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Distinguished SOTW Member/ Forum Contributor 2009
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hadn't heard the S. Getz record with O. Peterson trio for a long time. Listened in the car the other day and was knocked out (among all the rest) by the last cut, "Blues for Herky." I think it'd get my vote for one of the best blues performances by top flight jazz guys I've ever run across. Blues knuckleheads are always going on about how jazz guys can't play righteous blues--and I'm sure we all have a sense of what they mean by that (as well as how wrong they can be)--but this cut is just so down and funky and cool. I'd like to compile and burn a CD of great blues by jazz greats. Any other suggestions?
 

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Honky, check out some Lockjaw Davis. That cat could play the blues to be sure. And if you can get one with him and Shirley Scott (organ), so much the better!
 

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Ditto the Lockjaw album.

There's too many great blues players and albums to list here. BTW it's been done before and the search button is your friend. :)

If it's low down, gut bucket, honking blues you're after, try copping some box sets

Honkers and Bar Walkers

The Big Horn

Giants of the Blues/Funk Tenor Sax

and anything by Edddie Vinson. (sorry, contractually obliged to throw that in. :D )

To my ears, the jazz greats could all play a wicked blues. Coltrane, Bird, Prez, Stitt, Webster, Hawkins, Dexter, Jimmy Forrest, Arnett Cobb, etc.

It's all out there, just keep spending the rent mony on Cd's and Vinyl and you'll find them. In the meanwhile, check out those box sets. Find a player you like and then grab all their stuff and start transcribing.
 

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Forum Contributor 2016, The official SOTW Little S
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It's perplexing how these jazz greats can branch out an be as just as amazing in a field they aren't comfortable with.
 

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bluesaxgirl said:
It's perplexing how these jazz greats can branch out an be as just as amazing in a field they aren't comfortable with.
ALL the jazz greats were VERY comfortable with the blues! Most of them started out playing the blues. Blues was/is the very foundation and basis for most jazz, no matter how "sophisticated. In fact, I read somewhere that when things got bogged down in the studio, most of the better jazz players would call a blues to kick things back into action.

Nowadays, it may be the case that the blues is being skipped by the younger jazz players. I hope that isn't true, but if it is, jazz will lose a lot of what made it great music. I really don't think you can have jazz without the blues in there somewhere.
 

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JL said:
ALL the jazz greats were VERY comfortable with the blues! Most of them started out playing the blues. Blues was/is the very foundation and basis for most jazz, no matter how "sophisticated. In fact, I read somewhere that when things got bogged down in the studio, most of the better jazz players would call a blues to kick things back into action.

Nowadays, it may be the case that the blues is being skipped by the younger jazz players. I hope that isn't true, but if it is, jazz will lose a lot of what made it great music. I really don't think you can have jazz without the blues in there somewhere.
Okay, I'm rewording that. Its perplexing how these people can be so good at whatever they do. Better now? It's all good...I go for jazz and blues.
 

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Yep. Jazzers get the blues.....at least the ones that don't suck.
IMO, understanding the blues, (the phrasing, the dialect, the passion, the feel), is necessary to play jazz well. All the greats that I admire played, (or play), the blues well.....Bird, Trane, Wayne, Sonny, Brecker, Stitt, Dexter, Miles, etc. Now it's true that the blues can mean different things to different people and that different styles of blues require a different approach with your playing, (Mississippi delta blues versus Chicago urban blues versus Bird's beebop blues, for example), but the bottom line is: you gotta play the blues. Jump in and get with it. It's the roots of so much music and you've just got to go there. This is one of the reasons so many of the "jazz lite" players don't do anything for me---let the flaming begin---because they don't show any evidence of understanding the blues, (much less loving the blues), in their playing............end rant!!!........daryl
 

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I'm not sure who the knuckleheads are (although a few of us have suggested that an Aebersold playalong doesn't sound much like a blues bar band:D) .

The really sad thing about jazzers getting the blues, I think, is to reflect on how many awesome blues numbers must have gotten chucked from recording sessions at Bluenote, Riverside, Prestige etc. in the day.

Check out: the Oliver Nelson/King Curtis/Jimmy Forrest cd Soul Battle on Prestige. Some killer blues playing on there.

Rory
 

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Blues, jazz......whats the difference?
 

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"Kenny G plays Lightnin' Hopkins" ... that cat's blacker than Leadbelly.
 

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It is kind of a crazy thing! When I am feeling bad about my jazz playing or like I am at a mental block with developing a concept for my soloing, I always go back to the blues. It's fun to play it in weird keys, makes me keep things simple. Blues is the greatest common denominator when it comes to jazz, funk, and pop sax playing. Even during a performance it helps to get things back in line by throwing in a lyrical blues line. Bird and Trane did it all the time. Good stuff, this thread kind of opened up my eyes to what I should be doing again :)
 

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The Blues

I play in a blues band, also go to a lot of blues jams. I also play jazz, though I am more of a blues/rock guy at this point.

I agree that blues is the foundation of jazz. Also that most jazz players are great blues players.

I think the bad rap stems from guys with big jazz chops who try to work every scale they know at 150 miles per hour into tunes that don't call for it. I've played with guys like that occaisionally. A couple of times I've want to lean over (though I haven't) and say: "Hey man, this isn't a bop tune. We're playing the blues."

You could say the same thing for ballads, really. It's a matter of playing what fits the tune.

Hey Dogpants, thanks for putting those compilations up there. I just found used copies of them all on Half.com and/or Amazon.


Scott
 

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listen to jeeps blues by duke ellinton/johnny hodges. there is a live version on the ken burns duke ellington cd that is really great.

davesaxa1 said:
Blues, jazz......whats the difference?
please tell me your being sarcastic...
 

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Scott Ramminger said:
I think the bad rap stems from guys with big jazz chops who try to work every scale they know at 150 miles per hour into tunes that don't call for it. I've played with guys like that occaisionally. A couple of times I've want to lean over (though I haven't) and say: "Hey man, this isn't a bop tune. We're playing the blues." Scott
Yeah, actually Scott has a good point here. I don't think it's so much the guys with real jazz chops who would be a problem (most of them would know how to play the blues), but rather those who have been playing or attempting to play in a jazz style and sort of skipped really learning the blues. I've run into these guys on occasion at a blues jam. They run lots of notes and scales and none of it adds up to the blues. The fact is, it's not very good "jazz," either. Anyway, these are the guys that us "blues knuckleheads" are speaking of. I'll say it again, though, real jazz musicians are no strangers to playing the blues.
 

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Pete Thomas said:
Sometimes it works the other way - listen to King Curtis play jazz. Mmmm, nice.
Amen. King Curtis is by no means underrated, but I've always thought that the session with Nelson and Forrest is one of his more unsung triumphs. I mean he was still very young, but also pretty famous, and I imagine those two guys were going to put him to the test. Nelson especially must have been a terrifying guy to have a cutting contest with!! As it turned out, all three are awesome on the recording.

It's a cliche to say, but it's hard to imagine what a super-monster King Curtis would likely have become if he hadn't been killed. Who knows, he might even have saved us from K**ny G! His time was short, but he sure made the most of it.

Rory
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Scott Ramminger said:
I think the bad rap stems from guys with big jazz chops who try to work every scale they know at 150 miles per hour into tunes that don't call for it.
Yeah, that's a lot of it. Obviously any great jazz player has played blues changes ad infinitum, can do it in their sleep. It's really more of a stylistic thing, an appreciation of the simpler form, and keeping it real within those limitations. I guess I'm saying sometimes it seems jazz players don't get that. In the case of this Getz/Peterson track, I was struck by how some of the most elegant jazz players ever were able to play it so down and lean, still sounding like themselves, yet not slumming it or aping the simpler form at all. The Jeeps Blues referral is a good one. Any more specific references to those kinds of sides welcome!
 

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Having played a lot of blues back in MS, I gotta point out that there are a lot of "blues snobs" out there, (just as there are "jazz snobs", etc.), that don't consider blues played by jazzers "authentic" enough to satisfy their blues cravings. Anybody else notice this?.........daryl
 

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Scott Ramminger said:
I think the bad rap stems from guys with big jazz chops who try to work every scale they know at 150 miles per hour into tunes that don't call for it. I've played with guys like that occasionally. A couple of times I've want to lean over (though I haven't) and say: "Hey man, this isn't a bop tune. We're playing the blues."
You nailed it Scott!

I was that guy ~ 16 years ago when I started playing in a blues band in Boston. I had just come out of a Bop/Fusion quintet and found myself in a band led by a couple of recent Berklee grads. Oy.

The temptation to bop-out on everything was always there. It sounded awesome at rehearsals. The Berklee guitarist used to record the practices and cop all my licks for the next practice! Unfortunately I found that it would take a Berklee guitarist to appreciate what I was doing.

My wife started coming up to me at gigs saying that I was playing too many notes. The guitarist immediately would defend me like he was defending god himself! The drummer once came up to me and asked why it sounds like I'm playing a different song, with a different band, in a different room? He was a rock drummer.

I then learned the proper phrasing associated with the different blues styles and was able to adapt my playing to the music. I had to listen to a lot of singers to really get it.

I'm now back in a Blues band playing authentic but steroided swamp blues. I was called on to replace a harp player. Since they had already recorded a CD, I had to learn all the harp licks. I'm having so much fun with shakes, screams, trills up and down the horn, squawks, infinite riffs and echoes. It's like a whole different language from the wedding band I was in for 5 years!
 
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