swinging violin...

Everything about the swinging music we love to DJ

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Lawrence
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#16 Post by Lawrence » Wed Feb 26, 2003 10:43 am

"CafeSavoy
the violinists who dabble in jazz, are you speaking of contemporary
players? i haven't really researched the bios of jazz violin players, but
there is whole tradition of fiddle playing in folk music. yesterday i saw
a compilation at Borders of blues violin players.
Good point. I did overlook the "fiddle" players of the world, but Hee-Haw fiddlers frankly are not the most jazz-inclined, either. :lol: Then again, they do instinctively play more rhythmically than classical violinists, so your point is well taken: so long as they don't just play scales quickly as in Charlie Daniel's "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." They also have been around longer than Jazz has.

I was referring to violin players in general, modern and in the past, most of whom are trained classically and find it difficult to make the transition over to jazz. The habits they learn in one style of music become so engrained in their muscle and musical memory that they cannot break free. (Similar to how many great Ballroom or Broadway or Ballet dancers are awful Lindy Hoppers and vice-versa.) A good friend of mine is a GREAT classical pianist, but he cannot play jazz worth a damn because the rhythmic emphasis and musical structure is so foreign to him.
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Mike
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#17 Post by Mike » Wed Feb 26, 2003 1:23 pm

Lawrence wrote:Stephan Grappelli is too "smooth jazz" for me. He's just a big name people tend to drop, similar to the way most people drop Django's name without really appreciating or knowing his music or work.
I wouldn't call Grappelli's stuff "smooth jazz" at all. He was around eons before the words "smooth jazz" meant anything. He could kick it as much as anybody could with a violin, and he retained a good amount of his original styling throughout his career. Granted compared to, say, Ray Nance, he has a much more polished sound, e.g. his classical-style vibrato... But I think he totally fits when he sits in with traditional jazz combos.

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Swifty
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#18 Post by Swifty » Wed Feb 26, 2003 1:55 pm

Oh yeah, Mike's the one that turned me on to Grappelli.

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CafeSavoy
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#19 Post by CafeSavoy » Wed Feb 26, 2003 4:08 pm

there's some good violin playing on the oscar aleman recordings.

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Mr Awesomer
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#20 Post by Mr Awesomer » Wed Feb 26, 2003 4:21 pm

I've got this awesome rare Kenny G album for the beginning of his career that features Grappelli on violin. Their soloing back and forth is so good it will bring you to tears.

PS. Did you also know I'm a big black dude?
Reuben Brown
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Lawrence
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#21 Post by Lawrence » Wed Feb 26, 2003 4:45 pm

Mike wrote:
Lawrence wrote:Stephan Grappelli is too "smooth jazz" for me. He's just a big name people tend to drop, similar to the way most people drop Django's name without really appreciating or knowing his music or work.
I wouldn't call Grappelli's stuff "smooth jazz" at all. He was around eons before the words "smooth jazz" meant anything. He could kick it as much as anybody could with a violin, and he retained a good amount of his original styling throughout his career. Granted compared to, say, Ray Nance, he has a much more polished sound, e.g. his classical-style vibrato... But I think he totally fits when he sits in with traditional jazz combos.
Yes, I know. I was being flippant. :P Sorry. :oops: It was also an editorial comment on my view of Grappelli.
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#22 Post by GemZombie » Wed Feb 26, 2003 6:15 pm

GuruReuben wrote:I've got this awesome rare Kenny G album for the beginning of his career that features Grappelli on violin. Their soloing back and forth is so good it will bring you to tears.

PS. Did you also know I'm a big black dude?
*blink* *blink*

:shock:

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Greg Avakian
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#23 Post by Greg Avakian » Fri Feb 28, 2003 7:35 am

Regina Carter too.
While this may send some into a corner with hands on ears rocking to babble incoherently, I often play a swing version of "They can't take that away from me" by violinist Lenny Solomon.

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main_stem
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#24 Post by main_stem » Fri Feb 28, 2003 8:41 am

Kyle wrote:there is that really amazing version of CJam blues, that has a big violin part in the middle. i think it's basie, but im not positive
Duke Ellington-Blues in Orbit.
"We called it music."
— Eddie Condon

coreyj5
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#25 Post by coreyj5 » Fri Feb 28, 2003 2:13 pm

I like dancing to violin occasionally. It's good to change things up occasionally. Don't really have any favorites though. :)

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#26 Post by mark0tz » Fri Feb 28, 2003 4:07 pm

what coreyj said..
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Stuff Smith

#27 Post by caruso » Tue Mar 04, 2003 9:01 am

I agree that violin playing has a heavy stigma attached to it... you immediately associate violin with classical music... the whole point of my question was that I recently bought some of Stuff Smith's work and have had some of Claude Williams' work for a while and wondered if there was anyone else out there who could manage to swing the violin as much as they can. I think Proper just put out a new 2 cd box set of Stuff Smith's music.
I was referring to violin players in general, modern and in the past, most of whom are trained classically and find it difficult to make the transition over to jazz. The habits they learn in one style of music become so engrained in their muscle and musical memory that they cannot break free. (Similar to how many great Ballroom or Broadway or Ballet dancers are awful Lindy Hoppers and vice-versa.) A good friend of mine is a GREAT classical pianist, but he cannot play jazz worth a damn because the rhythmic emphasis and musical structure is so foreign to him.
and Lawrence while I agree with your post for the most part in that it takes work to become a Jazz musician even if you are classicly trained, I think you are overlooking how many Jazz musicians did in fact fall into the classicaly trained category. Look at the likes of say Oscar Peterson, Ray Nance and Milt Hinton just to name a few off the top of my head.

I have to wonder how hard your friend has really tried to learn jazz? Is it the sort of thing were he sits at a piano with a sheet of Jazz music and tries to play it for a few hours and can't, or that the sort of thing were he has spent countless hours trying to develop his ability to play Jazz but can't? because unless your friend has put a lot of time into training himself to play Jazz it seems silly to assume he should just be able to sit down and play it, even if he is a classical pianist. Learning to play jazz would have to be like learning to play again... although I also have a hard time believing that it would take your friend longer to pick it up than someone who has no experience playing the piano at all, even if he has to retrain his muscles. So, analogously it is silly to assume that a classicly trained violinist should or shouldn't be able to play jazz... whether they can play jazz is a matter of whether they ever put the work in to learn jazz, and had the necessary talent required.

Later
Kevin

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#28 Post by Nate Dogg » Tue Mar 04, 2003 12:47 pm

Kevin, I agree.

I sometimes hear the same arguement in regards to dance style. If you learned one style you can't learn another, blah blah blah since you are already programmed.

It is a matter of will and work. Depending on your talent level, it will take more work for some than others. If you really want to put the effort in.

What keeps people from making such transitions is often the uncomfortableness of starting over or they simply don't have the time or inclination to diversify.

Nahtan

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Lawrence
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Re: Stuff Smith

#29 Post by Lawrence » Tue Mar 04, 2003 4:20 pm

caruso wrote:Lawrence while I agree with your post for the most part in that it takes work to become a Jazz musician even if you are classicly trained, I think you are overlooking how many Jazz musicians did in fact fall into the classicaly trained category. Look at the likes of say Oscar Peterson, Ray Nance and Milt Hinton just to name a few off the top of my head.

I have to wonder how hard your friend has really tried to learn jazz? Is it the sort of thing were he sits at a piano with a sheet of Jazz music and tries to play it for a few hours and can't, or that the sort of thing were he has spent countless hours trying to develop his ability to play Jazz but can't? because unless your friend has put a lot of time into training himself to play Jazz it seems silly to assume he should just be able to sit down and play it, even if he is a classical pianist. Learning to play jazz would have to be like learning to play again... although I also have a hard time believing that it would take your friend longer to pick it up than someone who has no experience playing the piano at all, even if he has to retrain his muscles. So, analogously it is silly to assume that a classicly trained violinist should or shouldn't be able to play jazz... whether they can play jazz is a matter of whether they ever put the work in to learn jazz, and had the necessary talent required.
Yes, I agree completely. My buddy gave up trying to cross-over because it was too much work, not because it was impossible. I was just explaining one reason why I do not like most "jazz" violinists: because they seem to be too stuck in their classically-trained ways. Its not that I don't dig classical music--because I do--it's that violinists (like Grapelli) don't seem to "get it" when playing jazz. Or perhaps I just don't "get" or like what they are doing. (Same thing, different rhetoric). I also agree that there are counter-examples: the C Jam Blues violin solo being one of them. So, to be clear, there are good examples of "swing violin" out there, it is just rare because of the deeply-engrained habits of most violinists, as well as perhaps the fact that violin is better-suited to classical music.

As for the analogous old rap on one "type" of dancer not being able to unlearn his or her body movement habits to learn another type of dancing, that analogy similarly does not absolutely negate the possibility (and reality) that people can and do it; it just explains why most cross-overs don't do it.
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Mr Awesomer
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Re: Stuff Smith

#30 Post by Mr Awesomer » Tue Mar 04, 2003 5:21 pm

Lawrence wrote:Yes, I agree completely. My buddy gave up trying to cross-over because it was too much work, not because it was impossible. I was just explaining one reason why I do not like most "jazz" violinists: because they seem to be too stuck in their classically-trained ways. Its not that I don't dig classical music--because I do--it's that violinists (like Grapelli) don't seem to "get it" when playing jazz. Or perhaps I just don't "get" or like what they are doing.
Well, apparently Django, Duke Ellington, Coleman Hawkins, Oscar Peterson, Earl Hines did like what Grapelli did, and therefore probably thought that he did "get it."
Lawrence wrote:...as well as perhaps the fact that violin is better-suited to classical music..
Fact? Says who? Opinion perhaps, and not one I'm disagreeing with, but fact?
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