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Musical Musings

saxplorer

Senior Member
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879
I've hummed and hawed about making this post. I still feel very much a musical beginner but do feel passionately about music: I always have, but it has a new dimension since I started trying to learn to play ...

From time to time I have felt sufficiently moved to try and express in words some or other aspect of what this process has meant to me. And, just like playing alone is not the same as playing with/for others, so writing for yourself without sharing is pretty meaningless...

So here goes: my occasional blog is here: Musement.
 
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kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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21,947
You write really well. Deep insight.... Touch of homesickness as well, I think.
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
Messages
4,624
Ah- a discussion highlighting one of my all time favourite albums, The Trinity Sessions is an exquisite piece of work from start to finish (always found "200 more miles" to be the stand out, but -hey - that's just me).
By the way- their album over cover versions is well worth tracking down, if only for their take on Neil Young's Helpless...
I'm with you concerning genres- as my old drummer once said, "there are only two types of music- good music and bad music"- though even that is a pretty subjective thing. The only possible advantage I've found in genres is marketing- my recent musical career has contained a jump jive band (dead easy to get gigs) & two fairly unclassifiable 'arty rock bands' who always had extreme difficulty in that neither could be easily pigeon holed.
 

Young Col

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,419
I don't usually read blogs, but something made me open yours and I was touched by how thoughtful and thought provoking your writing is.

Like you, C&W does absolutely nothing for me, Nor does what passes for most forms of popular music these days - it all seems to take place with talentless warbling singers who need either pitch correctors or backing dancers or both. But in terms of overcoming prejudice I have been struck by Adele. She reminds me somewhat of Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday or Sarah Vaughan - no gimmics, just the ability to stand there and deliver songs clearly that are passionate and meant. It's a rare talent.

I indentified with some of your earlier blogs too. As a lifelong jazz enthusiast I had somehow missed Abdullah Ibrahim until I saw him a couple of years ago (at Basingstoke - that nice Mr Thomas was there too). I was bowled over by the meaningful simplicity of his music, whether joyous up tempo or quietly reflective. Water from an Ancient Well is now one of my favourite albums.

Louis Prima too. One of several fine New Orleans trumpeters, including Sharkey Bonano and Wingy Manone, who seem to be a bit neglected by the jazz media these days. Why? Who knows. Did they become too popular? Perhaps, but no more so than Louis Armstrong's transformation into popular entertainer (although undoubtedly they were not of the same stature as him). A point to ponder.


Thanks for the brain tickling.
YC
 

Rico Vandoren

Member
Messages
141
I've been obsessed with music all my life. Firstly rock and pop, then folk, and, since I took up the sax, jazz. I'm 51 now and I'm worried that I'm running out of time to hear it all. To make it worse, you lot keep throwing more musical hats into the ring. On the basis of YC's post (above) I've just Spotified ' Water From an Ancient Well '. Its great. The first track made me smile instantly. So there you go, that's another one I'll have to listen to for the rest of my life. The Cowboy Junkies ( who I've never heard of ) are next on the list. I'm going to have my dinner first...
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
Messages
4,624
Re C&W- do bear in mind there's a huge difference between 'Country'- a form of (broadly speaking) celtic influenced, white american folk music (cowboy junkies, hank williams etc) and 'Country & Western'- a creation of a record company marketing department some time in the 1960s/70s (dolly parton, garth brooks etc)
 

saxplorer

Senior Member
Messages
879
a huge difference between 'Country' ... and 'Country & Western'
Jules, fair comment, and also your point above re genres - I can absolutely see that as a maker of music, you need to pitch your output in such a way as your audience can identify it and decide if it's for them (or not as the case may be). As a consumer of music, I need to be aware that genre boundaries may be restrictive.

And I think every track on Trinity Session has been my favourite at some time or another ....
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
Messages
4,624
And I think every track on Trinity Session has been my favourite at some time or another ....
good point! Its one of my perfect driving back form a gig- 1am on the M25 albums...
as i said- I'd highly recommend tracking down their version of 'helpless' (and their take on 'dead flowers' too, lovely)...
 

Kingsleyhk

Senior Member
Messages
508
Sorry to show my ignorance but who/what are the Trinity Sessions? Is this the Cowboy Junkies?

In defence of C & W: it depends whom you're listening to and how you define it. Of course some of it's rubbish, but that's true of almost any musical genre that, for whatever reason, needs a lowest common denominator. But that doesn't make the genre per se suspect - just the forces that are manipulating it.

But if anyone needs convincing that there is some mileage for people who appreciate well played music and sax players, try pretty much anything by Delbert McClinton.

And by the way, Boots Randolph knew his way around a tenor!

The other thing about country is that, like jazz, it touches a wide variety of people. I have sung country in Tokyo, Hiroshima, Hong Kong and Singapore, as well as Australia and UK - and it connects with my Indonesian wife, who would never have heard country until about eight years ago. What's wrong with music that does that?
 
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Kingsleyhk

Senior Member
Messages
508
Saxplorer - just been to your blog - marvelous. You just turned me on to some wonderful stuff by people I had (mostly) never heard of!

Sincere thanks.
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
Messages
5,545
Rejecting all C & W or any genre out of hand is short-sighted and i'm minus 7.5 diopter in one eye. I used to abuse muzak but there are background pieces that cause what little hair is left on the back of my neck, to stand up. Try the 'outlaws' who rejected Nashvile, please note the second "l" is omitted on purpose, and recorded what they wanted. Nashville and Dolly turned out worthwhile items. "Coat of Many Colours" is schmaltzy but tells a real story, probably true, that affects this heartless OAP.

Everything is worth a listen as it is an extension on what existed before. Whether it appeals is a personal choice and dismissal of the total output of that musical form is obviously wrong unless you know all of that output, although the limits of that form will differ person to person.

Thanks for starting a thread that causes brain pain, Saxplorer, just don't do it too often.
 

saxplorer

Senior Member
Messages
879
Thanks to all who have responded to this: I am really encouraged by your kind words, and will definitely continue posting to my blog from time to time.
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Subscriber
Messages
5,946
Your blog is an interesting read. When young, I was very prejudiced in that I would only listen to classical music (probably as a reaction to my contemporaries who told me I "had" to like Led Zeppelin, or Frank Zappa or whatever my class mates were into in mid 1970s).

As I've got older, I have firstly realised that I like music that is played well by intelligent musicians. There are some genres I don't get on with, but that's a personal taste thing, I can still appreciate good musicianship. The second thing is that my tastes have broadened considerably, but I still don't like so-called "pop" music, most of which is performed by the talentless spawn of the mephistophelian marketing department of some company or other.

I much prefer live music, performed by real musicians.
 
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What

Member
Messages
314
Excellent blog well written with excellent insight. Great music transcends genres or pure definition. Bands like Nightwish, defined as metal but with excellent use of orchestral instruments to support their lead singer actually life long trained and talented opera singer (not one of these kids imitating one), or Black Label Society, a mellow metal band that brings years of experience and quest to make metal more then just thrashing your guitar as hard as you can. Your blog not only bring out some great artist, but it has me taking a closer look at the musicians I've alwayse loved.
 
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