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HutchFan

Playing Favorites: Reflections on Jazz in the 1970s

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Will it be 366 different artist's albums or will artists be repeated?  One Elvin Jones album or a dozen?  First half of the 70's was a magical time for jazz where it seemed like anything was possible. 

 

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Oops typo - I didn't start listening to jazz in earnest til '73/4, and

At what point do we consider  "style" over the actual musics? "Styles" are very much imposed categorizations and have the notion of a "golden" or "classic" age hardwired into them (and not without good reason). But music continues to evolve, whether we evolve along with it or not. There is no one "classic era" of music, just moments in time where the people who make musics are in a more fuller sync with the people who receive them than others.  - JSangry - what he said!

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On 12/7/2019 at 2:31 PM, felser said:

Will it be 366 different artist's albums or will artists be repeated?  One Elvin Jones album or a dozen?  

There's just one Elvin Jones album. That's one of the reasons I've titled the blog "Playing Favorites." I had to choose just one album per leader.  This approach also demonstrates the breadth and diversity of music in the decade.  366 days. 366 different choices.

But that proved to be really, really difficult -- so I gave myself a little cheat. I decided that I would allow myself the option of also choosing a second CO-LEADER record.  So, for example, I chose one John Abercrombie record as a leader.  But then I also chose another LP that Abercrombie co-led with Dave Holland & Jack DeJohnette.  But, even with this "loophole," the most that any artist appears on the list (as a leader or co-leader) is twice.

There are no limitations on sideman appearances.

That make sense?

 

On 12/7/2019 at 2:31 PM, felser said:

First half of the 70's was a magical time for jazz where it seemed like anything was possible. 

I think the second half of the decade was just as fertile and interesting as the first.  Just my take, of course. :) 

 

Edited by HutchFan

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14 hours ago, HutchFan said:

There's just one Elvin Jones album. That's one of the reasons I've titled the blog "Playing Favorites." I had to choose just one album per leader.  This approach also demonstrates the breadth and diversity of music in the decade.  366 days. 366 different choices.

But that proved to be really, really difficult -- so I gave myself a little cheat. I decided that I would allow myself the option of also choosing a second CO-LEADER record.  So, for example, I chose one John Abercrombie record as a leader.  But then I also chose another LP that Abercrombie co-led with Dave Holland & Jack DeJohnette.  But, even with this "loophole," the most that any artist appears on the list (as a leader or co-leader) is twice.

There are no limitations on sideman appearances.

That make sense?

 

I think the second half of the decade was just as fertile and interesting as the first.  Just my take, of course. :) 

 

Makes sense to me.  Hoping/expecting that the Abercrombie titles are 'Timeless' and 'Gateway'.   You will be able to make your argument for the second half of the decade in your 366 selections!  I certainly agree it's a more fertile and interesting era than what came next, though those very young men on the major labels in the 80's sure wore nice suits and hats.

 

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41 minutes ago, felser said:

You will be able to make your argument for the second half of the decade in your 366 selections!  I certainly agree it's a more fertile and interesting era than what came next, though those very young men on the major labels in the 80's sure wore nice suits and hats.

Some number crunching from my list, related to our discussions about the first and second halves of the decade.  Of my 366 choices:
- 156 are from 1970 to 1974 
- 210 are from 1975 to 1979 

Another interesting tidbit.  The single year with the highest representation is 1978, with 63 choices.  (No other year is even close to that.  The next highest is 39.) 

I don't think anyone has ever made an argument that 1978 was a "banner year" for jazz.  But I suppose I am -- even if I had no intention of doing so.  It just turned out that way.

... Anyhow. More grist for the mill.

 

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5 minutes ago, HutchFan said:

Some number crunching from my list, related to our discussions about the first and second halves of the decade.  Of my 366 choices:
- 156 are from 1970 to 1974 
- 210 are from 1975 to 1979 

Another interesting tidbit.  The single year with the highest representation is 1978, with 63 choices.  (No other year is even close to that.  The next highest is 39.) 

I don't think anyone has ever made an argument that 1978 was a "banner year" for jazz.  But I suppose I am -- even if I had no intention of doing so.  It just turned out that way.

... Anyhow. More grist for the mill.

 

What year did you get into jazz?  For me, it was 1972, which likely informs my thoughts to some degree.  But there was a lot of amazing stuff going on in jazz in 1972.

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Which jazz giants emerged in the seventies?( I mean people comparable in individual achievement and influence on subsequent musicians as Armstrong, Ellington, Basie, Hawkins, Lester, Parker, Gillespie, Powell, Monk, Miles, Rollins, Evans, Coltrane and Ornette - all of whom emerged before the seventies.)

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34 minutes ago, felser said:

What year did you get into jazz?  For me, it was 1972, which likely informs my thoughts to some degree.  But there was a lot of amazing stuff going on in jazz in 1972.

I didn't start listening to jazz until the mid-1980s -- at the end of my high school years and into college. And, like a lot of people at that time, I focused primarily on jazz from the 50s and 60s. Miles (up through the Second Great Quintet), Coltrane, Mingus, Monk, Blakey. 

My explorations of 1970s jazz are entirely retrospective, well after the fact.  No different than my discoveries of Eddie Condon and Pee Wee Russell and Bud Freeman.  Or Duke Ellington, for that matter.  My interest in the decade doesn't have anything to do with my age or my first encounters with jazz.  (In 1970, I was only two years old. No personal experience "baggage" -- for better or worse -- with me.)

The only thing that I've had to "overcome" was the 1980s and 90s party-line that jazz in the 1970s was crap. ;) 

Edited by HutchFan

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28 minutes ago, felser said:

What year did you get into jazz?  For me, it was 1972, which likely informs my thoughts to some degree.  But there was a lot of amazing stuff going on in jazz in 1972.

1954.

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12 minutes ago, BillF said:

Which jazz giants emerged in the seventies?( I mean people comparable in individual achievement and influence on subsequent musicians as Armstrong, Ellington, Basie, Hawkins, Lester, Parker, Gillespie, Powell, Monk, Miles, Rollins, Evans, Coltrane and Ornette - all of whom emerged before the seventies.)

May not be to your tastes, but movements like Strata-East records, artists like Woody Shaw, Charles Tolliver, Lloyd McNeill, and Billy Harper, the full flowering of artists like McCoy Tyner and like the Clifford Jordan/Cedar Walton group, the breakthroughs of groups like Return to Forever and The Mahavishnu Orchestra.   I get much more from Tyner, Shaw, Tolliver, McNeill and Harper than I do from all of the artists you named except Coltrane.   I respect them all, and like/enjoy most of them, but my heart and soul are more in the artists I named (and in a lot of 60's/early 70;s Blue Note, etc.).  Just me, I'm not trying to argue relative objective value (certainly no one from the 70's is as "important" as Duke Ellington or Charlie Parker), and I'm entitled to my subjective responses.  I know the ones you named came first.  For that matter, artists like, say, King Oliver or whoever came before them.  It's all good, and we can be thankful for all of it.

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26 minutes ago, BillF said:

Which jazz giants emerged in the seventies?( I mean people comparable in individual achievement and influence on subsequent musicians as Armstrong, Ellington, Basie, Hawkins, Lester, Parker, Gillespie, Powell, Monk, Miles, Rollins, Evans, Coltrane and Ornette - all of whom emerged before the seventies.)

Billy Harper, Woody Shaw, and probably Charles Tolliver too.

Stanley Cowell too if you want to consider some of Tolliver’s Music Inc dates as co-leader dates - which is not entirely true, but not entirely wrong either!

Anthony Braxton surely. Who else am I missing?

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1 hour ago, BillF said:

Which jazz giants emerged in the seventies?( I mean people comparable in individual achievement and influence on subsequent musicians as Armstrong, Ellington, Basie, Hawkins, Lester, Parker, Gillespie, Powell, Monk, Miles, Rollins, Evans, Coltrane and Ornette - all of whom emerged before the seventies.)

Bill,

I'm not a fan of the IDEA of "Giants" in a post-Coltrane jazz world.  By the 1970s, jazz had become so many different things that it was no longer useful or possible to think of single artists who dominate an entire scene -- because there wasn't "a scene"; there were (and are!) many, many, many different scenes.  The river of jazz has entered the delta -- and the "single channel" jazz idea no longer exists.  There are byways and backwaters and lakes and swamps and it all flows out into the ocean.  It's a lot more confusing, and the water moves in all sorts of seemingly contradictory directions.  That's why no single person can exert the level of influence of the people you mentioned.  There is too much musical diversity and non-linearity.

At least that's how I like to think about it. 

Aside from all of that philosophical stuff, I think that there are MANY interesting artists who emerged in the 1970s.  They may not exert the broader cultural influences that some of those "Giants" did, but I would assert that they were (and are!) significant artists who have made wonderful music.  And, most importantly, their music means a great deal to me, personally. 

Rather than list them all here, you'll need to look at my blog -- beginning on January 1st. :)

 

Edited by HutchFan

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54 minutes ago, Rooster_Ties said:

Anthony Braxton surely. Who else am I missing?

Henry Threadgill & Julius Hemphill, for two.

If you look at "emerged" as a combination of fully finding a voice and then developing an identity in the marketplace, McCoy Tyner.

Dewey Redman.

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Love him or hate him - Keith Jarrett.

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Keith is great. I love the long solos he recorded in the mid 70s, and his solo on "My Secret Love" on Art Blakey's "Buttercorn Lady" album is amazing.

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Never mind individual "giants" (or if you have to look at that, look at how many of them re-emerged in the 70s, a whole big buttload. iirc), consider how many new and lasting evolutions of the vocabulary (aka "styles") emerged.

And not for nothing was the 70s the first post-Segregation decade of the music.

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51 minutes ago, JSngry said:

If you look at "emerged" as a combination of fully finding a voice and then developing an identity in the marketplace, McCoy Tyner.

I think you could make a similar argument for Mal Waldron, Abdullah Ibrahim, and Martial Solal, three pianists whose artistry "flowered" in the Seventies.  It's when each of them came into their own, began producing their best work in a fully-formed, singular voice.

Looking at saxophonists, the same might be said of Steve Lacy and (pre-A&M) Gato Barbieri.  

 

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Hell, Steve Lacy was a case of perpetual emergence!

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3 minutes ago, HutchFan said:

I think you could make a similar argument for Mal Waldron, Abdullah Ibrahim, and Martial Solal, three pianists whose artistry "flowered" in the Seventies.  It's when each of them came into their own, began producing their best work in a fully-formed, singular voice.

Looking at saxophonists, the same might be said of Steve Lacy and (pre-A&M) Gato Barbieri.  

 

Flying Dutchman Gato Barbieri was a MONSTER, especially that live album from Montreux!

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I actually like Gato's A&M stuff. It had a good bedroom quotient in its time.

Then again, I'm a boomer, so maybe these kids today don't like it like that, what with all their condoms and shit.

Different, uh....strokes?

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7 minutes ago, felser said:

Flying Dutchman Gato Barbieri was a MONSTER, especially that live album from Montreux!

I loved the "Phoenix" LP on FD back in HS. He could really build his solos up to a.... uh, climax on some of those two chord Latin vamps. "Falsa Bahiana" was my fave tune. 

We went to hear him play live, and Stanley Clarke was on bass. We got a kick out of his Argentinian cowboy hat, and how he kept sticking his first finger up, and waving it around in a circle.He was like a creature from another planet to us HS kids. 

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21 minutes ago, HutchFan said:

I think you could make a similar argument for Mal Waldron, Abdullah Ibrahim, and Martial Solal, three pianists whose artistry "flowered" in the Seventies.  It's when each of them came into their own, began producing their best work in a fully-formed, singular voice.

Looking at saxophonists, the same might be said of Steve Lacy and (pre-A&M) Gato Barbieri.  

 

Jimmy Rowles ....

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13 minutes ago, soulpope said:

Jimmy Rowles ....

Yup. :tup

And, similarly, Roland Hanna.

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40 minutes ago, JSngry said:

I actually like Gato's A&M stuff.

Me too. I like 'Caliente' a lot.  It's a superior example of that sort of thing.  And 'Ruby, Ruby' is good.

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Thanks! I was rather ashamed to have seen only four (Ellington, Basie, Gillespie, Evans) from my giants list. Now I can add another five (Shaw, Tolliver, Harper, Tyner, Cowell), making a far more respectable "seen" list.

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