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Listenin' to Jazz and Conversation

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Lonson, Sep 1, 2016.

  1. Lonson

    Lonson I'm in the kitchen with the Tombstone Blues Thread Starter

    I thought I'd start a new thread and see if there is any interest in continuing it amongst other jazz listeners here.

    There's the Jazz Beat, but you really can't have a conversation there, you can only talk about jazz. . . and for some strange reason alcohol. If you talk audio, or about instruments, or about the bad day you had, or how happy you are to be listening and relaxing, or anything else. . . someone complains, posts are deleted, fingers are wagged.

    I'd like to have a thread where you an talk about jazz AND other music that may be on your mind while listening to jazz, what you're thinking about while listening, how your day or life is going, just a conversation with jazz music going, like one might have in person. I personally prefer this sort of a thread to any other type of thread. Thought if we spell it out in the beginning that this is an open conversation then those who are somehow offended or bothered can participate elsewhere, and those who don't mind a conversation can have one.

    I'm listening to the second disc in the new SHM-CD version of "The Heavyweight Champion" box set of John Coltrane Atlantic recordings. I really didn't need to buy this set but I found I couldn't resist. I'm not sure if these are new masterings or not. . . but they sound a bit different than the US set. Both sound quite good to be honest, if you have one no real reason to get the other, unless you're just a hopeless Coltrane collector. (I guess I fall into that category whether I want to or not).

    And I had a nice half a day setting up and listening to a new headphone amp and a new pair of headphones I received today. Life is good. I'm indulging my passion for music and stereo and just in a good place these days. Life has ups and downs, enjoy the ups!

    So if you want to join a conversation. . . please do.
    gryphongryph, chedin, H.S98 and 105 others like this.
  2. Dahabenzapple

    Dahabenzapple Forum Resident

    Livingston NJ
    I don't post on the jazz beat thread because it ended up like all the other jazz threads/boards tut have existed since we were able to post pictures/album covers. Just pictures and/or mentions of jazz recordings primarily from the 30's through the 60's with some mainstreamish stuff from the past 40 years.

    No discussion about the jazz/improv music of today and the recent past. Maybe this thread could have some if that but I'm not holding out much hope we will get discussion about Nate Wooley or Mary Halvorson or even Nels Cline or whoever
  3. Lonson

    Lonson I'm in the kitchen with the Tombstone Blues Thread Starter

    By the way the Coltrane SHM-CD box set is budget priced (for Japan) and is in a budget style: a rectangular clam shell box with the discs in cardboard sleeves (with plastic liners) and both a bound English version of the book that came with the US set and a stapled together Japanese booklet. I could find no mastering info other than that in the US booklet, but the sound is somewhat different. Slightly "louder" but also slightly more dynamic and detailed at least when I did comparisons of tracks on the first disc.
  4. Lonson

    Lonson I'm in the kitchen with the Tombstone Blues Thread Starter

    I am glad you posted. I'm willing to hear about these new artists if you want to talk about them. I haven't explored that many and to be honest I haven't been too knocked out by many that I've heard. But I don't know about many more and if they were discussed I may be inclined to check them out. I need to check out Nate Wooley. I've heard a bit of Nels Cline . . . I confess that I haven't been moved to explore much more but I will at some point in the future. . . my tastes do change and evolve, quite a bit of what I listen to now I didn't in the past.

    Jazz has always been plagued with a fuzziness of definition that creates problems. Sydney Bechet, Steve Lacy and Najee all play the soprano saxophone and all are claimed by someone or other to be a jazz artist. There's a huge panorama of music played by these artists and artists in the timeline between them. Is it all jazz? I think many of us make our own definitions over time and we get locked into a pattern of listening and buying and exploring that excludes what another might call jazz. That may be unfortunate. . . but then some persons never really grow out of or away from the music they first got excited about, and others really only like music for dancing or social reasons. . . it's not surprising that jazz lovers would also fall into similar patterns and groups.

    I decided to put in an Ellington before the video portion of the system takes over from the audio portion. . . . I love this record.

    Last edited: Sep 1, 2016
  5. Chazzbo13

    Chazzbo13 Forum Resident

    I've been listening to mostly swing since the mid-80s, I just have always loved the sound, and guys like Basie, Hampton and Woody Herman make my day. But about 10 years ago my son introduced me to Coltrane, Miles and I've eventually discovered Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson, Dave Brubeck and so much more...I feel like everything I listen to becomes a "new" experience...guess I'm still a work in progress...
  6. Maggie

    Maggie like a walking, talking art show

    Toronto, Canada
    Lon, this kind of thread interests me. I gave up on the Jazz Beat thread because, as you say, there was no real conversation happening there, and I lost interest because I perceived a certain degree of one-upmanship in the quest to post "cool records." Not that I wasn't guilty, but it basically wasn't the place to talk in any kind of depth about Coltrane's Atlantics -- too popular!

    Heavyweight Champion is a box set that I don't actually have. I keep meaning to pick it up but there was less purchase value in it for me since there are so few otherwise unavailable alternate takes on it and I have all the 80s single CDs. Instead I bought the Concord (Prestige) box sets because there was more purchase value there. '56-'58 is not my favorite Coltrane period, but it's hard to deny the incredible force of his playing (it gained back its suppleness only toward the end) and the fact that Paul Chambers, Red Garland, and Art Taylor in particular clearly do their best work on those sessions, IMHO (the Fearless Leader box).

    I was contemplating the Interplay box yesterday, but I couldn't quite get in the mood for it. Too much undifferentiated midtempo swinging... I'm starting a rather stressful new teaching job and the prep work has made it hard for me to find a soundtrack that works with it. I've ended up listening to a lot of New York Dolls for some reason :shrug:
  7. Lonson

    Lonson I'm in the kitchen with the Tombstone Blues Thread Starter

    That's the fun part, making the listening a new experience. For me the 'eighties and 'nineties were the big decades of jazz discovery. I started with Miles in the 'seventies and moved into serious collecting at the end of that decade, and I pored over liner notes, read magazines and books, sought out recordings I had never seen or heard of before. Interestingly enough, decades later, I'm still "experiencing" new and "renewals" in my listening. Thank goodness, as I can't imagine life without music and the exploration of its huge scope.
  8. Chazzbo13

    Chazzbo13 Forum Resident

    ...there seems to be a never-ending supply...and I'm grateful
  9. Fastnbulbous

    Fastnbulbous Doubleplus Ungood

    Washington DC USA
    I wasn't aware that Jazz Beat was so tightly regulated, but I'm all for more discussion about jazz.
  10. Lonson

    Lonson I'm in the kitchen with the Tombstone Blues Thread Starter

    Maggie, I admire you for being able to be so selective. I HAD to buy the Champion box when it came out, even though I had nearly every track within. Just to have it all together, and in recording order for the most part, and newly and uniformly mastered. . . I can still remember the week I spent listening to it and how frustrated my wife got with me at times when I would rather spin a disc than do something she wanted to do. Really can be difficult managing all the aspects of your life when Coltrane catches hold of you! I don't know how many times I've gotten sucked into playing Coltrane predominantly day after day. . . usually in one "period" or another, a lot of Impulse quartet, a lot of Prestige, a lot of Trane with Miles, a lot of late Coltrane. . . . The man put so much into his work and with so much dedication and passion that if you're of a certain inclination you get swept up into it.

    I really like the Prestige boxes--the upgraded sound from the massive big box is a plus, and hearing the sessions separated in this manner also makes sense and makes for good listening. My last big dive into these years was the sessions with Mal Waldron at the piano (and I think often arranging) chair, and how the variety of the players and material of the sessions were anchored with Mal's concepts and playing, and how Coltrane often rose to challenges and delivered some excellent sound!

    Sorry to hear about the stress. That can really shape your listening sessions. Sometimes when I'm very stressed I want to hear very demanding and challenging music, and sometimes when I'm stressed I want to hear soothing and comforting music. I get the New York Dolls binge!
  11. hutlock

    hutlock Forever Breathing

    Cleveland, OH, USA
    I'm in for this, Lon!

    Speaking of Coltrane... Anyone pick up the Coltrane in Mono set yet? I have a download from Rhino to review it from, but it is the kind of thing I wouldn't mind picking up on vinyl at some point if the reviews of the pressings and packaging are positive (I find the music and mastering from the hi-res DL I got to be pretty excellent).
  12. Lonson

    Lonson I'm in the kitchen with the Tombstone Blues Thread Starter

    Well, it's hard to know when posts disappear in a lickety-split poof! I saw three posts disappear this afternoon. I mentioned I was listening to a jazz SACD to check out a headphone amp and headphones, another asked me what components I was listening to and I replied and POOF those posts were gone. I mean why not talk a little about audio on the Steve Hoffman board? It's just part of a conversation. That's why I started this thread, I'd like to see the conversation broaden and be more. . . natural. At least the conversations I have sometimes range and vary and I enjoy that aspect of them.
  13. Lonson

    Lonson I'm in the kitchen with the Tombstone Blues Thread Starter

    Hola! Hey yes, I have the CD version of the mono set and I really like the sound. That's good enough for me, I haven't gotten the vinyl, probably won't. . . it's considerably more expensive. But I think the mastering is quite good and it's an interesting way to listen to the material after many years of mostly listening to the stereo versions. I think the CD set is a good production--nicely packaged, well-mastered, filling a nice gap.
  14. Archtop

    Archtop Soft Dead Crimson Cow

    Here's a topic near and dear to my heart that y'all might talk about if you'd care to: What type of double bass tone do you prefer?

    We've got the gut string era, the Tomastik-Infeld Spirocore that sets the standard for many in terms of metal strings, metal-wrapped gut strings...add that to the tone various players achieve(d):
    1. The big, round sound of Ray Brown and Paul Chambers
    2. The grittier growl of La Faro, Geroge Mraz or Ron Carter
    3. The more or less distinctive yet hard to define sound of Richard Davis
    4. The more modern fretless electric mwah-like sound of Miroslav Vitous or Neils-Henning Orsted Pederson.
    Something else?
  15. WorldB3

    WorldB3 Forum Resident

    On the continent.
    I am interested in the new Nels Cline that he is doing for Blue Note. If reviews are positive I will pick it up as I am a fan of his outside improve playing with Scott Amendola as well as with Wilco (which again I might pick up though I am not as into Wilco as I once was).
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2016
  16. crispi

    crispi Vinyl Archaeologist

    One-upmanship, you say?

    Just kidding. I'll be following this thread with interest. Greetings from me!
  17. WorldB3

    WorldB3 Forum Resident

    On the continent.
    Not late 70's - early 80's poor picks up amplified Ron Carter. 60's Ron Carter you bet. I love all the players listed, depends on my mood or if I was the piano player and got to choose what kind of set we were playing.
  18. Archtop

    Archtop Soft Dead Crimson Cow

    Amen to that. If you haven't checked it out, listen to Joe Henderson's Tetragon. Carter's a monster on Invitation:

  19. Lonson

    Lonson I'm in the kitchen with the Tombstone Blues Thread Starter

    I tend to like (and on my contrabass violin strive to produce) a sound like Paul Chambers. I think Paul Chambers was such an amazing player in all ways from sound to swing to note choices. (I even named a cat Mr. P.C.)

    I really like the sound of many bass players though, from swing to bop to outside. . . I like the sounds of Albert Stinson and Charles Mingus and John Lamb and Gary Peacock and so many more. Spend a few hours with a contrabass violin and you'll respect the heck out of anyone who can really play and gets a personal sound.
  20. crispi

    crispi Vinyl Archaeologist

    Very cool question. I'd definitely go with number 2. Number 1 is nice, but to be honest, it sounds a bit gutless (pardon the pun) and dry. Those notes have no sustain at all, and I like my bass to be "singing". Number 2 is perfect: rounded tone, still a lot of heft to it. The more modern bass sound is fun, but it sounds a bit... synthetic to me, a bit thin.

    Speaking of bass, what's up with Paul Chambers' terrible, just terrible bow playing? I mean, that stuff gets on my nerve fast. I love him dearly, but let's be honest: had he been playing in a club nowadays, with that whiney, out-of-tune bowed tone of his, he'd be thrown out in no-time. Ugh!
  21. ShockControl

    ShockControl Bon Vivant and Raconteur!

    Lotus Land
    Sorry, but it shows disrespect for jazz artists if you have a conversation while they are playing.

  22. lschwart

    lschwart Senior Member

    Richmond, VA
    New York Dolls sounds about right for new teaching gig (and congrats on landing it)!

  23. Crispy Rob

    Crispy Rob Cat Juggler

    Oakland, CA
    I'll go with no. 2 although I am not sure I have ever heard Mraz, or either of the #4 players. Love La Faro and Carter, and have been meaning to pick up the Joe Henderson album you mentioned above, it's been on my radar for a while.

    Love the idea for the thread and believe I will be hanging around here a good bit. The most recent jazz albums I've listened to were Andrew Hill's Point of Departure and Rashaan Roland Kirk's Blacknuss. The latter I know well, and really enjoy - 1972 album with a few originals but mostly covers of 60s and early 70s soul/r&b. I know the Hill album is a classic but I'd slept on him until recently and this was my second listen since picking it up maybe two months ago, along with Passing Ships, a 60s Hill Blue Note session that had been left in the vaults until the early 1990s for no discernible reason, since it is fantastic (another member here recommended it to me, and I thought I should pick up his most well-known album while I was at it). I actually might like Passing Ships even more than Point of Departure. Also spun Donald Byrd's Free Form after hearing the Rudy Van Gelder news.

    Anyway, I'm hardly an expert and jazz is probably about 10-20% of what I listen to, but conversation is the best way to learn and find out about other avenues to explore, so I'm looking forward to hanging out on this thread and hope you all don't mind my occasional cluelessness.
  24. johnaltman

    johnaltman Forum Resident

    I like it :wave:
  25. Crispy Rob

    Crispy Rob Cat Juggler

    Oakland, CA
    I was mostly listening to not-jazz on my iPod in shuffle mode at work, but Sun Ra's Adventure in Space just came on, from the Singles set that came out in the late 1990s. I picked that one up at the time and it is all over the place, and at times isn't really even jazz, but it's got some interesting stuff. Now I'm no longer listening to jazz (Manassas if you're curious), so I'll stop conversatin' for now.

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