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I've been following, though I didn't sign up for #1. Maybe sometime in the future. I didn't even realize there was any malevolence here, but I guess that's because I stay away from the political forum. I think this is a great idea and commend Tony et al for pulling it off! Very cool! :tup

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4 - Ok, this one I knew. The Big Jazz. Kilometers between Locomotives in the Timbers. What are you doing, jitterbugging the rest of your life? It's 3/4 over, you know.

Jim S - do you have a side career in cryptic crosswords/puns/anagrams? Keep 'em coming -- I got this one just from your clues, without the CD!

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After reconsidering my earlier comments about who was involved on #8, I now think I have the answer (I don't own this recordiing, but I'm pretty confident that this is it:

#8... Click

Been there, done that, and regret to inform you that there is only one violinist on the version of "How High The Moon" on this cut if the AMG review is to be believed: http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&u...l=Ajc6htrplkl6x

HOWEVER -

There is another option that I SWEAR was just posted on AMG in the last 48 hours, and here, sir, I believe we have our winner:

See whatcha' think...

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4 - Ok, this one I knew. The Big Jazz. Kilometers between Locomotives in the Timbers. What are you doing, jitterbugging the rest of your life? It's 3/4 over, you know.

Jim S - do you have a side career in cryptic crosswords/puns/anagrams? Keep 'em coming -- I got this one just from your clues, without the CD!

Thanks, but I barely have a MAIN career, much less a side one, unless you call working the overnight shift in the payment processing department at a major mortgage company because my wife got laid off a "side career". I don't - I call it a familial obligation, at best! :g:g:g

Seriously, thanks. I just have a love of words, that's all.

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Jim, despite the fact that the info came from AMG :unsure: ... I'll take your word for it. ;)

Now GET BACK TO WORK on #3!! :g

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#3's gonna be the death of me, I swear.

Is Ronnie Scott a good guess?

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OOOOHHHHH-----MISTAH KAAAAAATTTTTUHHHH!!!!!!!

I've not had the money to keep up with the series that what I think the correct answer to #8 (see link) comes from (well, I have, but I've had more pressing needs, musically and otherwise), but perhaps that might be a good place to look...

Edited by JSngry

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I've been listening to the Blindfold Test CD mostly on a crappy boombox in the kitchen and/or living room, so I really haven't been listening to it with much stereo separation.

And thus, until I just read this thread (about track #8 anyway), I was fairly convinced that track #8 was THIS. Any thoughts??? But NOW that I know there are TWO violins (now that I'm listening closer, on a stereo with decent separation), I guess there's no chance it could be what I just linked to. Damn!!! <_<

=====

Oh, well, I'm gonna post my thoughts on the entire Blindfold Test #1 later tonight. I've listened to the whole thing about 6 or 7 times now, and I have some ideas about a few tracks, and NO idea at all about some too.

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WARNING: My knowledge (both “book” knowledge and actual “ear” knowledge) is pretty damn thin for stuff recorded before 1960, and these Blindfold tests are sure as hell gonna expose that about me. With that cat out of the bag, here goes...

Track #1: No idea. My knowledge of jazz guitar is very, VERY limited when it comes to cats before 1960, and I'm probably not any better with cats after 1960, with the exception of a few big names. So, I won’t even guess, cuz I’d be so wrong, it’d make your head spin. 3 and a half stars.

Track #2: First time I heard this I thought this might have been something stylistically very similar to the Thad Jones late 50’s recordings on Blue Note (which surprisingly, I’m not very familiar with, only from having borrowed a friend’s Mosaic set once). As to who the players are, boy - I really have no idea. The trombonist is very fluid, but I’m quickly showing my ignorance of even a basic “who’s who” of pre-Moncur Trombonists. I could mention some random names, but I’d only be making wild guesses. As to the tenor player – my thought was that it kinda sounded a little like maybe Tina Brooks, but I’m not aware of Tina recording in this kind of context. 4 stars.

Track #3: My first thought was early Stanley Turrentine, but that’s just a guess. (But whoever it is, they sure have the fluidity of an early Stanley Turrentine.) 4 stars.

Track #4: I was fairly proud that I figured this one out (with my ears) before I remembered that the biggest name on this recording had ever recorded this tune in this kind of context before. There were several moments (quickly) that I was both pretty sure of who the biggest name was, and I also thought that the textures sure as hell reminded me of his other work on stuff like THIS. Then, after the second time through the Blindfold disc, I suddenly remembered what this was (and that it even existed in the first place). Suprisingly, only 3 and a half stars.

Track #5: No real idea, I’m afraid. Maybe Johnny Griffin?? That’s the first name that pops into my head, even after listening to this track 6 or 8 times. My backup guess is Clifford Jordan, but I really don’t think it’s Jordan – cuz my brain still says Johnny Griffin to me (even as I’m typing Jordan’s name). 4 stars.

Track #6: No real idea, although a strange name keeps popping into my head – one that doesn’t at all fit any kind of logic. :wacko: How about McCoy Tyner?? I’ve heard very little of McCoy’s Impulse material (’62-’64), but what I have heard I kind of remember as being somewhat different (less modal, with less of the voicings in 4ths) than his BN material from ’67 and after. 3 stars.

Track #7: No idea, and nothing really pops into my head. I mean, whoever it is has the fat alto tone of Jackie McLean, but this is WAY more conservative than Jackie ever played (at least from the Jackie I know – I’ve never heard his really early stuff – I think ’59 is as early as I’ve ever heard from Jackie). Whoever it is almost gets a “soprano-sax”-like tone out of that alto. Wish I had even a half-ass guess, but I don’t even have that. 3 stars.

Track #8: As I mentioned up above, I was about half-way convinced that it was Claude “Fiddler” Williams, and THIS recording in particular. But then I listened to it on a real stereo (with real speaker separation), and BAM – there goes that theory (since there's two violins - I thought is was just one, when I was listening on a cheap boombox). So, I guess I got no real guess even, other that some obvious names already mentioned. 2 and a half stars.

Track #9: WOW!!! :excited: What a killer track!!! I have NO idea who this is, but I damn well better find out before this is all over – that’s all I gotta say!! Absolutely no names come to mind for the guitar player or the organist. But some general names come to mind, in terms of vibe. Is this a Byrds tune??? One other name that kind pops into my head is The Doors, and also (only a tiny, tiny little bit) how about “More/Obscured-By-Clouds”-era Pink Floyd. Ok, not really – but every once in a blue moon the organ reminds me of some of the moody “Floyd” organ of the immediate “post-Syd” era. (Really, is this maybe a tune by The Byrds?? I think know this tune from somewhere.) 5 stars!!! :w:tup B) (OK, really probably only 4 stars.)

Track #10: Two names pop into my head: Clifford Jordan (as the tenor soloist), and Gerald Wilson (as the band leader) - but those are both pretty wild guesses. Cool track!! (My lack of knowledge about big-bands will also show quite a bit from these Blindfold tests too.) 4 stars.

Track #11: Well, I was pretty darn sure it was my favorite tenor player when I first heard it (and it is). For the first couple times through I thought it might have been THIS, which I had a tape of many years ago, but haven't heard since about 1995. But then I quickly changed my mind, and thought long and hard about what I knew (no AMG cheating from me on this one) about this tenor player's catalog (including his sideman dates), and I quickly came to the conclusion it was probably THIS, which I heard a couple times several years ago (but I don’t own the disc). I didn't remember the tune at all, but the overall sound and feel of the date seemed vaguely familiar. For those still guessing about #11, the hint is that the trumpeter on this one is someone that Dmitry really likes (and probably for more than one reason). 4 stars.

Track #12: No real idea, but I’m going to hazard a wild guess and say something by Chick Corea and Gary Burton. I’ve never heard any of their stuff (together) before, but there’s something about this that’s both relatively cool, but not really as cool as I’d like it to be – all at the same time. (I think someone up above said that this sounded like something Rooster would like – and they’re right --- although what I’d really say is that this sounds like a good (but not quite great) attempt to sound like something Rooster would like. ;) ) Since I often feel this way about some of the stuff that Chick’s done, (especially in the 70’s and 80’s) then I guess that’s part of the reason for my guess of Chick and Burton too. 2 and a half stars.

Track #13: Somebody said Metheny-esque, and I would have to agree. But I don’t think Metheny’s the leader. So, I came to this next conclusion without looking anything up on-line.... How about THIS??? (I borrowed this CD from a friend a few years ago, and skimmed through it once – liked half of it, and found the other half wanting -- and it was the tracks like this that left me wanting, if you must know.) 1 star.

Track #14: Probably a Monk tune, but no idea who the piano player is, let alone anybody else in the trio. 2 stars.

PS: DAMN this was a LOT of fun!!!!! :tup:tup:tup

Edited by Rooster_Ties

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:tup RT, you nailed one that's been bugging me (and no doubt everybody else)- #11. It's the first track on that disc you provided the link for. I doubt I would have ever figured it out. I've heard the trumpeter's name many times, but I'm unfamiliar with his work. I had thought about all kinds of sideman appearances by "the tenor player" ( :ph34r: ), but that's a big body of work to consider. To see when that was recorded... well, all I can say is that's a real eye-opener!

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Hey, what can I say - but if there's anything I know, it's Joe. Not that I have or know everything he's ever done --- but he's my all-time favorite tenor player, hands down. I have nothing but the highest respect and appreciation for Trane, but it's Joe that speaks to my heart and soul. :wub:

Edited by Rooster_Ties

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