What is Third Stream? – a personal uncharted territory

What is Third Stream? Let’s ask Wikipedia :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_stream

“Third Stream is a synthesis of jazz and classical music.”

Critics have argued that third stream—by drawing on two very different styles—dilutes the power of each in combining them. Others reject such notions and consider third stream an interesting musical development. In 1981, Schuller offered a list of “What Third Stream Is Not”:

It is not jazz with strings.
It is not jazz played on “classical” instruments.
It is not classical music played by jazz players.
It is not inserting a bit of Ravel or Schoenberg between bebop changes—nor the reverse.
It is not jazz in fugal form.
It is not a fugue played by jazz players.
It is not designed to do away with jazz or classical music; it is just another option amongst many for today’s creative musicians.

 

I’m interested because I love classical music and I don’t know contemporary jazz very well, but I think the “melting” genre can give interesting things, I’m excited by this personal uncharted territory (as a French, I always want to write “unmapped territory”).

I think about progressive rock (who probably encroaches upon this genre). The first label I thought about was ECM, but I found Rune Grammofon too. Of course, I find everywhere the reference of Bela Bartok, who collected and used old Magyar folk melodies…

ECM, a music label

It seems that today the genre is now 100,000 streams, like the Mississippi delta, a vast complex that has been fed by countless tributaries, with other musics, ethnic, folk, etc…

Let’s Google this. I find :

This last link casts wide, for repetitive/minimal to ECM to Miles Davis or Lalo Schifrin (who wrote the Mission Impossible theme).

Well, that’s just the beginning of a new exploration!

Like each time, some branches will displease us, but with a bit of luck, we’ll find a golden one.

 

Thanks for reading!

Other options of Ran Blake, a Jazz pianist – an exploration

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I don’t like jazz that much, and I know why. I have too much empathy, and I put myself in the guy’s shoes TRYING to make his thing, I feel bad.

So, I opened my book about Jazz, page 206, randomly, to find Ran Blake, born in 1935, pianist. Never heard about him. You?

I kept him because of some elements I read : he worked with female singers, he was said to make “singular covers”, he has been a music teacher in Boston, he’s influenced by gospel, Monk, Prokofiev, Messiean, movie musics.

So here it is : I use my own method of exploration, which is to YouTube randomly around his name.

His solo piano style is very unique, with nonsense any old things invading old standards for seconds (Epistrophy), delicate memories framing ice water on broken tooth picks, suspended chords, splendid high notes, wobblings.

Comfy cool jazz is like drunk, invaded with errors, shaken memories, blurriness (Round Midnight), it’s like a dream where fast vignettes of remembrances dance around…

“Let’s Stays Together” is just delicious – though at many times you want to say “Hey, be careful!”. Walking on a string…

( see also Epistrophy : Reflections )

With Rave (trumpet) or Lacy, he brings… insecurities in mellow jazz :

This sounds like a confused memory of something we know…

The delicious fragile modulating waltz beginning and ending :

Tools here :

  1. It’s interesting to listen to someone who disturbs my tastes and tests my limits. Sometimes I say : “NO! Come on!”. Sometimes it’s just perfect. My brain begins to focus more, to think, to search, to be afraid maybe. It’s an interesting process.
  2. I discovered great singers, like Sara Serpa (which lead me to the lakes of voices of Naka Nishina), or Jeanne Lee (incredible somber voice).
  3. I have pleasure in analyze. For example, Blake loves the extreme high notes of the piano, which is rare. And one of his “tricks”, when he supports a female singer or a trumpet player, is to let the other one stay steady, like a tree. The piano player is NOT the solid base, he’s the one which wanders, which drifts…
  4. I discovered a Genre : “Third Stream“, a synthesis of jazz and classical music. This is funny because the Wikipedia article lead me to this tool of defining something by what it is not :

It is not jazz with strings.
It is not jazz played on “classical” instruments.
It is not classical music played by jazz players.
It is not inserting a bit of Ravel or Schoenberg between bebop changes—nor the reverse.
It is not jazz in fugal form.
It is not a fugue played by jazz players.
It is not designed to do away with jazz or classical music; it is just another option amongst many for today’s creative musicians.

Have fun! Thanks for reading!

Un article en français : https://www.lemonde.fr/musiques/article/2017/05/15/jazz-ran-blake-pianiste-de-passion-et-de-patience_5127752_1654986.html

How to build an Anthology?

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How to build an Anthology? #Jazz

Maybe you remember, I wrote an article about the fact that one book-lover could read only prefaces.

Imagine you have three hours free in a place full of books. You can pick one, or you can pick two dozens, reading prefaces only. That’s what I’d do, I think…

Yesterday I bought a book, “Jazz en 150 Figures”. It’s a great hardcover book, not about stars of this music, but about creative jazz.

This, alone, could be an article :

Choose a field (poetry, photography, history, etc), and don’t look for stars, but for creators. I reckon that they’re sometimes the same – but let’s focus on lesser-known explorers.

The foreword is one paged. The author asks What is an anthology? – to tell us, of course, what his book is NOT.

  1. It’s not a dictionary, concerned to be exhaustive – and being objective, boring.
  2. It’s not a kindWho’s who“, telling for example that a tired aged musician is as great as himself as a young explorer.
  3. It’s not an Almanach of an elite, made from a list from stardom status.
  4. It’s not a chronological retrospective.
  5. It’s not a ecumenical overview submitted to different kind of quotas.
  6. It’s not a chory monstrosity which tries to make an impression.

So here I am reading this book randompagely, discovering names like Jimmy Lions, Grachan Moncur III or Roscoe Mitchell… with YouTube.

Tools here are multiple :

  • Buying a good anthology, as a map do discover a universe you don’t know at all, or almost.
  • Thinking, when you build something, about what it should not be.
  • Reading prefaces only why not? Go to a library, then.
  • Which domain to dig, for creators?

OK, I’m now writing something about Ran Blake – you know him? Me neither!

Thanks for reading!

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https://www.udiscovermusic.com/stories/50-greatest-jazz-albums-ever/

https://www.jazzwise.com/features/article/the-100-jazz-albums-that-shook-the-world

https://www.senscritique.com/top/resultats/Les_meilleurs_albums_de_jazz/193105

Miles & Pina : Enigmas and what their message addressees make of them

Wandering into a book about Miles Davis, I found one entry : Enigmas. As a director, he indeed oftenly told strange phrases to the musicians he was playing with.

He quickly told, during a concert, “Don’t play the butter notes” to Herbie Hancock, who had to guess what it was about. To forget the fat, the obvious notes, play dry?…

But also “Implicit in Davis’s advice is the counterintuitive idea that having fewer options actually expands the creative possibilities available to a musician, because you have to work extra hard to make up for the absent notes.”

Therefore : a more aerial game AND creativity triggering, from and after a five words injunction!

 

So I think about Pina Bausch telling “I chose you for your weaknesses” to a tough dancer, as an enigma, which totally unblocked the dancer.

 

There’s one tool here, for team managers, who need :

  1. The sense of timing (when to aim, and how)
  2. The sense of immediacy
  3. The will to disturb someone “in a good way”
  4. The Koan talent (find the good phrase to unblock a frustrated collaborator)
  5. The director skills (how to opportunely address a whole team or one of its elements)

Analysis or Vision? Logic or Instinct? It’s up to you…

 

This leads me to an end : Message Addressees.

 

To click on enigmatic messages, to understand a koan, to dismantle a manipulator‘s discourse, you have to think, you need to be trained.

If you’re a fast thinker like Herbie Hancock, you accept the good idea, you understand it and apply it with your possibilities and your will. As if someone showed you a window. Let’s jump through it!

Negatively? Toxic communicators and bad managers will often try to define you, to put you down, to trick you with paradoxes, injunctions or enigmatic assertions. If you’re aware of it, you’ll have fun dismantling all these processes at fast pace, clipping along the suite of sentences and putting the dead bones on your wooden desk : Ok this, then that, and oh this too…

Then you do what you have to do.

 

Now I think about strange movies like Fight Club (Fincher) or Eyes Wide Shut (Kubrick), which have the capacity to bore the bored, and to activate some others…

 

Conclusion : Enigmas, good or bad, are good for thinkers!

 

Have a nice day!

 

 

“The very activity of seeking an answer”

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Instagram : hornsarahberlin

 

 

KOAN : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C5%8Dan

“A kōan is a story, dialogue, question, or statement, which is used in Zen practice to provoke the “great doubt” and test a student’s progress in Zen practice”.

 

Modulating Solos : The Pat Metheny Swervy Syndrome

“To the end of the world” is a Pat Metheny track. It begins like some empty “jazzy elevator music”, then floats into a nonchalapleasant piano jazz, until (go to 6 or 7′) Metheny wakes up with a long modulating guitar solo :

 

There it is. It’s my point. I’m listening to this long solo full of swerves and stridence, and my brain is agitated in ambiguity.

  1. Half of it finds it really toomuchy, almost as if I was watching some indecency. I’m like : “OK dude, it’s cool. OK I like it. Good. Please stop now…”.
  2. The other half is amazed and mesmerized (oh, I love this word!), because of the modulations.

Wiki : In music, modulation is most commonly the act or process of changing from one key (tonic, or tonal center) to another.

Well, you know, you feel the music climbing stairs…

Let’s call this ambiguity “The Pat Metheny Swervy Syndrome”. I like it so much. It’s a great skill for Röyksopp or Mike Oldfield, or Puccini. The syndrome is when it becomes a trick, a knack, when you wanna say “Hey! OK! I got it!”.

Stairs of synths is a Klaus Schulze common trick (he knows how to make you wait).

 

To show you it’s a knack, here’s a soloing guitar guy who is perpetually modulating. Well, he’s good, I suppose! I dislike this music/I love the way he changes colors (imagine this in a fast car). Yep :

 

You can study Miles Davis‘s career with this spot only. This great musician used this threadbare trick until he stopped it almost completely. Because it became, at one point, “harmonic virtuosity”, acrobatic modulations, crafty bends, speedy warps which, well, could make you forget the melody forwardness (sorry for my English). He went until he killed the idea of progression…

Well, that’s another story. But there’s a tool here : When do you go to good at something? How do you get out?

 

 

Thanks for reading!

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#ECM, a music label – #Jazz

Wiki says : ECM (Edition of Contemporary Music) is an independent record label founded by Manfred Eicher in Munich in 1969. While ECM is best known for jazz music, the label has released a variety of recordings, and ECM’s artists often refuse to acknowledge boundaries between genres. ECM’s motto is “the Most Beautiful Sound Next to Silence”.

If you don’t know this label (and if you’re an music explorer), it can keep you busy for a quiet evening. It’s interesting in many ways. Sophisticated jazz of course, but also minimalism, quiet worlds, inventions, disturbing surprises and splendid smokes, with a… you’ll see : ECM has a sound.

You can YouTube it. If you like to read, I suggest you Google “ECM Best Albums“. This page is great, for example :

https://gerryco23.wordpress.com/2009/11/29/ecm-40-favourites/

In a way, it’s always interesting to READ about intelligent music, right?

Randomly found 9 sleeves for you.

 

Have a nice day!

The warm haunted trumpet of Jon Hassell could suit your summer evening…

Do you know Jon Hassell? He’s an American trumpet player. Wikipedia says : “He is known for developing the musical aesthetic which unifies ideas from minimalism, various world music sources, and his unusual electronic manipulation of the trumpet”. He uses an unusual softer way of blowing into his instrument.

I chose here three albums which suit perfectly with your summer loving evenings.

  • Fourth World is the “easiest”. The trumpet is a veil, a triple breathe, a moanplaint, and Brian Eno (who produced the album) draws landscapes and mysterious sounds around it. It’s like a nocturnal African dream. Put it in loop and watch the stars.
  • Surgeon is more… like… drunk. Swampy (like the sleeve)? Some moments are haunting and gorgeous. Hide three candles in a room, in a hot night, and this album in loop. Be slow.
  • Powerspot is more urban, electronics are different here. Beatboxes build impossible architectures. Futuristic and sweaty, like Miles Davis in another century…

The first two albums are in the link. Powerspot : only a track (explore the others!).

Like it, or too much?

Thanks for reading!

 

From cook to music, and vice versa

Imagine a cook listening to music. Classical? Jazz? Pop? Rock? He closes his eyes. His brain dances and connects the sounds to his skills, and he gets ideas. Cooking. Baking. He stands up. He smiles. Here it is. Voilà!

As he found the idea pleasant, here he is, the day after, inventing recipes. With a purpose. He wants a friend, a musician, to taste it… to gain ideas. What will grow from this?

OK. Other combinations? From painting to cooking. It’s a game : Displacing Concepts

Tool : How will you get new ideas? How will you offer new ideas?

#littlegirl #algeria #bourdieu #bw #bread #cute