Big Al

Andrew Hill space

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I wonder when this was recorded.

Bertrand.

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Your thoughts on Andrew Hill as the greatest Blue Note composer. I mean this primarily in terms of the sheer quantity of his stuff--sticking exclusively to his own work and very rarely remaking/revisiting tunes. To me, it seem that Horace Silver is the only possible rival. Of course, there is Monk and Nichols, but neither recorded much for the label. Perhaps Shorter and Mobley would get some nods.

Of course, quality is a prime factor as well.

I like that Blue Note (at some point, at least) strove to emphasize original compositions, but you have to admit a lot of it is very "basic" stuff. By and large jazz's greatest composers recorded little or nothing for Blue Note--Ellington, Mingus, Coltrane, Weston, Golson, Gillespie, Zawinul.

Edited by Milestones

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Herbie Nichols hardly recorded at all but his most prominent recordings are the trios for Blue Note

Monk's orginal recordings were for Blue Note and they include a good amount of his greatest compositions

Joe Zawinul cannot possibly be considered with most of the rest of those names.

I wouldn't consider Hutcherson, Henderson, Shorter, Rivers, McLean, Moncur or Larry Young simple stuff

Some of the most innovative and original music in the history of jazz

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He wrote very interesting music that was played to hell by wonderful groups of brilliant players. But he's no patch on Silver or Shorter.

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He wrote very interesting music that was played to hell by wonderful groups of brilliant players. But he's no patch on Silver or Shorter.

Blunt, but true.

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Huh? I'd never think of comparing Hill with Silver at all!

I'd rather put Hill into the Monk and Nichols line ... though he doesn't really fit there, either. Shorter, okay ... McLean, Hutcherson, Larry Young, Tony Williams, Sam Rivers - that "BN avantgarde" thing - but what's Silver got to do with it? Employing Tyrone W. and Woody doesn't make him more than an honourary member in my book, if at all

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I was just running with Milestones' question about BN composers writ large.

I personally think he has more to do with (60s) Hancock than Monk, Silver, Shorter, or the Avant Gardists.

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There's a little Monk-ish-ness to his playing (for lack of a better comparison), though really more in how he plays - than in the construction of his tunes.

I also think there's some comparison with Shorter albums like "All Seeing Eye" - but agree not so much with all of Wayne's BN output.

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I'm not asking about stylistic comparisons. You could probably take any two jazz composers and find it's like comparing Bach to Stravinsky. The Silver/Hill comparison is about the sheer volume of compositions produced by Silver and Hill on Blue Note. I would be shocked to learn that anyone else did as much composing on the label.

Of course, we could talk about "quality" all day long. While I'm sure opinions vary greatly on Hill, I can't imagine anyone saying he was a run-of-the-mill composer.

While I find their work respectable and often quite interesting, I'm not at all prepared to put Hutcherson, Larry Young, Joe Henderson, or Sam Rivers in the same category as Duke, Mingus, Coltrane, Weston.

Edited by Milestones

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I did not place Rivers, Henderson, Young or Hutcherson in the same category as Mingus, Coltrane or Duke

I mentioned them as Blue Note artists who do NOT make simple or basic music - which you said is what Blue Note was mostly about.

In fact, you are the one who put Joe Zawinul in the category of the all-time greatest jazz composers.

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The cumulative work of Joe Zawinul is as easily under-estimated as it is over-estimated. There's some pretty meaty stuff alongside the pretty catchy stuff, especially in the later years. There's also grandiosity as well as grand.

I have no idea who's rating it on what, but just sayin', it's not all "Mercy Mercy Mercy" & "Birdland". How it all list-relates to Ellington, Mingus, et.al, hell, I don't know, and not sure I care, at least not right now. Last time I looked at a list was Sunday, at the grocery store.

Just saying that the man did have a voice, a strong, distinct, and not insubstantial one, and he used it.

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It is not really clear to me what qualifies someone to be a "Blue Note composer." But if we are talking about people who recorded some of their greatest compositions and works first for Blue Note, then I agree with Steve R. that Monk and Nichols should qualify.

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not talking about a list

Am I allowed to make a vlaue judgement that Joe Zawinul (admittedly I am not a fan of Weather Report - just never interested) doesn't belong in the pantheon that inlcudes, IMO, the greatest jazz composers in the history of this music - Monk, Duke and Mingus?

for me personally - I am more interested in Mal Waldron's compositions that Horace Silver or Andrew Hill or most any of the guys listed - but I'm not throwing his name in with Monk, Duke and Mingus.....

It just seemed shocking to me that of all people, Joe Zawinul would be placed in that company - before Wayne Shorter, Miles Davis and a number of others that would come to mind for most thinking, discerning jazz listeners.

maybe somehow I've been missing out on Joe Zawinul - then again I know lots of you guys havn't shown a tiny bit of interest in many modern day composers whose work qualifies for them to sit in an alternate doppleganger pantheon

Slamadam, baby

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Am I allowed to make a vlaue judgement ?

NO! NEVER!!!

:g :g

:g :g

:g :g

:g

jk, of course you are. everybody is and everybody does. I'm just playing today's episode of Judd For the Defense, and today's case is Joe Zawinul vs The State Of Easily Overlooked By The Jazz Orthodoxy AND It's Alternate Doppleganger. The case is being handled pro bono, and the commercial interruptions are minimal, thanks to a generous grant from the I.M. Intuit Foundation.

Stay tuned for a delightful evening of taut courtroom drama as fresh as today's headlines from yesterday's paper!

Sincerely,

The Estate Of Carl Betz

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Haven't listened to Hill's music in quite a while, though much of it is indelibly stuck in my memory. I'm hot and cold on Moncur but his BN records and sessions with McLean are excellent. I agree that Rivers didn't come into his own until the '70s as a composer, but the BNs are really quite nice and not too simplistic in my opinion. Fuchsia Swing Song is my favorite of those. None of these people have composed "standards" or "new standards" in the way that Monk, Silver, Nichols or Shorter have, but perhaps that's partly because nobody really plays Andrew Hill or Grachan Moncur III (though "Sonny's Back" has appeared a few times).

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fwiw - I heard Frankenstein played by Tony Malaby, Ralph Alessi, Drew Gress and Billy Drummond last year to close out the secnd set

this all brings up another topic that may deserve it's own thread - Is the *value* of a composition or composer related to whether or not the tune is a standard or so-called standard or is covered by others?

I am of the opinion that so many tunes are played because they *have* been played and in certain jazz communities will always be played and within those communities, will be played forever in some cases ad fucking nauseum

then ask them about Hemingways' "If You Like" or Andrew Cyrille's "Shell" as a couple of examples of truly great compostions that are never covered by anyone - be ready for the blank stare - and then maybe they will give Cherokee or Round Midnight or A Night in Tunisia another run through - or if they get frisky, Mal Waldron's ONLY standar "Soul Eyes" a try or maybe even something from the 1960's!

so as someone once asked, if Anthony Braxton is playing contrabass saxophone int he forest and no one hears it, does it exist or does it matter?

Johnny's Corner Song, baby

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OK, I'll admit to misreading the statement on Hutcherson, Young, Rivers, etc. Still, I would say that Hill leaned in this slightly avant garde direction and was a more prolific composer than them and arguably more ambitious.

I will also readily admit that in the 1960s Blue Note did get away from the more basic approach of the 1950s. But you could certainly say that of jazz in general.

Edited by Milestones

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Ok, let me add that I threw in Zawinul because he did compose a lot, he is admired by a fair number of fans, and he is more modern than the big names like Ellington, Mingus, and Monk. I would also point out that he was usually the dominant composer of Weather Report, which is interesting when you consider Wayne Shorter's lofty status as composer.

We could make an interesting turn on this thread and discuss who has emerged in the last three or four decades as a major composer whose works are frequently recorded by other jazz artists. Are there any such figures? If so, why not?

Even Andrew Hill's stuff is not covered a lot, but didn't Nels Cline do an entire tribute?

Edited by Milestones

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A lot of good compositions don't get played because they create such a unique "space" (or in Mingus' case, spaces). They're not just blowing vehicles, they're statements of being. On the one hand, it could be said that any music that is that "personal" can never be accepted as a "standard" because not a lot of people can occupy that space. It can equally be said, though, that maybe it's not the person's job to occupy that space nearly as much as it is to allow themselves to be occupied by it, and then see what happens.

Moncur's stuff is just so specific. You almost have to be a role-player to play it to where it speaks in its own voice. For my taste, it deserves to speak in its own voice, because it is certain in its statements, very certain. and if you as a player are not in agreement with that certitude, then either walk away entirely, or else shut up and listen to what it is saying and then proceed accordingly.

Hill's music is another example of an idiosyncratic voice. All the individual "elements" are traditional enough, but the timing, the harmonic rhythm and the pacing of the melodies compresses and expands to the point where it seems like a blur, and it is, but it is a very precise blur. There are no accidental or casual notes or changes or rhythms, and as was said about Monk, if you get lost, you don't just get back up and get back in. Hill's voice will lull you with its mumble, but reward you when you decide to pay closer attention at all, to bring the blur into focus. And then, there you are, fully. What happened to the blur? WHAT blur?!?!?!

Hill, Moncur, (and Mingus, too, even today...when was the last time anybody called "Meditations On Integration" at a jam session, public or private?), did not create "easy" music to be readily called in jam sessions or on pickup gigs. They made music to be absorbed, inhabited, and then let back out with their truths renewed through being revealed anew, not repeated verbatim. I guess it's the nature of the various beasts that make up today's music world that there's really not much interest in or opportunity for doing that to their music. Pickup bands need easily commoned ground, original bands are expected to produce "original" music that may or may not have the depth and challenge of people like Hill or Moncur but the process will definitely be made to look like it is Doing Exactly That, either by so doing, or by self-delusion, or by group hypnosis/wish-think, or some/all of the above, and The Tradition Industry has already decided what suit you'll wear when you hear what Exalted Pieces Of The Canon.

But - Horace Silver in 1956 and Horace Silver in 1978...not the same music, although still the same pen and many of the same components. Who covers Horace past 1965 or so?

Convenience is wonderful as a convenience, but as a sustainable lifestyle? Perhaps not, but obviously apparently so, if non-evolutionary life is either really sustainable or really life.

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Maybe most of are still in the haze of the idea of jazz's golden era, which for most ends about 1965. True, great music came out in those days, but let's not go thinking the last 50 years have failed to offer creative, thriving music.

Perhaps Ornette Coleman is an interesting case, in that some of his later music would show up in the hands of Old and New Dreams, Pat Metheny, etc.

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A lot of good compositions don't get played because they create such a unique "space" (or in Mingus' case, spaces). They're not just blowing vehicles, they're statements of being. On the one hand, it could be said that any music that is that "personal" can never be accepted as a "standard" because not a lot of people can occupy that space. It can equally be said, though, that maybe it's not the person's job to occupy that space nearly as much as it is to allow themselves to be occupied by it, and then see what happens.

Moncur's stuff is just so specific. You almost have to be a role-player to play it to where it speaks in its own voice. For my taste, it deserves to speak in its own voice, because it is certain in its statements, very certain. and if you as a player are not in agreement with that certitude, then either walk away entirely, or else shut up and listen to what it is saying and then proceed accordingly.

Hill's music is another example of an idiosyncratic voice. All the individual "elements" are traditional enough, but the timing, the harmonic rhythm and the pacing of the melodies compresses and expands to the point where it seems like a blur, and it is, but it is a very precise blur. There are no accidental or casual notes or changes or rhythms, and as was said about Monk, if you get lost, you don't just get back up and get back in. Hill's voice will lull you with its mumble, but reward you when you decide to pay closer attention at all, to bring the blur into focus. And then, there you are, fully. What happened to the blur? WHAT blur?!?!?!

Hill, Moncur, (and Mingus, too, even today...when was the last time anybody called "Meditations On Integration" at a jam session, public or private?), did not create "easy" music to be readily called in jam sessions or on pickup gigs. They made music to be absorbed, inhabited, and then let back out with their truths renewed through being revealed anew, not repeated verbatim. I guess it's the nature of the various beasts that make up today's music world that there's really not much interest in or opportunity for doing that to their music. Pickup bands need easily commoned ground, original bands are expected to produce "original" music that may or may not have the depth and challenge of people like Hill or Moncur but the process will definitely be made to look like it is Doing Exactly That, either by so doing, or by self-delusion, or by group hypnosis/wish-think, or some/all of the above, and The Tradition Industry has already decided what suit you'll wear when you hear what Exalted Pieces Of The Canon.

But - Horace Silver in 1956 and Horace Silver in 1978...not the same music, although still the same pen and many of the same components. Who covers Horace past 1965 or so?

Convenience is wonderful as a convenience, but as a sustainable lifestyle? Perhaps not, but obviously apparently so, if non-evolutionary life is either really sustainable or really life.

enjoyed reading this

Actually the band that played Frankenstein is called Tony Malaby's Readibng band and what they do is each member brings charts and they pass them out right before they play the compositions without anyone knowing what was going to be handed out.

Soem of it was a bit outre and one Sidney Bechet tune (which Malaby chose) wasn't entirely convincing, but they showed that musicians of that calibre can pretty much play anything and sometimes play it more than great.

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