Poll

Do you need to be a jazz musician to play fusion?

Yes
7 (43.8%)
No
9 (56.3%)

Total Members Voted: 16

Author Topic: Poll: Do you need to know how to play jazz to play fusion?  (Read 18652 times)

funkle

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Re: Poll: Do you need to know how to play jazz to play fusion?
« Reply #60 on: August 14, 2010, 07:40:04 AM »

Really, why doesn't somebody just ask Frank?


That's not a bad idea.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2010, 07:58:29 PM by funkle »

fusion58

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Re: Poll: Do you need to know how to play jazz to play fusion?
« Reply #61 on: August 16, 2010, 01:15:40 AM »

Those and other tunes, but  that proves a POSITIVE that he still had to have studied jazz standards in order to play over them - NO ?

Did he just show up to the recording sessions "cold" having have never seen the changes and automatically play over them or did he study the tunes ahead of time ?

The issue again is NOT interpretaion, but "Did FG ever study standards or NEVER EVER EVER ?"

Wow - we've really drifted quite a ways from your original contention, e.g., that FG "must" have spent a considerable amount of time shedding standards during his formative years (or something to that effect) - hence his fusion prowess.

I'm also not sure how this is relevant to the original question, i.e., "do you need to know how to play jazz to play fusion?"

That is to say, even if FG did study standards, this fact still wouldn't establish that "you need to know how to play jazz to play fusion."

Since it has been demoed that FG has recorded standards, the  Burden of proof now shifts to the objecting party having  to demonstrate that FG did absolutely ZERO PERCENT studying of Jazz Standards and that he was able to start playing over changes by other means WITHOUT HAVING EVER PRACTICED OVER STANDARDS, whether in his formative years or not.

That's really a goal post move.

I don't believe anyone ever claimed that FG had never studied standards.

I simply disagreed with your original argument.

Your original assertion was that FG had spent a lot of time shedding standards when he started out on guitar, and that FG's prowess as a fusion guitarist could be attributed to this extensive experience playing standards.

Since Jazz standards were played by jazz musicians, the term , "jazz standards" can be synonymous with the word , "Jazz" in the title of this thread.

Not quite "synonymous" insofar as this definition has a "class inclusion" problem, if you will.

That is, a jazz musician's repertoire usually includes but is not necessarily limited to standard tunes.


Let's simplify the issue with a question:

Fusion58, Did FG

A. Ever study standards ?
B. Never ?

Please answer A. or B., then proceed with your formal remarks. The reason I ask is I don't really understand completely what your premise is, and your answering A or B to the question above will help me understand your future posts in regard to this issue

Once again, the question wasn't whether FG ever studied standards - your original claim was that FG "must" have played standards extensively in his formative years.

Your argument boiled down to something like this:

a) FG did a lot of shedding on standards when he was starting out on guitar.
b) FG's proficiency as a fusion guitarist is attributable to the aforementioned time spent playing standards.

Therefore: "you need to know how to play jazz to play fusion."

As another forum member pointed out, the best way to determine whether the first premise is true or false would probably be to ask Frank.

The second premise sort of brings us back to our original debate, and if it's false then the conclusion is also false.

At any rate, if you need me to clarify my position, then I think I can do it in this way:

Do I think you need to know how to play jazz standards to play fusion? No.

Do I think it can help? Sure - but not necessarily (see earlier reference to Scott H. quote re: boring jazz players who play nothing but streams of eighth notes, etc.)

Do I think learning jazz standards is the only way to learn how to improvise and/or play changes? No, because (a) fusion has its own repertoire with its own common chord progressions, etc., and (b) anyone who understands the theory behind improvisation and who writes tunes (in any style) with chord changes (and practices playing through those changes) can become proficient at improvisation in whatever style he chooses.




funkle

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Re: Poll: Do you need to know how to play jazz to play fusion?
« Reply #62 on: August 16, 2010, 08:07:27 AM »
Geoff & Fusion58, I think we're getting a little hung up on semantics here. I can barely figure out what you're arguing about at this point :) You've both stated your opinions, let's leave it at that.

I've emailed Frank to get his some insight on his bio. Does anyone have an account at the FG BB. If so, can you post the question? I signed up, but have not gotten confirmation yet.

fusion58

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Re: Poll: Do you need to know how to play jazz to play fusion?
« Reply #63 on: August 16, 2010, 05:51:35 PM »
I've emailed Frank to get his some insight on his bio. Does anyone have an account at the FG BB. If so, can you post the question? I signed up, but have not gotten confirmation yet.

I e-mailed Frank also, and I received the following response.

Sounds like we were both half right...

Quote
Hello,

I did spend several years during my GIT days 1982-1986 thoroughly working the standards.
When I say standards, I mean the ones that I liked...anything by Chick , Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, and then standards I liked by Coltrane and some early Miles. All from the Real Book. Many of the tunes were too square.
I just chose ones with modal or at least, interesting chord changes and or great melody such Inner Urge or Out Of Nowhere, Jobim tunes etc.

I didn't particularly care for BeBop meaning, Charlie Parker tunes...too many chords too fast, that's what I meant by "too constricting". All those chords forces you to play each chord otherwise it doesn't sound like you made the change. Although I did learn rhythm changes I wasn't a big fan of that music. I prefer to have at least one bar of one chord most of the time, that way you can put more of your personality on it. It really subjective because there are many who would argue that you don't have to play "all" the chords in Bebop so long as the line has strong enough momentum and has direction. So I guess it's just personal preference. Chick's and Wayne Shorter's changes were very hip in my mind...so I was drawn to those tunes. As it turned out they were all worthwhile study tunes and helped inspire me to find some cool chord changes of my own.

funkle

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Re: Poll: Do you need to know how to play jazz to play fusion?
« Reply #64 on: August 16, 2010, 08:03:27 PM »
Thanks. I guess that is what I would have expected him to say. Totally makes sense considering his style.

Halfdim7

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Re: Poll: Do you need to know how to play jazz to play fusion?
« Reply #65 on: August 17, 2010, 12:45:46 PM »
Isn't it something that you can just "ask Frank"? That's another cool thing about fusion, that the artists are fairly accessible. Yet another reason to be glad that we're on the relative fringe of musical taste :)
....lame-ass, jive, pseudo bluesy, out-of-tune, noodling, wimped out, fucked up playing....

Geoff J

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Re: Poll: Do you need to know how to play jazz to play fusion?
« Reply #66 on: August 18, 2010, 08:30:28 AM »
Very cool guys, now that we have gotten the FG deal cleared up. Back to the thrust of one of my earlier points, rather than the molehill semantical fraction of where I was coming from regarding the term "formative years"

Seems to me, unless I am COMPLETELY OBLIVIOUS, that there are unanimously declared ICONIC fusion guitarists

Alan Holdsworth
Robben Ford
Scott Henderson
Frank Gambale
John Mc Laughlin
Al Di Meola
Jimmy Herring
Wayne Krantz
John Scofield
Greg Howe

That's a FRACTION of such Iconic Fusion guitarists

So in light of the question:

"Do you need to know how hot to play jazz to play fusion " ?

Short, shallow answer, with absolutely no depth : NO

Long answer:
NO, but look at the iconic fusion guitarists in the list above. All of them have a command of how to play over jazz standards and have studied such as a practice discipline, even though they may or may not have chosen to record jazz tunes out of choice, not due to lack of ability. If one is looking to skate out of learning jazz as a matter of a convenient shortcut, (s)he is cheating themself out of a way to develop as a serious player, and will have perhaps a slight  clue of what such ICONIC players base their ideas on.

FINAL ANSWER
« Last Edit: August 19, 2010, 06:32:36 AM by Geoff J »