Larry Kart

Ethan Iverson on "Whiplash," Buddy Rich

118 posts in this topic

I've known plenty of musicians over the years that latch onto a single player they want to emulate/surpass, this tends to happen during the early years of learning an instrument. I also think it's kind of a passing phase, something you have to work through and then eventually the blinders fall away and you open yourself up to other influences.

It's also a MOVIE and you don't really have time to name-drop 20 great jazz drummers (that the majority of the audience have never heard of) to get your point across. It's more dramatically focused to pick 1 player and that's really all that was required in this particular instance.

I still disagree that Whiplash is a "crock". It's a damn entertaining FILM, made like an old-school Hollywood melodrama with everything amped up and exaggerated for the purpose of entertainment. The purpose of the film is not to be a documentary geared solely at the less than 1% of the moviegoing audience that listens to jazz. It's psychological warfare and the battlefield just happens to be set vaguely in the jazz arena.

Discussing this movie on a jazz board is like having a group of scientists sit down and nitpick the latest popular sci-fi film. It will get torn to shreds, but only by that almost infinitesimal audience, the rest of the general public will mostly likely enjoy it for what it is....entertainment.

I think that the movie is a crock on internal psychological-dramatic plot points grounds, which I went into in a post on another thread here. I won't go into all that again because it deals with the final few scenes of the movie and thus involves spoilers, and someone chastised me for doing that.

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And don't talk about Sonny Payne apart from the whiteflashydrummers. That's nuts. Perhaps you're not aware that there was (and still remains, probably, what's left of them) a school of Basie fans who CURSED THE LIVING FUCK out of Sonny Payne, especially right when he took over from Gus Johnson.

There is Miles' famous quote about Sonny Payne: "At least he looks good, and that's half the battle." Also, there's the long stick employed by Freddie Green to poke Payne whenever (you should pardon the expression) he started to rush. :)

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The movie plays like an ABC Afterschool Special with gratuitous cursing. It's an amateur film that somehow manages to make jazz appear as appealing as psoriasis.
If the lead charachter's hero was Blakey, Max, or Elvin the picture would still be a thorough mediocrity.

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Wait wait wait, what is this now? A movie I have no interest in or intention of seeing is supposed to supplant whatever thoughts/feelings/conflicts/admirations/disdainments/whatevers I've been having about Buddy Rich pretty much my entire musical life? I gotta say, fuck that!

I'm sick of all this whiny shit. Buddy Rich was a baaaad motherfucker. Buddy Rich is also probably not on my list of favorite jazz drummers, or even drummers period. But he was a baaaaaaaaad motherfucker, totally, and that's what you gotta deal with, not all this "jazz drummer" bullshit, because that will get you nowhere except back where you started.

And oh, btw/fwiw, Basie made it a point to request Shaughnessy for those mid-60s Chico O'Farrill-arranged MOR dates (or so it's been said through the years). And apparently Basie would make it a point to let Buddy play a set whenever paths crossed, and loved it.So if the point is that "stage band drumming" and "jazz drumming" are different things, well, DUH. Past that...what, exactly? That people can't enjoy each other?

Just...grow up, Iverson. Grow up.

On the three day Clark Terry Memorial broadcast on WKCR, Phil Schaap played the Count Basie Octet sides where BUDDY RICH was playing drums on some cuts (Gus Johnson on others), along with CT, Charlie Rouse, Buddy DeFranco and Serge Chaloff.

Yes sir, that Count Basie must have been some kind of racist! :rofl:

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"In light of the Whiplash phenomenon, I have no problem saying that if you think Buddy Rich is the greatest jazz drummer, you are racist."

I haven't even seen the movie and probably won't. Maybe I don't get the context or what is going on here, but that is a terribly inflammatory statement, uncalled for. I'm not sure Rich is the greatest jazz drummer, but awfully close, certainly the greatest for what he did. So I'm racist.

Sue me.

But I could redeem myself I guess, by saying that I think Oscar Peterson is the greatest jazz pianist (a statement many or most here would not agree with, I'm sure). But at least in saying it I'm not being racist, am I? I'm sorry, but this whole thing is the height of stupidity. Greatness is greatness, is it not, regardless of race?

Well said JT!

I tell all my musician friends that there's a web site called Organissimo where they all hate Oscar Peterson, and they all let out a series of epithets that I would not care to write here.

In fact, I just got off the phone with a musician who was on the road with Curtis Fuller in Gates' Band (LH), about the consensus on OP, and his reply was*%($(^$(&$% them!

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The "next" movie in which the music will figure is "Miles Ahead" directed and starring Don Cheadle. Hope springs eternal.

I'm pretty sure that however good the Miles movie is it will be the final straw that brings about the jazz-internet-osphere apocalypse.

I understand, I think, that that movie is going to be set in the early 70s, Miles in full-blown bug-eye sunglasses coke splendor and there's going to be a series of flashbacks that make up the "autobiography". If they do it right, it could be all kinds of weird/great, but if not, I'm still hoping for a good Don Cheadle movie. I like Don Cheadle on principle. His innate fuquitousness pleases me.

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Jim nails it. We play way too fast and loose with the appellation "racist" / the word "racism" in this culture. Which is a terrible insult to those people in our culture who have had to live under truly racist conditions, i.e., where systematic violence is perpetrated against certain people because of the color of their skin or their perceived racial identity. (Bigotry is one thing; racism is something else, at least as far as I'm concerned.) "Racist" gets used now precisely for its triggering effect. Its usage says much more about the person actually employing the word than the one being targeted by it.

And, also, you can't really "figure out" Buddy Rich and his contributions to the music by measuring him according to the established canons of "jazz drumming." You gotta remember that element of show business in the music's history too, for example... but it goes further than that...

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I'm pretty much out of the movie loop these days, Larry, but I have no reason to think other than what you say.

Another thing is bugging me here, the whole "stage band" thing. Stage bands are what kids play in to keep from haivng to use the word "jazz". Big Bands, at least as originally lived were orchestras, not schoolboy indulgements. Now that true big band playing has more or less become an indulgement for writers and/or players with nonthinking better to do, I don't know that anybody who never saw the old bands in their natural social environments gets that. It's not the same thing, and Buddy Rich, no, not speaking encoded African radar messages, but still playing for a motherfucking living and loving it becuase it was in his blood so so SO much truer to "jazz" than any motherfucking stage and/jazz education silliness.

That 60s Rich Band, that band was all about being badass. Don't tell me that any great musician isn't motivated be the desire to be badass. They might not use the language, but if they don't have it in their core to fucking step up and STAY standing no matter what, then...sorry, this is not the world for you. Try again somewhere else, some other time. SURVIVAL MUSIC, dig? Not rule the world, jsut survive, stay alive, pride in being here and not taking any of that for granted.

Listen to this and tell me that this is music about executing some schoolboy shit to please an award contest leader or some shit. No - this is music that is not going to back down for anything or anybody. If you try to minimalize it by calling it "stage band", you are being fooled into thinking that you can will shit away by words, shit that got here with stronger than words and cannot be killed by words either.

Now ok, I can hear everything that is not happening here, but oh well, you want people to be what they're not or to be something they have no fucking way in hell of EVER being, ok, play that game. But a game is all it is, like "stage band" - a misunderstanding used to create a false reality in which people are recorded as losers in a game they weren't even playing.

An oh by the way, the "vocabulary" I heard when I was still paying attention to these conversations was that Buddy Rich was "The World's Greatest Drummer", period, not "The World's Greatest Jazz Drummer". Is that a thing now, that Buddy was the world's greatest JAZZ drummer, or what? Or are we getting worked up over something that doesn't really exist except as a lunatic fringe?

This is all silly, and this movie, what is it about, a child-abusing band director and a neurotic kid who wants to be Buddy Rich and they play a Hank Levy chart? Whose side am I supposed to be on in that one? And would I enjoy myself more by just skipping the whole thing and listening to some Jaki Byard? Side note - Hank Levy was to odd-meters what carpet is to grass.

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And, also, you can't really "figure out" Buddy Rich and his contributions to the music by measuring him according to the established canons of "jazz drumming." You gotta remember that element of show business in the music's history too, for example... but it goes further than that...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddy_Rich

Rich was born in Manhattan to Jewish vaudevillians Bess (née Skolnik) and Robert Rich.

http://www.drumlessons.com/drummers/buddy-rich/

Bernard “Buddy” Rich was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1917, to a vaudevillian family comprised of his parents Robert Rich and Bess Skolnik Rich, and his two older sisters Marjorie Rich (1910) and Jo Rich (1914). Robert had been a performer since around 1902, when he was a 15 years old young man. In his late teenage years, Robert formed a duo with singer Sam Wilson, where he worked as a tap dancer and comedian. Robert Rich met Bess Skolnik in 1906. Bess was a very good singer, and thus was included in the Rich and Wilson routine in 1908, after marrying Robert. Bess wasn’t the only one to be included in the act. In 1916, Jo Rich followed her parents footsteps dancing and singing with them live on stage.

The Rich family was filled with talented people that lived for show business. Even Marjorie, who at the beginning seemed to have no real talent as a live performer, would end by finding her way to Broadway at the early age of 15.

So, what does all this have to do with "jazz"? Probably nothing. But remember, we are now in the age of Fathead Is Not A Jazz Musician, so, you know, fuck jazz, let's deal with people instead. That should be less trouble than it appears to actually be, go figure, I wonder.

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"Shorty George" from Rich's "This One's for Basie"

Solos: Bob Cooper, Bob Enevoldsen, Harry Edison, Frank Rosolino. Jimmy Rowles on piano. Marty Paich arrragement. Whole album is on YouTube.

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"In light of the Whiplash phenomenon, I have no problem saying that if you think Buddy Rich is the greatest jazz drummer, you are racist."

I haven't even seen the movie and probably won't. Maybe I don't get the context or what is going on here, but that is a terribly inflammatory statement, uncalled for. I'm not sure Rich is the greatest jazz drummer, but awfully close, certainly the greatest for what he did. So I'm racist.

Sue me.

But I could redeem myself I guess, by saying that I think Oscar Peterson is the greatest jazz pianist (a statement many or most here would not agree with, I'm sure). But at least in saying it I'm not being racist, am I? I'm sorry, but this whole thing is the height of stupidity. Greatness is greatness, is it not, regardless of race?

Well said JT!

I tell all my musician friends that there's a web site called Organissimo where they all hate Oscar Peterson, and they all let out a series of epithets that I would not care to write here.

In fact, I just got off the phone with a musician who was on the road with Curtis Fuller in Gates' Band (LH), about the consensus on OP, and his reply was*%($(^$(&$% them!

LOL :rofl:

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"In light of the Whiplash phenomenon, I have no problem saying that if you think Buddy Rich is the greatest jazz drummer, you are racist."

I haven't even seen the movie and probably won't. Maybe I don't get the context or what is going on here, but that is a terribly inflammatory statement, uncalled for. I'm not sure Rich is the greatest jazz drummer, but awfully close, certainly the greatest for what he did. So I'm racist.

Sue me.

But I could redeem myself I guess, by saying that I think Oscar Peterson is the greatest jazz pianist (a statement many or most here would not agree with, I'm sure). But at least in saying it I'm not being racist, am I? I'm sorry, but this whole thing is the height of stupidity. Greatness is greatness, is it not, regardless of race?

Well said JT!

I tell all my musician friends that there's a web site called Organissimo where they all hate Oscar Peterson, and they all let out a series of epithets that I would not care to write here.

In fact, I just got off the phone with a musician who was on the road with Curtis Fuller in Gates' Band (LH), about the consensus on OP, and his reply was*%($(^$(&$% them!

LOL :rofl:

I'm not a big O.P. fan, but Stratford Shakespearean Festival - come on!!

OTOH, not sure what this has to do with Whiplash.

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I haven't seen Whiplash, but it seems Iverson is too quick (eager?) to pseudo-psychoanalyze people he's never met based on one point of opinion.

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"In light of the Whiplash phenomenon, I have no problem saying that if you think Buddy Rich is the greatest jazz drummer, you are racist."

I haven't even seen the movie and probably won't. Maybe I don't get the context or what is going on here, but that is a terribly inflammatory statement, uncalled for. I'm not sure Rich is the greatest jazz drummer, but awfully close, certainly the greatest for what he did. So I'm racist.

Sue me.

But I could redeem myself I guess, by saying that I think Oscar Peterson is the greatest jazz pianist (a statement many or most here would not agree with, I'm sure). But at least in saying it I'm not being racist, am I? I'm sorry, but this whole thing is the height of stupidity. Greatness is greatness, is it not, regardless of race?

Well said JT!

I tell all my musician friends that there's a web site called Organissimo where they all hate Oscar Peterson, and they all let out a series of epithets that I would not care to write here.

In fact, I just got off the phone with a musician who was on the road with Curtis Fuller in Gates' Band (LH), about the consensus on OP, and his reply was*%($(^$(&$% them!

Please thank your friend for the big ole "fuck them," and thanks for sharing it with us.

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"In light of the Whiplash phenomenon, I have no problem saying that if you think Buddy Rich is the greatest jazz drummer, you are racist."

I haven't even seen the movie and probably won't. Maybe I don't get the context or what is going on here, but that is a terribly inflammatory statement, uncalled for. I'm not sure Rich is the greatest jazz drummer, but awfully close, certainly the greatest for what he did. So I'm racist.

Sue me.

But I could redeem myself I guess, by saying that I think Oscar Peterson is the greatest jazz pianist (a statement many or most here would not agree with, I'm sure). But at least in saying it I'm not being racist, am I? I'm sorry, but this whole thing is the height of stupidity. Greatness is greatness, is it not, regardless of race?

Well said JT!

I tell all my musician friends that there's a web site called Organissimo where they all hate Oscar Peterson, and they all let out a series of epithets that I would not care to write here.

In fact, I just got off the phone with a musician who was on the road with Curtis Fuller in Gates' Band (LH), about the consensus on OP, and his reply was*%($(^$(&$% them!

i don't know as a fact that we all hate OP. the reality is probably much more complex. nevertheless i have no problem to say %($(^$(&$% him too!

Edited by uli

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I don't hate OP, I just don't like him all that much, but I rather enjoy a general handing out of "fuck ____" as a gesture of conviviality in the face of irreparable conjugationals, so feel free to add me in there too, and make a donation in my name to the charity of your mutual choice, and tell 'em Bob's you uncle, because I had two, so one for me, one to that good charity.

I'll tell you who I might be persuaded to muster up some good old-school Jazz Hate for, and that's that Richie Cole guy. but I gather he's been ill or something for a while, so that makes it a bit hard, since I am nothing else if not a paragon of milky and motley human compassion and all that, not a hater, just a waiter, in god we trust, all others pay cash.

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yay, fuck y'all!

btw, I do like Peterson, quite some, and I don't give a flying shit about "Whiplash", will certainly not go and watch it ... good thing you don't read German (feghers! ;)) or else I'd share an interview held with a local drummer who was pretty negative about the entire circus that "Whiplash" seems to depict (I guess the reality of jazz schools is again, as is Big O's relationship to OP, a bit more complicated though).

Excuse me while I go fuck myself now ...

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Hello

Ok, the first thing I just want to clear up is that I didn't say that that if you liked Buddy Rich you were racist. I said that if you thought he was the greatest drummer ever, you were racist.

That's attacking the cult, not the man. You can't blame the man for the cult, as Mark says, and also why it was good to have Mark there as defense. However in my view the cult is a real problem, for all the reasons I go into. They could have never made the choices they made for WHIPLASH without the cult.

---

I also happen to not like Rich's drumming in most circumstances. I left that out of my post - enough is enough -but when I went through some of Stryker's examples, it mostly only verified my general feeling that after, say 1952 or something, he didn't fit in a band so well.

I almost added a section on some of the worst drumming I've heard, which is some late in life Benny Goodman quartet with Jimmy Rowles on YouTube. I watch those clips sometimes, because Rowles is so inspired, so idiosyncratic, yet so swinging.

In those clips, Buddy is out of balance at the kit. His hi-hat snaps like a loud angry alligator the whole time. And as Tootie says about Rich's feathering the bass drum in our interview, "Buddy Rich used to play it, but he played it like a truck. Sure, it was right there: it was accurate. But no finesse!" The time is accurate, but "no finesse" may mean not just loud but that the beat is also tightly gripped. Bob Cranshaw said to me in our interview,"I’ve never seen anybody play a solo like Buddy Rich, but Buddy’s time feel was not always there." In that Goodman quartet, the feel just isn't there.

Ironically, because so many of what I regard as heavyweights have criticized Buddy Rich, in my Lester Young overview, I wrote about the trio with Cole: "Buddy Rich sounds very fine; allegations that he ruins this date (or other early sessions with otherwise black musicians) are ludicrous. "

---

My post was not about Buddy's drumming as much as the cult and a stream of influence in society. Why take it to the phrase "racist?" John Tapscott said it was "terribly inflammatory." JSngry suggests the same thing, that it closes doors.

I view it as temporary technology. If someone who doesn't know anything is trying to talk to a jazz fan about WHIPLASH, that fan now has the phase, "If you think Buddy Rich is the greatest jazz drummer, you are racist" to reorient the conversation. The phrase lets the elephant into the room right away.

Larry said why do a "general lob"; why have two sets of opinions. I always change what I say to reflect who I'm talking to. If I'm talking to Billy Hart or Tootie Heath, I would never riff like I do on DTM. If I'm teaching, I can be ruthlessly authoritarian figure.

Most of the time, when I have essays published elsewhere, the editor requests it to be less technical. For the Buddy/Whiplash, my ruling was to make it so that non-musicians could feel the fire, and checked out the flow with a non-jazz fan.

As I say, it's too short, it's too abrupt, but, on the hand, I know it being widely read. It's definitely getting back to the creators of the movie. I'm not claiming I'm going to change Hollywood or anything! But, in my view, this topic had to be addressed. I had to try. And making some of the language almost too strong helps the rhetoric, helps the message travel.

JSngry, I appreciate your point about Sonny Payne. Mark Stryker can verify that on the phone with him discussing this piece, I said, "There's a problem with Sonny Payne! He's not one of the cats!" I probably should have included this query about where Payne (and other later Basie drummers) sit.

---

The point about reparations is that white people have to do 'em.

Periodically, black jazz musicians or commentators come out with something strong and sometimes seemingly anti-white: Baraka, Crouch, Early Wynton (or Ken Burns JAZZ), Nicholas Payton...I suspect from what I've heard about the Cheadle movie, it will be something like that.

These attempts to reframe the dialogue tend to be rather shrill. Ya can't take white people out of jazz. We're here, we were always here. "American music is a mix of many cultures."

But I always support these attempts, because I have real sympathy for their position. Looking at the landscape of jazz, the money and power positions have been held by whites...forever!

Gordon Goodwin just won a Grammy for the Phat Band, and in high school bands across America, kids want to play jazz like Gordon Goodwin. What else to you need to know, really? That's the Buddy Rich cult, that's the Kenton/North Texas legacy.

Anyway, the DTM Whiplash/Buddy is an act of reparations, an attempt to let in air to what I perceive as a very constricted scene.

---

It doesn't feel right to post praise I've gotten for the piece, especially without attribution (Larry's request). I could just make it all up. I do know there's a lot of positive chat on Facebook and Twitter if you feel compelled to check it out.

I am adding the following with attribution today, so it makes sense to post it here. Comments by Russell Scarbrough:

So I studied composition with Hank Levy at Towson State from 90-94, and played in the band there the whole time. We played only his charts (which we all loved). Many were the odd-meter charts he wrote for Don Ellis and Stan Kenton - which is what he's known for almost exclusively - but he also had tons of quite innovative arrangements of standards which are practically unknown.

Quite a bit of the rock-oriented stuff those bands were doing (including Buddy, Kenton, Ellis, as well as Woody Herman, et al) were at the very strong suggestion of their management and record labels. Don Ellis's Connection album, for instance, was really a scandal among the arrangers who all felt strong-armed into doing assigned pop charts. For a time, they also thought odd meters were the way everything was going to go, so Buddy's management thought he should get some of that. So some calls were made, and Hank was asked to write something for Buddy's band.

Hank came up with a chart in 7/4 called "Ven-Zu-Wailin", an afro-cuban kind of tune, and sent it out to LA. The story goes that Buddy didn't really read charts. When a new arrangement came along, Buddy hired a session drummer to read down the chart in rehearsal with the band while he listened, then he would take over and he'd have it memorized (so the story goes).

Apparently this time (late 60's), the session drummer couldn't really get the feel, and the figures and set-ups were all over the place, and it just wasn't working. The record company guys were there (guess they wanted to record soon), and Buddy tries to play it anyway, and he doesn't get the feel either. So in a rage, he grabs the chart off the stand and flings it across the room and lets it be known what he thinks about odd meters (your imagination can fill in the blanks there).

So whenever I showed up for lessons with Hank, I would see the framed letter up on the wall of his office on Pacific Jazz letterhead, saying we're so sorry, but Ven-Zu-Wailin was "a little too different" for Buddy and the band, and they were returning the chart, we hope you find a good home for it, sincerest apologies, etc. And this crumpled-up chart came in the package with it. Hank LOVED that story.

Too bad, cause that probably would have sounded great. Hank later re-wrote in 4/4 and we recorded it - it was a burning chart.

We did play Whiplash all the time with Hank. It was one of the best-recorded charts of his, and Ralph Humphrey had a lot to do with that, but Ellis's band in general was much better on Hank's tunes than the Kenton band, which was frankly terrible (except when Peter Erskine was in the band). I haven't seen the movie to know if they played it, but the back half of that chart is written in 14/8, because the subdivision is 223322 - a really nice-feeling pattern that Hank said explicitly came from Bulgarian music, and which he used fairly often. Those different subdivisions of the asymmetrical meters are what has been lost lately outside of world music stuff, but Hank and Ellis were very interested in that. A lot of their most interesting experiments in that were never recorded, but we did some of those things - big band charts with 2 drum sets playing in different subdivisions at the same time, for instance.

We also played a lot of straight-ahead swinging in 5, 7, and other asymmetrical meters. Not 5/4 as in the "waltz+2" feel of Take Five, but just 5-on-the-floor swinging. Hank's "Chain Reaction" for Ellis has a blistering straight-ahead 13 section for pianist Milcho Leviev to blow over (not long enough, but enough to prove that it can be done, and done well). He also had a few things that were overt homages to the Basie style, but in 5/4. I don't hear much of that kind of thing lately, though in some quarters odd meters are otherwise ubiquitous.

In regards to the substance of your post, it would be an interesting comparison to look at the elaborate "drum routines" of the Don Ellis band, which were virtuosic for sure, vs the vaudeville-like solos of Rich. Personally I find Rich's solos repetitive and hackneyed at best, and a true annoyance at worst. On the Roar of 74 album, which is a fantastic band playing really great arrangements, he basically plays a drum solo throughout every every tune, even where the charts have space to breathe built in - he just bashes right through. And then plays another solo at the end. If you ever want to see Bill Holman roll his eyes and shake his head ruefully, ask him about the charts he sent Buddy, and how they turned out on the record.

Anyway, many thanks for your erudite post on this subject. The genius of Mel Lewis is the perfect antidote to Rich-ophilia. I'm always telling my students to check him out, and learn to play swinging 8th note fills, and not triplets.

Best Regards,

Russell Scarbrough

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This may be comparing an orange to nectarines, but if you can't tell the difference -- in melodic-harmonic inventiveness, overall subtlety of thought and swing, etc. -- between OP and, say, Duke Jordan or Al Haig or Dodo Marmarosa, you're fucked.

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You know, I picked OP almost arbitrarily to make a point, and to illustrate what I consider to be the absurdity of Ethan's statement. (I still think it is and I'm not sure I really grasp his defense above - my bad).

But the point I was trying to make was not really about Oscar. I could have said this way. If I say that Art Tatum or Bud Powell was the greatest jazz pianist, I'm good. If I say that Bill Evans was the greatest, I'm a racist.

I heard someone say the other day that Charlie Parker was the greatest alto saxophonist and Benny Goodman the greatest clarinetist. What would we say about that person - racist or good? See how bizarre it gets?

Edited by John Tapscott

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Ethan writes: 'Larry said why do a "general lob"; why have two sets of opinions. I always change what I say to reflect who I'm talking to. If I'm talking to Billy Hart or Tootie Heath, I would never riff like I do on DTM. If I'm teaching, I can be ruthlessly authoritarian figure.'

Changing how you say something to reflect who you're talking to is not the same thing as changing the content of what you say, i.e. stating different opinions to and for different audiences. I would hope that if the subject is, say, a particular musical performance, you don't tell Tootie Heath or Billy Hart it's mediocre and then a student of yours that it's great when you at heart think it's ... what?

Ethan also writes: "And making some of the language almost too strong helps the rhetoric, helps the message travel.... These attempts to reframe the dialogue tend to be rather shrill."

Well, Ethan's view of the rhetorical-communicative process sure isn't mine, for several reasons. First, IMO there's a difference between simplifying what one has to say in an attempt to better reach a non-expert audience and "making some of the language almost too strong [to help] the rhetoric, [help] the message travel."

But if the language is "almost too strong" (love that "almost"), then what is the message? Given this view of what's needed "so that non-musicians could feel the fire," isn't it more than likely that this pumped up-for-rhetorical-effect "fire" is most of what most of this audience is going to feel? A lovely level of discourse that you're reaching for here -- "First, let's all get angry; treats afterwards."

Second, if I may cast myself as a mind-reader a la Ethan, people who speak in a "rather shrill" manner (love that "rather") for calculated effect are probably also getting a nice personal kick out of these "justified" opportunities to speak shrilly, pound the table, etc. -- all, of course, only on behalf of deserving others and/or the general good.

Oh, I almost forgot -- love the "these" in "these attempts to reframe the dialogue." No, Ethan -- they're your attempts.

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I'm yawning already.

And Etan, I see nothing in your comments to indicate to me that you have any real frame of reference for the deep roots and backstories of big band musics outside of records and "stage bands".

As for the race thing, there's always been a Gordon Goodwin and there's always been white high school kids. Take your own advice and Do The Math, If you think that lobbing an emo bomb into the Buddy Rich Cult is going to reverse the polarity of that equation,...good luck on that one.

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Larry, "these" in "these attempts" refers to "Baraka, Crouch, Early Wynton (or Ken Burns JAZZ), Nicholas Payton" etc.

I do have fun dropping the occasional bomb on DTM. Writing is an exercise in power, and I'm pleased when something has an effect. Even the reaction here means I touched a nerve. Of course, this is how I play music too.

I just realized that I now perhaps have an obligation to stay in this forum? If so, apologies, I'm gonna vanish. Continue without me. I can conceivably be reached on Twitter if need be.

I admire Organissimo as the best jazz forum, and have occasionally learned how to temper my writing on DTM from Organissimo's tough criticism. However I think there needs to be no more back and forth from me and Organissimo about Buddy etc. I will stand by my post and follow-up just above. Carry on!

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