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Teasing the Korean

Jazz Police, University Jazz Program Nightmare Stories

36 posts in this topic

1 hour ago, sgcim said:

 To be a GP devotee, and not like the SU is beyond stupid.

Well, not necessarily, they on more than one occasion did not rise above some of their more irritating accompaniment.

But lord, give them somebody like Robert Farnon and it was sublime beyond description. And acapella...dismiss that at your own peril.

Point just being, though, that somebody who id hateful about something that is meaningful to you can sour you on something that they find meaningful, and that's understandable in the short term, but...that's just not a way to live. Gotta evolve past that.

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4 hours ago, JSngry said:

Well, not necessarily, they on more than one occasion did not rise above some of their more irritating accompaniment.

But lord, give them somebody like Robert Farnon and it was sublime beyond description. And acapella...dismiss that at your own peril.

Point just being, though, that somebody who id hateful about something that is meaningful to you can sour you on something that they find meaningful, and that's understandable in the short term, but...that's just not a way to live. Gotta evolve past that.

To tell you the truth, I never listen to anything other than the a Capella records, because that was the medium that GP's taste and imagination was not hindered by any outside forces, other than the three other members, who couldn't have been more perfect for his writing. In GP's last interview, he had nothing good to say about anything going on in the music biz.

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The early 1980s was an interesting time for jazz.

Jazz was fading from the popular consciousness, but it still had a shred of cultural relevance. Many jazz legends were still living, recording, and touring. Two successful Broadway shows were built around the songs of Fats Waller and Duke Ellington. Miles Davis, for better or worse, had made a highly publicized comeback. Wynton M., for better or worse, was getting mainstream press. A cowboy in Wyoming or a farmer in Iowa could tune into "The Tonight Show" any night of the week and hear a few bars of Ed Shaughnessy or Conte Candoli. 

Within university jazz programs, it was also an interesting time for jazz. Students were naive enough to dream out loud of moving to New York and getting a record deal. And many faculty would have been old enough to have rubbed shoulders with jazz luminaries. And some of these faculty seemed bitter that they had not "made it" - despite the fact that they had landed coveted, cushy university gigs.

Among the latter was the professor I will refer to as the Name Dropper.

"Did I know ____? I lived with him for a year! I taught him 'Here's That Rainy Day!'"

"I split a gig with ______. I played Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday; He played Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. He became famous; I ended up teaching here!"

Upon flubbing a chord while attempting to demonstrate something with Tadd Dameron's "Lady Bird:" "What is that change?...Of course! Tadd would KILL me if he heard that!"

When a student pointed out a similarity between Bill Evans and early McCoy Tyner: "We were all influenced by Bill."

And my favorite:

"When John Coltrane played with Miles Davis, he couldn't stand Red Garland's piano playing. This was not widely known: Only a select few of us who were close to the quintet knew this."

Maybe this was the Name Dropper's way of demonstrating to his students a lineage to the masters. But to me, it came off as sad and pathetic. And the line about "I ended up teaching here" was a real blow. My parents were paying big money for me to learn something, not to listen to the Name Dropper's jive-ass bullshit. 

Edited by Teasing the Korean

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2 hours ago, Teasing the Korean said:

The early 1980s was an interesting time for jazz.

Jazz was fading from the popular consciousness, but it still had a shred of cultural relevance. Many jazz legends were still living, recording, and touring. Two successful Broadway shows were built around the songs of Fats Waller and Duke Ellington. Miles Davis, for better or worse, had made a highly publicized comeback. Wynton M., for better or worse, was getting mainstream press. A cowboy in Wyoming or a farmer in Iowa could tune into "The Tonight Show" any night of the week and hear a few bars of Ed Shaughnessy or Conte Candoli. 

Within university jazz programs, it was also an interesting time for jazz. Students were naive enough to dream out loud of moving to New York and getting a record deal. And many faculty would have been old enough to have rubbed shoulders with jazz luminaries. And some of these faculty seemed bitter that they had not "made it" - despite the fact that they had landed coveted, cushy university gigs.

Among the latter was the professor I will refer to as the Name Dropper.

"Did I know ____? I lived with him for a year! I taught him 'Here's That Rainy Day!'"

"I split a gig with ______. I played Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday; He played Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. He became famous; I ended up teaching here!"

Upon flubbing a chord while attempting to demonstrate something with Tadd Dameron's "Lady Bird:" "What is that change?...Of course! Tadd would KILL me if he heard that!"

When a student pointed out a similarity between Bill Evans and early McCoy Tyner: "We were all influenced by Bill."

And my favorite:

"When John Coltrane played with Miles Davis, he couldn't stand Red Garland's piano playing. This was not widely known: Only a select few of us who were close to the quintet knew this."

Maybe this was the Name Dropper's way of demonstrating to his students a lineage to the masters. But to me, it came off as sad and pathetic. And the line about "I ended up teaching here" was a real blow. My parents were paying big money for me to learn something, not to listen to the Name Dropper's jive-ass bullshit. 

:)

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HEY, MUSICIANS!

Do you want to know the secret to a swing feel?

I learned this during my expensive freshman year. 

I could charge you for this, but in the interest of promoting jazz, I am offering this FREE OF CHARGE!

Here's what you do:

Get a metronome, and set it to subdivide the quarter notes into triplets. Then, instead of playing straight eighth notes, play your lines with eighth notes alternately landing on the first and third beat of each triplet! Set your metronome accordingly, and practice your scales this way!

Ascending: C- d-E- f-G- a-B- c-D- e-F- g-A- b-C.

And voila! You are SWINGING!

This means that the notes you play on the beats last twice as long, and are thus twice as important, as the notes landing between the beats, but hey, we are not all created equal.

Now, as have I, many of you may have probably transcribed solos by your favorite jazz artists, and you may have gotten the idea that a swing feel is actually much more complex than this: eighth notes with a triplet feel, eighth notes with a straight feel, eighth notes landing somewhere between the two, accented notes, unaccented notes, the push and pull between playing on top of the beat and behind the beat. 

A reasonable hypothesis, but you would be wrong. 

Just practice your scales with the quarter notes subdivided into triplets, and under no circumstances deviate from this formula. Soon, you will be swinging like the pros! 

A valuable lesson I learned from my university jazz program, prestented here as a public service.

Yours in swing,

TTK

 

 

Edited by Teasing the Korean

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I returned to college after living in Germany for awhile. I had been playing trio and quartet "piano-less" groups.

So when I was required to be in a small group in pursuit of my degrees I organized a quartet of me (trombone), soprano sax, bass and drums. I got immediate pushback at the organizational powwow from the prof in charge who told me that there were a lot of pianists needing to play.

I defended the instrumentation of my group by pointing out historical precedence. Gerry Mulligan's small groups as well as the fantastic but underrecorded Lacy/Rudd quartet (School Days being their only documented recording....until decades later anyway)

Kudos to the prof who accepted my argument, and my group was "accepted"

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Musicians, tell me why young people go into the conservatory jazz studies today? The BMus graduates play impeccable solos they memorized from  your textbooks. Hard bop is hot; there's plenty of it one can take in live every weekend, at least where I live, but it doesn't excite, unless a casual listener. Where are they going to be when they are 10 years older? I imagine there's no money in it for most, and by then they've got to realize they are not very unique as players.

Edited by Dmitry

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On 30.5.2020 at 7:02 AM, Teasing the Korean said:

The early 1980s was an interesting time for jazz.

Jazz was fading from the popular consciousness, but it still had a shred of cultural relevance. Many jazz legends were still living, recording, and touring. Two successful Broadway shows were built around the songs of Fats Waller and Duke Ellington. Miles Davis, for better or worse, had made a highly publicized comeback. Wynton M., for better or worse, was getting mainstream press. A cowboy in Wyoming or a farmer in Iowa could tune into "The Tonight Show" any night of the week and hear a few bars of Ed Shaughnessy or Conte Candoli. 

Within university jazz programs, it was also an interesting time for jazz. Students were naive enough to dream out loud of moving to New York and getting a record deal. And many faculty would have been old enough to have rubbed shoulders with jazz luminaries. And some of these faculty seemed bitter that they had not "made it" - despite the fact that they had landed coveted, cushy university gigs.

Among the latter was the professor I will refer to as the Name Dropper.

"Did I know ____? I lived with him for a year! I taught him 'Here's That Rainy Day!'"

"I split a gig with ______. I played Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday; He played Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. He became famous; I ended up teaching here!"

Upon flubbing a chord while attempting to demonstrate something with Tadd Dameron's "Lady Bird:" "What is that change?...Of course! Tadd would KILL me if he heard that!"

When a student pointed out a similarity between Bill Evans and early McCoy Tyner: "We were all influenced by Bill."

And my favorite:

"When John Coltrane played with Miles Davis, he couldn't stand Red Garland's piano playing. This was not widely known: Only a select few of us who were close to the quintet knew this."

Maybe this was the Name Dropper's way of demonstrating to his students a lineage to the masters. But to me, it came off as sad and pathetic. And the line about "I ended up teaching here" was a real blow. My parents were paying big money for me to learn something, not to listen to the Name Dropper's jive-ass bullshit. 

Great Story ! An yes, the early 80´s still had a lot of jazz, but there was less cultural relevance than let´s say in the late 70´s. In around 1978 we still had Weekly jazz in austrian TV, later in the night. Imagine, I first saw Joe Henderson on TV, hadn´t heard About him before. And from that on I became a big fan of his Music....

Yes, the Story Tellers who didn´t make it. 

During the early 80´s we had a former bass Player in Vienna, who went to the Clubs and begged for Money for a beer. He once was a gifted Player, but at that time I think he didn´t even own a bass fiddle.

He told us, he played with all of them, and he will be on tour with "Weather Uptdate" featuring Joe Zawinul, The Brecker Brothers, Steve Kahn, Peter Erskine and he himself on bass, and will leave for a tour in South America next week, and oh by the way, can you give me 20 Shillings for a beer and for the cab ? 

I don´t write his Name, but ask any austrian guy of my Generation who went to jazz Clubs, and he will remember that guy….

Edited by Gheorghe

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In the early 1980s Joe Henderson did at least one gig in a school hall in a small Southern German town. I saw the advertising blurb - extremely low key and not much admission charge. Effectively a school concert.

Sort of like a Joe H. version of ‘Palo Alto’ I guess.

Edited by sidewinder

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8 hours ago, sidewinder said:

In the early 1980s Joe Henderson did at least one gig in a school hall in a small Southern German town. I saw the advertising blurb - extremely low key and not much admission charge. Effectively a school concert.

Sort of like a Joe H. version of ‘Palo Alto’ I guess.

Great ! And great that Joe Henderson dit it. Really sound´s like another Palo Alto Story. 

Now it´s clear that it might have happened very seldom that such a big star would Play in a School hall, but I remember at least some occasions in the late 70´s Maybe into the early 80´s where local jazz musicians could Play in School halls. Others were Schools for adults, in Austria they are "Volkshochschule" and that´s also a place were I saw a jazz concert with austrian jazz great Fritz Pauer (p)….

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Nearly fell off my chair when I saw the advert for it in their school mag ! It was definitely in a school hall and though intended for the kids the gig was open to the wider local community. Maybe Joe had friends locally who set it up as an add-on to one of his German tours?

Ticket cost - would have been about 5 or 6 DM.

Sadly, the gig had been and gone a week or two by the time I saw it. I don’t think Joe Henderson had done any gigs in the UK for some time either, which made it even more incredible at the time.

I even started wondering if it was a different Joe Henderson involved. Maybe Joe ‘Piano’ Henderson of Ronnie Scott’s fame..:D

Edited by sidewinder

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