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Topic: My first jazz piece.

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  1. #1

    My first jazz piece.

    http://www.northernsounds.net/useruploads/img3e6c7468d33ec.mp3

    Bear in mind that I don\'t actually listen to jazz, so this is a non-jazz-fan attempt, this is my conception of what jazz sounds like [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] Hence it is probably wrong!

    Suggestions welcome.

    oh, and what the hell, i\'ll throw in an orchestral quickie too,

    http://www.northernsounds.net/useruploads/img3e6cb53cb3ea0.mp3

  2. #2

    Re: My first jazz piece.

    Hi James

    At the moment I can\'t really hear whether your track swings - the drums are a bit low and the whole mix is a lot more reverb-heavy than yer typical jazz recording. Are the bass and drums are supposed to be double-time ? (makes a difference to the vibe you\'re after in the second bit, and which the piano is suggesting in 0:02-0:10).

    Could you remix it with less hall-type reverb (maybe just a bit of chamber/room instead)?

    Also, the bass seems to distort - is that intended? Or is something going wrong in my playback?

    Mark

  3. #3

    Re: My first jazz piece.

    Originally posted by mark_w:
    Hi James

    At the moment I can\'t really hear whether your track swings - the drums are a bit low and the whole mix is a lot more reverb-heavy than yer typical jazz recording. Are the bass and drums are supposed to be double-time ? (makes a difference to the vibe you\'re after in the second bit, and which the piano is suggesting in 0:02-0:10).

    Could you remix it with less hall-type reverb (maybe just a bit of chamber/room instead)?

    Also, the bass seems to distort - is that intended? Or is something going wrong in my playback?

    Mark
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">I\'m not sure, In what way does it sound distorted?

    Yes, I do tend to use heavy reverb (tho I have started to use less recently)

  4. #4

    Re: My first jazz piece.

    ... it\'s most apparent in the section around 0:12 where you\'ve got that upward walking figure in the bass. What are you using for the bass instrument, by the way?

    Mark

  5. #5

    Re: My first jazz piece.

    Originally posted by mark_w:
    ... it\'s most apparent in the section around 0:12 where you\'ve got that upward walking figure in the bass. What are you using for the bass instrument, by the way?

    Mark
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">I actually done this piece about a year or so ago, and recently re-discovered it...so it\'s using peter siedlecek basses... they aren\'t great, but it was before I had anything better.

  6. #6

    Re: My first jazz piece.

    I\'m taking the relative silence to be a sign that you guys aren\'t liking the track very much! [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

  7. #7

    Re: My first jazz piece.

    Bruce, that explanation deserves a feature article in Mix1

    You\'ve nailed the essence, entiredly, it\'s not a particular style, but the degrees of freedom offered the players. I have gigged with avante-gard saxophonist Sonny Simmons on a Thursday and Friday played B3 in a little smoky Oakland bar - and I\'d have to call them both jazz, although Sonny called my B3 gig a \'blues cruise to pay your dues\' and the Grant-Green-style guitarist on the B3 gig thought Sonny was just a madman playing random notes. But the drummer, Smiley Winters, and I played both gigs and just had a lot of fun, and played some pretty good jazz music. Outside one night, inside the next, but grooving always.

    Jazz is an attitude! I used to say, \"I already played a Bb tonight, what can I do new??? [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    James, what you\'ve done is improvised, but not jazz. There needs to be first of all, the groove. Slow or fast, complex or simple, jazz s first and foremost about the groove. Next, it is about interesting ways to get from one chord, or waypoint, to the next. This just lacks content. Sorry guy, but your orchestral demo is quite musical, with themes, and development of ideas. Jazz requires this too, only we do it live wiht, as bruce said, \'no net\'...

    Dasher

  8. #8
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: My first jazz piece.

    Sequencing \"jazz\" is a pretty slippery slope, even if you are a jazz player and know the vocabulary very well. Jazzy music? Sure, it\'s possible to do that. Jazz? Not really. Jazz is by definition a realtime experience.

    People will argue the finer points of what \"jazz\" actually is, but the single agreed point is that the actual \"jazz\" in jazz is music played in realtime with no net. It\'s you. And in the case of an ensemble, where the term \"jazz\" was actually coined (it was often written \"jass\" early on) the term is very specific. Jazz was a slang word for in the black culture around the turn of the 20th century, and the music we call jazz was first called \"that jazz music.\" as a descriptive term.

    Musical actually describes the core aspect of jazz pretty well. I don\'t think you have to be a jazz player to understand this. Have you ever slept with a chick who was just a crappy lay? Well, that\'s what it\'s like to go onstage on a jazz gig with someone who doesn\'t know how to let go and ride the moment. Jazz happens on the edge of a razor; the head of a pin. Lose your concentration, you\'ve missed it.

    Here\'s the absolute key component: It\'s the improvisational act which defines the genre, not the style. So jazz, stylistically, can be anything.

    Now what many people in this world call jazz is in fact not jazz at all, but a jazzy-sounding ARRANGEMENT. Classic showtunes are a prime example, but even an original composition is just \"jazzy music\" unless someone is playing actual jazz--improvisation. Now, it\'s perfectly possible to have a jazzy sounding arrangement which CONTAINS jazz. This is best personified in the big band genre, where really complex arrangements of jazz licks orchestrated into pyrotechnic section work SURROUND the actual jazz playing in the arrangement--the featured solo. The solo is the jazz. Everything else is an arrangement, or in big band-speak, the chart.

    And down the branch one layer closer to the trunk, you have the \"combo\" sized bands. Say a quartet with tenor and rhythm section. Often there, you play standards. All of the really great Broadway tunes of its first meteoric rise found their way into the standards book of most jazzers, as have classics from Miles, Monk, Mingus, Metheny...you name it. In this setting, there\'s generally a band-wise statement of the \"tune\" followed by relatively free, full group improvisation. The \"net\" is the tune. By keeping the changes turning in the band\'s collective head, everyone always knows where the tune is, even if the improvisation has gone beyond Ursa Minor. This is what seperates the men from the boys in jazzland. The drummer may sound like Wile E. Coyote taking an Acme Missle up the poop chute for five minutes, then BAM, four guys totally nail the break.

    So, on the core levels, know that jazz is a communication thing--an intimacy thing. That\'s why your piece isn\'t really working. It isn\'t anything.

  9. #9

    Re: My first jazz piece.

    Wow, thats interesting info guys... thanks. I certainly didn\'t expect that I would get jazz right, being a non-jazz fan... it was a curious little experiment.

    Hence the sudden end. Oh, and the \'trumpet\' is actually an Oboe [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

  10. #10
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: My first jazz piece.

    Well, I think it\'s interesting that you took a stab, and that you\'re interested. If you want to pursue jazz, though, get into some improvisational activities with like minded friends, and jump in.

    I can honestly say that my jazz background has improved every aspect of my musical practice. In fact, I\'d go as far as to say it\'s the difference for me in being able to make a living and not. If I were not a quick improviser, based on all the skills I learned training to play jazz, it would take me twice as long to hit my deadlines.

    I would also suggest studying Paul Hindemeth\'s theories, which have nothing to do with jazz but are tremendous aids to melodic understanding. Melody, whether in jazz or otherwise, is an exercise in tension and release interval by interval. I\'d say that\'s another big stock in trade for a jazzer--the ability to manage and manipulate melodic tension over long periods of time, and the ability to manage resolution incrementally such that the tension sustains even though you are providing an occasional plateau of relief to the listener.

    OK, too much coffee. Later.

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