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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. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Senior Member

    As you are aware, Jack's solo albums are proof of that.
     
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  2. Skydog7

    Skydog7 Climb down off that hilltop, get back in the race

    Location:
    NASHVILLE, TN
    well stated and very true. everyone defines jazz differently, which makes jazz about the most meta thing in the universe (which many of us believe it is to begin with )
     
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  3. Skydog7

    Skydog7 Climb down off that hilltop, get back in the race

    Location:
    NASHVILLE, TN
    Bingo. The improvisation is the key as at its core it was first about free expression in a culture (Black) that had very little of that at jazz’s founding. It’s the bedrock IMNSHO.

    Improvisation, what Warren Haynes* calls “momentary composition,” is also why I had a hard time trying to differentiate psychedelic music from jazz, b/c the intent was kinda the same. The key difference was drugs, and who was making the music, rock musicians.

    *Haynes’s interview here is pretty cool btw Warren Haynes
     
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  4. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Senior Member

    Right on.

    A quote from Phil Freeman about Miles Davis In A Silent Way-

    "It didn't swing, the solos weren't even a little bit heroic, and it had electric guitars... But though In a Silent Way wasn't exactly jazz, it certainly wasn't rock. It was the sound of Miles Davis and Teo Macero feeling their way down an unlit hall at three in the morning. It was the soundtrack to all the whispered conversations every creative artist has, all the time, with that doubting, taunting voice that lives in the back of your head, the one asking all the unanswerable questions."
     
  5. Archtop

    Archtop Soft Dead Crimson Cow

    A point that deserves to be made, and maybe it has, but "Jazz" isn't just a plastic placard in a record store (it is that too, of course), it's also a philosophical approach to crafting music. It would seem that many of us espouse the latter while some others adhere more closely to the former. Neither is wrong, but I've chosen to be more broad in consideration of the concept of "influence." I know when I was playing in a pseudo-prog band from 2005-2012 (after my jazz years), I approached my lines like a jazz bass player despite playing nothing very close to jazz. Oddly, everyone else in that band developed, learned and played essentially written parts (which is/was fine), but I always told them: I'm not going to sabotage anything, but don't expect me to play the same thing twice. If I have to do that, I might as well quit and go dig ditches.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2021
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  6. unfunkterrible

    unfunkterrible Forum Resident

    Location:
    A Coruña , Spain
    I think it all comes down to what I think is an idealized and essentialist view of what jazz is, that elussive jazz essence is so rarefied in terms of musicianship and spirit that the mundanity of rock can't touch it unless, I guess, it 'surrenders' explicitly part of its identity to jazz as in jazz-rock. Or, alternatively, that hypothetic jazz influenced rock music would be, in some kind of reductio ad absurdum, undistinguishable from jazz itself.

    But then I ask you how would you characterize the introduction of improvisation into rock music in terms of its influences? The fact that improvisation is not exclusive to jazz (why it 'should' be, relative to this discussion, somehow connects with the first paragraph of my post) does not negate the fact that it is, mainly, because of jazz that rock musicians started to improvise. How substantial that influence is from the jazz perspective depends on one's own agenda (though my ears tell me there's jazzines in some rock beyond improvisation I'm not musician, so I'm not ready for that discussion)

    From the rock side of things the influence is literally huge, standard three minute songs turning into long pieces of music, and an emphasis in instrumental virtuosity to the point that you could say that at least at a certain moment rock music was rock'n'roll answer to jazz.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2021
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  7. Danny Duberstein

    Danny Duberstein Forum Resident

    Location:
    Netherlands
    I’m gonna say Metallica. James Hetfield listened to a Miles Davis album one time. He didn’t like it much but he definitely listened to it.
     
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  8. Terrapin Station

    Terrapin Station Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC Man
    A relative lack of improv doesn't make music not jazz, either, though. There's a lot of jazz where a large portion of it is rather elaborately arranged/precomposed, going back to early big band, at least, which goes back to the 1920s. So there's a long history of that, too--it's not just limited to mid 70s and later fusion, smooth jazz, etc.
     
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  9. Terrapin Station

    Terrapin Station Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC Man
    Yeah, I don't know why a lot of people are reading the question as if it's asking if the music in question IS (at least partially) jazz. Being the same as something isn't what influence is.
     
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  10. unfunkterrible

    unfunkterrible Forum Resident

    Location:
    A Coruña , Spain
    For the benefit of clarity, let me say that I don't agree myself with that point of view at all :D.
     
  11. Fischman

    Fischman RockMonster, ClassicalMaster, and JazzMeister

    Location:
    New Mexico
    Let's get back to the wording of the original question...

    "How much jazz was there in ..."

    Both sides are abusing the question. I agree that it is wrong to say that the music has to be jazz as some seem to be hanging their hat on. In only need display some element or elements of jazz. The question only points to a matter if degree which can lie anywhere on a continuum.

    But also, the question is equally abused as being interpreted as any influence one may have taken from jazz. An artist may appreciate the jazz artist for using longer forms and subsequently be inspired to do that themselves, but if they simply choose to play a longer blues, they still haven't put any actual jazz in their music. This is where the fact that jazz and improvisation not having a one for one correspondence is so important to the question. I may be inspired by jazz's playing longer and my choose to do the same myself and play my genre longer as a result.... but I'm still not playing jazz. If I now spend ten minutes instead of three noodling around on a blues minor pentatonic scale, I'm still playing blues, just more of it.

    Recall that jazz also started out doing 2 - 3 minute songs and grew from that. Much early jazz fashion fully composed rather than improvised.
     
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  12. Terrapin Station

    Terrapin Station Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC Man
    But the first sentence of the initial post says, "I've put in descending order, the amount of jazz influence I think there was in these artists."
     
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  13. jay.dee

    jay.dee Forum Resident

    Location:
    Barcelona, Spain
    Ok, so let's examine Black Sabbath in their early jammy phase:

    youtu.be/MXHOjV0IDxI?t=2219

    Influenced by jazz or not?
     
  14. Fischman

    Fischman RockMonster, ClassicalMaster, and JazzMeister

    Location:
    New Mexico
    Okay, so the OP is to a degree at odds with himself.

    So let's tie this to that question of influence. I'd a rock musician chooses to play longer songs, how do we know if that was influenced by jazz.... or classical.... or if he just straight up decided to do it on his own? We know, for instance, that a lot of prog took its primary influence from classical, not jazz. Rock also grew out of blues, which was doing improv before jazz existed.

    I think it's lazy to just assume that every rock artist who chose to play a song longer than 3 minutes did so because of jazz.

    Now let's really bring it home. Even if we do say this is the case, that all improvisation or longer songs are only so because the artist was influenced by jazz.... we come back to the OPs question of degree. Someone noodling a blues for 10 minutes still isn't as jazzy as someone swinging through jazz chord progressions for 5 minutes.
     
  15. Fischman

    Fischman RockMonster, ClassicalMaster, and JazzMeister

    Location:
    New Mexico
    So again, this is not a binary thing... it is a continuum. Listening to that clip, it's hard to tell. Theres some harmonic adventurousness, but just how much inspiration was taken from jazz, you'd probably have to ask Bill and Tony and Geezer. I'd say it sounds like more than ZZ Top but less than Steely Dan.
     
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  16. ATR

    ATR Senior Member

    Location:
    Baystate
    I get, or at least I think I get, why classic rock fans ask this question over and over throughout the years. Proving and identifying the influence and presence of more sophisticated musical genres like jazz and classical in rock lends rock more credibility. I have no problem with that. Music is a universal language and as Albert Ayler said the healing force of the universe. In the 60's and 70's the cross fertilizations of diverse musical styles and the electrification of folk and jazz made headlines and offended the musical purists who rejected the new music of Bob Dylan and Miles Davis. But this particular question has a bit of the tail wagging the dog aspect to it, if you're only looking for jazz influences in classic rock. Yes, McCartney set his Super 8 home movies to Ayler, who was joined by Henry Vestine. Miles Davis stole Michael Henderson from Stevie Wonder. Jack Bruce left Cream to play with Tony Williams, Carla Bley, and John McLaughlin. Jerry Garcia played with Prime Time and Ornette returned the favor. Joni Mitchell wrote music for Mingus and got members of Weather Report to play it. Steely Dan wrote Bird into their lyrics and surrounded themselves with jazz ringers in the studio. Alan Pasqua has backed both Dylan and Tony Williams. But the idea was, and is, that there is other stuff out there to pay attention to. That was the point of all those iconic names on the inside of the Freak Out record cover. You simply don't want this to reduce to another discussion of how to define jazz because you can't measure these things that way. The inventory of those rock bands and musicians at the start of the thread, there was a lot of musical creativity there that had nothing much to do with the music of Armstrong, Ellington, and Parker. Just as you don't want to reduce Bitches Brew to, as Miles told Jack DeJohnette, playing rock with jazz technique.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2021
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  17. PNeski@aol.com

    PNeski@aol.com Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York
    problem with some of these posts ,they call fusion Jazz ,it isn't. sometimes its played by Jazz Artists (Miles Davis) some is Great ,but shouldn't be called Jazz Santana doesn't try to play Jazz ,he's has a love for Fusion
     
  18. drad dog

    drad dog Forum Resident

    Location:
    New England
    Both views, that freedom is the essential value, and that there is a dynamic interplay of oppositions, can be held without a contradiction, so there is no dispute.

    The "Chinese music" controversy was when Bebop was coming into being. Parker and others were improvising like crazy and excercising what I would call freedom through this medium. They had some rules, but the fans felt freedom, if you read their accounts. It sounded foreign because it was more freely improvised than anyone was used to. The whole episode is a demonstration of the power of improvisation in jazz and in the world.
     
  19. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    I don't think it was freedom that was the source of the controversy or that bebop improvisation is more free than swing improvisation, I think it was difference and specific kinds of difference that were the rub.
     
  20. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    Well, that's the Murray, Crouch, Marsalis take on jazz rock fusion. It's not necessarily the most widely held view, and certainly not a universally held one.
     
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  21. drad dog

    drad dog Forum Resident

    Location:
    New England
    Jazz has grown for 100 years only by improvising the next thing, not by a genrefied identity. Other genres had solos and obligattos, sometimes. You can't comapre them in any way.

    The last 100 years is when jazz improvisers were synthesizing other genres of music into jazz constantly. Also it has the benefit of being the last 100 years of our civilization. Who cares? I do.

    I think this argument is based on being too much into genres and their meanings, rather than music. It's ahistorical. Jazz came out of the blues. You know we are finding that race and gender are social contructs. What does that say about the meaning of "genres of music"?

    You are too preoccupied with genre and using it to make logical arguments that are non sequiters. It is meaningless to this thread that there exists improvisation in some other musical genre than jazz.

    Jazz interacted with other genres over the last 100 years in drawing material for improvisation. The improvisers built that in as a "feature" of jazz. Not any other genre.

    "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."

    I very much disagree here. You are speculating "what if" jazz didn't exist and coming up with an easy answer.
     
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  22. mrjinks

    mrjinks Optimistically Challenged

    Location:
    Boise, ID.
    Stevie Ray Vaughan ought to be in this thread...
     
  23. Fischman

    Fischman RockMonster, ClassicalMaster, and JazzMeister

    Location:
    New Mexico
     
  24. snepts

    snepts Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eugene, OR
    Very interesting thread, and I'm only 5 pages through the 13 I see here. I'm very cautious about wading into these waters, being a non-musician and probably got into jazz early on perhaps a little bit as a curious poseur. But anyway ...

    When I think of The Doors I don't think of Jazz, only in some of the briefest of moments, like somewhere in Runnin' Blues.
    However, on the very first song on the very first album at the very beginning of the song, when I hear Densmore tapping on that cymbal, (wish I could notate the rhythm but I don't know how), that definitely sounds like something a jazz musician would do.

    Not a very sophisticated comment, I apologize. But I will add someone mentioned the Marshall Tucker band in the context of jazz, and on s Southern Rock thread relatively recently I marveled at how absolutely Swinging the drum on This Ol' Cowboy is. I don't really care if there is flute involved, that doesn't make it jazz for me, but the percussion on that song is so buoyant - light and fast while the singer sings in this lazy drawl. A wonderful combination of sounds and that sounds jazzy to me.
     
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  25. drad dog

    drad dog Forum Resident

    Location:
    New England
    Fischman said
    "No, this argument is purely based on the music. Music is built on melody, harmony, and rhythm. There are melodies, harmonies, and rhythms that jazz created. There is a very wide variety of such spanning the fantastic array of subgenres within jazz and fusions between jazz and other genres. Improvisation, while a huge part of jazz, is something that jazz co-opted more than created. When the first jazz recordings appeared in the late teens, there wasn't this emphasis on improvisation, but it was jazz! What made it new, unique, and distinct had nothing to do with improvisation. Someone today playing in the style of that early, composed jazz is showing more actual jazz connection than someone simply improvising over a blues scale, which is still just blues.... especially since people were improvising over blues before jazz even appeared!"

    The first jazz was as far as anyone can ascertain, a collective improvisation on folk and trad songs. The early recordings, by even being called jazz, implied improvised 'hot" content. The emphasis was very much on improv. Otherwise you wouldn't need to call it jazz in 1920. Blues records on the other hand were usually pop records of the time, and did not rely on band improvisation. Blues improv is along more limited scales and doesn't usually synthesize other forms, or have "quotations." All that came about by the skill and craft of jazz players. Blues didn't have the same arc for creativity, improvisation or temporal existence. It's true that Blues started as improvised feeling and predated jazz, but you are referring to a prehistory which is not available for the kind of arguments you want to make. It has no relevance to whether jazz improv was the model for improv in other genres in the last 100 years.

    You are making arguments about a time before 100 years ago. Can I point out that you want to ellide the last 100 years which is about 98% of the content here on SHMF? IOW the whole life of the recording industry has occurred over this time. Could that be relevant and meaningful for us, what happened in music and jazz more "recently" than 1919?
     
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