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sgcim

"There's no such thing as a perfect jazz solo"

27 posts in this topic

I just heard this said in an interview with a well known musician, who has won several DB Polls. In fact, he said it several times during the interview, but the 'genius ' interviewer didn't ask him to explain what he meant by it.

What's your interpretation of his comment?

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"Perfect" or "perfection" suggest a single ideal to be attained. Perhaps this concept fits better with classical music. Jazz, with its important improvised element,  is more personalized with a variety of top level attainments. Many Charlie Parker solos are at this level, but every one is different.

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If it was perfect, there would be no sense in doing it again.

I do think there can be a "perfect solo" but big deal. you won't get paid for being perfect, you'll get paid to keep playing. If that.

Besides, there's always better, eventually, or at leat different. And with different comes the new goals and practices.

Perfect isn't built to survive in the real world, perfect is built to just stand there and be admired or scorned, to be a motivation for new creation or new destruction. Perfect is not about "becoming" perfact has become. There's no existential motion in "perfect"

But then tere's Bach. And Bird. And so forth. So really, this is a bunch of yingyangyakadoofdle talk.

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19 minutes ago, JSngry said:

 

 

Perfect isn't built to survive in the real world, perfect is built to just stand there and be admired 

 

Reminds me that Mingus said classical music was about the world as it should be, but jazz was about the world as it was.

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4 hours ago, BillF said:

Reminds me that Mingus said classical music was about the world as it should be, but jazz was about the world as it was.

Yes -- and also Eric Dolphy: "When you hear music, after it's over, it's gone in the air, you can never capture it again."

Music always happens in time.  It's not like a painting or a sculpture; it's like a dance.

 

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except when they make records...and believe it or not, there's been a discussion about "should jazz REALLY be recorded?" in some form or fashion from, probably, before any of us here were born. Seriously.

That got countered in the middle 50s or so, the idea was floated the the best way to make a jazz recpord would be to just roll tabe, let people loose, and then edit together the best choruses, licks, whatever.

Too much math for R&B, imo, but it should be noted that that's pretty much what Teo Macero did (quite artistically, imo) on Miles' 70s records, but the conversation wasn't about that type of music, lol. It wsa about shit like Al & Zoot and all that. Sonny Rollins, even.

So, just....you know, know what you're getting and let it be that. If it's not right, do something else, BE something else.

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48 minutes ago, JSngry said:

except when they make records...and believe it or not, there's been a discussion about "should jazz REALLY be recorded?" in some form or fashion from, probably, before any of us here were born. Seriously.

That got countered in the middle 50s or so, the idea was floated the the best way to make a jazz recpord would be to just roll tabe, let people loose, and then edit together the best choruses, licks, whatever.

Too much math for R&B, imo, but it should be noted that that's pretty much what Teo Macero did (quite artistically, imo) on Miles' 70s records, but the conversation wasn't about that type of music, lol. It wsa about shit like Al & Zoot and all that. Sonny Rollins, even.

So, just....you know, know what you're getting and let it be that. If it's not right, do something else, BE something else.

Yeah, in his autobiography,, Harvey Brooks said Miles told him to show up for three days at the studio, and they jammed for three days without any music, and the next thing you know, Teo edited it into Bitches Brew. HB said although he's listed on something like five MD albums, the only time he played with MD, Zawinul,etc... were just those three days.

Then you have Jim Snidero saying in an interview on WKCR that the secret to jazz is that based on his study of alternate takes of Miles Davis' Coltrane period Quintet/Sextet albums, none of that stuff was improvised. Every take had the same solos (at least by Trane and Davis) that appeared on the records.

Snidero claims that this is true of all the jazz records he and his contemporaries make today. No improvisation...

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3 minutes ago, sgcim said:

Then you have Jim Snidero saying in an interview on WKCR that the secret to jazz is that based on his study of alternate takes of Miles Davis' Coltrane period Quintet/Sextet albums, none of that stuff was improvised. Every take had the same solos (at least by Trane and Davis) that appeared on the records.

I don't think this is true.

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Posted (edited)

13 minutes ago, sgcim said:

Snidero claims that this is true of all the jazz records he and his contemporaries make today. No improvisation...

Some people really improvise, and some people don't.  Hasn't this always been true in jazz? 

For example, lots of Hodges' and Gonsalves' and Carney's solos were set pieces, largely if not entirely fixed.  Also, you think about a guy like Stan Getz.  He had all sorts of pre-composed solos.  Pops too.

OTOH, for people like Sonny Rollins and Lee Konitz and Martial Solal, improvisation is at the very center of what they do/did.  

Both sorts of jazz out there (and every shade in between), then and now, I'd say.  It's a continuum, not an either/or.

 

Edited by HutchFan

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I've heard those KOB alternates. "Variations" is certainly accurate. "No improvisation" certainly is not. 

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48 minutes ago, sgcim said:

...Then you have Jim Snidero saying in an interview on WKCR that the secret to jazz is that based on his study of alternate takes of Miles Davis' Coltrane period Quintet/Sextet albums, none of that stuff was improvised. Every take had the same solos (at least by Trane and Davis) that appeared on the records.

Snidero claims that this is true of all the jazz records he and his contemporaries make today. No improvisation...

I remember you posting this on another forum earlier this year. I'm unable to find any source for this interview. Would you please oblige? Thanks in advance.

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28 minutes ago, sonnymax said:

I remember you posting this on another forum earlier this year. I'm unable to find any source for this interview. Would you please oblige? Thanks in advance.

Snidero was being interviewed on one of the jazz shows on WKCR. Search their archives.

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2 hours ago, sgcim said:

Snidero was being interviewed on one of the jazz shows on WKCR. Search their archives.

I searched but couldn't find anything. No matter.

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"Perfection itself is imperfection" (Vladimir Horowitz) ....
 

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I don´t like the word perfect in music. Reminds me too much about one of the few occasions I heard classical music when two women (daughter my then girlfriend and her mother) took me to some opera and yeah, not my bag but I dug it and enjoyed it, but during intermission them two women start "did you hear how singer so an so did not hit the high C properly ? And so on and so on and they had fun doing that shit. 


I said well it sounds nice, I don´t know about the mistakes and if there are some, who cares ? As long as they bring the message out they are cool to me. 

They said that this is something like the cherry on the cake , to make observations like that.

I said "can you get up there on stage and sing it better ? You can´t so you better let  ´ em do their stuff as good as they know it....

 

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Posted (edited)

Some day we will have robots that will be able to play perfect solos on demand.   I won't be listening, and that is not just because I won't be around anymore. :D

Edited by John L

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Posted (edited)

39 minutes ago, John L said:

Some day we will have robots that will be able to play perfect solos on demand.   I won't be listening, and that is not just because I won't be around anymore. :D

We already have this, and you are presumably still alive.  Artificial intelligence has composed a Bach mass that is breathtakingly magnificent. It analyzed everything Bach wrote in order to compose this.  I'm totally down with it.

You can hear a story about it on the NPR show Radiolab.

https://interlude.hk/ear-beholder-music-composed-artificial-intelligence/

  

Edited by Teasing the Korean

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If someone digitized a whole bunch of Sonny Stitt* (for example) solos and used them to train a big neural net or AI-type program, I wouldn't be surprised if the program produced some kick-ass solos that could impress people.

*Nothing against Stitt; he recorded prolifically and had a big "vocabulary" of licks.

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Stitt was his own AI.

I listened to the Bach Sonata linked to in the article and didn't like the pianist at all. She played like a computer. Seriously. 

So, what's gained? Just because a dog can lick his balls doesn't mean that I aspire to lick a dog's balls. Or even my own. 

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11 hours ago, JSngry said:

I listened to the Bach Sonata linked to in the article and didn't like the pianist at all. She played like a computer. Seriously. 

So, what's gained? Just because a dog can lick his balls doesn't mean that I aspire to lick a dog's balls. Or even my own. 

The technology is in its infancy.  It will be fascinating to see what it can do in decades to come.  

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It's only going to be able to do what it's allowed to do by the people running it.

So if all it's allowed to do is a micro-dissection of Bach, then that's all it's going to do. More of the same.

In the meantime, the real world is happening. hopefully somebody's thinking about making something new instead of just endlessly wanking on cumulative past data.

Making technology in our own image. How White Man Got A God Complex #LastPoetsCalledIt

Create or Re-Create.

Most people are nice enough, but seriously defective in the imagination department. Thus they turn to somebody else to do it for them, and since they have no idea what's real and seemingly unfamiliar and that which has been provided to them to keep them in place, they go for the "flattery" of the familiar, join the crowd, and forevermore live the live of a slave to somebody/something else.

I don't fear technology, I fear people. So far, I've not been impressed with the bulk of the lot.

 

 

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33 minutes ago, JSngry said:

I don't fear technology, I fear people. So far, I've not been impressed with the bulk of the lot.

Well, you don't have to buy it.  I'm not spending money on it either, but I have no issue with it being out there. 

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Not talking about product, talking about people in general.

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I know this is nothing new, but I'm reading "About Time", a recent bio of Stevie Winwood, and the author, Chuck Sullivan, is an accomplished record producer, recording engineer , and drummer. He has a large section on SW's years as a session player, and he raves about the creative, spontaneous things SW did as a sideman with Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker, Leon Russell,B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Lou Reed, Robert Palmer, etc., back in 1968-74., when recording technology was still very basic. "Today's recording tools, which basically allow for a cut and paste approach to forge a perfect pitch-corrected sound, can actually discourage imagination and inspiration.....Even the most basic home studio can now cut and paste audio, as well as pitch-correct vocals, resulting in 'perfect' albums that often have no individuality."

I think that about says it all.... .

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