Milestones

Branford slams Miles

211 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

6 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Well, Miles and Gil, but oh well about that!

Miles ALWAYS had people working for him and with him, Bird, Trane, Wayne, Marcus Miller, hey, but in the end, it was his music, and they all contributed to it.

In the business world, people who do this this well for that long are revered. In jazz, they have suspicion cast upon them (cf  Ellington, Mingus, etc.).

Who's creating this narrative, and who do we have to send off into what kind of exile to make it stop once and for all?

PS - also consider that it was in the post-On The Corner "electric jungle" music that seems to have been the music that Miles was most fully involved in creating from the ground up. Teo made the records, but Miles made the music. But that's the music that all the Reactionary Good Boys find it easiest to dismiss. Tehy don't get it becuase, I think, they CAN'T get it.

I don't disagree with any of this -- I think "band leading" is among the least understood and most mysterious of all things in jazz. It's an art, and Miles was as great at it as anyone ever has been.

Edited by Mark Stryker

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someone posted this on reddit- quote:

He recently tanked the jazz program at Juliard and forced Ron Carter and Ray Drummond to quit after they both had been there for years. Within a short time of taking over he sent an email out telling everyone that bass players could no longer use amps in big band or combo, and within 24 hours both bass professors resigned. Fuck Wynton and his backward ideas on Music.

“Wynton Marsalis is jazzy in the same sense that a sports car is jazzy” - Bob Brookmeyer

“If Wynton Marsalis were to die today he wouldn’t have contributed a single note to the jazz tradition” - Bob Brookmeyer

 

 

 

close quote

 

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1 hour ago, JSngry said:

That's some stupid shit for Down Beat to be printing. Leonard Feather must have been sent back to Earth by Satan.

I think that Leonard and Satan either had a deep contractual arrangement or were related by marriage - I think that I read that somewhere.

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I have several LPs by Wynton and Branford - never pull them out to play. I went to four or five concerts featuring Wynton and/or Branford and was profoundly bored at all but one which featured the J Mood band at Rockefellers in Houston (that one was pretty fun) - when I was bored, I thought that there must be something wrong with me, that I was not hip to some missing nuance. But I have been to scores of live music events and I seemed to "get" those, so maybe I wasn't the problem.

It bothers me that Wynton and Branford used their influence to deride what was really happening as "not Jazz" because it "didn't swing" by their definition. I think that kept some insecure listeners and critics from listening to the artists that "aren't jazz" which was a loss. I cannot prove that Muhal, Horace Tapscott, Roscoe Mitchell, Joseph Jarman, Henry Threadgill, Steve Lacy, Wadada, William Parker, Sun Ra, Ornette, Dewey Redman.... would have had broader popular appeal, but I do believe that if more folks with influence were saying "stick with these guys - it's really worth the effort", more people may have tried and, for a few, it would have clicked. By the way, every one of the artists in the previous sentence could swing their and the listeners asses off. 

I know in the realm of visual art, I have tried harder to understand artists because people with a deeper understanding have encouraged me to stick with it.

Just my opinion.

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12 minutes ago, charlesp said:

I cannot prove that Muhal, Horace Tapscott, Roscoe Mitchell, Joseph Jarman, Henry Threadgill, Steve Lacy, Wadada, William Parker, Sun Ra, Ornette, Dewey Redman.... would have had broader popular appeal, but I do believe that if more folks with influence were saying "stick with these guys - it's really worth the effort", more people may have tried and, for a few, it would have clicked.

Yep - that's a roadblock right there. Nobody would expect all that many people to sell that many more records. But just in terms of cock-blocking the flow of possible interaction with an audience - any audience - past extreme "in-group" buzz, and all the money that follows (not much, ever, but still, it's what there is to get) from that flow...it was not in the interest of advancing music, it was in the service of one rigid, narrow, and in some cases, vendetta-laden (cf Albert Murray) vision attempting to vanquish all others.

Today's audiences show the ultimate futility of that attempt, but it didn't fail until a lot of money got gobbled up, and the jazz business has not been the same since.

Do the math - if only 1% of people who get exposed to new musics (really new musics, not new versions of familiar musics) are going to take to it (and 1% is optimistic), what's a better outcome towards achieving a chance at a sustainable endeavor , to have 100 people exposed to it, or 10? Extrapolate that out over several decades, even just one decade.

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OK WYNTONS NOT IMPORTANT RIGHT NOW MY FRIEND JUST GUESS WHO HE JUST MET DOWNTOWN WHO IS IN TOWN TONIGHT GUESS WHO HE SAID WAS SUPER FRIENDLY THAT HE JUST MET DOWNTOWN:   KENNY G 

GUYS IM GETTING MY FRIEND TO ASK IF KENNY WANT TO COME OVER TO LISTEN TO FREDDIE HUBBARD-MISTRAL AND EDDIE HARRIS BOOTLEGS, THIS IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW, JUST LIKE THAT.  ONE SECOND IM THINKING ABOUT WHAT FLAVOR POTATO CHIPS TO OPEN, AND NOW THIS

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6 hours ago, Scott Dolan said:

Yep, that’s what being a complete asshole gets you. At least I’m aware enough to recognize it in myself. I’m assuming at your age it’s a lost cause. 

Dude, where is this hostility coming from? And what's with this straw man fallacy about the marketability of experimental music? As far as I can tell, no one is directly claiming that the only credible distinction between the Marsalises and their contemporaries in free jazz is a matter of marketing.

6 hours ago, JSngry said:

Scott, how old were you in, say, 1984? How many gigs were you trying to book? How many records were you trying to sell? How many deals were you trying to make? What kind of records were you buying? What was on your radio?

Tell us what was going on in Dolan World in 1984 (more or less) that gives you credibility on this matter.

As per normal, Jim cut to the meat of what I was trying to get at in only a handful of sentences. (And keep in mind that Scott, I really don't intend to persecute you, personally, for your point of view-) To suggest that the Marsalis brothers were more successful because their music was more accessible--and that the notion that their success impeded in some fashion the careers of other musicians is an agenda'd myth and/or sour grapes--is simplistic. A musician's career can be affected in ways that don't just have to do with record sales. It can be affected in the way of job offers, level of compensation, public visibility, perception of risk, institutional opportunity (thanks for the post on the Pulitzer, Larry), and so on.

Look at this through the lens of something I'd assume many of us are far less passionate about--would you disagree with the notion that the onset of grunge music and the mainstreaming of indie rock in the early 1990's altered the market for heavily produced, high-gloss hair metal that prevailed in the 1980's? Would you then argue that Nirvana was more marketable in a fundamental sense than, say, Def Leppard?  

Would you argue anything other than that the onset of gangsta rap in the late 1980's/1990's altered the trajectory of mainstream hip-hop, opening up commercial avenues for some and limiting opportunities for those who did not fit the mold? Do you think that someone like Vanilla Ice would have gotten anywhere near as popular post-Biggie/Tupac rivalry, and would you argue that Vanilla Ice's intrinsic market appeal is inferior to, say, NWA's? What about A Tribe Called Quest vs. NWA?

The point of this is not to shift the field goals of this conversation--it's to illustrate a point. This is 7pm on VH1-type stuff--i.e., really straightforward, hard to argue--and people in other genres of music don't seem to be as preoccupied with grinding each others' gears over these crisis points in the music as we are. Shit happened, we acknowledge the complexity of the reality, and we move on. 

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7 hours ago, chewy-chew-chew-bean-benitez said:

 Valery Ponomarev- if he didnt leave the messengers when he did, maybe this whole thing wouldn't of happened

There it is, another Russian plot to destroy us all!

Image result for valery ponomarev 1970's

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12 hours ago, chewy-chew-chew-bean-benitez said:

someone posted this on reddit- quote:

He recently tanked the jazz program at Juliard and forced Ron Carter and Ray Drummond to quit after they both had been there for years. Within a short time of taking over he sent an email out telling everyone that bass players could no longer use amps in big band or combo, and within 24 hours both bass professors resigned. Fuck Wynton and his backward ideas on Music.

“Wynton Marsalis is jazzy in the same sense that a sports car is jazzy” - Bob Brookmeyer

“If Wynton Marsalis were to die today he wouldn’t have contributed a single note to the jazz tradition” - Bob Brookmeyer

 

 

 

close quote

 

Any citation for the Marsalis/Carter/Drummond story?

 

 

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Posted (edited)

8 hours ago, ep1str0phy said:

Dude, where is this hostility coming from? And what's with this straw man fallacy about the marketability of experimental music? As far as I can tell, no one is directly claiming that the only credible distinction between the Marsalises and their contemporaries in free jazz is a matter of marketing.

As per normal, Jim cut to the meat of what I was trying to get at in only a handful of sentences. (And keep in mind that Scott, I really don't intend to persecute you, personally, for your point of view-) To suggest that the Marsalis brothers were more successful because their music was more accessible--and that the notion that their success impeded in some fashion the careers of other musicians is an agenda'd myth and/or sour grapes--is simplistic. A musician's career can be affected in ways that don't just have to do with record sales. It can be affected in the way of job offers, level of compensation, public visibility, perception of risk, institutional opportunity (thanks for the post on the Pulitzer, Larry), and so on.

Look at this through the lens of something I'd assume many of us are far less passionate about--would you disagree with the notion that the onset of grunge music and the mainstreaming of indie rock in the early 1990's altered the market for heavily produced, high-gloss hair metal that prevailed in the 1980's? Would you then argue that Nirvana was more marketable in a fundamental sense than, say, Def Leppard?  

Would you argue anything other than that the onset of gangsta rap in the late 1980's/1990's altered the trajectory of mainstream hip-hop, opening up commercial avenues for some and limiting opportunities for those who did not fit the mold? Do you think that someone like Vanilla Ice would have gotten anywhere near as popular post-Biggie/Tupac rivalry, and would you argue that Vanilla Ice's intrinsic market appeal is inferior to, say, NWA's? What about A Tribe Called Quest vs. NWA?

The point of this is not to shift the field goals of this conversation--it's to illustrate a point. This is 7pm on VH1-type stuff--i.e., really straightforward, hard to argue--and people in other genres of music don't seem to be as preoccupied with grinding each others' gears over these crisis points in the music as we are. Shit happened, we acknowledge the complexity of the reality, and we move on. 

But the point being missed here is that while trends in music come and go, every genre you mentioned there is catchy and accessible. Now, if 80’s Heavy Metal (the now renamed “Hair Metal”) had been knocked out of the top 40 charts by something like Progressive Death Metal, well then you’d have a viable comparison. 

Rap was exciting, new, and easily digestible. So was Grunge. So in essence, you’re continuing to make my point for me. Was Nirvana more marketable than Def Leppard? Absolutely. Grunge killed Hair Metal. 

Job offers, compensation, and everything else you mentioned is commensurate to ROI. You are only going to get what your benefactor deems worthy based on market appeal. I really have no idea, honestly, why that is somehow a radical or controversial opinion. Other than the fact that it tears down the “Marsalis killed all that is good and right” narrative. 

Investors (record companies, managers, venue owners, etc.) want to maximize profits. The “young lions” keep fat cats fat. European Free Improvisation and Free Jazz leaves you eating rats. If Wynton and Branford never spoke or wrote a word, that fact would still remain. People didn’t avoid those genres because Wynton told them to. That’s just silly. 

Edited by Scott Dolan

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Posted (edited)

It's always interesting when a thread of mine become huge; that doesn't happen too often.

As usual, some insults have been tossed around, always the case when the Marsalis boys come up.  I was interested in some of the marketing/business talk.  I recall reading that Columbia was first trying to go with Arthur Blythe as the next big thing, but they shifted soon enough to the younger guy with more straight-laced notions of jazz.  I don't directly recall there being a big push on Blythe, which occurred shortly before I discovered jazz.  I remember getting some of his used records cheap, and even nowadays his Columbia records are not that easy to find.  But I'll take Blythe (on any label) over anyone in the Marsalis clan any day of the week.   I think we can agree (most of us, at least) that Blythe was more adventurous than the Marsalis brothers.   

I did find some appeal in the early work of of BM and WM, but I think much of came from their tendency to work with major figures like Herbie, Ron, Tony, Sonny, Joe Henderson.  But I guess they didn't learn anything from those guys.

Edited by Milestones

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The fact that so many of you keep lumping Branford and Wynton together proves that you’ve heard little, if any, of either of them. Wynton writes and play very straight ahead, while Branford’s quartet are more akin to 60’s Free Jazz. 

Educate thyselves, folks. 

 

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17 hours ago, ep1str0phy said:

A short list of some of the other US based jazz-adjacent people writing visible art music inside of that ten year window: Roscoe Mitchell, Henry Threadgill, Muhal Richard Abrams, Anthony Davis, Wadada Leo Smith, Steve Coleman, Herbie Hancock, Jon Jang, Carla Bley, Wayne Shorter, Amina Claudine Myers, Vinny Golia, Anthony Braxton, Oliver Lake, Jack DeJohnette, Alice Coltrane, etc. etc.

I'm taking a very specific case and using it as a basis for a broader line of argumentation, but lest this seem disingenuous, I'm talking about America's premier prize in music--an honor that is intertwined with this nation's legacy of art music and institutionalized composition. Do you really mean to tell me that Wynton's histrionic, widely-publicized traditionalism had nothing to do with Blood on the Fields's Pulitzer? That Wynton's peddling of his very specific and exclusionist jazz narrative had no effect on his victory in the same arena that guys like Braxton live and sleep in?

Maybe this has been said elsewhere, but Crouch had been pushing the music of Arthur Blythe, David Murray, Oliver Lake, and possibly Henry Threadgill (can't recall) until he decided to head 'uptown' and get in with the Marsalises. I think that the music of these players in the post-Loft era could really have gotten over in a more interesting way than the Young Lions did, a la Sonic Youth signing to Geffen. That's my perspective, anyway -- what could have been.

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23 minutes ago, Scott Dolan said:

The fact that so many of you keep lumping Branford and Wynton together proves that you’ve heard little, if any, of either of them. Wynton writes and play very straight ahead, while Branford’s quartet are more akin to 60’s Free Jazz. 

Educate thyselves, folks. 

 

I'm quite familiar with the music of both Wynton and Branford. Your characterization of Wynton's music is accurate as far as it goes -- I would say in a straightjacket rather than "straight ahead" :) -- but while Branford's music is freer/looser in style than Wynton's, by contrast with a whole lot of other jazz artists of recent times, Branford seems to me to be very concerned with coloring between the lines, even if he draws the lines in different places than Wynton does. His comments on Miles not following the musical "rules" as Branford understands them are an example of this, no? I'll add that Branford might be right about Miles's relation to the beat on the piece he cites in that DB interview, but in the context of Miles' relation to the music of that group and Miles' relation to the music in general -- give me a break.

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9 minutes ago, clifford_thornton said:

Maybe this has been said elsewhere, but Crouch had been pushing the music of Arthur Blythe, David Murray, Oliver Lake, and possibly Henry Threadgill (can't recall) until he decided to head 'uptown' and get in with the Marsalises. I think that the music of these players in the post-Loft era could really have gotten over in a more interesting way than the Young Lions did, a la Sonic Youth signing to Geffen. That's my perspective, anyway -- what could have been.

But had they not been raking money in due to groups like Whitesnake and Guns ‘N Roses, they would have never started the DGC sub label that Sonic Youth signed to. And Sonic Youth never sold anywhere near the number of albums that the high profile groups did. 

It’s mainstream vs underground. And both come by those names honestly. And while mainstream popularity fades and changes usually every decade, the underground will never attain mainstream popularity. 

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I've heard more than enough of both of them to know that they don't matter to me except as a damned nuisance every damned time they open their damned mouths.

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2 minutes ago, Larry Kart said:

I'm quite familiar with the music of both Wynton and Branford. Your characterization of Wynton's music is accurate as far as it goes -- I would say in straightjacket rather than "straight ahead" :) -- but while Branford's music is freer/looser in style than Wynton's, by contrast with a whole lot of other jazz artists of recent times, Branford seems to me to be very concerned with coloring between the lines, even if he draws the lines in different places than Wynton does. His comments on Miles not following the musical "rules" as Branford understands them are an example of this, no? I'll add that Branford might be right about Miles's relation to the beat on the piece he cites in that DB interview, but in the context of Miles' relation to the music of that group and Miles' relation to the music in general -- give me a break.

Do you like Kenny Garrett? I find no real differences between he and Branford. 

At the end of the day, I just think people let what the Marsalis boys say color their perception way too much. Then again, I could listen to Wynton, Branford, and Ingrid Laubrock in one sitting and enjoy all of it. I’m not going to listen to Wynton and think, “now THIS is how Jazz is supposed to be played!” Nor will I listen to Ingrid and think, “THIS isn’t real Jazz!”, because I don’t let a couple of loudmouths dictate my reality or how I perceive the music I’m listening to. 

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I wish Bradford and Winten had been a recurring bit on Key & Peele, replete with their musics. That shit writes itself.

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Let’s not forget that Columbia also had a go with James Blood Ulmer. 

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, JSngry said:

I've heard more than enough of both of them to know that they don't matter to me except as a damned nuisance every damned time they open their damned mouths.

Regardless of whether the Marsalises are the last word on anything to anybody (or should be at all) - seeing your posts that hammer it home again and again and again that they don't and don't and DON'T matter to you (so why stress it? The point has been made often enough, hasn't it?) , aren't you beginning to give in a bit too much to "sour grapes" and "XXX should be where they are"'? ^_^

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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I think almost every big label “had a go” with a more avant garde artist at one point or another. And they quickly found out they weren’t going to make very much money from them. Damn those Marsalis boys! 

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3 minutes ago, Big Beat Steve said:

Regardless of whether the Marsalises are the last word on anything to anybody (or should be at all) - seeing your posts that hammer it home again and again and again that they don't and don't and DON'T matter to you (so why stress it? The point has been made often enough, hasn't it?) , aren't you beginning to give in a bit too much to "sour grapes" and "XXX should be where they are"'? ^_^

Exactly. They mean nothing to him, but he gives them complete control over his emotions. 

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