JSngry

The "I Never Cared For Oscar Peterson's Playing" Corner

116 posts in this topic

Geesh, is it that important for people to dump on a dead artist? Amazing. to start a thread for the sole purpose of telling us that you don't like OP. I just don't get this in the least... :(

The reason for starting this thread was twofold: 1) Some people on the other thread were bothered by criticism there of a recently dead artist, so here we are now; those who don't want to hear this kind of talk have an easy option 2) Trying to sort out the wheat from the chaff among jazz artists, and within the career of a single jazz artist, seems like a fairly natural and arguably necessary thing to do, unless you're one of those "It's all good" people. Don't we all do a lot of that sorting out in the course of our lives as jazz fans? Now doing that in a public forum does add some stress and suggests that mere name-calling might be not a great idea. But are you suggesting that doubts about the value of OP's playing should now never be expressed, or that the subject of what his flaws as a jazz musician might be is of absolutely of no interest?

I'm all for critical discernment when it comes to musicians, and, like many here, I have my questions about Peterson's artistic choices in his career. What I trying to say is something that's hard to put into words, but it goes something like this, and it's just my opinion: I feels like people are using the death of Peterson to let loose negative emotions on a person they never knew. Maybe the point people bring up about this forum becoming more negative over the years is valid, it's not feeling right to me what's going on. I really can't express it more than that, but there it is. I wish I could be more articulate of what I'm seeing and experiencing here the past couple of weeks, but the OP thread is part of a trend where if you don't join in thinking the same way as some of the "inner circle" about an artist, you are made to feel like you know jack about music, and are pretty much forced to remain quiet. I'm still trying to figure out what I'm thinking, but this is the best I can do know.

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What baffles me in that OP RIP thread (to the extent I've read it) is another thing, however: The obits mention how OP was impressed by Art Tatum and his proficiency and virtuosity. But haven't exactly the same complaints been made about Art Tatum time and again in past decades, too, i.e. that he was too much of a virtuoso, all pianistic but not enough of a hard-swinging jazzman?

Are these complaints still being made about Art Tatum today?

Could it be that maybe the time for a universal appraisal of the jazzman Oscar Peterson hasn't come yet? ;)

Or were the detractors who complained about "too much pianistic virtuosity and not enough jazz-like swing" all wrong in the case of Tatum but right in the case of Peterson? :D

I dunno, but Tatum leaves me in awe, and often in speechless admiration of how easy it all sounds with him, whereas Peterson never baffles me but bores me after a while. Tatum's virtuosity is too much of a good thing, sometimes, Peterson's is bland in comparison - just my opinion, of course.

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Actually -- and I know enough OP to suspect that this is true but have never sat down to do the necessary extensive research -- within seemingly not that broad stylisistic boundaries, there's a heck of a lot of variation in OP's recorded output IMO, though not having done the research, I'm not sure how it all breaks down. For instance, I was pleasantly surprised a while back by the CD repackaging of OP's Granz-era album of Basie material -- relaxed, inventive, relatively free from the mechanical bluesiness that drives some OP listeners from the room. For another, the famous Stratford Shakespearean Fest album deserves its fame. As I think Gunther Schuller said, it is a remarkable feat of small-combo orchestration and execution and a lot of visceral fun. Likewise, OP's famous early (I think JATP) trio performance of "Tenderly" with (I think) the Kessel version of the trio, much of it in OP's version of the locked-hands style, is a formidable, albeit worked-out feat of orchestration and execution that holds one's attention (at least it does mine) throughout. OP as an accompanist is where I'd really need to do careful research to sort out what I think is going on. My sense at the time was that after a certain point in his Granz house-pianist days, maybe 1957, he was a chugging drag on many dates, though many of those had enough going on otherwise to be overall pluses. On the other hand, I recall a fair number of Granz OP sideman dates from a year or two before this (the Hampton-DeFranco "Flying Home," most of the Jam Session series, etc.) and some things from later on (e.g. the Ella and Louis albums, the album with the OP Trio and Getz), where OP seems to me to be fresh, alert, energetic, and sensitive to what others were playing. About the downside of OP the accompanist, though, echo-ing something EDC said, compare the way Jimmy Rowles plays behind Ben Webster on Harry Edison's "Sweets" to the way OP plays behind Webster on any Granz session.

A very reasonable post there, Larry.

You should be a critic or something. ;)

Let's face it, I'm no expert/pro, so maybe my expectations are lower, or I don't really know what to listen for.

I just know what sounds good to me and that "Tenderly" performance you speak of is exactly what hooked me. Obviously not everything OP did was a winner, but I think he did enough to warrant a solid place in music history.

That said, I have actually enjoyed reading the "not a fan" of Oscar's music posts. It helps me learn, makes me think and may get me to listen more closely. :cool:

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Art Tatum is medicine, not joy, or infrequently so & TROOF-

Shit Clem, see a dentist or an orthodontist or somethin'...

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Geesh, is it that important for people to dump on a dead artist? Amazing. to start a thread for the sole purpose of telling us that you don't like OP. I just don't get this in the least... :(

The reason for starting this thread was twofold: 1) Some people on the other thread were bothered by criticism there of a recently dead artist, so here we are now; those who don't want to hear this kind of talk have an easy option 2) Trying to sort out the wheat from the chaff among jazz artists, and within the career of a single jazz artist, seems like a fairly natural and arguably necessary thing to do, unless you're one of those "It's all good" people. Don't we all do a lot of that sorting out in the course of our lives as jazz fans? Now doing that in a public forum does add some stress and suggests that mere name-calling might be not a great idea. But are you suggesting that doubts about the value of OP's playing should now never be expressed, or that the subject of what his flaws as a jazz musician might be is of absolutely of no interest?

I'm all for critical discernment when it comes to musicians, and, like many here, I have my questions about Peterson's artistic choices in his career. What I trying to say is something that's hard to put into words, but it goes something like this, and it's just my opinion: I feels like people are using the death of Peterson to let loose negative emotions on a person they never knew. Maybe the point people bring up about this forum becoming more negative over the years is valid, it's not feeling right to me what's going on. I really can't express it more than that, but there it is. I wish I could be more articulate of what I'm seeing and experiencing here the past couple of weeks, but the OP thread is part of a trend where if you don't join in thinking the same way as some of the "inner circle" about an artist, you are made to feel like you know jack about music, and are pretty much forced to remain quiet. I'm still trying to figure out what I'm thinking, but this is the best I can do know.

There is something to this. You have to be strong to stand against the group-think which develops on some of the threads here. When the inner circle orthodoxy mentality is pointed out, with a suggestion that perhaps the discussion would be better framed in terms of "it's just your opinion, and I respect it, so please respect mine too", that idea is hooted down as not being "honest". "Honesty" is championed as the reason for, as you put it, "if you don't join in thinking the same way as some of the "inner circle" about an artist, you are made to feel like you know jack about music, and are pretty much forced to remain quiet". So you have to be strong. Since I have had lots of practice being strong in real life, it doesn't bother me, but I have noticed it.

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Geesh, is it that important for people to dump on a dead artist? Amazing. to start a thread for the sole purpose of telling us that you don't like OP. I just don't get this in the least... :(

The reason for starting this thread was twofold: 1) Some people on the other thread were bothered by criticism there of a recently dead artist, so here we are now; those who don't want to hear this kind of talk have an easy option 2) Trying to sort out the wheat from the chaff among jazz artists, and within the career of a single jazz artist, seems like a fairly natural and arguably necessary thing to do, unless you're one of those "It's all good" people. Don't we all do a lot of that sorting out in the course of our lives as jazz fans? Now doing that in a public forum does add some stress and suggests that mere name-calling might be not a great idea. But are you suggesting that doubts about the value of OP's playing should now never be expressed, or that the subject of what his flaws as a jazz musician might be is of absolutely of no interest?

I'm all for critical discernment when it comes to musicians, and, like many here, I have my questions about Peterson's artistic choices in his career. What I trying to say is something that's hard to put into words, but it goes something like this, and it's just my opinion: I feels like people are using the death of Peterson to let loose negative emotions on a person they never knew. Maybe the point people bring up about this forum becoming more negative over the years is valid, it's not feeling right to me what's going on. I really can't express it more than that, but there it is. I wish I could be more articulate of what I'm seeing and experiencing here the past couple of weeks, but the OP thread is part of a trend where if you don't join in thinking the same way as some of the "inner circle" about an artist, you are made to feel like you know jack about music, and are pretty much forced to remain quiet. I'm still trying to figure out what I'm thinking, but this is the best I can do know.

Again - in the RIP thread, things were going along in what I thought was a respectful manner (i.e. - nobody - save maybe Clem, but even for him the tone was quite respectful at first - was saying "bad things" about Peterson, other than that they might not have been a fan, and even if we weren't we recognized and respected his unquestionable accomplishments over the course of a notable career.

Apparently that wasn't enough. Apparently saying that one wasn't a fan, even if it was done in the context of extending respect, was seen as an affront to humankind, and as a sign of some deep-rooted sociopathy. That I feel, is just so much bullshit, the motivations of which might include (but are not limited to) A) Extreme insecurity on the part of some Peterson fans; B) a subliminal fascistic impulse to stifle/control expression of dissenting opinions, regardless of "tone"; C) A cultural notion of propriety that dictates silence over speech under certain circumstances and/or D) Some folks just not getting out of the house too much.

A, B, & D I really don't have any sympathy for, but C is something I'm sensitive to. I felt a need to respond to the RIP thread, because I do recognize and respect Peterson's accomplishments, but I also am not a "fan". Never have been, probably never will be. But that doesn't mean that there's not a lot of respect there. There is, difficult as that appears for some people to see.

so anyway, I could have said "What a career!" and let it go at that. Ok, yeah, fine. But where are the rules that one must give a false impression in the name of "respect"? Sorry, but there are some rules by which I just don't play, and that is one of them. So I gave a true impression - not a fan, but load of respect. And that...wasn't good enough. Oh well about that.

So somebody suggested that any ambivalence about Peterson be expressed in a seperate thread, And here we are. And it still ain't good enough. Why, because he just died? Once again - respects have been paid.

I'd not have started this thread if that last point had been recognized. I have no intention of getting some perverse jollies by dumping on a corpse while it's still warm. But I know good and damn well that there are a lot of jazz folk who are either ambivalent about or downright hostile towards some/most/all of Peterson's output (put me between some & most, leaning towards most), and the idea that their voices should not be heard at all at this time, no matter how respectful they be, is appaling to me.

It's kinda like when Regan died. Everybody was supposed to suddenly love this cat just because he was dead all of a sudden. Well sorry 'bout that, but I felt that I could express personal regrets for family and friends w/o having to pretend that I didn't think that he was the vilest occupant of the Oval Office this country has ever had. But nooooo.....

People die every day, every hour, probably every minute. When they do, their life story doesn't suddenly change, it just ends. What they've done, they've done. The notion that death suddenly makes a legacy any different than it had been up until that point is kinda....not true. It is not "disrespectful" to comment on the legacy. It is disrespectful to do things like A) applaud the death; B) unfairly (i.e. - out of context) defame the person's character; C) juxtapose/project feelings about the legacy onto one's assessment of the personal character of the deceased D) some more other stuff along these lines.

Now, you and others may not feel that way. Fine. But recognize it as that - a difference. It is not a willful attempt to antagonize, belittle, or otherwise "trump" your or anybody else's feelings. If anything, the seemingly easily-made accusations/inferences that they are are quite, dare I say it. hurtful. Insulting even. To think that one's differing opinion of an artist's music, and a gentle expression of same, is intended, either consciously or otherwise, to defame the character of said artist and/or to piss on that artist's fans is so far off the mark as to make me wonder WTF is going on in people's minds that they just can't accept the fact that not everybody likes everybody to the same degree.

It really is that simple, y'all.

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Ok, I really want to address this:

Geesh, is it that important for people to dump on a dead artist? Amazing. to start a thread for the sole purpose of telling us that you don't like OP. I just don't get this in the least... :(

The reason for starting this thread was twofold: 1) Some people on the other thread were bothered by criticism there of a recently dead artist, so here we are now; those who don't want to hear this kind of talk have an easy option 2) Trying to sort out the wheat from the chaff among jazz artists, and within the career of a single jazz artist, seems like a fairly natural and arguably necessary thing to do, unless you're one of those "It's all good" people. Don't we all do a lot of that sorting out in the course of our lives as jazz fans? Now doing that in a public forum does add some stress and suggests that mere name-calling might be not a great idea. But are you suggesting that doubts about the value of OP's playing should now never be expressed, or that the subject of what his flaws as a jazz musician might be is of absolutely of no interest?

I'm all for critical discernment when it comes to musicians, and, like many here, I have my questions about Peterson's artistic choices in his career. What I trying to say is something that's hard to put into words, but it goes something like this, and it's just my opinion: I feels like people are using the death of Peterson to let loose negative emotions on a person they never knew. Maybe the point people bring up about this forum becoming more negative over the years is valid, it's not feeling right to me what's going on. I really can't express it more than that, but there it is. I wish I could be more articulate of what I'm seeing and experiencing here the past couple of weeks, but the OP thread is part of a trend where if you don't join in thinking the same way as some of the "inner circle" about an artist, you are made to feel like you know jack about music, and are pretty much forced to remain quiet. I'm still trying to figure out what I'm thinking, but this is the best I can do know.

There is something to this. You have to be strong to stand against the group-think which develops on some of the threads here. When the inner circle orthodoxy mentality is pointed out, with a suggestion that perhaps the discussion would be better framed in terms of "it's just your opinion, and I respect it, so please respect mine too", that idea is hooted down as not being "honest". "Honesty" is championed as the reason for, as you put it, "if you don't join in thinking the same way as some of the "inner circle" about an artist, you are made to feel like you know jack about music, and are pretty much forced to remain quiet". So you have to be strong. Since I have had lots of practice being strong in real life, it doesn't bother me, but I have noticed it.

Who the fuck is making you guys feel, the inference seems to be, "inferior" about your tastes in music?

And who is this "inner circle"? I think I know, so that's a rheorical question, but good god, does anybody notice that there is often more disagreement there than anywhere else? Things like later Sonny Rollins, later Max Roach, James Spaulding, Duke Pearson, I could go on and on and on, there's a wide range of opinion there, and it is freely expressed. The problem there is...what?

I don't think that anybody needs to feel inferior about what they like, period, nor do I think that anybody needs to be bashful in expressing it. So what if most of this "inner circle" (yeah, we have weekly meetings and shit...) don't dig, say, Bill Evans. Of course that is an opinion, and the history of jazz in terms of evolutionary progress and record sales says that it is definitely a minority opinion. So whatcha got then? Some people really don't dig Bill Evans and can offer detailed explanations of why they don't. A lot more people do dig Bill Evans, and can offer equally detailed explanations of why they do (I once sat for hours as a pianist friend dissected his inner voicings for me, sure in the knowledge that if I could really, REALLY see/hear what was going on that I'd see the light. Didn't happen...)

Dude, except for discographical and other such matters, this is all opinion. Hell, making music is opinion - "This is how I think music should sound". I don't know what kind of "respect" it is that you guys are looking for. Do people actually call you stupid or something for liking some of the stuff you like? Or is it more a "feeling" that you get. I'm serious about this, because, yeah, damn straight I got some strong opinionsmyuself, and I ain't shy about expressing them, but I consider it a given that they are nothing but my opinions, and feel free to disagree, I'll not take it personally unless you make it personal, in which case, hey, I can go there or not, depending on the type of day I'm having.

But I've very, very rarely seen it go personal in the music threads, although it does happen. It's just strong opions expressed with confidence on both sides, nothing more. If that makes anybody "uncomfortable, hell, what can we do? People love this place for the "open atmosphere", "collection of knowledge", "provocative insights" and all that, and well they should. But all that is a direct result of stong opinions being openly expressed. This board is what it is because of that, not in spite of it. Wishing otherwise won't make it so.

Some of this "inner circle" carries "name value" from past accomplishments, and others, like myself, have a "reputation" just from saying a lot of stuff that some people have found "useful". And yeah, some of us have heard more music than others (hell, Mssrs. Nessa, Kart, & Albertson individually have probably heard - and remembered - more music than I'll ever even think about hearing). So yeah, the opinions are expressed more "definitively". That's the nature of life, and not jsut in music. I can offer my 21 year old son advice about "life matters" at age 52 with a lot more confidence than I could have at age 30, jsut because of experience. But that doesn't mean that all the advice I offer him will work for him, and it damn sure doesn't meant that he appreciates it all either. But we both love each other, have a lot of respect for the other, and he knows (or is beginning to know) that I'm not just talking out of the side of my ass, even when he has absolutely no use for what I'm saying. And I know that his way is going to have to be his way, and that in many, many, ways that it is not going to be my way, as much as I would like for it to be. I have been strong in opinion with him, and he has been strong in opinion with me. It hasn't always been pretty, but we both have a lot of respect and love for the other as a result, an adult type love that respects diffences even as it disagrees with some of them.

Now, if I personally have ever caused anybody to, by the strong expression of my strong opinions, feel as if I'm trying to "put them in their place" or soemthing like that, I apologize, profoundly and fundamentally. I want the table to be full of food for thought, not rationed out to a selecr few. But I would encourage everybody to stand tall and proud in your taste, like what you like, and if you see an "inner circle" (we also have neat vests that we wear at community events...), then rather than be intimidated by it, see it as exactly what it is - a group of opinions different from yours. Nothing more, nothing less. And please feel free to run counter to it.

Bottom line - differences of opinion aren't supposed to be "genteel", not if they are sincere differences of sincere opinions. But let's not confuse others -or ourselves - by thinking that our "worth" to anybody else is defined by how much one agrees with another, either an individual or a collective "inner circle" (btw, we offering light bulbs for sale coming this January...). Quite the opposite, in fact.

An "attack" on a musical opinion (real or perceived) is not an attack on you personally. At least it shouldn't be. If it truly is, then the moderators need to be notified. Otherwise, if you believe it, BELIEVE it!

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Geesh, is it that important for people to dump on a dead artist? Amazing. to start a thread for the sole purpose of telling us that you don't like OP. I just don't get this in the least... :(

The reason for starting this thread was twofold: 1) Some people on the other thread were bothered by criticism there of a recently dead artist, so here we are now; those who don't want to hear this kind of talk have an easy option 2) Trying to sort out the wheat from the chaff among jazz artists, and within the career of a single jazz artist, seems like a fairly natural and arguably necessary thing to do, unless you're one of those "It's all good" people. Don't we all do a lot of that sorting out in the course of our lives as jazz fans? Now doing that in a public forum does add some stress and suggests that mere name-calling might be not a great idea. But are you suggesting that doubts about the value of OP's playing should now never be expressed, or that the subject of what his flaws as a jazz musician might be is of absolutely of no interest?

I'm all for critical discernment when it comes to musicians, and, like many here, I have my questions about Peterson's artistic choices in his career. What I trying to say is something that's hard to put into words, but it goes something like this, and it's just my opinion: I feels like people are using the death of Peterson to let loose negative emotions on a person they never knew. Maybe the point people bring up about this forum becoming more negative over the years is valid, it's not feeling right to me what's going on. I really can't express it more than that, but there it is. I wish I could be more articulate of what I'm seeing and experiencing here the past couple of weeks, but the OP thread is part of a trend where if you don't join in thinking the same way as some of the "inner circle" about an artist, you are made to feel like you know jack about music, and are pretty much forced to remain quiet. I'm still trying to figure out what I'm thinking, but this is the best I can do know.

Again - in the RIP thread, things were going along in what I thought was a respectful manner (i.e. - nobody - save maybe Clem, but even for him the tone was quite respectful at first - was saying "bad things" about Peterson, other than that they might not have been a fan, and even if we weren't we recognized and respected his unquestionable accomplishments over the course of a notable career.

Apparently that wasn't enough. Apparently saying that one wasn't a fan, even if it was done in the context of extending respect, was seen as an affront to humankind, and as a sign of some deep-rooted sociopathy. That I feel, is just so much bullshit, the motivations of which might include (but are not limited to) A) Extreme insecurity on the part of some Peterson fans; B) a subliminal fascistic impulse to stifle/control expression of dissenting opinions, regardless of "tone"; C) A cultural notion of propriety that dictates silence over speech under certain circumstances and/or D) Some folks just not getting out of the house too much.

A, B, & D I really don't have any sympathy for, but C is something I'm sensitive to. I felt a need to respond to the RIP thread, because I do recognize and respect Peterson's accomplishments, but I also am not a "fan". Never have been, probably never will be. But that doesn't mean that there's not a lot of respect there. There is, difficult as that appears for some people to see.

so anyway, I could have said "What a career!" and let it go at that. Ok, yeah, fine. But where are the rules that one must give a false impression in the name of "respect"? Sorry, but there are some rules by which I just don't play, and that is one of them. So I gave a true impression - not a fan, but load of respect. And that...wasn't good enough. Oh well about that.

So somebody suggested that any ambivalence about Peterson be expressed in a seperate thread, And here we are. And it still ain't good enough. Why, because he just died? Once again - respects have been paid.

I'd not have started this thread if that last point had been recognized. I have no intention of getting some perverse jollies by dumping on a corpse while it's still warm. But I know good and damn well that there are a lot of jazz folk who are either ambivalent about or downright hostile towards some/most/all of Peterson's output (put me between some & most, leaning towards most), and the idea that their voices should not be heard at all at this time, no matter how respectful they be, is appaling to me.

It's kinda like when Regan died. Everybody was supposed to suddenly love this cat just because he was dead all of a sudden. Well sorry 'bout that, but I felt that I could express personal regrets for family and friends w/o having to pretend that I didn't think that he was the vilest occupant of the Oval Office this country has ever had. But nooooo.....

People die every day, every hour, probably every minute. When they do, their life story doesn't suddenly change, it just ends. What they've done, they've done. The notion that death suddenly makes a legacy any different than it had been up until that point is kinda....not true. It is not "disrespectful" to comment on the legacy. It is disrespectful to do things like A) applaud the death; B) unfairly (i.e. - out of context) defame the person's character; C) juxtapose/project feelings about the legacy onto one's assessment of the personal character of the deceased D) some more other stuff along these lines.

Now, you and others may not feel that way. Fine. But recognize it as that - a difference. It is not a willful attempt to antagonize, belittle, or otherwise "trump" your or anybody else's feelings. If anything, the seemingly easily-made accusations/inferences that they are are quite, dare I say it. hurtful. Insulting even. To think that one's differing opinion of an artist's music, and a gentle expression of same, is intended, either consciously or otherwise, to defame the character of said artist and/or to piss on that artist's fans is so far off the mark as to make me wonder WTF is going on in people's minds that they just can't accept the fact that not everybody likes everybody to the same degree.

It really is that simple, y'all.

I have re-read the Oscar Peterson RIP thread, and I have to say that it is far more negative than you have described, and became much more negative fairly early on. But you are a moderator, the most frequent poster, and the unofficial leader of the board. So if you want a tough-minded, intimidating board, you can have that, and make it happen.

I think it is fair to say that what you find "just right", many other reasonable people might find "too hot" or "too cold." But you have made your position clear that those other people can go to hell.

I live in a tough-minded, intimidating atmosphere in the real world every day, and can handle it. I have to decide how much more negativity I want in my life. This board provides some interesting mental stimulation, but I really don't need another dollop of negative intensity in my life. So I will not be visiting Organissimo.org any more.

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Ok. Sorry.

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I have re-read the Oscar Peterson RIP thread, and I have to say that it is far more negative than you have described, and became much more negative fairly early on. But you are a moderator, the most frequent poster, and the unofficial leader of the board. So if you want a tough-minded, intimidating board, you can have that, and make it happen.

I think it is fair to say that what you find "just right", many other reasonable people might find "too hot" or "too cold." But you have made your position clear that those other people can go to hell.

I live in a tough-minded, intimidating atmosphere in the real world every day, and can handle it. I have to decide how much more negativity I want in my life. This board provides some interesting mental stimulation, but I really don't need another dollop of negative intensity in my life. So I will not be visiting Organissimo.org any more.

TWO!

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And if being a moderator means not being able to speak my mind, or if, by doing so, being percieved as a "bully" or some such by virtue of the title, then I do not want to be a moderator. I have notified Jim of this.

If, otoh, my status as "leading poster" or whatever "intimidates" people or something like that, hey, sorry if there's that much stress in your life.

Edited by JSngry

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It feels like people are using the death of Peterson to let loose negative emotions on a person they never knew.

Nobody as far as I can tell is saying anything negative here about Peterson that they didn't say here long before his death. His playing pro and con (and why pro or con) has been a lively topic here several times over the years. I think the nub of your complaint might the second word in the phrase "negative emotions." There are times (and I've been there myself) when expressing a negative thought is, for the person who does it or who feels it being done nearby, like letting something dark and potentially uncontrollable and pervasive slip out into the social/moral landscape. Obviously not a good thing when that happens, but while YMMV, I don't think that is what's happening here.

Swtiching to OP as an accompanist, I ran across a somewhat strange and interesting test case/set of examples -- the album "Stan Getz and J.J. Johnson at the Opera House." Recorded "live" during the 1957 JATP tour, the performances on the original LP issue (recorded in mono) were not from the tour's Chicago Opera House concert of Sept. 29, 1957 but from its Oct. 7, 1957 concert at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Then the album was reissued on LP in the late '70s or early '80s, with the four (recorded in stereo) performances from the Opera House concert taking the place of the Shrine performances of the same four tunes, with one of Shrine performances remaining as before. The liner notes of this LP reissue claimed that the stereo Opera House performances were musically superior to the mono Shrine performances -- not so at all IMO, for reasons that in part have to do with OP's comping (BTW the rhythm section is the same on both dates: OP, Herb Ellis, Ray Brown, and Connie Kay). Then the generously filled CD version came out in 1986, with all the material from both concerts, except for the Opera House version of "It Never Entered My Mind."

To finally get to my point, on the three longish "blowing" tracks ("Billie's Bounce," "Crazy Rhythm," and "Blues in the Closet") the horns and the rhythm section are in inspired form at the Shrine, and not so hot at the Opera House. In part I think that Getz is the problem, at least initially -- on what could be the first piece from the Opera House concert (it leads off the CD), "Billie's Bounce," Getz sounds quite fragmented at times and probably for that reason goes on a fair bit too long in an attempt perhaps to get his legs beneath him. In part the problem might have been that things were being recorded in stereo there, which could have called for more separation among the players than was desirable musically. But one of the main problems with the Opera House blowing tracks is OP's comping. His choice of figures is much the same as on the galvanic Shrine performances, but time and again his comping falls not inside but to one side or the other of the soloists' phrasing; and when it's on the front side, it doesn't sound anticipatory (harmonically or rhythmically), just a bit out of phase. The feeling one gets here is that Getz and J.J. are riding a horse at top speed, and the horse (and thus the saddle beneath their butts) is not moving quite in rhythm with them, which serves to distract them some and saps their energy. By contrast, on the Shrine blowing tracks, OP, the rest of the rhythm section, and the soloists are thinking and feeling "one" right together, and the whole thing takes off. Another factor, though it could be cause or effect, is that all the Shrine blowing tracks (especially "Billie's Bounce") are swifter than their Opera House counterparts. Perhaps there's not enough evidence here to draw definite conclusions, but the unsual test-case nature of these performances -- same players, on tour together, recorded nine days apart -- does suggest pretty clearly to me that when OP's comping is not what it might be/should be, it is in large part because it's literally hanging a bit outside (fore and aft) the phrase shapes of the soloist, and again not in ways that anticipate or resolve the soloist's thinking.

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So I will not be visiting Organissimo.org any more.

I hope you reconsider, I for one really enjoy your participation.

I certainly don't agree with EVERYTHING that is said here, but I do like MOST of what goes on here. IMHO, it's worth tolerating some BS to get to the good stuff, and there is a lot of good stuff here. So I respect your decision, but I hope you don't feel it necessary to leave.

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I have re-read the Oscar Peterson RIP thread, and I have to say that it is far more negative than you have described, and became much more negative fairly early on. But you are a moderator, the most frequent poster, and the unofficial leader of the board. So if you want a tough-minded, intimidating board, you can have that, and make it happen.

I think it is fair to say that what you find "just right", many other reasonable people might find "too hot" or "too cold." But you have made your position clear that those other people can go to hell.

I live in a tough-minded, intimidating atmosphere in the real world every day, and can handle it. I have to decide how much more negativity I want in my life. This board provides some interesting mental stimulation, but I really don't need another dollop of negative intensity in my life. So I will not be visiting Organissimo.org any more.

TWO!

I value both of you guys and wish you would reconsider and stay.

Please!

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Allen:

I have this Smiley Winters CD that Bert Wilson put out, with Warren Gale on trumpet.

There's a Gale solo on the first track that is quite fantastic from a technical standpoint, playing all these scales and fast runs that have their own internal logic as phrases, returning back in on themselves and so forth, and extremely "flashy."

It used to bother me a bit - or, rather, I found it kind of boring - but enjoy the solo more now. Whether purely technical or not, he was obviously into his own thing there, and found a way that he and the structure of the tune could create something together that's pretty unique. But the thing is, it is unique and not just a mashing together of "licks," which is probably what Arturo does and certainly what you're implying OP does. And maybe that's my problem with a lot of contemporary pianists I hear. Strange that that approach bothers me less in the contexts of free jazz or bop.

Smiley Winters was a cookin' drummer and a nice cat... Had a chance to get to know him when I lived in the Bay Area in the mid-late 80's ..

I guess I will always be in the OP camp.. I just love his trio records with Ray Brown & Ed Thigpen and I admit partly for sentimental reasons; Particularly the London House sessions. :)

Anybody read OP's autobiography? Fascinating read with lots of stories and insights into well known musicians, vocalists, as well as particularly colorful luminaries like Norman Granz, Hawk, and many more ..

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Yeah, I've really resigned as moderator.

Can't so anything about post count or such, so if that "intimidates" you or whatever, sorry.

But if it lessens the "impact" of any of my "opinions", I've also asked to be withdrawn form consideration for being the face on the next dollar coin.

Of course, I could just not post anything else for a while, or ever. But just like everybody else here, I think I have something to say. Plus, I like the peoples here. All of 'em.

Sorry 'bout that.

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Smiley Winters was a cookin' drummer and a nice cat... Had a chance to get to know him when I lived in the Bay Area in the mid-late 80's ..

Did you get to know Sonny Simmons there/then too?

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"Smiley Winters was a cookin' drummer and a nice cat"

Yes indeed! I knew Smiley from 1966-1972.

He was always VERY supportive of my playing.

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I have re-read the Oscar Peterson RIP thread, and I have to say that it is far more negative than you have described, and became much more negative fairly early on. But you are a moderator, the most frequent poster, and the unofficial leader of the board. So if you want a tough-minded, intimidating board, you can have that, and make it happen.

I think it is fair to say that what you find "just right", many other reasonable people might find "too hot" or "too cold." But you have made your position clear that those other people can go to hell.

I live in a tough-minded, intimidating atmosphere in the real world every day, and can handle it. I have to decide how much more negativity I want in my life. This board provides some interesting mental stimulation, but I really don't need another dollop of negative intensity in my life. So I will not be visiting Organissimo.org any more.

TWO!

I value both of you guys and wish you would reconsider and stay.

Please!

And I make it three, please. The good voices are good to read. And, remember, you can always ignore someone you don't like to read. Just like in the real world, you don't have to interact with everyone you meet.

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I am often entertained by Clementine's rants, but I find some of her opinions perplexing, also.

As no doubt, is he when she gets that way... ;)

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I'm a late-blooming O.P. fan, but I have to say I don't understand--Jim started this thread in response to complaints that criticism of Peterson in the RIP thread was inappropriate. Now he's being criticized for creating this one. Damned if you do, damned if you don't...

The death of a major figure (and, like him or not, O.P. was obviously a major figure in terms of recognition) will always bring about a period of critical assessment. Jim's creating this thread (again, done in response to overt suggestions elsewhere that he do so) seemed to me like a perfect way to pay-yer-respects there, discuss worthiness of artistic legacy here.

O.P. was much-loved by some posters here and by a large number of music fans--maybe that's why there's a backlash against criticism of his playing here. But it seems to me that any sort of attempted pressure or intimidation being exerted here is coming from those who think highly of him as a musician. And I have to say that I've never seen Jim write anything that would even REMOTELY resemble "you're stupid for liking this." He's a rare blend of high, high intelligence and genuine, soulful respect for his fellow human beings.

Like Catesta, I also feel as if I've learned a little more, might listen a little more deeply, from reading what Larry and some others have written here, both pro and con. This board is never going to be "perfect"--but it's as good a place as I've ever found on the Internet, and I'm still grateful for it. As a wise man once said, "My ass is stayin'!"*

*--overheard at swell party in my youth

Edited by ghost of miles

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As a wise man once said, "My ass is stayin'!"*

*--overheard at swell party in my youth

No doubt that was said after somebody passed a hat around to collect cash for another keg. :g

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As a wise man once said, "My ass is stayin'!"*

*--overheard at swell party in my youth

No doubt that was said after somebody passed a hat around to collect cash for another keg. :g

Shall we start a "I-never-cared-for-a-kegless-party" thread?

Now that should create some unamity!

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Swtiching to OP as an accompanist, I ran across a somewhat strange and interesting test case/set of examples -- the album "Stan Getz and J.J. Johnson at the Opera House." Recorded "live" during the 1957 JATP tour, the performances on the original LP issue (recorded in mono) were not from the tour's Chicago Opera House concert of Sept. 29, 1957 but from its Oct. 7, 1957 concert at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Then the album was reissued on LP in the late '70s or early '80s, with the four (recorded in stereo) performances from the Opera House concert taking the place of the Shrine performances of the same four tunes, with one of Shrine performances remaining as before. The liner notes of this LP reissue claimed that the stereo Opera House performances were musically superior to the mono Shrine performances -- not so at all IMO, for reasons that in part have to do with OP's comping (BTW the rhythm section is the same on both dates: OP, Herb Ellis, Ray Brown, and Connie Kay). Then the generously filled CD version came out in 1986, with all the material from both concerts, except for the Opera House version of "It Never Entered My Mind."

To finally get to my point, on the three longish "blowing" tracks ("Billie's Bounce," "Crazy Rhythm," and "Blues in the Closet") the horns and the rhythm section are in inspired form at the Shrine, and not so hot at the Opera House. In part I think that Getz is the problem, at least initially -- on what could be the first piece from the Opera House concert (it leads off the CD), "Billie's Bounce," Getz sounds quite fragmented at times and probably for that reason goes on a fair bit too long in an attempt perhaps to get his legs beneath him. In part the problem might have been that things were being recorded in stereo there, which could have called for more separation among the players than was desirable musically. But one of the main problems with the Opera House blowing tracks is OP's comping. His choice of figures is much the same as on the galvanic Shrine performances, but time and again his comping falls not inside but to one side or the other of the soloists' phrasing; and when it's on the front side, it doesn't sound anticipatory (harmonically or rhythmically), just a bit out of phase. The feeling one gets here is that Getz and J.J. are riding a horse at top speed, and the horse (and thus the saddle beneath their butts) is not moving quite in rhythm with them, which serves to distract them some and saps their energy. By contrast, on the Shrine blowing tracks, OP, the rest of the rhythm section, and the soloists are thinking and feeling "one" right together, and the whole thing takes off. Another factor, though it could be cause or effect, is that all the Shrine blowing tracks (especially "Billie's Bounce") are swifter than their Opera House counterparts. Perhaps there's not enough evidence here to draw definite conclusions, but the unsual test-case nature of these performances -- same players, on tour together, recorded nine days apart -- does suggest pretty clearly to me that when OP's comping is not what it might be/should be, it is in large part because it's literally hanging a bit outside (fore and aft) the phrase shapes of the soloist, and again not in ways that anticipate or resolve the soloist's thinking.

Larry, it seems to me that what you're saying is that some nights, OP was really hot and other nights he wasn't. Isn't that what we EXPECT of jazz musicians? We expect that every night they'll play what they feel; and some nights it won't come together. Jazz fans know that there's a risk in this music. It's the risk that makes it valuable; that makes every kind of improvised music valuable, that it reflects life as the musician lives it and feels it. And knowing all this, they're still prepared to pay money to go and see this stuff. Because they know that the guy who never made a mistake never made anything.

MG

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