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Topic: Big Band Jazz

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  1. #1
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    Big Band Jazz

    In anticipation of the Jazz/Big Band Library.

    Here's Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band. If not the best, certainly one of the best big bands active today. Here's an 85 minute concert footage of them streamed.

    http://www.ntjazz.com/Real/PhatBand.ram

    Jeff

  2. #2

    Re: Big Band Jazz

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Turner
    In anticipation of the Jazz/Big Band Library.

    Here's Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band. If not the best, certainly one of the best big bands active today. Here's an 85 minute concert footage of them streamed.

    http://www.ntjazz.com/Real/PhatBand.ram

    Jeff
    ooh hoo hoo! nice link just got wind of these guys last summer and haven't stopped listening since...

    ladies & gents -- definitely worth a listen...

  3. #3
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: Big Band Jazz

    That is way too Kool! Those guys are hot! Thanks for posting.
    Styxx

  4. #4

    Re: Big Band Jazz

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Turner
    In anticipation of the Jazz/Big Band Library.

    Here's Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band. If not the best, certainly one of the best big bands active today. Here's an 85 minute concert footage of them streamed.

    http://www.ntjazz.com/Real/PhatBand.ram

    Jeff
    Nice - I have on eof their albums and it's very good.

    When the band is introduced, I believe they are announced as "one of the tightest bands around" i.e. very accurate and together. This brings me on to a question which I think has been touched on when people have done mock-ups of "classical" music on this forum [I use quotes because I am very anti- pigeon holing of music] - in that I perceive the general feeling to be that parts that are sequenced sound too mechanical and that capturing real time entry is preferable to mouse-ing in each note.

    It is strange that in real (as opposed to virtual) music, I have heard criticism of another great big band - that of Bob Mintzer - that his studio recordings are "too tight" and clinical. The critic appeared to want to hear more sloppy section work.

    If real performers spend hours/days/lifetimes striving towards playing the right notes at exactly the right time, what parameters should virtual performers strive towards. Obviously it is easy to achieve 100% accuracy of note pitch and placement but this would not satisfy the desire to make mock-ups sound realistic. It is also relatively easy to purposely avoid 100% pitch and placement and achieve the realism of a 9th grade school band.

    The approach I use is to capture realtime midi data from my keyboard - but to strive to achieve as near a perfect performance on each part as I can. But if I crack (by some miracle) complete synchronicity of all the parts, should I edit the data to add in a enough innaccuracy to emulate perceived realism?

    Is there a happy medium - a virtual musicanship standard? Or is it like many things down to personal taste for others to make up their own opinions?

    As many a teacher would say - discuss.....

  5. #5
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: Big Band Jazz

    You know, I was just thinking how interesting this is going to be to hear how people emulate Big Band Jazz and Swing music of the past with this new lib! I wonder if I can use Diva to form "scat" with this Lib? Hmmm, yup, going to be real interesting!
    Styxx

  6. #6

    Re: Big Band Jazz

    Quote Originally Posted by Styxx
    emulate Big Band Jazz and Swing music of the past
    There's nothing wrong with the past, but I'm looking forward to hearing some newly composed music too. I'm certainly getting a few new charts ready for my first virtual big band rehearsal in the Spring!!

  7. #7
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    Re: Big Band Jazz

    I'm anxious to try out a big band mockup also, but I'm not quite sure what to do about solos. Solos should be improvised, but I certainly don't have the chops necessary to do that with midi. Even an accomplished keyboard player if trying to improvise on a sax patch for instance, horn players approach improvising differently than keyboard players.

    I've got a feeling I'm going to be working primarily on ensemble arrangements and leave the solos for other brave individuals.

    Jeff

  8. #8

    Re: Big Band Jazz

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Turner
    I'm anxious to try out a big band mockup also, but I'm not quite sure what to do about solos. Solos should be improvised, but I certainly don't have the chops necessary to do that with midi. Even an accomplished keyboard player if trying to improvise on a sax patch for instance, horn players approach improvising differently than keyboard players.

    I've got a feeling I'm going to be working primarily on ensemble arrangements and leave the solos for other brave individuals.

    Jeff
    Jeff, I would suggest that if a mockup requires a solo, then if you are able to score for ensemble saxes, say, then you would be able to write an appropriate solo sax line.....

    <<sweeping statement alert>>

    ......a jazz solo is really just a realtime bit of composing based on the chordal, rhythmic and melodic structure of the main body of work.

    <<end of sweeping statement>>

    Approach it as you would writing a variation on a theme. In fact, many "shout choruses" and background figures played by each section of the band are basically improvised melody lines that have been formalised and harmonised.

    Tunes such as Donna Lee by Charlie Parker are really *just* an establishment of the melody line he improvised on the old tune "Indiana"
    _____________________________

  9. #9
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    Re: Big Band Jazz

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard N.
    Jeff, I would suggest that if a mockup requires a solo, then if you are able to score for ensemble saxes, say, then you would be able to write an appropriate solo sax line.....
    I suppose this is true if you're only trying to give an arrangement a "flavor" of a solo. But if it was possible to notate a solo perfectly, wouldn't great arrangers like Gordon Goodwin, Bill Holman, Thad Jones, Sammy Nestico ect., write the exact solo they wanted? It's the energy of the moment that many great soloists capture. I don't think that's going to be an easy thing to do in midi.

    My opinion,
    JT

  10. #10

    Re: Big Band Jazz

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Turner
    I suppose this is true if you're only trying to give an arrangement a "flavor" of a solo. But if it was possible to notate a solo perfectly, wouldn't great arrangers like Gordon Goodwin, Bill Holman, Thad Jones, Sammy Nestico ect., write the exact solo they wanted? It's the energy of the moment that many great soloists capture. I don't think that's going to be an easy thing to do in midi.

    My opinion,
    JT
    Yes, it was capturing the flavour of a jazz solo that I was intimating at.

    Just like Nestico when he (and he has done) includes written solos in his published arrangements.

    I agree that it is not easy, I was just trying to encourage people to not label it "impossible". :-)

    And there are a great many solos that were originally improvised that have become the "established" notes to play when performed live -

    Trumpet solo in Basie's "April in Paris"
    Alto/Tenor double solo in Miller's "In The Mood"
    Trumpet solo in Neil Hefti's "Lil Darlin"
    Trombone solo in "I've Got You Under My Skin"

    etc., etc.,

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