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Gheorghe

V.S.O.P. Quintet-Historical importance

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I love all the stuff they did. 

I mean , during that time I was a teenager or in the early twens and sure, Freddie, Wayne, Herbie, Ron and Tony were my favourites and I had as much albums from them as possible. 

In 76,77 I was still at high-school and those who dug jazz like me, always talked about it and who had the record "Tempest at the Colosseum" sure would have visitors to listen to it together. 

Now I wonder if that all-star band shouldn´t be considered as being as important as let´s say was "Massey Hall", I mean 5 leaders of an era all together in a band. VSOP II still was very very fine, but since the Marsalis Brothers were very young men (and of course fantastic players then, but not as unique as Hubbard and Shorter), the real stellar band remains the original VSOP. 

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Definitely an excellent still underappreciated band ....

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8 hours ago, Gheorghe said:

Now I wonder if that all-star band shouldn´t be considered as being as important as let´s say was "Massey Hall", I mean 5 leaders of an era all together in a band. VSOP II still was very very fine, but since the Marsalis Brothers were very young men (and of course fantastic players then, but not as unique as Hubbard and Shorter), the real stellar band remains the original VSOP. 

I would not put the V.S.O.P. Quintet in the same category as the Massey Hall group, if only because -- unlike Bird, Diz, et al -- the music that V.S.O.P. was making was self-consciously retrospective.

I don't mean to imply that backwards-looking music isn't or can't be important or excellent or even "Great."  I also don't mean to imply that V.S.O.P.'s music can't be equally important as the Massey Hall concert to you -- on a personal level.  (And I think that's the most important kind of important.)

But if I was trying to write a history-of-jazz type book -- an "objective" one (if that's even possible) -- I wouldn't put those two groups on equal footing.

That's my 2 cents. 

 

Edited by HutchFan

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46 minutes ago, HutchFan said:

I would not put the V.S.O.P. band in the same category as the Massey Hall group, if only because -- unlike Bird, Diz, et al -- the music that V.S.O.P. was making was self-consciously retrospective.

I agree.  It did have an air of "importance" around it at the time, both because of the players and the fact that they weren't playing disco, fusion, or CTI grooves, but it is hard to imagine it being singled out in jazz histories written in 50 or 100 years.

History tends to favor the innovators, and when innovators had long careers, history tends to favor the most innovative parts of their careers.

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3 hours ago, Teasing the Korean said:

I agree.  It did have an air of "importance" around it at the time, both because of the players and the fact that they weren't playing disco, fusion, or CTI grooves, but it is hard to imagine it being singled out in jazz histories written in 50 or 100 years.

Agreed. It was a sign that "acoustic neo-bop jazz was not dead and could attract large audiences.

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It's a Miles Davis ghost band for people who thought he died with Bitches Brew.  Historically Important mostly in a negative way having to do with marketing, or at best a mixed bag - yes you could sell acoustic 'real' jazz, but only by dressing it up like free and fusion had never happened.

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A version of VSOP with DeJohnette on drums played for the Left Bank Jazz Society on 12/4/66. Supposedly they wanted Miles but could not afford him. I wonder what material they played. No recording has surfaced, which means nothing when it comes to Left Bank.

 

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For some reason this brought to mind Wallace Roney - not necessarily in a bad way.

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10 hours ago, HutchFan said:

I would not put the V.S.O.P. Quintet in the same category as the Massey Hall group, if only because -- unlike Bird, Diz, et al -- the music that V.S.O.P. was making was self-consciously retrospective.

I don't mean to imply that backwards-looking music isn't or can't be important or excellent or even "Great."  I also don't mean to imply that V.S.O.P.'s music can't be equally important as the Massey Hall concert to you -- on a personal level.  (And I think that's the most important kind of important.)

But if I was trying to write a history-of-jazz type book -- an "objective" one (if that's even possible) -- I wouldn't put those two groups on equal footing.

That's my 2 cents. 

 

Thanks for you statement, and especially for opening my eyes that I might consider that the VSOP was important for me on a personal level, and that THIS can be interpretated as a most important kind of importance.....
You say, that VSOP was selfconsciously retrospective and Bird and Diz on Massey Hall was not. Okay, but isn´t it usually said that Massey also was a reunion of the leaders of the 40´s playing the music they composed and  recorded in that decade? Otherwise, in 1953 music had allready gone into another direction. I had this fact in mind when I wondered if VSOP could have a similar historical importance, since they also regathered for playing the stuff of the earlier decade of the 60´s. 

10 hours ago, Teasing the Korean said:

I agree.  It did have an air of "importance" around it at the time, both because of the players and the fact that they weren't playing disco, fusion, or CTI grooves, but it is hard to imagine it being singled out in jazz histories written in 50 or 100 years.

History tends to favor the innovators, and when innovators had long careers, history tends to favor the most innovative parts of their careers.

As I said in my reply to HutchFan, then and also later I thought if "Massey" was a reunion of key musicians from the 40´s in the year of 1953 when other styles were coming to importance, and I thought the same about that VSOP reunion. It must be added that especially Bird and Bud didn´t change there style much until their death, Diz also will be remembered mostly as something as the "Beethoven of Bop" :lol:, even if he did some electric stuff in the 70´s, but Herbie for example became a leading voice or electric jazz. It was just showing that they havent forgotten acoustic music when that genre was almost dead. And they didn´t just repeat material from the 60´s, there are a lot of new compositions in the VSOP albums too. 

And my schoolfriend nicknamed "Woody", who was the first to buy it told me: "look man, sure they had played some of those tunes allready in the 60´s but pay attention to how they have developed further. This is a much more powerful Williams , and the sound and the style of Ron Carter is much more daring , and the players go further out on certain points ....".  

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35 minutes ago, Gheorghe said:

Thanks for you statement, and especially for opening my eyes that I might consider that the VSOP was important for me on a personal level, and that THIS can be interpretated as a most important kind of importance.....
You say, that VSOP was selfconsciously retrospective and Bird and Diz on Massey Hall was not. Okay, but isn´t it usually said that Massey also was a reunion of the leaders of the 40´s playing the music they composed and  recorded in that decade? Otherwise, in 1953 music had allready gone into another direction. I had this fact in mind when I wondered if VSOP could have a similar historical importance, since they also regathered for playing the stuff of the earlier decade of the 60´s. 

And my schoolfriend nicknamed "Woody", who was the first to buy it told me: "look man, sure they had played some of those tunes allready in the 60´s but pay attention to how they have developed further. This is a much more powerful Williams , and the sound and the style of Ron Carter is much more daring , and the players go further out on certain points ....".  

Interesting thoughts and observations ....

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1 hour ago, Gheorghe said:

And my schoolfriend nicknamed "Woody", who was the first to buy it told me: "look man, sure they had played some of those tunes allready in the 60´s but pay attention to how they have developed further. This is a much more powerful Williams , and the sound and the style of Ron Carter is much more daring , and the players go further out on certain points ....".  

I wasn't there at the time, but Woody was on to something. 

A very different group, and not just because of Hubbard. None of them had stayed still in the intervening period. Depending on the player that isn't always for the better, but really the music does have a very different feel to the Second Quintet's. Perhaps it is something that the musicians had picked up during their respective fusion careers and which passed over to their acoustic playing when they resumed it.

Thanks in general for this thread. It's something I've always been interested in. Why do the Histories note Dexter Gordon's return and the rise of Marsalis but not VSOP or (in a different world) Old and New Dreams? It's something that always puzzled me. 

Edited by Rabshakeh

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3 hours ago, Gheorghe said:

" This is a much more powerful Williams ....... players go further out on certain points ....".  

Maybe this was in part inspiration for Williams' quintet with Roney and Billy Pierce?

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"VSOP" was originally a concert, and it had three bands,

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18 minutes ago, JSngry said:

"VSOP" was originally a concert, and it had three bands,

Sure ! The first double album, with the acoustic band, the band from the late 60´s to early 70´s with Benny Maupin, Buster Williams and so on, and the electric band with Wah Wah Watson..... we all listened to this and talked about it. The more electric orientated guys in my class prefered the electric stuff. Well they was it, who pulled my coat to the "Headhunters". I love all 3 bands . 

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5 hours ago, Rabshakeh said:

IWhy do the Histories note Dexter Gordon's return and the rise of Marsalis but not  (in a different world) Old and New Dreams? It's something that always puzzled me. 

Yep ....

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7 hours ago, Gheorghe said:

And my schoolfriend nicknamed "Woody", who was the first to buy it told me: "look man, sure they had played some of those tunes allready in the 60´s but pay attention to how they have developed further. This is a much more powerful Williams , and the sound and the style of Ron Carter is much more daring , and the players go further out on certain points ....".  

 

6 hours ago, Rabshakeh said:

A very different group, and not just because of Hubbard. None of them had stayed still in the intervening period. Depending on the player that isn't always for the better, but really the music does have a very different feel to the Second Quintet's. Perhaps it is something that the musicians had picked up during their respective fusion careers and which passed over to their acoustic playing when they resumed it.

Indeed. Something that isn't necessarily considered "innovative" also doesn't necessarily connote "warmed over" either. I bristle sometimes when analogies like that or "formulaic" are tossed around by paid or wannabe paid critics. There's a rich language in bop, bebop, post-bop etc. that includes aspects of ritual which when done right can open doors to places not yet traveled. 

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My favorite VSOP record was the last one, which was (is?) kind of obscure.

R-2826898-1302803901.jpeg.jpg

R-2826898-1302803915.jpeg.jpg

R-2826898-1302803942.jpeg.jpg

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The Frisky Factor is pretty high here!

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Not at all familiar with that one (not that I know all the others inside and out either)...

And I'm seeing on-line that this is their one and only studio(!) album, which I definitely had no idea about.

Kinda stingy playtime, at less than 33 minutes total (by my count) -- not an absolute deal breaker, but annoying on paper at least (and especially if it's only available as a pricy import CD).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V.S.O.P._(group)

 

 

 

 

Edited by Rooster_Ties

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1 hour ago, chewy-chew-chew-bean-benitez said:

what do you guys make of the live double album- 

This one?  Love it:

VSOP The Quintet.jpg

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2 hours ago, Rooster_Ties said:

Kinda stingy playtime, at less than 33 minutes total (by my count) -- not an absolute deal breaker, but annoying on paper at least (and especially if it's only available as a pricy import CD).

Rooster,

There's a Wounded Bird reissue of Five Stars that shows up every now & then on Dusty Groove.  It's inexpensive.

 

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3 hours ago, Rooster_Ties said:

Not at all familiar with that one (not that I know all the others inside and out either)...

And I'm seeing on-line that this is their one and only studio(!) album, which I definitely had no idea about.

Kinda stingy playtime, at less than 33 minutes total (by my count) -- not an absolute deal breaker, but annoying on paper at least (and especially if it's only available as a pricy import CD).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V.S.O.P._(group)

 

 

 

 

Was a "direct-cut" recording, therefore rather restricted playing time .... very good though ....

Edited by soulpope

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54 minutes ago, felser said:

This one?  Love it:

VSOP The Quintet.jpg

At the time, it was fun in an "oh wow, they can still do that when they want to" kind of way.

Now, it still is fun in that way, only so much time has passed that it's not really relevant to anybody's reality that they could, it's like DUH, OF COURSE they could. shouldn't have been any question, but, you know, maybe there was. At the time, any time Wayne played more than three notes together, it was perceived as a "revelation" or something. But hell, people like that, they don't lose anything. They might get old, they might die, they might go elsewhere, but you don't LOSE skills like that, you just don't. But hey, it was a gig, people were thrilled by it and were willing to pay money to hear it, so why not.

But note - not one of them went back into that type of thing as a full-time career path. Not one of them.

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10 minutes ago, JSngry said:

 

But note - not one of them went back into that type of thing as a full-time career path. Not one of them.

Hubbard and especially Williams did some pretty frequent part time work in those fields in the 80's.

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"pretty frequent" = where there was a gig that was worth their while. Freddie would make any lkind of record if the money was right, and good for him for so doing. Cat works his ass off, cat deserves to get paid before he dies (and even after).

Tony's own band? Not really, that band was a vehicle for his own composing, as were all of his solo project post-VSOP. Tony was a very good writer whose voice too often got lost in the VSOP Hype-Shuffle. And although it was (usually) acoustic, that's where the similarity stopped.

I liked VSOP's records, they were very high quality and enjoyable diversions. But ultimately, as diversions is where they land.

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