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Discussion Starter #1
This will be a hairy topic... But it came up in discussion today with a sax friend of mine. This could just be rant, and this could be preaching to the choir. Or this could get me condemned.

We were talking together on the way to watch a show. We were specifically talking about how it seems music, improvised, which to us at the moment is jazz doesn't seem to maintain the integrity of the melody or head. The perfect example to us at least is John Coltrane. Moving from that specifically we moved more broadly to John Coltrane as a whole.

Together we came to the decision that Coltrane sound... meaning his tone, his melodic-ness, his inflection, etc... was too aggressive or irritating to people as a whole. My friend, also made the great point when it comes down to his tastes, you should be able to sit back, relax, and listen. Not think.

A quote from this site... "I can only listen to JC for a limited time and only when paying full attention, for it's really not the most pleasant of sounds from not the most pleasant musician in not his most pleasant phase on not his most pleasant instrument, but it has energy and power and some morbid kind of beauty to it that i can enjoy in the right moment (which is not very often)."

My person thoughts, John Coltrane has always been played on this pedestal for being the greatest tenor player to live (give or take..) yet, I struggle for some reason to find what he has done that made him so. From reading, and listening, I understand the things he did with his mind were great, and amazing things. However, I don't see this contributing positively to the music he was playing. These things I've contributed to my lack of understanding to the music, or my immaturity of ear and playing.

-Bubba-
 

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Listen to the Ballads album with Johnny Hartman (if you haven't already), and then maybe you won't think he's so aggressive, irritating and intellectual. I disagree with your assessment of his music, but I should also point out that there's nothing wrong with disliking Coltrane and don't let anyone make you feel stupid for it.
 

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Well.. I'm not gonna touch some of the aesthetic and conceptual issues you brought up but i will say Coltranes discography is huge. If you cant find at least a few things that fit the limited criteria you describe your willfully uninformed or lazy. There is so much beautiful melodic straight ahead music that was recorded by Trane that it makes no sense when people make statements about him being difficult etc unless your talking about a very limited part of his output.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I've heard the album, though I'm not intimately familiar with it. I have it playing now. I believe during this time, since Trane was changing his sound constantly, essentially he had a new "sound" every six months it seemed during this time he was really getting into the Ballads and simplifying quite a lot. I agree with you, this is closer to what I want to hear in my music. When I hear him soloing, particularly on Dedicated to You, you can almost sing what he's going to play before he does it in my mind. "...He's soloing like he's composing."

-Bubba-
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I agree Lydiot, I should have cited specific albums. What I mentioned wasn't true of all of his music, however I do feel a significant portion of his music fit into my description personally.

-Bubba-
 

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You seem to be addressing later Coltrane. This is similar to someone saying they don't like Miles, when thinking all he ever did was the electric stuff.

Coltrane was a Charlie Parker nut, BTW.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thadnoland - His first album, Dakar: Song 2: Mary's Blues. I don't find his tone to be as... in your face if you will. Though he's just as aggressive in the sense of going after the changes, (not necessarily bad all the time as quoted before).

Miles Davis' Relaxin' in '57 on Oleo as seemed almost aimless (more in the beginning). Again this could be my immaturity or lack of understanding.

I can't stand/make through Interstellar Space. Avante Garde just isn't for me...

I do recall him being a nut. He once carried his case and didn't say a word to him after a gig, yeah?

-Bubba-
 

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I think coltrane is a fantastic player but i purposely don't listen to him. He is the only one where i think that his influence will hold me down. It's still funny that a love supreme was the first jazz album i really got into.

Listening to music is very hard work for your brain. Your brain is much more active in comparison to watching tv for example. it's takes effort and to really get into someone music. I want to appreciate classical music more and I find that it quite hard to understand it musically
 

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Sorry to offend but Im not going to pull punches here: Those who feel music should be easy, not require attention or thought are responsible for crap that is on the radio. The stuff that is downloaded, deleted, and forgotten. They are responsible for the steady decline of music as well as critical thought in this culture. All of life is not a happy meal.
 

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Sorry to offend but Im not going to pull punches here: Those who feel music should be easy, not require attention or thought are responsible for crap that is on the radio. The stuff that is downloaded, deleted, and forgotten. They are responsible for the steady decline of music as well as critical thought in this culture. All of life is not a happy meal.
yeah, i think that it's so important, even as a non-musician, to be an active rather than a passive listener. people need to learn to come to the music rather than waiting for music to come to them. obviously you can try to appreciate something and have it just not do anything for you, and that's all well and good, but if you haven't tried who knows what you're missing out on?
 

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...should be able to sit back, relax, and listen. Not think.

A quote from this site... "I can only listen to JC for a limited time and only when paying full attention, for it's really not the most pleasant of sounds from not the most pleasant musician in not his most pleasant phase on not his most pleasant instrument, but it has energy and power and some morbid kind of beauty to it that i can enjoy in the right moment (which is not very often)."
-Bubba-
I'll confess that it took me a while to appreciate Coltrane. So I can understand why you're asking yourself what the deal is with Coltrane. However, I don't think music should only be for relaxing and not thinking. I did hear something in Coltrane's playing (it was on Kind Of Blue) that made me curious. So I made an effort. It is NOT easy listening. It turned out to be very rewarding. BTW when I later heard Jimmy Hendrix I could hear where he came from.

I included the quote from 'this site' because I'm appalled at the sad quality of the English on that site. I grew up believing that to think clearly you'll have to know how to express yourself clearly.


Reine
 

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Coltrane (as many other artists) went trough several phases in his career and a lot of people find his later period difficult to listen to and indeed it is.
You know, music and many other things , take food for example, sometimes iequires to acquire the taste for something more complex than ordinary and simple foods by going through an educational taste-growth process.

I think that it is highly unlikely that a person is naturally born with an appetite for say truffles (of the savoury variety not the chocolate by the same name) while it is rather obvious that the majority of children respond positively to sweet things ( milk chocolate would be a good example) . It is only by a process of education through expansion of your taste that you get to discover more complex tastes and that Indeed you learn to appreciate it.
In French primary schools they have made this part of the learning process and from a very early age children are learning to taste different and less " obvious" or naturally easy to accept foods.

Similarly some less harmonically pleasing music is an acquired taste. It is highly unlikely that you can put on a CD of say for the sake of argument some free jazz artist (if you've never heard that kind of music before) and that you immediately like it. It is a part of a journey that MIGHT take you to appreciate it (or not) by educating yourself and in a way by acquiring the taste.

This doesn't mean that if you don't like it you are uneducated! You might very well be very developed in music and still don't like the later Coltrane, the electric Miles or whatever you don't like but , again, it is easy to like Coltrane Ballads, it is not easy to like the later albums.

Think of it as in figurative arts. Almost any painter who went past figurative art (at least until the '60) had had a very formal and accomplished figurative career prior to expressing himself or herself in a different manner and yet they felt the need to go into something different and what they felt it was more expressive.

These are both Picasso's.


 

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Well.. I'm not gonna touch some of the aesthetic and conceptual issues you brought up but i will say Coltranes discography is huge..
I think that is the main point. It is really a bit silly to talk about "Coltrane" as if all his music is the same.

I also enjoyed "All of life is not a Happy Meal" from Phil. A+
 

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Wha? :scratch:
I will never have the technical and "spiritual" expertise to play like that so trying to play that way is hopeless. I will find my own thing.
 

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I will never have the technical and "spiritual" expertise to play like that so trying to play that way is hopeless. I will find my own thing.
Oh yes! But you can find and pursue your own thing even if you listen to other things.

Some artists indeed say that they don't want to be influenced by other artists and therefore they say that they shut other influences out by preventing " contamination".

On the other hand we all read the papers, watch telly and live among other people and all this influences us........let alone what we've been subject to during our upbringing.

Wether we are creative artists or not, no human being is an islands and artists are no less (or more) human beings than anyone else. We are programmed to be influenced and learn from one another experience by adhesion or exclusion or simple information. Even when we refuse something we are , in fact, acknowledging it and not really shutting it out but integrating it in our choices.

We live in a post-modern world awash with information a continuous cultural exchanges and all this is an inevitable and part of what we are.
 

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Coltrane is like the Robin Williams of music. Sometimes you wish he would just shut up. As for his ballads, blah! "Favorite Things" etc. is a horrible song. Why would he play such rubbish?
 

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Oh yes! But you can find and pursue your own thing even if you listen to other things.

Some artists indeed say that they don't want to be influenced by other artists and therefore they say that they shut other influences out by preventing " contamination".

On the other hand we all read the papers, watch telly and live among other people and all this influences us........let alone what we've been subject to during our upbringing.

Wether we are creative artists or not, no human being is an islands and artists are no less (or more) human beings than anyone else. We are programmed to be influenced and learn from one another experience by adhesion or exclusion or simple information. Even when we refuse something we are , in fact, acknowledging it and not really shutting it out but integrating it in our choices.

We live in a post-modern world awash with information a continuous cultural exchanges and all this is an inevitable and part of what we are.
I totally agree but I only have this with him and not anyone else so its not that i want to be without any influences.
 

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Coltrane is like the Robin Williams of music. Sometimes you wish he would just shut up. As for his ballads, blah! "Favorite Things" etc. is a horrible song. Why would he play such rubbish?
That did make me smile. Witty but (IMO) not wise. :)
 
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