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  • Jeff Smith wrote on October 14, 2011 report

    Engaging conversation on our overview of the music and its place in our sociocultural landscape. The notion of "searching for masterpieces" is a loaded one that should stay with one while pursuing other disciplines, even aside from music. Looking forward to the next installment!

  • Mort Weiss wrote on September 18, 2012 report

    Greg- John-why must you cats get into doctorial dissertations and strut your academic stuff in order to TRY to understand the music-usung 10s of thousands of heady erirudite words to explain to all of the little people how YOU CATS percieve what us cats are doin! (finding the pocket and staying in it) Ya know in the dynamics of OUR universe -micro to macro there are some things that cant be explained (at this stage of our ( homo sapians) development

    And some times and in some experiences an explanation and the complete understanding as in 2+2=4 take away some of the wonder and viceral beauty of the experience -case in point-a sunset. If each time you see one your thoughts go to particule-molocues -barametric pressures et.el. F**k by the time you got all that S**T set in your ganglia the freakin sun has already set.

    Is any of this resinating with you cats? The act of SEX! ( I can remember how it was-I think) Imagine going through all the above changes before the act? (whose acting the celling still needs painted!) Why-why-bring in the race thing- ya, thats right ignore it-dont give traction if some idiot wants to call the music bam F**kin let emm- life is to short for all of this crap that titalates people and ups the blood pressure.

    I hate to hip ya all to this- But guys that really PLAY (my self not withstanding) don't even know about jazz sites -blogs and couldn't care less about most of the jive ass discussions--their to busy takin care of business--I've gotta kick to at first it was kinda fun but as musician that has done it all and still doin it it's kind of a liazon (no cpell check) down.

    i've got an idea, why don't all of you experts that write these probing heart felt crtiques on the music--why don't you get your selves a musical instrument-- practice it no less than three hours aday for ten years and then camon out here away from the cloisterd halls of academia and get you a gig and start payin the rent with your talant and your axe-----IM OUT!! MORT WEISS Steely Dan-REALLY??? YEAHHHH

  • John Kelman wrote on September 18, 2012 report

    Mort, I guess the only reply I can make to you is: If jazz cats don't know about jazz sites and discussion board (which I'd frankly argue with you, as I know plenty who do), what are YOU doing here? You're one of our most active posters....

    Greg's writing is top-notch, and he hardly uses language that is too academic or impenetrable. As for Jazz & Race? You're absolutely right that it shouldn't be an issue, but sadly, at least with some folks, it still is...and that makes Greg's work important. If you read Greg's series (oops. forgot. you don't ;)) you'll find his whole premise is to break down the barriers that some have put up.

    You've already posted, in another thread, that writers like us are irrelevant. I won't spend any time refuting that, as the 800,000+ different people who come to AAJ each and every month (plenty of them musicians) would suggest otherwise. I've met some musicians who don't read reviews, but plenty others who do.

    Mort, generalizations of any kind are dangerous, and you make a lot of them. Folks who generalize and say "all writers are irrelevant" are just as dangerous and misinformed as those who say "I don't like jazz."

    There are good musicians and bad ones; equally, there are good writers and bad ones. The bad ones may be a problem, but the good ones are able to contextualize music for readers at a time when there is so much music coming out, that plenty of folks look to reviews as a means to help them triage the material coming in, to decide which music they (a) absolutely must check out; (b) which music might be worth investigating, and (c) what music they should avoid. And (c) doesn't necessarily come from a bad review, Mort; it can come from a review that helps the reader get a feel for what the music is about, so they can decide for themselves whether or not it's something that lines up with their tastes.

    Meanwhile, since you don't read reviews and don't consider them of any value, that tells me what I should do, if the opportunity comes to review a live show or cd of yours :)

    PS: If you haven't listened to Steely Dan's Aja, for one example, you are missing the point of a pop group that incorporates the jazz vernacular. The number of jazz musicians who have played on SD records (Wayne Shoter on the above track, for one) and who cover SD songs because they are, if not jazz (they're not), then certainly aligned with it, speaks for itself.

    PPS: Oh yeah, and btw Mort, I'm a musician who spent plenty of time on the stage and in the studio (10 years as house guitarist for one, in fact). Being a musician does not necessarily make for a good writer; it can be a valuable instrument in your toolbox, but knowing how to write and how to get your points across in a literate, engaging and informed way are far more important. But plenty of writers play instruments - not all have done so professionally, but they've studied their instruments and have more than enough knowledge to use it to their advantage. But it's by no means essential.

  • Mort Weiss wrote on September 18, 2012 report

    TO JOHN. first as to way im here-on aaj-- obvisouly (even though you edeited it i think) you did not really read my article --WHY I WRITE THESE ARTICLES- if you would have done so you wouldn't have asked the queston-Second- Michael Ricci asked me to come on board to AAJ last may 2012 he thought- given all my related music and life experiences that I had something to valid to say re the music and about those who make it and LIVE IT!!! John it's obvious to me that you've not looked at all of the reviews and interviews that AAJ has done on and about me since my return to the scene in2001 after my 40 year hiatus from playing- the return that noted jazz crtic and internationally acclaimed writter and jazz historian Scott Yanow said "MORT WEISS' RETURN TO THE JAZZ SCENE IS ONE OF THE HAPPIER EVENTS IN THE JAZZ WORLD IN THE 21ST CENTURY"

    Ya know little accalades like that. What is it the cat said in the movie? "TRUTH, YOU CANT STAND THE TRUTH" Ah John-John. You and I got off to a bad start here at AAJ I tried to amelerate that by sending you a thanks/atta boy for editing my article while Michael was out of country- I even sent you two of my works the one being my solo clarinet effort "RAISING THE BAR" the one that Down Beat magazine calls "a tour de force-"a remarkable achievment" as were my jazz historical firsts- the two albums that I did with Joey De Francesco and his group---where im going with this is that YOU didn't even have the courtesy to let me know that you received the two albums that I sent you let alone even thank me for same.

    Ah john-John-JOHN. Look, if you want me to STOP giving my thoughts to future articles -Just say the word -after all this is your sand box and your toys. Or if you want to be a man about our little egocentrcsies and shake hands and do the perverbial lunch together and now that it seems that we hit the D.C./ CODA we can go back to the top and start again-Good article on Konitz -AND GARY PEACOCK see my commints that wrote before stumbling on to this aaahhh thing.

    as i've said these spaces for - we the little people to deposit our brain shits on
    if (in your interpitation) im a negitive force rock and rolling the boat -just tell me to get off and John----I'll be gone in less than a heart beat!!! But I'll survive Mort Weiss ordinay citizen- humbeled-bent but not broken. I remain, Mort Weiss P S Steely Dan really?

  • Dave Sumner wrote on September 18, 2012 report

    Hi, Mort.

    If you would like people to stop discussing music, I recommend that you prevent musicians from performing live and offering their music to the public.

    Because all art, not just music, once it creates a connection with any member of the public, it is going to inspire discussion, further thought, and even more creativity. To deny the public their need to sort through all the ideas and emotions that art induces is to sanitize art of one of its most important and beautiful qualities.

    Sites like AllAboutJazz (and my own, Bird is the Worm) are a result of the effect art has upon people. It's people wanting to talk about how music has connected with them and the ideas it has inspired, and the drive to find others to discuss it with.

    It seems contradictory to chastise people for doing something that the music is compelling them to do.


  • Mort Weiss wrote on September 18, 2012 report

    Yeah Dave Sumnner you make some very valid points. Thank you for sharing them with me:)---------Some of you might have noticed that on some of my comments that I start off with YEAH sonso---well back in my day the highist complement that one cat could give another after his choures was a YEAH!! Best to you Dave. Mort

  • John Kelman wrote on September 18, 2012 report

    First, MOrt, I apologize for not letting you know the CDs arrived - I've been traveling A LOT and when i come home there are sometimes hundreds of CDs waiting for me. Not an excuse, but an explanation.

    Listen, in a nutshell, Mort, I've edited your work, I love your playing, and I have a great deal of respect for you. What rankles me is when you come out and make global statements about writers, like "they are irrelevant." I know why you come to the site, my point being if you do, do you not think others do also? I approached Dom, in fact, to do his column, and I am so glad I did.

    My issue is that if you participate on this site, if you think what we are doing has any value, then to diminish it by suggesting we're irrelevant is, well, disrespectful and a generalization that I am sure you would object to, were it levied in your direction.

    We work hard here, and we think we are very relevant. that's it, that's all. And I am, truly, sorry not to have let you know this discs arrived.


  • Mort Weiss wrote on September 18, 2012 report

    John, you've passed the Mort Report test - congrats!! I like to stir the the kettle on occassion and you rose to the top in every way) You,Michael and all of the other cats that lay out there intermost feelings here on this site (and appreichate having it to do so) i deeply apprechiate the soap box to say the least- being a jazz giant in a land of the deaf-- sometimes makes people say things left best unsaid. I really loved Steely Dan-when I had my music store I sold thousands of there books and like that!! Shalom my friend, Mort weiss

  • Mort Weiss wrote on September 18, 2012 report

    To one and all-I RETRACT MY STATEMENT THAT CRTICS ARE IRRELVANT! lets just say that SOME CRITICS ARE and no, that doesn't mean that if they dont like me that they come under that catagory----Im sure that the august group that we have here know what I mean---after reading some reviews- one wonders often if the cats talking about the same record/album/c d / file that you were thinking of. Of course I like getting nice/good reviews re. my works--but some are so f**kin sophmoric and negligent of what I was trying to say musicly and intellectuly that it borders being an insult.

    Sorry about the spelling guys- hmmm (no womenon on these comments) Yeah my spell check wont work on these discusions:( and I barley got out of hi school flunked damn near everything except band and orchestra -yes and some times my stream-turns into rivers- But, in order to circumvent these inadaqesies i sent away for the ORNATE COLMAN CORESPONDENCE COURSE ON CPELLING AND PUNK U ATION I under stand from their ads that any thing goes--Probeley inspired by Miles Dewy Davis' statment "that there are no wrong notes" ahhh ya- gotta go now and strike some other sites with some of my strange and sinister obbs. Live in the moment people-cause that all there is (Peggy) said it so very nice! respectfuly Mort Weiss

  • John Kelman wrote on September 19, 2012 report

    Thanks, Mort, for retracting your "irrelevant" statement; of course there are some writers who are bad, just like there are folks in any profession who are bad. It's just the way things are, right? :)

    Dave Liebman and Joe Locke have always been the yardstick for me, and it sounds like you're in line with them. They've told me that they'd rather receive a bad but informed review than a great and poorly informed and/or badly written one.

    I respect that a lot, to be honest, because there are those who don't care about the writing, only that they get a good review. That might be good for "quotable quotes" for press sheets and websites, but it ultimately doesn't really help the artists as much as a well-written review by someone who clearly "gets" the music.

    Fortunately, AAJ has a great cadre of writers who do get it...guys like Chris May, Troy Collins, Dan Bilawsky, Bruce Lindsay, C. Michael Bailey - and, of course, Dave Sumner - and there are plenty more.