Milestones

Branford slams Miles

211 posts in this topic

 

13 minutes ago, Mark Stryker said:

Anyway, here's Branford's latest record. Listen (or not). Comment (or not).

Hey, it's almost like 1978!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

2 minutes ago, JSngry said:

 

Hey, it's almost like 1978!

 

Thanks for this. I don't know the record. BTW -- Bobby Battle is a Detroiter. He makes a cameo in my book as part of a hilarious anecdote that sheds some light on the racial politics of the late '60s.

Edited by Mark Stryker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I too have kept out of these (plural) debates regarding the Marsalis family. I do have opinions, but don't see the point of entering the turmoil taking place.

I am only posting to say that I found Mark Stryker's most recent comments to make a great deal of sense in more ways than one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll give Branford full credit for developing his craft.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I just looked at Amazon to see what the cost is on "Warriors" and find that it's $10 for a CD, $20 for an LP but only $2.67 for an MP3 download -- just three long tracks at 89 cents each. Don't they usually charge more for longer tracks to keep some kind of parity on pricing? 

Edited by Mark Stryker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Mark Stryker said:

I just looked at Amazon to see what the cost is on "Warriors" and find that it's $10 for a CD, $20 for an LP but only $2.67 for an MP3 download -- just three long tracks at 89 cents each. Don't they usually charge more for longer tracks to keep some kind of parity on pricing? 

They often won't even sell a track that is 10 minutes or longer.

52 minutes ago, Kevin Bresnahan said:

You are dramatically mixing up your Kenny G's.

Or making a great funny.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mark, your points are valid, but I do have a question. If I’m pro-Marsalis, but haven’t heard the newer material, why would it change my mind? It’s not like it’s going to change the music I already like from them. 

???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, Scott Dolan said:

Mark, your points are valid, but I do have a question. If I’m pro-Marsalis, but haven’t heard the newer material, why would it change my mind? It’s not like it’s going to change the music I already like from them. 

???

Because "changing your mind" has two different meanings. In one sense, it means to flip one's opinion from pro to con (or vice verse) but in an even more important sense it means to "enlarge your understanding." THAT is the whole point of, well, everything, including art. It's not about winning an argument; it's about elevating your consciousness. You elevate yours; I elevate mine; those folks over there elevate theirs and, well, pretty soon we might have a chance at fixing the messes all around us. Failing that, we might live more fulfilling lives. Nothing wrong with that.

Besides, if you're going to mattresses over a particular musician -- even if you are fighting for him rather than against him --  then it's your duty to listen to the fucking music -- a truly representative sample, and that means sometime current. The only way these debates push the boulder forward is if everybody is arguing from the most informed point of view that they can. Also, for those of us staying on the sidelines, it makes for better and more instructive theater. 

Pass the popcorn, please ...  

Edited by Mark Stryker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Marsalis’ are the gift that keeps on giving (at least on this board). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A-251849-1479789593-5722.jpeg.jpg

Why did this man hate jazz so much?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, Brad said:

The Marsalis’ are the gift that keeps on giving (at least on this board). 

cat·a·lyst
/ˈkad(ə)ləst/
noun
 
  1. a substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without itself undergoing any permanent chemical change.
    • a person or thing that precipitates an event.
      "the governor's speech acted as a catalyst for debate"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, felser said:
cat·a·lyst
/ˈkad(ə)ləst/
noun
 
  1. a substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without itself undergoing any permanent chemical change.
    • a person or thing that precipitates an event.
      "the governor's speech acted as a catalyst for debate"

More like catnip. 

IMG_0932.JPG

Edited by Brad

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Scott Dolan said:

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. 

Apologies for the cross-talk this deep into a conversation that I seem to have missed most of, but I felt compelled to touch on this-

Dispensing for one moment the impact that Wynton or Branford had as ideologues, if we're going into the role of investors in the supplanting of one genre for or by another, then it's important to recognize the fact that profit-maximizing entities are often neither equipped nor inclined to make artistic value judgments. As you make clear here, financial decisions on the part of people like promoters and record companies usually track market appeal as opposed to perceived artistic value.

Where I find issue with this general line of argumentation is that there are a variety of factors--social, artistic, contextual, etc.--that determine something like market appeal.

Real case in point (related to me anecdotally, fwiw): Nirvana would sometimes play to empty rooms after the release of Bleach. The album didn't even chart until it was re-released after Nevermind. That early post-punk aesthetic had its moments of lucidity before the grunge explosion but was noisy, harsh, and often alienating; the music ascended to something like mainstream appeal by virtue of its synergy with a generation of disaffected youth looking for something reflecting itself. You can't honestly believe that music preoccupied with tuneless screaming and squalls of feedback--they're still there, very late into the band's existence--has something in its basic makeup that makes it more accessible than the pop/hair metal that preceded it. Yes, Nirvana is marketable--but it's marketable for 1991, defined and elevated by its context.

Another example: Kendrick's Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly was the third best selling hip-hop album of 2015. If you follow contemporary hip-hop, this isn't an insignificant statistic--it beat out a lot of diehard mainstream fare, and it did so saturated with uninflected passages of jazz, atonal horn scribbles, extended (a-metric) spoken word episodes, and a lot of might elsewhere be described as alternative or avant-garde production. Why? Probably it was championed by press, examined social issues with candor and relevance, and crossed over into an urbane mainstream audience. 

Keep in mind I'm not arguing that something like Babi Music has equivalent market value to something like Black Codes--I'm only saying that to make these sweeping statements about the inherent economic value of one or the other presupposes that artistic content is more economically relevant than market considerations. To say that you (I mean the universal "you" here, of course) can define these considerations for all time is dangerously devoid of nuance. 

And what determined market value in the mid-1980's? I (literally) have a degree tracking improvised music inside of 20th century sociopolitical context and I wouldn't presume to know with any certitude. What is plain is that guys like Wynton and Crouch were making dismissive comments toward "progressive" strains of music emanating out of the mid-60's onward. The Marsalis brothers were making music that traded in then-contemporary trends in technical achievement wrapped inside of traditionalist aesthetics. The Marsalis brothers sold records. Sure, what happened to avant-garde practitioners in the wake of the young lion movement was not a hit job masterminded by the Marsalis brothers, but I honestly cannot understand how you can hold them separate from a broader machine designed to elevate traditionalist aesthetics at the expense, by comparison, of things like free jazz and fusion. Wouldn't these things work in consort? 

In terms of speaking more constructively to the topic at hand, I'll hazard this: people in the wake of the preeminence of the young lion movement did avoid certain genres because Wynton told them to, but the effect was convoluted. I can speak speculatively and only from experience as someone who was in institutional "jazz school" in the early 2000s, but the deep-set tension between the technocratic, often Marsalis/post-Coltrane/post-2nd Quintet-informed mechanics of this era's jazz pedagogy and freer choices in expression may have fostered a rubber-band effect in community aesthetics that led to the effective destabilization of traditionalist hegemony. Whatever your take on the Marsalises, their vice-grip on the music ended--as it always does--when something younger and less forbidding provided an alternative option. The irony in this case (vis-a-vis this longwinded thing about economics and aesthetics) is that the thing that may have supplanted retrogressive traditionalism is at least literate in the kind of abstraction that the young lion movement more or less displaced. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

20 hours ago, ep1str0phy said:

And what determined market value in the mid-1980's? I (literally) have a degree tracking improvised music inside of 20th century sociopolitical context and I wouldn't presume to know with any certitude. What is plain is that guys like Wynton and Crouch were making dismissive comments toward "progressive" strains of music emanating out of the mid-60's onward. The Marsalis brothers were making music that traded in then-contemporary trends in technical achievement wrapped inside of traditionalist aesthetics. The Marsalis brothers sold records. Sure, what happened to avant-garde practitioners in the wake of the young lion movement was not a hit job masterminded by the Marsalis brothers, but I honestly cannot understand how you can hold them separate from a broader machine designed to elevate traditionalist aesthetics at the expense, by comparison, of things like free jazz and fusion. Wouldn't these things work in consort? 

One thing absent from most discussions about the Marsalis clan is that, had they all been abducted by aliens on December 31, 1979, someone else would have assumed their place in the 1980s.  What happened with Wynton and jazz is very much reflective of what was going on in the US with regards to cinema, fashion, pop music, architecture, politics, and probably other spheres that I'm not thinking about.  In the wake of Vietnam and Watergate, it was as if the entire US experienced a self-imposed mass delusion that it was the 1950s again, America was prosperous, and everything was going to be OK.  Electing a mummified 1950s Dad for president was just one manifestation of this mentality.  The Marsalises were as much a symptom as they were a cause.  But I believe the same things would have happened, more or less, with or without them.   There were plenty of other well-dressed young men playing more conservative forms of "jazz."

Edited by Teasing the Korean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

24 minutes ago, Teasing the Korean said:

One thing absent from most discussions about the M clan is that, had they all been abducted by aliens on December 31, 1979, someone else would have assumed their place in the 1980s.  What happened with Wynton and jazz is very much reflective of what was going on in the US with regards to cinema, fashion, pop music, architecture, politics, and probably other spheres that I'm not thinking about.  In the wake of Vietnam and Watergate, it was as if the entire US experienced a self-imposed mass delusion that it was the 1950s again, America was prosperous, and everything was going to be OK.  Electing a mummified 1950s Dad for president was just one manifestation of this mentality.  The Marsalises were as much as symptom as they were a cause.  But I believe the same things would have happened, more or less, with or without them.   There were plenty of other well-dressed young men playing more conservative forms of "jazz."

America more prosperous in the early 80s?  Hell no.  Between inflation, the gas shortage crisis and a wave of union vs management conflicts, Cold War malaise, and other issues, America was not prosperous.   The affluence came around 1986-87, as Reaganomics kicked in.  And Reaganomics was a shit poor concept.

 

Edited by Stefan Wood

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Stefan Wood said:

America more prosperous in the early 80s?  Hell no.  Between inflation, the gas shortage crisis and a wave of union vs management conflicts, Cold War malaise, and other issues, America was not prosperous. 

I guess you missed the "self-imposed mass delusion" part of my post. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There needs to be a sarcasm font.  Yes I missed it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Stefan Wood said:

There needs to be a sarcasm font.  Yes I missed it.

All is well. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I haven't got any records of Marsalis' firm, but I've got dozens of John Zorn's one. Said that I found this thread quiete interesting.

Edited by porcy62

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To circle back to the original post, Branford Marsalis’s comment re Miles was dumb as f—-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

If anyone avoided the avant garde because Wynton told them to (of which no evidence exists), then that person didn’t possess the intellect understand that kind of music to begin with. 

And as TTK alluded, if the Marsalis brothers never existed, folks like Pete Brotzmann, Evan Parker, and Roscoe Mitchell would be no more popular, working for major labels, or be more famous than they are now. 

Name one avant garde genre that gained and sustained ANY level of mainstream appeal. Music, tv, movies, any artistic medium. 

Edited by Scott Dolan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Stefan Wood said:

America more prosperous in the early 80s?  Hell no.  Between inflation, the gas shortage crisis and a wave of union vs management conflicts, Cold War malaise, and other issues, America was not prosperous.   The affluence came around 1986-87, as Reaganomics kicked in.  And Reaganomics was a shit poor concept.

 

True there, supply-side economics presupposes some good-will human tendencies that do not exist.  It's a great theory, but does not work in practice.  You get the "miracle" of the jobless recovery, and you get the increased disparity between the 1% and the rest of us.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

David Lynch had a good run, and any number of prior "avant-gardisms" in all the arts have eventually permeated mass consciousness. The fact that Branford's making records in 2018 that sound like 1978 shows that evolution happens anyway. Resistance is futile. Best you can do is buy time to catch up. Worst you can do is create a false narrative and an alternative history to excuse your own laggardness.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, Phillip Glass is fucking everywhere today, if not him directly, then all that bullshit that came off of him.

No, Phillip Glass is not having hit records, but his musical ideas are in movies, commercials, tv, every fucking where.

23 hours ago, David Ayers said:

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

I understand that they also experimented with Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong at one point!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, JSngry said:

I understand that they also experimented with Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong at one point!

And that fraud Miles Davis, which surely didn't work out too well for anyone involved (if only the Marsali had been around to warn them).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.