RichardT wrote: ↑Sun Feb 05, 2023 10:31 pm
Actually I think jazz is as much or more about discipline than freedom - the great players have gone through the tough discipline of learning how to improvise which takes enormous work to master. Without the discipline they wouldn't be able to express themselves freely. The freedom is almost a by-product of the discipline.
Dave Brubeck said:
Jazz is about freedom within discipline. Usually a dictatorship like in Russia and Germany will prevent jazz from being played because it just seemed to represent freedom, democracy and the United States.
".....more about discipline than freedom - the great players have gone through the tough discipline of learning how to improvise which takes enormous work to master.."
So you are claiming discipline and freedom are mutually exclusive - that is fundamentally, philosophically dissonant. It's like a bishop not believing in god. Consider the logic of it. Do I really need to elaborate?
In fact the explanation is there in your quote from Dave Brubeck
"Jazz is about freedom within discipline" Usually a dictatorship like in Russia and Germany will prevent jazz from being played because it just seemed to represent freedom, democracy and the United States.
But the second part "Usually a dictatorship like in Russia and Germany will prevent jazz from being played" is absolute bosh.
A friend of mine, a producer, spent considerable time in Russia - albeit some years ago, and he sent himself on a quest to discover music of Russia, he said he felt instinctively that a country so big, and had experienced such a tortured and extreme history, and had produced the likes of Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Scriabin, Stravinski, the list goes on and on and on, could only produce mundane balalaika music. And my friend was soon proved correct. He came across legions of musicians trained at the conservatories (Disciplined) but outside of their formal trained played everything from punk, goth, to modern jazz.
My friend started to bring the best of these to tour in the UK - one of his better failures, after all certainly back in the day (and more so right now) who would go to a club and pay to watch the Lenigrad Be-Bopskis?
Well I did. I tipped up my fiver went upstairs to the club and was confront by 2 gals bouncing off the walls and singing retro-revolutionary pop, a drummer that who thrashed the drums so hard I am sure he was hard of hearing, a double bass player who put his bass through a cluster of effects that made his playing quite eccentric, a lead guitarist who was in complete command of his instrument, and didn't play to impress us with speed but with versatility - it was complete chaos. That said they described themselves Thrash-Jazz, and at first I thought well yep, but it's more thrash than jazz.
However, they settled into their set, and I became acclimatized to it, after all I'd paid my fiver and got my beer, I wasn't about to run for cover. And I thought, hang on a minute, this isn't half bad, I get it, in fact it is quite impressive and they certainly blew the local pub rock bands off stage.
After they finished their set, I bought them all a pint and was interested in having a chat to them - they were such a fun and engaging combo. I asked about life in Russia and their circumstances - they said "We do whatever anyone else does - we get on with things, what do people expect us to do, give up? No difficulties drive us on"
Did the roots of jazz flourish and come into creation in a climate of lush days and langorous nights, or a lifetime of dictatorship? If slavery wasn't dictatorship then what was it? Many forms of music come into being in difficult times, the lamentable lives these people live leads them to at least find some relief in music, and that remains today, hip-hop and rap came up from the ghettoes, not Sunset Boulevard. If you are so poor you don't have a pot to pi*s in nor a window to throw it out of, you don't give a hoot whether you live in a dictatorship or de-mock-racy.
And remember, when 'Black' music first left the plantations and ghettoes, it was verboten, in fact before 1962 a black person couldn't even sit on any seat they chose on the bus! What kind of freedom was that?