Jump to content

Make Improvised music Dumb Again (MIDA)


Recommended Posts

Most people these days are introduced to jazz as music for intellectuals. Polo neck shirt wearing sophisticate nods head subtly to Miles Davis' Second Quintet in smokey jazz club. 

I'm try to create a playlist of tunes from after the post world war collapse of jazz' popular appeal, which are (i) completely awesome, whilst at the same time (ii) viscerally satisfying - rump shakers and tear jerkers - specifically for a non jazz or blues fan.

However, (iii) the songs must not be so overplayed that they are recognisable to the average listener (e.g. The Sidewinder or Watermelon Man). 

Examples so far:

Listen Here by Eddie Harris (from the Electrifying)

Gibraltar by Stanley Turrentine (from Salt Song)

Take Me To The Mardi Gras by Bob James (from Two)

Winelight by Grover Washington Jr (from Winelight)

Pezulu by Dudu Pukwana (Dudu Phukwana And The Spears)

I've Just Seen A Face by Hank Crawford (from Tico Rico)

I have played each of these tunes time and time again, and they always get killer responses from non-jazz fans. 

What are other some examples that could be included?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the same Kudu/CTI vein there’s GW Jr’s Hydra & Knucklehead. Outside of that label there’s McDuff’s Hunk of Funk.

Loran’s Dance from Idris too. 
 

For the term “dumb” I’m taking that as a position against a presented norm of jazz music and fans being hard to access and stuffy. That’s not actually the case of course, but maybe a common perception among non jazz listeners…?

Edited by Dub Modal
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"dumb" seems to infer an issue of intelligence. What I'm hearing is more a matter of sensory openness to, in this case, all types of music. That's more a spiritual//psychological matter than it is intelligence.

Even in the best of times, people were not particularly open. These days, the incessant propaganda of always-on noise has people programmed to only hear a limited range of  the various elements of music, They're not dumb, and they certainly don't need to be made dumber!

What the world could use is a good de-programming/re-sensitizing. And that includes musicians. Especially musicians!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

38 minutes ago, Dub Modal said:

I agree with a de-programming/re-sensitizing effort. Would also be a good theme for a playlist/mixtape and maybe even a multi-media component.

I would start with getting people to loosen the fuck up about things like dancing and body movement and otherwise interreacting with the music instead of thinking you're supposed to be some kind of a passive recipient of jazzwaves. I know too many people who think that having a genuine verbal exhortation in the middle of a performance is rude and uncouth.

I mean, really!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Really there is so much jazz music that can appeal to just about everyone, either through lovely ballad performances, catchy melodies, or amazing grooves.

Who would not like?

"Someday My Prince Will Come"--Miles

"Central Park West"--Trane

"Ask Me Now"--Monk

"Strange Meadowlark"--Brubeck

How about Sonny performing a calypso?

How about the insane catchiness of "Hottentot" (Scofield) or "Cross the Heartland" (Metheny)?

 

  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Rabshakeh:

I realize "overplayed" is a relatively vague term (depending on one's familiarity with or exposure to this or that style of bebop and post-bebop era jazz), but did you check out the "Soho Scene ... - Jazz Goes Mod" CD reissue series on the (UK) R&B Records label that covers (year by year - from the late 50s to sometime in the 60s) a wide range of US and UK recortdings that should hold quite a few bits that are right what you are looking for. I have only a scant few of them but find a lot of these tunes should have a groove even for those with a 60s music vibe but who claim they are not "into jazz".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

These are all great! Some good ideas.

5 hours ago, JSngry said:

I'm not sure I understand "dumb:? It's the regurgitive hollow re-creative stuff that I find to be dumb.

5 hours ago, Dub Modal said:

For the term “dumb” I’m taking that as a position against a presented norm of jazz music and fans being hard to access and stuffy. That’s not actually the case of course, but maybe a common perception among non jazz listeners…?

By "dumb" I just mean, not particularly seriously, "not music for intellectuals / sophisticates", which is definitely how I think 99% of the human race perceives jazz. I mean music that would get the average person's hips moving. Rump shakers for normies. Class A bangers.

56 minutes ago, Big Beat Steve said:

@Rabshakeh:

I realize "overplayed" is a relatively vague term (depending on one's familiarity with or exposure to this or that style of bebop and post-bebop era jazz), but did you check out the "Soho Scene ... - Jazz Goes Mod" CD reissue series on the (UK) R&B Records label that covers (year by year - from the late 50s to sometime in the 60s) a wide range of US and UK recortdings that should hold quite a few bits that are right what you are looking for. I have only a scant few of them but find a lot of these tunes should have a groove even for those with a 60s music vibe but who claim they are not "into jazz".

I don't know this comp. Is it stuff like Graham Bond, and mod stuff? I'm into that.

Edited by Rabshakeh
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe the subtext here should be "modern jazz for butt shaking."   Before WWII, a lot of jazz was for butt shaking.  But most modern jazz is not.  Sometimes it might be good for toe tapping, finger snapping, head nodding, even shoulder wiggling, but rarely for full blown butt shaking.  

Some of the tracks mentioned here are good exceptions.  Herbie Hancock's Chameleon is a classic in that regard.  Deodado's Super Strut was another dance floor burner.  I was living a lot in Ethiopia in recent years.   Most Ethiopian Jazz is aimed directly at the dance floor, and still today.   Then there is Latin Jazz...

Edited by John L
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, John L said:

Maybe the subtext here should be "modern jazz for butt shaking."   Before WWII, a lot of jazz was for butt shaking.  But most modern jazz is not.  Sometimes, it might be good for toe tapping, finger snapping, head nodding, even shoulder wiggling.  But rarely for full blown butt shaking.

I'll say that how can it be when the musicians themselves don't know how to shake their own butts? Jesus, I look at all these people making records today and I ask myself why they are playing jazz, when they really aren't, they're playing something that they think sounds like jazz. But I don't care where on the "out" spectrum you may or may not be, shit's gotta move. And if you yourself can't move....abandon hope, etc.

I know a guy whose theory is that handclaps make any record better.

It's not a bad theory, actually.

But let's not let the audiences off the hook either. Motherfuckers in the 21st century be programmed in all kinds of ways, none moreso than in terms of sound and time. Don't kid yourself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Handclaps won't hurt...if they're good handclaps.

I think that should be part of an audition, let me hear your handclaps.

If they're not good handclaps, it will all go downhill from there. It's inevitable 

Too late do I learn these things for myself, but you kids, hey 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For 'tear jerkers' I might suggest Gene Ammons, but tastes/perceptions have changed at least as much there as with groove tunes and it's harder to get a handle on the shift on the 'plays pretty for the people' side - dance stuff can be measured to an extent with the accents falling here and here instead of there and there, but...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 30.7.2022 at 6:36 PM, danasgoodstuff said:

For 'tear jerkers' I might suggest Gene Ammons, but tastes/perceptions have changed at least as much there as with groove tunes and it's harder to get a handle on the shift on the 'plays pretty for the people' side - dance stuff can be measured to an extent with the accents falling here and here instead of there and there, but...

It depends on the audience/dancing crowd or subculture you are catering to. I'd have my doubts about this kind of danceable jazz being the right choice to really attract those never exposed to anything even vaguely reminiscent or those only weaned on the currect chart hits. But with those who are into 60s Soul music and the subculture of retro "Northern Soul" (to the extent this is still happening in Britain?) I can well imagine that some jazzier sounds won't frighten them away at all but rather expand the musical horizons of at least some of them. The entire field of Soul Jazz should provide a lot of musical options too. (Paging MG - where are you? ;))

Edited by Big Beat Steve
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/31/2022 at 10:38 AM, Big Beat Steve said:

It depends on the audience/dancing crowd or subculture you are catering to. I'd have my doubts about this kind of danceable jazz being the right choice to really attract those never exposed to anything even vaguely reminiscent or those only weaned on the currect chart hits. But with those who are into 60s Soul music and the subculture of retro "Northern soul" (to the extent this is still happening in Britain?) I can well imagine that some jazzier sounds won't frighten them away at all. The entire field of Soul Jazz should provided a lot of musical options too. (Paging MG - where are you? ;))

I deliberately excluded blues fans for this reason. There's some very clear cross over there, so it seems too easy. It's maybe a bit harder to think of jazz that would appeal to fans of harder edged soul music though: anything with a solo of over a few bars is going to turn them off. Either way, though, much easier to find crossover than for fans of modern, post-soul era pop music.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...