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chewy-chew-chew-bean-benitez

according to wikipedia, in jazz education, theres a word: "Contrafact"

43 posts in this topic

it kind of was like sampling, but instead of bird being all what kind of beat can i lift, he was all what changes should the song be put on- it really is all connected!

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1 hour ago, chewy-chew-chew-bean-benitez said:

it kind of was like sampling, but instead of bird being all what kind of beat can i lift, he was all what changes should the song be put on- it really is all connected!

Stop it Chewy, you'll NEVER gig a jazz-ed gig thinking like that!

You can, however, make a jam that can get used by TCM. I'm takin' that MadTed money!

 

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GA Russell, I'm with ya!  I recall Herb Ellis turning to a very young bassist and asking "You know The Flintstones ?" Getting a "No", he said "Rhythm changes" and off they went.

Edited by Ted O'Reilly
clarity

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I first heard the word contrafact in announcements by musicians during the past couple of years.

As a word I don't like it, as it gives no indication as to its meaning. It sounds like some kind of denial.

I agree that it's a symptom of the classicizing/adademizing of jazz nowadays.

Nice to know, though, that so many are still using those time-honored changes.

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I first heard the term maybe 10 years ago, but I've been familiar with the concept for a good 20-25 years (probably first heard about it back in my Jazz 101 music history course in college, but probably just references to Rhythm Changes).

Not a particular fan of the term itself either. I was close to 40 before  I'd ever heard the term, and it's certainly not used in common jazz parlance far as I'm aware.

Don't "hate" the term, but it doesn't add anything but unnecessary confusion without explanation, even to those already aware of the concept.

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Big Beat Steve made a reference to this earlier in the chain, but I'd like to make more aware of Steve Wallace's deep investigation from almost 4 years back.  He covered it with inside knowledge (as a great bassist) and fine writing skills.  It's lengthy, but deserves the investment of time.

https://wallacebass.com/contra-contrafact/

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Yeah. 

I'm not a master musician like Jim, but I think most people are like me and have a whole book of contrafacts (sp?) they just made up to have something to play. 

I think if you look at most classic jazz musicians, you're going to find that most of their original tunes are in some way based on some other well-known pattern everybody knows.

I guess you could call something like "Countdown" a contrafact, but that's the extreme.

Even just any given eight-bar blues is sort of a copy of another one.  Trouble in Mind?  Sure, sort of like Key to the Highway.  Same thing, really. 

IMHO.

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Might be time to let it go.

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27 minutes ago, Chuck Nessa said:

Might be time to let it go.

Why?

I like the tune "Idle Moments," so bad-a-bing, I make up a new tune based on that.

Or, I want to do rhythm changes in five over four and call it "Five."  

I think it's a good topic.

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yeah, I was with him until he came up with his alternative.

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59 minutes ago, JSngry said:

yeah, I was with him until he came up with his alternative.

You know, I mostly like his argument. And his alternative isn't half bad either. I don't love it, but I like better than contrafact.

"Scrapple" almost sounds too colloquial, but I'm not sure I'd necessarily think that if this new term were already in place, and well in use. Call me half-sold, maybe.

Nice treatise overall, by in large.

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We don't need a word for this. We already know what it is without a word. Our time would be better spent finding things we don't already know.

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16 hours ago, JSngry said:

yeah, I was with him until he came up with his alternative.

 

15 hours ago, JSngry said:

We don't need a word for this. We already know what it is without a word. Our time would be better spent finding things we don't already know.

Umm, I think (know) that Steve has a great sense of humour, and his 'scrapple' suggestion is his whimsical way of saying just what you say: "We already know what it is without a word."  But if you're gonna use one anyway (in the academic world), you could at least use a word with some Jazz sensibility.

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Yeah, about the blog — I don't know the author nor his playing, but IMHO it's a little confused.

It's a good manifesto, and the author can shuck words as good as anybody, but I do agree that the term//concept is pretty loose.

Like, "Parisian Thoroughfare" — sure, just Rhythm in F with a weird bridge.  A few Bud tunes did the same thing on Rhythm, but I'm not remembering.  Or "Eternal Triangle," a little more straightforward, but same idea.

I have no problem with the word "contrafact" (even if I can never remember how to spell it), but I agree with the above that it's just a "thing."  It doesn't really need a name, but since one is handy, might as well use it.

As an aside, I find it amusing that while everybody knows "Donna Lee" and "Perdido," it seems that it's really the organ players who go back to the originals, "Indiana" and "Candy," respectively.

Don't know why that is, but just tradition, I guess.

ETA and yeah, I don't see the difference between calling it "scrapple" or "gumbo" or whatever — I just don't like adding more technical terms for something everybody already knows.  I'll stick with the "dry, academic" term, mostly because it's already there and everybody knows it.

Edited by j lee

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