It's very late at night, after an interesting evening listening to an ARI lecture on Intelligent Design, followed by trying to cope with three computer crashes, and I have a very early start "tomorrow" morning, so this will be brief...
Thanks, everyone, for your passionate remarks, whether appreciative or not. I'm glad I was able to stir interest in this subject and to strike a responsive chord with at least some.
The one specific item I regret was the very poorly written section in which I referred to Stan Getz, Bob Brookmeyer, Dave Brubeck, et al as "non-stylists." I was horrified when, after being called on it by two friends off-line, I re-read it and realized what I had meant to say, and how different were the implications of what I wrote. Arrrrgh!
Let me say it more clearly: these guys were wonderful jazz stylists, but they were not be-bop stylists. I love progressive jazz, West Coast jazz, and the like -- but they are not be-bop jazz. I guess I could have salvaged the point if I had simply said these fellows were "non-bebop-stylists," rather than assuming that everyone would understand what I meant. (Remember: when you assume, you make an ass out of Uma Thurman! :-)
Also, specifically to Bob Campbell: I'm so glad to see you up and typing again! I hope that means you're feeling and functioning a lot better. You are right that specific examples would help to support my points. I must confess that I heard three or four cuts in the late 60s by Ornette Coleman, at the urging of someone who wanted to "turn me on" to OC, and I formed my negative opinion of him based on that. I have not heard his version of the tunes you named, and I don't know anything about where they fall in his developmental curve, whether they fall into his early and (to me) acceptable period, before he developed his distinctive approach for which everyone either loves or hates him.
I also confess that my opinings about the melodic abilities (or lack of same) of the jazz artists I love and hate are based on impressions from listening -- I have a very good ear for melody. I have not done a detailed melodic study of any of them. A project for another day...
In general, I admit to being a total eclectic in my musical tastes. Why can't I savor the bebop I do like, while criticizing what I don't? Give me some melodic threads to hang onto and some musical atmosphere to savor! You know, enjoyable figure and background, as the Gestaltists would say? Give me Charlie Parker and Clifford Brown and Frank Rosolino and Carl Fontana! Give me Michael Brecker on "Cityscapes"! Give me Miles Davis on "Sketches of Spain"! Give me Stan Getz on "Focus"! Give me Eddie Daniels and Gary Burton on "Benny Rides Again"! Give me Pat Metheny and Chick Corea et al on "Like Minds"! Give me Dave Grusin et al on his two marvelous CDs of Gershwin and West Side Story! Give me Stan Kenton in "Standards in Silhouette." I could go on, but this is my "desert island" list -- "spirit of Objectivism" or not. :-) And spare me the bleeps and bloops and screeching, please! And don’t tell me there haven't been plenty of those out there, masquerading as cutting-edge artists!
But above all, love what you love, and think about why you love it, and don’t let anyone talk you out of it! (Including me, of course. :-)
Best to all,
P.S. to Michael Kelly -- yes, the theory of emotions Leonard B. Meyer used in his books was lame. But really, all I had to do to make sense out of what he was saying about music was to plug in Nathaniel Branden's model of the emotions. He is a marvelous music theorist, and I highly recommend him. Check out his Music, the Arts, and Ideas, but also his later compilations of essays...And yes (in re Claudya's stylings), a little scat singing goes a long way. Frank Rosolino was marvelous at it, yet he did it very sparingly. Mel Torme was my favorite, more so than Ella Fitzgerald.
(Edited by Roger Bissell on 11/18, 2:38am)
(Edited by Roger Bissell on 11/18, 2:46am)