Re: [acid-jazz] jazztronica

From: ZeroGravity Sessions (
Date: 2003-03-07 15:30:10

  • Next message: Phil Broekelmann: "[acid-jazz] Daniel Magg on Compost"
    this article is not written by me it was written
    by Bart Marantz
     Lynne d Johnson <> wrote:
    Just wanted to make sure everyone knows I didn't write that article, in case you didn't check the link.

    It was By Stuart Nicholson

    From: ZeroGravity Sessions <>
    Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2003 06:38:50 -0800 (PST)
    To: Lynne d Johnson <>
    Cc: ACIDJAZZ <>
    Subject: Re: [acid-jazz] jazztronica


    Very interesting article,and,indeed JAZZ from its heydays of bop(be and then hard) has been in close momentuum with society,apart from rare examples such as Mingus or Ornette Coleman who lived in a musical world of their own, becoming overly political with the advent of people like Jill Scott Heroen...or the man who did the "Freedom now suite"(heikki any hints:-)

    True as it is,jazz is far from being represented by many of the contemporary acts listed in this mailing list(server),in its definition of a multitonal polyrythmic and syncopated music.(broken beats???)

    I am happy that pioneers like L.Tristano with its overlapping of Piano takes....,and the scandals it caused among purist with the advent of cool jazz, are listed in the article together with Brad Mehldau(that sounds a lot like Pat Metheny to me).

    I would have added,people like the Soullive,Eric Truffaz or Medeski Martin and Wood as being the natural descendant of this truly jazz heritance and spirit,representing not a corner of contemporary music but the adoption of new tools in a truly evolving style.

    Looking at the adaptation of this genre into a context like a dancefloor....well mixed feelings and feed back to say the least,then and most probably i might be missing the connection of people like Moonstarr,Susumu Yokota ,John Kong,Erik Sumo or even Quantic, Paine' ,Dominico Ferrari and Mr. Scruff to the word and world of jazz.......................................................................................................

    Then again you might infer that this is the really happening thing,where jazz is really at or pointing to!!!

    "If you understand be-bop then you will understand the meaning of freedom"


    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - --

    Cheers ZG2003

    ps a lot of the information given is taken out of a seminal work by italian jazz critic and founder of the weekly Musica Jazz "Arrigo Polillo" in its fundamental"La storia del Jazz"(Hystory of Jazz,1976)

    Lynne d Johnson <> wrote:


    It's happening, it's underway-it's just a question of how far and how

    With more and more ensembles including a musician dealing with
    electronics-sequencing, programming, DJing, sampling-the sound of jazz
    is evolving. Call it jazztronica, nu-jazz or bluescreen jazz, but one
    thing is certain: It's potentially the most exciting development in the
    music for decades.

    "Jazz is definitely changing," says pianist Matthew Shipp."It has to,
    or it will die."

    Today's generation of electronic gadgetry allows for far more
    sophisticated experimentation than the old wickka-wickka sound of
    turntable scratching or a basic sample loop for musicians to improvise
    over. Now the improviser's art can be played out against a new sonic
    backdrop col! ored by fragments of electronic sounds, rhythms and samples
    swimming through the music. Amid this world of altered realities and
    fresh possibilities, digital computer editing-literally cutting and
    pasting sound-allows for juxtapositions never even dreamed about in
    Charlie Parker's day.

    Just as important, this technology's easy availability to the masses
    and its relative inexpensiveness means the bedroom can now become a
    recording studio. Jazz musicians have a new set of tools to mold and
    shape sound, and they are using them to recontextualize jazz within the
    nervous 21st century.

    Pianist Brad Mehldau, who included subtle real-time electronics and
    original overdubs with rock producer Jon Brion on last year's Largo,
    recalls a conversation with a promoter in London: "I commented on the
    large amount of DJs on the jazz festival rosters these days. He said
    that it reflects the fact that turntable technology, sampling an! d the
    like has now become part of the 'jazz vocabulary'—for better or worse."
    And while at present this may be more the case in Europe than America,
    it's a proposition Mehldau remains cautious about: "To me, that is not
    a given, not in a music that depends so much on human interaction."

    Trumpeter Dave Douglas gives the trend a guarded welcome but
    nevertheless sees the importance of jazz relating to the plurality of
    the current times, with electronic sounds and rhythms being a part of
    this process. "It's really quite simple: wake up every day and try to
    reflect what's really going on inside you and outside you. In this
    period, it's reflected in the thousands of ways music is changing and
    growing. These technologies, like anything else, are an important part
    of that very human growth."

    Like Mehldau, Douglas insists the jazz aesthetic should not be blurred
    by artifice. "I feel that the sounds all around us are affect! ing even
    the way acoustic music is heard, recorded and presented. It's
    inescapable. And it's very exciting to hear the effect electronic
    players are having on jazz and improvised music. But I feel the
    artistic, personal statement is the more important goal in creating new
    music. That this music is an inseparable part of our technological
    environment seems inevitable. That's a great asset for music makers

    With much of jazz still under the shadow of 1950s hard bop, Shipp
    believes these changes toward a broader sound spectrum have come not a
    moment too soon. "I think jazz has become its

         own museum-keeper, its own graveyard attendant, and it's buckling
    under the weight of its own pretensions. I definitely think there is a
    necessity to broaden it out and try to reflect the times right now."

    In this dazzling information-technology age, we are bombarded daily by
    new sights an! d sounds, so it should come as no surprise that jazz
    should reflect this. Art does not evolve in a vacuum, and jazz has
    always adapted to and been shaped by technological as much as cultural
    and social forces. So the notion of jazz being influenced by
    technological advances is hardly new. Billie Holiday's art, for
    example, would have been impossible without the electric microphone.
    When the LP broke through the three-minute barrier of old 78 r.p.m.
    discs, a new world opened up for the improviser and composer.
    Meanwhile, advances in the recording studio itself allowed musicians
    another way to create new music: Sidney Bechet famously recorded
    clarinet, soprano, tenor sax, piano, bass and drums on his one-man-band
    recording "The Sheik of Araby" in April 1941, and Bill Evans'
    Conversations With Myself and Lennie Tristano's "Requiem" feature
    multiple overdubbed pianos. Technology has long been a tool at the
    service of the im! proviser.

    Mehldau is quick to underline this distinction. "Innovation in jazz is
    not determined by technological advances; it is a purely musical
    matter. What I was trying to get to on Largo was not dictated by
    technology; rather, certain technological devices were used in the
    service of a musical vision that focused heavily nonetheless on live
    group improvisation. If there's something innovative in Largo, it comes
    first and foremost from the musical decisions that me and the other
    musicians made, playing together live. Yet I can't deny that those
    musical decisions were informed by the technology: recording
    techniques, treatment of piano, etc. The actual sonic environment
    influenced how we played."

    Yet jazz is about expressing individuality, which should neither be
    sacrificed nor submerged in this new electronic world, something
    Douglas is quick to emphasize. "Many of the musicians I admire are
    using this soun! d and technology. The availability of great electronic
    sounds has been here for a long time-even more importantly, the
    availability of great electronic players. That's the key to me-people
    who can personalize the technology and sonic palette. All around the
    world the impact is being felt. The present, and thus the future, is in
    the hands of the musicians, and many of us are taken with the
    possibilities. What's most inspiring about it to me is that everyone
    has their own take on it and their own sound. That proves the
    flexibility and value of the medium."

    Helge Sten provides the electronics in the Norwegian improv group
    Supersilent, whose 1-3 and 4, 5 and 6 CDs are on the increasingly
    influential Rune Grammofon label, which is distributed by ECM. He
    believes in human interaction, where electronics are guided by the
    improviser's impulse. "Electronics is an extra instrument," he says.
    "Today it's very popular to use-but! you have to apply some rules, as
    always. You really have to integrate it and make it a great musical
    experience for yourself and the people who listen to it. I think the
    meeting [between electronics and jazz] has to be the result of a
    genuine musical expression and has to be a genuine musical adventure.
    You are at the point where you can use sound like an instrument. When
    you have sound as a tool, you can use any pitch in any variation; you
    can use a lot of color-it's a big, wide spectrum-and it opens up a new
    universe and it seems very natural to use it inside jazz, because it
    has been the nature of jazz to experiment and evolve new expressionism.
    I think jazz really needs to expand anyway, because it's been standing
    quite still for a long time."

    :: Lynne d Johnson :: 
    :: ::
    :: :: 
    "Rap music is a technologically sophisticated and complex urban sound."! 
    --Tricia Rose, Black Noise
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