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Stanley Crouch Parker biography reviewed

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that's macho-stupid (or mucho-stupid) Crouch talk for people he'd like to sodomize.

and btw, I do believe that Crouch expressed similar sentiments toward Gil Evans; unless he was confusing the two. But as far as I know, he never said anything bad about Phil Evans, Will Evans, Millie Evans, Dill Evans, or Evan Evans (Bill's son).

you left out Dale Evans

and thanks for your explanation

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Well, I'm obviously with Allen on this one. I think the trio recordings with LaFaro at the Vanguard are among the greatest jazz recordings ever made. I also love his album with Toots, the "Alone" albums, and some of the material from the "last year" multi-volume sets that have appeared. He had an extraordinarily delicate touch at the piano on the ballads, and he could pound out a great improvisation on a fast tune too.

As for Crouch, well, this is one book I'm skipping. Besides, I just read the Duke bio by Teachout. Time to find a good one.

gregmo

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No matter how awkwardly/poorly/wackily/etc he's doing it, what I think Crouch is trying to do (yeah man, I really dig what you're trying to do) is to remind whoever has forgotten/never known/would carelessy dismiss the notion that yes, Bird, Cosmic Genius/Metaphysical Junkie/Ulimate Hippester/Etc. but also that you don't have Bird, first and foremost, outside of the same world as this, and although I think it's funny (in many ways) how he's trying to say it, I'll be damned if I'll disagree with him on that point.

I don't see how/where Bill Evans is relevant even tangentially to that point, although, arrangement by Billy Byers, if we need to.

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that's macho-stupid (or mucho-stupid) Crouch talk for people he'd like to sodomize.

and btw, I do believe that Crouch expressed similar sentiments toward Gil Evans; unless he was confusing the two. But as far as I know, he never said anything bad about Phil Evans, Will Evans, Millie Evans, Dill Evans, or Evan Evans (Bill's son).

That's alright brother, when our two Evans-hating moderators wake up on Judgement Day, and are greeted by a tall, skinny, bespectacled pianist, they'll realize the error of their ways.

They'll be told to board the Down Elevator, where waiting for them will be Crouch's lips, willing to service them for all eternity... :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy:

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Well, I'm obviously with Allen on this one. I think the trio recordings with LaFaro at the Vanguard are among the greatest jazz recordings ever made. I also love his album with Toots, the "Alone" albums, and some of the material from the "last year" multi-volume sets that have appeared. He had an extraordinarily delicate touch at the piano on the ballads, and he could pound out a great improvisation on a fast tune too.

As for Crouch, well, this is one book I'm skipping. Besides, I just read the Duke bio by Teachout. Time to find a good one.

gregmo

Well I've read them both: Teachout sucks and has almost no new information whereas the Crouch is full of new information about Bird, despite the author's style and whatever someone may have overheard him saying about Bill Evans.

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For the record, I don't hate Bill Evans. Far from it. But he did outlive his usefulness for me. Before that, though, a lot of genius and irrefutable (not abstract) truth. After that, so much yanka doodlin' dandy, albeit oh so "sensitive". So, in the end, fuck the messenger, leave the messenger out of it unless and until they get a Reality Show. I'll take the message no matter who/what/when/where, and that includes Mister Clumbersome himself, Stanley Crouch.

And besides, if a man is so unfocused/insecure that the drugs distort not just the efficiency of his delivery but the core of his message, then that man should be Man Enough to leave the drugs the hell alone or else indeed be risked becoming a punk, A Punk To The Drugs, Drug Punk, not Drug Man.

Man, or Wo(e)man. Nor only JUST the drugs.

Sensitivity in the sole service of itself solely is not a Core Value, it's a fetish.

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That is sure lovely Prysock singing. Don't know what it has to do with Evans or Crouch or Bird, and please don't tell me.

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I'm going to get to this book eventually, right now I have about two years of reading stacked up before me.

I love Bill Evans. I will listen to his music the rest of my life.

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selling mine for $13 shipped media in the USA.

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that's macho-stupid (or mucho-stupid) Crouch talk for people he'd like to sodomize.

and btw, I do believe that Crouch expressed similar sentiments toward Gil Evans; unless he was confusing the two. But as far as I know, he never said anything bad about Phil Evans, Will Evans, Millie Evans, Dill Evans, or Evan Evans (Bill's son).

That's alright brother, when our two Evans-hating moderators wake up on Judgement Day, and are greeted by a tall, skinny, bespectacled pianist, they'll realize the error of their ways.

They'll be told to board the Down Elevator, where waiting for them will be Crouch's lips, willing to service them for all eternity... :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy:

:rofl:

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The consensus here seems to be Crouch uses lack of swing and empathy with the blues as euphemisms to hide his rascism against white jazz cats?

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Where that consensus exists, that is what it is.

Me. I'm tempted to call it The Hell Hath No Fury (Nor Whine) Like A White Man Scourned Syndrome, but lead us not into temptation, etc.

I will say this, though - if all it takes to get your feelings hurt is Stanley Crouch, then...c'mon...I've had good days - good days, mind you - that carry more potential for real damage to my feelings than Stanley Crouch. He can raise my ire for a moment, and him and his former(?) sockpuppet Wynton have wrecked permanent damage on what used to be called jazz (but Fathead is not a jazz musician now, per Branford, the puppet in search of a sock, so,, like the good GPS, recalculate, dig?). Hurt feelings are a helluva lot more serious a matter than are forcibly changed logistics.

Just remember - in order for a sucker punch to land, it takes both a punch and a sucker.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cX80fZGZyz4

btw- if this allegorical "tall, skinny, bespectacled pianist" is Mel Powell...hey, then there IS a heaven, or at least a place where "sensitivity" is an option willfully allowed, not forcibly swallowed.

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What the hell are you talking about. You want a sandwich?

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In a Jazz Times article from October 2002, Crouch stated that he saw the rise of of Euro jazz, multi-ethnic jazz etc as a "movement to neutralize the Negro aesthetic." Crouch ends the article by stating:

"Jazz is an art, not a subjective phenomenon. Negroes in America, through extraordinary imagination and new instrumental techniques, provided a worldwide forum for the expression of the woes and the wonders of human life. Look like what you look like, come from wherever you come from, be either sex and any religion, but understand that blues and that swing are there for you too—if you want to play jazz."

One could probably argue over every sentence in this paragraph, but taking Crouch at his word, he is saying anyone can play jazz as long as it has the element of the blues and hence swing. Racially, the statement is inclusive, musically, the statement is exclusive.

This is where my objection to Crouch comes in, and not just Crouch, but the considerable number of others, of all stripes, who use "swing like mad" and "swing like crazy" and other enduring cliches as mechanisms for defining, controlling and limiting the music. It is indeed a code word, but a code that has to do with prioritizing the music of previous generations, or at least a certain kind of well-established formula. Personally, I don't really care if something "swings" as long as it is interesting, complex, thought-provoking, innovative and otherwise possessing the "shock of the new." Swing as an adjective to simply describe is one thing, as a noun that has a certain ontological or abstract priority is another. I'm always a little leery when I hear it thrown around like a royal prerogative.

Crouch is bright enough to know that new generations of free improvisors, free jazzers, international mixing and matching of musicians, etc has change the "shape of jazz to come." He is fighting a rearguard action, in his mind to protect and preserve the "Negro aesthetic." I understand his concern. I have no problem with that as long as it does not become the controlling factor. The tide of the music cannot be contained by artificial seawalls, it is a natural process that will go where it will.

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I completely agree with leeway, and I will only add that even if something does not meet some square critic's definition of jazz, it may meet a listener's criteria for music.

Edited by Teasing the Korean

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I have just learned that Bird's were a crawdad eatin' people, as are mine.

See. it's all connected.

Stanley Crouch - unifier.

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The consensus here seems to be Crouch uses lack of swing and empathy with the blues as euphemisms to hide his rascism against white jazz cats?

That sums it up pretty well.

If you look at the the two projects he's been involved in; JALC and the Ken Burns doc, it's not that much of a stretch...

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I love Bill Evan's blues playing on 'Jazz at the Plaza'.

It reminds me of Teddy Wilson's 1938 solo on 'Sing, Sing, Sing'.

A breath of fresh air after all the huffing & puffing before it :-)

Logical, concise, beautiful, very swinging, and origina

Jess Stacy is the pianist on B.G.'s1938 Carnegie Hall performance of "Sing, Sing, Sing".

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and for so many, "swings like mad" means it MUST "swing" like it used to

As the question or answer of what does it mean to swing cannot be answered?

To my ears, Tarfala swings

that mindset continues to codify the music as an anarchronism or at best current incarnations of the same old as simple imitations of what was once new music

seeing one the saddest name his recordings with exactly the same names as classics of 50 years ago is a tacit admission of nothing happening here and now in their little narrow world of what is jazz

Standing on a Whale Fishing for Minnows

Edited by Steve Reynolds

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Not sure if you can exclude "swing" from what is an essential ingredient in jazz.

Jazz can swing in many ways, not all of them immediately recognizable the way you'd recognize a jazz tune that in the "classic" manner "swings like mad", e.g. what Jimmy Giuffre (yes, an ofay! :D) once said when asked where the beat of his music is: "It is understood." The same might go for the way swing is experienced in his music too IMO. And if it is there, you will feel it if you have a feeling for that particular style of jazz.

But to say outright "No, swing is no longer required for a style of music or a kind of playing to qualify as jazz ANYWAY"; I dunno .... E.g. jazz notable Joachim Ernst Berendt sort of lost his target IMO when he openly proclaimed in his later days that swing is no longer needed in and for jazz. (Well, this was when he was on his all-encompassing and rather esoteric "world music" trip anyway ....)

The process of dispensing with swing from the start IMO only leads to all too many styles of music that cannot be categorized anywhere else to be "filed under jazz". Uncalled for, IMO. Or should Jazz have become a sort of stylistic leftover grab bag where everything can be lumped in for marketing purposes?

So in this particular case I tend to side with Crouch and the "moldy figs". ;)

If you evidently cannot and don't swing by any stretch of the imagination you may be playing interesting and satisfying music but you ain't playing jazz.

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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"If you evidently cannot and don't swing by any stretch of the imagination you may be playing interesting and satisfying music but you ain't playing jazz."

Really? Says who? I guess Stanley Crouch, but I don't find his words binding on the matter.

I feel I am actually paying jazz the compliment of considering it a living and growing music, something organic, and not a "mouldy" conservatory piece, kept under glass for fear of contamination of all these other influences.

One need only scroll through the "What are you listening to?" thread to find an incredible divergence of music. I'd hate to be the gatekeeper who has to say, "Jazz/Not Jazz," "Swing/Not Swing."

Whatever happened to "Beyond Category?"

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One need only scroll through the "What are you listening to?" thread to find an incredible divergence of music. I'd hate to be the gatekeeper who has to say, "Jazz/Not Jazz," "Swing/Not Swing."

Whatever happened to "Beyond Category?"

I think that it's interesting to note that a lot of the stuff that gets listened to that some would argue is not jazz because it doesn't swing or have the blues enough pretty much only gets covered and talked about by jazz press/websites/forums/blogs etc. It's not jazz, but apparently the jazz audience is the only audience that cares about it. It's almost like jazz is organically evolving...

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An hour plus from a great anti-swing band that will swing like mad when they choose.

And without a doubt jazz music no matter what

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I honestly feel at some point in the second half of the last century there were so many things going on under the "jazz" umbrella that it makes perfect sense why some would say "this is jazz" and "this isn't jazz." I find myself doing that with the music. I mean. . . I don't consider "Dark Magus" jazz. Others may but I would need some real convincing.

It doesn't matter. In my opinion anyone is free to classify jazz the way they wish as long as they're not holding "jazz" up on a pedestal and raining on everything else.

Edited by jazzbo

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The consensus here seems to be Crouch uses lack of swing and empathy with the blues as euphemisms to hide his rascism against white jazz cats?

That sums it up pretty well.

If you look at the the two projects he's been involved in; JALC and the Ken Burns doc, it's not that much of a stretch...

I agree there was some interesting omissions in the Ken Burns documentary, which he himself has stated were not down to Crouch, but Burns own editorial decisions. Brubeck has been accused of not swinging at all and he made it into the documentary, but he was of course in context of the period covered, was much more important than Evans.

I actually like Crouch's larger than life personality and strong, even reactionary opinions, as we need these types to stimulate debate and conversation. One thing you can say about Crouch, love him or loathe him, he cannot be ignored. And I find this extremely refreshing in a media over saturated with shallow newspeak, propaganda and sound bites.

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