Bix Beiderbecke version of "Sorry "accompanied by Mike Penny on Tsugaru shamisen.

Bix Beiderbecke version of "Sorry "accompanied by Mike Penny on Tsugaru shamisen.

Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

December 21st, 2008, 2:34 pm #1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4baMjveMNwE

Also a version on Tsugaru shamisen only.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMmqRnvu ... re=channel

Thanks to Alex Revell who sent a post about this youtube video. Unfortunately, I deleted the post assuming, incorrectly, that it came from the disturbed individual (who has been trying to post here under a variety of assumed names).

Read Michael's comments about this youtube video in

http://jazzlives.wordpress.com/

Albert
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

December 21st, 2008, 4:01 pm #2

In my book, a desecration of a classic. If Mr. Mike Penny wishes to amuse himself accompanying Bix's "Sorry" or other classic recordings using a tsugaru shamisen (see http://tikuyu-shamisen.com/english-1.htm), I have no complaints as long as he does not inflict it on others; it is his choice.

But putting this debasement of one of Bix's greatest recordings in the public domain is not my idea of a contribution to the world of music. Of course, he is free to do what he wants. But does Mike Penny think that he has added or improved on Bix's recording? Does anyone? My advice: leave Bix's original recordings alone.

Albert
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Alex revell
Alex revell

December 21st, 2008, 6:12 pm #3

Why is this an abasement. It's a guy enjoying playing along with a record. A guy who has a great ear and has taken the trouble to learn Bix's lead throughout most of the record. Must musicians I know have played along with records at sometime or other for the pure enjoyment, and instruction, of it.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

December 21st, 2008, 7:38 pm #4

Of course, musicians can enjoy themselves by playing along a record. Also, they certainly can learn. As an example, music minus one is an excellent learning tool. In fact, Bix learned how to play the cornet by spinning ODJB recordings and listening carefully to Nick LaRocca.

In my previous post, I stated that there is nothing wrong with such an exercise - when done in private. My objection is to make the exercise public. Mind you, I would not prevent anyone from uploading in youtube whatever he/she wishes. But, I ask again, what does Mr. Penny think he has added to Bixs sublime recording of Sorry? To me, it spoils it. I am not interested in hearing Mr. Penny plucking along Bix. The recording without any interference is what I want to hear. Works of art should not be tampered with. By changing the original, Mr. Penny is debasing the music and the message that Bix and his fellow musicians intended to convey in recording the tune.

Albert
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Andy Schumm
Andy Schumm

December 21st, 2008, 8:11 pm #5

He's enjoying a great piece of music. There's nothing wrong with this. I'd rather have him playing along with Bix and Don Murray than some garbage on the radio. No one can improve on this original recording. However, does that also mean that no one should EVER play the tune "Sorry" again? I certainly can't improve upon this recording, but I certainly enjoy playing it. (And this is coming from a cornet player!) I'll never be able to play at the same level as Bix, and certainly won't be better than Bix, but does that mean I shouldn't play gigs trying to sound like Bix and Red and all of my other heroes? Maybe someone will go out and seek out the original recording, and I think if just one more person finds the music of the 1920s we're better off for it.

Jazz is darn near close to being dead anyway. Let's not kill it. Let's figure out how to rebuild it.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

December 21st, 2008, 8:27 pm #6

Sure, you (and other musicians) playing Bix's music in concerts and festivals represents a great contriibution and helps to keep the 1920s music alive. For example, I enjoy enormously Vince Giordano's recreations of 1920s music, as well as the recreations by other bands.

My objection is to taking an existing recording -in this case Bix's "Sorry"- and adding one or more instruments to it. If Mr. Penny wishes to play "Sorry" by himself or with other musicians, I have no objection. It is the modifying of an existing record by adding another instrument to it that bothers me. That is what I mean by tampering. Leave the recordings alone and recreate the music; don't tamper with masterpieces.

Albert
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Andy Schumm
Andy Schumm

December 21st, 2008, 8:43 pm #7

Well, I do appreciate what musicians like Vince Giordano are doing for the music. The value of what they do is immeasurable. Also, I would agree with you about the "tampering" of recordings. I'm sure that some of you have seen the scathing article written by Pat Metheny regarding Kenny Gorelick's garbage overdub recording "with" Louis Armstrong. (His name is Gorelick...not an initial...I refuse to say it. ). After reading the article I wanted to nominate Metheny for the Nobel prize.

However, I just think that this is a different case. All he's doing is just playing along with a record. It's not a concert and he's not doing it for profit. He's not "using" Bix. He's just enjoying a record. If he was selling his performance on a CD or if he was performing it, I'd be completely on your side. It's just Youtube. Pretty informal.

Sometimes I even have a problem with recreating things note-for-note. I don't think I'd ever do it justice. On the other hand, is "Singin' the Blues" without Bix's solo still "Singin' the Blues"? It's become part of the tune. A delicate balance.

Anyway, I don't mean to be confrontational. It's just that I get excited every time I see a relatively young person get into the stuff I get excited. We're hanging right on the edge of losing this music forever and I don't want to scare anyone out of it.

Andy
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

December 21st, 2008, 9:30 pm #8

That is exactly how I feel about overdubbing on any record.

From http://www.jazzoasis.com/methenyonkennyg.htm

Not long ago, Kenny G put out a recording where he overdubbed himself on top of a 30+ year old Louis Armstrong record, the track "What a Wonderful World". With this single move, Kenny G became one of the few people on earth I can say that I really can't use at all - as a man, for his incredible arrogance to even consider such a thing, and as a musician, for presuming to share the stage with the single most important figure in our music.

This type of musical necrophilia - the technique of overdubbing on the preexisting tracks of already dead performers - was weird when Natalie Cole did it with her dad on "Unforgettable" a few years ago, but it was her dad. When Tony Bennett did it with Billie Holiday it was bizarre, but we are talking about two of the greatest singers of the 20th century who were on roughly the same level of artistic accomplishment. When Larry Coryell presumed to overdub himself on top of a Wes Montgomery track, I lost a lot of the respect that I ever had for him - and I have to seriously question the fact that I did have respect for someone who could turn out to have such unbelievably bad taste and be that disrespectful to one of my personal heroes.

But when Kenny G decided that it was appropriate for him to defile the music of the man who is probably the greatest jazz musician that has ever lived by spewing his lame-ass, jive, pseudo bluesy, out-of-tune, noodling, wimped out, fucked up playing all over one of the great Louis's tracks (even one of his lesser ones), he did something that I would not have imagined possible. He, in one move, through his unbelievably pretentious and calloused musical decision to embark on this most cynical of musical paths, shit all over the graves of all the musicians past and present who have risked their lives by going out there on the road for years and years developing their own music inspired by the standards of grace that Louis Armstrong brought to every single note he played over an amazing lifetime as a musician. By disrespecting Louis, his legacy and by default, everyone who has ever tried to do something positive with improvised music and what it can be, Kenny G has created a new low point in modern culture - something that we all should be totally embarrassed about - and afraid of. We ignore this, "let it slide", at our own peril.


The part that particularly resonates with me is the following,

This type of musical necrophilia - the technique of overdubbing on the preexisting tracks of already dead performers...

I would not circumbscribe it to dead musicians. Overdubbing on an existing recording of any musician, dead or alive, is a desecretation in my book.

It is true that Mr. Penny is not doing this for profit (at least, not yet). But profit is not what bothers me. It is the temerity of taking a finished work, adding to it, and having the audacity to present it to the public as a contribution to music.

I appreciate your thoughtful comments, Andy. You hit the nail on the head when you write, "Sometimes I even have a problem with recreating things note-for-note. I don't think I'd ever do it justice. On the other hand, is "Singin' the Blues" without Bix's solo still "Singin' the Blues"? It's become part of the tune. A delicate balance."

I don't see anything wrong with recreating Bix's music note for note. I view Bix's record as a an audio score. Several pianists will play a Beethoven piano sonata using the notes written down by Beethoven. Each pianist will give it a different feeling. Nothing wrong with a cornetist playing a Bix solo note for note. It is like a piece of classical music with the notes provided as music on a record rather than written down on a piece of sheet music.

Albert
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

December 21st, 2008, 9:38 pm #9

The way I feel about overdubbing is very much like I feel about the colorization of photos or films. The artist who created the photo or the film did it knowing that his/her creation would be seen in black and white. Colorizing a film is another desecration that I strongly object to, not because profits will be collected, but because of the principle I strongly support of not tampering with the creations of artists.

Albert
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hal smith
hal smith

December 21st, 2008, 11:53 pm #10

In my book, a desecration of a classic. If Mr. Mike Penny wishes to amuse himself accompanying Bix's "Sorry" or other classic recordings using a tsugaru shamisen (see http://tikuyu-shamisen.com/english-1.htm), I have no complaints as long as he does not inflict it on others; it is his choice.

But putting this debasement of one of Bix's greatest recordings in the public domain is not my idea of a contribution to the world of music. Of course, he is free to do what he wants. But does Mike Penny think that he has added or improved on Bix's recording? Does anyone? My advice: leave Bix's original recordings alone.

Albert
That thing has to be one of the most un-musicial instruments i've ever heard!!
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