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Old 06-26-2013, 03:04 PM   #81 (permalink)
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I have had like 15 posts deleted from the lounge in the last day. Not saying its you necessarily, just the mods now seem to pick certain posts to move or delete and then leave others that are hardly beneficial to a specific thread up.

I guess my point is (again not speaking to you in particular or anything) that while the music forums should be closely watched (you guys do a great job at that) the lounge should be nowhere near as strict. Every other forum I am at approaches moderating this way and it seems to attract more members and keep the boards more active. I also realize this isnt the place to discuss this but I dont know where else to do so.
It definitely wasn't me who deleted your posts. I really haven't been around much lately so I'm actually not even sure which posts you're talking about or what the context of them being deleted might have been.

As far as my post above goes: it was just a jokey reply to what I took as a jokey comment from you, a guy I've always enjoyed bantering with. No offense intended.
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:14 PM   #82 (permalink)
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As far as my post above goes: it was just a jokey reply to what I took as a jokey comment from you, a guy I've always enjoyed bantering with. No offense intended.
I understand that, I was just raging and unfortunately I happened to be replying to you when doing so. My apologies.

I guess the only point I was trying to say, and something I wish i could tell the entire mod team is simply less is more. As long as music discussion is budding and spam isnt rampart then we should all just enjoy the forums.
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:31 PM   #83 (permalink)
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I understand that, I was just raging and unfortunately I happened to be replying to you when doing so. My apologies.

I guess the only point I was trying to say, and something I wish i could tell the entire mod team is simply less is more. As long as music discussion is budding and spam isnt rampart then we should all just enjoy the forums.
Well, there is the Announcements, Suggestions, & Feedback forum for those kinds of things.
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:36 PM   #84 (permalink)
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Well, there is the Announcements, Suggestions, & Feedback forum for those kinds of things.
Tonight I will try and compose an intelligent thread that wont come across as whiny and disrespectful. Im not the best at conveying my opinions on these matters through text but I will try. Although I feel like it would be a waste of time and any mods reading would just laugh at whatever I had to say not being a mod myself.
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Old 07-29-2013, 12:06 PM   #85 (permalink)
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Jazz Has One Huge Problem

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Old 07-29-2013, 12:41 PM   #86 (permalink)
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^ Have you seen this Gavin? It's a pretty long winded, but speaks to some of what has been touched on here. And obviously the man had a lot to get off his chest.

This was posted by jazz guitarist Pat Metheny on his website in response to an inquiry as to his opinion of Kenny G. Apologies for the lack of caps, the formatting didn't transfer when I copied it.

Quote:
"Kenny g is not a musician i really had much of an opinion about at all until recently. there was not much about the way he played that interested me one way or the other either live or on records. i first heard him a number of years ago playing as a sideman with jeff lorber when they opened a concert for my band. my impression was that he was someone who had spent a fair amount of time listening to the more pop oriented sax players of that time, like grover washington or david sanborn, but was not really an advanced player, even in that style. he had major rhythmic problems and his harmonic and melodic vocabulary was extremely limited, mostly to pentatonic based and blues- lick derived patterns, and he basically exhibited only a rudimentary understanding of how to function as a professional soloist in an ensemble – lorber was basically playing him off the bandstand in terms of actual music. but he did show a knack for connecting to the basest impulses of the large crowd by deploying his two or three most effective licks (holding long notes and playing fast runs – never mind that there were lots of harmonic clams in them) at the keys moments to elicit a powerful crowd reaction (over and over again) . the other main thing i noticed was that he also, as he does to this day, play horribly out of tune – consistently sharp.

of course, i am aware of what he has played since, the success it has had, and the controversy that has surrounded him among musicians and serious listeners. this controversy seems to be largely fueled by the fact that he sells an enormous amount of records while not being anywhere near a really great player in relation to the standards that have been set on his instrument over the past sixty or seventy years.

and honestly, there is no small amount of envy involved from musicians who see one of their fellow players doing so well financially, especially when so many of them who are far superior as improvisors and musicians in general have trouble just making a living. there must be hundreds, if not thousands of sax players around the world who are simply better improvising musicians than kenny g on his chosen instruments. it would really surprise me if even he disagreed with that statement.

having said that, it has gotten me to thinking lately why so many jazz musicians (myself included, given the right “bait” of a question, as i will explain later) and audiences have gone so far as to say that what he is playing is not even jazz at all.

stepping back for a minute, if we examine the way he plays, especially if one can remove the actual improvising from the often mundane background environment that it is delivered in, we see that his saxophone style is in fact clearly in the tradition of the kind of playing that most reasonably objective listeners WOULD normally quantify as being jazz. it’s just that as jazz or even as music in a general sense, with these standards in mind, it is simply not up to the level of playing that we historically associate with professional improvising musicians. so, lately i have been advocating that we go ahead and just include it under the word jazz – since pretty much of the rest of the world OUTSIDE of the jazz community does anyway – and let the chips fall where they may.

and after all, why he should be judged by any other standard, why he should be exempt from that that all other serious musicians on his instrument are judged by if they attempt to use their abilities in an improvisational context playing with a rhythm section as he does? he SHOULD be compared to john coltrane or wayne shorter, for instance, on his abilities (or lack thereof) to play the soprano saxophone and his success (or lack thereof) at finding a way to deploy that instrument in an ensemble in order to accurately gauge his abilities and put them in the context of his instrument’s legacy and potential.

as a composer of even eighth note based music, he SHOULD be compared to herbie hancock, horace silver or even grover washington. suffice it to say, on all above counts, at this point in his development, he wouldn’t fare well.

but, like i said at the top, this relatively benign view was all...until recently. not long ago, kenny g put out a recording where he overdubbed himself on top of a 30+ year old louis armstrong record, the track “what a wonderful world”. with this single move, kenny g became one of the few people on earth i can say that i really can’t use at all – as a man, for his incredible arrogance to even consider such a thing, and as a musician, for presuming to share the stage with the single most important figure in our music.

this type of musical necrophilia – the technique of overdubbing on the preexisting tracks of already dead performers – was weird when natalie cole did it with her dad on “unforgettable” a few years ago, but it was her dad. when tony bennett did it with billie holiday it was bizarre, but we are talking about two of the greatest singers of the 20th century who were on roughly the same level of artistic accomplishment. when larry coryell presumed to overdub himself on top of a wes montgomery track, i lost a lot of the respect that i ever had for him – and i have to seriously question the fact that i did have respect for someone who could turn out to have have such unbelievably bad taste and be that disrespectful to one of my personal heroes.

but when kenny g decided that it was appropriate for him to defile the music of the man who is probably the greatest jazz musician that has ever lived by spewing his lame-ass, jive, pseudo bluesy, out-of-tune, noodling, wimped out, ****ed up playing all over one of the great louis’s tracks (even one of his lesser ones), he did something that i would not have imagined possible. he, in one move, through his unbelievably pretentious and calloused musical decision to embark on this most cynical of musical paths, **** all over the graves of all the musicians past and present who have risked their lives by going out there on the road for years and years developing their own music inspired by the standards of grace that louis armstrong brought to every single note he played over an amazing lifetime as a musician. by disrespecting louis, his legacy and by default, everyone who has ever tried to do something positive with improvised music and what it can be, kenny g has created a new low point in modern culture – something that we all should be totally embarrassed about – and afraid of. we ignore this, “let it slide”, at our own peril.

his callous disregard for the larger issues of what this crass gesture implies is exacerbated by the fact that the only reason he possibly have for doing something this inherently wrong (on both human and musical terms) was for the record sales and the money it would bring.

since that record came out – in protest, as insigificant as it may be, i encourage everyone to boycott kenny g recordings, concerts and anything he is associated with. if asked about kenny g, i will diss him and his music with the same passion that is in evidence in this little essay.
normally, i feel that musicians all have a hard enough time, regardless of their level, just trying to play good and don’t really benefit from public criticism, particularly from their fellow players. but, this is different.

there ARE some things that are sacred – and amongst any musician that has ever attempted to address jazz at even the most basic of levels, louis armstrong and his music is hallowed ground. to ignore this trespass is to agree that NOTHING any musician has attempted to do with their life in music has any intrinsic value – and i refuse to do that. (i am also amazed that there HASN’T already been an outcry against this among music critics – where ARE they on this?????!?!?!?!- , magazines, etc.). everything i said here is exactly the same as what i would say to gorelick if i ever saw him in person. and if i ever DO see him anywhere, at any function – he WILL get a piece of my mind and (maybe a guitar wrapped around his head.)"
Come on Pat, tell us what you really think...lol!

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Old 07-29-2013, 12:52 PM   #87 (permalink)
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You made my day with that post. I'm glad you fully quoted Metheny's statement because a one-line excerpt doesn't capture the raging glory of Pat Metheny's anger toward Kenny G.

It's an amazing statement coming from a mild mannered (but extremely talented) musical pluralist like Pat Metheny. It almost sounds like an ill tempered rant from a musical extremist like Charles Mingus, Ginger Baker or John Lydon.
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Old 07-29-2013, 01:09 PM   #88 (permalink)
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I know, right? I mean other than that, I can't say I've ever known Metheny to have a negative thing to say about anyone.

I've always been a huge Metheny fan. My one big nit would be that Lyle Mays never got what I feel was proper credit for the success of the Pat Metheny Group. Should have been the Metheny/Mays Group. Or maybe even Mays/Metheny since Mays did the lion's share of the writing and arranging.

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Old 07-29-2013, 01:19 PM   #89 (permalink)
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I had no idea Kenny G did that...and I completely agree with Metheny. Props to him for being so blunt about it. If Kenny G had done that out of pure personal interest and maybe posted it on Youtube or something, then maybe that would be ok. I record myself playing guitar over recorded music all the time. But the fact that he expects people to pay for it is completely disrespectful to Armstrong.
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Old 07-29-2013, 07:33 PM   #90 (permalink)
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I really appreciate Metheny's thoughts on critical standards of musicianship. Metheny's assessment of Kenny G.'s playing is the best critique of a musician's playing style I've read in ages. With Kenny G., Metheny is fair minded but brutally honest about Kenny G.'s shortcomings as a player. I'm specifically referring to these comments by Metheny:
Quote:
of course, i am aware of what he has played since, the success it has had, and the controversy that has surrounded him among musicians and serious listeners. this controversy seems to be largely fueled by the fact that he sells an enormous amount of records while not being anywhere near a really great player in relation to the standards that have been set on his instrument over the past sixty or seventy years.

and honestly, there is no small amount of envy involved from musicians who see one of their fellow players doing so well financially, especially when so many of them who are far superior as improvisors and musicians in general have trouble just making a living. there must be hundreds, if not thousands of sax players around the world who are simply better improvising musicians than kenny g on his chosen instruments. it would really surprise me if even he disagreed with that statement.

having said that, it has gotten me to thinking lately why so many jazz musicians (myself included, given the right “bait” of a question, as i will explain later) and audiences have gone so far as to say that what he is playing is not even jazz at all.

stepping back for a minute, if we examine the way he plays, especially if one can remove the actual improvising from the often mundane background environment that it is delivered in, we see that his saxophone style is in fact clearly in the tradition of the kind of playing that most reasonably objective listeners WOULD normally quantify as being jazz. it’s just that as jazz or even as music in a general sense, with these standards in mind, it is simply not up to the level of playing that we historically associate with professional improvising musicians. so, lately i have been advocating that we go ahead and just include it under the word jazz – since pretty much of the rest of the world OUTSIDE of the jazz community does anyway – and let the chips fall where they may.

and after all, why he should be judged by any other standard, why he should be exempt from that that all other serious musicians on his instrument are judged by if they attempt to use their abilities in an improvisational context playing with a rhythm section as he does? he SHOULD be compared to john coltrane or wayne shorter, for instance, on his abilities (or lack thereof) to play the soprano saxophone and his success (or lack thereof) at finding a way to deploy that instrument in an ensemble in order to accurately gauge his abilities and put them in the context of his instrument’s legacy and potential.

as a composer of even eighth note based music, he SHOULD be compared to herbie hancock, horace silver or even grover washington. suffice it to say, on all above counts, at this point in his development, he wouldn’t fare well.
Most notable musicians (except wild-men like Ginger Baker and Charles Mingus) are reticent to do honest evaluations of the playing skills of other notable musicians, as a professional courtesy. So it's very unusual to read such a forthright assessment of a musician's playing skills by a fellow musician. Metheny's fearless words have made me an even bigger fan of his own unique musical talents.
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