Bebop - what is the big deal about it?

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by Caprica, Oct 12, 2018.

  1. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    To paraphrase an old mafia euphemism, Benjamin Britten is "no longer eligible for citizenship"
     
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  2. JonR

    JonR Member

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    Robben Ford?? :confused:
    If I was looking for a transitional step to opera, Robben Ford would be a long way down the list.
     
  3. JonR

    JonR Member

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    No doubt. I've only ever experienced a live symphony orchestra once (playing Beethoven's 5th, no less), and I was surprised to find it underwhelming - but then it was in a smallish hall in Wimbledon, so hardly ideal. And they weren't a top pro orchestra, so I wouldn't criticise Ludwig on that account.
    Your recommendations are noted.
    Being British, btw, doesn't gain Britten any points for me. I've just been baffled by anything I've heard of his. However, there are a couple of Vaughan Williams' things I have liked, I think because of their Englishness - I picked up the clear folk influence in them, but I would still much rather hear real folk music.
     
  4. JonR

    JonR Member

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    Oh yes, I've done that, and I agree. It wasn't classical music, mind.
     
  5. blueworm

    blueworm Member

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    Well ... they don't use any sort of Marshall stack ;)
     
  6. killer blues

    killer blues Member

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    bebop is the origin of cool
     
  7. MrDoty

    MrDoty Member

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    Bepop, learn to play it, and it’s like going to music school.
     
  8. guitarjazz

    guitarjazz Member

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    "I learned to play Charlie Parker heads...that was my music theory class"-Jaco Pastorious.
     
  9. misterturtlehead

    misterturtlehead Member

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    I wonder about that. I reckon there are some "classic rock" cover band guitar players who regard their guitar playing and being in bands as a casual hobby. I assume a lot of those cats may never get around to listening to jazz or deciding that they need to learn some "jazz" to "spice up" their soloing. Though some may learn a jazz-flavored "lick" on a Lynyrd Skynyrd or mid-1970s Charlie Daniels Band record because it is in a tune they like. Only a very small percentage might think "I really dig that lick. I want to learn how to make up my own similar licks. Maybe learning some jazz is the answer".

    I would more likely think a punk or hardcore guitar player would at some point decide to investigate jazz. If, for example, he listened to bands on the SST label such as Minutemen, Black Flag, and/or Meat Puppets he might buy a record by Universal Congress Of because they made some records on the SST label. Their record Mecolodics is a free jazz record. And Black Flag's record The Process Of Weeding Out has some jazz-like stuff on it. Hotel X made a free jazz record on SST called Uncommon Grounds. Bern Nix from Ornette Coleman's Prime Time plays some guitar on it.

    And then there are cats like me. The first music I really dug after I started playing guitar was early rural blues by cats like Son House, Charley Patton, and Skip James and "country" fingerpicking by cats like Sam McGee and Merle Travis. I also liked electric blues. At that time, mid-1970s, I didn't hear much "blues rock" because it wasn't on the radio or TV very much at the time. I learned about rural blues, Merle Travis, and Lightnin' Hopkins from watching PBS. But I had an electric guitar and amplifier. And I joined a working country variety band. The lead guitar player/pedal steel player wanted to teach me "lead guitar" so he could concentrate on pedal steel. But the records he played for me at one of the lessons was not country. It was Europe 72 by the Grateful Dead and Red by King Crimson. I could grok Jerry Garcia's guitar playing. I could hear elements of "rock" and "country" in his picking. But he would play other stuff that I just couldn't figure out. I really liked Robert Fripp's playing on Red and on his solo record Exposure. But I could not grok anything he played enough to begin to start figuring any of it out. While I continued to listen to those records, and eventually Ornette Coleman's Dancing In Your Head, I was playing "rock" and "country" in working bands. And I listened to a lot of different kinds of music and accumulated a large, now massive, record collection including the records I mentioned in the previous paragraph.

    The thing that made me start getting more interested in "jazz", specifically "jazz" chords, was hearing Nels Cline end a solo set with some chord melody. I thought "I know not of that. I must figure it out". So I got Arnie Berle's book Chords & Progressions For Jazz & Popular Guitar and learned how to play and use those kinds of chords and voicings and eventually come up with voicings on my own. I could find ways to use those voicings in "blues" and "country". They didn't really fit in "rock". Eventually I started buying and listening to more jazz records.

    Then I heard Marc Ribot's playing on Tom Waits's "Jockey Full Of Bourbon" at the beginning of the Jim Jarmusch film Down By Law. I thought "I want to play stuff like that". Some folks I reckon might only want to learn just that tune and Marc Ribot's playing on that tune. I did that. But I wanted to learn how to play my own stuff inspired by that. In Marc Ribot's playing on "Jockey Full Of Bourbon" and other things on Tom Waits's Rain Dogs I heard some chromaticism and some flatted fifths. That told me that Marc Ribot knew of "jazz". I also heard some other stuff I liked by Marc Ribot such as some of Tom Waits's other records he played on, Lounge Lizards, some stuff he played on John Zorn records, Marc Ribot's Los Cubanos Postizos, and other Marc Ribot records. And it was from hearing that stuff that I decided to take my "jazz" studying a lot more seriously whether I became a dedicated "jazz guitar player" or not. But I started reading from jazz books since I knew how to sight read. And I started listening to jazz on a regular basis. Eventually I took an improvisation master class from Marc Ribot. And at that master class I became more hip to Albert Ayler. Albert Ayler's Spiritual Unity and Love Cry get listened to a lot while I am driving.

    Another thing that got me more hip to jazz was hip hop. The producer/drummer Madlib made a record called Shades Of Blue on which he sampled some Blue Note records and got some musicians who were on Blue Note to play on.

    Like I typed earlier in this post, I have a massive record collection. Twenty years ago the only "jazz" in my record collection was a few Django Reinhardt records, Solo Flight- The Genius Of Charlie Christian, Ornette Coleman's Dancing In Your Head, and James "Blood" Ulmer's Tales Of Captain Black. At the present time "jazz" makes up the largest section of my record collection. There is some bebop in there- Bud Powell, Monk, Bird, Diz, among others. But there is also a lot of soul jazz and free jazz. Miles Davis is represented. But it is mostly his electric period. My favorite Trane is Ascension. I have lots of records on ECM- John Abercrombie, Terje Rypdal, Bill Connors. But I spend most of my time listening to Albert Ayler, Sun Ra, Ornette Coleman, and Anthony Braxton. And I also listen to Earth, Melvins, and Butthole Surfers which isn't jazz.

    That stuff in Jerry Garcia's playing that at one time I couldn't figure out was his jazz knowledge. While I wouldn't call him a "jazz guitar player" I can hear the jazz in his playing. While I don't really hear any "jazz" in Robert Fripp's playing I was eventually able to grok it enough to figure some of his stuff out after spending some time studying jazz and reading from things like Slonimsky's Thesaurus Of Scales And Melodic Patterns.
     
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  10. Clifford-D

    Clifford-D Member

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    Maybe, in ballads. But to me bebop has always been about being on the leading edge of the energy. Fast playing and fast tempos are the game, hot not cool.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
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  11. GovernorSilver

    GovernorSilver Member

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    Could be. My post was based on the answers I saw whenever somebody was asked "Why do you want to learn how to play jazz/bebop guitar?". I have seen very, very few post an answer with as much detail as yours.
     
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  12. GovernorSilver

    GovernorSilver Member

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    I agree with Cliff. "Cool jazz" is a jazz style separate from bebop, which emerged in reaction to bebop. Wiki article for further study/discussion/debate.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cool_jazz
     
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  13. Caprica

    Caprica Member

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    Thanks

    This is the one of the reasons why I struggle with bebop. It is too frantic to chill out to or dance to. I guess this is why it is called musician’s music
     
  14. Clifford-D

    Clifford-D Member

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    I would go see Robben Ford with gf, and she would want to dance and laugh, and I was frozen staring at Robben all night.
     
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  15. guitarjazz

    guitarjazz Member

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    83% of the creators were completely strung-out (see Ken Burns DVD). I'd call that chill.
     
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  16. GovernorSilver

    GovernorSilver Member

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    Life is too short to spend on a music style you don't like to listen to, let alone play.

    When you find something that excites and inspires you, you'll be more motivated to work hard on it and excel.
     
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  17. stark

    stark Supporting Member

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    This is a big deal to me.
     
  18. Clifford-D

    Clifford-D Member

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    Is comatose chill?
     
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  19. stark

    stark Supporting Member

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    well.... Dizzy, Benny Golson, Gil Evans, Wayne Shorter, Julian and Nat Adderly, Clifford Brown etc were highly educated masters of their craft and hardly "strung out". Getting "strung out" for the most part got in the way of the music and took many talented artists in their prime. The Burns doc had many critics.
     
  20. guitarjazz

    guitarjazz Member

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    No argument there. I spent some time privately with Benny last spring and he almost got teary-eyed talking about the cats that lost their lives to addiction.
    One of my teachers, George Russell, was one of the artists who were highly critical of the Burns doc. Nonetheless, when the narrator reads off the list of all the addicts it's kind of astounding (in a sad way).
     

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