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Remembering Creed Taylor


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Do people who complain about an over-produced jazz record also complain about an under-produced jazz record?

And no, releasing sloppyass takes with poorly executed playing when taking a little time to fix a few things before proceeding is not under-produced. That's poorly produced.

Maybe that's what the focus should be - did you get it right or not.

Do your clothes fit you right, that's the question. If they do, hey, wear whatever the hell you want. But if they don't...get your ass back in the house and work that shit out before you come back out. 

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14 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Maybe that's what the focus should be - did you get it right or not.

Agreed, but I think a some jazz listeners cling to this idea that jazz needs to be "spontaneous" and "in the moment,"  and that production somehow compromises that high standard.

Maybe those listeners should listen only to live jazz albums.  And because even live jazz albums can be edited, maybe they should just hear live jazz and listen to other music on record.  

Edited by Teasing the Korean
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44 minutes ago, Teasing the Korean said:

 

A very prominent classical music critic once told a professional musician friend of mine that he could review an album based on the cover art alone.  And I get it.  

Good for you. Just seems a superficial detail for me, a part of merchandizing. Nothing to do with the music itself, but may be a way to get you to purchase the music, feel a part of a certain hip crowd, etc.

Edited by jazzbo
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2 minutes ago, jazzbo said:

Good for you. Just seems a superficial detail for me, a part of merchandizing. Nothing to do with the music itself, but may be a way to get you to purchase the music, feel a part of a certain hip crowd, etc.

Some of us care about packaging.  Some don't.  C'est la vie.

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11 minutes ago, Teasing the Korean said:

 

Maybe those listeners should listen only to live jazz albums.  And because even live jazz albums can be edited, maybe they should just hear live jazz and listen to other music on record.  

I think it was Leonard Feather who in one of his 1950s books posited the idea that technology would soon make it possible to create the perfect jazz record by just rolling tape forever and the picking the best choruses and editing them together to make a perfect take. He got somebody, Zoot Sims maybe? to endorse the idea. 

Of course, hello Teo Macero, but Teo was a deeply serious and expert composer, not some asshole opportunistic jazz critic. Teo was not playing games and doing a gimmick. And Teo was not splicing choruses, Teo was waaaay beyond that.

The more On The Corner I hear...hey. Teo, genius at doing that thing that way. 

Chuck Nessa made great records by going the opposite route, simply creating a sensitive and comfortable environment and letting thing go right - and ensuring that they kept going right.

Chick Nessa also has the gift of knowing who he wanted to record and didn't bother making records he didn't want to make. So artist and producer were on the same page from jump. There might have been an exception or two, but overall, it's mutually gifted and simpatico artists collaborating. 

When you get that dynamic, it really doesn't matter what type of music it is, you're going to to get a good record. Anything else, hey, business is business. 

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16 minutes ago, JSngry said:

I think it was Leonard Feather who in one of his 1950s books posited the idea that technology would soon make it possible to create the perfect jazz record by just rolling tape forever and the picking the best choruses and editing them together to make a perfect take. He got somebody, Zoot Sims maybe? to endorse the idea. 

Of course, hello Teo Macero, but Teo was a deeply serious and expert composer, not some asshole opportunistic jazz critic. Teo was not playing games and doing a gimmick. And Teo was not splicing choruses, Teo was waaaay beyond that.

The more On The Corner I hear...hey. Teo, genius at doing that thing that way. 

I guess it comes down to whether you are more into the process or the final results.  I am into the latter, though I can respect the former.  I remember ages ago reading a review of Art Tatum's albums and the reviewer complaining that tunes from the solo Norman Granz sessions sounded too much like their counterparts on the earlier Decca and Capitol sessions, the implication being that Tatum was playing arrangements and not living up to the reviewer's standards of improvisation. Considering the magnitude of those solo Granz sessions, it struck me as a very petty complaint, then and now. 

Edited by Teasing the Korean
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There have been very few true improvisors in this or any other music. That's some Romantic bullshit. 

There have been a lot more great interpreters of their various personal and collective vocabularies (and vocabularies they are, music at its highest level is both math and language, head and heart) and those interpretations do involve spontaneous inspirations. 

I wish people would stop confusing those two things, we could get rid of a lot of noise. 

I can listen to Johnny Hodges never play the same thing twice the same way every time and NEVER get tired of it. 

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9 minutes ago, Teasing the Korean said:

I guess it comes down to whether you are more into the process or the final results.  I am into the latter, though I can respect the former.  I remember ages ago reading a review of Art Tatum's albums and the reviewer complaining that tunes from the solo Norman Granz sessions sounded too much like their counterparts on the earlier Decca and Capitol sessions, the implication being that Tatum was playing arrangements and not living up to the reviewer's standards of improvisation. Considering the magnitude of those solo Granz sessions, it struck me as a very petty complaint, then and now. 

Frankly, I enjoyed the Art Tatum Solo Masterpieces even more when the songs were restored to the original order of performance, Tatum wasn’t randomly playing songs but seemed like he was playing for an audience.

Tatum critics like Andre Hodeir are mere footnotes in jazz, if anything, destined to be forgotten.

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3 hours ago, Peter Friedman said:

I am guessing (no hard data here), that for the most part, those with large comprehensive  collections of Blue Note albums on their shelves are unlikely to have large collections of Creed Taylors CTI albums on their shelves. And vice-versa. A number of good friends of mine would serve as good examples.

 This is a generalization, and there will be some exceptions.

I'm one of the exceptions.  What I don't have is a large number of, say, Anthony Braxton or Lester Young albums on shelves.

2 hours ago, JSngry said:

Am I the only one who doesn't at all get Seawind? I take it that they're supposed to have been amazing, and Jerry Hey certainly has a most impressive resume, but the band itself? Not for me, thank you.

I don't get them either.  And I wanted to get them, tried a few times decades apart.

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13 minutes ago, JSngry said:

There have been very few true improvisors in this or any other music. That's some Romantic bullshit. 

There have been a lot more great interpreters of their various personal and collective vocabularies (and vocabularies they are, music at its highest level is both math and language, head and heart) and those interpretations do involve spontaneous inspirations. 

I wish people would stop confusing those two things, we could get rid of a lot of noise. 

I can listen to Johnny Hodges never play the same thing twice the same way every time and NEVER get tired of it. 

Yup.

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2 hours ago, JSngry said:

Freddie's records on Columbia were only sometimes uninspired, never awful, and in the case of The Love Connection, sone of his absolutely best playing on record.

'HIgh Energy' sounds good to me at this late date, and 'Gleam' is a really good live double LP.

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8 minutes ago, felser said:

I'm one of the exceptions.  

So am I.

10 minutes ago, Ken Dryden said:

Frankly, I enjoyed the Art Tatum Solo Masterpieces even more when the songs were restored to the original order of performance, Tatum wasn’t randomly playing songs but seemed like he was playing for an audience.

Tatum critics like Andre Hodeir are mere footnotes in jazz, if anything, destined to be forgotten.

Which edition has them in the correct order?  I have the Pablo box from the 1970s (after writing above that I avoided Pablo records).

I can forgive Andre Hodeir's criticisms because I love his music, especially Jazz et Jazz

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6 minutes ago, felser said:

I'm one of the exceptions.  What I don't have is a large number of, say, Anthony Braxton or Lester Young albums on shelves. 

And I am another exception in that I do. Of both.

Although with Braxton, "large number" is a relative quantity. But I keep adding, behind the curve I inevitably am. Who cares? 

Music is fun! 👁️

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1 hour ago, Teasing the Korean said:

So am I.

Which edition has them in the correct order?  I have the Pablo box from the 1970s (after writing above that I avoided Pablo records).

I can forgive Andre Hodeir's criticisms because I love his music, especially Jazz et Jazz

I used to own the LP set, but the later CD set has the performances in the original order. They flow better in my view in that order.

 

 

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I definitely don't have a large collection of CTI stuff. I feel that most of the artists on the label did far better work elsewhere, though there are gems that I treasure like Pure Desmond. 

Everyone's musical palette is different... I am buying for my listening enjoyment, not to entertain visitors.

5 minutes ago, Teasing the Korean said:

Good to know.

Unlike the Group Masterpieces, the unissued tracks weren't added. I believe Terri Hinte at Fantasy told me they weren't found. The songs from Tatum's Hollywood Bowl set in 1956 are added.

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14 hours ago, Peter Friedman said:

Absolutely, I like the Pablo Milt Jackson CDs very much. Highly swinging music without over production or slickness.

I LOVE Milt on Pablo, albums like Montreux '77 with Ray Brown, Simply Duke and Memories Of Thelonious Sphere Monk, but there's a limit to that stuff for me.  I had about 50 Pablo's on CD at the time of the fire, but I don't think I'd collect that many again.  Like Concord, (and I have a handful since rebuilding) that kind of thing goes a LONGGGGGGGGGG way if you know what I mean.  So many albums of relatively polite mostly standards driven swinging, and I'm tempted to reach for electric stuff.  My taste though hard straight ahead swinging jazz is my foundation, it's become a LOT wider to the point I never play the what is/what isn't jazz game anymore.

6 hours ago, felser said:

'HIgh Energy' sounds good to me at this late date, and 'Gleam' is a really good live double LP.

High Energy and Gleam are fantastic.  I think revisiting some 70's albums are fun, even though I'm a millennial and was born in 81 when that music was still relatively fresh. That music, while it might occasionally get a roll of the eyes from people who experienced in real time,  it can be valuable for other generations... see the acid jazz boom in the 80's 90's or how some kids coming up now really love the 70's thing.  Honestly, while having bought the new Jazz a Vienne Past and Future 2 CD compilation which is excellent, most of the unknown to me French musicians it highlights coming up now like Leon Phal and Jasual Cazz, it struck me how the 70's is a very real thing to them, alongside hip hop.  The new jazz drumming innovations come from hip hop and ppl like J. Dilla. 

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Well, heck to heck, talk about being way out of the loop, this is the first I've heard of the passing of Creed Taylor. Put me down as a fan of a lot of CTI jazz. Taylor took chances at times that worked out well, Don Sebesky did fine work, I liked his Giant Box, though that leaves some people cold. He definitely had an approach to records, in some ways it seems to me he led the way to the "smooth jazz" sound, but that's just one person's opinion. He added joy to my life with some of the CTI Records, most of which have been mentioned here, and for that, I am thankful.

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11 hours ago, felser said:

'HIgh Energy' sounds good to me at this late date, and 'Gleam' is a really good live double LP.

I am a fan of Skagly, despite the somewhat offensive album title and and cover photo.  Good playing, pretty decent tunes.  I prefer it to High Energy.

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Gotta remember that Gleam was originally released only in Japan. It would have been nice to have had it here at the time. Same thing with the Herbie Hancock records that were released only in Japan. 

You know who did not do well on CTI imo? Ron Carter. One album, All Blues with Joe Henderson and Roland Hanna was pretty good, but the rest .. not so much. They all seemed to be of his own making, though, not Creed Taylor. 

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3 hours ago, Matthew said:

Well, heck to heck, talk about being way out of the loop, this is the first I've heard of the passing of Creed Taylor. Put me down as a fan of a lot of CTI jazz. Taylor took chances at times that worked out well, Don Sebesky did fine work, I liked his Giant Box, though that leaves some people cold. He definitely had an approach to records, in some ways it seems to me he led the way to the "smooth jazz" sound, but that's just one person's opinion. He added joy to my life with some of the CTI Records, most of which have been mentioned here, and for that, I am thankful.

+1 on Creed establishing the smooth sound

On 8/31/2022 at 6:43 PM, JSngry said:

Apples and oranges it is, and just remember, the claim is not that it is "the best", just that there are none better.

Goodbye is really good too CTI did well by Milt, actually. 

Milt on CTI was great. Only one I haven't heard is Olinga, just portions of that one. Goodbye is wonderful. Ordered it from The Bastids awhile back. Sunflower and Cherry are my favorite because of the Billy Cobham hookups with Herbie on the former and how hard he swings on the latter 

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2 hours ago, JSngry said:

 

You know who did not do well on CTI imo? Ron Carter. One album, All Blues with Joe Henderson and Roland Hanna was pretty good, but the rest .. not so much. They all seemed to be of his own making, though, not Creed Taylor. 

His albums after CTI aren't too hot either.  They seem designed to feed his ego.  I do like "Uptown Conversations" on Embryo, his first solo album, but prefer his CTI's to his Milestones, and his Blue Notes I find insufferably prissy.

Edited by felser
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