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Why does LeRoi Jones (aka Amiri Baraka) hate Hard bop?

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I love this thread. It sometimes infuriates me and other times makes me chuckle.

Being there at the time might help.

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hard bop was a retrograde musical form, and time has proven him right. The paradox is that hard bop dominates current jazz, and current jazz continues to sink from public view (remember that "jazz is not cool" thread?) It's not that jazz/hard bop is not cool, it's just not alive. It's an empty form that feeds on its own tail.

Is there a form/genre that provides a counterargument to Hard Bop in this way? In other words, is there a form of jazz that you would say is "alive" at this point?

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hard bop was a retrograde musical form, and time has proven him right. The paradox is that hard bop dominates current jazz, and current jazz continues to sink from public view (remember that "jazz is not cool" thread?) It's not that jazz/hard bop is not cool, it's just not alive. It's an empty form that feeds on its own tail.

Is there a form/genre that provides a counterargument to Hard Bop in this way? In other words, is there a form of jazz that you would say is "alive" at this point?

Free jazz or creative improvised music (perhaps not necessarily the same thing).

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Could his viewpoint be as simple as "If white people enjoy it, it's not a valid form"?

That would disqualify pretty much every kind of African American music there is, including hip hop, funk, soul jazz, free jazz and on and on and on.

I meant "at the time he wrote this book". In other words, if a band is playing "mainstream" (hard bop, soul jazz, etc) and the white cats are into it...it can't possibly be revolutionary. Would a group having a large white following infuriate some of the more militant aspects of what was going on at the time? I remember reading that Archie Shepp on occasion heckled white people in the crowd...as if they didn't belong in the club while "his" music was being played.

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Did the heckling stop when Roswell Rudd started to play?

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I just wanna know which parts of this thread infuriated Chuck (hope it wasn't me, but you never know,,,,,,,)

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I meant "at the time he wrote this book". In other words, if a band is playing "mainstream" (hard bop, soul jazz, etc) and the white cats are into it...it can't possibly be revolutionary. Would a group having a large white following infuriate some of the more militant aspects of what was going on at the time? I remember reading that Archie Shepp on occasion heckled white people in the crowd...as if they didn't belong in the club while "his" music was being played.

Sidenote: I know some downplayed Bill Evans' influence, but I wonder how Charlie Haden was seen in that context. Also, in the book Baraka admits to listening to Brubeck in college. (As with many past embarrassments, I'm sure the "in college" designation was necessary to minimize such a shocking transgression!)

Free jazz or creative improvised music (perhaps not necessarily the same thing).

Since late Coltrane, Sun Ra, Archie Shepp, etc., who would you consider a real innovator (Zorn maybe?) in the genre currently- or at least in the past 10 years or so? I'm not arguing against the possibility, but rather fishing for recommendations... smirk.jpg

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The presence of many (the word "disproportionate" might have been used) white bass players in "the new thing" was commented on by either Baraka or Frank Kofsky, iirc.

The "explanation" was that the new music required a level of technique that many black bassists had not yet acquired because they had been busy being satisfied being timekeepers.

The explanation went on to say that these guys were cool to play the music, because they were sympathetic to the cause, musically and socially.

But...then there was this:

BurtonJCG64.jpg

at least for a little while...

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I love this thread. It sometimes infuriates me and other times makes me chuckle.

Being there at the time might help.

This thread makes my head hurt. Being there at the time is a crime we'll one day be forced to pay for ... if we haven't already.

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I meant "at the time he wrote this book". In other words, if a band is playing "mainstream" (hard bop, soul jazz, etc) and the white cats are into it...it can't possibly be revolutionary. Would a group having a large white following infuriate some of the more militant aspects of what was going on at the time? I remember reading that Archie Shepp on occasion heckled white people in the crowd...as if they didn't belong in the club while "his" music was being played.

Sidenote: I know some downplayed Bill Evans' influence, but I wonder how Charlie Haden was seen in that context. Also, in the book Baraka admits to listening to Brubeck in college. (As with many past embarrassments, I'm sure the "in college" designation was necessary to minimize such a shocking transgression!)

Free jazz or creative improvised music (perhaps not necessarily the same thing).

Since late Coltrane, Sun Ra, Archie Shepp, etc., who would you consider a real innovator (Zorn maybe?) in the genre currently- or at least in the past 10 years or so? I'm not arguing against the possibility, but rather fishing for recommendations... smirk.jpg

I'll choose to take your question at face value. In no particular order: John Butcher, Peter Brotzmann, Matt Shipp, Frank Gratkowski, Evan Parker, Kidd Jordan, Peter Evans, Nate Wooley, Mary Halvorson, Paul Flaherty, Chris Corsano, Ken Vandermark, Mats Gustafsson, Joe McPhee, David S. Ware, Frode Gjerstad, Anthony Braxton, Ingrid Laubrock, Jean-Luc Guionnet, Phil Ochs and ROVA. There are many others. Some cited have been around for a while, others are fairly new to the scene, but I think all that I listed bring something vital to the music.

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Phil Ochs and ROVA.

Do you mean Larry Ochs, or has something really strange been going on?

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Phil Ochs and ROVA.

Do you mean Larry Ochs, or has something really strange been going on?

Ha ha, I stand corrected. mrwinky.gif

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Phil Ochs and ROVA.

Do you mean Larry Ochs, or has something really strange been going on?

Ha ha, I stand corrected. mrwinky.gif

:lol:

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I love this thread. It sometimes infuriates me and other times makes me chuckle.

Being there at the time might help.

Not necessarily.

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I was somewhere at some of that time, but not anywhere where I could see where or who was there.

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I'll choose to take your question at face value. In no particular order: John Butcher, Peter Brotzmann, Matt Shipp, Frank Gratkowski, Evan Parker, Kidd Jordan, Peter Evans, Nate Wooley, Mary Halvorson, Paul Flaherty, Chris Corsano, Ken Vandermark, Mats Gustafsson, Joe McPhee, David S. Ware, Frode Gjerstad, Anthony Braxton, Ingrid Laubrock, Jean-Luc Guionnet, Phil Ochs and ROVA. There are many others. Some cited have been around for a while, others are fairly new to the scene, but I think all that I listed bring something vital to the music.

Thank you so much for the recommendations. I will really enjoy sifting through them.

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hard bop dominates current jazz

Does it? Who do you see as present-day practitioners of hard bop who are dominant?

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I'm with Chuck here... sometimes annoyed, sometimes chuckling, twice laughing out loud while finally catching up.

Guess I really got to read the two Jones books, but there's plenty of stuff I should finally read and not enough time, so...

Mr. spang, that list offered by Leeway is definitely a good one - obviously it doesn't end there, not by a long shot. I'd throw in Barry Guy, Irene Schweizer, Henry Threadgill, Leo Smith and Roscoe Mitchell, to just name a few more.

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The main message of the book, away from the music seemed fair enough* - resistence to the condition of having no identity other than one demanded by somebody else, whether a freedman or a bebop player (not waiting for somebody else to tell you that your music is serious)

I’m sure I’m not the only blues listener who first really encountered jazz history with this book and the Murray one - Stomping the Blues - thus getting a pretty circumscribed view of the music.

I was slightly (but not very) surprised that there was so little blues (as I regarded it) in the book - Broonzy, Leroy Carr, SBW1 etc dashed off in a half page and Wheatstraw treated as an 'early' pre-formulaic performer.

*that is, seems relevant for everyone still - I doubt if Baraka needs me to approve his book! :rolleyes:

Edited by cih

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Last night I attended a performance led by Italian trumpeter Fabio Morgera that included Steve Davis and young trumpeter Josh Evans. It was billed as a tribute to Horace Silver and if I remember correctly they performed "Senor Blues", "African Lady", "Barbara" and Joe Henderson's "Mo Joe". They are all very capable musicians and performed at a high level, but coincidentally when I started feeling a litttle bored some time during the second song, I could not help but think of this thread and wished they were performing some original music instead.

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I recall being in NYC in the early '60s and visiting a large class at (probably) the New School that a friend of mine was attending. Jones was the teacher-lecturer, the ostensible subject was the New American Poetry, but Jones that day (and no doubt many others) was into his White Americans are the root of all evil thesis, focusing this time on the rape of the American Indians by Anglo colonists, frontiersman, settlers, etc. Just because his bulldozing smugness kind of bugged me, I raised my hand and, when called on, rather snottily said something like, "Maybe the Indians were bad people, too." Jones' double take was something to see.

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Sam McDowell wasn't such a nice guy back in the day, or so I've heard.

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well, apropros of Larry, above, there is/was a fairly well known avant garde trombonist who taught a jazz history class in which the entire perspective of the class was, in his own words, the "master/slave relationship." Basically he looked at the entire history of the music as being in this mode, of white master, black slave. When I used the word "irony" in relation to Monk, he told me, with great hostility, that irony was "a white person's concept."

I did not stay for long.

Edited by AllenLowe

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When I used the word "irony" in relation to Monk, he told me, with great hostility, that irony was "a white person's concept."

I did not stay for long.

Yeah, I don't blame you for leaving. He sounds moronic.

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it was strange. And he's a VERY successful academic these days.

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