Fun with jazz


I know nothing about jazz and don’t listen to it but I laughed out loud when I heard this item on NPR’s All Things Considered on January 19, 2016.

Comments

  1. DonDueed says

    Ha! I caught the tail end of this story the other day, which was a bit confusing. Now it all makes, um, sense?

    I too laughed out loud. I like some jazz, but there’s way too much out there that sounds to me about like this stuff.

  2. Rob Grigjanis says

    Just listened to the NPR thing. Don’t get it. Celebrity (I love Archer and Bob’s Burgers) with apparently too much time and money hires some real musicians to do a joke piece, with him playing horrible piano. Maybe it’s meant to be a comment on the inaccessibility of some jazz, but it comes across to me as a comment on the laziness of some listeners.

  3. John Morales says

    Rob, what’s to get? As I noted, I listened to it too, and it sounded just like regular jazz to me. Not that I’m lazy, I just don’t share the delicate, educated sensibilities of a jazz aficionado.

  4. moarscienceplz says

    Sounds like regular jazz to me — elevator music.

    I hope there is supposed to be a /snark attached to that comment.
    If not, that is one heck of an ignorant opinion. Jazz is a term that encompasses an enormous diversity of musical styles. Some of it is simple and pop-py, mostly due to the fact that jazz was in the mainstream for about three decades and thus pandering to the lowest common denominator did happen a lot. However, since about the ’60s, jazz musicians have been whittled down to pretty much only those who are hugely passionate about it. I would argue that the average jazz musician today is much more highly skilled than the average musician in just about any of the currently more popular forms of music.

  5. Rob Grigjanis says

    John @5: I’m certainly not an aficionado. And it doesn’t require delicacy or education to enjoy jazz. Just the willingness to listen combined with some hard-to-define inclination. Like pretty much any other music genre, except perhaps some of the ones you grew up with. It’s just mildly annoying when someone turns their lack of appreciation into snarky put-down. That is lazy.

    Tell me what music you love, John.

  6. John Morales says

    moarscienceplz:

    If not, that is one heck of an ignorant opinion.

    Of course it is — musicology is most definitely not my thing.

    It’s just mildly annoying when someone turns their lack of appreciation into snarky put-down. That is lazy.

    It’s not lazy, it’s honest. The tinkling of the piano notes in that piece did not seem out of place to me, and the whole thing seemed absolutely generic.

    (FWIW, at least I could tell it was “jazz” music!)

    Rob:

    Tell me what music you love, John.

    I’m quite eclectic, but I do like hummable tunes. One of my most favourite pieces is Bach’s “fugue in D minor”, FWTW.

  7. Rob Grigjanis says

    John @8:

    It’s not lazy, it’s honest

    Every lazy person on the planet salutes you! Me included.

    One of my most favourite pieces is Bach’s “fugue in D minor”, FWTW.

    Do you mean the Toccata and Fugue in D minor? Yeah, that’s nice and way over-played. Bach’s own “Hotel California”.

  8. says

    That’s slightly amusing if you don’t expect it to be music, if you know it’s a comedian who can’t play. But to those who know and listen to jazz, it’s definitely a fraud. Even free jazz musicians like Ornette Coleman (who died last summer) have structure in their improvisations. In free jazz, it’s not just one musician improvising, it’s the entire group. And yet it still works, as the link below shows. Improvisation is not “playing random notes” any more than saying “Bread it now colloquial paints.” constitutes an English sentence. Making up sentences as you go is due to years of education, and improvisation is built on years of learnt structure and forms, and developing one’s own style.

  9. Sunday Afternoon says

    @Rob (#11):

    Thanks, especially for the Miles Davis link – so much good music, so little time…

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