Why don't drum corps play jazz anymore?


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I hate to say it, but I think I would actually enjoy amplified scat singing on the field. :tongue:

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Even in the music industry "real world" this manifests every few years in the following statement: "Jazz is dead, man." Then, somebody comes along to literally blow that fallacy out of the w

2010 BD is a good example but the naysayers don’t mean “that kind of jazz”.  I love that they totally threw down and rubbed it in everyone’s face. Yeah, I’m petty that way. Lol

Speaking of Jazz.... Wow!  

I hate to say it, but I think I would actually enjoy amplified scat singing on the field. :tongue:

Thank you!

It's still music folks!!! Drum corps people are so blue and conservative when it comes to anything, I assume most of you were musicians at one point, how strange.

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I hate to say it, but I think I would actually enjoy amplified scat singing on the field. :tongue:

Go back and listen to Cadets' drum break from '05.

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That wasn't scat, that was cra...

:p

I'm talking real, improvised, and following the changes. This makes me think... how many solos in DCI history were truly improvised each night?

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Wow. Great thread.

I’ll join the “me too” club on lamenting jazz. Heck, at this point, I’m practically lamenting melody.

It seems that as of recent we are always locked into short phrases - we have this “short attention span theater” thing going as to where there must be a “hit” every 45 seconds or so.

Jazz and groove related music tends to take longer phrases to build and peak. It just does not fit into the modern drum corps model, unfortunately.

There is also the tempo thing. As drum corps are now constantly trying to push the limits of human physical ability, and some of the best jazz shows of years passed included moments of medium-tempo (the horror! ...those wusses) There is this opinion that if your show is not fast then it is not as difficult.

There is the competition thing -- and the style thing. It takes TIME to teach jazz (or any type of different) style. It’s a process that goes way BEYOND mere replication of notes, and there is time needed for that style to ferment. Most corps will not risk the time needed for this understanding to happen, as it can be a tough road. It’s EASIER to do something in a more straight style. A buzzword of the judging community is “transparency”. For something to be evaluated well and to communicate, it must be transparent and clear. Jazz is often foggy (that’s the beauty of it) but fogginess does not always translate to what is now considered readability. "Vibe" is not on the sheets.

Then there is the STRANGE evolution of marching percussion / battery writing. It's almost as ANYTHING groove-based is now considered gimmicky or pase. I’m not sure why that is, but when you figure it out, let me know. Drums for me, are to provide a heartbeat, much less, a soul. Groove on this 27-let, baby.

And, at the end of it all, there is the old artistic notion that, if you want to say something, you have to say it without actually saying it, as actually saying outright is the obvious, and the obvious is not artistic or creative as it possibly could be. (zzzz...)

There is SO much music out there. And so little of it ever makes it to the field. Corps are too influenced by each other. Sad.

Frankly, I'm for anything, as long as it is musical.

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I can't remember when it sort of struck my conciousness to identify BD as "Oh, they're known for playing jazz." But it has been a dissapointment over the years to have that sort of flipped in my mind since despite some terrific shows, when it comes to jazz, they're just sort of...not playing it. Jazz-y, jazzish...parts. Sometimes. Every so often. Sure, there are a million reasons why corps "shouldn't" play jazz. But I could easily count a million and one why they should.

As a certain jazzer once said, "Ya gotta try!"

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Then there is the STRANGE evolution of marching percussion / battery writing. It's almost as ANYTHING groove-based is now considered gimmicky or pase. I’m not sure why that is, but when you figure it out, let me know. Drums for me, are to provide a heartbeat, much less, a soul. Groove on this 27-let, baby.

are you kidding me? have you seen this year's scv audition packet? there are a couple other corps doing this as well.

grooves are still around in dci, and i can't wait for the day when they finally collapse and die. i can't stand that style of writing. it just sounds so stupid. it's like everything in a groove book exists to see if you "vibe" to whatever hippie crapped out that owl pellet of a book you're reading. none of it has any value as far as what's happening around you, musically. the only purpose is to cram as many goofy-### beats as you can behind the horns so you can turn around and say "YA MAN WE ARE SO GROOVIN HIGH FIVE LET'S GO PLAY HIDE THE PICKLE BACK ON THE BUSSES." ugh... i hate grooves.

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Wait, so what's the problem with a Concerto for electric guitar and orchestra? It's all music my brother, chill out, lean back, enjoy life :)

A question - does the orchestra dress in the Corps proper or do they wear tuxes? Also, they always called it the orchestra "pit", let's put a real orchestra that can cover the entire sideline. Wait, better yet let's have each audience member bring their own instrument (I'm bringing a kazoo if I can find one) and just play whatever comes out, it's all music, right?

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Good topic. I do sense that adjudication has changed the stylistic idioms that are deemed competitive. I disagree with beford that no one has ever been able to swing-many will provide examples.

Post #50 is a good one. Seems to indicate how either adjudicators and/or audiences are not as "stimulated" by those compositions requiring longer times to develop. Personally, I prefer shows ie. '03 Bluecoats that have nice harmonic/melodic/groove developments. Crossmen that year playing McConnell etc.

As an "older" performing musician & educator-I can appreciate the distinction of "seasoned" jazz artists, BUT-do not sell our youth so short!! I 've taught and played with some incredibly stylistically-seasoned jazz artists that if you put behind a curtain would pass for a recorded veteran. Part of the problem for a corps wishing to do a "jazz" theme is attracting those with this type of already developed technique/feel/maturity. In masses!

Finally, the clouded label of jazz istelf. I think we all can agree on the diversity within the genre, and how drum corps has "adapted" many within it to "work" for it's genre. I dare say that most jazz utilizations in DCI have utilized large group literature as opposed to combos.

All the great Big Bands and writers have provided such a wealth of literature through the years. And their are SO many newer charts that would KILL on the field. But will they get a chance?

Who knows, maybe next year we'll hear several corps renditions of "Indiana [back Home In]"? :tongue:

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