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How much jazz was there in these classic rock artists?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Andrew J, Apr 30, 2021.

  1. Lownote30

    Lownote30 Bass Clef Addict

    Location:
    Nashville, TN, USA
    Now this is a great post! I didn't want to be that guy either, but had to ask the question. I was seeing lots of strange posts in this thread. Yours is perfect. You went first, but I am glad to join you in being "that guy". I have a degree in commercial music with my primary instrument being bass (nice to meet a fellow low-ender). The emphasis was very much on jazz. At the same time, there were ensembles for just about everything, and I participated in as many as I could. I've also been playing gigs for money since the age of 13. I'll be 46 this year.

    I appreciate you responding to my post! I solicited, so you're officially "not" that guy. :righton:
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
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  2. Lownote30

    Lownote30 Bass Clef Addict

    Location:
    Nashville, TN, USA
    For Cream, you have to add Jack Bruce. The guy could walk the bass like it was nobody's business. He was more of a jazz musician than any other genre.
    For Led Zeppelin, listen to Bonham's drum solos. He actually quotes jazz drummers somewhat often. Max Roach more specifically.
    For The Who, Townshend's guitar chord voicings were quite influenced by jazz during the earlier era of the band.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
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  3. Lownote30

    Lownote30 Bass Clef Addict

    Location:
    Nashville, TN, USA
    Jazz doesn't have to swing to be jazz. Swing is an element of certain jazz, but Latin jazz doesn't swing, and yet it is indeed jazz.
     
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  4. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    It's a 30 or 4o year, or more, polemical battle, going back the the Albert Murray, Stanley Crounch, Wynton Marsalis wars of the '80s -- this matter of must jazz swing. I think it's pretty obvious on its face that there's a long history of jazz, that has come out of the jazz tradition directly, but which doesn't depend on swing. So I'm fine with the notion that not all jazz needs to swing. But in the context of the influence of jazz, and to what degree, in these rock acts, I think among the issues is identifying what elements are (and aren't) uniquely jazzy in the music (improvisation is hardly unique to jazz, modal playing is hardly unique to jazz) that show up in the rock music in question. Swing is one of those obvious markers to me.
     
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  5. danasgoodstuff

    danasgoodstuff Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    And in regard to both questions (what is jazz and what influence has it had), there's 'swing' and there's 'swing'. Playing a particular rhythm v. playing any and all rhythms in a particular way. Inotherwords, people have very different ideas about what 'swing' is. for example, to me latin jazz does so swing or it's just latin latin (not that there's anything wrong with that). And the argument about what swings and what doesn't goes way back before Wynton was even born.
     
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  6. ostrichfarm

    ostrichfarm Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York
    I think we can avoid getting hung up on the jang-jang-ja-jang, triplet aspect of "swing" by seeing it as one manifestation of syncopation on a structural level -- something that might be summed up as "a way of thinking about rhythm and meter that often emphasizes upbeats as much as, if not more than, downbeats". Latin and Afro-Cuban music does this big-time, in ways that do and don't intersect with jazz.

    That's not to say all upbeat-oriented music is jazz: reggae and ska aren't. But jazz often subverts our rhythmic expectations, and the starting point in doing that is to attenuate the relentless, heavy emphasis on the downbeat that epitomizes "squareness" about as much as anything can. It's hard to imagine jazz without syncopation (early jazz drummers with lead feet on the bass drum notwithstanding).

    To me, a lot of "swing" is about creating music with an implied, felt downbeat, rather than relying on a heard downbeat to force cohesion into the music. Much of the style development of jazz can be (and has been) viewed as a process of leaving more and more aspects of the music implied, rather than stated outright. It's an idiom that came to rely, more and more, on the listener's ability to fill in the blanks and perceive oblique connections -- which is part of why so many people find it so opaque.
     
  7. drad dog

    drad dog Forum Resident

    Location:
    New England
    I do think you are underplaying this. Jazz is improvised whenever it's not through-composed, which is the vast bulk of the history of it. It was organized around collective improvisation originally, at a time when other measures were decades away from being in play, or even audible. The continuity over the decades with huge sonic changes, was always about improvisers one way or another, because major musicians did it for a living, as the stars of the field. The only thing a lot of jazz has in common with a lot of other other jazz is improvisation.

    So my point is that it's the closest thing to a sin qua non in defining jazz, where other measures are less definitive. To me 100 years of musical history can't be summed up in any easy way. But I think that when someone id'd as a jazzer over that time chances are they meant that they improvised music.
     
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  8. snepts

    snepts Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eugene, OR
    When I put my socks on in the morning I might hum a Great American Songbook standard.
    Guess I'm jazz influenced.
    Although come to think of it, that may be much more influenced by Jazz than most Rock music one has heard for the last half century.
     
  9. Fischman

    Fischman RockMonster, ClassicalMaster, and JazzMeister

    Location:
    New Mexico
    As I said before, even if all jazz includes improvisation, that in no way implies the reverse. Improvisation has existed since the first cave man banged a stick on a rock. The makeup of what is being improvised is the determinant of whether jazz is a significant influence, not merely that it is being improvised.
     
  10. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    I think this is right. Improvisation in a cornerstone of lots of musical forms older than and different from jazz, like raga, for instance, just to name one that comes to mind for me because I'm familiar with it. I don't think the presence of improvisation alone marks something as being jazz or jazzy. But we're back to that old challenge of "what is jazz." Improvisation is certainly central to the form, but the presence of improvisation alone isn't sufficient to define jazz.
     
  11. drad dog

    drad dog Forum Resident

    Location:
    New England
    Then what value or quality do find more useful and consistent as an identifier for jazz in the last 100 years?

    Improvisation is about freedom, as is jazz. It was never about rules and no rule could be meaningful over 100 years anyway.

    The industry called jazz music is mostly improv. The others are not. So improv belongs to jazz in a profound way going back a long time, and when others improvise they may have been inspired by jazz for that reason. It inspired rock and other players who merged it into their work.
     
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  12. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    Not to mention the intimate connection between the three against two feel of Afro-Antillean music and the development of jazz in New Orleans and Jelly Roll Morton's insistence that jazz have that "Latin tinge."

    Some Latin jazz, as is always the case with hybridized form, might fall more on the spectrum toward Latin rhythmically, some more towards hard swinging jazz. Like I think you can listen to this and hear a swinging ride cymbal under the whole thing. This swings. So does Charlie Parker playing over Latin rhythms on the South of the Border album. I think the rhythmic relationship is closer than the rhythmic relationship between rock and jazz. Latin jazz on balance is a swinginger hybrid jazz than fusion.

     
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  13. Folknik

    Folknik Forum Resident

    All extended jams and exploratory solos in rock have their roots in progressive jazz. Not only in the creative improv of the Dead, but also Cream, the Allmans, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and the Byrds (especially on their 16-minute live version of "8 Miles High"). Not only are they jazzlike in the extended improvisations, but many of the jams and solos go into jazzy syncopations and odd time signatures.
     
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  14. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    Also, to your attempt to more broadly define swing feel and also it's relationship to Latin jazz, I think of the both swinging and Latin feel that Andrew Cyrille brought to an otherwise new thing performance in Cecil Taylor's "Conquistador." The longer I live, the more I find myself returning to "Conquistador." It's an amazing piece of music and performance that brings so many of these threads together, but pretty much completely absent from it is anything that rocks. That's a whole different, and as you say, much more on the square, rhythmic feel and conception, rocking, more gospel praise break, less three against two.

     
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  15. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    I also think, if you go back to Morton's "Latin tinge" you can hear the common roots in the habanera rhythm shared among the roots of both the tree of jazz and the tree of Latin music. I think its a complex dynamic relationship to parse (and of course the impact of the habanera rhythm does show up in early New Orleans rock and roll too sometimes).

     
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  16. drumzNspace

    drumzNspace Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Yuck City
    Ha, no that was cool.
     
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  17. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    Pretty lucid breakdown of the habanera and straight four swing feel in early New Orleans jazz.

     
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  18. Fischman

    Fischman RockMonster, ClassicalMaster, and JazzMeister

    Location:
    New Mexico
    Like I said, it's about the musical elements being played, not whether those elements are composed or improvised. There are certain jazz beats, and especially chords and chord progressions which are jazz. Any genre can include improvisation. That it is most common to jazz is irrelevant as to whether improvisation means jazz.... it doesn't.

    Just go back to basic logic.
    All men are mortal.
    But not all mortals are men

    Similarly, even if all jazz is improvised
    Not all improvisation is jazz

    That improvisation predates jazz just proves that the musical elements are more definitive than composition vs improvisation. The key elements of music are melody, harmony, and rhythm. Jazz rhythms, harmonies, and melodies can be composed as well as improvised, just as rock, blues, or classical melodies, harmonies, and rhythms can be improvised as well as composed.

    People had musical "freedom" before jazz, and continued to express it in very not jazz ways after jazz.
     
  19. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    I dunno. Jazz can be as rigidly formal, even with space for improvisation, as anything. The history of jazz is a history of schisms as new generations of players challenge the formal orthodoxy of older ones, get rejected, called "Chinese music," "anti-jazz," "noise" or whatever, then get absorbed into the lingua franca of the music. I think at the center of jazz isn't freedom so much as a dynamic tension between form and freedom, between composition and improvisation, between the collective and the individual.
     
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  20. Rosskolnikov

    Rosskolnikov Designated Cloud Yeller

    Interesting. I don't remember hearing that, but then again, I really don't like early Who almost at all so I'm just not deeply familiar.
     
  21. drad dog

    drad dog Forum Resident

    Location:
    New England
    I'm failing you on logic I guess.

    "That improvisation predates jazz just proves.."
    I'm not seeing it. What about the last 100 years?

    "Jazz rhythms, harmonies, and melodies can be composed as well as improvised, just as rock, blues, or classical melodies, harmonies, and rhythms can be improvised as well as composed."

    If the industry is and has always been based on improv this is a very misleading statement. You should address the reality of it. I have to guess that if I ask youi to define those jazz rhythms, harmonies, and melodies to prove your point that will not be in the cards.

    "People had musical "freedom" before jazz, and continued to express it in very not jazz ways after jazz"

    I don't get this. If we haven't defined jazz then what is "not jazz" and what is "after jazz"?

    What meaning do you find in looking for improvisation outside of jazz? It can't prove that jazz is not based on improvisation.
     
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  22. Fischman

    Fischman RockMonster, ClassicalMaster, and JazzMeister

    Location:
    New Mexico
    Your last paragraph fully demonstrates your hangup here. I have no intention to assert that jazz is not (primarily, as some jazz IS composed) based on improvisation. I have made that clear from the start.

    But again, that jazz is improvised doesn't mean that all improvised music us jazz! All Camrys are Toyotas, but not all Toyotas are Camrys. That you can't seem to grasp that means there's probably not much else I can tell you.

    Being hung up on the last hundred years leads you astray in two ways. First, it seems to make you ignore all the non jazz that has been, and continues to be, improvised. Second... and this is most illustrative... it keeps you from hearing that improvised music need not be jazz. Here's the real clincher... musicians were improvising blues before jazz existed (not to mention every blues concert I've ever been to has included improvised music).

    Now let's bring that blues connection home.... a link was posted here of a Dead show with improvisation. But the music played in the referenced passage was really blues. Tons of improvisation takes place within the confines of the minor pentatonic blues scale. No form of jazz, not even jazz blues, online itself to that melodic and harmonic construct. Today, blues artists are improvising on purely blues chord progressions. Thst thread for those artists runs purely and strictly through the blues idiom.

    A bluesman plays a song, including improvisation, from 1890.... its clearly not jazz or jazz influenced, since jazz didn't exist yet. If a bluesman plays thst song today with improvisation, it's still not jazz. If he writes another all new song to day in the same style from that lineage.... it's still not jazz! Or even jazz influenced.

    So yes even if it's not the most common ground for improvisation, other forms do contain, and always have contained, improvisation. The would have done so with or without jazz. It is, and always has been a part of their oeuvre, independent of jazz. So the inescapable bottom line remains that even if all jazz includes improvisation, not all improvisation is jazz, or even jazz influenced. Indeed, it may have nothing to do with jazz at all.
     
  23. Frangelico

    Frangelico Forum Resident

    Sheesh ... it’s pretty obvious the poster was asking, although not clearly stated, if any of these artists were influenced, at least in part on some songs, by jazz. The obvious answer is yes. Some rock music is also influenced by classical, blues, country, folk, etc. Nobody is saying this is jazz music or classical music.

    I’m pretty sure Sonny Rollins played with the Stones and he wasn’t playing the balalaika.
     
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  24. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Senior Member

    Great post regarding the Grateful Dead and jazz influence.
    I know you are aware of this but regarding modal improv as you stated, I would like to add that Jerry Garcia's solos are IMO sometimes the aspect of the Dead that is the most jazz like. His use of chromatic slurs, encircling and target notes outside the tonic on top of his use of modal scales comes from jazz horn players.
    The Dorian mode was also used a lot by The Dead. As we know, the Dorian mode contains all of the notes of the minor pentatonic scale which was the starting point for jazz players since it was derived from the blues.
     
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  25. mwheelerk

    mwheelerk I want to know God's thoughts the rest are details

    Location:
    Gilbert Arizona
    I would have to give it more thought than I am willing to invest in on this Monday evening on my second bourbon but it wasn't until after I became a Jazz fan that I realized that a number of albums and bands I enjoyed from my first love of Rock had a Jazz influence to them.
     
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