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Joshua Redman

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I guess I hadn't thought about it a lot until the Oscar Peterson RIP thread, but it definitely seems true that there is an enormous amount of negative energy directed to those musicians who achieved mainstream success but not for the right reasons or for playing music that is/was too conventional. Or perhaps the number of positive/negative messages are balanced the emotional vehemence is certainly on the side of the detractors. I do find this unfortunate and even a little sad. There are artists I don't care for and a handful I really dislike, but I don't feel it is my life's purpose to tell other people to avoid them (not saying that you should hold your tongue or that I want to enforce civility on the board -- just saying it is unfortunate). I wonder if this resentment springs from larger problems: the fact that the world and the music world in particular has moved in a direction we don't like, that the artists we want to champion don't succeed for any number of reasons, personal frustrations creeping in. Anyway, I am taking stock of my life and am making a real effort to be more positive in my interactions with others, as well as to make concrete steps towards my goals (one of which is to spend at least as much time in creative writing as I spend here ;-) ). This isn't easy for me, as I do have such a negative outlook when I think about "the big picture" but already I am a little happier than I used to be.

Back to the thread, I thought Redman's work with the SF Jazz Collective was really quite good, and I will try to check out his latest disk. I actually met him very briefly in Toronto at the Jazz Fest -- this probably was 1993 or '94 right when he had his first album, and he had a free outdoor set. He signed a program and we talked just a bit about him trying out the soprano saxophone. He seemed pretty down to earth for a guy that got his break "the wrong way" ;-) .

(My smilies aren't working. I'll fix them later.)

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It's not like someone flipped out and called a board member a mother fucking piece of shit, mother fucking ass wipe or a piece of contemptible shit...and/or threatened another board member with physical harm.

.

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Mehldau can play - hell, I remember when he was, what, 16 or 17, used to come to the Hartford jam sessions in diapers - and if Lee Konitz likes him he can't be all bad - but not too long ago I heard him play solo on some cable channel, and it was one of the most repulsive jazz performances I have ever seen - shallow, narcissistic, self absorbed, boring, offensive, annoying, cloying, silly, boring, stupid, redundant, megalomanical, repetititve, dumb, masochistic, non-symbiotic, parasitic, self-referential, and inhumane.

thanks for reading.

I found his records Largo and Solo in Japan to be at times very self indulgent in fact I got rid of them, yes he can come off that way. I do love all of this trio records.

Since I don't follow media hype I discovered him by seeing him live at a festival and was impressed. Im willing to support others who are also deserving, send me a pm when those releases come out and I happy to check them out.

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No one said you can't like who you want to(what is it with these boards and they way people interpet everything as a personal insult?), but there are some good observations here regarding Mehldau.

I think this is getting blown way out of wack, but don't stop because I said anything.

Just being careful and making myself clear and showing the proper amount of respect here in the post bluenote82 period.

I am here to learn not pick fights.

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Just one more quick thought, I watched Moliere's The Misanthrope on Sat. (Very good production but an incredibly cramped theatre -- my knees actually have bruises!). Anyway, if you haven't seen or read it, the hero decides he will tell everyone exactly how he feels about them -- no more polite evasions -- just the brutal truth. Well, it seems the society doesn't have much use for such unvarnished truth, and he is essentially driven mad and decides to try to run away from society. I think Moliere's underlying message is actually more subtle, however. Clearly Alceste is treated unfairly by the fops and dandies of the court and he is unsuited for the casual hypocrisy that is so prevalent in high society (then as now) but being brutally honest for its own sake is no more appealing a virtue (and we have seen how hard the self-righteous fall). Trying to keep an even keel, like his friend Philinte, recognizing the faults of society but not trying to hold himself apart (as the one honest man in a thousand) is in the end a more reasonable way of life.

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No one said you can't like who you want to(what is it with these boards and they way people interpet everything as a personal insult?), but there are some good observations here regarding Mehldau.

I think this is getting blown way out of wack, but don't stop because I said anything.

Just being careful and making myself clear and showing the proper amount of respect here in the post bluenote82 period.

I am here to learn not pick fights.

I wasn't even thinking of anyone in particular...at least not with that comment.

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1) Joe Romano was a fine tenor player. I have him on some record, can't remember what, might even be a Xanadu "live" thing - is he still around? I also seem to recall a bootleg CD from the 1960s where he goes against Art Pepper

Joe Romano is still with us, he's about 78, and lives in Port Townsend, WA. The record that he made with Sam Noto is great.

1194.jpg

This reminded me of a live gig I a couple of years ago from Nick Molfese's daughter from Casblanca(?) with Noto, Romano and Sam Falzone in the front line.

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It's not like someone flipped out and called a board member a mother fucking piece of shit, mother fucking ass wipe or a piece of contemptible shit...and/or threatened another board member with physical harm.

There are several steps down the road to get there, and I think it gets unpleasant way before that. I agree 100 percent with this post from ejp:

I guess I hadn't thought about it a lot until the Oscar Peterson RIP thread, but it definitely seems true that there is an enormous amount of negative energy directed to those musicians who achieved mainstream success but not for the right reasons or for playing music that is/was too conventional. Or perhaps the number of positive/negative messages are balanced the emotional vehemence is certainly on the side of the detractors. I do find this unfortunate and even a little sad. There are artists I don't care for and a handful I really dislike, but I don't feel it is my life's purpose to tell other people to avoid them (not saying that you should hold your tongue or that I want to enforce civility on the board -- just saying it is unfortunate).

It displays the main reason why I don't come by here all that often anymore; I had thought of this before the OP thread as well.

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I guess I hadn't thought about it a lot until the Oscar Peterson RIP thread, but it definitely seems true that there is an enormous amount of negative energy directed to those musicians who achieved mainstream success but not for the right reasons or for playing music that is/was too conventional. Or perhaps the number of positive/negative messages are balanced the emotional vehemence is certainly on the side of the detractors. I do find this unfortunate and even a little sad. There are artists I don't care for and a handful I really dislike, but I don't feel it is my life's purpose to tell other people to avoid them (not saying that you should hold your tongue or that I want to enforce civility on the board -- just saying it is unfortunate). I wonder if this resentment springs from larger problems: the fact that the world and the music world in particular has moved in a direction we don't like, that the artists we want to champion don't succeed for any number of reasons, personal frustrations creeping in. Anyway, I am taking stock of my life and am making a real effort to be more positive in my interactions with others, as well as to make concrete steps towards my goals (one of which is to spend at least as much time in creative writing as I spend here ;-) ). This isn't easy for me, as I do have such a negative outlook when I think about "the big picture" but already I am a little happier than I used to be.

Back to the thread, I thought Redman's work with the SF Jazz Collective was really quite good, and I will try to check out his latest disk. I actually met him very briefly in Toronto at the Jazz Fest -- this probably was 1993 or '94 right when he had his first album, and he had a free outdoor set. He signed a program and we talked just a bit about him trying out the soprano saxophone. He seemed pretty down to earth for a guy that got his break "the wrong way" ;-) .

(My smilies aren't working. I'll fix them later.)

Agree with most it, seems that for some if you sell more than 53 cds, you must a talentless whore

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It's not like someone flipped out and called a board member a mother fucking piece of shit, mother fucking ass wipe or a piece of contemptible shit...and/or threatened another board member with physical harm.

.

The problem is not one post more than other, it's the accumulation of posts denigrating the subject. You don't like the dude's music, you write about it what you don't like about him that's fine with me that's what this board is for....

... but keeping on ranting about how the guy sucks, geez Louise there must be better things to do...

Life is short, music is about having fun, why should you waste your time about things you only have desdain.

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I think Redman and Mehldau are both talented musicians, but I do agree that both had the misfortune of being overhyped a bit and to date have not lived up to the lofty expectations. Over the years as my listening preferences have evolved I have cooled on both of them. After the YaYa3 album I kind of soured on Redman during the Elastic Band period. I thought the first album was fairly fresh and the latter a bore. I have, however, really enjoyed the SFJAZZ Collective, but that is the sum of the parts as opposed to Joshua Redman. Speaking of bore - this is no lie - i actually struggled to stay away during a Mehldau solo performance a couple of years ago in Litchfield. Trust me - I was not the only one.

With that said, although I do not go out of my way to spend my little bit of extra money on either and there are many people I would listen to before, I have beeb able to enjoy both in various contexts from time to time. I will also confess that Redman's Back East is also in my yourmusic.com cue - even though it has gotten pushed down a couple of times. (and yes I do own a few Reggie Noble discs and my brother even interviewed him when he was trying to start a grass roots hip hop magazine years ago).

Edited by relyles

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To me the most important thing about players like Redman, Garrett, Blade, McBride, Mehldau, Lovano, Yahel, etc. is that they are ALIVE and making music in the present tense. No, they aren't as great as the Great Figures in jazz, but they are "what's happening" in the Jazz Mainstream...This IS "what's happening" and it cannot be ignored...

Agree 100% with the first part of your statement, disagree 100% with the last part. You can ignore it, and it's really not all that difficult to do so.

All those names you list, other than Garrett (up until a few years ago), I do tend to ignore. Not because they "suck" or anything, they're all damn fine players. It's just that over the years I've gotten "accustomed to" (or "spoiled by") a certain "scale of meaning" in jazz (well, life and music in general, but since we're talking jazz here, let's stay there), and for me, the whole current scale is unfavorably (again, for me) skewed by the lack of any "big meanings" right now to give perspective to the lesser ones. Like I said earlier, if these guys are the top rungs of the ladder, do we really need a ladder? It would be like if this was Rock in 1968 & The Jefferson Airplane was the best band on the scene. Good enough, sure, but if that's the best there was, it would hardly be a scene you'd want to get obsessively and/or personally involved in. At least I wouldn't. But since there were bigger pictures being painted aside the Airplane's, there's a whole...field there in which they play a favorable part, one of many, and if not the biggest (thankfully!), then one not without pleasure or meaning in it's own right on it's own terms. But not enough to be the field, if you know what I mean.

On the one hand, it bugs me to hear the rabid dissing that these guys get, because they are all excellent musicians, and they are doing their thing as they see fit, which, even with "support" is still in no way an easy task. But I do understand the frustration, because... I want more out of them than they seem to have to give me. I need more. I've had more from others in the past. I know what the terms of a successful relationship are for me, and these ain't them.

Not really their fault per se, but after a while, I don't think it's too far-fetched to ask this - if this is the game at the best it can be played by "a generation" (or two), is it maybe time to consider the possibility that the game as it's come to exist in the frame of reference that is these guy's world is either played out for good or else in a period of profound and prolonged dormancy/latency/whatever. I've asked myself those questions many times over many years, and have come to the conclusion that it's not only unreasonable to ask those questions, it's also not unreasonable to accept that the answer is, by all indicators, "most likely yes".

And I'm ok with that, just as I'm ok with more or less ignoring their music. I still hear bits of it, people hip me to this and that, so it's not like they're dead to me or anything dramatic like that. I just don't feel a connection or an obligation for there to be one. No hostility about that at all, just a personal conclusion, and a great relief, actually. Makes it easier to make room for other things that might be lighter (now) but stir the imagination and spirit more. And that's what I miss from these guys that I got from The Giants Of Yore - the stirring of the spirit and imagination. And do I feel enough love/loyalty/etc towards the word/concept/whatever "jazz" to fake it time after time after time after time just to make it seem like it still matters like it used to?

Truthfully....no. Not at this point. When it's good, it's great. Still. But when it's not... At some point in life, bad sex is not better than no sex, at least for a very long time, and then...just do it and get it over with. But the good stuff...you'll die for the good stuff until the day you....uh, die. And I'll be damned if I feel like dieing for Joe Lovano or Brad Mehldau or Joshua Redman. Sorry, just not feelin' it like that.

I'd never be so presumptuous as to assert that anybody who does get their imagination and spirit stirred by these guys is "wrong", just that from where I stand now, and having been where I've been, it ain't happening for me. Somebody else, hey, they got their life & their stories-to-this-point, and maybe they're getting what I'm not, maybe what they need/want is not what I need/want, and maybe they're finding what they need/want where I'm not finding what I need/want. Good for all of us then!

I'll still not be unconvinced, though, that whereas once Giants Walked The Earth, that now it's down to some Somewhat Tall People. Fair enough, but it does seem to me that the only way to see it otherwise is put everything on a Disney Word scale of proportion, open the gates, and everybody Feel The Magic. I mean, I enjoy illuison just as much as anybody, but once you go outside the gates, everything gets back to "normal", what ever that means.

Edited by JSngry

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It's not like someone flipped out and called a board member a mother fucking piece of shit, mother fucking ass wipe or a piece of contemptible shit...and/or threatened another board member with physical harm.

The problem is not one post more than other, it's the accumulation of posts denigrating the subject. You don't like the dude's music, you write about it what you don't like about him that's fine with me that's what this board is for....

... but keeping on ranting about how the guy sucks, geez Louise there must be better things to do...

Life is short, music is about having fun, why should you waste your time about things you only have desdain.

yep... :tup

I'd like to think I'm pretty positive about music, although I'm sure one could dig around find find a post where I expressed a negative opinion about music.

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fucking piece of shit>>>dipshit

fucking asswipe>>>douchebag

piece of contemptible shit = dipshit/douchebag

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"Bitching and moaning that Mehldau is no Monk isn't going to make Monk rise from the grave and start giving concerts again"

maybe not, but it's worth a try -

Edited by AllenLowe

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by the way, for one example, I like the Bad Plus, but what's the harm in everybody giving their opinions? don't stay away from here because of negativity - come here to see why people think the way the do, jesus h cohen, let us not be afraid of some serious and strong criticism (note to board moderators: as long as it's not about any of my CDs) -

Edited by AllenLowe

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My young nephew just read this thread and remarked, "Why such vitriol for these masters of post-innovative jazz?" :unsure:;)

I have appreciation for both musicians within the context of their times--Jsngry has made the most compelling case both for and against.

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"Bitching and moaning that Mehldau is no Monk isn't going to make Monk rise from the grave and start giving concerts again"

maybe not, but it's worth a try -

It's a date--round midnight?

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but if you all want to be serious about this matter - it ain't enough to say, "hey these guys are out there living the life " - so are Karl Rove and Pat Buchanan - big friggin' deal -

the problem as I see it is that the whole system of how we produce and distribute and listen to music is completely outmoded - and I'm not talking about downloads/cds/lps/format wars/blue light/pooper scoopers- I mean the reasons and the way we make music, the length of performances, the way of presenting them and selling them - 45 minute sets here, a whole 2 hour concert there, three hours of Keith Jarett masturbating, 12 hours of Mehldau doing the hoky-poky - throw in Diana Krall doing the Dance of the Virgin with Elvis Costello, along with Eric Clapton on guitar -

it's all become so boring that the challenge is to do it differently, to cut and paste the music into something resembling interesting art performances - so it doesn't matter how far Redman has come - he is working in a dead medium, so, from an artistic perspective, he is wasting his time and ours -

this, by the way, is just my opinion, before everybody reminds me of that - but jeez I am SO BORED with jazz -

Edited by AllenLowe

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and, btw, the problem is not just with jazz -

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Soundgarden or... well, make your own list. (& what DID happen to the Japanese guy?!)

I'm quite sure Hiroshi Yamamoto went into academia and left music. Kinda like Steve Immerwahr of Codeine. And we wonder why...

It's funny, I was just talking to somebody today about Bill Dixon (a living Giant) and the new album, which I like a lot, that's on Thrill Jockey (irrelevant mega-"indie" if there ever was one). I mean, even they are not willing to put advertising dough behind what's probably one of maybe two quite significant releases on the damn label... so in this climate, it's quite easy to see how the bottom line is really just it - the bottom line. And just ask Jim or Randy how much money they still owe on the Big O records - a guy like Josh Redman is probably doing okay in a middle-class way, but I can't imagine that even he is immune to lack of promotion/sales/marketing threats that, in some ways, seem to drive the industry. (lucky for Vandermark, his wife is fairly well-off)

I mean, the best stuff is usually found in the margins, but living and making a living there sure ain't easy.

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"it definitely seems true that there is an enormous amount of negative energy directed to those musicians who achieved mainstream success but not for the right reasons or for playing music that is/was too conventional. Or perhaps the number of positive/negative messages are balanced the emotional vehemence is certainly on the side of the detractors. I do find this unfortunate and even a little sad. There are artists I don't care for and a handful I really dislike, but I don't feel it is my life's purpose to tell other people to avoid them (not saying that you should hold your tongue or that I want to enforce civility on the board -- just saying it is unfortunate)."

silly - has nothing to do with conventional or uncoventional but with substantive criticisms based on content and quality - sure, people who dont like stuff tend to be a little stronger in their opinions - this is called life - we are not telling people to avoid them, we are just saying why we don't like them; imagine if these same kind of standards you advocate were applied to politics - what right do we have to tell those Republicans they shouldn't support that war, starve those children, give money to those rich corporations? It's all so negative - well, some of us take jazz as seriouly as we take politics, and think that the same rigorous intellectual standards should apply -

Edited by AllenLowe

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(i'd rather give up "music" altogether than be forced to pretend even one of those clowns have anything to offer, including the absurdly overpraised & inane Lovano-- once you know where he gets his hats, who could possibly give a fuck?)

Share...tell us where he gets his hats.

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well, some of us take jazz as seriouly as we take politics, and think that the same rigorous intellectual standards should apply -

Yes, there is a reason Val Wilmer titled her book so: it is as serious as your life.

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