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'they all sound the same' Along with his reference to Juilliard you can add about every music school today, no truer words.

JR
 

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'they all sound the same' Along with his reference to Juilliard you can add about every music school today, no truer words.

JR
yeah, that similarity struck me too!
 

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Nothing wrong with going to music school but it does reminds one of just how incredible those sax masters are that haven't had one day of music school. Playing "great" is based on those that never went to Juilliard. Evolution is interesting.
 

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Lester Young's father was a noted music teacher and band leader. Young's whole childhood was spent in "music school," and his father used to beat him when he played notes that weren't written on the page. Maybe the folks at Julliard should bring back the whip?

FWIW: it would be naive, I think, to assume that anything Lester Young says in this famous interview simply or straightforwardly represents his opinion about anything. Young's comments about not being able to read music "coming up," for example, are total BS.
 

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Lester Young's father was a noted music teacher and band leader. Young's whole childhood was spent in "music school," and his father used to beat him when he played notes that weren't written on the page. Maybe the folks at Julliard should bring back the whip?

FWIW: it would be naive, I think, to assume that anything Lester Young says in this famous interview simply or straightforwardly represents his opinion about anything. Young's comments about not being able to read music "coming up," for example, are total BS.

I don't get it........Why would it be naive? Is it a well known fact that Lester is lying about his opinion? He isn't stating facts. Just his opinion. Lester Young is full of it? Who knew? Thanks for setting the record straight.......:scratch:

I think his point was not that going to music school is a horrible thing. What I got out of it was that if you have thousands of sax players that are taught to "paint by the numbers" by the same institution, most of them end up with great credentials but they paint the same picture.
 

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I don't get it........Why would it be naive? Is it a well known fact that Lester is lying about his opinion? He isn't stating facts. Just his opinion. Lester Young is full of it? Who knew? Thanks for setting the record straight.......:scratch:

I think his point was not that going to music school is a horrible thing. What I got out of it was that if you have thousands of sax players that are taught to "paint by the numbers" by the same institution, most of them end up with great credentials but they paint the same picture.
I was referring to another part of that interview where Young talks about his early experiences on the bandstand. It may not be a "well known fact" that he was lying, and in fact several writers have repeated his stories as truth. He was, however, lying, Bs-ing, making stuff up.

If you want to learn more about this, I'd suggest this biography.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0807071250/jazzbiographies-20/ref=nosim
 

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And what makes that book the authority? I recently started reading the Glass Enclosure about Bud Powell and it soon became clear the author didn't really know jack about Bud (let alone being someone who actually knew him). It was basically some guy connecting a bunch of dots with plausible assumptions. One I remember stated Bud didn't start playing jazz until the year he was recorded on his first record, and bam he was a virtuoso.. someone is BS'ing, and it was the author.
 

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I was really struck by him saying "they all sound the same," because, as folks have noted, that's the same complaint we hear today about modern players. But the modern players of the day Lester's presumably talking about run the gamut from Rollins to Trane to Getz to Griffin to Mobley and on and on.

Anybody right now agree with Lester that all these cats sound the same?

If not, makes you wonder if today's "they all sound the same" complaint won't look foolish or quaint or at least odd to future ears...
 

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Maybe he wasn't talking about the players that made it. Maybe he was talking about guys we never hear about because they all sounded the same. That interview is from 1958 and I think the guys you are referring to were not exactly young, new cats on the scene.
 

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That interview is from 1958 and I think the guys you are referring to were not exactly young, new cats on the scene.
1958? Coltrane had been a sideman for the previous few years, but his first recording as a leader took place the year before this interview. Newk's Saxophone Colossus, which really sort of cemented his position as the up-and-coming tenorman to beat, was recorded the year before that. Those *were* the young new players on the scene...

The question was "Are there any tenor sax men nowadays, newcomers, that you like particularly?" I don't know who Lester was talking about -- maybe, as you say, he was talking about unknowns who've been lost to history -- but that feels like a stretch to me. The new players on the scene would seem to be the most likely candidates...
 

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1958? Coltrane had been a sideman for the previous few years, but his first recording as a leader took place the year before this interview. Newk's Saxophone Colossus, which really sort of cemented his position as the up-and-coming tenorman to beat, was recorded the year before that. Those *were* the young new players on the scene...

The question was "Are there any tenor sax men nowadays, newcomers, that you like particularly?" I don't know who Lester was talking about -- maybe, as you say, he was talking about unknowns who've been lost to history -- but that feels like a stretch to me. The new players on the scene would seem to be the most likely candidates...
this is just speculation we don't know who he meant and we most likely never will
 

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i think lester's comments had a lot to do with his physical state at the time, which was very poor. he was, and had been, tired and weak. he listened to recordings of other players a lot, seldom (if ever) his own. i think his mind/brain lacked the energy to discern what the modern players were doing. his solo with holiday at the sound of jazz was excellent, but extremely simple compared to the beboppers. he died in '59 in bad health.
 

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his solo with holiday at the sound of jazz was excellent, but extremely simple compared to the beboppers.
he may not have been in the best of health - but that solo always seemed to me to exemplify that it isn't how many notes you play - but how to be sublime with so very few notes

km
 

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he may not have been in the best of health - but that solo always seemed to me to exemplify that it isn't how many notes you play - but how to be sublime with so very few notes

km
yeah, it'd be hard NOT to like it. and it fit so perfectly well with the blues tune and holiday's style. 'course, there was a lot of experience behind that duo.
 

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haha, that was like a backhanded comment. they all sound the same to me, i like them all. lol. but that just a symptom of players all going to the same place to learn. when things get organized and unified and groups are being fed the same information, eventually things start to sound the same. at least they don't sound bad and all the same...
 
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