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fasstrack

'Hanging Judges' around here

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This forum is self-described as the best on the web. And so it is. The regulars here are knowledgeable, thoughtful, and caring. That's why I'm disappointed in the non-starter and judgmental nature of much of what I read here lately. My main concern is like everyone else's: love for this art form and its continued growth in tough times and so many cards already stacked against us. Those more interested in things political than myself ought to know about 'divide and conquer'. Boy, is it ever working with jazz...The most recent transgression IMO was a guy--with good intentions, no doubt, mis-describing an innovative space that's put on music and plays you won't see elsewhere as a 'club' and the owners of the building as 'promoters' based on a beef of a disgruntled player who might be right but also could've maybe prevented an ugly incident had either accepted the place's policy of deducting bread-possibly to defray overhead costs and hustled to get asses in seats to cover it or stayed home. (I won't pay to play

Edited by fasstrack

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Pt 2 (using a cell phone allowing limited character use per post): ...or for the door myself). But I also know the cost and risk for venues to puton music for limited audiences. Let's not be so quick to judge or hang. I also was very put off by a thread by 2 members (OP and 'choir leader') I otherwise greatly respect on the sexual preferences of dead musicians. How this claptrap and privacy invasion of defenseless dead jazz greats helps either jazz or live gay people someone please explain, as I don't get it. And another poster I basically really like, and vice-versa, slammed a great player who's made it economically as a sell-out while being drug about a stellar review of a less-than-great one. I can dig some of the sentiment but viewing the big picture wish people would consider that if one makes it we all make it. Differences of opinion are cool, and I am NOT applying for a gig as O censor. But, quoting Rodney King, 'can we get along?' We're all we have, so why not unite instead and help the

Edited by fasstrack

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3:...hobbled music we love, already declared dead by the media. Can we not help shovel dirt on the grave? Can we have more topics on how to promote and uplift jazz and its practitioners and fans? Pretty please? Cherries on top?

Edited by fasstrack

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I agree that sometimes the discussions become negative around here. I think it is interesting to have differences of opinion, and that's how we can learn about different perspectives.

What I find surprising is how often a thread will go like this--a musician is mentioned, someone will post that they never really enjoyed that musician's work, and immediately several other members will agree, stating briefly that they too don't like the musician. It feels like a herd mentality sometimes, as if the other members are agreeing with the first negative poster for the sake of agreeing with him.

Maybe it is up to those who disagree with the first negative poster to state their contrary view more explicitly, that they like the musician's work, so that a discussion can go back and forth. It is easier to not participate than to disagree some time, but I think that's how some negative threads develop.

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What I find surprising is how often a thread will go like this--a musician is mentioned, someone will post that they never really enjoyed that musician's work, and immediately several other members will agree, stating briefly that they too don't like the musician. It feels like a herd mentality sometimes, as if the other members are agreeing with the first negative poster for the sake of agreeing with him.

Would it not be the same "herd mentality" when the same thing occurs stating a liking of somebody's work?

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What I find surprising is how often a thread will go like this--a musician is mentioned, someone will post that they never really enjoyed that musician's work, and immediately several other members will agree, stating briefly that they too don't like the musician. It feels like a herd mentality sometimes, as if the other members are agreeing with the first negative poster for the sake of agreeing with him.

Would it not be the same "herd mentality" when the same thing occurs stating a liking of somebody's work?

Sure. I think disagreement is healthy, and a well reasoned, supported negative opinion is very valuable. But I don't remember many threads where member after member says, oh boy, I just think Mr. X is so great. Maybe there are a lot of them and I am not remembering them. The negative ones stick out to me.

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Objectively, I think there's probably a l;ot more "booster" type threads here than not, simply because we all love the music overall. Just not all of it all the time.

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What I find surprising is how often a thread will go like this--a musician is mentioned, someone will post that they never really enjoyed that musician's work, and immediately several other members will agree...
I worked with Jaki Byard 1984-5. He taught me many lessons about life, and what it means to be a jazz musician. Being an elder of the tribe and understanding the role, he put up with a lot from my young, dumb, immature ass. I hope didn't think his breath was wasted, and I regret never thanking him. Anyway, one thing he told me worth its weight in gold: I was fat-mouthing some musician, like young players who think they know something and can play do. Jaki gave me a hard look and said 'everybody's a big-time critic, but nobody plays shit'. It took years to get that, and only now am I really trying to live in a way of talking less, playing more let's maybe take all critcism from where and whom it comes. And with a huge grain of salt...

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Also, it's not mainly criticism. It's pretty easy to figure out how seriously to take someone by what they say and how consistently over time. It's the pettiness of sniping and snap-judging that does real damage to us all IMO. It's pointing the gun at your foot and hitting your temple. Or everyone's, actually.

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OKAY, OKAY, I'LL TRY TO STOP.

;)

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streaming of the Monk Institute's Piano Competition is available from the website right now. it's so uplifting to see an example of what good hands (no pun intended) jazz is in!!

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I love jazz, and have for over 40 years - but I don't feel obligated to "help" the music, if by helping we mean a narrow focus on only "positive" things - or at least things that some people think is positive. On the other hand I think intense and exhaustive criticism is better for jazz than cheerleading. Otherwise we end up with what passes for the Jazz press.

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Among the musicians I've met and worked with, it's been pretty rare that I've heard a disparaging remark about another jazz musician. In general, people tend to follow my mother's philosophy and "if you can say anything nice..." Which isn't to say you don't still pick up the vibe.

On some level that's good. We all have different tastes and potshots at music that may have appeal to someone else (asssuming here someone with some reasonably developed musical taste, even if different from my own) doesn't do much to keep the good in jazz alive. Call my music lousy, and I may get defensive or I may resent it or I may carry a light grudge that festers until I can question YOUR taste.

Then again, if I find some sort of affinity for Poster X in terms of musical taste, I'm interested in his/her unvarnished opinion, as long as it comes with some thought. (Don't tell me "so-and-so is lousy" or "...doesn't play jazz" without telling me why you feel that way. On the other hand, if you're going to say "so-and-so is the cat's pajamas", back it up, at least with a recommended cut that can be sampled on line. When I read Down Beat or Jazz Times or whatever, I know whose tastes most closely reflect my own. I "weight" accordingly.

For the most part, people here have the listening and writing skills to articulate why they react the way they do. So take the extra sentence and let me know why you're thinking what you're thinking.

Digressing a bit, it's interesting to witness another phenomenon.

"I'm thinking about buying such-and-such a recording. Is it good? It's going to strain my budget."

"Oh yeah, gotta have that one!"

"Essential"

"One of my favorites. Buy it immediately."

" :tup :tup :tup "

It seems like a rare exception to the rule that someone will say, "nah, save your bread." Maybe just my impression.

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I imagine that 'criticism' is only held in high regard by critics and their hangers on. Too much of it seems to be screaming 'look at me, look how hard I am to please, look how discriminating I am.'

Writing that can explain what is really going on in in a piece of music (to be distinguished from writing that projects the writer's obsessions onto the music)...worth its weight in gold.

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Another interesting phenomenon: "Who's your favorite drummer?" For many, this seems like a cue to pick the most obscure guy they can think of. (Even though the answer is obvious: Ike Day).

In a few cases, the answer has opened my ears to someone new, but usally, it's just an exercise. "My favorite drummer is so-and-so, but he never recorded because he was just too hip."

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Another interesting phenomenon: "Who's your favorite drummer?" For many, this seems like a cue to pick the most obscure guy they can think of. (Even though the answer is obvious: Ike Day).

Runner-up might be Jimmy Zitano.

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Another interesting phenomenon: "Who's your favorite drummer?" For many, this seems like a cue to pick the most obscure guy they can think of. (Even though the answer is obvious: Ike Day).

Runner-up might be Jimmy Zitano.

Or Guy Viveros.

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Guy Viveros?

I quit. Again. :g

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This is to Allen. (I'm limited by a broken laptop to using my cell and scroll far enough to reply directly): No one's telling anyone to be a cheerleader or bore everyone being perky all day. And if a friend or a thing fucks up you're doing them a favor calling him on it b/c you care enough to speak up. That's constructive. It's the other stuff, the fat-mouthing, that ain't shit. I can be plenty dark, in fact years of my life I'll never see again were lost to that altar. I like myself much better the other way, and so does everyone else. People here are adults and can do what they want. I'm not the fucking Mosaich,...

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Pt. 2: just a guitar player-composer trying to be a decent human being. That's hard enough. But, for myself, I think every action, even every thought radiates out and has influence. So a look in the mirror once in a while can't hurt. I was given many gifts, not the least of which were the jazz musicians who took me in the tribe as one of theirs for whatever reason. If they treated me like a winner I figure I damn well ought to act like one and make their investment good. But it's the music that's the winner, a bigger one than any one person at the top, middle, or bottom of the food chain. So when I see people acting in a way that kicks the music in the ass when they should know better and we're ALREADY dealing with a stacked deck, fuck yeah, that's depressing. So shoot me.

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Guy Viveros?

I quit. Again. :g

Chicago drummer of the late '40s, '50s and on. Played with Ira Sullivan. He can be heard backing the excellent singer Johnny Janis on an album from the early '60s but unreleased at the time, "Jazz Up Your Life" (Starwell), along with Ira, bassist Jerry Friedman, and Dodo Marmarosa. Some great stuff here. I got it from Janis' website, and it may still be available there.

Link to a post of mine about Janis that discusses that album with Viveros. Unfortunately Janis' website seems not to be active:

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When I recorded Ira in the late '70s (for his "comeback") one night he brough Guy to replace Wilbur Campbell on a tune or two. Wilbur played the studio vibes then. Not issued, but I still have the multi-tracks.

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Another interesting phenomenon: "Who's your favorite drummer?" For many, this seems like a cue to pick the most obscure guy they can think of. (Even though the answer is obvious: Ike Day).

Runner-up might be Jimmy Zitano.

A couple years ago, I was curious about Zitano and emailed Ray Santisi to find out his whereabouts. Apparently, he died while on stage with Al Hirt.

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No sir.

He died on the stage right here in Dallas, with a local group.

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