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jazzfan
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Sound Grammar

Madeleine Peyroux may have a new recording coming out tomorrow and I'm quite sure that has the audiophile crowd all in a tizzy but tomorrow is also the official release date of the first new recording in ten years from all time jazz great Ornette Coleman.

You can now go back to your officially sanctioned audiophile recordings.

JoeE SP9
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Re: Sound Grammar

Thanks for the 411. I'll be at Tower tomorrow for the release. I wonder, is that a stylized QRS waveform?

Buddha
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Re: Sound Grammar

Jazzfan!

I eagerly await your review.

I tried listening to that new Madeleine Peyroux. I thought her first disc was pleasantly nostalgic, but this one, pardon me, slips into the realm of "insipid."

No flames intended to her fans.

She absolutely KILLS Tom Waits' Heart of Saturday Night!

Unfortunately, she kills it in that bad way of killing a song.

So bad, it passes normal bad and that even worse kind of bad that can be mistaken for good and makes it all the way to unredeemable.

Spine tighteningly bad.

Makes you want to get up and run out of the room. Even if you were with the hottest chick in town.

This music inspired that famous movie line, "Hey, wanna get out of here?"

Yup, it's that terrible.

Not even good enough to be a Gap commercial.

She also kills Everybody's Talkin'. I think she's trying to channel Norah Jones, or something.

That one's really bad.

The only thing that could make her rendition of Serge Gainsbbourg's La Javanaise worse would be to add that faux record noise they add to bad discs these days.

On the plus side, on her version of Charlie Chaplin's Smile, she perfectly recreates what it's like to listen to music on Quaaludes. The only catch is it sounds like listening on Quaaludes when you wish you weren't on Quaaludes.

But back to Tom...

I can forgive alot, but I just don't know if I'll ever be able to forgive her for what she did to poor old Tom Waits. What did he ever do to her?

As to the sound, may I coin a new word?

"Faux Fi."

The producer must have heard some old Ben Webster discs and thought that sound would work for a Billie Holiday impersonator.

Take the worst parts of the minor tonality of Getz/Gilberto, toss in the unsatisfying parts of mono-fidelity of Songs for Distingue Lovers, and, for good measure, try for a little of the bad parts of the "sound" of Esquivel or Martin Denny, and you've got this production's sound.

OK, I better shut up before my audiophile credentials get yanked. Looking forward to seeing you take on Ornette's new disc.

jazzfan
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Re: Sound Grammar

Hi Buddha,

I finally got around to picking up a copy of "Sound Grammar" yesterday so my review will be up in the next few days. Boy it sure is getting hard to find reasonably priced CDs these days. Gee, I wonder why so many people chose the illegal download/copy route. Greed is such a damn good movitator.

As for Ms. Peyroux, not to worry I had no intention of parting with my well earned cash to pick up her CD, my local library is sure to get a copy toots sweet and then I'll give it a listen. Although based on your comments I won't be putting my name on the waiting list any time soon.

My biggest complaint with the likes of Peyroux, Corrine Rae Bailey and the rest of the flavors of the month whom someone or other always seems to be touting as the next Billie Holiday is that they don't record enough. In the ten years since her first release Peyroux recorded a total of 48 songs, in the first ten years of her career Billie Holiday recorded well over 150 songs. If people want to make comparisons with giants first they should understand what made those individuals giants in the first place. And one of those things was their ability to produce greatness time and again, day in and day out, not once every four years or so.

The only pampering that should be done is on a baby's rear end.

And by the way, don't bother to remind me that's it's been ten years since Ornette's last new recording - he's at the end of his career, not the beginning and at the beginning of his career he had no problem pumping out new material.

RGibran
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Re: Sound Grammar


Quote:
Boy it sure is getting hard to find reasonably priced CDs these days. Gee, I wonder why so many people chose the illegal download/copy route. Greed is such a damn good movitator.

Pathetic. Very dissapointing.


Quote:
My biggest complaint with the likes of Peyroux, Corrine Rae Bailey and the rest of the flavors of the month whom someone or other always seems to be touting as the next Billie Holiday is that they don't record enough. In the ten years since her first release Peyroux recorded a total of 48 songs, in the first ten years of her career Billie Holiday recorded well over 150 songs. If people want to make comparisons with giants first they should understand what made those individuals giants in the first place. And one of those things was their ability to produce greatness time and again, day in and day out, not once every four years or so.

Your Biggest complaint? You suggest we now judge artistic expression based on volume?

Freakin' joke!

RG

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Re: Sound Grammar


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Your Biggest complaint? You suggest we now judge artistic expression based on volume?

Freakin' joke!

RG

I believe that you misunderstand me. I'm not judging artistic expression based on output, I'm just trying to get a level playing field. Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and many other "giants" are considered as such because of their ability to turn out high quality work day in and day out, year after year. They were working musicians with very demanding schedules. I just don't understand this every two years an artist puts out a 12 song CD release schedule and all the critics hail them as the next "Billie" or Ella". Sorry. No dice.

It's ten years into Peyroux's career and she hasn't done anything to compare to the kind of things that Billie Holiday did during the first ten years of her career to make her the immortal jazz giant that she has become. And one of those many things happens to be recording over three times as many songs as Ms Peyroux. Another happens to be the development of the "swing song". Another would be her work with Lester Young. I could go on but why bother since limiting one's output seems to be the order of the day and higher expression of one's artistic merits.

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Re: Sound Grammar

Jazzfan,

Perhaps I did/do misunderstand from your point of view. From where I sit, I must disagree.

Too subjective with too many variables.

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Re: Sound Grammar

In Madeline P's case it isn't about quantity but quality. Her work for the most part seems to lack the latter, at least to me.

jazzfan
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Re: Sound Grammar

RG,

I now understand your position and I disagree, although I will not bite on that Dylan bait you so carefully placed out there. Perhaps you should have baited the hook using Miles Davis or Cecil Taylor? Even Charlie Parker would have gotten me going all up revved up.

Better still to counter my "artistic output" argument would have been Thelonious Monk, who with a mere 70 compositions, most of those written well before he became famous, is considered to be among the greatest jazz composers of the second half of the 20th century.

Oh by the way, what makes Billie, Ella, Basie, Duke and Louie giants and jazz immortals is their wonderful, timeless music. Try listening to it now then to hear what I mean.

Jeff Wong
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Re: Sound Grammar

It seems to me that Ralph is more annoyed that new artists with no track record to speak of are automatically being compared to older artists whose work has stood the test of time, and "earned" their reputations over time. I see his point of view, but, can think of musicians, visual artists, and writers that have produced only 1 or 2 great works, and that's been enough to ensure they'll be remembered and respected.

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Re: Sound Grammar


Quote:
It seems to me that Ralph is more annoyed that new artists with no track record to speak of are automatically being compared to older artists whose work has stood the test of time, and "earned" their reputations over time. I see his point of view, but, can think of musicians, visual artists, and writers that have produced only 1 or 2 great works, and that's been enough to ensure they'll be remembered and respected.

El Prezidente,

While you seem to have pinpointed exactly what is it about these new artists that annoys the heck out of me, I don't disagree with the second half of your statement. There are plenty of "one hit wonders" out there. Sometimes that's all someone has in them. Nothing wrong with that, it's a lot more than I had in me. The artists who can produce a high quality output over an extended time period are few and far between and those are the ones whom are often refered to as "giants", the rest are lucky if they are "remembered and respected".

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Re: Sound Grammar

Hola, amigos.

Just yesterday, this topic came up in a boxing conversation.

One person felt that today's boxers will never reach the level of boxing greatness that past fighters did because they don't fight enough.

The greats of the past had records like 145-8, or 230-16.

Now, we have guys claiming immortal status based on a 29-1-1 record.

The point in favor of the past fighters was that, even though they accumulated more losses, they fought EVERYBODY. Often times, more than once.

They had more experience and could develop their craft better - so the argument went.

The proponents of modern fighters pointed out that the economics of the sport have made it so these current day fighters can retire rich at age 30, and only have to fight rarely - so why would they want to fight like the guys did back in the day?

That conversation reminds me of this one.

Billie had to sing and travel and record on a near constant basis, Madeleine doesn't.

I agree with Jazzfan, Madeleine will probably not develop her instrument as well as past singers did.

Seriously, Billie had a lot more practice than Madeleine ever will. I think that would bode better for Billie than Madeleine

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Re: Sound Grammar


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Hola, amigos.

...I can see Jazzfan's point of view clearly. One hit wonders can be just fine, but the greats leave a trail of quality, evolution, and inventiveness.

Thanks for the support Buddha, I like your point about boxing. It's funny how almost the opposite is true in a sport like tennis, where Federer has to eclipse Sampras' Grand Slam record to be considered his equal. Yet in golf Tiger Woods already considered the greatest golfer of all time. Go figure.

As for the economics of the times, that I'm not to sure of. There are so many different ways to get "product" out these days that there is just no excuse for such a paltry output like Peyroux's over the past ten years.

And to furthestablisheder my argument regarding proclaiming new artists the equals to well established greats, lets look at just one of my favorite "young" jazz players, Ken Vandermark.

Vandermark has been a fixture on the Chicago jazz scene since the early 1990s and is not shy about recording with well over 50 recordings under his belt since 1993. I think that history will come to show him among the most talented musicians of his generation and maybe in all of jazz history, but I'm content to leave that judgement to history, where it belongs. Right now I just listen to his recordings and go to see his concerts when he visits the NYC area.

I don't go around calling him the next Sonny Rollins or John Coltrane, what good would that do? He's Ken Vandermark and that's enough for me.

Oh, RG there's a name for all that nonsense like calling Peyroux the next Billie Holiday. I think it's called HYPE.

RGibran
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Re: Sound Grammar

Jazzfan

If you re-read my post, I never once mentioned Billie Holiday or Madeleine Peyroux. When you included

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Re: Sound Grammar

Janis Joplin was the next Billie holiday...Jani Joplin STANDS the test of time, she was GREAT..Norah Jones Blows , horrible boring boring and boring, nothing going on with her, BAD. Go listen to Janis Joplin, Piece of my Heart, an dso many others....energy, soul, emotion....Norah Jones is a wet noodle

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Re: Sound Grammar


Quote:

Quote:
I don't go around calling him the next Sonny Rollins or John Coltrane, what good would that do? He's Ken Vandermark and that's enough for me.

You may not, but he has been "hyped" as the poster child for his label for many years and many reviewers have compared him to Coltrane and Rollins, yet you don

jazzfan
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Re: Sound Grammar

Hey DUP,

Have you checked out the live Janis performances from the "Festival Express" DVD? Both the ones that are part of the regular movie and the additional ones from the bonus material. These were all filmed too not long before she died and she was at the peak of her abilities. She is just incredible. All of the judges on "American Idol" should be made to watch Janis Joplin videos just so they know how truly bad todays "singers" really are with all their all too fake over emoting.

Janis is fine example of an artist with not that large a body of work but with almost all of it at a very high level. Too bad she burned too brightly to last too long.

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Re: Sound Grammar

I'll check it out. Yeah, Janis sang like it was real, cus it was. American Idol garbage is such milk toast phoney shit. Then when they try to do an older song they kill it. Bring back the 50's and 60's Real ARIGINAL music with some real emotion and TALENT. During teh 60's each musican had an origianl sound from the Beach Boys to Hendrix to the Doors to Janis Joplin. Dave Clark Five Even The COWSILLS where different. Today there is no music no talent nothing. No wonder the music industry is where it is, ya can't make chicken soup out of chicken shit. Brittany Spears has devolved into her true self, a fat load of nothing....talk about Hype machine, it's like the aliens took back the spell and now her true self is exposed. Norah Jones, that is a train wreck, BORING!!!!The Mamas and The Papas had more emotion and energy than that load.

jazzfan
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Re: Sound Grammar

DUP,

I almost forgot there is also some great Buddy Guy in that "Festival Express" movie/video. It was back in the summer of 1970 so there was no FM transmitters between the guitars and the amps but by using this really long cord Guy manages to walk all through the crowd, backstage and just about everywhere else while he is playing. It's quite a sight. DUP - you have to go buy or rent this DVD NOW!

JoeE SP9
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Re: Sound Grammar

Janis Joplin the next Billie Holiday! Puleeeeeze!!!! Although Billy sang some blues tunes she was a Jazz singer. Janis Joplin was an "OK imitator" of the real thing. Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey and Mamie Smith were Janis' main inspiration not Billie Holiday. Please don't confuse that insipid film Lady Sings The Blues with Billie Holiday. If you like Billie Holiday you actually like Jazz.

Obviously you are unaware that many well known Jazz musicians enjoyed playing with and listening to Lady Day because she sang like a horn player plays. That is to say her phrasing and approach were horn like. The horn like quality being that of a JAZZ horn. Billie herself admitted that Jazz horn players were here main influence in regards to her phrasing and timing.

In conclusion, Billie Holiday AKA Lady Day was a Jazz singer!!!!!

Buddha
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Re: Sound Grammar

Yeah, Janis was the Melissa Etheridge of her day.

Her skills ran the vocal range from "A" to almost "B."

Overwrought.

Every song sung like she was the back-up singer given one tune per tour to sing the crap out of.

She was the Harvey Fierstein of her day, for sure.

Come on.

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Re: Sound Grammar

Poor Ornette! This thread has discussed everything but "Sound Grammar," his (to my ears) terrific new album but I won't comment further until we get jazzfan's promised review.

I always thought that Janis' death was the saddest because she never had a chance to develop as an artist. Jimi had reached a plateau and Jim was clearly on the downside when they died but Janis was just getting started. Based on what she left behind I have to agree with Buddha--no sense of dynamics and no real style other than "blooz belter." But having met her a few times in the Haight and having seen her live many times with Big Brother and once with the execrable Full Tilt Boogie Band, I always felt she was simply a raw talent with the potential to grow into a major singer if she could escape her demons which, of course, she couldn't.

I second the emotion on "Festival Express." There's lots of great footage and the sound isn't bad either considering the source thanks to Eddie Kramer. Just beware of Sha Na Na and the dreaded Mashmakhan.

JoeE SP9
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Re: Sound Grammar

Sorry about that. I did buy it. I'm trying to decide just how much I like it. A lot or really a lot! DUP, you wouldn't like it at all.

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Re: Sound Grammar

I stand corrected, I mean Bessie smith, i confuse the oldies sometimes...Bessie Smith NOT Billie Holiday,

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Re: Sound Grammar


Quote:
DUP,

I almost forgot there is also some great Buddy Guy in that "Festival Express" movie/video. It was back in the summer of 1970 so there was no FM transmitters between the guitars and the amps but by using this really long cord Guy manages to walk all through the crowd, backstage and just about everywhere else while he is playing. It's quite a sight. DUP - you have to go buy or rent this DVD NOW!

Chimming in late, but this is a great DVD. It's also got some pretty good stuff from The Band, as I recall. May have to watch this again when I get home from work. It's been awhile.

BTW, I didn't realized they'd made any rock records after 1979 or so.

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Re: Sound Grammar

Guess I better return to ignoring your posts, DUP. I've been reading them lately and all I can do is disagree. The notion that Janis is the next Lady Day is nuts. Nobody is the next Billie, and Janis isn't the next anybody - but herself. They're unique talents, and they're both great talents. I wouldn't be without either one of them in my collection.

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Re: Sound Grammar

Buddha, my guess is you haven't heard enough of Janis' recordings. Try some of the mono stuff she put together before BBHC and try the DVD that Jazzfan recommends. You might change your mind.

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Re: Sound Grammar

Baessie Smith, NOT Holiday, I corrected myself. You musta' have intermittent ignoration.

ohfourohnine
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Re: Sound Grammar

As usual, DUP, you missed the point. What I said was that Janis was not the next anybody, she was a unique talent who died too soon like Mama Cass and so many others. This crap of labelling an artist as the reincarnation of an earlier artist is stupid. Have I made myself clear on that point even to one who can't tell Bessie Smith or Ma Rainy from Billie Holliday?

Now for something I hope will bring a reply from one of the knowlegeable members of the forum. My favorite JJ recording is one where her singing is most reminiscent of that of Bessie and Ma Rainy - note I only say reminiscent. It is part of a two record mono set which Columbia sold under the title, "Janis". One of the records is the sound track from the movie "Janis". It's OK. The other record - the winner - is a live recording (or collection of live recordings) of Janis singing with a small group, frequently with only guitar and harp accompaniment, and doing classic blues numbers including "Winin Boy", "C C Rider", "KC Blues", and "Mary Jane". Fine vocal renditions, full of feeling, topped off with a small slightly rowdy room ambiance that suits the material. Added to that, the recording technology available, even for what seems almost bootleg quality is obviously better than the best we have of Bessie and Ma Rainy. I don't know who the band was, where and when the performance took place, or even whether it was a compilation of more than one performance. Columbia only labels the record "Early Performances". Anyone else out there familiar with this recording? Do you know any more about the who, what, and where?

Jeff Wong
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Re: Sound Grammar

Clay - I did a little research after reading your post. I believe the musicians for the session(s) in question are as follows, provided the tunes I've listed are what you're referring to:

The Waller Creek Boys Plus One - 1963 - Threadgill's - Austin

Powell St. John - harp
Lanny Wiggins - guitar
Janis Joplin - vocals, guitar

Trouble in Mind - 1:36
What Good Can Drinkin' Do - 2:41
Silver Threads and Golden Needles - 2:26
Mississippi River - 2:29
Stealin' Stealin' - 1:50
No Reason for Livin' - 1:59

The Waller Creek Boys Plus One - January 1963 - The Ghetto - Austin

Powell St. John - harp
Lanny Wiggins - guitar
Janis Joplin - vocals, guitar

Kansas City Blues - 1:47
Daddy, Daddy, Daddy - 2:56
See See Rider - 2:08
San Francisco Bay Blues - 1:49
Winin' Boy - 1:54
Careless Love - 3:06
I'll Drown in My Own Tears - 1:41

Janis Joplin & Dick Oxtot Oakland Athletics Jazz Band - January-April 1965 - San Francisco

Janis Joplin - vocals
Dick Oxtot - banjo, tuba, bass fiddle
John Moore - tuba
Bob Mielke - trombone
Bill Napier - clarinet
Bill Erickson - piano ?
Don Marchant - drums ?

Black Mountain Blues - 4:27
Walk Right in - 2:03
River Jordan - 3:50
Mary Jane - 2:10

ohfourohnine
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Re: Sound Grammar

You're incredible, Jeff. You hit it right on the head. Many Thanks. As soon as I've printed it out you'll have provided me with what the record jacket lacked. I owe you one.

Jeff Wong
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Re: Sound Grammar

You're most welcome, Clay. I'm glad I was able to help. Doing a little research is like playing armchair detective. It's fun.

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Re: Sound Grammar


Quote:
Clay - I did a little research after reading your post. I believe the musicians for the session(s) in question are as follows, provided the tunes I've listed are what you're referring to:

You might wish to also check out this unofficial Janis discography. What you've described is certainly available on some "unofficial" releases, including the mammoth 9-disc "Blow My Blues Away" (which is truly an exceptional cross section of Janis' career - anyone interested in obtaining a copy (blanks & postage only) may contact me.).

ohfourohnine
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Re: Sound Grammar

Thanks for the links, Bluesdaddy. Both look good.

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