Casa Valdez gets flamed........

I finally had to remove the post called Coo-Coo's nest. It became too controversial to even keep up with the comments, I do have life you know. Was dissing my peers because they have juice than I? Am I a Mover disciple? Am I against tradition or for it? Do kids nowadays have their heads up their asses? Is it not cool anymore for white guys to swing? Am I more of a critic than a player? Is playing 20 cents sharp just expression or an intonation problem?

Too many questions, too little time.

A little about my personal tastes at the present time. There are no players my age that I'd say that I would want to sound like. If I had to choose my favorite player among the guys that I came up with I would have to say Douglas Yates, I dig the hell out of his playing. I also think that Charles McPherson is the greatest living Jazz saxophonist. I surely would not mind sounding like him, and like to tell myself that I do sometimes.

From now on I'll watch my words more when talking about my personal tastes. So many sensitive readers out there, I don't want to hurt any feelings. :-)

I'm not advocating sounding like Warne or Garzone or Mover. Unique is always better. You can sound unique and still be steeped in tradition.

Just listen to everyone! Simple.

Don't paint yourself into a corner by having too few influences.

Don't think that you can't be a great player as well as compose, teach, write, arrange, study, produce, cook, dance, whatever. Most real players do several different things well.

Keep your options open, times have changed if you haven't noticed.

Now can we please move on.


naturalsax said...


Unknown said...

It's a shame that the cuckoo post had to be taken down. What a refreshing, honest & straightforward view point you offered, all the while clearly outlining it was your opinion only. Being a born & bred NYC tenor player in my fifties, I was also laughing my a** off. I really enjoy your blog David and thank you for your selfless sharing.

chicken little said...

Don't be such a pc dork. Put it back up. You don't need to reply to all the posts. What you've said is your opinion and it is backed up by your reasons. If people don't like your opinion, well, f#@k 'em. I really don't understand this mentality that everybody is a sweet little sunflower and we all have merit. That kind of relativism is just the type of bullshit that is lowering the level of playing. Furthermore, I don’t think you ever said that player x sucks and player y is good. I think what you were saying is that player x, while an excellent player, is not all that interesting to you. Player y is more aligned with my way of thinking and playing. Just because you think Mark Turner isn’t all that interesting a player doesn’t make you right, it makes you opinionated. This isn’t bad. If you have some weight to your judgment it’s okay.
Lastly, I don’t care if you are the best 23 year old saxophonist who’s ever lived (nobody alive today, that is) you don’t know enough to have your opinion be of the same value as somebody who’s been around for awhile. Just because you go the session at Cleo’s every Tuesday and Thursday, study with Eric Alexander and go to Manhattan Conservatory doesn’t make your opinion matter either. It will help you in the future but it doesn’t mean shit now.

Jazz Bum said...

David - I think this is a very fine blog and that post was an important part of it. The fact that you acknowledged your TASTES and OPINIONS is a great thing and a very important part of discourse on jazz music, or any art. Sharing opinions helps us understand each other as well as the broader art form itself. You did it in a very respectful and reflective way something many people have a hard time doing. Please continue to keep this kind of discussion open, even if it is controversial it will open a lot of eyes.

Chicken Little - I agree with you but as a 24 year old myself, I feel a bit uncomfortable, thinking that my opinion doesn't mean shit. I know I am certainly not as seasoned, in fact I am probably quite bland, but that will not stop me from developing opinions based on the personal experience I do have as a thinking and reflective individual. I agree that they do not have as much weight as someone who has more experience in a certain field. However, if I was continually reminded that they meant nothing to anyone else but me, it would be very hard to function at all as a confident and thoughtful person and I would probably become very insecure and defensive (or close minded).

I posted on this topic as anonymous and mentioned the age topic before. Just because I think it is important to know a persons background when they put forth thoughts - My name is Devan, I am a guitar player from Utah - went to music school here for 2 years but recently finished as a Gender Studies major. I have only been playing for 12 years. I do not have experience with a NY or Berklee type scene so I can't speak to that. My opinions may have little weight now but they can and always will change with time.

My opinions might not mean shit to anyone, but I have to remind myself that I can still make a difference by being thoughtful, reflective and informed.

Which - to bring this back to the blog - is something that David's blog is all about, keep up the good work - Thank You.

David Carlos Valdez said...

Thanks Josh,
Chicklit is just a crusty old curmudgeon.

I believe that just because you've played music a long time doesn't mean that your concepts or opinions are going to be profound. The fact is that most players only grow and change in their playing to a small degree over the years. Of course from 16 to 25 there is a huge growth, after 25 most players have fixed some sort of style for themselves. Of course there are exceptions to this and everyone has to grow some, but the voice is relatively the same.

Want to really change the emotional, spiritual and energetic content of your music? Go do some serious Yoga, Breathwork, psychotherapy, meditation, ceremonial magick, sweat lodge, fasting, tantra, ect.

Studying at an East Coast school can be less effective for someone than reading the right books, listening to the right recordings and studying with the right people.

I'm saying that people don't change that much as they grow older. You just get more polished, and sometimes that can just mean turd-polishing.

MonksDream said...

oiMan, David, I just wish that you'd put that posting back up. I thought that there were a lot of interesting points made.

Let's face it, it was a lot more interesting than, either listening to some snot who's read a whole bunch of books making pronouncements like, "I do believe that Ike Quebec was vastly underrated as a tenor player" in some jazz record store and then have a bunch of other shits wait till he leaves to say, "Aw man, that guys full of shit," instead of having a fairly meaty discussion
about some real issues about the current state of affairs.

The humor in that post was great, you got some pretty different perspectives on the issues, with crusty old curmudgeons like Chicken Little giving his hilarious two cents worth, crusty old curmudgeons like myself with my own long-winded posting and people like anonymous/jazz bum making his point.

At least now we know that his problem is not that he's young, simply that s/he lives in a state full of mormons, playing jazz guitar!! Psych!!

I told our mutual friend Scott about it and he was laughing his ass off. Please put that shit back up as it's better than watching old reruns of The Office in the humour department.

Hope that Europe is treating you right.

cheers, Bill

chicken little said...

You know, just because I'm offering a different view than "we're all just happy sunflowers who all have merit" doesn't mean I'm crusty, old or a curmudgeon. It means I have a pulse. Sorry if I don't fall into the "everybody has merit" side of things. Merit is not equal. Neither is playing. But what we were discussing was a legitimate topic. I think that people who are afraid of a topic like "I'm not a fan of x's playing" should stop being so thin skinned. How about you accept that their are different opinions out there and offer yours up for contrast.
Don't run from this it can only make you look like you are afraid or an appeaser. Which, since I've known you for nearly 30 years, I know you are neither.

David Carlos Valdez said...

O.k., I take back the crusty part then. :-)

I put it back up and I'm expecting more irate readers to write in. Oh, well. I may have been a little harsh
but I actually like everyone we're been talking about here. There's not one player that I think sucks and I admire different things about each cat's playing.