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Musical improv
May 12, 2007 3:23 PM   Subscribe

Jazz dispute is billed as a heated exchange between Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. Jazz not your thing? Classical music can provoke a range of emotions too. (YouTube alert)
posted by madamjujujive (43 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Another amusing clip from the "jazz dispute" artist: a tribute to Spike Jones.
posted by madamjujujive at 3:24 PM on May 12, 2007


Heh heh! Pretty well done! I'm wanting just a little more fast lip movement from this guy, to just push it up into the realm of perfection, but, hey, it's really, really good as is. Nice touch too, how his mood changes with the drum breaks. The hipster/beatnik look the guy has is ideal as well.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:32 PM on May 12, 2007


Meh. Might have been clever with two people and a proper set - an elegant couple arguing. This? This is just a guy in a beret lip synching.
posted by aladfar at 3:33 PM on May 12, 2007


Great music and hilarious acting. Thanks.

Why is it always the musicians who have to snark at and belittle music related posts here on Mefi?
posted by Foci for Analysis at 3:50 PM on May 12, 2007


"This is just a [dorky white] guy in a beret lip synching."
posted by agentofselection at 3:50 PM on May 12, 2007


This is inspired.

This? This is just a guy in a beret lip synching.

Aw... boo on you. He had the cues, the spirit and the groove down. No complaints here, very entertaining, and the dude just gets it.
posted by psmealey at 3:58 PM on May 12, 2007


Meh. Might have been clever with two people and a proper set.

Meh. Your comment might have been intelligent had it acknowledged the acting skill and impressive memorization required for the performer to do such a good job of this.

This? This is just a guy in a beret lip synching.

This comment? This is just a jaded grad student snarking on MetFilter.

And on preview, take note Foci: here's a musician who was impressed and amused by this fellow's efforts. So, y'know, we're not all like that...

Oh, and agentofselection, nice work, bringing race into the discussion! Very enlightened!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:58 PM on May 12, 2007 [3 favorites]


Yeah, you're totally right, race has nothing to do with jazz, especially that of Bird or Gillespie.
posted by agentofselection at 4:04 PM on May 12, 2007


mister bearded-beret-guy had me worried for the first few seconds. But he totally nails the back and forth on "Leap Frog."

Just covering all the bases on proper punctuation for song titles.

The face guy was too creepy for me. Although he does a pretty good real life

:-/

expression.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 4:09 PM on May 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Okay, on second thought, I should have left my snark out of it. I just felt betrayed because I read " a heated exchange between Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie" and what I got was a white guy in a beret. The accuracy of the lip synching IS very impressive, but this just isn't my thing. I'll shut up and let you guys have fun in your thread now.
posted by agentofselection at 4:12 PM on May 12, 2007


My only complaint was that I wish he had stayed closer to the center of the frame, and perhaps a little better lighting, but those are both very minor annoyances. I liked the main idea behind it. Although the Beethoven one was a little too silly for me to stomache all the way through.
posted by Rhomboid at 4:15 PM on May 12, 2007


agentofselection writes: "race has nothing to do with jazz, especially that of Bird or Gillespie."

This is getting stupid really fast. Of course race has plenty to do with jazz. Jazz is the creation of black people in America. It's the pre-eminent African-American art form. That doesn't mean that interpretations like the one in this video clip are invalid because he's white. Though that would seem to have been what you were implying by pointing to his race. Or did I miss something?

(BTW, that last question, don't feel compelled to answer it or anything. In fact, I don't really think I missed anything.)
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:18 PM on May 12, 2007


I just felt betrayed because I read " a heated exchange between Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie" and what I got was a white guy in a beret.

I was reeled in, too, but I enjoyed having been had. YMMV.

The fact that he was playing both "parts" was actually one of the better aspects. Though I'd love to see two people do the same sort of thing. Or five ... depending on how many instruments there are ...
posted by dhartung at 4:49 PM on May 12, 2007


I dunno, this was kinda dorky, and not all that clever. Bring on the air guitar contest videos!
posted by Eekacat at 5:08 PM on May 12, 2007


(BTW I didn't like the air guitar any better)
posted by Eekacat at 5:09 PM on May 12, 2007


Why is it always the musicians who have to snark at and belittle music related posts here on Mefi?

Professional envy, mostly.
posted by chrismear at 5:18 PM on May 12, 2007


I thought it was dorky and clever.
posted by moss at 5:20 PM on May 12, 2007


Hmm, checking back, I guess I'm still being argued with.
Art exists, whether we want it to or not, within a social framework. Race is one of the most powerful constructs used for interpreting social interactions. Consequently, a white man in the 21st century interpreting jazz is fundamentally different from a black man in the first half of the 20th century interpreting that same jazz. This does not make the former valueless, but it does change the value, depending on the viewer. So no, I'm not saying it's invalid because he's white, but to me, this piece is less artistically valuable than what I was expecting. I thought that my initial post was a brief, flippant way of stating this. If you do not agree that the race of a performer effects the tone of pieace, I would like to hear your reasoning for that view. In support of my belief, I offer the script for Rent, which calls for certain characters to be played by people of specific races, because the social interactions within the play would read differently if, for example, Mark Cohen were played by a black man.
posted by agentofselection at 5:39 PM on May 12, 2007


*tone of the piece. Preview, I should preview.
posted by agentofselection at 5:40 PM on May 12, 2007


Just when I thought Metafilter might have reached its acme, well, madamjujujive just proved me wrong. OMFG!
posted by caddis at 5:59 PM on May 12, 2007


"I'm not saying it's invalid because he's white, but to me, this piece is less artistically valuable than what I was expecting. I thought that my initial post was a brief, flippant way of stating this."

I'd say that's the danger, then, of stating things in a brief, flippant way. Now that you've actually delineated your position in a clear and thoughtful manner, I can understand what you're trying to say.

"...less artistically valuable than what I was expecting."

So you were expecting black people, presumably Parker and Gillespie themselves, and that's not what you got. Fair enough. I suppose we can then extrapolate that had this been a contemporary performance of exactly the same type but performed by a black person, this would have had more artistic value for you. Fair enough as well, I suppose.

I don't think the Rent analogy is a particularly good one, though. You're talking about a piece of theatre, with a story line involving social interactions among people, and those social interactions are (I presume) in large part informed by their race. The video in question here, though, is a visual interpretation of a piece of instrumental music. Yes, the music was originally performed by black people, but I can't see why someone interpreting this music in this way (which is really more akin to dance, or mime) needs to be black in order for it to have increased artistic value for you. If, for example, an animator or director uses this music as a soundtrack to their film, is the film less valuable because the director isn't black? Now, given what you've said here, I can imagine that the answer to that question might be "yes". And again, fair enough. I just happen to disagree, though.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:21 PM on May 12, 2007


omg, I *loved that*. What a surprise. It was hilarious and completely captivating. So unexpected. I'm not a huge jazz fan, though I know it's a phenomenal art form. It just doesn't press my pleasure points.

So I looked at the dang link because I like you so much mjjj, prepared for the whatever intellectual dispute between those two extraordinary jazz greats. And here's this witty guy, having a wonderfully enacted argument, with notes as words. That rippling fluidity of sax and trumpet, sizzling antagonists. Lovely Charlie Chaplin body language in there too.

The Facethoven is more slapstick, less my cup of tea. But there is something completely silly about that particular work, which is perfectly depicted with Jim Carrey style sillibiz. A kind of high anxiety and hysteria which is nicely portrayed with lots of facial twitching.
posted by nickyskye at 6:31 PM on May 12, 2007


Jesus fucking Christ on a plate of beans...

That said, I thought this was dorky good fun.
posted by basicchannel at 6:35 PM on May 12, 2007


Jesus fucking Christ on a plate of beans...

Oh, so now you're gonna bring Jesus into this, eh?

And you know who else liked beans, right?

Wheeeeeeeeeee!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:39 PM on May 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Some of the social interaction in Rent which relies on the race of the characters is between characters, but some of the social interaction which I'm talking about is between the players and the audience. I think that race also influences that social construct. If this had been done by a dorky black dude in a beret instead, then it would obviously be much, much closer to what we see in the link than to something done by 20th century greats, but if you're looking for me to bite that bullet, then here it is: I would still find it incrementally better, were all else equal, if the performer were black. Not much, mind you, but to me it would be different, and better. That is a function of my background and of the social framework through which I perceive the art, so I don't ask everyone to agree with me that it would be better.
As for a cartoon using this for a soundtrack, there isn't the same kind of perceived social contact between the director of a cartoon and the cartoon's viewers as there is between a performer in front of the camera and his viewers. I could watch the cartoon and never know the race of the artists, but I can't watch a play or movie and not have the performer's races presented to me.
Part of the reason for my reaction is that this was billed as "a heated exchange between Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie." If it had been billed as "A heated exchange, as portrayed through the music of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie" then there would be no assumption on my part that he was acting the parts of those two. But since he is acting the parts of black men, he loses points for not being black. If he were portraying Ella Fitzgerald, he'd lose points for being a man.
posted by agentofselection at 6:56 PM on May 12, 2007


awfullll
posted by zouhair at 7:04 PM on May 12, 2007


I think the beans need Tylenol now, after this thread.

The guy did a good job. His style of entertaining the masses is just not everyone's cup of tea. No reason to get all out of shape about it.

With that said, I'm gonna go have some chili.
posted by ZachsMind at 7:18 PM on May 12, 2007


madam, you have been on a fucking tear with posting over the past few months. It is one great post after another, every few days. Wow. I thank you. I am basically lazy about my web surfing and look to mefi to find all the bright shiny things I want to see. You have been finding the brightest, the shiniest and the very best things lately, well you always have, but oh you are on a tear lately. Thanks.
posted by caddis at 7:22 PM on May 12, 2007


madam, you have been on a fucking tear with posting over the past few months

I dunno, caddis, there was a stretch she had back there in 2003 that's pretty hard to beat...

/GoodNaturedJokeFilter
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:12 PM on May 12, 2007


Thank you, caddis - flattery will get you everywhere ;-) You certainly have nothing to apologize about with your prolific history of excellent posts, sir. (... and you too, flapjax at midnite, I just found your African drumming post, swoons.)

There have been tons of great things on mefi lately, newer members are making a great contributions. I have trouble keeping up with the volume of interesting posts. It annoys me when work gets in the way of my online life.

One thing I am very happy to see is more women making frequent posts ... for example, nickyskye and miss lynnster are posting wonderful things! Plus, they both contribute so much to any threads that they participate in. Just look at this thread to see how sweet and what a treasure nickyskye is. (She and I belong to the mutual admiration society.)
posted by madamjujujive at 8:56 PM on May 12, 2007


mjj, if you'll pardon the little derail, I'd like to link here to an actual jazz dispute, and one which is rather interesting. Guitarist Pat Metheny takes Kenny G to task for overdubbing his saccharine sax noodlings over a vintage Louis Armstrong recording.

(and here's hoping agentofselection won't find the whole thing too, er, valueless, since these are white guys and all. Discussing the music of a black man. Oh well.)
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:34 PM on May 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


The article flapjax linked to also inspired a delightful little song by Richard Thompson.
posted by moss at 12:35 AM on May 13, 2007 [3 favorites]


Hee hee! I'd never heard that! I love Richard Thompson even more now, and I really, really loved him before!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:39 AM on May 13, 2007


Yeah, I gotta say that sucked. The music is much better sans doucheberet.
posted by papakwanz at 1:22 AM on May 13, 2007


This thing is amazing. All those who don't like it are broken.
posted by tehloki at 2:44 AM on May 13, 2007


omg, as if that Pat Metheny rant weren't cake enough ("musical necrophilia"), the Richard Thompson piece is the icing ... not a diversion at all, a delightful, substantial and hilarious addition to the thread. I'd never heard that story. Thanks flapjax, and thanks moss.

A side note to your side note. Those Metheny brothers are partial to a sax player I used to go hear a lot. No Kenny G, but hey ;-)
posted by madamjujujive at 5:04 AM on May 13, 2007


awww shucks mjjj. I love you.
posted by nickyskye at 7:40 AM on May 13, 2007


I don't think the Rent analogy is a particularly good one

Any analogy that uses Rent, other than to describe a big steaming pile of donkey shit, is by definition invalid, because Rent was a big steaming pile of donkey shit.
posted by psmealey at 7:46 AM on May 13, 2007


I thought this was dorky good fun

Me too.
posted by teleskiving at 9:04 AM on May 13, 2007


Another musician piping up to say I thought that was pretty cool. but how about this guy who does it all himself?
posted by purplefiber at 5:03 PM on May 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


purplefiber, that guy is awesome! He has several fun clips, I love this five-part with orchestra Bach piece, too. Thanks for pointing us to him.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:36 PM on May 13, 2007


...aaand another musician who laughed his ass off. I DO envy him - great facial expressions. I'd love to watch this after dropping acid; it would fucking blow my mind.
posted by jake at 11:57 PM on May 13, 2007


hi

agentofselection

I think that differences in tone and musical content can be more important between two persons sharing the same racial and cultural background than between two people with different racial background.
posted by nicolin at 12:28 AM on May 15, 2007


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