Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Jazz Thing

So, I have been reading and researching a lot about Jazz lately, and I have been absolutely facinated with the brilliance of the minds of many of the jazz artists we know and love primarily from name only. I mean we have the album A Love Supreme (http://www.amazon.com/Love-Supreme-John-Coltrane/dp/B0000A118M), but we wouldn't know a flatted fifth (http://www.songtrellis.com/concepts/interval)from a G7, or an Eric Dolphy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Dolphy)solo from a John Coltrane (johncoltrane.com/swf/main.htm)one. I used to think jazz was all about feeling and emotion, but I have come to learn that these great artists are able to express their innermost being so well because of the highest level of musical training, a rigorous practice regiment, and a highly creative mind bent on coming up with solutions to problems they have with self-expressions. For example, Charlie Parker (http://www.charlie-bird-parker.com/)has so much to say but the prevalent model for improvising limits his ability to express Himself. So, he devises a way to improvise based on the chordal structure of the composition instead of basing the solo on the melody. He comes about this discovery because of his knowledge, music training, and his intellectual curiously. He is able to pull off the performance of this ideas because of his musical training and incredible work ethic. The manifestation of all these elements into a solo is an incredible expression of the being of Charlie Parker, and we, the hearer, experienc the deep emotion in his expression without understanding all that is behind it. Thats that Jazz. Check out youtube for all kinds of videos of footage of vintage jazz performances and documentaries on Jazz. Here's couple samples:

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