Friday, February 19, 2010

Around the blogosphere

Greg Osby has a very interesting blog post about the art of playing quietly. He really struck a chord (no pun intended) with me by talking about how as a musician coming up he always wanted to play fast and loud with as many notes as possible crammed in, but then changed as his playing evolved.
(Osby) "I've since realized just how much content during a jazz set is fatalistically obscured by the sheer lack of dynamics. And as a player, it has become tiresome for me to continue to try to put my best musical foot forward within a perpetual wall of relentless sound."
As a listener, I still gravitate toward music that is very visceral and emotional, and the toughest music for me to appreciate is very spacey soft music, like the abstract free jazz that Roscoe Mitchell or Ken Vandermark will occasionally make. I respect this music and the amount of restraint it must take in order to play it, but I think that I lack the patience to really appreciate it.

Peter Hum uses a review of Graham Collier's recent book and compact disc as a jumping off point for a wonderful commentary of the aesthetics of jazz.
(Hum) "I think that young people are doing it their way, whether they're more indebted to (and we'll just talk about saxophonists) to early Coltrane than late Coltrane, early Wayne Shorter than present-day Wayne Shorter, Ornette Coleman or Coleman Hawkins. More broadly, we might see today's jazz musicians be equally inspired by the Beatles or Radiohead or Robert Wyatt, numerology, early Weather Report, or any number of ethnic musics."
Hum covers a lot of very interesting ground in the course of his essay, like standards vs. originals, types of jazz composition and improvisation, and other philosophical aspects of the music called.

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