All profit supporting special needs music education and Help Musicians

Too jazzy

jeremyjuicewah

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,871
Locality
Costa Blanca Spain
Hi. At practice last Tuesday I got a criticism that wounded me a bit, though it was quite justified. Six months ago I would have been delighted if someone said to me "that's too jazzy, this is a blues number" but this time it hurt a bit. Since getting well and truly into other scales, especially the majors, and tending to dump my old standby of the pentatonic blues scale as I am now a great and very versatile musician who is way beyond that stale old stuff etc etc, I am swirling a lot. I think I do it partly because I was brought up on stuff like the Hot Five and Seven and there was always a clarinet hooting away in the background and I loved it, and partly because I can.

I think I was pulled on "Living on Tulsa Time". And I was guilty. Actually, depending on which version you listen to, (definately not the one that sounds like Achey Breaky Heart) its often more country than blues, but its still not jazz.

Any good ideas of how to go forward?

Cheers
Mike
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
14,769
Locality
Burnley bb9 9dn
Blues has as many forms as jazz. I don't think it's possible to play too many notes in jazz. Blues is more about rhythmic expression and sometimes these are repetetive and simple.

When you're starting out it's very tempting to show off your new skills on the instrument and forget to serve the music.

If you think of yourself as a great and versatile musician your progress will stop. Think of yourself as an open and sensitive student. The greats are very humble in my experience and don't consider themselves great.
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,329
Locality
London
Schizophrenia is the answer.
Be a full pentatonic man when it is required, be jazzy whenever you can.

I am not sure Eric Dolphy's style would get him a gig with Bill Haley's and the Comets.
On the other hand, people like Coltrane or Parker had Blues as a starting point in their careers.
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
Café Supporter
Messages
6,062
Locality
Minster On Sea
I play in a blues band. Mostly I play fairly inside. Occasionally, though, I get bored and disappear off somewhere else. No one ever comments, let alone complains. Perhaps you need to educate the band. They're obviously taking it too seriously.
Actually I don't think anyone has ever criticised my live playing. Somebody probably should. I might learn something.
 
Last edited:

Jeanette

Organizress
Cafe Moderator
Messages
27,131
Locality
Cheshire UK
I play in a blues band. Mostly I play fairly inside. Occasionally, though, I get bored and disappear off somewhere else. No one ever comments, let alone complains. Perhaps you need to educate the band. They're obviously taking it too seriously.
Actually I don't think anyone has ever criticised my live playing. Somebody probably should. I might learn something.


They probably daren't ;)

Jx
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
Messages
4,917
Locality
brighton by the sea
Massively limiting your note choice is a good exercise. Taking this to its logical conclusion- if you can play a one note only solo and get it to work/ sound good/ say something then you’re on to something – then build back up from that. Think light and shade- something prelevant in blues but often overlooked in many jazz performances…
 

Young Col

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,420
Locality
Coulsdon, London/Surrey
I wouldn't get too hung up about it. Blues was a constituent contributor to the development of jazz and jazz gave something back to the blues (Bessie Smith was as much a jazz singer, in view if her rhythmic and melodic interpretation, as a blues singer, if in fact one cares to make any differentiation). You will know that if you were brought up on the Hot Fives and Sevens. Many of Armstrong's simple lead sheet tunes were blues or based on blues. Johnny Dodds' clarinet was often described as "blues drenched" . And so it continued, through Basie, Herman (the "big band that played the blues"), Charlie Parker, Davis, Coltrane...

Perhaps ask your criticizer next time if they fully understand the development of 20thC music.
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
Messages
4,917
Locality
brighton by the sea
I hadn't considered that. :)



Thank you. I know what to do to improve now. :thumb:

Actually there's a serious point in there somewhere. I remember one of my ex-girlfriends, who was daughter of a jazz musician, really taking apart my performances at gigs. I always really respected that far more than “That was great” (or not).
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
Café Supporter
Messages
6,062
Locality
Minster On Sea
I'm sure my reaction to any criticism would depend a lot on who was giving it.

I suspect I'd be very fussy.
 

jeremyjuicewah

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,871
Locality
Costa Blanca Spain
Perhaps ask your criticizer next time if they fully understand the development of 20thC music.[/QUOTE]
I have had all day to think about this one. It was a throw away, not a deeply considered criticism, probably the singer was a bit peed off. I know I play too much, and I do try not to, but I am not there to stand around and fidget. And sometimes too I get caught up in it and I think stuff you lot, don't like it find another sax. Quite like the sharp response above, but really I suppose I ought to shut up a bit. I guess I must just listen to what I am doing and try to fit it in. In rock and roll I do limit what I am doing to a few notes, I have a rare gig tomorrow, I will see how it goes. In this heat, with this humidity, its likely to go very sweaty indeed.

Taken it all on board, and I do know its my fault.
Have a great weekend all
Mike
 

Merryfisher

Member
Messages
268
Locality
Hampshire
Hi. At practice last Tuesday I got a criticism that wounded me a bit, though it was quite justified. Six months ago I would have been delighted if someone said to me "that's too jazzy, this is a blues number" but this time it hurt a bit. Since getting well and truly into other scales, especially the majors, and tending to dump my old standby of the pentatonic blues scale as I am now a great and very versatile musician who is way beyond that stale old stuff etc etc, I am swirling a lot. I think I do it partly because I was brought up on stuff like the Hot Five and Seven and there was always a clarinet hooting away in the background and I loved it, and partly because I can.

I think I was pulled on "Living on Tulsa Time". And I was guilty. Actually, depending on which version you listen to, (definately not the one that sounds like Achey Breaky Heart) its often more country than blues, but its still not jazz.

Any good ideas of how to go forward?

Cheers
Mike
was it the lead guitarist dishing it out? they don't like it up 'em you know, to them a horn is a menacing threat that must be dealt with!? to them, they will only be truely happy when you are not there, and they can jazz away to their hearts content LOL!
 

spike

Old Indian
Messages
2,367
Locality
Half way up a hill
Just listen to people like:
Mike Brecker's solos on loads of pop, rock and r&b tunes, Phil Woods on Billy Joel's "Just The Way You Are", Sonny Rollins with the Stones, Branford Marsalis with Sting, Junior Walker on Foreigner's "Urgent" to name but a few (okay Jr.'s not necessarily a jazzer but) - the list is endless.
If you need more examples check out John Laughter's "History of Top 40 Saxophone Solos" for examples of accomplished sax soloists that fit and dovetail into the style that was required. (Hi John, are you still with us?)
You can't just Be-Bop and Jazz into a number and always expect adoring adulation for your efforts. (Especially not from lead guitarists)
If yer dovetails don't cut right with the number yer gonna done gone lose yer drawers.
 

zelda

On the border
Messages
547
Locality
British Columbia interior, Canada
Hi. At practice last Tuesday I got a criticism that wounded me a bit, though it was quite justified. Six months ago I would have been delighted if someone said to me "that's too jazzy, this is a blues number" but this time it hurt a bit. Since getting well and truly into other scales, especially the majors, and tending to dump my old standby of the pentatonic blues scale as I am now a great and very versatile musician who is way beyond that stale old stuff etc etc, I am swirling a lot. I think I do it partly because I was brought up on stuff like the Hot Five and Seven and there was always a clarinet hooting away in the background and I loved it, and partly because I can.

I think I was pulled on "Living on Tulsa Time". And I was guilty. Actually, depending on which version you listen to, (definately not the one that sounds like Achey Breaky Heart) its often more country than blues, but its still not jazz.

Any good ideas of how to go forward?

Cheers
Mike
From memory, "Living on Tulsa Time" is a three-chord country & western tune or close to it. I live in c&w country. Most c&w bands are not known for being 'jazzy'. I wouldn't take it to heart.
 

jeremyjuicewah

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,871
Locality
Costa Blanca Spain
Nah, took it to heart but have dumped it now. Don't really expect adulation, except from people much smaller and weaker than myself, and then only when they are within reach. Had a good time last night which makes up for a lot but will certainly be checking out Johns solos history.

Behaved my self last night, used a lot of my fab new low notes for punctuation and a few subtle (to my mind anyway) bass licks, but let go a bit when no one was watching. Probably no one was listening either since no one said a word.

Lead guitarist is ok in this case, he cut off my last two verses of sax solo on Precious Time by accident and it was the neatest finish we have ever managed on that number. Once is enough though, he will be told.

Actually, doing a good show with most of my cock ups known only to me (probably) heals a lot of self doubt and bruised ego. My old teacher used to say "if you don't listen to sax players you will never improve" he may well have been right.

Today I must get weeding. This place is more like a farm than a garden, goats might help. Be a pleasure to have some creatures of similar intellect to pass the time with.

Happy Sunday all
Mike
 

Popular Discussions

London
Paris
New York
Los Angeles
Sydney
Moscow
New Delhi
Top Bottom