Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Claude Bolling - Baroque Jazz

A piano teacher once told me "Bach is the source of everything".  I did not understand at the time the truth and depth of those words, and to this day I still do not fully grasp that concept, but the more music I listen to the more I understand.  I have often heard people say things along the lines of "Bach is boring" or "baroque music is dull", but truly trained ears can hear that all music has its sources in baroque and especially in Bach.  Many later composers implement baroque styles more evidently (take Beethoven's string quartets, for instance, or Mozart's Requiem), but even in those compositions that you cannot directly hear baroque music, the sources lie in it.  While this is a complex concept to fully comprehend, the connection between baroque and jazz does not take a rocket scientist to grasp.  The entire concept of jazz is based directly off of the baroque style and is extremely evident when listening.  Sometimes when I'm listening to Miles Davis I can just hear a Bach fugue accompanying.  There is really no one who brings out this connection more than Claude Bolling, a French composer, who wrote "baroque jazz" music.  The first time I listened to a recording of this type of music (it actually was not a Bolling CD) I was literally blown away.  Bolling really displays true brilliance in connecting these two types of music.  You cannot really understand that "Bach was centuries after his time" until you listen to Bolling.  The music is simple, granted, but simplicity breeds genius and this is some of the most creative stuff you can get your hands on.  All music, in truth, is interrelated and you can always trace different styles back to different sources. While much of it is not so obvious, I think a lot of the time this connectivity is overlooked and not appreciated enough.  Often the transition between different periods fogs this notion, but the concept still remains true.  Here is a sample of his music (Yo-Yo Ma plays cello).  I think you'll enjoy.

No comments:

Post a Comment