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Thread started 07/17/14 12:48pm

Tittypants

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"Xpectation": Victim of Being A Prince Album...

Every time I see people on this forum make their list of the best Prince albums [all around], "Xpectation" is always VERY low of their lists. I'm always puzzled by this, because "Xpectation" is actually a damn good album. Is it because Prince isn't vocally on it as to why a lot don't care for this album? Do many of you not like jazz or something? I really don't get it. I can understand people not liking "N.E.W.S", just because it feels a bit more "jam session", & a bit dragged [11 minute songs neutral ]. I can even understand why "Kamasutra" is hated lol, but "Xpectation" has none of those problems. It's a sophisticated set. Everything sounds precise & thought out. There is actually beauty to the music of this album. It's even more sophisticated than either Madhouse record [which I really dig both of those....A LOT thumbs up!]. If Prince's name was never attached to this album, I am [almost] for certain that it would have more love than it receives.


الحيوان النادلة ((((|̲̅̅●̲̅̅|̲̅̅=̲̅̅|̲̅̅●̲̅̅|)))) ...AND THAT'S THE WAY THE "TITTY" MILKS IT!
My Albums: https://zillzmp.bandcamp.com/music
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Reply #1 posted 07/17/14 5:25pm

funksterr

OH DEAR LORD... JUST STOP! If Prince's name wasn't on it? That's reaching. I don't think anyone knew Prince made "6" at the time it was a hit and people loved it. Xpectation is essentially a vanity project. Prince is a pop star, not a new age jazz artist. Just like he can't rap for shit, he can't play new age jazz for shit either. Not a big deal really. The album has the aclaim it desrves. People are just like, "meh".

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Reply #2 posted 07/17/14 6:37pm

EddieC

It's fairly low on my list, too--but not because I dislike it. I just like a whole lot of Prince albums more. That said, I would have never heard it if (somehow) the exact same album had been recorded by a group of people that didn't involve Prince. It isn't, in general, my type of music, so I wouldn't have heard it. So, as far as I'm concerned, it was helped by being a Prince album. I've heard it, and I liked it, and neither of those things would probably have happened if it weren't his.

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Reply #3 posted 07/17/14 8:04pm

controversy99

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I don't understand the poor reception of this album. Vanessa Mae's violin is amazing on this record. On X, the way the violin and nimble yet understated jazz interlock is just great. But I've heard some of her other stuff, and I just don't like it as much. If anybody knows of one of her albums with a similar feel, please let me know.

Now if it wasn't by Prince, it's hard to know if would have heard it. I don't usually like jazz groups lead by the guitarist. But if it was marketed as a Candy Dulfer album then I might have heard it. Or if it was marketed as Candy Dulfer and Vanessa Mae, then I probably would've eventually heard it. I'm a minor fan of Candy, enough to at least skim through who records and occasionally buy something if it looks interesting.
"Love & honesty, peace & harmony"
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Reply #4 posted 07/17/14 8:16pm

Aerogram

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It's "jazz" but not jazz. I consider it a fairly well-done excursion into jazzistic music for someone going out of his comfort zone, but not that far out of it. In the end, it's neither a jazz record or a "Prince" record. I doubt the fact his name was attached to it made it less attractive to a general audience, more like he did not promote it or distribute it seriously to begin with, and even if he did (without his name on it), it's dubious it would have an impact with people truly interested in jazz.

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Reply #5 posted 07/17/14 8:32pm

Tittypants

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funksterr said:

OH DEAR LORD... JUST STOP! If Prince's name wasn't on it? That's reaching. I don't think anyone knew Prince made "6" at the time it was a hit and people loved it. Xpectation is essentially a vanity project. Prince is a pop star, not a new age jazz artist. Just like he can't rap for shit, he can't play new age jazz for shit either. Not a big deal really. The album has the aclaim it desrves. People are just like, "meh".

Certain albums that Prince has released have been poorly received just because Prince released it. That album is actually pretty good. I feel as though released under someone else's name, it gets acclaim. It's as simple as that. I think people like you feel as though Prince must stay in some "lane", but I disagree. I've played that album for jazz heads [without telling them who it was] & when I finally told them who it was, they flipped out. lol

[Edited 7/17/14 20:33pm]

الحيوان النادلة ((((|̲̅̅●̲̅̅|̲̅̅=̲̅̅|̲̅̅●̲̅̅|)))) ...AND THAT'S THE WAY THE "TITTY" MILKS IT!
My Albums: https://zillzmp.bandcamp.com/music
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Reply #6 posted 07/18/14 2:24am

Militant

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moderator

It is a good album, but it ranks low because for the most part that's not what people want to hear from Prince. It's an enjoyable occasion listen and it's good. But it's not an album that most Prince fans would want to listen to on a daily basis. Also, it's kind of under the radar.

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Reply #7 posted 07/18/14 2:40am

hw3004

Xpectation: Victim of being...

a - a low-key internet-only release.

b - not all that good.

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Reply #8 posted 07/18/14 2:42am

bigd74

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I like it better than N.E.W.S which is still pretty good
She Believed in Fairytales and Princes, He Believed the voices coming from his stereo

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Reply #9 posted 07/18/14 3:47am

Jamzone333

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Tittypants said:

Every time I see people on this forum make their list of the best Prince albums [all around], "Xpectation" is always VERY low of their lists. I'm always puzzled by this, because "Xpectation" is actually a damn good album. Is it because Prince isn't vocally on it as to why a lot don't care for this album? Do many of you not like jazz or something? I really don't get it. I can understand people not liking "N.E.W.S", just because it feels a bit more "jam session", & a bit dragged [11 minute songs neutral ]. I can even understand why "Kamasutra" is hated lol, but "Xpectation" has none of those problems. It's a sophisticated set. Everything sounds precise & thought out. There is actually beauty to the music of this album. It's even more sophisticated than either Madhouse record [which I really dig both of those....A LOT thumbs up!]. If Prince's name was never attached to this album, I am [almost] for certain that it would have more love than it receives.


I agree with you regarding "Xpectation". This evening, I had to do some running around after midnight here in Los Angeles and was listening to this CD. I have always loved "Xotica" and "Xogenous". But, tonight, I listened to "Xpedition" again. At the end of the song, I heard a baby crying. This CD was brilliant from start to finish. I even love the 14 music foray of N.E.W.S. I think what bothers me most about Prince.org, is that some "fans" can't get pass "Purple Rain". If it doesn't have a rock edge, it is considered garbage. Or, if it doesn't have a "kick ass" guitar solo, it is lame. I think that we must allow true artist to grow and expand musically. If the Beatles continued with songs like "Help", we would have never seen the colors of "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band". The Beatles had to leave the whimsical music from their first album and had to be allowed to grow up. Prince should also be allowed to create and give birth to the sounds and music that he hears and sees daily. I love when Prince makes his forays into jazz. I love when he is in rock mode and I can groove with him when he feels funky. Prince isn't a teenager and neither are a lot of the music lovers who enjoy listening to Prince. Prince's music is definitely an acquired taste. I have purchased every Prince album, CD or MP3 since 1979. Prince, like other artist, are a culmination of the past, present and future and should be allowed to express the music of the moment. No, I do not like every Prince song. I still can't embrace "Horny Toad", however, I still appreciate how Prince expresses himself through music.

"A united state of mind will never be divided
The real definition of unity is 1
People can slam their door, disagree and fight it
But how U gonna love the Father but not love the Son?
United States of Division"
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Reply #10 posted 07/18/14 5:04am

funkaholic1972

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Tittypants said:

Every time I see people on this forum make their list of the best Prince albums [all around], "Xpectation" is always VERY low of their lists. I'm always puzzled by this, because "Xpectation" is actually a damn good album. Is it because Prince isn't vocally on it as to why a lot don't care for this album? Do many of you not like jazz or something? I really don't get it. I can understand people not liking "N.E.W.S", just because it feels a bit more "jam session", & a bit dragged [11 minute songs neutral ]. I can even understand why "Kamasutra" is hated lol, but "Xpectation" has none of those problems. It's a sophisticated set. Everything sounds precise & thought out. There is actually beauty to the music of this album. It's even more sophisticated than either Madhouse record [which I really dig both of those....A LOT thumbs up!]. If Prince's name was never attached to this album, I am [almost] for certain that it would have more love than it receives.


I've never liked Xpectation much, I much prefer NEWS. I thought X was neither flesh nor fish with most compositions being pretty boring, and that NEWS was a more mature excursion into jazzrock/fusion. I do really like the genre, but Xpectation is a bit too "poppy" for my personal jazzrock taste.

RIP Prince: thank U 4 a funky Time!
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Reply #11 posted 07/18/14 6:21am

TheArtist02

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"Xpectation" is a good album. But for me, it would certainly rank low on my list of great Prince records. Not because of its quality but because of Prince's incredible body of work beyond that. When you think "Prince," you hardly think of instrumental jazz. You think of his huge catalogue of hit songs, his singing style, the MPLS sound, and everything else that makes Prince an icon. I'm not sure that "Xpectation" really embodies the essence that is Prince, even though it is a good record.

On my list of "great jazz records," it might rank fairly high, however.

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Reply #12 posted 07/18/14 7:31am

stillwaiting

It's a decent album, but it probably needed a physical release to get a little more notice. Back then, physical releases were obviously more important than today, and even today, us older folks seem to recoginize a hard release where we can read the booklet, etc. He just released so much material, albums like this do tend to get ignored. While it's not a fantastic record by any means, it deserves a few listens. I personally like it a little more than NEWS.

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Reply #13 posted 07/18/14 8:59am

databank

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I totally love it and I think it has the "Prince vibe" from the first note to the last but I think its popularity suffers from being:

1/ an instrumental album (many people don't understand non-vocal music, i've even read some people here stating that "instrumental albums don't count as real albums" eek ).

2/ jazz (not a very popular genre outside of jazz purists).

3/ jazz fusion: it's not hardbop nor any other "pure" form of jazz, and it's not as complex either and some jazz purists here have moaned about this.

Let's be honest: when u go in the "music: non Prince" forum or see which other artists are being cited in the "Prince: music & more" forum it's quite obvious that a great majority of the people here don't know or listen to anything but mainstream pop music, no big surprise that Xpectation isn't so loved. And I don't think those people would like it better if it'd been released by Candy Dulfer for example. They would probably praise every single vocal album prince has released for the last 15 years if it had been released by Maxwell or D'Angelo, but this one, no.

Kamasutra is another matter entirely: it's ridiculous by comparison to other contemporary or ambient music albums of the same period, but I think Xpectation and N.E.W.S. stand the comparison with the best jazz-fusion albums of their era.

And as for Madhouse's alleged popularity, a simple look at the recent "10 favorite prince albums" thread shows that 8 is actually at the very bottom of the list and 16 hasn't been listed by a single person: they don't get a tenth of the love the 80's vocal albums get. As a matter of fact, N.E.W.S actually got more votes and more points than 8.

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Reply #14 posted 07/18/14 9:07am

RodeoSchro

I have never listened to "Xpectation", "N.E.W.S." or any Madhouse album. I guess I really should, but I'm just not a fan of jazz. It's not that Prince doesn't sing; it's that it's jazz and I just don't care for jazz.

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Reply #15 posted 07/18/14 11:08am

Tittypants

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funkaholic1972 said:

Tittypants said:

Every time I see people on this forum make their list of the best Prince albums [all around], "Xpectation" is always VERY low of their lists. I'm always puzzled by this, because "Xpectation" is actually a damn good album. Is it because Prince isn't vocally on it as to why a lot don't care for this album? Do many of you not like jazz or something? I really don't get it. I can understand people not liking "N.E.W.S", just because it feels a bit more "jam session", & a bit dragged [11 minute songs neutral ]. I can even understand why "Kamasutra" is hated lol, but "Xpectation" has none of those problems. It's a sophisticated set. Everything sounds precise & thought out. There is actually beauty to the music of this album. It's even more sophisticated than either Madhouse record [which I really dig both of those....A LOT thumbs up!]. If Prince's name was never attached to this album, I am [almost] for certain that it would have more love than it receives.


I've never liked Xpectation much, I much prefer NEWS. I thought X was neither flesh nor fish with most compositions being pretty boring, and that NEWS was a more mature excursion into jazzrock/fusion. I do really like the genre, but Xpectation is a bit too "poppy" for my personal jazzrock taste.

I actually have no beef with either "N.E.W.S." or "Kamasutra". I just see so much hatred for them here, that I just wanted to point that out [along with "Xpectation"]. lol None of these album are for every Prince fan, but I dig all 3.

الحيوان النادلة ((((|̲̅̅●̲̅̅|̲̅̅=̲̅̅|̲̅̅●̲̅̅|)))) ...AND THAT'S THE WAY THE "TITTY" MILKS IT!
My Albums: https://zillzmp.bandcamp.com/music
My Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/zillz82
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Reply #16 posted 07/18/14 11:09am

Tittypants

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Jamzone333 said:

Tittypants said:

Every time I see people on this forum make their list of the best Prince albums [all around], "Xpectation" is always VERY low of their lists. I'm always puzzled by this, because "Xpectation" is actually a damn good album. Is it because Prince isn't vocally on it as to why a lot don't care for this album? Do many of you not like jazz or something? I really don't get it. I can understand people not liking "N.E.W.S", just because it feels a bit more "jam session", & a bit dragged [11 minute songs neutral ]. I can even understand why "Kamasutra" is hated lol, but "Xpectation" has none of those problems. It's a sophisticated set. Everything sounds precise & thought out. There is actually beauty to the music of this album. It's even more sophisticated than either Madhouse record [which I really dig both of those....A LOT thumbs up!]. If Prince's name was never attached to this album, I am [almost] for certain that it would have more love than it receives.


I agree with you regarding "Xpectation". This evening, I had to do some running around after midnight here in Los Angeles and was listening to this CD. I have always loved "Xotica" and "Xogenous". But, tonight, I listened to "Xpedition" again. At the end of the song, I heard a baby crying. This CD was brilliant from start to finish. I even love the 14 music foray of N.E.W.S. I think what bothers me most about Prince.org, is that some "fans" can't get pass "Purple Rain". If it doesn't have a rock edge, it is considered garbage. Or, if it doesn't have a "kick ass" guitar solo, it is lame. I think that we must allow true artist to grow and expand musically. If the Beatles continued with songs like "Help", we would have never seen the colors of "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band". The Beatles had to leave the whimsical music from their first album and had to be allowed to grow up. Prince should also be allowed to create and give birth to the sounds and music that he hears and sees daily. I love when Prince makes his forays into jazz. I love when he is in rock mode and I can groove with him when he feels funky. Prince isn't a teenager and neither are a lot of the music lovers who enjoy listening to Prince. Prince's music is definitely an acquired taste. I have purchased every Prince album, CD or MP3 since 1979. Prince, like other artist, are a culmination of the past, present and future and should be allowed to express the music of the moment. No, I do not like every Prince song. I still can't embrace "Horny Toad", however, I still appreciate how Prince expresses himself through music.

I completely agree. thumbs up!

الحيوان النادلة ((((|̲̅̅●̲̅̅|̲̅̅=̲̅̅|̲̅̅●̲̅̅|)))) ...AND THAT'S THE WAY THE "TITTY" MILKS IT!
My Albums: https://zillzmp.bandcamp.com/music
My Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/zillz82
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Reply #17 posted 07/18/14 11:13am

Tittypants

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databank said:

I totally love it and I think it has the "Prince vibe" from the first note to the last but I think its popularity suffers from being:

1/ an instrumental album (many people don't understand non-vocal music, i've even read some people here stating that "instrumental albums don't count as real albums" eek ).

2/ jazz (not a very popular genre outside of jazz purists).

3/ jazz fusion: it's not hardbop nor any other "pure" form of jazz, and it's not as complex either and some jazz purists here have moaned about this.

Let's be honest: when u go in the "music: non Prince" forum or see which other artists are being cited in the "Prince: music & more" forum it's quite obvious that a great majority of the people here don't know or listen to anything but mainstream pop music, no big surprise that Xpectation isn't so loved. And I don't think those people would like it better if it'd been released by Candy Dulfer for example. They would probably praise every single vocal album prince has released for the last 15 years if it had been released by Maxwell or D'Angelo, but this one, no.

Kamasutra is another matter entirely: it's ridiculous by comparison to other contemporary or ambient music albums of the same period, but I think Xpectation and N.E.W.S. stand the comparison with the best jazz-fusion albums of their era.

And as for Madhouse's alleged popularity, a simple look at the recent "10 favorite prince albums" thread shows that 8 is actually at the very bottom of the list and 16 hasn't been listed by a single person: they don't get a tenth of the love the 80's vocal albums get. As a matter of fact, N.E.W.S actually got more votes and more points than 8.

I completely agree with the highlighted.

"Kamasutra" isn't bad either, imo. People just don't want to hear Prince making music like that.....same as I feel about "Xpectatation". You hit the nail on the head though. nod

الحيوان النادلة ((((|̲̅̅●̲̅̅|̲̅̅=̲̅̅|̲̅̅●̲̅̅|)))) ...AND THAT'S THE WAY THE "TITTY" MILKS IT!
My Albums: https://zillzmp.bandcamp.com/music
My Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/zillz82
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Reply #18 posted 07/18/14 11:14am

Tittypants

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RodeoSchro said:

I have never listened to "Xpectation", "N.E.W.S." or any Madhouse album. I guess I really should, but I'm just not a fan of jazz. It's not that Prince doesn't sing; it's that it's jazz and I just don't care for jazz.

cool Fair enough. lol

الحيوان النادلة ((((|̲̅̅●̲̅̅|̲̅̅=̲̅̅|̲̅̅●̲̅̅|)))) ...AND THAT'S THE WAY THE "TITTY" MILKS IT!
My Albums: https://zillzmp.bandcamp.com/music
My Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/zillz82
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Reply #19 posted 07/18/14 1:17pm

Dandroppedadim
e

I like it too, but I can see why many would rate it low for a Prince album, as pop/rock/soul/funk/dance etc will always be more popular than jazz (or fusion). Its far more of an eclectic taste, it's not so immediate and takes a couple of listens before the 'song' starts to reveal it's intricacies. Most people make a decision on first listen, thus reject anything slightly more musical/avant garde/complicated/non-vocal.

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Reply #20 posted 07/18/14 1:39pm

bluefish

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Personally, I'm not much of a fan of instrumental music, by any artist. There are several instrumentals by Prince that I really dig, but I can count those on one hand. An entire album of instrumentals just isn't appealing to me.

‎https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvmsrcg1qD_wVuS4qnopmQg
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Reply #21 posted 07/18/14 1:57pm

Miles

My personal version of Xpectation is the original album slammed together with the simultaneously released instrumental C-NOTE tracks (minus Empty Room then). For me, it's a great if occasional listen.

Sonically, this album is The Rainbow Children's instrumental little brother or companion piece smile cool .

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Reply #22 posted 07/18/14 2:19pm

machinegun

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Ii like xpectation and news and I like it when Prince spends a bit of time on jazz even if he's not a jazz giant per se, he's talkented and creative enough to be a credible jazz/funk artist. Listening to Rock Funk Candy whatever (you know, the JoBo thing) - doesn't that remind you a lot of Prince jazz for about half the album????

xpectation also prominently features Vanessa Mae and that's no bad thing....Jazz is generally unpopular compared to pop rockl and even classical even amongst Prince fans, and amongst jazz heads, Prince is not seen as a jazz man so it was always going to be a lose-lose scenario. Luckily I don't think he gives a poo.

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Reply #23 posted 07/18/14 4:12pm

funksterr

Tittypants said:

funksterr said:

OH DEAR LORD... JUST STOP! If Prince's name wasn't on it? That's reaching. I don't think anyone knew Prince made "6" at the time it was a hit and people loved it. Xpectation is essentially a vanity project. Prince is a pop star, not a new age jazz artist. Just like he can't rap for shit, he can't play new age jazz for shit either. Not a big deal really. The album has the aclaim it desrves. People are just like, "meh".

Certain albums that Prince has released have been poorly received just because Prince released it. That album is actually pretty good. I feel as though released under someone else's name, it gets acclaim. It's as simple as that. I think people like you feel as though Prince must stay in some "lane", but I disagree. I've played that album for jazz heads [without telling them who it was] & when I finally told them who it was, they flipped out. lol

[Edited 7/17/14 20:33pm]

I don't believe anybody dislikes good music because of the name of the image of the artist. If that were true a lot of acts would be out of work. I look at it this way: If Prince was very good at jazz, wouldn't real jazz musicians cite his jazz records as an influence or something unique, like real funk musicians cite 777-9311? I've never heard any jazz musican repping for Prince as an underappreciated 'jazz artist'. Though, for us Prince fans, it's always a cool ride though when he wants to show us what his limits are, or are not. Prince's discography has so many lessons, good and bad (mostly bad at this point), for those who enjoy the art of songwriting and music production.

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Reply #24 posted 07/18/14 4:33pm

eyewishuheaven

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I like this album a lot, but I like NEWS better... mostly because I like Eric better than Candy.

PRINCE: the only man who could wear high heels and makeup and STILL steal your woman!
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Reply #25 posted 07/18/14 11:42pm

databank

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Tittypants said:

databank said:

I totally love it and I think it has the "Prince vibe" from the first note to the last but I think its popularity suffers from being:

1/ an instrumental album (many people don't understand non-vocal music, i've even read some people here stating that "instrumental albums don't count as real albums" eek ).

2/ jazz (not a very popular genre outside of jazz purists).

3/ jazz fusion: it's not hardbop nor any other "pure" form of jazz, and it's not as complex either and some jazz purists here have moaned about this.

Let's be honest: when u go in the "music: non Prince" forum or see which other artists are being cited in the "Prince: music & more" forum it's quite obvious that a great majority of the people here don't know or listen to anything but mainstream pop music, no big surprise that Xpectation isn't so loved. And I don't think those people would like it better if it'd been released by Candy Dulfer for example. They would probably praise every single vocal album prince has released for the last 15 years if it had been released by Maxwell or D'Angelo, but this one, no.

Kamasutra is another matter entirely: it's ridiculous by comparison to other contemporary or ambient music albums of the same period, but I think Xpectation and N.E.W.S. stand the comparison with the best jazz-fusion albums of their era.

And as for Madhouse's alleged popularity, a simple look at the recent "10 favorite prince albums" thread shows that 8 is actually at the very bottom of the list and 16 hasn't been listed by a single person: they don't get a tenth of the love the 80's vocal albums get. As a matter of fact, N.E.W.S actually got more votes and more points than 8.

I completely agree with the highlighted.

"Kamasutra" isn't bad either, imo. People just don't want to hear Prince making music like that.....same as I feel about "Xpectatation". You hit the nail on the head though. nod

Kamasutra is not bad per se and of course it's anyone's right to enjoy it, I totally loved it when it was released but back then I had zero knowledge of contemporary/neo-classical music and ambient. I still like it to be honest but now it's as much a guilty pleasure as, say, some silly pop records such as Good Question lol lol

The problem is that when u compare Kamasutra to the works of prince's 90's pairs in the contemporary/neo-classical genre such as Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Gavin Bryars, Harold Budd, Ryuichi Sakamoto or even film scores composers such as Howard Shore, John Williams or Danny Elfman, it sounds like a corny and clumsy attempt at recrating classical music without any knowledge of the work of 20th Century composers and the numerous ground breaking innovations they brought to the genre. Same when compared to 90's masters of ambient such as Brian Eno, Tetsu Inoue, Bill Laswell, Susumu Yokota, etc.

The main problem here IMHO is that prince was familiar with classical music but totally unaware of what happened in the genre in the 20th century and at the time he composed the album. It's a bit as if someone released a rock album with being only aware of early rock & roll from the mid-50's: it would be gross. Not that one shouldn't be allowed to try and recreate any particular genre from any particular era but to do it properly u need a knowledge of what's been done b4 u, even if u want to pay homage to a specific era in the past, u can't ignore what others have done ever since in the genre. The main virtues of the recent synthpop/new wave revival is that the musicians in that genre, while trying to recreate sounds from the 80's, had a good knowledge of what happened ever since in pop, electronica and dance music and managed to incorporate some of that into their neo synthpop as well in order to give it both a nostalgic and contemporary vibe.

+ I think it was kind of a mistake to rely so much on synthesizers on Kamasutra, Clare Fischer should have been asked to contribute to a much higher level, I mean if we're talking neo-classical music better to do it with an orchestra than with cheap synthesizers IMHO.

This being said I'd buy a Kamasutra remaster deluxe box-set anytime and I hope it'll be made available again one day. Even if prince missed on that one I totally respect the fact that he tried to expend his musical vocabulary and do something totally different from his usual work. Even when an attempts fails to achieve its purpose, I think an artist deserves respect for experimenting.

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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Reply #26 posted 07/19/14 5:22am

jcurley

Will someone finally clear up for me what JAZZ is. When Prince does it everyone says it's not proper jazz and yet soooo many artists are called jazz musicians when to me it sounds even more watered down than Prince delivers and no one berates them.

I'm not convinced that when people do this they are not trying to just show off and make themselves look more muso than they are.

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Reply #27 posted 07/19/14 6:16am

databank

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jcurley said:

Will someone finally clear up for me what JAZZ is. When Prince does it everyone says it's not proper jazz and yet soooo many artists are called jazz musicians when to me it sounds even more watered down than Prince delivers and no one berates them.

I'm not convinced that when people do this they are not trying to just show off and make themselves look more muso than they are.

Classic jazz followed a path that started with ragtime and new orleans and eventually led to hardbop in the 50's. For many purists such as my father or Wynton Marsalis, anything that doesn't attempt to recreate those forms of jazz isn't jazz in the strictest sense of the term and this of course would exclude late Coltrane albums, Miles Davis' electric and later periods and Herbie Hancock's jazz-funk as well as all free jazz, jazz fusion, smooth jazz, etc. The thing is that in the 60's jazz started to blend with every other possible music genre, from Indian classical music to avant-garde music to rock and funk and soul to, later on, new wave, hip-hop and electronica, etc. In doing so jazz often simplified itself from a strict music theory POV and some of those people who believe the only virtue of music is the complexity of its harmonies and melodies (i.e. exclude anything but Western classical music, contemporary orchestral music and "classic" jazz from being good music) consider any fusion jazz to be corrupted and as loatheable as pop music.

Some fans here who obviously enjoy prince and other forms of pop music have nonetheless complained that prince wasn't able to do "real" jazz, which is probably true in the sense that he probably couldn't play hardbop alongside Branford Marsalis or Wayne Shorter, but Eric Leeds perfectly spoke about this when he said that b4 hanging out with prince he did play jazz in the strictest sense of the term but, considering that improvisation is a very important thing in jazz, he felt that his jam sessions with The Revolution and later incarnations of prince's band had more of a jazz spirit even if the music was much less sophisticated, because it was fresh and free while his past jazz combos were playing jazz "by the book".

My father would certainly consider 8, 16, Xpectation or N.E.W.S. to be uninteresting, poor attempts at doing jazz, but on the other hand he's not able to understand what's fresh and challenging in those records because he doesn't really understand any music outside of his small musical world and references: he couldn't make the difference between Sign "O" The Times (the album) and an early Kylie Minogue album produced by Stock, Aitken & Waterman if his life depended on it and he considers Miles' Bitches Brew, Herbie Hancock's Headhunters and Coltrane's final records to be sheer garbage...

Now when u understand the context of music in the 80's and 00's, as well as the context of prince's career as a whole, those 4 prince albums are in fact quite fresh, interesting and challenging.

So of course those albums belong to the jazz umbrella, but it's not "classic" jazz in the traditional sense of the term.

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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Reply #28 posted 07/19/14 9:16pm

funksterr

databank said:

jcurley said:

Will someone finally clear up for me what JAZZ is. When Prince does it everyone says it's not proper jazz and yet soooo many artists are called jazz musicians when to me it sounds even more watered down than Prince delivers and no one berates them.

I'm not convinced that when people do this they are not trying to just show off and make themselves look more muso than they are.

Classic jazz followed a path that started with ragtime and new orleans and eventually led to hardbop in the 50's. For many purists such as my father or Wynton Marsalis, anything that doesn't attempt to recreate those forms of jazz isn't jazz in the strictest sense of the term and this of course would exclude late Coltrane albums, Miles Davis' electric and later periods and Herbie Hancock's jazz-funk as well as all free jazz, jazz fusion, smooth jazz, etc. The thing is that in the 60's jazz started to blend with every other possible music genre, from Indian classical music to avant-garde music to rock and funk and soul to, later on, new wave, hip-hop and electronica, etc. In doing so jazz often simplified itself from a strict music theory POV and some of those people who believe the only virtue of music is the complexity of its harmonies and melodies (i.e. exclude anything but Western classical music, contemporary orchestral music and "classic" jazz from being good music) consider any fusion jazz to be corrupted and as loatheable as pop music.

Some fans here who obviously enjoy prince and other forms of pop music have nonetheless complained that prince wasn't able to do "real" jazz, which is probably true in the sense that he probably couldn't play hardbop alongside Branford Marsalis or Wayne Shorter, but Eric Leeds perfectly spoke about this when he said that b4 hanging out with prince he did play jazz in the strictest sense of the term but, considering that improvisation is a very important thing in jazz, he felt that his jam sessions with The Revolution and later incarnations of prince's band had more of a jazz spirit even if the music was much less sophisticated, because it was fresh and free while his past jazz combos were playing jazz "by the book".

My father would certainly consider 8, 16, Xpectation or N.E.W.S. to be uninteresting, poor attempts at doing jazz, but on the other hand he's not able to understand what's fresh and challenging in those records because he doesn't really understand any music outside of his small musical world and references: he couldn't make the difference between Sign "O" The Times (the album) and an early Kylie Minogue album produced by Stock, Aitken & Waterman if his life depended on it and he considers Miles' Bitches Brew, Herbie Hancock's Headhunters and Coltrane's final records to be sheer garbage...

Now when u understand the context of music in the 80's and 00's, as well as the context of prince's career as a whole, those 4 prince albums are in fact quite fresh, interesting and challenging.

So of course those albums belong to the jazz umbrella, but it's not "classic" jazz in the traditional sense of the term.

Um.. that's where you really went way too far. Really I think the terms "fresh" and "challenging" are the standout words that are utter bs. I straight out love the Madhouse records. I value those albums more than I can properly express. But there was never anything "fresh" or "challenging" about them. None of them are particularly well written pieces of music, but they are enojyable as funk-lite jam session-ish instrumentals. Prince could crank those out on a yearly basis and I wouldn't complain one bit. Compared to contemporary pop music at the time they were created, look don't make me say "Kenny G. was better than Prin..". I don't want to go there. Prince is a pop star with some funk skills and a nice falsetto. He used sex to sell records, not amazing jazz skills, songwriting abilities or shit else. He talked dirty when everybody else was clean. As soon as 2 Live Crew came out he was done. Since then we've witnessed one ego trip after the other, while he tried to find another niche in the pop music landscape, since dirty alsone can't get the public's attention. Prince isn't a jazz artist by any definition. You guys are truly reaching with that one.

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Reply #29 posted 07/19/14 11:04pm

databank

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funksterr said:

databank said:

Classic jazz followed a path that started with ragtime and new orleans and eventually led to hardbop in the 50's. For many purists such as my father or Wynton Marsalis, anything that doesn't attempt to recreate those forms of jazz isn't jazz in the strictest sense of the term and this of course would exclude late Coltrane albums, Miles Davis' electric and later periods and Herbie Hancock's jazz-funk as well as all free jazz, jazz fusion, smooth jazz, etc. The thing is that in the 60's jazz started to blend with every other possible music genre, from Indian classical music to avant-garde music to rock and funk and soul to, later on, new wave, hip-hop and electronica, etc. In doing so jazz often simplified itself from a strict music theory POV and some of those people who believe the only virtue of music is the complexity of its harmonies and melodies (i.e. exclude anything but Western classical music, contemporary orchestral music and "classic" jazz from being good music) consider any fusion jazz to be corrupted and as loatheable as pop music.

Some fans here who obviously enjoy prince and other forms of pop music have nonetheless complained that prince wasn't able to do "real" jazz, which is probably true in the sense that he probably couldn't play hardbop alongside Branford Marsalis or Wayne Shorter, but Eric Leeds perfectly spoke about this when he said that b4 hanging out with prince he did play jazz in the strictest sense of the term but, considering that improvisation is a very important thing in jazz, he felt that his jam sessions with The Revolution and later incarnations of prince's band had more of a jazz spirit even if the music was much less sophisticated, because it was fresh and free while his past jazz combos were playing jazz "by the book".

My father would certainly consider 8, 16, Xpectation or N.E.W.S. to be uninteresting, poor attempts at doing jazz, but on the other hand he's not able to understand what's fresh and challenging in those records because he doesn't really understand any music outside of his small musical world and references: he couldn't make the difference between Sign "O" The Times (the album) and an early Kylie Minogue album produced by Stock, Aitken & Waterman if his life depended on it and he considers Miles' Bitches Brew, Herbie Hancock's Headhunters and Coltrane's final records to be sheer garbage...

Now when u understand the context of music in the 80's and 00's, as well as the context of prince's career as a whole, those 4 prince albums are in fact quite fresh, interesting and challenging.

So of course those albums belong to the jazz umbrella, but it's not "classic" jazz in the traditional sense of the term.

Um.. that's where you really went way too far. Really I think the terms "fresh" and "challenging" are the standout words that are utter bs. I straight out love the Madhouse records. I value those albums more than I can properly express. But there was never anything "fresh" or "challenging" about them. None of them are particularly well written pieces of music, but they are enojyable as funk-lite jam session-ish instrumentals. Prince could crank those out on a yearly basis and I wouldn't complain one bit. Compared to contemporary pop music at the time they were created, look don't make me say "Kenny G. was better than Prin..". I don't want to go there. Prince is a pop star with some funk skills and a nice falsetto. He used sex to sell records, not amazing jazz skills, songwriting abilities or shit else. He talked dirty when everybody else was clean. As soon as 2 Live Crew came out he was done. Since then we've witnessed one ego trip after the other, while he tried to find another niche in the pop music landscape, since dirty alsone can't get the public's attention. Prince isn't a jazz artist by any definition. You guys are truly reaching with that one.

Actually in the 80's jazz and jazz fusion artists, for the most part, took one way or another: either they kept playing trad jazz such as bebop or hardbop, went all the way into avant-garde free jazz (cf. the New York scene of those days), or they desperately tried to "go electronic" and include synths and drum machines into their music the way Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis or Toshinori Kondo did. (I'm not even gonna talk about Kenny G. and that crappy kind of poppish so-called smooth jazz). The result is that every record in that last category are extremely dated. Not to mean they're necessarly bad, but they sweat "80's" like riverfalls when one listens to them today and to be honest Miles had a gift for using cheap synthesizer sounds that no one in their right mind would use at the time, and Hancock's electronic trilogy was a bit soulless even though "Rock It" itself was a visionary masterpiece. Kondo's albums remain absolutely gorgeous to this day because they were really edgy, but nonetheless they sound very dated and wouldn't please anyone who doesn't like the sound of the 80's.

Madhouse, both albums, managed to be something else entirely: those albums are not classic jazz, neither free jazz, but still they are totally ageless: prince managed to sound... just like prince, no more no less. He could have done jazz that sounded like 1999 with linn drums, sequencers and synths being all over the place but he just did something that at the same time sounded contemporary without being stuck forever in the sound of that particular decade. And they also managed to be accessible for the average listener by opposition to most of the avant garde free jazz at the time which was pretty agressive in the end, even though prince went quite wild on 16 by creating very edgy tracks and toyed with a very unconventional kind of jazz fusion at the time by merging jazz and ambient on Eight (this particular fusion would become more common in the 90's but was pretty unheard of at the time unless you consider Jon Hassell to be a jazz artist).

Honestly I still have to hear any other 80's "jazz" albums that managed to find this perfect balance between contemporary, dated and edgy and if this isn't "fresh" and "challenging" then I don't know what is. To me 8 and 16 are waaaaay better than Miles' albums with Kenny Garrett or Herbie Hancock's trilogy with Bill Laswell (and God knows I worship Laswell).

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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