Monday, June 29, 2009

Jazz - The New Rock 'n' Roll?

I'm a bit bored with music, have been for some months now. There, I've said it, it's out there for all to see.

Not playing music, not drumming and doing that side of things. I'm talking about listening to music. A ridiculous concept I know. The weekend was a juicy reminder of many of the things about music, what with Glastonbury being beamed towards the whole of the UK populace for most of the time and then a fantastically eventful gig with the covers band on Saturday night.

There's an infinite amount of music, of genres, artistes, instruments and variety that I can choose from and things like the iTunes store over here mean that so much of it is accessible with a few clicks of a mouse and a credit card that I'll never pay off.

But I can happily "watch" music being performed, I can studiously observe great, or even terrible musicians playing live and attempt to learn from them. I try to pick up tips from not just other drummers but everyone.

The listening side of things however, feels like a rapidly fading light on the horizon. I struggle with old music and struggle even more with new music. I'm wondering if this is Dave, the god of rock music, trying to tell me something, that something possibly being that the time has come for me to pursue and investigate Jazz, yes Jazz.

For lately I've found myself getting ever so slightly absorbed by the waftings of Jazz. I've been just that little bit mesmerised by Elvin Jones' ride cymbal on A Love Supreme and captured by the hi hat on the two and four of a few other of these jazz dudes, all cooler than a cucumber in the Barefoot garden and just about as famous.

The thing is that there's little worse than a rock or pop drummer, essentially what I am, trying his hand at Jazz, putting the emphasis on all the wrong places and making Coltrane feel like disco. Maybe the only thing worse is a Jazz drummer swapping sides and making Abba feel like Mingus. Some clever cats can do both, I'm neither clever nor feline so initial signs aren't good.

The question has now started to germinate in my mind, if questions do germinate that is. Do I start some serious Jazz listening, some real proper delving into a world that's been mysterious, complex and unexplored for me in the past. Or do I continue along the rock and pop path, a lengthy and complicated one anyhow and hope this phase passes?

As I type this, on Sunday night with Status Quo playing Glasto in the background, I kind of know the answer.

Kind of.

Happy Monday all.


Gypsy said...

You'll go for the jazz exploration if you know what's good for you!

maf said...

Personally I just think you are becoming an old fart. I got there about 6-7 years ago. You must listen to some Oscar Peterson - amazing use of the the piano, Miles Davis of course, Johnny C and even someone like Mindi Abair if you want some jazz with a popish beat.. then there are all the fusion artists..

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Gypsicum - Knowing what's good for me has been a major problem throughout my life!

Maf - Yes, this is partly what worries me. I'm not fan of this new fangled music you called "fusion" though, despite the fact that so many fantastic drummers play it. Oscar P and Miles shall be investigated pending furhter enquiries. Ta for the comment.

maf said...

incidentally C's bro R is a very accomplished pianist and used to play in a jazz band in college. went with him once a very long time ago to go and see the James Taylor quartet ... very good stuff

Makuluwo said...

Jazz is THE FUNK, man. I say dabble with it, it'll likely be the most musical fun you've ever had.

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Maf - I am aware of his considerable piano and bass skills and have had the privilege of witnessing them a bit too.

Makuluwo - I am seriously wondering if my interest has come from the fact that funk REALLY is my preferred genre, in terms of playing, and so much of funk comes from Jazz to start with.

Anonymous said...

You are a Sad old wanker littering a place meant for kids and young adults. You should realize your age and act accordingly you pathetic drummer.

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Anon - Ooooh, get you!

Java Jones said...

Jazz rocks, man. Go for it!