Larry Kart

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114 posts in this topic

And yet time seems to compress. That's why I like to keep my lies straight and my truths even straighter. One day I'm going to wake up dead and somebody's gonna have to clean up that mess. Paying it forward, as the people like to call it.

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3 hours ago, The Magnificent Goldberg said:

Another typo and I've lost my goddamn post!

OK, for the third try...

What I THOUGHT I'd typed was  "Larry's first post and subsequent points are all about people rewriting history."

Sometimes my cursor goes into different places without me noticing, because, even after almost 40 years, I STILL don't know where the letters are and have to watch the keyboard.

MG

That's fair enough. But I can't see any particular reason to stick to Larry's train of thought - as defining principle for this thread. I read that bit Larry quoted from Gopnick and was offended by it.

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On March 18, 2018 at 1:14 AM, Larry Kart said:

In his 3/12 New Yorker piece about Andrew Lloyd Webber’s memoir and his  musicals, Adam Gopnik writes: “At a deeper level, Lloyd Webber’s memoir exposes a central fault in the history of popular music, In the late fifties, not only was the ‘My Fair Lady’ cast album the biggest seller of its time but s[pinoff jazz albums with musicians playing ‘My Far Lady’ material were huge sellers, too.”

From the syntax, it is unclear if Gopnik was paraphrasing something written by Webber.  Not that I would ever ask anyone to suffer through a memoir of Andrew Lloyd Webber. 

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I don't see why it's a point of contention to be offended by "rewriting history". The only people who get to play at that are the living, and they don't do it to actually change things that happened, good luck on that, but to change the way the present appears to be heading into the future. And until further notice, that's someplace I will be, so...yeah, better look out for them liars, preachers, popular personalities, and other con-men in general.

 

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23 minutes ago, JSngry said:

I don't see why it's a point of contention to be offended by "rewriting history". The only people who get to play at that are the living, and they don't do it to actually change things that happened, good luck on that, but to change the way the present appears to be heading into the future. And until further notice, that's someplace I will be, so...yeah, better look out for them liars, preachers, popular personalities, and other con-men in general.

 

I'm offended when people try to write what I believe out of History. It's like people trying to say what I've invested chunks of my life in is garbage. 

Often it's a provocation - designed to draw an "outraged" response.

Edited by Simon Weil

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7 hours ago, Simon Weil said:

I'm offended when people try to write what I believe out of History. It's like people trying to say what I've invested chunks of my life in is garbage. 

Often it's a provocation - designed to draw an "outraged" response.

Ah, so you understand where Steve and I are coming from :)

MG

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4 hours ago, The Magnificent Goldberg said:

Ah, so you understand where Steve and I are coming from :)

MG

The point is where one can end up. It can destroy a group.

 

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Expanding known history with facts and truths and rewriting it through willful omissions, lies, and in this guy's case, apparent ignorance seducing itself into a perceived "knowledge" are not even close to being the same thing.

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20 hours ago, The Magnificent Goldberg said:

Steve's wrong about the black public at large not giving a hoot about Parker. He's VERY well respected in that part of society; almost all soul jazz musicians included bebop tunes at gigs and on albums and it's clear the audience knew what was going on. But Parker was not LOVED by the black public the way Gene Ammons and Arthur Prysock were.

Sorry if I oversimplified matters. What I meant to say is that most of the black audience that had been the DANCING audience of swing bands a couple of years earlier did not care for the bebop bands as bands to DANCE to and turned to jump blues bands instead (I am talking - roughly - about the 1945-50 bands here). Even many of those who wrote jazz history from a "modern jazz only" angle acknowledged that all in all "jazz" lost its dancing audience with the arrival of bebop. A statement likely explained by the fact that they did not see fit to include many of those musicians who DID cater to the dancing audience into the history of jazz anymore (at least not those in the R&B field).

 

 

20 hours ago, JSngry said:

You can dance to damn near anything if it's what you want to dance to.

 

Well, yes ...

 

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You guys who feel cheated by "history as written" would be well served to resuscitate the liner notes written by Joe Goldberg (and to a lesser extent Stanley Dance) liner notes for various "Soul Jazz" records from the late 50s/Early 1960s. Goldberg presents as well aware of the audience/milieu for this type music, as well as its general exclusion from the landscape of it from the general "jazz discourse" of the time.

But again - telling people what they don't know is one thing, saying something that is flat out ignorant, is something else entirely. It's the difference between saying something like Gene Ammons was more popular than Cecil Taylor (very true, and needs to not be overlooked at all) vs. saying that Gene Ammons had more of an influence on how "jazz" globally evolved in than did Cecil Taylor (at best, wishful thinking).

And talk about wishful thinking - the Gene Ammons popular legacy does in fact exist most overtly in the quiet storm/smooth jazz that we all have little to no use for (and usually find to be not "jazz" at all). And the Cecil Taylor musical influence is still reverberating in the musics of people the world over that a lot of "jazz fans" don't think of a "real jazz". So, all you "real jazz" fans take note - you're in love with a snapshot in time. Reality has taken that moment and gone all kinds of different ways with it. Wishing otherwise won't make it so. I'd like to think that enjoying an occasional George Howard record AND an occasional, say, Evan Parker record should be something that shouldn't be too difficult for anybody who's aware of and appreciates the way things have gone and continue to go.

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54 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Expanding known history with facts and truths and rewriting it through willful omissions, lies, and in this guy's case, apparent ignorance seducing itself into a perceived "knowledge" are not even close to being the same thing.

I don't think anybody seriously interested in history would object to expanding history through truly new facts and findings in order to gain new insights (which means that sometimes history does need to be rewritten). But willful omissions and/or apparent ignorance combined with self-perceived expert knowledge are much harder to separate. Do we know if omissions or "errors" come about through ignorance or through carelessness or if they are part of an "agenda" of rewriting history? Omissions and misrepresentations can falsify history enormously the way it is presented to those who read about it. And if these errors and omissions and misrepresentations are repeated often enough the risk that they will be taken as gospel is very real (including for the reason that all too many who write about history tend to refer to other secondhand sources - that may already be skewed - instead of going back again to FIRST-hand sources).

I've witnessed this problem in another field of special interest where I think I have a fair deal of knowledge of the history. All too often it happens that scribes who set out to write about history just aren't well-versed enough in that particular field and YET write about it. Which results in the inevitable array of errors and omissions (that cause more errors and skewed narratives) and outright incorrect statements. Probably these scribes not really qualified for the task (from a historian's/researcher's angle) keep writing on the premise that "I KNOW how to write - others who may know the history better just don't know how to write so what I write because I know how to write must be correct because it has been written by me", and they defend their position in these publications with claws and teeth, even if their errors are pointed out over and over again. This is one area where I feel they have an agenda - defending their status as "expert" writers on the subject matter in general and therefore defending their livelihood. Still far from good enough IMO. Obviously you cannot include all the facts if you cover a given topic (particularly in the field of history) within specific limits of text length. But whatever you do write - 1) "get your facts right", and 2) "if you cannot include all the facts, present those that you do include in such a manner that the overall picture is correct and balanced". And this is where many, many self-professed "expert" writers fall short. Sometimes on purpose, it seems, because they consider themselves above having to really research and ask the true experts. And this can be galling to those readers who DO know.
 

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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This is why we call bullshit. It's an obligation.

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28 minutes ago, JSngry said:

This is why we call bullshit. It's an obligation.

Agreed. But it gets get wearisome after a while. 

Edited by Mark Stryker

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And perhaps more wearisome to keep running into bullshit to call. Especially the same bullshit. But that's the way of the world.

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1 hour ago, Big Beat Steve said:

Sorry if I oversimplified matters. What I meant to say is that most of the black audience that had been the DANCING audience of swing bands a couple of years earlier did not care for the bebop bands as bands to DANCE to and turned to jump blues bands instead (I am talking - roughly - about the 1945-50 bands here). Even many of those who wrote jazz history from a "modern jazz only" angle acknowledged that all in all "jazz" lost its dancing audience with the arrival of bebop. A statement likely explained by the fact that they did not see fit to include many of those musicians who DID cater to the dancing audience into the history of jazz anymore (at least not those in the R&B field).

 

 

 

Well, yes ...

 

Steve: what about Machito?

Charlie Parker and Machito not for dancing?

Charlie Parker & strings out on a tour of ballrooms not for dancing?

Yes bebop WAS for dancing, but stopped being for dancing and I've never understood why.

MG

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1 hour ago, Big Beat Steve said:

I don't think anybody seriously interested in history would object to expanding history through truly new facts and findings in order to gain new insights (which means that sometimes history does need to be rewritten). But willful omissions and/or apparent ignorance combined with self-perceived expert knowledge are much harder to separate. Do we know if omissions or "errors" come about through ignorance or through carelessness or if they are part of an "agenda" of rewriting history? Omissions and misrepresentations can falsify history enormously the way it is presented to those who read about it. And if these errors and omissions and misrepresentations are repeated often enough the risk that they will be taken as gospel is very real (including for the reason that all too many who write about history tend to refer to other secondhand sources - that may already be skewed - instead of going back again to FIRST-hand sources).

I've witnessed this problem in another field of special interest where I think I have a fair deal of knowledge of the history. All too often it happens that scribes who set out to write about history just aren't well-versed enough in that particular field and YET write about it. Which results in the inevitable array of errors and omissions (that cause more errors and skewed narratives) and outright incorrect statements. Probably these scribes not really qualified for the task (from a historian's/researcher's angle) keep writing on the premise that "I KNOW how to write - others who may know the history better just don't know how to write so what I write because I know how to write must be correct because it has been written by me", and they defend their position in these publications with claws and teeth, even if their errors are pointed out over and over again. This is one area where I feel they have an agenda - defending their status as "expert" writers on the subject matter in general and therefore defending their livelihood. Still far from good enough IMO. Obviously you cannot include all the facts if you cover a given topic (particularly in the field of history) within specific limits of text length. But whatever you do write - 1) "get your facts right", and 2) "if you cannot include all the facts, present those that you do include in such a manner that the overall picture is correct and balanced". And this is where many, many self-professed "expert" writers fall short. Sometimes on purpose, it seems, because they consider themselves above having to really research and ask the true experts. And this can be galling to those readers who DO know.
 

Thinking of Gopnik again (sorry about that), to me much of this comes back to or down to the basic character of the writer -- as I said earlier, "Who are you?", "Where are you?." "What are you up to?" If the answers to those three questions are good ones/what they should be, ninety percent of the rest probably will take care of itself because such people would be fully motivated to do whatever needs to be done to get things right. If the answers of others to those questions  are squishy or worse, then they'll cut corners, go off on self-serving tangents, puff up their partial knowledge into displays of faux omniscience, etc. The ten percent that writers of good character might miss? The ten percent. or whatever percentage, that is seemingly lost or more or less hidden in the recesses of time or in odd corners and calls for an indefatigable historical-minded scholar-detective with very good judgment like the late Larry Gushee (see his book on the Creole Jazz Band) to uncover and sort out. Very few people like that.

 

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From the syntax, it is unclear if Gopnik was paraphrasing something written by Webber.  Not that I would ever ask anyone to suffer through a memoir of Andrew Lloyd Webber. 

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1 hour ago, Teasing the Korean said:

From the syntax, it is unclear if Gopnik was paraphrasing something written by Webber.  Not that I would ever ask anyone to suffer through a memoir of Andrew Lloyd Webber. 

It was Gopnik himself, dipping into his "I have deep thoughts" bag.

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1 hour ago, Larry Kart said:

It was Gopnik himself, dipping into his "I have deep thoughts" bag.

OK.  Understood.

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On 3/22/2018 at 6:00 AM, JSngry said:

You guys who feel cheated by "history as written" would be well served to resuscitate the liner notes written by Joe Goldberg (and to a lesser extent Stanley Dance) liner notes for various "Soul Jazz" records from the late 50s/Early 1960s. Goldberg presents as well aware of the audience/milieu for this type music, as well as its general exclusion from the landscape of it from the general "jazz discourse" of the time.

But again - telling people what they don't know is one thing, saying something that is flat out ignorant, is something else entirely. It's the difference between saying something like Gene Ammons was more popular than Cecil Taylor (very true, and needs to not be overlooked at all) vs. saying that Gene Ammons had more of an influence on how "jazz" globally evolved in than did Cecil Taylor (at best, wishful thinking).

And talk about wishful thinking - the Gene Ammons popular legacy does in fact exist most overtly in the quiet storm/smooth jazz that we all have little to no use for (and usually find to be not "jazz" at all). And the Cecil Taylor musical influence is still reverberating in the musics of people the world over that a lot of "jazz fans" don't think of a "real jazz". So, all you "real jazz" fans take note - you're in love with a snapshot in time. Reality has taken that moment and gone all kinds of different ways with it. Wishing otherwise won't make it so. I'd like to think that enjoying an occasional George Howard record AND an occasional, say, Evan Parker record should be something that shouldn't be too difficult for anybody who's aware of and appreciates the way things have gone and continue to go.

Oh, hell yeah...

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Threads like this are why I come here, even if I don't have much to contribute.  Does make me wonder how much of what we take as good history is actually bullshit.

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Larry, if it's not too late, I DO know a guy who is a fact checker for the New Yorker. Would be happy to forward your original observations on this thread.

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1 hour ago, AllenLowe said:

Larry, if it's not too late, I DO know a guy who is a fact checker for the New Yorker. Would be happy to forward your original observations on this thread.

I dunno. Yes, I brought it up, but I'm kind of sick of this whole subject now, especially after a friend of mine going back to high school days told me yesterday that my negative view of Gopnik was "utterly ridiculous." Didn't change my mind when he said that, but it sure was disturbing/depressing.

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oh yeah, Man Of La Mancha, although, jeez, that impossible dream song, if that's not justifiable homicide, then nothing is. not even Maynard Ferguson could make it tolerable.

 

but dude, he rocks born free, takes a lion to know a lion

 

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This thread is ridiculous. You mistranscribe Gopnik at least twice, despite lectures on fact-checking. You don’t actually challenge his central point about the “fault line” (not “fault” as you currently have it) in popular music history, as between the dominance of show tunes pre-1964 and the switch of pop with the Beatles etc. away from that.  So Sinatra just maybe a bit involved in musical theatre and film and Beatles maybe a bit less so. All said by the author in passing only in order to say that ALW came in to musicals at a point when they were less than dominant. 

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