Luis Rodríguez @ Ventana al Jazz [Update]

So, you want to checkout the music we are going to play at Ventana al Jazz? Well, you can get all the music from the links below.

The set for the Ventana al Jazz is all original music that I composed practically the week before the show. Why? Well, I have quite a lot of original music but I wanted to present music that was more related to my personality, my interests and the way I think at this stage of my life. This music is quite a bit of a departure from the music in the “U-Turn” album which is more mainstream Jazz. Well, this set is all about the crude raw nature of music! This new music is meant to be fun, is not meant to be heard counting bars or trying to figure out weird chords etc… I’m simplifying everything down to the bone of the structures and the harmonies, just going with the raw nature of progressive music. I’m very happy with the outcome and you’ll be hearing this music in a new album very soon. Thanks for your support. Come back at later date because I’ll be posting videos of the performance in the upcoming weeks.

  1. The Great Chase
  2. Reboot
  3. Smile Behind Your Eyes
  4. Take You Away
  5. Speechless
  6. Newthingness

* All music composed by Luis Rodríguez, © LarodMusic 2011.

35 Comments

  1. carlos corderoJune 27, 2011 at 12:13 am

    Gracias por la aportacion, tremendo grupo exito PR.

    Reply
    • Gracias!

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      • I think this is a very great topic. It’s something that I have also dcssusied on my facebook page. One fay I posted that I don’t care if it’s old school or new school as long as it sounds good and if it’s going to be called Jazz, it should have elements of blues and swing. Needless to say, I lost some friends and got a couple nasty emails. I can understand how that is an open statement and that maybe I should’ve been a bit more clear, but ultimately I was saying know what this music is and where it came from before you jump on the bandwagon and say you’re a jazz musician. I love all types of jazz as well as a lot of what’s going on today. I just think if you’re going to study something, the best way is to get to the root of it and understand it. Again, I understand I may have been vague with that statement but at the same time it made me see how simply saying blues and swing can be offensive to some people that perform this music today, which is very scary. Again I love a lot of what’s going on in jazz music. I love that the music has gone as far as it has and continues to grow, but does that mean that swing and the blues are negative things that we should keep in the past when it comes to jazz? I look at this the same way I look at slavery or racism today. Some people get very offended when the words slavery or racism come up. It’s like slavery never happened and racism doesn’t exist. Maybe not every jazz musician feels this way, but I know that racism still exists and I’m reminded of it almost every day. All in all, I want to play and express myself. My heros didn’t spent to much time (if any) talking about what wasn’t happening and who wasn’t doing what. They DID it. They did what those artist weren’t doing and it wasn’t because they felt like they needed to show what other artists WERENT doing. It was because it was what they WANTED to do. An artist can talk about what other people are not doing until he/she is blue in the face OR he/she can do what’s in his/her heart and show people who HE/She is through the music, which is what I think is the most important thing for an artist to do.

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  2. I’m rellay into it, thanks for this great stuff!

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    • Being a musician, I am, of cusroe, biased but the good news is that I do believe jazz can be saved. The bad news is, I doubt that it will. The art of melodic improvisation flourished when it was part of the popular music of the ’20 s through the big band era. Kids who were buying records could relate to it physically through dancing. In order to awaken the public’s atrophied ears to our beloved art form, that connection would have to be reestablished. A golden opportunity was missed during the GAP commercial inspired mini swing craze of the mid to late ’90 s. It got young people swing dancing. The craze ended because, not suprisingly, people became bored with the music even though the players wore funny hats and twirled their instruments and made every effort to be visually entertaining. Why? Maybe we should be a little scientific about this. Not rocket science, mind you, because we are talking about entertainment here. Back in the ’70 s, when dance clubs still hired bands (before DJs took over completely) I had an epiphany of sorts while taking a guitar solo with my funk band. The dance floor was full but I realized that my solo could be good, bad, or mediocre and it really would not make much of a difference to the dancers. That was because they were dancing to the symmetrical back beats on 2 and 4 of the measure. As Dick Clark’s studio audiences on American Band Stand repeatedly informed us it is a good beat and it is easy to dance to (sic). I once saw a film of the Benny Goodman band where the camera was looking down on a crowded dance floor from a balcony. As Goodman built his clarinet solo to a climax, you could see the dancers jumping higher into the air. They were driven by Gene Krupa’s quarter notes on the bass drum and loud, propulsive, asymmetrical hits on the snare, but people were essentially dancing to the improvised melody. The drumming of Joe Jones with the Basie band is another example of asymmetrical back beats. Unfortunately, none of the swing acts that achieved notoriety during the ’90 s (Big, Bad Voodoo Daddy, Brian Setzer et al ) picked up on this. The shuffle got old real fast. Strong back beats propel the dancers but a steady 2 and 4 disengages them from the melody. Forget jazz and history and zoot suits for a minute and break it down to the sonic essentials of what makes people dance and there may be a glimmer of hope for a fusion with melodic improvisation. Whether people are dancing to Rihanna or Basie, we know that they like it around 120 beats per minute. What they are dancing to is the quarter note pulse. You can easily take any contemporary dance track, strip away everything but the bass drum, and superimpose Satin Doll. The only difference is that the rhythm of the modern (unimprovised) melodic content is usually defined with straight eighths and sixteenth notes instead of swing eighths. At this point, you may ask who cares? Well, we do, obviously and the marketing and promotional geniuses have not been able to prevent America’s only original art form from going down the tubes. Could it be that the music itself needs to be dealt with? It didn’t mean a thing without that swing because that was the feeling that connected the dancer and the melodic improvisor. New music can be created with that feeling that connects with today’s dancers but it won’t swing for long unless the crutch of the symmetrical back beat is avoided.

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  3. Aloha man! I fully agree with your opinion.

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  4. Great! thanks for the share!
    Linda

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    • Italians Do It Better is a good example of a iamslir label/scene coming from a background in punk and experimental music, making dance music that is heavily inspired by the past, and then actively engaging/acknowledging the ongoing culture of dance music. Chromatics ended up on a Get Physical mix. They put out Bottin records. Simonetti DJ’s all over the place alongside huge house DJ’s.It just really seems that the 100% Silk crew are willfully ignoring the rest of dance music so that they can be masters of their own little universe, and i find it distasteful. That Octo Octa record is AWESOME. That last Innergaze record is killer, but this label needs to stop acting like they are single-handedly bringing dance music to a world that forgot about it.

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  5. Aloha man! I really appreciate what you’re writing here. Keep going that way.

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    • Hi, Robin . . . I haven’t forgotten our cntservanioos and your suggestions. The season has been busy’ (how often do we all use that word) and there also have been some minor’, but for me major’, financial increases that have enabled me to start upgrading my website, signing on to a spectacular and quality photographers’ website, as well as enabling acquiring a couple of other business upgrades all of which have increased that word to BUSY. However, in my rare check up of Facebook this morning, I decided to spend some time checking out this post and spend the time reading it and listening to the featured music. Even though I don’t like jazz’ and never’ listen to it, this piece is really, really intriguing. It is like Classical Music, but a jazz version. Or put another way, it drags Classical Music from centuries past and reconfigures it with jazz. I’m actually enjoying it and am amazed by its Classical’ complexities; amazed also by the mind behind the fingers on the piano as in, is this all off the top of the head, spontaneous? But then how would the orchestra know what to play? So if this is all written on paper with music notes, how could anyone possibly be able to keep track of what the mind hears when it is so wide, wild and free; seemingly without’ some strain of melody’? (But I’m sure it’s there!) All these things compell me to keep listening instead of turning it off and getting back to being busy’ this morning. I’ll leave it on as background music to putting curlers in my hair for the Legion dance in West Duluth tonight! Grab Julia’s hand and come on over! On Thursday nights it’s a DJ with great classic rock tunes. God bless you both, and your career works, Doris

      Reply
  6. Glad to read this blog! Keep it going!

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    • that may be true about LA, but if if that’s true, it seems like she’s taking her epierxences in LA and projecting it onto the rest of the world.this paragraph I think a lot of people go to underground shows, and I think a lot of people find their one or two little venues in their city or state, and they hover around them and wait for good bands to come and wait for the best nights. And sometimes not even, they just go to get a drink, and hope they’re going to catch a band tonight. And for me, I would love that to be true of dance music, and I would love more dance clubs to open up that were after hours or late hours stuff with people DJing and playing. I think that that would really change the landscape of dance music. Instead of a giant rave that you have to go to the desert to see — or the more crazy pop-hybrid nights where it’s kind of like jacked-up Katy Perry dance, and it’s not really strict dance, you know? and this That’ll be the first taste test of, can we convert people in seven cities into being full-on dance fans, by just playing them the best dance music, and providing them with a full night of dancing and sweating and getting down and being vibrant and alive. certainly imply that her attitude extends beyond LA. that people in other cities need THEM to bring dance music, because no one else is.Simon Reynolds summed a lot of my feelings up nicely in this what I do find a little odd, a little off, is this okay they’re so into house music, but it’s not like there isn’t an ongoing house music culture that is the extension of music that inspires them. So why don’t they participate in that, contribute to its furtherance? Could be that they don’t like current club culture for social reasons, antipathy re. the sort of people into house-as-is. But it’s not like house music has disappeared from the face of the earth and needs to be revived and resurrected. it’s not even the case that it’s changed so much that a Return to Original Principles is required. so there is the suspicion that hipster house = people whose productions wouldn’t cut it on a contemporary dancefloor. Which is not to say that the stuff doesn’t have a stand-alone charm and appeal outside that context. although I disagree with his last point. I don’t think production chops have much to do with it, and that’s what’s maybe the most distressing to me.

      Reply
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  21. […] play it and study it, if you have any questions please send me a note. You can get the sheet music here. The concert is available on my youtube channel, check the links bellow and if you like it, hit the […]

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