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 Post subject: Jazz from Zappa
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:13 am 
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Zappa has many memorable jazz/fusion/instrumental avantgarde (just to cite a few ordinary stupid labels for something that defies the label notion altogether).

What is your favourite and why?

Chronologically, I find the Take Your Close Out When You Dance proto-version presented on the Lost Episodes CD superb. Zappa Nova, the closest Zappa ever came to Bossa Nova...

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 Post subject: Re: Jazz from Zappa
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:50 pm 
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I'm with you about labels. Hell, Take Your Clothes Off is too composed to be jazz. It's like jazz/surf/classical.

The one I listen to most is probably Black Napkins. I love the Halloween '76 version among many others. (Mike Douglas!). Also, the mid 70s improv during rdnzl. (With Duke!)
Watermelon could be described as jazz. The version with L Shankar from 10-31-78 is a touchstone for me.


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 Post subject: Re: Jazz from Zappa
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:23 pm 
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Do you believe in synchronicity (not the Police album, but the C. G. Jung theory)?

Just today I was thinking about making a cd for myself to listen while driving, focused on few jazzy tracks, then I run into your thread.

Here's my provisional tracklist, but suggestions are welcome.

Son of Mr. Green Genes ....never tired to listen to
Holiday in Berlin full blown ...drums and bass rhythm and solo
Blessed Relief ...relaxing
The Eric Dolphy Memorial Barbecue (weasels) ...complexity
Chunga Basement (quaudiofiliac) ...bass line
Waka/Jawaka (quaudiofiliac remix too) ...moog solo
T mershi Duween (make a jazz) ...introductive
Dupree's Paradise (make a jazz too) ...excellent ensamble and horns section
King Kong (hammersmith) ...Terry Bozzio on drums and keyboards solos

Honorable mention for Pound for a Brown Solos (YCDTOSA 4)

Not sure if this was what you intended...


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 Post subject: Re: Jazz from Zappa
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:34 pm 
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Sounds great. I experience/live synchronicities all the time.

Talking about it and Jazz (not Zappa though):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Risd4uWCw_0

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 Post subject: Re: Jazz from Zappa
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:01 pm 
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downer mydnyte wrote:
I'm with you about labels.

I'm not. Without some kinda labels its all just stuff. Sure, most tunes fall between the categories, but that doesn't make em useless, quite the contrary.

downer mydnyte wrote:
Hell, Take Your Clothes Off is too composed to be jazz. It's like jazz/surf/classical.

See? There ya go using labels. And such a large percentage of jazz is hyper-composed, I wonder just what makes the cut for ya?
downer mydnyte wrote:
The one I listen to most is probably Black Napkins. I love the Halloween '76 version among many others. (Mike Douglas!). Also, the mid 70s improv during rdnzl. (With Duke!)
Watermelon could be described as jazz. The version with L Shankar from 10-31-78 is a touchstone for me.

So, ya went from labels being stupid to making anything fit into the jazz label. Confusing, but I'm guessing that you have some sort of reasoning for this.

I have a radio show on FZ's music that postulates that FZ didn't like the term jazz because that would make it ok for the band members to do whatever they want and FZ considered himself a composer 1st and therefore whatever the bandmembers did was on his orders and not therefore not jazz.

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 Post subject: Re: Jazz from Zappa
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:09 pm 
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Mr_Green_Genes wrote:
Sounds great. I experience/live synchronicities all the time.
...

I experience xenochronies all the time! ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Jazz from Zappa
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:29 pm 
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That thing is that, rigorously speaking one Zappa song could contain many styles (labels) inside, check St Alphonzo suite for instance...

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 Post subject: Re: Jazz from Zappa
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:40 pm 
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Mr_Green_Genes wrote:
That thing is that, rigorously speaking one Zappa song could contain many styles (labels) inside, check St Alphonzo suite for instance...

Agreed! In fact there can even be multiple composites of styles during any given tune.

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 Post subject: Re: Jazz from Zappa
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:53 pm 
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The Forum Killed Arkay wrote:
So, ya went from labels being stupid to making anything fit into the jazz label. Confusing, but I'm guessing that you have some sort of reasoning for this.


I didn't say labels were stupid. They are just often misleading. I still use 'em, but with a disclaimer. I don't want to ban labels or anything.

Jazz is probably the most confusing music label of them all. From Kenny G to Albert Ayler. From Sting To Bird. Ever see the movie All That Jazz? Is that jazz? Is Make A Jazz Noise Here jazz? How about Queen Jazz? Black Napkins is jazz.
The Forum Killed Arkay wrote:
such a large percentage of jazz is hyper-composed, I wonder just what makes the cut for ya?


In Zappa's case it's the parts that are not hyper composed. Although I like structure.

I should have just said "Big Swifty", then I wouldn't have to explain myself.


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 Post subject: Re: Jazz from Zappa
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:46 pm 
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A very small part of All That Jazz is Jazz, and I'd say it's Dixieland Jazz.

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 Post subject: Re: Jazz from Zappa
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:59 pm 
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I had a sort of epiphany when I first heard the Clothes Off When We Dance number from Lost Episodes - that the corny melody is a great source of material for inspired jazz improvisation. I think this is true in many cases of Zappa.

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 Post subject: Re: Jazz from Zappa
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:53 am 
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I too fell in love with TYCOWYD from TLE. The piece has a Bossa Nova type drum beat, is carried off by a nice trumpet section and has a good sax solo. I guess without trying to be too clever and too hung up on labels, that makes it jazzy.

Later on Billy Mundi had a jazzy feel, particulary when playing that excellent 3/4 groove on King Kong. There are jazz themes throughout King Kong on side 4 of Uncle Meat and the live version from 'Tis the Season is also jazzy particulalry when Underwood comes in. Billy Mundi shines on this performance. Neither JCB or AT could groove like that.

I have always thought of the studio snippet of Toads of the Short Forest from Weasel's as being quite jazzy. One day I went to make a Zappa jazz compilation tape for the car and I realised quite quickly that all I was doing was putting together was a list of Zappa tunes that were nothing like jazz and had nothing in common with eachother.
I hear what I call themes (I am not trained to know a better way of describing them) in lots of these pieces though and I think it is that that makes me initially think of them as being jazzy.


So, I think of Toads, Twenty small cigars and various elements from Burnt Weeny as being jazzy, or Zappa jazzy at least. Also Little Umbrellas and Camel.

Toads and Twenty small cigars can take me away to another place like no music ever has.

It's all ZAPPA!

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Last edited by thenoisydrum on Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Jazz from Zappa
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:33 am 
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Twenty Small Cigars is one of his greatest jazztunes according to me. It sounds very swedish/nordic. Same feel as swedish jazz-pianist Jan Johansson

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 Post subject: Re: Jazz from Zappa
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:49 am 
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Soracha wrote:
Twenty Small Cigars is one of his greatest jazztunes according to me. It sounds very swedish/nordic. Same feel as swedish jazz-pianist Jan Johansson

A beautiful tune, indeed, and I get the association to Johansson. The mood is similar, but don't you think Johansson typically has more repetitive figures, while one of the beauties of TSC is the ever developing melody line? Zappa's Universe expands!

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 Post subject: Re: Jazz from Zappa
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:05 am 
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I wish more selected solos by the Brecker Bros. lineup could surface (a kind of a one-shot/round-deal wasn't it ?)

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 Post subject: Re: Jazz from Zappa
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:33 am 
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thenoisydrum wrote:
I have always thought of the studio snippet of Toads of the Short Forest from Weasel's as being quite jazzy.


One or two European jazz singers did versions of this theme (one was Monica Zetterlund, if I recall right).


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 Post subject: Re: Jazz from Zappa
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:02 am 
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They all smell funny! :smoke:


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 Post subject: Re: Jazz from Zappa
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:18 am 
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Mr_Green_Genes wrote:
I wish more selected solos by the Brecker Bros. lineup could surface (a kind of a one-shot/round-deal wasn't it ?)



A great alternative is the collection of albums from Steve Kahn, probably the definitive Brecker Bros. work

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 Post subject: Re: jazz from zappa
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:59 pm 
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make a jazz noise here

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 Post subject: Re: Jazz from Zappa
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:22 pm 
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Yuppies is pretty underrated, so it seems to me... At least I don't hear people praising it that much.

Simply love it...

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 Post subject: Re: Jazz from Zappa
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:36 pm 
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Blessed Relief is a great jazz influenced tune. The composed part is gorgeous.





BRAVO SIERRA wrote:
Mr_Green_Genes wrote:
I wish more selected solos by the Brecker Bros. lineup could surface (a kind of a one-shot/round-deal wasn't it ?)



A great alternative is the collection of albums from Steve Kahn, probably the definitive Brecker Bros. work


My favorite Randy Brecker solo is on the song Revelation by Charles Earland. It's from the album of the same name. It's not great for boring technical reasons, it's great because of the feeling. The line he plays at 4:59 kills me. Drums - Harvey Mason, Guitar- Eric Gale....Trumpet solo starts at 4:26
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUtm-Q0Z1gQ


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 Post subject: Re: Jazz from Zappa
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:38 am 
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Dark Clothes wrote:
Soracha wrote:
Twenty Small Cigars is one of his greatest jazztunes according to me. It sounds very swedish/nordic. Same feel as swedish jazz-pianist Jan Johansson

A beautiful tune, indeed, and I get the association to Johansson. The mood is similar, but don't you think Johansson typically has more repetitive figures, while one of the beauties of TSC is the ever developing melody line? Zappa's Universe expands!

Yes, you are right. The similarity lies in the mood, mode and upright bass. The ever developing theme is very much Zappa.
I have mostly heard Jan Johansson playing arrangements of traditional tunes, so I can't analyze his compositional style, sadly.

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 Post subject: Re: Jazz from Zappa
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:41 am 
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pbuzby wrote:
thenoisydrum wrote:
I have always thought of the studio snippet of Toads of the Short Forest from Weasel's as being quite jazzy.


One or two European jazz singers did versions of this theme (one was Monica Zetterlund, if I recall right).


Yes, Monica Zetterlund was one. She calls it Zäpovalsen (Secret police waltz). The lyrics are just a long list of names, probably believed working with the secret police, I guess.
Also, another swedish jazz/pop singer, Lill Lindfors, has done a version of bluejeans and moonbeams, called blåjeans och stjärnljus, if I remember correctly.

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 Post subject: Re: Jazz from Zappa
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:56 am 
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As a Swede you will probably have heard some of Johansson's film music - if you have seen the original Pippi TV series and some of the other Astrid Lindgren adaptations. In one of the Pippi episodes, the kids are up in the spooky attic, and the music there (by Johansson and Georg Riedel) has a totally atonal, dissonant, modernist flavour. Not too far away from works like Pedro's Dowry or the incidental pieces of 200 Motels. Those were the days - if you listen to the incidental music of a Seventies series like Columbo, there's a lot of dissonant, Varèse-inspired stuff going on - often quite similar to some of Zappa's orchestral works. No wonder Emil Richards said that Zappa could have been a great film composer!

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 Post subject: Re: Jazz from Zappa
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:51 am 
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downer mydnyte wrote:
Blessed Relief is a great jazz influenced tune. The composed part is gorgeous.





BRAVO SIERRA wrote:
A great alternative is the collection of albums from Steve Kahn, probably the definitive Brecker Bros. work


My favorite Randy Brecker solo is on the song Revelation by Charles Earland. It's from the album of the same name. It's not great for boring technical reasons, it's great because of the feeling. The line he plays at 4:59 kills me. Drums - Harvey Mason, Guitar- Eric Gale....Trumpet solo starts at 4:26
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUtm-Q0Z1gQ


Thanks, both of you...

Could not resist to listen some Purple Lagoon yesterday...

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