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#1 2008-09-07 21:08:53

Yungflutes
Flutemaker/Performer
From: New York City
Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 1040
Website

Jazz Shakuhachi

Hi all non traditionalists,

I have a question for those with a decent knowledge of the capabilities of the shakuhachi instrument and how it can operate in a Jazz improvisation context. What would you recommend for someone who is technically capable in traditional styles but want to branch out into Jazz improvisations. For example, what would be a good way to approach improvising with Jazz musicians?

Thanks! Perry


"A hot dog is not an animal." - Jet Yung

My Blog/Website on the art of shakuhachi...and parenting.
How to make an Urban Shakuhachi (PVC)

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#2 2008-09-07 21:27:35

edosan
Edomologist
From: Salt Lake City
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 2185

Re: Jazz Shakuhachi

First thing I'd do is get some recordings of jazz instrumental standards and play along with 'em.

For example, here's a Google which may be of interest: jazz standards practice recordings


Zen is not easy.
It takes effort to attain nothingness.
And then what do you have?
Bupkes.

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#3 2008-09-07 22:43:43

geni
Performer & Teacher
From: Boston MA
Registered: 2005-12-21
Posts: 830
Website

Re: Jazz Shakuhachi

hi Perry,

it will be great  to take jazz improv lessons. (the some thing we tell people who like to learn shakuhachi:-)


1)First they need to know how to read western music (scales/chords) they are all conected together.

2) need to develop good ears. To be able to recognise notes/chords. To be able to play them back with the instrument.

3) play as much as they can with jazz musicians.

I would recommend http://www.jazzbooks.com/.  Its the best ever.
Start from the first book. They are  wonderfull books/cd.

I am taking lessons with Charlie Banacos.he is one of the best jazz teachers in the world (http://charliebanacos.com )

This is what we do for the lessons.

1) play certain exercies in Every Key.

2) writte down a solo (every week) for the song we are playing.

3)eartraing. 1st with a single note / later 2 notes...more. now I am in 4 notes.

Play jazz with shakuhachi is hard.  One has to know a Lot of Jazz & have a lot of experience to sound good & real.  Improvising is about making choises. The more jazz theory you know more choises you have:-)

Of Course playing along with as many records is a must.

Last edited by geni (2008-09-07 22:47:06)

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#4 2008-09-08 02:57:43

Bruce Hunter
Member
From: Apple Valley CA
Registered: 2005-10-10
Posts: 258

Re: Jazz Shakuhachi

Hi Perry,

You will need fluency in all keys with their associated altered scales and chords through 13. The Jamie Abersold series is great for these, and they are available lots of places. (Some come with CDs, which helps).

After you get the theoretical side down, the rest of the answers are in your headphones and in the groups you'll be playing with.

Play all the time.

Be aware there is a major division, Pre- and Post-Coltrane. Pre-Coltrane sometimes has lots of space and one can still determine the source material. Post-Coltrane seems to be an exhibition of techniques and a contest to see who can play the most notes during their solo, with the apparent objective being to obscure the source material.

Then again, maybe I need to enroll myself in a Speed-listening course so I can listen faster.

Having played in various college jazz ensembles on flute, piano, drums, EGB, stand-up bass, trumpet, bass trumpet, trombone and bass trombone, I can say with some degree of assurance, that, just like the book about Z** that states something to the effect of, "The answers you are looking for are not in this book, or any other book", the answers you are looking for are not in this email, or any other email. 8^)

later...



Some quotes, (unattributed, since my memory is, um, I forgot...)

(Antithetical to traditional shakuhachi) - "Without articulation you're dead"

"There are no wrong notes, only bad resolutions"

"If it sounds good, it  _is_  good"

later...


Develop infallible technique and then lay yourself at the mercy of inspiration. - Anon.

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#5 2008-09-08 03:23:08

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3207
Website

Re: Jazz Shakuhachi

Bruce Hunter wrote:

"If it sounds good, it  _is_  good"

later...

Yeah people tend to forget that. Music should sound good. To the person making it and at least some of the listeners.

This is relevant to your question about playing jazz on the shakuhachi. Certain kinds of jazz sound good on the shakuhachi and others don't. So my first advice is "avoid the kinds of jazz that don't sound good on shakuhachi".

Blues is good and fairly easy to play (if you understand blues).

Slow ballads (such as "Summertime" or "Goodbye Porkpie Hat") work well.

Free stuff is natural for the shakuhachi (if you know how to improvise).

Early jazz (like "Saints go marching in" or "St. James Infirmary" is cool, just pretend like you're playing a trumpet or clarinet.

Kenny G. stuff seems to work well although I hope you don't want to play that.

Modal is pretty easy.

Charlie Parker or anything else with elaborate changes does not lend itself to shakuhachi, nor does anything that is too fast. Usually when shakuhachi players try to play this way it makes me think, "this would sound better on a sax or piano".

I disagree somewhat with Bruce and Geni here. I don't think it's important to learn how to play chromatically in every key (on a 1.8 for example). Nor is it a must to read Western notation to play some jazz. That would be ideal and it's a goal for most instruments playing jazz. However because of the non-chromatic nature of the shakuhachi we have to find different strategies for playing jazz. One of them is to choose the correct length shakuhachi which plays the song best, I would say, rather than try to play a blues in Bb on 1.8 shakuhachi. That might be impressive, but it probably will sound better on a 2.3. So use the 2.3. Back to "sounding good".

The key is to get a handle on the source material and then learn to improvise within that context, whatever it is. A lot of shakuhachi players play the song in a "jazzy" way and then forget the part about improvisation. No improvisation, no jazz, sez me.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#6 2008-09-08 07:15:21

Daniel Ryudo
Shihan/Kinko Ryu
From: Kochi, Japan
Registered: 2006-02-12
Posts: 355

Re: Jazz Shakuhachi

Lots of good advice; must try to follow some of it myself.   I second Ed's listen to a lot of jazz records or cds, and also to playing along with them.  I'm sure it would be extremely useful to be able to read standard notation not only for jazz but for various genres of music though I haven't yet put in the time to learn that for shakuhachi.  I agree with Brian that slow ballads with lots of space are good.  Work up several pieces that you know very well and can play anytime; I play "Summertime" a fair bit; that's fun but  I've got to learn more pieces!  Not exactly jazz but bossa nova also sounds good on longer flutes.  Improvisation is vital.   And Geni's advice sounds excellent; especially to play as much as possible with jazz musicians.

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#7 2008-09-08 08:18:26

Jeff Cairns
teacher, performer,promoter of shakuhachi
From: Kumamoto, Japan
Registered: 2005-10-10
Posts: 517
Website

Re: Jazz Shakuhachi

A question unanswerable but ponderable:
Let's say that Charlie Parker picked up a shakuhachi one day and was able to make reasonable sound from it.  Aside from that, he was moved to continue to make sound from it until he could make considerable sense from it.  Would he have attempted to improvise on the shakuhachi with similar phrasing as he did on the saxophone, or would he have been more intrigued by the innate offerings of the shakuhachi and further be moved by its unique expressiveness to explore those attributes in an improvisational way?  And if so, what would that have sounded like?
Jazz is a huge spectrum of sound/rhythm relationships that can't strictly be classified by one local attempt at putting those ducks into line.  What is 'playing jazz on the shakuhachi?'  As Tairaku aptly says, if it doesn't include improvisation, it isn't jazz.  But continues to suggest that Kenny G, who is obviously improvising in a very limited way, isn't playing a kind of jazz that serious jazz musicians should aspire to (sic).  Similarly the likes of many others, including Pat Metheny and myself would say that he (Kenny G) is wanking and don't want to be counted in the same ranks as Mr. G because what he does just shouldn't be considered jazz at all (it may also have to do with the fact that Mr. G made a huge bundle of money with his brand of jazz, but most early jazz greats didn't.  I've heard the music written by Pat Metheny called 'elevator music' by other jazz musicians.)  At any rate, something more than noodling over simple chord changes is inherent in the definition of good jazz.  The apt question then is:  what is jazz on the shakuhachi and how does it differ from more conventional, instruments used in jazz music?   I would like to suggest that cliche (the obligatory tsu-ru here and there or overused muraiki) at least should be avoided unless to make a meaningful musical/contextual statement.  Any suggestions?


shakuhachi flute
I step out into the wind
with holes in my bones

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#8 2008-09-08 13:48:25

geni
Performer & Teacher
From: Boston MA
Registered: 2005-12-21
Posts: 830
Website

Re: Jazz Shakuhachi

reading western music is a must- the some thing you guys say about learning shakuhachi:-) some logic

Most of people are not genius, to be able to learn everything by ear. Sometimes you go to a recording they give sheet music with chords & you got to play!  when you go to gigs with people you never played before they give you a chart & got to play. (sometimes they don`t give you nothing- you need the ears for that)
Or...when you have a idea..you have to writte that down for them/ explane what chords do you want them to play..how to play them? wich voicings? a lot of times we have great ideas-all this sounds in our head. How do you tell people what to play if you dont know exatly?

Last edited by geni (2008-09-08 13:50:12)

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#9 2008-09-08 14:12:08

Yungflutes
Flutemaker/Performer
From: New York City
Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 1040
Website

Re: Jazz Shakuhachi

Thanks for the great advice guys! My first intention with this thread was to find some direction on how to approach improvisational playing with jazz musicians. The question was broad to elicit a wide response.

Thanks for the links Edosan. If I was seriously going to invest time, I would find the style I like and start from there. That's actually my own advice for every serious shakuhachi student.

Bruce and Geni, the musicians I usually find my self playing with are not indoctrinated into any school so it's pretty open and the jams are fabulous. But, if it moves into a Jazz space, I sometimes find myself in an improvisational rut because of my limited theory and non chromatic instrument. I simply wanted to expand my theory a bit, not get indoctrinated. Although I would love to, I simply do not have the time to learn how to finger every key and chord progressions. That makes the two of us Daniel smile

Jeff, thanks for the fat to chew on!

I would probably fit into Brian's recommendations the best.  It sounds more organic to someone like me.

The other reason I started this thread was because I've had many interested Jazz musicians ask me if they can play Jazz with the shakuhachi. They are interested in learning traditional shakuhachi music and how to incorporate it into their work.  Since it's not my arena, I thought that it would be a better idea to start a thread so that I can send them here for more informed opinions.

I love the use of the shakuhachi in Jazz. I hope that one day Kenny G will use the shakuhachi in a a smash hit like Chuck Mangione's Feels so Good!

(I know, it's not gonna happen smile)
Thanks! Perry

Last edited by Yungflutes (2008-09-08 19:27:27)


"A hot dog is not an animal." - Jet Yung

My Blog/Website on the art of shakuhachi...and parenting.
How to make an Urban Shakuhachi (PVC)

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#10 2008-09-08 20:09:31

radi0gnome
Member
From: Kingston NY
Registered: 2006-12-29
Posts: 1030
Website

Re: Jazz Shakuhachi

Bruce Hunter wrote:

Be aware there is a major division, Pre- and Post-Coltrane. Pre-Coltrane sometimes has lots of space and one can still determine the source material. Post-Coltrane seems to be an exhibition of techniques and a contest to see who can play the most notes during their solo, with the apparent objective being to obscure the source material.

Then again, maybe I need to enroll myself in a Speed-listening course so I can listen faster.

I'm not sure I agree about that division. Pre-Coltrane you had Charlie Parker who was very technique oriented and ran through complex chord changes with amazingly beautiful off-the-cuff substitutions with absolutely crazy speed. John Coltrane gained respect by proving he could do all that, and then proceeded to do things like Giant Steps where the solo didn't ssem to have much at all to do with the chord changes, like playing "out" and staying there. Then he took it to the next level where he was playing over what was basically a one or two chord drone like on "Love Supreme". That gave a consonance that came off very spiritual sounding. I think that kind of style would be more naturally suited to shakuhachi, but there are those who, like Geni,  plow ahead and learn every mode and every arpeggio and permutation in every key to be able mesh with pretty much any style of jazz.

And I sort of understand where the Kenny G. bashing comes from, but the guy is an incredibly good player. If you don't believe me check out his early work with Jeff Lorber's Fusion. Even though it wasn't straight-ahead bop, he basically proved he could play, similar to what Coltrane did in the early days by playing bop. Except then Kenny G. went off into this schmaltzy stuff that was commercially successful but everyone cool loves to hate. I don't like to listen to it either, but if you force yourself to listen to his rendition of the Titanic theme side-by-side with Celene Dion's (who is a wonderful singer that for some reason "cool" people dislike), I find it difficult not to be amazed. Maybe you won't want to listen to it again except in private through your I-pod headphones, but it sure sounds like he touched on something there to me.

Last edited by radi0gnome (2008-09-08 20:10:56)


"Now birds record new harmonie, And trees do whistle melodies;
Now everything that nature breeds, Doth clad itself in pleasant weeds."
~ Thomas Watson - England's Helicon ca 1580

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#11 2008-09-08 20:38:41

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3207
Website

Re: Jazz Shakuhachi

geni wrote:

reading western music is a must- the some thing you guys say about learning shakuhachi:-) some logic

Most of people are not genius, to be able to learn everything by ear. Sometimes you go to a recording they give sheet music with chords & you got to play!  when you go to gigs with people you never played before they give you a chart & got to play. (sometimes they don`t give you nothing- you need the ears for that)
Or...when you have a idea..you have to writte that down for them/ explane what chords do you want them to play..how to play them? wich voicings? a lot of times we have great ideas-all this sounds in our head. How do you tell people what to play if you dont know exatly?

I use Western music to write my charts for other people to read, but I don't use them for myself to read, I just memorize the songs.

I doubt the day will ever come when a shakuhachi will be part of a jazz band where it's expected to read a bunch of unfamiliar charts. Could be wrong about it. It's apples and oranges. Shakuhachi is a transposing instrument when it's written in Japanese notation. Then you just pick up a different length flute and use the same notation to play in a different key. Much jazz is not written in keys that are friendly for 1.8, so even if you can read the notation you must either play difficult fingerings on 1.8 or be some kind of genius who can mentally transpose the dots on paper into the appropriate fingering on any length shakuhachi. IN REAL TIME! Is there anyone who can do that? And then improvise and transpose all the inversions and scales into any key? I'm sure it's possible but I don't know anybody who can do it.

OK Geni, let's use a specific example, a fairly easy jazz standard, "Mr. PC". The best length flute for this piece is a 2.0. (By best I mean the flute that plays the melody smoothly and with the most even response). Would you play it on 1.8 anyway so you can use fingerings you have learned to associate with those dots on the staff? Or do you have the ability to look at the notes and transpose them down one step to play on 2.0? Maybe transposing one step down is not so difficult but what if Mr. PC was usually played in Ab? Would you be able to look at the notes and transpose instantly up a minor 5th? I can't.

This is why playing shakuhachi in jazz, rock or blues is different than playing silver flute or sax. It's more like a harmonica. Have you ever noticed that harmonica players don't try to do everything on one harmonica? They use different harmonicas for different keys. Of course there is also the chromatic harmonica, but there is not a chromatic shakuhachi, unless you count 7 hole, which is something that lacks a lot of "shakuhachi" vibe. This is the reason minyo players carry around a case with 11 shakuhachi in it, they understand that there is usually one optimum fingering for every melody and they get it by switching flutes not by transposing on the same flute.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#12 2008-09-08 20:44:58

jdanza
Moderator
From: Vancouver, Canada
Registered: 2008-06-19
Posts: 85
Website

Re: Jazz Shakuhachi

Hello Perry!
  I personally do not like Shakuhachi in a Jazz context, unless it is highly experimental (some of Hozan Yamamoto early stuff is amazing and his album Music for Zen Meditation with Tony Scott was the one that turned me on to the Shakuhachi). However, having found myself in more than one occasion in that context, and being fond of always staying versatile, I can share the following:
1) You can get away with staying pentatonic most of the time. I find that the Shakuhachi has such beauty and presence that you don't need many notes.
2) You Must understand Swing!. To do this, get together with a drummer and/or a bass player. Barring that, the previously mentioned Aebersold play     along recordings are fabulous.
3) Tongueing and other special effects sound great in a Jazz context. I've played solos with as little as four notes using lots of effects and octave jumps.
4) On the whole I would say let the Shakuhachi stay Shakuhachi. A Honkyouku "feel" on top of a modal piece can sound amazing. If there are a lot of chord changes choose two or three interesting intervals per chord and milk it sound wise...
Best wishes...

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#13 2008-09-08 20:48:19

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3207
Website

Re: Jazz Shakuhachi

radi0gnome wrote:

And I sort of understand where the Kenny G. bashing comes from, but the guy is an incredibly good player. .

Actually I find myself defending Mr. G frequently. When people put him down I say, "He is the only person who gets people to listen to instrumental music on a large scale." The dude is probably the second or third most popular musician in the world and he doesn't even sing, that's an accomplishment.

And people who live in a glass mansion such as that occupied by Mr. Metheny should not cast stones. Although the album he made with Ornette and Jack DeJohnette was very cool.

It's just my bias showing. Most of the people with the skill to play pop or jazz music on shakuhachi have decided to do either smooth jazz or new age. I think the shakuhachi has a much wider range of expression available to western music than that. Most of the stuff the public have heard from the shakuhachi has been mushy.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#14 2008-09-08 20:54:13

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3207
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Re: Jazz Shakuhachi

jdanza wrote:

2) You Must understand Swing!. To do this, get together with a drummer and/or a bass player. Barring that, the previously mentioned Aebersold play     along recordings are fabulous.

Start with the "Nothin' but Blues" one, that has a nice rhythm section and will give you the opportunity to see what flutes work in which keys.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#15 2008-09-08 21:20:45

geni
Performer & Teacher
From: Boston MA
Registered: 2005-12-21
Posts: 830
Website

Re: Jazz Shakuhachi

Of xourse its going to sound better in 2.0
I dont have many flutes:-) never played a 2.0. so I play what ever I can in 1.8. So I read western notatin with it (fingerings) but, to switch flutes (different key) is another game...I can`t play the some.
I have to practise with the flute in Advance,
So, here when the ears comes in.

If the player has absoluet pitch--they have Hard time getting adjusted to the new fingerings etc
If they have relative pich they get adjust very easy:-) I have seen this happening in great musicians.

Kenny G is Kenny G. He is able to make money (alot of them( with his instrument. Created his own style. He got thing going.
I heard KennyGinashi is preparing a album.

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#16 2008-09-08 21:37:03

geni
Performer & Teacher
From: Boston MA
Registered: 2005-12-21
Posts: 830
Website

Re: Jazz Shakuhachi

Anyway.
I have a question....Who do you guys consider jazz shakuhachi player? Is there any? Does it sound good?  Does the shakuhachi sound like a flute or like shakuhachi?

Last edited by geni (2008-09-08 21:39:56)

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#17 2008-09-08 21:40:39

lossafunk
Member
From: syracuse NY
Registered: 2008-02-11
Posts: 39

Re: Jazz Shakuhachi

Tairaku wrote:

but there is not a chromatic shakuhachi, unless you count 7 hole,

I don't know but I believe a shakuhachi is chromatic. That is to say through half covering , quarter covering and/ or, meri technique a shakuhachi IS chromatic. Say a shakuhachi isn't chromatic is akin to saying a trumpet is. It isn't the instrument , in the case of trumpet, that makes it chromatic or not, but how it's played and taught. Am I wrong?


-gravity sucks-

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#18 2008-09-08 21:41:42

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3207
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Re: Jazz Shakuhachi

Let me clarify something. Geni is correct that it is important to know Western notation and music and work with it as well as possible. There are many great and inspiring resources out there, plus you need it to figure out songs. My point was more along the lines that Western notation alone does not provide all the solutions to Perry's question of how to play jazz on the shakuhachi. There are strategies which are unique to shakuhachi which need to be explored to do a good job improvising jazz or any western music on bamboo.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#19 2008-09-08 21:51:17

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3207
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Re: Jazz Shakuhachi

lossafunk wrote:

Tairaku wrote:

but there is not a chromatic shakuhachi, unless you count 7 hole,

I don't know but I believe a shakuhachi is chromatic. That is to say through half covering , quarter covering and/ or, meri technique a shakuhachi IS chromatic. Say a shakuhachi isn't chromatic is akin to saying a trumpet is. It isn't the instrument , in the case of trumpet, that makes it chromatic or not, but how it's played and taught. Am I wrong?

Technically it's chromatic. It produces all twelve tones and more. But if you play a scale on piano in C and then in C# it will sound equally good. That does not happen with the scales on a shakuhachi. They can be played with any fingering but a shrewd player will use the BEST fingering which makes it sound good to the human ear.

For example suppose you have a 1.8 shakuhachi and you want to play blues. You can play a blues in D, G or A I suppose and it will sound pretty good. But if you try to play a blues in Bb you'll have a lot of funky fingerings and it won't sound as good. Because meri notes do not have the same volume or projection as kari ones.

I am talking about playing actual music in reality not what is theoretically possible.

I recently learned Karl Jenkin's "Requiem" from Western notation. I consulted with Riley Lee, James Schlefer, Clive Bell and Michael Gould all of whom had performed the piece. Everybody including me chose to perform different sections on different length flutes. We wouldn't have to do that if shakuhachi was truly a chromatic instrument.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#20 2008-09-08 22:00:21

lossafunk
Member
From: syracuse NY
Registered: 2008-02-11
Posts: 39

Re: Jazz Shakuhachi

What I was thinking, is this is jazz, right? lets take "take five" a relatively simple melody right? All about timing. If I were to play this on a shakuhachi, the melody might be a lil bit rough( the slurs would be silky though). But the inprov around the melody is about inflection. I think shakuhachi might be the perfect instrument for jazz. Intent and inflection are everything. For examples( about the importance of inflection VS. notation) check out the album"So What" by Jerry Garcia and David Grisman. 

I'm just playing devils advocate here. I like this thread.

Last edited by lossafunk (2008-09-08 22:02:14)


-gravity sucks-

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#21 2008-09-08 22:08:20

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3207
Website

Re: Jazz Shakuhachi

John Neptune does a cool version of "Take Five". And of course phrasing is a major part of constructing solos. I don't think anybody is saying it's not a good instrument for jazz.

Bruce Heubner has written a book/CD about playing jazz on shakuhachi that is supposed to deal with a lot of these questions. I haven't seen it, has anybody?


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#22 2008-09-08 23:01:12

Yungflutes
Flutemaker/Performer
From: New York City
Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 1040
Website

Re: Jazz Shakuhachi

jdanza wrote:

Hello Perry!
  I personally do not like Shakuhachi in a Jazz context, unless it is highly experimental (some of Hozan Yamamoto early stuff is amazing and his album Music for Zen Meditation with Tony Scott was the one that turned me on to the Shakuhachi). However, having found myself in more than one occasion in that context, and being fond of always staying versatile, I can share the following:
1) You can get away with staying pentatonic most of the time. I find that the Shakuhachi has such beauty and presence that you don't need many notes.
2) You Must understand Swing!. To do this, get together with a drummer and/or a bass player. Barring that, the previously mentioned Aebersold play     along recordings are fabulous.
3) Tongueing and other special effects sound great in a Jazz context. I've played solos with as little as four notes using lots of effects and octave jumps.
4) On the whole I would say let the Shakuhachi stay Shakuhachi. A Honkyouku "feel" on top of a modal piece can sound amazing. If there are a lot of chord changes choose two or three interesting intervals per chord and milk it sound wise...
Best wishes...

Hey Pepe, Thanks for the expert advice! I usually do two things - stay simple and go all out crazy.

geni wrote:

....Who do you guys consider jazz shakuhachi player? Is there any? Does it sound good?  Does the shakuhachi sound like a flute or like shakuhachi?

I like Brian's Shakuhachi Club! John Neptune is great. I dig Steve Cohen too. He makes chords by singing as he holds a note. Very cool.

Lossafunk, yes, the shakuhachi is capable of playing all the Western notes of a chromatic scale (and more) and a good player who knows the instrument can access any pitch when needed. But, playing with speed, volume and desired tone color would be difficult with some of the "between the holes" notes. But, I'm sure if one worked really hard at it they'll probably be able to play all sorts of scales utilizing every note while jumping octaves.

Tairaku wrote:

My point was more along the lines that Western notation alone does not provide all the solutions to Perry's question of how to play jazz on the shakuhachi. There are strategies which are unique to shakuhachi which need to be explored to do a good job improvising jazz or any western music on bamboo.

I think this is what they (Jazz musicians who have inquired) want to know.

Perhaps the question I should pose now is, "What can the shakuhachi realistically do for experienced Jazz musicians?"

Thanks guys, This is exactly what I hoped for! Keep'em coming smile


"A hot dog is not an animal." - Jet Yung

My Blog/Website on the art of shakuhachi...and parenting.
How to make an Urban Shakuhachi (PVC)

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#23 2008-09-09 05:00:17

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3207
Website

Re: Jazz Shakuhachi

Yungflutes wrote:

Perhaps the question I should pose now is, "What can the shakuhachi realistically do for experienced Jazz musicians?"

)

There are probably only a few experienced jazz musicians who excel on some other instrument and also play shakuhachi. You mentioned Steve Cohn. His shakuhachi playing is bizarre, but I have heard him sit at the piano and play Fats Waller type stuff. Very clear and coherent piano playing but the shakuhachi playing is totally abstract. So obviously that's a trained jazz player who decided to use the shakuhachi as a noise making machine and playing atonal textural stuff.

Ned Rothenberg is the other guy who comes to mind. He's a super clarinet player but I have not heard his shakuhachi stuff.

William Parker who plays your flutes is a mean bassist who uses the shakuhachi to play simple folkish melodies and sound textures.

Listening to those guys would tell you what at least a few experienced jazz musicians do with shakuhachi.

Another thing I forgot to mention in my previous posts is that you should learn how to blow your brains out. I play with drums almost every day and that's a WORKOUT!!!!!!!!!!!


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#24 2008-09-09 11:38:20

-Prem
Member
From: The Big Apple
Registered: 2007-03-27
Posts: 73

Re: Jazz Shakuhachi

Hello-
I just read a little of this thread about "Take Five" and I saw this video in the past on Dailymotion, so I am posting a link:
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1gqlo … ozan_music

Prem

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#25 2008-09-09 13:39:48

Yungflutes
Flutemaker/Performer
From: New York City
Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 1040
Website

Re: Jazz Shakuhachi

-Prem wrote:

Hello-
I just read a little of this thread about "Take Five" and I saw this video in the past on Dailymotion, so I am posting a link:
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1gqlo … ozan_music

Prem

Thanks Prem! Now I can point to this video and say yes, it's possible...in a few years smile!

Tairaku wrote:

There are probably only a few experienced jazz musicians who excel on some other instrument and also play shakuhachi. You mentioned Steve Cohn. His shakuhachi playing is bizarre, but I have heard him sit at the piano and play Fats Waller type stuff. Very clear and coherent piano playing but the shakuhachi playing is totally abstract. So obviously that's a trained jazz player who decided to use the shakuhachi as a noise making machine and playing atonal textural stuff.

I love bizarre! Steve came by for some work on his Notomi Judo and waited while I worked. He picked up a 1.4 I made and went to town on it for about a hour. It was great!


Ned Rothenberg is the other guy who comes to mind. He's a super clarinet player but I have not heard his shakuhachi stuff.

I see Ned when Ralph Samuelson has a workshop. Ned's a great player. I heard him play an original composition about a year ago. He described his piece as having shared similarities with elements of Zen Honkyoku. It did indeed sound like Honkyoku.

William Parker who plays your flutes is a mean bassist who uses the shakuhachi to play simple folkish melodies and sound textures.

William has been to my place a few times for auditioning instruments and repairs. Each time, I was treated to a private performance! William's taste for the flute is much like that of the old timers (or a shaman), he is into sound. He doesn't even ask about the tuning.


Listening to those guys would tell you what at least a few experienced jazz musicians do with shakuhachi.

For sure! Each one is of these cats is seeking something different.

Another thing I forgot to mention in my previous posts is that you should learn how to blow your brains out. I play with drums almost every day and that's a WORKOUT!!!!!!!!!!!

Shakuhachi is healthier for you than weight training!

-Perry


"A hot dog is not an animal." - Jet Yung

My Blog/Website on the art of shakuhachi...and parenting.
How to make an Urban Shakuhachi (PVC)

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