25 sept. 2008

Tastiness is a kind of "savory" or "flavorful" quality. I first started using it actively in my own critical vocabulary when I heard an interview with Ray Charles on Fresh Air. When he was starting out Charles had a Nat Cole-style trio and wanted to play "tasty" bits on the piano under his own singing. He kept repeating that word "tasty" in the interview. I knew he exactly what he meant because one of my first jazz LPs as a a kid was a Capitol recording of Cole playing with his trio and not singing at all. Tasty means taste-FUL but also hip in an indescribably understated way. Like most purist jazz fans of that period I regretted the fact that he ever started singing in the first place, but the early recording of him singing with his trio are still pretty hip, with those tasty, tasteful licks.

I still get no kick from Marsalis. I'm sure that if I just took one small sniff it would bore me terrifically too. Mere alchohol doesn't thrill me at all, and flying up high with some guy in the sky is my idea of nothing to do. It's as though the playing weren't really present. I can't hear it. It's like eating soup in a dream: you can't really say that it has any taste at all after you wake up. I react this way even when I don't even know it's Wynton, like when I listen to a jazz radio station and only find out later whom I've been listening to. So it's not mere prejudice, though I'm sure I'm not unbiased. My daughter's first trumpet teacher had her listening to more Wynton than I would have liked. He schmaltzes up "The Last Rose of Summer," and I also prefer other versions of the Haydn concerto and other trumpet solo warhorses to his. It is true, as Tom King suggests in a comment to previous post, that his virtuosity stands him in good stead for the Carnival of Venice, if you like that kind of thing. From the point of view of a brass player, which I'm not, Wynton is a killer player. I'll defer to them on his technical prowess, but not on his ultimate tastiness.

1 comentario:

Jordan dijo...

Memes are real! I've been mulling the differences between merely filling, tasty and delicious for the last few months, mainly wrt to food and poetry, natch.