Lazaro Vega

Do the Math: Iverson Interviews Wynton...

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Any "serious jazz musician" who questions Steve McCall's time is an instant recipient of a Shoemake Award in my book...

(sorry, "inside joke" about a guy who questioned Bill Perkins' knowledge of harmony in some blog or something...)

Yes, we must have the annual Shoemake Award. :D

First prize is a night with his wife Sandi. Second prize is two nights... (sorry -- it's an ancient joke, but I couldn't resist).

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In one very real sense, Monk was a "song and dance man", a true "entertainer".

And then again, not.

So where's the argument that can be won by either side along the whole dualist Dignity vs Minstrel line when/if it's cast solely as Artist vs Entertainer (even an argument that allows for gradations only in reference to the two most extreme ultimately seems to end up as Pick One Or The Other if it goes on long enough)?

There ain't one, not that I can see, which is why I'm all in favor of just "letting it be what it is". This is going to be one fo the first triumphs of the "post-racial America" we keep hearing about. And if so far, I think it's pretty much vaporware, I also think that the seeds are there to someday make it happen, if them that gots it are stubborn (and that's really what it's going to come down to, I'm guessing, just old-fashioned, bull-headed stubborness) enough to not succumb to the pulls/traps of the manipulations of the past.

Could go either way. We'll see.

Edited by JSngry

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First prize is a night with his wife Sandi. Second prize is two nights... (sorry -- it's an ancient joke, but I couldn't resist).

I understand. You're just going with the (minstrel) flow...

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And GOD do I apologize to anybody & everybody (including myself) for that one.... :tdown:o:rfr:winky:

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Whazzup w/Sam Most's hair?

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I think that the saddest and most upseting aspect of this whole sorry "episode" is that, as it happened to Allen Lowe, this Board will never hear the fucking end of it.

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I think that the saddest and most upseting aspect of this whole sorry "episode" is that, as it happened to Allen Lowe, this Board will never hear the fucking end of it.

:g

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the problem with thinking about minstrelsy is that there is a whole OTHER kind than the one we (and W) usually think of - the medicine show, the traveling tent shows, and early black vaudeville use the minstrel format but to MUCH different ends than the antebellum style. And in my research for the blues book, I am finding fascinating musical artifacts of minstrelsy which are quite affecting - singers like Kid Coley (who sounds, believe it or not, somewhat like Bobby Short!), a guy named Julius Daniels, Rabbit Newbern, Pink Anderson - they sing songs that are not the least bit racially demeaning, they are just great and somewhat old fashioned, about relationships and even racial fantasies of being rich. And more than one is very critical about racism (a lot of talk about the white folks who "get a meal, while the black folks have to rob and steal") - very race conscious, if in a different way than we might think. There's a great old song called Ham Beats All Meat which basically describes and depicts the class differences between whites getting all the good food and the help in the kitchen getting the scraps - this is all there, all available (sort of) - and will be on my collection. At some point I am going to try to post some of these on my web site as well. There's a lot of real insider sarcasm about white people, some of these old guys sing about being hungry and being talked to by food ("I Heard the Voice of a Porkchop") and of being treated unequally in the court system. So stereotypes and the usual assumptions fail us here. But a lot of these songs reflect the things Armstrong and Fats Waller ("I wonder where all the poor people are tonight?") were thinking about-

Edited by AllenLowe

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and in regards to Cliff Englewood above and RDK's affirmation, my new policy is to ignore such things, but they contribute to the pointlessly nasty tone that rears its head here on more than occassion -

Edited by AllenLowe

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in re- Monk - years ago I was auditing a course at Wesleyan on jazz; the instructor was talking about doing the dozens and referred to Monk's approach to standards. He claimed that Monk held these songs in contempt and was showing this by the way he played them. To me the reality was WAY different. Monk certainly used some distance and irony, but it was clear that he respected the tunes deeply. I argued this in class. This instructor (who was NOT Braxton, by the way) told me sternly: "Irony is a white person's term. He was doing the dozens." End of discussion. But relevant to how we look at the remnants of minstrelsy and the way they cross with just good old show biz tradition -

Edited by AllenLowe

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Whazzup w/Sam Most's hair?

When you get to be his age -- this was 2004 or so, when Sam was in his mid-70s -- lots of strange things can happen in the realm of appearance/grooming without the person involved being that aware of it. I mean, on those deliberately rare occasions when I look at myself in a three-way mirror at TJ Maxx, I think that there's no way the guy I see there is me.

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This instructor (who was NOT Braxton, by the way) told me sternly: "Irony is a white person's term. He was doing the dozens." End of discussion.

So race is emerging as a major hangup here, not surprisingly, I guess. That both WM and the Wesleyan professor would shut down a discussion of music using basically the same kind of retort (you're white and, therefore, don't know what you're talking about) is ... I don't know what it is -- confounding, but hopefully not an insurmountable pattern.

It's astonishing to me that highly intelligent people can be unwilling to discuss their differing views about music and its history. It seems to me the more intransigent someone is, the more suspect their positions, right? It almost comes off as though both WM and the professor are trying to hide something from view. Like the Wizard of Oz.

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When you get to be his age -- this was 2004 or so, when Sam was in his mid-70s -- lots of strange things can happen in the realm of appearance/grooming without the person involved being that aware of it. I mean, on those deliberately rare occasions when I look at myself in a three-way mirror at TJ Maxx, I think that there's no way the guy I see there is me.

:rofl:

I hear you on that! Those three-way mirrors can be a humbling experience.

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that's why I've pasted a picture of Brad Pitt to the back of my head - it works, Larry, you should try it -

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in re- Monk - years ago I was auditing a course at Wesleyan on jazz; the instructor was talking about doing the dozens and referred to Monk's approach to standards. He claimed that Monk held these songs in contempt and was showing this by the way he played them. To me the reality was WAY different. Monk certainly used some distance and irony, but it was clear that he respected the tunes deeply. I argued this in class. This instructor (who was NOT Braxton, by the way) told me sternly: "Irony is a white person's term. He was doing the dozens." End of discussion. But relevant to how we look at the remnants of minstrelsy and the way they cross with just good old show biz tradition -

Cecil Taylor's reaction to (then) LeRoi Jones' review of Taylor's recording of "This Nealy was Mine" was a blunt, "Doesn't that fool realize that I recorded that song because I liked it?"

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that's why I've pasted a picture of Brad Pitt to the back of my head...

Going for that Janus look, eh?

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and in regards to Cliff Englewood above and RDK's affirmation, my new policy is to ignore such things, but they contribute to the pointlessly nasty tone that rears its head here on more than occassion -

Jesus, you don't have to be such an academic about it.

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call me what you want, but the Christians here may be offended if you call me by the name of the son-of-god -

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This instructor (who was NOT Braxton, by the way) told me sternly: "Irony is a white person's term. He was doing the dozens." End of discussion.

So race is emerging as a major hangup here, not surprisingly, I guess. That both WM and the Wesleyan professor would shut down a discussion of music using basically the same kind of retort (you're white and, therefore, don't know what you're talking about) is ... I don't know what it is -- confounding, but hopefully not an insurmountable pattern.

It's astonishing to me that highly intelligent people can be unwilling to discuss their differing views about music and its history. It seems to me the more intransigent someone is, the more suspect their positions, right? It almost comes off as though both WM and the professor are trying to hide something from view. Like the Wizard of Oz.

What they are trying to do (at least if my past encounters with similar "attitudes" are any indicator & if/when there is no overt attempt at "bullying" going on) is to try and claim "ownership", or at least "validate" the "blackness" of the music, and thereby their individual "stake" in it and the culture which it creates (enough "" yet? :g ) . Which, god knows, is not a wholly illegitimate or otherwise nefarious want/need/claim in and of itself.

The sad (and not too hidden, if you just think about it objectively for half a second) is that such an "exclusivist" mindset (which is damn near always how such things end up as being) creates a humanity that is extra-universal, and therefore either superior or distorted or otherwise apart from the Universal Eternal instead of being a great, vibrant, era-defining example of it.

Post-Racial America, if/when it gets here, will stop this and a whole bunch of other pendulums as they start to swing back and keep them squarely in the middle, which is where the truth damn near always lies. Until then, there was a lot of bullshit that pushed it to where it is now, and there's a lot of bullshit keeping it where it is now. It'll be interesting to see what happens when people get tired of the bullshit in general, if indeed they ever do (and even if it's not in most of our lifetimes...)

Here's hoping.

Edited by JSngry

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call me what you want, but the Christians here may be offended if you call me by the name of the son-of-god -

I wasn't calling you the son-of-god, the Jesus was for me, I was calling you an academic, me and Wynton were just talking about it.

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sorry, Wynton Kelly died a long time ago - go back to sleep -

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the problem with thinking about minstrelsy is that there is a whole OTHER kind than the one we (and W) usually think of - the medicine show, the traveling tent shows, and early black vaudeville use the minstrel format but to MUCH different ends than the antebellum style. And in my research for the blues book, I am finding fascinating musical artifacts of minstrelsy which are quite affecting - singers like Kid Coley (who sounds, believe it or not, somewhat like Bobby Short!), a guy named Julius Daniels, Rabbit Newbern, Pink Anderson - they sing songs that are not the least bit racially demeaning, they are just great and somewhat old fashioned, about relationships and even racial fantasies of being rich. And more than one is very critical about racism (a lot of talk about the white folks who "get a meal, while the black folks have to rob and steal") - very race conscious, if in a different way than we might think. There's a great old song called Ham Beats All Meat which basically describes and depicts the class differences between whites getting all the good food and the help in the kitchen getting the scraps - this is all there, all available (sort of) - and will be on my collection. At some point I am going to try to post some of these on my web site as well. There's a lot of real insider sarcasm about white people, some of these old guys sing about being hungry and being talked to by food ("I Heard the Voice of a Porkchop") and of being treated unequally in the court system. So stereotypes and the usual assumptions fail us here. But a lot of these songs reflect the things Armstrong and Fats Waller ("I wonder where all the poor people are tonight?") were thinking about-

I think an issue here is the semantic one. WM has a single definition of "jazz" as we know, and it appears that he has a single definition of "Minstrelsy." In other words, he might have been able to discuss this form of entertainment that you describe above if you had not called it "minstrelsy," but found another term for it. In the same way that he might be able to discuss, oh, Cecil Taylor, as long as you don't it "jazz." Does that sound apt to you?

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that's why I've pasted a picture of Brad Pitt to the back of my head - it works, Larry, you should try it -

It ain't so much the back of my head that's the problem.

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sorry, Wynton Kelly died a long time ago - go back to sleep -

No I was talking about Wynton Marsalis, you know the guy that called you an academic, and its only 8 o'clock here so I won't be going to bed for a while.

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