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  • Paul Fletcher wrote on October 01, 2012 report

    God bless you Steven. You are a true artist / musician and it shows with everything you do. Looking forward to the new album. Paul Fletcher.

  • John Kelman wrote on October 01, 2012 report

    Thanks for posting, Paul; nice to meet another fan :)

  • Navdeep Jhaj wrote on October 01, 2012 report

    Two overarching ideas seem to inform Wilson's conception of jass, from what I can gleam from the excellent interview.

    I take his idea of bringing a *jazz influence* to rock essentially being predicated on the principle of never playing the same thing twice.

    Also, the idea of people never repeating themselves, i.e., improvisation, is also founded on a very high level of musicianship (obviously, this has not deterred large sections of the *jam rock* movement, who often lack such high level of musicianship and yet still think they are entitled to go on and on and on, armed only with a 2nd grade vocabulary).

    At least Wilson is honest enough to recognize that, the drummer aside, PT was never that accomplished as musicians, from a vocabulary point of view, to try such such ambitious music.

    Noted, for posterity, the following quote from the article:

    ""One of the reasons why think it doesn't happen in the rock- and pop- music world is that the musicians are just not good enough, and I include myself in that category," Wilson admits. "If I was in a band of people all at my level, there would be no way we would consider making a record like this, in this way. I think that's another thing that was brought home to me by working on all those records [surround remixes]: how good the bands were and how they could do it. This band can definitely do it;"

    I agree wholeheartedly about his assessment on 70s musical technology, how vital and organic is still sounds (the Trons, The Rhoades, the Moogs, et al).

    The following quote I find interesting and perplexing: "I've never been particularly interested in pure jazz; I don't dislike it, it's just not my thing. But I love jazz hybrids. I love music that has elements of jazz, whether it's the ECM catalog or progressive rock bands like Magma, Crimson, Tull and some of the Kraut rock bands. But that idea of combining music seems to be less easy to do these days. I think part of the reason—the same problem, probably, that was always there—is how do you sell music that is not generic? "One of the things that's interesting about the era we live in now is, in some ways, it's never been more open, because it's liberated from the control of the record companies, and it's liberated from the control of television and commercial radio," continues Wilson. "But, at the same time, I feel music has never been more generic."

    Some points about this quote:
    1. I Many of us dig hybrids, of course.
    2. There is so much music out there today, and so much of it is disposable and generic. Has there been an indie rock album as good as *Ocean Rain*, which came out, like 28 years ago? It's largely generic and cookie cutter. Bonnaroo and Pitchfork and Lola. That type of music, has all been done to death, and done much better by the predecessors.
    3. Not digging pure jazz? (the Brits usually call this *trad*; we on this side of the pond use the term *straight ahead*. Fair enough, but it's his huge loss to dismiss Parker, Monk, Diz and their successive progeny. Some of the most beautiful and stunning music ever made. To each their own, but wow, too bad for him. He don't know what he's missing out on.

  • John Kelman wrote on October 01, 2012 report

    Thanks, as ever Nav, for taking the time to both complement the work (thanks!) and to provide your own always thoughtful comments.

    Re: Steven not liking "pure jazz," by which I sussed he meant the traditional stuff - like Bird, Monk, etc - well, it may be a shame, but equally we can only like what our ears tell us. My take is that if you look at his career, his purview has been expanding rapidly, and if he doesn't connect with that music now, there's every possibility that he might, sometime in the future.

    My feeling is he's that open-minded. But even the most open-minded have predilections and I can't fault Steven for his. I was surprised to find out, when we discussed ECM's catalog, for example (not in the interview), just how much he knew about it - not just the obvious stuff, but the more relatively obscure works as well.

    Steven is clearly a pathological music fan, when you scrape away all else, and ya have to love him for it! Anyone who mentions ABBA and The Carpenters at the same time as everything else is way up there in my books, as it means, as he suggests, that isn't any kind of music snob, and is able to see value in things that other more closed-minded folks would not.

    Anyway, thanks again, Nav; always great to hear from ya!

  • Nenad Markovic wrote on October 01, 2012 report

    Great respect for Steven! His lifestyle, beliefs and music inspires me to be more creative and open minded not only for music! Greetings from Serbia! :))) Nesha

  • gabriel g wrote on October 01, 2012 report

    We are very exited here in Guadalajara Mexico to here from this new recording of yours, please visit us again with this new material!!! Will you?

  • Laurence Stevenson wrote on October 02, 2012 report

    I think some academic institution should pick this lad up soon.
    My proposition?
    His Masters Thesis: That prog rock is viable in the 21st Century.
    Proof: Porcupine Tree
    Ph.D. Thesis: that prog can indeed be moved forward in the 21st Century.
    Thesis work: studying the works of the masters in fine detail (remixes/ studying under Alan Parsons)
    Thesis defence: Well, we'll really find that out when the new project comes out:-).
    He really is the 'go to' guy right now and I really hope someone grants his wish to get his hands on Soft Machine's 'Third'. It's always been my defence when people claim that mp3 is inferior to vinyl. I've never heard an mp3 file as bad as that. Which doesn't stop the Softs being one of my favourite bands and 'Third' being one of my favourite discs:-)

  • John Kelman wrote on October 02, 2012 report

    Hey Laurence,
    Thanks for taking the time to include your thoughts. About the only thing I'd change in your suggestion is that the proof that prof is viable in the 21st century is not Porcupine's Steven Wilson, because I thnk what he's doing outside Porcupine Tree (much as I do like that band, not saying that) is a far greater example of progressive music in the new millennium...

    As for Third? The real question is: has anyone been able to locates the multi-tracks! If they can't find 'em - as is not unusual...40-50 years on, unless the artist kept 'em...and more often than not they kept the two-track masters, as they often felt that was what they needed (who ever thought they'd need to go back to the multis?) - then game over, obviously.

    The real question, if they have the multis ... and, truthfully, the one that scares the heck out of if they were to find those tapes, what's the quality like? As you probably know, the goal in recording is always to make sure that the sounds that are being made by the musicians get faithfully captured, to whatever media is being used. If that happens -as Wilson discovered when he got the multis for Aqualung - then all's well and virtually anything is possible when it comes to doing a 21st century remix.

    If, however, what went to tape was not accurate, then what can be done may be severely limited. I have absolutely no reason to feel this way, but my biggest fear is that what went to tape with Third truly sounds as bad as the version we've heard. Not the playing, which is great; but the sound.

    And ya know what the say....'Ya can't polish a turd....' :)

    But here's hoping.

  • Steve Bage wrote on October 02, 2012 report

    Great piece, John. Open and expansive - obviously, you provided the perfect, critical architecture and forum for Steven Wilson's thoughts and observations.
    Amongst other passages particularly worthy of note, the inclusion of a quote from Dave Liebman brought a special smile. Since the day that I bought the first Lookout Farm LP in 1973, Dave has been my favorite sax player, and I've had the good fortune to see him many times. And yes, just as Dave is a proven killer bandleader, Steven is certainly evolving impressively as a leader with this band. Along those lines, this is what I posted online after seeing the "Grace For Drowning" show at the House of Blues in LA, last April:

    "Hit the House of Blues on Sunset Strip with Rohn and Rich last night to see Steven Wilson and band play 'Grace For Drowning'. An extraordinary and virtuosic undertaking by a man who continues to push the boundaries of composition and presentation, and who has become a magnificent bandleader, engaging his singular bandmates with zeal and commitment - and the skills of a great conductor...blowing up paradigms, reinventing the Landscape, and boldly putting the Progress back in progressive music. It was some big, loud, expansive, mighty, and epic ass-kicking."

    Thanks, John - seriously good work.

  • John Kelman wrote on October 03, 2012 report

    Thanks for taking the time to write, Steve, and for the very kind words. Always happy to hear from another Lieb fan! :)

  • Frank Sexton wrote on October 03, 2012 report

    Best music I've heard in a long time.
    John, you should post a link of this to Pat Metheny's forum. I think that a lot of Pat's fans would like Steve's music also.

  • klim wrote on October 05, 2012 report

    3rd day recording diary...
    where is 15 days??
    i wanna see Alan '5'clock' tea Man :)
    i wanna see table football nick <> marco
    i wanna see DOCUMENTARY not some clips, i wanna see behind scenes, not what we all know :)
    ...G on the phone.. :D

  • Mort Weiss wrote on October 28, 2012 report

    UUUUMMMM ahh like what about Petula-patula pitulla (that chick that sleeps in the ahh SUBWAY) kalark- aannn like the Monkeys were very cool!!! and that there gentile Giant kat?? Them kats were Jake (means cool) Keep on doin like what your doin ya all. Mort

    sorry John, i think the devil made me do it!!!! M. W.

  • Antonio Augusto Barreto Brandão wrote on November 27, 2012 report

    Greetings from Brazil! I'm Augusto Brandao, 29 years old, musician and producer.. Steven is my biggest inspiration for now!! A true artist, rare and beautifully complex! Thank you John Kelman too, for the news and all the work you post here! all the best!

  • John Kelman wrote on November 28, 2012 report

    Thanks for taking the time to write in Augusto, and for such kind words. We're all tryin' here, to make All About Jazz the best is can be, an d it's always encouraging to hear back from readers who tell us that, at least to some extent, we're making it....