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Thread: Minimalistic Jazz

  1. #1
    robert
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    Minimalistic Jazz

    When I listen to classical, often I go for minimalism like the early stuff from Eric Satie. Every note counts. Every pause counts. Less is more...

    Does anybody have some suggestions for minimalistic jazz?

  2. #2
    Composer/Drummer Jay Norem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RCG View Post
    When I listen to classical, often I go for minimalism like the early stuff from Eric Satie. Every note counts. Every pause counts. Less is more...

    Does anybody have some suggestions for minimalistic jazz?
    I guess there's a lot of that on the ECM label, not that I particularly dig it.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by RCG View Post
    When I listen to classical, often I go for minimalism like the early stuff from Eric Satie. Every note counts. Every pause counts. Less is more...

    Does anybody have some suggestions for minimalistic jazz?
    That must explain why you're liking Monk. He's a master of minimalism, pregnant pauses and making every note count. You should investigate his solo disks. I personally recommend "The London Collection Volume One" and "Thelonious Himself"

    Any duet CD with Mal Waldron and Steve Lacy (I recommend "Hot House") might be up your alley. It's not a coincidence that both of those musicians greatly admired Monk and played his music often.

  4. #4
    Registered User Prezfan's Avatar
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    If you like the "less is more" approach, check out these guys:

    Louis Armstrong - Louis always played good, soulful lines all throughout his career - he just didn't have to use as many notes as other players. Louis was often criticized later in his career for not playing like he did from the mid 20's to the early 30s, because his solos tended to have much fewer notes. But Louis was such a great player he could still say as much with 3 or four notes as many younger players could say with a dozen. Check out "Louis Armstrong Plays W.C. Handy" and you will see what I mean.

    Bix Beiderbecke - A great trumpet player who recorded from the mid 20s to early 30s, Bix was always able to put a lot of feeling into his music while not having to use a barrage of notes. I remember reading a bio of Bix and a friend and fellow musician told a story about how one night he asked Bix "Why do you use so few notes? Why don't you get hot? You know what your problem is? You're a note miser!" Bix simply replied to his friend "You know what your problem is? You use so many notes, but they mean so little." This made a big impression which his friend never forgot. A good place to start with Bix would be the discs "Bix Beiderbecke Volume1: Singin' The Blues" and "Bix Beiderbecke Volume 2: At The Jazz Band Ball". Both are available on the Columbia label.

    Lester Young - My personal favorite sax player, Lester was greatly influenced by the recordings of Bix Beiderbecke and Frankie Trumbauer, and so it's no surprise that Lester fits into the "less is more" school of players. Lester played beautiful flowing lines and realized that it was just as important to know when not to play something. "The Lester Young Trio", which also has Nat King Cole on piano and Buddy Rich on drums, is a good album to start with.

    Miles Davis - Miles was another one of the masters who could say so much with so little. Miles (like Louis and Bix) had great tone and never seemed to have to play clusters of notes to get his point across. If you don't own them yet, I would probably get albums like "Kind of Blue" or "'Round About Midnight" for starters and then dig deeper into Miles' music. Miles made a lot of great recordings, so there is a whole lot to choose from, but he also went to a lot of different styles, so just keep in mind that just because you like "Kind of Blue" doesn't necessarily mean you will like an album like "Bitches Brew".

    I hope you find this to be helpful. Good luck with your search!

  5. #5
    wired for hound papsrus's Avatar
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    Each of the following I think may have what you're looking for:

    Two piano trio discs by Marilyn Crispell:

    Crispell, Peacock, Motian -- "Nothing Ever Was Anyway, The Music of Annette Peacock"


    Marilyn Crispell Trio -- "Storyteller"


    Trumpet player Tomasz Stanko's "Lontano," which came up in the trumpet recs thread.


    Iro Haarla's "Northbound" is another with a decidedly minimalist approach.


    For something with a little more classical influence, Francois Couturier's "Nostalgia -- Song for Tarkovsky"



    As you may notice, all of these are ECMs, which, as Jay says, is a label that tends to produce a lot of music that is quite spacious and contemplative.
    "There comes a time in all of our lives where silence is a betrayal." -- The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

  6. #6
    Registered User mikelz777's Avatar
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    Tord Gustavsen Trio's Changing Places and The Ground




    Marcin Wasilewski, Slawomir Kurkiewicz, Michal Miskiewicz Trio

    All are minimalistic, contemplative and wonderful recordings.

  7. #7
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    Exclamation

    As far as minimalistic jazz stuff, there's alot to check out. Here are some recommendations for you:

    Tomasz Stanko - Suspended Night
    Tomasz Stanko - Soul of Things
    Tomasz Stanko - Wolnasc W Sierpniu
    Paul Motian Trio - I Have The Room Above Her
    Bill Frisell - In Line
    John Abercrombie - Characters
    John Abercrombie - Cat 'n' Mouse
    John Abercrombie - Class Trip
    John Abercrombie - The Third Quartet
    Marcin Wasilewski - Trio
    Arild Andersen - The Triangle
    Tord Gustavsen Trio - Being There
    Tord Gustavsen Trio - The Ground
    Jimmy Giuffre 3 - The Easy Way
    Terje Rypdal - Lux Aeterna
    Terje Rypdal - Descendre
    Terje Rypdal - Waves
    Terje Rypdal, Jack DeJohnette, and Miroslav Vitous - self-titled album
    Rypdal/DeJohnette/Vitous - To Be Continued
    Jan Garbarek - Rites
    Jan Garbarek - Twelve Moons
    Jan Garbarek - In Praise of Dreams
    Jan Garbarek - I Took Up The Runes
    Jan Garbarek - Legend of the Seven Dreams
    Jan Garbarek - Officium
    Jan Garbarek - Dis
    Jan Garbarek/Art Lande - Red Lanta
    Keith Jarrett - Arbor Zena
    Keith Jarrett - Belonging
    Keith Jarrett - My Song
    Ralph Towner - Blue Sun
    Ralph Towner - Solstice
    Ralph Towner - Open Letter
    Ralph Towner - Old Friends, New Friends
    Ralph Towner - Solo Concert
    Kenny Wheeler - Angel Song
    Kenny Wheeler - It Takes Two!

    I would also look into some of Miles Davis' collaborations with Gil Evans. All of those albums Miles did with Gil are top-notch and have very open quality to them. Miles and Gil were doing some very different things together. These albums that Miles did with Gil, in my opinion, are some of the finest examples of large ensemble jazz playing arouind. There were also some Bill Evans that I thought were minimalistic: check out his albums "I Will Say Goodbye" and "You Must Believe In Spring." Both of these albums are quite beautiful.

    This should be enough for now, but as you can see, there's alot to look into for this kind of "open" jazz. Hope these recommendations help you in your search.

  8. #8
    robert
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    Thank you, thank you!

    To all who've responded,

    Thank you very much! There's a whole lot of information here. Rather than just post individual "thank you's" let me just say I'll be checking these out. Man, I got a lot more than I had hoped for.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by RCG View Post
    To all who've responded,

    Thank you very much! There's a whole lot of information here. Rather than just post individual "thank you's" let me just say I'll be checking these out. Man, I got a lot more than I had hoped for.

    You're welcome. Let me know if you like any of these musicians and I can make you copies of their albums and send them to you.

    I've been listening to this type of jazz for about 10 years. I've been playing it for even longer than that and I didn't know exactly what it was.

    I was doing things like Steve Reich would compose, but I added my jazz influences to it. I've been working on this type of textural jazz stuff since I started playing the guitar, which was about 17 years ago.

    Anyway, let me know how your search is going.

    Take care

  10. #10
    robert
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluenote82 View Post
    You're welcome...
    I've got Terje Rypdal's "Rarum" compilation on ECM. It this sort of what you're talking about? I'm not sure this is his "jazz" stuff or not. I got it because of the song "Ornen"...that minimalistic blues thing....I'm not sure what album it originated from. This was my introduction to Rypdal. I'm not sure I've got anything from any other artist you listed, except Keith Jarrett.

    I want something really gripping...I want the world to stop, time to stop...

  11. #11
    Former Jazz DJ
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    Mr Minimalist: Count Basie

  12. #12
    robert
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    Quote Originally Posted by spitfirepete View Post
    Mr Minimalist: Count Basie
    Hmm, I forgot about him. All I have is "Atomic Basie"...sometime minimalistic piano, but a screaming band on top of that! Does he have any solo work?

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