Franz, haven’t listened to much of Moncur Liked him on Hancock’s My Point of View and Henderson’s The Kicker. Looking at his discography, I see he played with a great number of musicians, more recently with William Parker, who I enjoy very much. Thanks for the reminder. Trombonists rarely get the credit they deserve. Here’s a nice site on Moncur,
If Congo Square was supposedly the “birthplace” of jazz, then why not take jazz back to sources in the “Gold Coast” of Africa, where these “slaves” came from.
Why does it seem as though all the jazz greats were incredibly self-destructive? Does being a jazz musician breed such behavior?
That’s a myth. Eric Dolphy died because of it.
Yea, it was deeply sad and ironic that Dolphy died of insulin shock because German doctors thought he had simply overdosed. All it took were a few high profile heroin addicts to make it seem that all jazz musicians were heroin addicts. Sonny Rollins, Ornette Coleman, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Charles Lloyd and others are still alive and well.
So essentially you’re saying if the doctors knew what they were doing, Eric Dolphy wouldn’t have died?
“If Congo Square was supposedly the “birthplace” of jazz, then why not take jazz back to sources in the “Gold Coast” of Africa, where these “slaves” came from.
When my day ends and I get my "pedantic high horse out the stable I will be back. Duty calls.
Well, sort of… Actually if doctor’s hadn’t just assumed that a jazz musician was a heroin addict (or self destructive by nature) he would have lived.
Mingus lived to 56, Monk to 64, Davis to 65, Gillespie to 75…
Coltrane died early because of liver cancer, Dolphy because of insulin shock…
The truly self-destructive ones are few and far between.
But Coltrane was using heroin at one point. Miles had kicked him out because of it. He pulled himself back together and seemed to have a long career ahead of him. I doubt the cancer was related in anyway to his heroine use, but some have suggested he really died of hepatitis as a result of his earlier heroin abuse. Unfortunately, myths often trump reality.
Floyd, you should at least complete your thoughts before you go.
I’ve heard Coltrane died of liver cancer and had been an alcoholic so there’s certainly a connection there. Into, you forgot Bird who didn’t make it to 40.
My sense is that jazz greats are not more or less self-destructive than other great artists. There are a bunch of great jazz musicians that have lived a long life. We still have Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea and that’s just off the top of my head. Roy Haynes is still playing and still playing great from what I understand. Sonny Rollins is still playing. Benny Carter and Max Roach played for a long time (Is Roach still around? If not, he must have died recently.)
RIP Joe Morello link
82 years was a good innings. He will be sadly missed.
Don’t forget Ornette Coleman’s still alive, as well as Horace Silver, as well as Dave Brubeck, so yeah, I guess there are still many.
Yep. The list was not meant to be exhaustive by any stretch. And most of the guys we mentioned are still playing and going strong!
Sorry to hear about Morello. Was he with Brubeck?
Coltrane, like Rollins and others, found Eastern music and religion as a way out of the destructive effects of heroin and alcohol. They achieved much more creative “highs” as demonstrated by their music. Rollins developed circular breathing which allowed him to greatly extend his notes. It was interesting to see David Ware not so long ago. He uses the same technique, and it really is amazing how far he can extend a note. Too bad Coltrane hadn’t discovered this sooner.
Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like not a single jazz album can slip by, unless it’s something like Out to Lunch, Black Saint, or The Shape of Jazz to Come, without being labeled trite, generic, conservative, subdued, etc. by at least one or two people. Where do I need to go to find jazz albums that don’t fall into this hole of being occasionally criticized for not being adventurous enough. Why does jazz need to be as radical as possible to not get criticized for being mundane and boring. Can’t great music be subtle and pleasant?
Examples (not exhaustive):
Point of Departure
There are certain jazz fans that mistakenly equate complexity/inaccessibility (read: dissonance, complex meters, etc.) with quality and simple, more accessible jazz (read: beautiful melodies, simpler harmonies and rhythms, etc.) What’s going on here, in part, imo, is the desire to be considered part of the elite. Jazz that is accessible, that “crosses over,” sort of ruins this image. So, these people will almost always criticize music that doesn’t seem radical, innovative, inaccessible.
But of course great music can be subtle, pleasant, pretty, simple and accessible. I can’t choose albums that won’t be criticized by the people above—if that’s what you’re looking for, though.
I’ll try to write more later.
@JAZZALOHA and RENAULT2011: This is an interesting discussion. I goes from having no respect for jazz whatsoever, hating it profoundly one day, to love it very much the next. Miles Davis, I think, is incredibly overrated and the free jazz movement is nothing but an intellectual experiment. For me jazz gotta be composed like any other kind of music and I tend to believe that the greatest of jazz may be the classical/jazz-experiments from e.g. Stravinsky and the perfection of Sun Ra, Thelonious Monk, sometimes Bill Evans and also Herbie Nichols who i’ve just discovered.
Are implying that the entire oeuvres of people like Coltrane and Mingus are intellectual experiments? Much of Monk’s music I think was improvised, as well. Well Mingus isn’t exactly free jazz so…
Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like not a single jazz album can slip by, unless it’s something like Out to Lunch, Black Saint, or The Shape of Jazz to Come, without being labeled trite, generic, conservative, subdued, etc. by at least one or two people.
Anyone ever get tired of Rossi/De Gaulle/Renault saying this about everything?
There is a criticism of everything that has ever been made. Why is that so hard to understand? Making a work of art not only opens it to praise, but derision. There are just as many people that will praise Mingus’ oft-heralded masterpieces as there are people that criticise them. End of discussion. It has nothing to do with equating dissonance with quality, but of just personal subjective taste.
Personally, I think Iron Man is Dolphy’s greatest album. Let My Children Hear Music being Mingus’. Prefer The Art of the Improviser’s to The Shape of Jazz to Come (even a big fan of Sound Museum, and Hidden Man, which is certainly more melodic and “conservative” some would say, than most Coleman). But I prefer Coleman’s work on trumpet in McLean’s New and Old Gospel to anything else. Meditations is my favourite Coltrane… Kind of Blue is my favourite Davis. And think all of those albums are slightly behind Waltz for Debby as my favourite jazz album.
It’s just a matter of taste. Why do you always insinuate that if someone doesn’t care for the accepted masterpieces these people just have a grudge against anything remotely mainstream? Especially when that is clearly not the case the vast, vast majority of the time. It gets really tiresome.
You’re complaining about my thread posts gets just as tiresome
Coltrane and Mingus are not entirely free jazz, but I wouldn’t say, I like their catalogue as a whole.
I have no problem with improvisation if it’s there for a reason. well, Monk wrote his tunes and played them with variation from time to time, but there were always some kind of fundamental idea behind it all. I’ve never been able to appreaciate neither Taylor nor Coleman, reminds me of twelve-tone technique in classical. Also in classical music the most accomplished may be the synthesis of freedom and harmony in Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, Bartók, etc.
Look, we can have a conversation on the issue if you say, “why do people say this about this album/film/work or art, etc.?” Approaching it from with an understanding of your own subjectivity and theirs.
We can’t have a conversation if you approach it from the point of view that anyone that doesn’t conform to the “canon,” or your perception of it is just reacting against the mainstream. It’s ignorant, and insulting, and stunts any conversation to be had.
That’s all I’m saying. Ask why, don’t tell us why.
INTO PERIPHERAL VISION: “It has nothing to do with equating dissonance with quality, but of just personal subjective taste.”
I like this. Pretentiousness is a myth.
*a bourgeois myth
I asked why right up above, which I quoted from my previous post. Where in that post do i criticize people for disregarding the canon?