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True. And of course the kids these days have adjusted to a new reality. The live music scene many of us grew up in no longer exists as it once did. It has been seriously diminished. But it's not entirely gone; live music is still out there (as Dave says), you just have to search it out.
Also the internet is an AMAZING source for new music. It's great who you can reach with your own music these days...I have people messaging me from all around the world about my music, and I think that's a really great thing. Use it to your advantage!!
 

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What is a "horizontal solo" anyways? Do you lay down and play? That terminology I am not familiar with.
My understanding is that a "horizontal solo" is linear and lyrical; meaning it's more like a cohesive melody in it's own right. You can follow it melodically and it 'makes sense' from beginning to end (if it's well done). A "vertical solo" is based on scales or arpeggios that change more or less with each chord change, so no real emphasis on a cohesive melody, but rather extrapolations of the chords themselves. It's harder to play vertical solos until you master the scales/modes/etc appropriate to each possible chord, but at that point it can easily degrade into a mechanical automatic process. Playing a cohesive melodic linear improvised melody over challenging changes doesn't require the technical expertise of an expertly executed vertical solo, but it is much more difficult in the moment to execute a beautiful improvised melody over those same changes.
 

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So it comes down to an argument over how you define "jazz." Wynton and Branford, more than just about any musicians I can think of, have defined jazz is very narrow terms: it has to have swing rhythm, it has to "deal with" the blues, it has to include collective improvisation, etc. They have been dismissive of fusion, free music, and just about any new development that's come along since about 1960. Defined that way, it would be no surprise if jazz was "dead." Because it's not 1959 anymore, and if the music hasn't evolved or grown for the past 60 years, then yes, it's dead, and it's only existing as an echo of a previous era.

I'm sure it's obvious that I don't agree. I think jazz is continuing to grow and change as it absorbs influences from hip hop, EDM, rock, classical, and various folk traditions from around the world. Perhaps it's no coincidence that a lot of the artists who are doing that are the ones who are finding larger (and younger) audiences.
Nailed it.
 

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Just like the other thread, there seems to be is no consensus and no real and meaningful source for the derivation of these terms, horizontal and vertical. To me it just seems like some kind of analyst's typical over-acadamising of jazz.

It has a much meaning as my previous coin of phrase of hindsight leading notes - just some bloke coming up with some specious pseudo musicological mumbo jumbo.
 

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“Giant steps” is often cited as the quintessential vertically oriented solo. Some people liked it. :)

No idea who coined the terms, but David Baker definitely talks about vertical and horizontal approaches in “Jazz Improvisation: A Comprehensive Method for All Musicians” from 1988 or so, as does David Zinn in his “The Structure & Analysis of the Modern Improvised Line: Theory” from 1981. Who knows, some people not named David may also have used the terms for all I know. Possibly a George or two did.

Whether Coltrane was all “I’m gonna vertical the sh*t out of this tune” or more “behold, I have the best arpeggios, they are just great” we can only guess.
 

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"Giant steps" is often cited as the quintessential vertically oriented solo.
Where do they say that?

This is odd because I see people here say scales are horizontal, arpeggios are vertical. Giant steps has both scales and arpeggios. It's just jazz.
 

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I dunno...to me this whole approach is just more or less vertical. Meaning, it's primary focus is not on creating a standalone melody over the backdrop of changes, but on placing notes over changes in a way that is correct harmonically as the primary consideration. That's less an artistic creation than a mechanistic, computational process.

I guess I have a different understanding of melody, that implies a unique, inherent significance beyond just notes that work harmonically against chord changes. And I would posit that the dominance of this sort of thinking about what it means to play jazz is what puts off non-musician audiences, because it's more akin to well-executed mathematics than a good song.

YMMV.
 

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Just like the other thread, there seems to be is no consensus and no real and meaningful source for the derivation of these terms, horizontal and vertical. To me it just seems like some kind of analyst's typical over-acadamising of jazz.

It has a much meaning as my previous coin of phrase of hindsight leading notes - just some bloke coming up with some specious pseudo musicological mumbo jumbo.
If there was a decent thumbs-up emoticon in the list, I would put one here => ______ <= Until then..............:salute:
 

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Where do they say that?

This is odd because I see people here say scales are horizontal, arpeggios are vertical. Giant steps has both scales and arpeggios. It's just jazz.
To me horizontal and vertical has more to do with the orientation and approach of the improvisor.

Giant steps isn't actually a song, it's an improvisational exercise. The melody is very simple, short, repeated phrases moving against the changes, which get very boring very quickly.

Getz's work with Jobim is (to me) a great example of horizontal improv: Strongly melodic lines over 'jazz' changes that are well-crafted melodies in their own right.
 

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Where do they say that?

This is odd because I see people here say scales are horizontal, arpeggios are vertical. Giant steps has both scales and arpeggios. It's just jazz.
Maybe it's odd, and maybe it's just an artifact of useless academic exercises, but it is indeed often cited as a prime example of a vertical (chord running, arpeggiated, chord scale) approach. Accurately or not. Many analyses of the solo will mention these or similar terms. David Baker, in "The Jazz Style of John Coltrane: A Musical and Historical Perspective", talks about this as an identifiable stylistic period in Coltrane's playing; "the vertical period".

https://books.google.no/books?id=A6p3AwAAQBAJ&lpg=PP1&pg=PA12#v=onepage&q&f=false

As a side remark, to me, Giant steps is just jazz, just like a bengal tiger is just a cat. Meaning, as a hobbyist, I think I should probably try to focus on getting a better handle on the Blues in F, Autumn Leaves and In a Sentimental Mood first. ;-)
 

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And then there's the intervalic approach...
 

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Sentences in this thread that I liked:
To me it just seems like some kind of analyst's typical over-acadamising of jazz.
And I would posit that the dominance of this sort of thinking about what it means to play jazz is what puts off non-musician audiences, because it's more akin to well-executed mathematics than a good song.
It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing.
 

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Giant steps isn't actually a song, it's an improvisational exercise. The melody is very simple, short, repeated phrases moving against the changes, which get very boring very quickly.

Getz's work with Jobim is (to me) a great example of horizontal improv: Strongly melodic lines over 'jazz' changes that are well-crafted melodies in their own right.
To each, his own. "Giant Steps" to me is most certainly a song in every sense. I've always thought that the wide intervals in the melody and the harmonic progression are supposed to be evocative of someone taking "giant steps," making big strides, confidently progressing toward a goal. Trane's solo, which is mostly simple patterns and arpeggios, to me reinforces this feeling of a person who knows where he's trying to go and is taking specific, logical steps toward that place. Like 'Cousin Mary' and 'Naima' and lot of songs from that period, it's kind of a portrait in sound. Far from being boring, I think it's a pretty exciting piece. I suppose some people play it like an etude, but we can say the same about Bach's cello suites and lots of other great music.
 

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Discussion Starter · #359 ·
I was taught differently in that a leading note would be one that inherently "wants" to remove somewhere due to its tension. So in the perfect cadence G7 to C, the F wants to go down a semitone to the E , and the B "wants" to go up a semitone to the C. Whether they actually do or not is irrelevant, it's like a snapshot in time of those notes' tension and conventionally implied resolution.
If a leading tone has to resolve tension to be a leading tone, then I'm curious what you call tones used to build tension to a note in the next chord, if they don't fit your definition of leading tone? I was given no other terms to specify any difference. As in "voice leading," a leading tone is any note leading to a chord tone or a melody note, according to the instructors I had, with or without the kind of tension/release in a V-I.
 

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Discussion Starter · #360 ·
My understanding is that a "horizontal solo" is linear and lyrical; meaning it's more like a cohesive melody in it's own right. You can follow it melodically and it 'makes sense' from beginning to end (if it's well done). A "vertical solo" is based on scales or arpeggios that change more or less with each chord change, so no real emphasis on a cohesive melody, but rather extrapolations of the chords themselves. It's harder to play vertical solos until you master the scales/modes/etc appropriate to each possible chord, but at that point it can easily degrade into a mechanical automatic process. Playing a cohesive melodic linear improvised melody over challenging changes doesn't require the technical expertise of an expertly executed vertical solo, but it is much more difficult in the moment to execute a beautiful improvised melody over those same changes.
It's not difficult if you practice horizontal solosing excercises like what I mentioned in earlier posts. In fact great improvised melodies can simply become a habit if you practice moving through changes a note at a time(half notes,) finding your half-step "doorways" from one chord to the next, then doing it with quarter notes, eight notes, sixteenth notes. Melody making happens pretty naturally when you get those kind of habits as muscle memory. It really surprises me that so many players can't do this. I was under the impression that this kind of work is fundamental, your foundation on which to build any decent improvised solo. I get the feeling a lot of players do a lot of transcribing and vertical work but very little of this horizontal work. My favorite players to hire are masters at this horizontal stuff.
 
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