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How do you interact with Jazz and Blues apart from the music?

PorkPiePat

New Member
Messages
6
Hello Folks

Out of curiosity, does anybody enjoy the Jazz/Blues culture by reading books and biographies, or have you seen any films or programmes based on a specific artist or a musical style? For instance, I have read a biography recently about Miles Davis which seemed to encompass a wealth of information regarding he and his contemporaries; the book also naturally explored the burgeoning movements within jazz music which Miles seemingly used to spearhead himself. I've also enjoyed Clinton Eastwood's Bird, which is a dark interpretation of the life of Charlie Parker. I did enjoy the film, how the film crew managed to bring to life the excitement of 52nd Street and allowing a glimpse into the 'birth' of bebop, however, I found that it concentrated the narrative on alot of Bird's excesses and the more negative aspects of his career and life. Anyway, what have you all seen or read recently?
 

Jonners

Member
Messages
140
Hi Pat - until recently I have ha little or no interest in the non-musical side of composers and performers. But this changed recently when I discovered the joys of combining Spotify and Wikipaedia so I could read a bio whilst listening to the music of people about whom I had little prior knowledge. Certainly the life stories of many of the jazz greats makes fascinating reading. It almost seems that you need to be tortured soul to be truly great at your chosen art.
Ian
 

Jonners

Member
Messages
140
Have a look at Coltrane and 'A Love Supreme' and how he was made a saint by the African Orthodox church. I'm sure many peeps here are familiar with the story but it was new to me. There's a picture of him in the style of a Byzantine religious icon -
John Will I Am Coltrane

Don't you just love Spotify?
 

Saxlicker

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,932
Good timing porky

I am currently awaiting Art Peppers 'notes from a jazz survivor' DVD from amazon.
You can see bits of it in you tube clips but I enjoy owning this type of thing.
His autobiography (A straight life) is very graphic and not for the faint hearted.

I liked bird too.

I also look out for fiction and one such film which is kinda nice is the Tic Code. It's about a kid with tourettes and features his admiration for and bond with Tyrone Pike a tenor player. The sax playing is by Alex Foster. Worth a look.
 
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PorkPiePat

New Member
Messages
6
Heyup Saxlicker

It's funny how things seem to work like this, but in the last two weeks I managed to view a copy of the DVD 'Art Pepper:Notes From A Jazz Survivor' and it's very interesting and moving. There is live trio material which I'm sure you're going to appreciate on the programme alongside commentary from Art on his life and struggles. Check out 'Our Song' which he wrote for his wife at the time. Thanks for the recommendations, I also share your enthusiasm for the nod towards Bird.
 

PorkPiePat

New Member
Messages
6
Heyup Jonners

Thanks for replying with the recommendation. I'm very much immersed into anything regarding 'Trane and his music so I'll check out what you've mentioned. I own 'A Love Supreme' and it's incredible. I do have a constant itch to continually listen to his 'Giant Steps' and 'Blue Train' albums which just blow me away everytime.
 

PorkPiePat

New Member
Messages
6
Heyup kevgermany,

I recommend 'Round About Midnight:A Portrait Of Miles Davis by Eric Nisenson if your interested in anything regarding Miles Davis, The sounds and purveyors of Bebop, Cool, Modal and Fusion; or just a huge wedge of commentary on mid-twentieth century jazz music. Or indeed, Forest Whitaker's performance of the incredibly gifted, but seemingly very tormented, Bird and its soundtrack.
 

Young Col

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,419
I read lot about the history of jazz in general and about musicians specifically. I find it adds to my enjoyment and interest in
listening. It's also revealing sometimes.

For example on the sleeve notes of a Clifford Brown album that I bought years ago I was left with the impression that this brilliant, but otherwise sober and highly intelligent hard bop trumpeter, was not a very good driver, having been killed in his car in the last of several serious crashes. In fact reading a biography of Brown recently it turns out that the first of these crashes was caused by a moose wandering onto the road in front of him. The last was on his way to a gig. He was with his pianist Ritchie Powell (brother of Bud) and Ritchie's wife. He was heard asking Ritchie not to let his wife drive while he slept in the back. The last siting of them all alive before the crash which killed them all was leaving a gas station when she was seen driving.....

I am also often surprised at how many jazz greats were captured on bits of film that turn up on YouTube. Having said that, most feature films featuring jazz, supposedly, are usually excrutiating.
YC
 

gladsaxisme

Try Hard Die Hard
Subscriber
Messages
3,409
Hi PorkPiePat

Very interesting thread,adds a new dimension to the playing part that I hadn't even thought of,will have to look into this myself...john
 

jayx124

Member
Messages
30
I recommend the movie "Round Midnight" Is fiction but as I recall it's based on Lester Young (could be wrong on that)
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,805
The Swedish film about Albert Ayler is good!
My Name Is Albert Ayler - the jazz documentary

I’ve seen a film about Big Jay, I think it was in early 80’s. It was a film about him and his life in CA; as postman, Jehovah's Witnesses, playing the flute in his livingroom … . Anyone seen it or knows how to buy it?

http://www.calhum.org/programs/doc_intro.htm
Big Jay, $7,000 (film)
Producer: Adam Hyman
Big Jay will tell the story of 82-year-old Cecil “Big Jay” McNeely, legendary LA R&B saxophone “honker.” The film will place McNeely’s career in the context of post-war Los Angeles, tracing the social, cultural, and economic changes within the city’s African American community.


Thomas
 
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Rico Vandoren

Member
Messages
141
The Stan Getz biography ' Nobody Else But Me ' by Dave Gelly makes good reading. It turns out that Stan was a drug addict, wife beater, wife beatee, tax evader and tyranical band leader.

Good job he was also a musical genius.
 

visionari1

Senior Member
Messages
1,581
I recommend the movie "Round Midnight" Is fiction but as I recall it's based on Lester Young (could be wrong on that)
As the sax player in Round Midnight is played by Dexter Gordon & he did visit Paris, could be loosley based on him?
 

Steve John B

Member
Messages
134
Good timing porky

I am currently awaiting Art Peppers 'notes from a jazz survivor' DVD from amazon.
You can see bits of it in you tube clips but I enjoy owning this type of thing.
His autobiography (A straight life) is very graphic and not for the faint hearted.
I also bought the Pepper DVD a couple of weeks ago. There is some great live material on it, just a shame it's not longer!

Treated myself to Round Midnight too, haven't managed to fit that in yet but remember it (from 20 years ago) being pretty good.
 

Saxlicker

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,932
The Stan Getz biography ' Nobody Else But Me ' by Dave Gelly makes good reading. It turns out that Stan was a drug addict, wife beater, wife beatee, tax evader and tyranical band leader.

Good job he was also a musical genius.
And the way Dave Gelly writes is great. He plays tenor pretty well himself!
 
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