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Mark Stryker

Ira Gitler, R.I.P.

83 posts in this topic

After all, he's just a man.

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On 3/1/2019 at 0:11 AM, Michael Weiss said:

I'm forever grateful for all the ink Ira gave me over the years, and a couple of concerts he produced to boot. Ira, yet another icon of the NY jazz scene to leave us - one of those who make living here special. 

You deserve it! Keep swingin' that thing!

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On 2.3.2019 at 1:07 AM, Guy Berger said:

Also, let's be honest about relative importance: Gitler was an interesting asterisk in the history of this music.  He was a very articulate "super fan" and sort-of-critic.  He wasn't one of the "creators".

True, the musicians were the creators. But among the scribes and historians who documented and presented post-1945 jazz he was second to none IMHO in spreading background knowledge of the music to fans and serious listeners who came after him and he certainly was above a fair number of "analyzers" who probably considered themselves far more enlightened and "deep". I know there are quite a few who figure on the spines of books in my music library where I'd rather choose Ira Gitler if I had to.

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41 minutes ago, Big Beat Steve said:

True, the musicians were the creators. But among the scribes and historians who documented and presented post-1945 jazz he was second to none IMHO in spreading background knowledge of the music to fans and serious listeners who came after him and he certainly was above a fair number of "analyzers" who probably considered themselves far more enlightened and "deep". I know there are quite a few who figure on the spines of books in my music library where I'd rather choose Ira Gitler if I had to.

:tup:tup:tup

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Doin' things that you don't understand.

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On 3/2/2019 at 7:07 PM, Guy Berger said:

I don't think this thread is in any way out of the norm for this board; I have seen some far more negative. 

Also, let's be honest about relative importance: Gitler was an interesting asterisk in the history of this music.  He was a very articulate "super fan" and sort-of-critic.  He wasn't one of the "creators".

That’s the sad part; it’s not outside of the norm. Wonder what his family would think. 

No, he wasn't a creator; he was a critic, an observer and they have their place, too.   

2 hours ago, Big Beat Steve said:

True, the musicians were the creators. But among the scribes and historians who documented and presented post-1945 jazz he was second to none IMHO in spreading background knowledge of the music to fans and serious listeners who came after him and he certainly was above a fair number of "analyzers" who probably considered themselves far more enlightened and "deep". I know there are quite a few who figure on the spines of books in my music library where I'd rather choose Ira Gitler if I had to.

Well said :tup

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Brad said:

That’s the sad part; it’s not outside of the norm. Wonder what his family would think. 

No, he wasn't a creator; he was a critic, an observer and they have their place, too.   

 

As far as the nature of the comments here, Gitler was a critic, and therefore trafficked in opinions, including negative opinions.  What would Ornette Coleman's family think of reading his writing?  What would Wynton Marsalis's family think if they spent time in this forum?    As far as tolerance of "newer" styles, I remember Philip Larkin writing about the 1964 Miles Davis "Four and More" album, with the Coleman/Hancock/Carter/Williams quartet doing classic material, as if it were sacrilege.   I don't particular disagree with some of the negative comments about Sun Ra, Braxton, Ayler, etc. written here, though I do tend to listen to Sun Ra and Ayler, sort of for the same reason you stare at a car wreck.  They ARE interesting, and do add value to my experience.  And I'll glady listen to any solo piano album (and most other albums) from Cecil Taylor from any point in his career (and even moreso with Muhal Richard Abrams), and really like much/most of what the AEC has done through the years (thanks Chuck).   I have to admit that almost everything by Braxton is lost on me (for whatever reason. I do like the "In The Tradition" sets OK).  But I know he brings much to other listeners.  And some guys like Noah Howard do a ton for me.  Gitler had his preferences.  He was interesting and trustworthy on what he knew and liked.  Not so much on things outside that realm.  Not at all unusual or unexpected.   For instance,  I can't tell "good" gansta rap from "bad" gangsta rap at all, but will debate 60's garage rock or 70's Strata-East down to the last jot and tittle.

Edited by felser

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Posted (edited)

On 3/3/2019 at 1:11 PM, Brad said:

That’s the sad part; it’s not outside of the norm. Wonder what his family would think. 

My recommendation to any family of any public figure, even a relatively obscure one like Ira Gitler: for the love of God, don’t search the internet for opinions about your deceased!!

re: Gitler, as a guy who often expressed strong opinions about the work of others, my guess (or hope) is he could take it as well as he could dish it out, especially if expressed as mildly and politely as on this thread.

Edited by Guy Berger

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