[Dixielandjazz] Trad/bop thoughts
Larry Walton Entertainment - St. Louis
larrys.bands at charter.net
Thu Jun 29 15:32:36 PDT 2006
In order to be fluent in another style you first must like the style.
Personally I don't care a whole lot for Bop and rank it somewhere between
Rap and Bluegrass as to my attention span. Therefore I don't do Bop very
well. There is a guy in the local AF band that has a Bop band. He is very
good at what he does. I had occasion to hear his band after he had done a
Trad job with us and I was amazed at how good the group was. The gig he
played with me went from bad to worse. If he had the spots in front of him
it was passable but on the improv sections it was pretty dismal kind of like
Charlie Parker doing Dixie.
I have observed that many and some really good musicians among them don't do
very well if you get too far from their basic style that they like. It's
probably what they listen to. When I started playing Dixie I spent a lot of
time listening to every Dixie band recording I could find. I immersed
myself in the style sort of like taking a crash course in a language. I
still have a swing / blues / rock accent in my playing when I'm doing an
older (Pre Swing) Trad or Ragtime tune. I think that style is a lot like an
accent in language. It's tough to get rid of and speak like a native. Like
a language some people learn to speak a second language without an accent
while others never quite kick it. The same thing seems to happen with
musical style. We learn licks and harmonies and a new style challenges us
to move on and be different.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Steve Barbone" <barbonestreet at earthlink.net>
To: "DJML" <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Thursday, June 29, 2006 12:40 PM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Trad/bop thoughts
> Some thoughts on playing both OKOM and Bop
> IMO, as a player of both it is hard to state hard and fast rules.
> Yes, some bop is played unison, and then goes to solos, but not big band
> and not counterpoint bop as played by some groups. (Horace Silver,
> Brown et al) And where would we put Gerry Mulligan's work?
> Staying away from melody and thinking chords is also not hard/fast. Bop
> many players who think melodically. Just that some don't hear the melodic
> line in solos because sometimes it may be 32 bars long and very up tempo,
> while using more complicated harmonies and syncopation.
> Charlie Parker is a fine example of a melodic blues player who also
> improvised his melodic lines along the upper extensions of the chords.
> listen to his "Embracaeble You". He is inventing a new melody on the spot.
> There are 2 recorded versions on Smithsonian, for example. They were
> recorded a few minutes apart, but are totally different melodic improvs.
> Re drugs, players in both genres fell out as druggies and/or alcoholics.
> first time I was offered a reefer was from a trad player. Also, by his own
> admission, Louis Armstrong smoked a joint before every performance and
> to get all the guys in his bands to do so, etc., etc. And many songs like
> "Cocaine Lil" were OKOM references to drugs.
> What do I do to switch between the two? Think long melodic bop lines, but
> use different chord permutations. Actually, as a sideman in several
> different bands, I think different permutations among many OKOM genres
> viz a viz N.O. George Lewis style, Condon Style, N.O. Marching Band style,
> West Coast Revival Style, Barbone Street style, etc.
> Very few players can transcend all styles equally well (or poorly as the
> case may be) because of the differences, but basically IMO, it is like
> learning different languages. Once you learn the language, you can get
> in it.
> Nicholas Peyton is a fine example of a New Orleans player who went to bop.
> And Wynton is a player of all genres. But perhaps the best example on a
> single CD is the Arturo Sandoval tribute to his favorite trumpet players
> from King Oliver, Louis and Bix to Dizzy and Freddie Hubbard and some
> classical players.
> Steve Barbone
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> Dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com
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