Tuba, what's up with you and Oscar Brown Jr?

In this thread, you’ve made some oblique and provocative comments about the recently deceased jazz singer Oscar Brown Jr. You suggest that the OP start a new thread in either CS or the Pit. I’m intrigued enough to follow up on your suggestion and open this thread.

So what’s up with you and OB Jr?

Not up with me; hell, I actually have a copy of “Sin and Soul” around here somewhere, so I actually contributed to this man’s welfare in some tiny way.

The late Mr. Brown was the son of a Chicago slumlord, and as such benefited from the same system that he complained about.

Much of his work was made to get over on white people; it was designed to make them feel comfortable. It was jazz and politics the audience of that time could endorse and not feel threatened about. (Like, oh, Joshua Redman or Diana Krall today, to give examples of that same sort of marketing at work.) It’s jazz that’s safe.

He was more of a hustler than anything else, another Tin Pan Alley huckster. The music business is full of guys (and gals) like this. I’m sorry he has passed on, but I don’t think he was a great talent. I was much more upset when Percy Heath passed on, to give just one terrible example of the kind of real losses we’ve had around here lately. (Benny Bailey. Arnie Lawrence. Bobby Short. Jimmy Smith. )

I realize that by saying these things I’m probably hurting some people’s feelings . . . it’s why I didn’t want to rain on that little parade in MPSIMS.

your humble TubaDiva
“You knew darn well I was a snake before you took me in.”

I do not grok, this just seems squirly.

There was nothing in the other thread which was objectionable itself, it seems, apart from the suggestion that people should download music that is presumably for sale. As far as I can tell, Tuba, your reaction was that you wanted to post some negative stuff and thus ‘had’ to close the thread. Why not allow people to approach that thread in a non-Pit manner, and start a Pit thread of your own if you wanted to discuss Mr. Brown’s legacy in a negative light?

It seems to me that virtually any MPSIMS topic might very well draw a negative response from someone, but they remain open. What was different about this one? You say you didn’t want to rain on anybody’s parade in MPSIMS… why then didn’t you just refrain from posting rather than locking the thread?

The thread’s not closed.

your humble TubaDiva

Weeeeeeeeird. I thought it was locked. Never mind.

In retrospect, that was probaly the reason I didn’t grok it… duhhhhh. Sorry 'bout that.

~shuffles off~

I think it’s the posting style.

How many times have you read a post like that, containing “email me or start a thread in the pit if you wish to discuss this further,” withOUT the thread being locked? It’s damn near pavlovian, for me at least. Mod says that, thread’s closed.

Sounds about right. Still, my apologies to Tuba, I should’ve thought a bit more before I posted.

It’s not that kind of situation. Just some differing opinions, that’s all. It’s okay to have 'em in this instance.

I felt it would have been inappropriate to state my opinions/share my knowledge in a thread designed to praise someone who has gone to that big jam session in the sky, as it were. It’s not my job to go in there and be rude.

Now, if they come out after the information . . . that’s another matter. But they had the choice, I didn’t just slap 'em upside the head with it.

your humble TubaDiva

I’m just surprised that I wasn’t deemed to be posting stupid.

Your other objections to the man and his work may be valid, but I don’t think this one is. A child can’t pick what his parents do, and surely it’s better for his to have complained about the system than not?

What do you think he should have done in this situation?

(I never heard of the guy before, so all I know about him is what’s written in this thread)

Waitaminnit…Jimmy Smith died? When the fuck did that happen? Why didn’t it make the New York papers?

Ah, shit. Where’s my copy of “The Sermon” ?

He died in early February.

I haven’t a clue why it didn’t make the New York papers.

NY Times, THE ARTS/CULTURAL DESK | February 10, 2005, Thursday: Jimmy Smith, Jazz Organist And Pioneer, Is Dead at 76. Registration required; this is only the abstract.

Oh yeah, now I remember why I didn’t see it.

February 10, I was drunk all day.

I have a real question, so I’ll risk it. There are those of us the grew up on rack and roll and classicla music (don’t laugh). Then occaisionally mainstream proformers like Clapton and Krall lead us into discovering the roots of what they do, either blues or jazz. Because of EC I own a lot of blues, and even had the Robert Johnson collection before he re-recorded it. And some, but less jazz. This musical education takes a while, and some money.

The question is: can it be ok to condem these “gateway artists” that lead us from what we know to what we don’t? I would never have discovered Pine Top Perkins or Piano Red had it not been for Clapton. And, if you could recommend me some jazz to lead me out from Krall, please, speak on.

Laugh at the spelling, but not the selection, please.

I don’t see condemnation. The “gateway performers” have their place. But it just don’t make them good, is all.

Maybe not here, but there are definitely folks who would.

This is really not pitworthy any more, so I’m going to move this to Cafe Society.

Anything that gets you to an appreciation of great artistry is not in itself a bad thing; the only bad thing is stopping short. :slight_smile:

I’m afraid I could recommend people to you all day long, and not only in jazz, though that’s what trips my trigger fastest and bestest. There’s never enough time to listen to everything and I’m sure I’ve missed a lot of wonderful music on the way as well. This is just some of the people I got to. Oh, and I’m probably a little older than most people around here, so my worldview is also peopled differently.

On the blues side, if you like Eric Clapton, check out Taj Mahal (in any of his works, the man covers a lot of ground!) . . . I especially like “The Real Thing” (great live performance at the Fillmore East with 5 tubas, yes, that’s not a typo) and “Senor Blues.”

Keb Mo is pretty happening too.

I’ve always forgiven the Neville Brothers all their commercial pecadilloes, but that’s because I loved The Funky Meters . . . and the Wild Tchoupitoulas. Hell, anything Allan Toussaint is involved in is gonna be worth your time.

More about not stopping short . . . It’s like . . . oh, listening to Billie Holliday and not discovering how truly great Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn were . . and missing Carmen McRae and Nina Simone and Nancy Wilson on the way.

And if you love vocalists, you gotta go see about Anita O’Day and Betty Carter.

Mel Torme is more known to today’s generation as a comic actor on TV, but the man could sing, dammit. I especially like the work he did in the 60s on the Bethlehem label; any of that you find is going to be well worth your time. I also like his work with George Shearing.

If you think Diana Krall is fabulous, check out Cassandra Wilson.

Holly Cole is nice.

I absolutely recommend the new John Scofield CD where he covers Ray Charles tunes – with a lot of great sidepeople, including Dr. John, Aaron Neville, Warren Haynes, David “Fathead” Newman, and Mavis Staples. See “That’s What I Say.”

Speaking of Mavis Staples, it’s not jazz, but her “Have a Little Faith” is good gospel.

You don’t have to like what I listen to most all the time, but I always have some Charles Mingus in rotation . . . Gil Evans (with and without Miles Davis, yes, early Miles) . . . Duke Ellington . . . Thelonious Monk . . .

Charlie Haden is a pretty incredible bass player who does some wonderful work in collaboration with other artists; I especially love “Steal Away” with Hank Jones. If you gotta have some Pat Metheny, check out “Beyond the Missouri Sky;” Haden and Metheny do some very nice work together.

If you want to know what it’s like to be in a Manhattan club and it’s the last set and all’s right with the world, I highly recommend Kenny Barron and Charlie Haden “Night and The City.”

Stop me before I go on.

your humble TubaDiva