Apr 132011

Mike Love knows talent when he sees it. Wait ’til you hear this Altbach guy’s story and learn what early ’70s hits he wrote. And he’s classically trained. (Damn, I’ve got to finish up that Satanic Beach Boys piece!)

This Altbach cat’s also got jazz chops. Check out this next clip, in which he jams with a Townsman dbuskirk-worthy jazzbo, Charles Lloyd. Lloyd knows talent—and finely woven Navaho blankets to boot! Altbach, Mike Love, blankets, and more. Can you dig it? Continue reading »

Aug 072008

What rock musicians have been able to successfully incorporate elements of jazz into their rock?

How we define “elements of jazz” is best left to you, but I hope we have the good sense not to allow, say, Ted Nugent‘s hiring of the Brecker Brothers to play on one of his songs as an example of a rock artist incorporating elements of jazz into their work.

Rock artists have been pretty comfortable slipping country, blues, and folk into their music, and as much as we deride ’70s-style jazz fusion, a number of jazz artists have incorporated elements of rock into their sound in an effective way. But beside the occasional scat singing of Van Morrison or the chops-laden session cats on a Steely Dan or Paul Simon album, have any rock bands since the days of Soft Machine spent much time even trying to take a “jazz approach” to rock? Joni Mitchell seemed to have gone whole hog into a jazz approach, but I’m not sure that it succeeded beyond a few songs. Of course, I’ll leave it to you to determine what a jazz approach is, or what exactly is jazz altogether.

Is Tortoise a rock band successfully incorporating jazz elements, or do they just market themselves as such? (Full 30-minute set of the band follows!)

This is an open-ended set of questions. Improvise.

I look forward to the scat we toss around!


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