Guest donald petersen

question for those alive in the 70s...

46 posts in this topic

with all this groove merchant talk i have begun wondering what it was like in the 70s for those who were there...

i mean if you saw like bob babbitt, lance quinn, jeff mironov,alan schwartzberg, etc. were on an album, did it evoke any feeling in you?

were you excited? scared? numb?

was there anyone you avoided? it seems like some musicians appeared at the wrong time and were probably never on anything good (plus never contributed anything good when given the chance) such as ray gomez.

i could see avoiding gomez and jon faddis and will lee off the top of my head...and possibly being excited if i saw that steve khan was on an album (he always seemed to be a bit interesting whenever he appeared-if only he got half the attention scofield did...)

just curious. sorry it is a weird random question.

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Jon Faddis? I'm not the biggest fan of Jon Faddis (I like him more in a trumpet section than as a soloist), but he did some good work in the 70s (as a lead player primarily) with Thad & Mel (Suite for Pops, Greetings and Salutations). He also participated in the Kenny Burrell Ellington tribute. He had a couple things out under his name too, nothing earth-shaking, but not terrible.

I just mentioned this because I thought that he was an interesting choice of someone to avoid. I guess his obsession with high notes probably gets on some people's nerves. He did have some freaky chops back then, though... :rhappy: .

Same with Will Lee- he played on some 70s fusion sides that were pretty good, with Sanborn and the Brecker Brothers, among others. Wasn't he also part of that group White Elephant? Once again, I'm not a Will Lee completist or anything, but I've always thought of him as kind of existing in the background, in the rhythm section as a supporting player, so I've never really noticed him to the point of wanting to avoid him.

I too liked Steve Khan's projects. :)

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well it's a personal thing...i wasn't listening to music back then since i wasn't born until the late 70s.

that's why i was wondering-so much of the music turned into faceless session guys (and formerly non-session guys were thrown into the recesses with pat rebillot) i was wondering how much interest/thought/etc went through your tender brain when looking at an LP cover back then.

did you think-jimmy maelin on percussion?!?!?! awesome!

for me, faddis seems kind of cheesy. he always does his same high note tricks and quotes songs at annoying times also. just not someone i want to hear. in session work i am sure he's fine but on something like charles earland's "kharma" album-he ruins it because he is given more freedom to be himself and he has no personality to be. just my opinion. not looking to argue about faddis.

will lee just seemed like the jivest of a jive crew to my ears. i dunno. i guess he probably wasn't any worse than a bob babbitt or a gary king (well i think king is pretty dope-one of the best). this is why i am asking.

or seeing like richard tee was on an album...how did these things make you feel? i imagine richard tee would make one excited. but would eric gale? gordon edwards? any feelings at all?

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Faddis had good chops, but worshipped Dizzy too much. There also always seemed to be steady work for trumpeters who could hit those high notes (Maynard Ferguson, Al Killian, etc); I guess some people liked it. At a JATP session, it was akin to the fat lady singing.

During the '70's, I thought most Muse albums looked cheesy, populated with nobodies. I can moderate that opinion somewhat now, but back then I knew no one who listed to Jimmy Ponder, for example, and couldn't figure out why these albums kept coming out.

Eric Gale had that sound that Paul Simon liked, but it seemed like he only had 6 notes in his repertoire.

Steve Khan did some interesting things on Novus. Sammy Cahn's son, by the way.

In the '70's, I remember really disliking certain artists, thinking they were overhyped (at least in the NYC area). Two in particular were Lester Bowie and Betty Carter. I remember having impassioned discussions with friends about the relative merits or lack of same ("How can you like Betty Carter? Haven't you heard Abbey Lincoln?" etc.). Then I remember hearing about Lester's death and feeling a loss. It seemed like those impassioned opinions paled next to the loss of a person's life; the opinions really weren't that important, y'know? You may like a person's work or you may not, but they only have a certain number of years on this earth.

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Hell! Betty Carter rock's the bells!!! I sure do dig Abbey Lincoln as well!

You must re-evaluate Betty Carter!

Check the sides she did with Sonny Rollins.

Or the great 2xLP "what a little Moonlight can do". That has SOME with Rollins.

Just my opinion.

---HB

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I was open to just about anything. I don't think Kenny G was around at the time and if he was he hadn't rendered himself totally obnoxious.

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There was an area of sort of sub-fusion playing which was looked down on. It was kind of wishy-washy. But then I was just coming into Jazz and wasn't so sure of my views. It contrasted with 60s Miles and Coltrane.

I'm not sure now either - for a different reason. So much of Jazz seems to revolve around discussions of who's in and who's out. The first conversation I ever heard about Jazz was these two middle-aged guys sagely stating that Tony Oxley couldn't swing - and remember that as actually them being "knowlegeable" gatekeepers who were "qualified" to say what was and wasn't Jazz. I.E. They were in and Oxley (and anyone else who couldn't understand their conversation - e.g. me) was out.

Having said that I do think DP has a point - there were specific people I avoided. And I had him down as someone who was there in the 70s - based on his trawl through the Gary Burton records.

I really like early Betty Carter.

Simon Weil

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I avoided Spyro Gyra, who lots of people thought I would adore as I "liked jazz."

I also avoided Don Ellis and Maynard Ferguson of the 'seventies. Just didn't dig that stuff.

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mjzee-it is funny you say all that because i kind of don't feel a lot of lester bowie stuff but i really do like his albums on MUSE! so everything is coming together for you and i in a spiritually configurating way. g_d.

simon-the 70s are about my favorite era for music as a listener but i wasn't born until 1977.

kenny G was around. he was kenny gorelick and he played with jeff lorber on some not that great but not terrible fusion jams in the late 70s.

i thought i would prob have felt that way about mr. ferguson but i actually have a ferguson LP (primal scream) which is not terrible. though in general i imagine i would not have had an interest in keeping up with him. agree about don ellis pretty much. some of those MPS albums are sort of nice though.

about the oxley argument. wasn't he the house drummer for a moment at ronnie scott's? how did he sound? i imagine he could swing fine. i regret selling my copy of "the baptised traveller", speaking of him. even if he didn't swing (and i think he does) the man had his own thing. g_d there were a lot of great british drummers back then (webb, jackson, spring, oxley, marshall, levin, tomkins, etc)

thank you for these interesting answers, btw.

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about the oxley argument. wasn't he the house drummer for a moment at ronnie scott's? how did he sound? i imagine he could swing fine. i regret selling my copy of "the baptised traveller", speaking of him. even if he didn't swing (and i think he does) the man had his own thing. g_d there were a lot of great british drummers back then (webb, jackson, spring, oxley, marshall, levin, tomkins, etc)

There's recently been a release of Oxley whilst he was in the Ronnie's band - I think a trio with Gordon Beck? Lots of funny stories around about fights on the bandstand about where the 'one' was. Of course, Oxley knew all along, but it wasn't straight 'ching-a-ching'. Others will know the details better, but he has a private schematic dividing the beat into a certain number of parts, a little as Elvin had divided it into triplets. I don't know how developed this was during his time at Ronnie's, however.

Later on, I feel his swing could be a little 'strange' - listen to 'All the Things You Are' from Braxton's 'Seven Compositions 1989'...

Agreed, we had some great drummers around then!

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"if you were alive in the 1970s, what LPs did you avoid?"

Now that sounds like a question that only Rooster could ask. :blink::mellow::wacko::crazy: :rsly:

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I started buying jazz albums in great quantity in 1976. I loved most of the Muse albums, by the way.

I was exploring and learning about everything at once, so there were not a lot of artists I deliberately avoided. I have mentioned Bob James and Earl Klugh. I did avoid the commercialized soft fusion for the most part, people like Ronnie Laws, Lee Ritenour, Spyro Gyra.

But it was so exciting to buy records then. There was ECM putting out great stuff all the time. Also, Pablo had a bunch of great new releases all the time. There were new things to explore on A&M Horizon, Arista, Muse, Inner City, Horo, India Navigation, Milestone, so many other great labels. The majors like Columbia were releasing Dexter Gordon, Woody Shaw and other artists in new recordings. Duke Ellington had died a few years earlier and his unreleased archives were opening up, with some wonderful albums coming out. Verve and Prestige had two LP reissue programs for some older albums.

I don't recall thinking, oh man, I am just never going to buy a Chick Corea album, or anything like that. There was an exploratory feeling in the air, and you really did not know if the next album by an artist would be a unique departure for them. There was a feeling that exciting new directions in jazz might still be possible and that the next album by any artist could be it.

The fusion era had been creative and exciting until sometime in the mid-1970s, so there was still a feeling that it might be that way again. So I don't recall as many discussions about What Is Jazz and What Should A True Jazz Lover Avoid. Of course, there was no internet then.

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"if you were alive in the 1970s, what LPs did you avoid?"

Now that sounds like a question that only Rooster could ask. :blink::mellow::wacko::crazy: :rsly:

"IF YOU were alive - I mean REALLY ALIVE - in the 1970s, what LPs did you avoid?????!!!!????

Jeff Lorber???

Bob James???

Chick Corea??? (I mean I REALLY like his stuff with Pete La Roca, but I know it can't all be that great :excited: !!!)

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Agree a lot with what Hot Ptah said above. I came in a few years later ('79-80) and there was a very exploratory feel to it all. I was just getting out of high school and moving on to college, I had little money and mostly bought used and/or cutout LPs. I was very open to new things, but quickly realized what I didn't like at the time: the David Sandborn/Michael Brecker sort of "smooth jazz" guys (though they were nothing like who would come a few years later), Spyrogyra and Flim and the BBs (who a buddy really wanted me to like), the Crusaders (who were so confusingly different from the Jazz Crusaders), and more local acts like Fattburger. In retrospect, a lot of it had to do with the slick production that was so popular at the time, and for a long time it led to my bias against electric instruments in jazz; as a result, it was only much later that I grew to appreciate the funkier, electrified jazz of the earlier 70s.

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Spyro Gyra (of course), Earl Klugh, Donald Byrd (Backbyrds vintage), John Klemmer, Return To Forever/Chick (post-ECM), Stanley Clarke, Acker Bilk.

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i thought i would prob have felt that way about mr. ferguson but i actually have a ferguson LP (primal scream) which is not terrible. though in general i imagine i would not have had an interest in keeping up with him. agree about don ellis pretty much. some of those MPS albums are sort of nice though.

Well in the 00's I've heard both MF and Ellis material from the '70a that I like, but at that time. . . I steered away strongly.

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Well I actually bought Bob James' 'One' and 'Two' - plus 'Feels So Good' and 'Mr. Magic'. Still have 'em.

But, here, is an album I didn't avoid:

gary-wright.jpg

:bad:

WHADAFUK WAS I THINKIN! I SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT PHIL COLLINS INSTED!!

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I was alive in the 70's, but can't say I was really into jazz yet.

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In 1979, at the age of four, I was listening to metal and punk tapes that a ten year old in an upstairs apartment made for me. I wish to god I still had those, just for kicks.

BTW, that upstairs neighbor went on to be a death metal musician of some small measure of notoriety. He recently commited suicide.

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Spyro Gyra (of course), Earl Klugh, Donald Byrd (Backbyrds vintage), John Klemmer, Return To Forever/Chick (post-ECM), Stanley Clarke, Acker Bilk.

Yes, John Klemmer is someone I avoided. I saw him live, opening for the VSOP Quintet in 1977 (Freddie Hubbard, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Tony Williams). He played a sort of early smooth jazz, and dressed in some type of Oriental/martial arts attire, sometimes gently striking marital arts poses after solos.

All of that lite funk/pre-smooth jazz stuff was avoided.

One thing which may differ from now--there were just a certain number of those lite funk albums released. One knew which ones they were, and didn't buy them. The musicians on them did not seem to spread out into numerous albums on small labels, where you had to scour the liner notes to see if the bassist for Spyro Gyra was on an album by Dexter Gordon, for example. That kind of thing did not happen, for the most part.

I also did not buy Chuck Mangione, who was very popular there for awhile. Again, Chuck was not on countless sessions, where you had to turn over the album to see if he was there. He would not just pop up on a Chico Freeman session, for example.

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the windham hill junk

That was 1980s, for the most part.

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John Klemmer...dressed in some type of Oriental/martial arts attire, sometimes gently striking marital arts poses after solos.

:rfr

:lol:

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Personally, I avoided John Klemmer and Robin Kenyatta to name two players from opposite ends of the spectrum. Then there was Sonny Sharrock...I also avoid sessions arranged by Claus Ogerman and Don Sebesky if possible-two arrangers who could never seem to let their egos get out of the way of the improvising musicians.

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