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Perfection

randulo

Playing saxophone 20 months - 2.3% of my life
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You know what? That depends on your goal. I have no intention of pursuing perfection. I never came close on the guitar in the half century I was focused on it and I won't get there in the relatively short time left for saxophone. All I can do is try to learn to play what I hear. I seek to improve as much as possible, but I only want to be able to do what I want. I don't read or care to read music. I don't do long exercises in the morning to improve my facility. I do try to do the long tones, because sound and focus on intonation are two of my biggest challenges. But there's no hope to even be "good" in the context the very numerous excellent saxophonists. I can't even be average in that context.

(That was to @BigMartin)

To only be good at being yourself, that is its own perfection.
/me
 

randulo

Playing saxophone 20 months - 2.3% of my life
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Does anyone think there's a difference between playing the saxophone perfection and champions of sports perfection? (Other potential drug use.) I think in sports, you are trying to achieve or break a record, for example. In saxophone, are you trying to play more notes in Giant Steps? Probably not. Speaking of mastery, I read that Sonny Rollins still practices every day and I think he said once that he still tries to get better, etc. That speaks to those who seek perfection, although I doubt Sonny would use that word.
 

Halfers

Finger Flapper
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I don't know about perfection in terms of technical performance or any of that. I do know that I've experienced plenty of tiny perfect moments either through playing and learning an instrument, including the Saxophone, performing in front of people and through experiencing other people performing live. That intangible, un-record able, immeasurable quality of experience and realisation that can't be defined. That'll do me.
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
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New Mexico, US
I remember when the connection between the words 'tranny' and 'music' meant the portable radio on which you listened to it.
Seems somewhat sequitir to mention Ms. Carole Colman here: the first "out" transsexual in pop music (not a bad bass player either).
Screen Shot 2019-09-10 at 9.35.02 AM.png


OK- that was a digression, sorry. Nevertheless.....
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
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Before that there was Wayne County, wouldn't post any videos, frighten the horses.
They weren't a bad band ! Actually, Kid Creole had been together since the late 70's, and I think Wayne transitioned to Jayne in around '78 (?)....so Carole and Wayne were contemporaries....
 

Targa

Among the pigeons
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They weren't a bad band ! Actually, Kid Creole had been together since the late 70's, and I think Wayne transitioned to Jayne in around '78 (?)....so Carole and Wayne were contemporaries....
He was still calling himself Wayne when I saw them in 78, as for bad I've seen worse.
The not posting videos and frightening horses was more for which of his more famous works would be considered suitable for a family forum?
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
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I think you can reach perfection in art. It isn't in the execution, though, but in the fulfilment of the artist's "mission", which is to communicate something to one or more listeners. You can perfectly execute music and yet have it say little except how hard you worked practicing and how much facility you gained. On the other hand, a sloppy blues lick at the beginning of a song can communicate perfectly what you meant to say.
I think you summarised it perfectly.

The big question is still "who am I to judge myself?", but that's secondary
 

randulo

Playing saxophone 20 months - 2.3% of my life
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The two worst audiences are other players of the same instrument and yourself. Both are biased by the possession of too much information. The other players will always be comparing you to them and the countless other genius players they've studied all their lives, and you are YOU, too close to the topic to be impartial.

I was thinking this morning though, that a partial answer for @Jazzaferri about how perfection can be summed up was something I witnessed years ago. A friend of mine was an engineer at Capital in L.A. I've told this story here before. A session was set up and Glen Campbell came in with his guitar. He chatted with the engineer and producer for a few minutes while setting up his gear. They ran the track and he played a solo over it. Nailed it in one take. I'm not a fan of country and the song wasn't challenging in the sense that some jazz tunes can be. Campbell's performance was so musical, I was blown away. Structure, note choice, facility, not showy, just in the right places, all these qualities and more made me think he could have done 20 different takes and they'd have been as good. I thought then that it was as close to perfection as is humanly possible. In tech we speak of "five nines" (99.999%). I'd rate Campbell at five nines. There may be an example of him somewhere that is less that excellent, but I'd bet 99.999% of his work fulfilled the promise of reaching an unbiased audience on multiple levels.

In order to qualify as perfection, the entity that produced it would have to be infallible. It is impossible to be human or machine and be infallible. I include machines and algorithms in this, because it is widely known that algorithms are incapable of producing a truly random number. My definition of "musical perfection" is the ability to produce music on demand that will accomplish the mission @aldevis quoted me on above. I've seen references to many saxophonists who got there and the first name that comes to mind is Michael Brecker. I feel confident that he, for lack of a better way to put it, would smoke in any context he every played in.

Boy, that was verbose. I am obviously less that a perfect writer!
 

Halfers

Finger Flapper
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A session was set up and Glen Campbell came in with his guitar. He chatted with the engineer and producer for a few minutes while setting up his gear. They ran the track and he played a solo over it. Nailed it in one take. I'm not a fan of country and the song wasn't challenging in the sense that some jazz tunes can be. Campbell's performance was so musical, I was blown away. Structure, note choice, facility, not showy, just in the right places, all these qualities and more made me think he could have done 20 different takes and they'd have been as good. I thought then that it was as close to perfection as is humanly possible. In tech we speak of "five nines" (99.999%). I'd rate Campbell at five nines. There may be an example of him somewhere that is less that excellent, but I'd bet 99.999% of his work fulfilled the promise of reaching an unbiased audience on multiple levels.
On the subject of Glen Campbell and in the spirit of sharing!

There are a few music clips on Youtube that I like to revisit from time to time. I usually do so late on a Friday night with a glass of something and headphones on! One of them is this clip of Glen Campbell. Actually, in the past it was a slightly shorter clip of the same performance, which isn't very good quality. But having just searched for the clip to post here, I came across this much better quality clip.

It's well worth 4 minutes of your morning, even if you've seen it countless times..The Guitar break is so seemingly casual and the atmosphere in the contrived TV environment so genial. My Guitar skills don't go much beyond camp fire strumming, but I can appreciate the technicality and accomplishment. This little off the cuff performance of a short Country tune is pretty close to Perfection, if you ask an Amateur like me!

Skip to 1:50 if you want to go straight to the song..

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhKgb_oYJCQ
 

randulo

Playing saxophone 20 months - 2.3% of my life
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Yeah, that's music, and it rolls out of him as if he invented it. We all know on café, how hard it is to solo over very simple diatonic changes, right. Yeah, I'd settle for this close to perfection. However, not only will few of get to that level, but our "faults" will generate numerous cool phrases by accident. The "trick" is to be able to stand behind that major third on a minor chord, or that minor second over a major 7th chord and make them sound good!
 

Pete Effamy

Member
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414
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UK
At this point, I'd love to share this video of Glen on the BBC radio 2 show Weekend Wogan, in which I was a member of the house band. Amongst all the artists that we played with that year this, along with a couple of others, was my personal highlight. As a kid, I grew up to the sound of Terry Wogan's 'Wake Up To Wogan' show, and Glen Campbell was played often back then. I've played with quite a few pop artists, but this guy, as Elio Pace puts it on the notes to the video is musical royalty. Both Terry and Glen are now gone, and we were very lucky that the BBC also aired this radio show on the BBC 'red button' TV channel.

View: https://youtu.be/xUICxv_0VV4
 

Pete Effamy

Member
Messages
414
Location
UK
On the subject of Glen Campbell and in the spirit of sharing!

There are a few music clips on Youtube that I like to revisit from time to time. I usually do so late on a Friday night with a glass of something and headphones on! One of them is this clip of Glen Campbell. Actually, in the past it was a slightly shorter clip of the same performance, which isn't very good quality. But having just searched for the clip to post here, I came across this much better quality clip.

It's well worth 4 minutes of your morning, even if you've seen it countless times..The Guitar break is so seemingly casual and the atmosphere in the contrived TV environment so genial. My Guitar skills don't go much beyond camp fire strumming, but I can appreciate the technicality and accomplishment. This little off the cuff performance of a short Country tune is pretty close to Perfection, if you ask an Amateur like me!

Skip to 1:50 if you want to go straight to the song..

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhKgb_oYJCQ
I love this. One of those gems where the lyrics, music, players and singer are all top notch. It feels so off the cuff and natural, like they were sitting around a camp fire.
I missed the golden age of pretty much every musician or band that I love. It must have been incredible in the mid-60's to be able to go and see Elvis, Sinatra, Basie, Ellington, The Beatles, Miles, Getz, Glen Campbell and a whole ruck of others.
 
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