Monday Recommendation: Tommy Smith On Coltrane
19 hours ago
‘The duo play back and forth between each other with Hancock dominating the sonic spectrum of the song with low bass thuds and high register melodic runs.’
‘this is still a fantastic three minutes of interaction from one of the best to have ever done it and one of the most promising talents of the future.’
‘I am not sure who is playing percussion behind Loueke but it's a nice addition, giving the track some much needed flare (sic).’
‘However, it’s Baron who is the biggest star of this show. He propulses this song into a wide orbit with shimmering cymbals, subtle fills, well-timed rumbles and bombs.’
‘Potter re-enters with bass clarinet in hand, playing skronky high notes in a manner that I’ve never heard the instrument being played before’
The rhythm section on this record is beautiful. Paul Motian is one of the steadiest drummers around. Paul and Bill Evans work very well on this. The rhythm section plays better when Grimes rather than Hinton is the bassist because Milt's beat is so dominant. Henry has a tendency to sit down on the beat so that it's there when the soloist arrives.
I wish engineers would stop adding all that echo to the horns. Both Miles and Julian sound like they are playing in a large hall, but the rhythm section is recorded flat. The resulting illusion is that the horns have a built-in resonance that continues even when the note is stopped. I know this is done to satisfy the hifi fan, but this sort of distortion strikes me as a far cry from "fidelity."
I must especially emphasize the absence of the afterbeat accent on the high-hat. When one is not used to its absence, one feels a sensation of freedom, as though floating in a void with no point of reference. Actually this kind of freedom is a trademark of the greatest jazzmen. Charlie Parker carried this kind of floating on top of the time the farthest, I think"; and the great soloists at their best moments seem completely free of the alternation of "strong-weak, strong-weak" that some people mistakenly call swing.
If you like what Ronan Guilfoyle is saying , then be my guest, and try The Art and Science of Time...and I will give a prize for the best explanation in no more than 50 words of what it means.
Congratulations on the publication of your first issue . . . I am . . . enclosing a money order for $4.50 for a year's subscription. I have thought about saving $3.50 by taking a three year subscription but have decided that with the wonderful advances in ballistic missiles and automobiles, it is unwise to commit yourself for more than a year in advance.
David Givner, New York
1) Jazz education turns all who partake of it into clones.
2) The proof of jazz education’s failure is the fact that though there are more practitioners than ever before the percentage of great players hasn’t got any higher.
3) What is the point of turning out jazz graduates when there are no gigs?
‘With students all over the United States being taught more or less the same harmonic principles, it is hardly surprising that their solos tend to sound much the same. It is important for us to understand that many of the most influential players developed their own personal harmonic schemes, very frequently because they had little training in theory and were forced to find it their own way.’
“There’s positive aspects to jazz education, but I do worry about how corporate and money-driven it can seem, especially now that the bubble has burst. As we all know, not only do young players fresh out of jazz college have trouble finding gigs, but for musicians of all ages the current market is completely over-saturated, making it extraordinarily difficult for anything to have any economic value whatsoever”
“We have to quit thinking of college as a vocational school. College, to me, is a place where you go to learn something, to develop intellectual and social skills so that you can become a contributing member of society. No one needs to go to college to learn to play jazz, anyway. In the same respect, college doesn’t create a brilliant economist.”