Jazz was born in a little flop house in New Orleans.
And it just, because people were crammed in there,
they spoke five different languages.
They couldn’t talk to each other.
The only way they could communicate was with jazz.
That’s just not true.
The people who started jazz,
I mean, we don’t know who that person is
but they’re definitely all African-Americans.
They all could speak English.
It didn’t start off like that.
What’s up GQ.
This is Robert Glasper musician, producer
and this is The Breakdown.
First up Bird.
Bird was Charlie Parker’s nickname.
Saxophone player, Charlie Parker.
They called him Bird.
Everybody back then had nicknames,
back in the 30s and 40s, all the jazz musicians.
I’m not sure how a lot of them got their nicknames
but you just call them that.
And you’re like,
Why did I just call you Berger?
Everybody calls you, so I’ma call you that.
That the portrayal of how everything looks is spot on,
where the musicians are standing,
all that comes stuff is spot on.
A lot of times in movies they don’t have a person
that really knows jazz or what a jam session looks like.
They have people staying in the wrong place.
And the sound is good.
You can tell
that those are actual jazz musicians playing
just by the way, they’re holding their horn.
And when they play this certain movements
that jazz musicians do,
even when the saxophone player is blowing
and how he’s moving with different lines.
Certain lines are going up,
saxophone player when they’re play notes that go up,
they go up.
And when they played melts that go down,
they kinda do that, is it’s a movement, body movement.
And the same thing for the bass and the drums,
if you’re hearing ensemble
you should be seeing him play ensemble.
So they have all that pretty good, for the most part,
This particular scene takes place in 1939.
So the actual style of music they’re playing
fits the time the time period.
They’re playing bebop.
It’s just a language.
Like we all have a language of Spanish.
There’s Japanese, there’s English.
Bebop is the actual language,
is basically how to get from one note to another note
through other notes.
So it’s basically like a maze
of notes to get to another note.
It’s like a…
So Charlie Parker, he’s known as the father of bebop.
Bebop was there before he got there, but not at the level.
Once he influenced it just went to a whole different level.
In this movie,
people are already playing Charlie Parker language
with Charlie Parker as a kid.
That’s a little bit off, but in real life
there are things that Charlie Parker influenced as an adult.
The stuff that those guys are playing up there,
the saxophone players, and they’re going back and forth.
That’s stuff that Charlie Parker actually influenced a lot.
So, you know, he influenced the music so much
that it’s in broadened it so much
to where all these other genres of pop-off in there.
Charlie Parker spawn people like John Coltrane.
And John Coltrane really influenced the free jazz movement.
And it just goes on and on like a tree, it grows.
you can see two saxophone players playing at each other,
like one place, another plays,
they kinda bump back and forth.
We call that battling.
They have that in hip hop, they call it rap battle.
When they have different genres,
where you kind of just go back and forth
and try to cut the other person, cutting me.
Like you’re trying to be better than that person.
Trade fours, forces a certain amount of measures.
It’s like a conversation,
it’s kind of like stop of the sword,
One sword sharpens the other sword.
The saxophone pretty much
has become kinda like the face of jazz.
Anything you see that’s like,
We need something jazzy,
most of the time they’re gonna get a saxophone player
because that represent emotion and represents like romance.
I think really because of Charlie Parker, specifically,
the genres kind of represented by the saxophone
because Charlie Parker is such a huge influence
on the genre itself.
What’s your name?
What do you wanna play?
Little Forest Whitaker, his look and everything,
his mannerism walked up and everything is spot on.
He kinda walked on stage without having the conversation
of what he’s gonna play.
Normally in real life.
You’re a new guy.
They’ll ask you, What do you want to play?
But some people are just hard on you
and you walk up and they’re like,
Okay, young buck, what you got?
And you better know the tune.
If you don’t to know the tune,
you have to act like you know the tune
or kinda figure it out.
From the very beginning, you see, he’s already sweating.
And that’s a real thing,
when you first go up and you try to play with older guys,
people that’s been around.
Obviously it looks like it’s hot in that club anyway
but he is really sweating because that’s nerves.
Like when I would go to jam sessions,
you have to write your name on the tablet.
And then they call you up to play.
So I’d be so nervous before I went on stage.
Now, he’s just trying to find it.
He doesn’t know what to do.
He’s kinda just trying to find his way.
And you could slowly see all the jazz musicians
on the stage looking like,
What is this fool doing?
knowing what you’re gonna play
when you go to the jam session
is the scary part of going to a jam session.
Because most of those people in there
have been playing for a very long time.
So they know a lot of tunes.
And in the jazz book, there’s so many tunes to learn.
Playing was bad because there was
no rhythmic component to it.
It was just kinda like,
the notes look like my eyes.
that’s what it sounded like.
If notes had eyes, that’s what they would look like.
But you can tell he can actually play
but the nerves have gotten the best of him
because he’s not locked in rhythmically
at all with the drummer at all.
He’s gone on his own pulse at that point,
just his confidence and his movements
and everything kind of just like he’s playing
by himself alone.
And the other casts can tell that.
They can tell.
The note choices weren’t making any sense,
he’s playing wrong notes here and there.
Technically there are no wrong notes in jazz
But there’s one.
In jazz, they say,
there’s no wrong notes because it’s expression.
It’s like, there’s no wrong colors
in painting because it’s art.
You can’t go wrong in art.
But there’s a difference
between playing a wrong note on purpose
and playing a wrong note because
you didn’t know the right one.
Those are two different things.
They sound different.
They feel different.
This is a real story.
I believe it might’ve been Jo Jones that did that
to a young Charlie Parker when Parker went up to play
and that’s kinda the thing you do when the person
that’s playing is in dealing.
They say you ain’t dealing.
That means like, you’re not really playing well,
you’re not hanging with the level that’s there.
That’s happens, people stopped playing, behind you.
You’re playing and you’re not dealing right.
You’ll turn around.
You’ll hear ii literally the instruments dropping out one
by one and you’ll realize, Yo, I’m playing by myself.
Wasn’t trying to like sever his head off by that,
he threw it kinda by his feet to let them know,
Hey, I’m throwing this towards you
because you’re doing something wrong.
When you get embarrassed on stage.
Those situations never leave.
You’ll remember those for the rest of your life.
And a lot of times it can make you better.
You never want that to happen again.
So you go home and you practice
and you hope to go back and be better than you were.
So then the people that can be like,
Okay, he can play, he can play.
Next up La la Land.
The jazz playing on here is it sounds,
I’m not sure what the song is
but it’s not like they’re playing something
from the 50s or the 60s.
Particularly that piano line the piano line is playing.
That’s a very typical kind of sound jazz
in the 50s and 60s.
Maybe in that era.
They sound good.
It’s nothing like crazy about it.
It sounds like something you would hear
at a jazz club while you’re talking, having a drink,
having a smoke, I’m like that, very cool, casual,
straightforward, kinda just tune.
The setting is different,
the musical settings is good for that.
Jazz was born in a little flop house in New Orleans
and it just because people were crammed in there
they spoke five different languages.
They couldn’t talk to each other.
The only way they could communicate was with jazz.
That’s just not true.
That part is not true.
The people who started jazz, I mean,
we don’t know who that person is,
but there are definitely all African-Americans.
They all could speak English.
It didn’t start off like that.
I can definitely tell you that.
People dispute exactly how jazz came about,
the very beginnings of jazz.
A lot of people say it did start New Orleans.
And then there are some people say started in Kansas.
We don’t really know exactly,
but definitely wasn’t like that for sure.
What about Kenny G?
I mean, what about elevator music?
You know, jazz music, that I know.
What about it?
People who don’t listen to jazz tend
to think that jazz sounds like elevator music
and there’s some validity to that.
The elevator music that you’re hearing,
they pick that particular music
because it’s good for the elevators.
It’s just something that’s kind of cool,
kind of boring because it’s elevator.
You don’t wanna startle people when you go into an elevator.
And like jazz is like, you know,
known more for being instrumental music
than it is even having singers.
Just the fact that this just instruments kinda
makes people feel like, Oh, well we can put that on
and people can talk and do whatever they’re doing.
It’s not gonna be too much going on.
I mean, if you took a poll and you asked the average person
what’s jazz or whatever it is,
I think most people would think like Kenny G is jazz.
You don’t really get to hear much bebop in the world.
There’s jazz to somebody’s style with jazz
honestly, the smooth jazz,
electronic jazz, straight ahead jazz.
This is the part of the genre,
it doesn’t represent the whole genre.
And I love Kenny G.
I have the Silhouette album and I was in seventh grade.
It’s all relevant,
you just gotta kind know what you listening to sometimes.
Where I grew up.
There was this station called K Jazz 103.
And people would just put on that station on
when they had a cocktail party
and everyone would just talk over it.
Well, this is a real conversation people have.
She’s younger and she’s saying,
What about the jazz that I know?
And he’s more of a history buff
and he’s an actual jazz musician.
So he loves the history of it.
The younger you are,
that’s what you know about a specific genre,
same thing with hip hop, anything with R&B.
And then you have people who are older who say,
Oh, well, no, this is not the real thing.
Real thing’s back here.
So that’s always been a clash with people
and music, for sure.
Just understanding that, you know, music changes.
You have to just step back
and let it do that and acknowledge it.
So for certain jazz performances,
you kind of go in knowing what you’re getting into.
Sometimes you are the focal point.
And then there are those times where you play
and you know, your background music.
But in this particular instance,
it looks like they’re just like, you know,
at a jazz club, at a bar
and that’s just the band that’s playing.
He’s able to talk and hang out and do that kind of thing.
It’s okay, ’cause most jazz musicians know what the vibe is
when they get to the venue.
Every one of these guys is composing or rearranging,
they’re writing and underplaying the melody, they just…
And now look, the trumpet, he’s got his own idea.
And it’s conflict and compromised.
So what he’s saying right here is very, very, very true,
about when you watch a jazz band,
you’re seeing what’s happening in real time.
There’s composition, happenings.
People are racking stuff on the spot.
So you play a melody,
you play the song and then everybody takes a solo.
And the solo is just your expression of that song.
What you’re feeling in that moment,
and you’re watching everybody play in that moment.
It’s like literally art in real life.
It’s happening right in front of you.
When you go see a jazz band, you see how it works.
So you can see sometimes the conflict
between the musicians and working their way out of a problem
or something like that.
So it’s very, very much something to see
versus just something to hear.
And it’s dying.
It’s dying, man.
That’s a real thing people say,
like jazz is dying or jazz is dead.
And I don’t agree.
The tradition of jazz is that it changes.
It always changes every 10 years, it goes through a change.
That’s actually the real tradition.
So when people purists say,
What you’re doing isn’t jazz and jazz is dead
because it doesn’t sound like it used to.
They’re not really purist.
If you’re really purist and you really love jazz,
you know that it changes, ask any jazz purists
who their favorite jazz musician is probably the one
that gets the most votes is probably Miles Davis.
And Miles Davis kept changing.
He changed the music like seven times.
When he died he was on the brink of doing hip hop music.
I always want it to be relevant.
I always want to do music of now
and always wanting to bring jazz into the next thing always.
So that’s literally what the history of the music is.
And I think that we’re honoring our forefathers
of the music by taking what they did and changing it
and making it something new.
That’s what it’s supposed to be.
What are you gonna do?
I’m gonna have my own club.
We’re gonna play whatever we want,
whenever we want, however we want.
As long as it’s pure jazz.
I mean, term really good.
They just choose an era of jazz
that they really connect with
and they wanted to stay like that.
And that makes it pure.
Pretty much anything before the 70s,
once the 70s came into play,
then you got people including electronic instruments,
electric keyboards, electric bass and things of that nature
which changed the style of music, changed the sound,
in a lot of people’s mind, That’s not jazz anymore.
Jazz is this everything’s acoustic, upright, bass, piano,
acoustic drums, some horns.
So that’s kind of what they thing is.
It has to stay like that.
If it doesn’t stay like that, it’s not pure.
I actually thought it was a good movie.
You know, the problem with it is, La la Land,
was like on musical and it had some cool jazz moments.
Because you know, jazz, they don’t like musical,
because people think,
Oh, the musical music that’s jazz.
And it’s like, yeah,
that’s kind of like Broadway poppy kind of stuff.
It’s not jazz.
So I think there was mixed messages
and that people were just kinda putting
it all together in one.
So I think La la Land got some hate because of that.
But in reality, if you just look at it in the real way
the jazz stuff was good.
I like the intent of the movie.
I like what Ryan saying.
He has his own opinion about the music
and he’s just trying to fight for it and keep it here.
And it brought a lot of attention
to the jazz world, honestly.
Next up, Whiplash.
That’s not a normal thing, just to walk on stage.
Not supposed to be the drummer for that particular song.
I think he got kicked off the concert
or something like that.
And he didn’t even wait for the director to count it off.
Normally in the big band situation,
the director has to go one, two, one, two.
And so then everybody knows where they are.
Miles totally skipped that part.
Will definitely make any band director angry at that point.
And you’re in a school,
you’re going off of what the band director tells you to do.
He’s counting everybody in.
He’s bringing in the drums.
He’s bringing in the bass.
He’s bringing in orchestra.
And so you’re trained to just do that.
Most of these kids haven’t been in a jazz club.
They don’t have a bunch of years under their belt
to kinda know how things flow.
So you can tell everybody’s kind of startled
like, What’s happening?
That kinda thing happens when you have a smaller group
leaving the club at the jazz club and you’re playing
then you can be like,
Yo, all right, come in here.
And everybody’s gonna vibe in the room.
When you have a big band and it’s educational
kind of surrounding it,
that doesn’t happen at all,
’cause everybody’s waiting on the director
to come in on their part.
So it could definitely be a train wreck.
For jazz, big band is like, you have a rhythm section
which is like kennel guitar, bass and drums,
maybe some percussion.
And that means you have like five or six saxophones
in a row, four or five trumpet players behind them.
You got like 15, 20 horns.
The bigger the band is,
then the word orchestra starts coming into play.
A lot of times orchestra means they’re strings
but some people kinda used the words together.
It could be…
They may say, So-and-so is jazz orchestra.
But it’s really a big band.
The good thing about this is Miles Teller
is actually playing the drums.
So you can see he’s playing the drums.
The drums is the one instrument that everybody
knows what it looks like to play drums.
So for the most part, you can tell if somebody
is faking the drums or not, for the most part.
Most people don’t know what a saxophone fingering is,
or a trumpet player is fingering and that beat is not
an easy beat to play.
He’s playing a few different rhythms all over the set.
Some cross rhythms happening,
one rhythm going into another rhythm.
Hi-hats doing one thing
And he’s playing around it.
Go ahead Miles.
This particular song is called, Caravan.
It’s a Duke Ellington composition,
very, very, very famous Duke Ellington composition.
He was a very famous band director, very famous composer.
And this is one of the songs that musicians love to play.
It’s one of the songs that doesn’t do the natural
what everybody does with jazz, they swing things…
This has more of a four-four bass drum like…
Kinda having like a more middle Eastern kind of vibe,
you know, and more rhythmic than normal.
So the beginning of the song is more of that vibe,
in the middle of the song, it goes right to swing.
People love to play the song because it’s very easy
to kind of do arrangements of the song,
because it’s not necessarily locked so hardcore
into the traditional jazz pattern of swing.
Is really a drummer tune,
which is why it makes sense being used in Whiplash.
Because drummers love switching from this to that
and then setting up, going back,
then setting up going there.
A lot of the song really depends on the drummer’s direction.
I know some of these musicians in there.
So that’s one reason why I definitely
know these are the casts playing the actual song.
So the actual thing is great.
It’s a trumpet player that comes in.
They’re kind of having a conversation if you will.
And the drums is really holding the conversation together.
Very, very, very interesting how that’s happening.
And that’s really what happens in real life.
And Miles is holding his own, playing it.
I like the fact that they give you so much shine
to the drums.
It’s not so common that drummers take the leads.
There’ve been drummers that have had their own band.
That take leads on a lot of things.
And it’s an interesting way to look at it
and when they hear it,
it takes on different a different direction,
but it’s dope, because the drums,
the drum set in any band really is probably
the most important piece, it’s the heartbeat.
So in a real way, this movie definitely allows you
to see how important, you know, the drums are in the band.
Went to a high school
of performing arts in Houston, Texas for a jazz.
You know, the drummers didn’t have to play
till their finger splint.
That’s not the actual thing.
But our jazz director,
he was hard on us and he was hard on us in a good way.
That’s why so many great musicians come out of my school
because of how hard our director was on us.
There’s a big band, you know, everything has to be tight.
So even in my high school, we used to be a big band,
we had sectionals, which means after school,
your section would have a rehearsal with the jazz director,
just your section to make sure
all of our things are on point,
everything we hit, all the notes were on point and tight
and they will come together,
because everything has to be perfect, precise.
But if you miss a note, you go early or you go late.
You miss a note.
It’s gonna be heard because everything’s so tight
and everybody has their own place to play.
Directors can definitely hear all the mistakes.
‘Cause they know the music.
They probably performed the same chart for years
with other bands, that particular director might’ve did this
for 10 years already.
So by the time you get here, the director knows it by heart.
So any little thing that’s off, he knows, he’s ready for it.
He’s ready, you know.
Gotta be on point.
Next up, Miles Ahead.
No bias or anything, but I did score this movie.
So did I win a Grammy for the soundtrack in the movie?
Yes, but none of that has any bearing
on what I’m saying about the movie.
Do you pick up the note in the solo perhaps
we could add that to it.
And then have them double it when the section plays.
Do you want me to make a note here?
Yeah, let’s just try.
This is the [indistinct] by Don Cheadle.
I got to say he did a great job with Mile’s voice
and his vibe, even the lingo he was saying,
glissandos and the way he was describing
what he wanted with the band was very realistic
and on point.
A lot of people don’t know he actually
is a musician as well.
So he knows musical terms.
He understands it and all that stuff that really
made it easy to work with him.
That’s in of the four takes here.
Yeah, that’s right. We’re coming in.
This way and I want him to sting it, you know,
hit it and then they take it off.
Then they gotta [indistinct].
Miles Davis in the scene,
he’s talking to Gil Evans who was an amazing arranger.
It was a big deal that they were doing an album together.
But yeah, some of the lingo he’s talking about here,
you know, he says, I want the sting.
I want this thing right here.
It’s kinda like an exclamation point for horns.
Accentuate it and you play it loud,
you play it a certain way.
So they call that stinging or a glissando.
He says, glissando.
That’s when you kind of do a little glimpse,
going into a note,
a lot of people would like kind of like that.
That’s kind of what you do in that situation.
Yeah. And then they take it off,
then they gotta glissando.
In jazz. And this comment to work with a producer, depends,
that the producer can mean certain things to certain people.
Some producers don’t have anything to do
with the music at all.
Most jazz musicians produce their own record.
As far as the music goes,
they’re kinda taking care of the music part, most of.
You have some producers who come in as a producer
who are doing other things,
but they’re not necessarily touching the music,
but they’re making sure that everything is running smoothly.
Studio time and positions are there.
People are getting paid.
All the I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed.
And hold that over the next, next measure.
Yeah, hold that over to the next measure.
And the middle is off.
You’re gonna regroup?
Yeah, we should get them back in.
Let’s do it. Thanks man.
That little cord that Don Cheadle hit right there.
That was me.
They filmed them beforehand, but I just made the cord cool.
Made it something that would probably be, you know,
something that you would probably hear
in this particular setting.
I had to do a lot of that in this movie,
where the scene was shot already
and the musicians were playing already
and I had to come in myself
and another bass player and another drummer
and look at what they’re doing
and make it sound good,
but make it look like they’re actually playing.
So that was a difficult thing to do
versus somebody hearing what I’ve already done
and they have to mimic me, but make it sound good.
Be musical about this shit.
Be wrong strong, okay?
Otherwise get the [beep] out.
Miles Davis is known for his attitude
with the trumpet and without the trumpet,
but he always said, It’s not the note that counts.
It’s the person that’s playing the note that counts.
One person could play a C
and then the other person can play a C.
And this sounds like two totally different notes.
It’s about the confidence behind the note
and all of these things behind the note.
Basically play it with confidence or don’t play.
What’s also good about this
is all of Don’s fingerings are correct on the trumpet.
The he learned how to play the trumpet to do this part.
It’s really cool that he did that.
The trumpet is very important in jazz.
The role of it is very important.
I think it comes…
It probably stems from Louis Armstrong.
I would imagine why it’s such a thing,
because Louis Armstrong was the father of jazz and you know,
he was so famous and he’s saying,
and he was like a pop star, but a jazz musician.
The two instruments that really symbolized jazz
a lot of times, it’s the trumpet and the saxophone,
because Charlie Parker is the saxophone
because of the trumpet it’s Louis Armstrong.
And then after that,
you have Miles Davis who made the trumpets super cool.
He made being a jazz musician, cool.
He was like, Miles Davis like a rock and roll star,
but in jazz.
Gil Evans had a specific way of arranging things.
He just had a sound that no one else really had.
How he stacked certain horns against each other,
when you arrange it’s up to you,
how you wanna stack things against each other,
where you wanna put the saxs?
where do you want to put the trumpet?
How do they blend?
All that kind of stuff matters,
if Gil Evans had just a smooth, cool, laid back sound.
Got Miles Davis was already cool in his way and who he is.
And then you have Gil Evans that has this cool sound.
It was a whole package deal
and they call it [indistinct].
This was in like the 50s, like late 50s, I believe,
somewhere in there.
And this particular way of recording
was the way they recorded, everybody in the same room.
You didn’t have a lot of separation booths
to separate the sound.
So that’s another reason why you gotta be tight
and rehearsal was a thing,
because if one person messed up
you have to do the whole thing over again.
Unlike now, you can have different people
in different rooms and kind of, you know,
overdub people and do all these things
to make a recording what it is.
But here everybody’s in the room,
everything kinda has to be hit and quit, perfect.
Miles is more than just a jazz musician.
Miles was an attitude.
Miles was so influential and he represented change.
He represented no ceilings.
You just always want to move
and try to go along to the next thing.
For me and for a lot of my musician, friends,
for the music, the genre, all genres, really, you know.
He was the first person to really just say,
Forget what the norm is, forget what the rules are
and just totally break the rules
and repeatedly keep breaking the rules.
Rest in peace, Miles Davis.
Next up, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.
we will be honored if you will play jazz flute for us
I can’t. Please.
You play jazz flute?
Going to see a show and getting called
up to play is actually normal in jazz, for sure.
I go there, see people play all the time.
You know, somebody might see me and be like,
Oh, Rob you wanna play?
So if there’s musicians on stage
and they know one of the musician friends in the audience
a lot of times they’ll call them.
So, when you have a flute
and you know that instrument is kind of small,
so you can tuck it away,
versus if you have a saxophone or you play guitar
or something like that, then it’s like,
okay, it’s harder to just jump on and play with someone.
For me, if I get called up, it depends.
It depends on the band.
If the band is not good.
I make up an excuse.
But if the band is good, yeah, I’ll jump on.
It all depends on the vibe.
And you know, what’s happening
Guys, East Harlem Shake Down e-flat.
That’s not an actual tune
but I love the name of it, East Harlem Shake down.
He called the key.
So it’s not only calling a song that doesn’t exist at all
but I’ma tell you a key, e-flat.
It’s not e-flat.
That’s the greatest thing.
Normally, musicians know the keys
because most songs are in the keys musicians played in.
Most songs were in one key.
Like, you know, this song musicians played in this key.
The key thing really comes into play
when there’s a singer, there’s a vocalist.
Then a vocalist comes up and says,
Let’s play this song but I sing it in this key,
’cause every vocal is sings in different keys.
Nobody comes up and says,
I only play this song in this key
when it’s the instrument.
But for vocals, you have to change keys a lot of times.
Keep the symbol splashy
and Jared let’s stick to baseline for a while.
Keep the symbol splashy
is not an actual lingo that real jazz musicians say,
they do say, you know, Walk the bass.
So take the bass for a walk.
They don’t necessarily say it like that
but they’d be like, Yo, walk the bass here.
Taking a bass for a walk means walking the bass,
which means making the base play quarter notes
or eighth notes, but basically continuous…
No real space in between.
It’s just continuously.
kind of like when you’re walking down the street
There’s also the issue of the microphone.
He’s walking all over.
He’s in the bathroom.
He was walking through the club, the mic is on the stage,
but you could still hear him perfectly clear.
The song they’re playing, it’s not a…
First of all, it’s not a real song
and it’s not even how a real jazz song would actually go.
The sections they’re going in is something
that was purely made for this score.
You know, me to, essentially the things that
to bring to light things that he’s doing,
it’s following that kind of thing,
but a real jazz song wouldn’t take on that kind
of characteristic and do what it’s doing.
These guys weren’t playing these instruments.
This was like a total mess.
They didn’t even look like they were playing
what you heard, really.
Obviously that wasn’t even the point.
There’s a part in there where you can hear the bungalow
and the drums play at the same time.
The bungalows are by the drum, it’s overdub,
you can hear this actual drummer and actual bungalow player
playing separately, the drinking liquids with the flute.
I’m gonna go ahead and say, that’s not a thing.
I’m gonna go ahead and save that for obvious reasons.
It’s not a straw.
The lighting, your instrument on fire.
I mean, that’s not a thing in jazz.
People in the rock have done it,
but not so much for a jazz flute settings.
I think that they did a good job with this movie
and overdoing some of the things,
making fun of the genre in a way,
even when it’s a jazz performance that’s interesting.
It’s not like this.
I wish they were.
Next up, Mo’ Better Blues.
That’s Terence Blanchard on trumpet,
Kenny Kirkland and Jeff Tain Watts,
are some of my favorite musicians in general
on this soundtrack.
You have Denzel here, who’s, you know, cleaning his horn,
putting it together, which is the thing
that trumpet players have to do a lot.
Anybody that he’s taken care
of his instrument in the real way.
So that’s when he has to do.
And Denzel really learned how to do that on his own.
And he did a lot on his own,
actually I talked to Terence Blanchard about this movie.
And he was telling me how he really learned
the fingerings, the everything, so it looks real
and learn how to put the trumpet,
take it apart and put it back together, you know,
on his own after a while and learn how to clean it for real.
The beginning of that song when it first came on
and they were showing the John Coltrane poster
and everything, you heard the rhythm section,
but you also heard the orchestra behind it.
So that was strings also added to that,
which is really cool.
Spike Lee also has a lot of strings in the music
and his films in general.
His dad, Billy is a string arranger.
And so he orchestrated a lot of the strings in this movie.
Before this movie, he did all of the string arrangements
for the Spike movies.
That’s kind of a thing for Spike the movies.
When you hear the music, you hear a certain sound strings
and that sound is Spike’s band, really.
That’s a totally real thing. Absolutely.
People do that all the time.
I do that, even if it’s not thinking I’m in a band,
I kind of just noodle and I do my hands like this
and I kinda just noodle it and kind of practice in my head.
But I definitely know we can look weird for sure,
doing that stuff, that’s real.
Sometimes it’s not even about the hitting
the notes when you sing them.
It’s just about, you’re just playing the notes.
So you really hear it in your head,
with Denzel, he was just kinda hearing the notes
in his head and kind of like mimicking the notes out loud
but it’s not accurate notes per se.
It just helps get the thought out.
It could be a rhythmic thought.
So it’s not even really about the notes.
It’s about the rhythm.
Clarke, what time is it?
And what does that mean?
That means you’re practicing.
It means I’m practicing.
And if you know, I’m practicing
and you know I don’t finish practicing until two o’clock,
which is for at least another 60 minutes
why are you buzzing my buzzer.
That’s also a very real thing.
A lot of people have a practice schedule every day.
I knew a dude that practice every day from 1:00 to 10:00,
that was a normal thing for him, like, you know.
A lot of musicians are like that.
I’m gonna practice, I’m practicing and that’s all I’m doing.
Don’t bother me when I’m practicing.
I need the practice.
Once you start touring, you start working, you got kids,
you have real life things all the time.
You have less and less time to practice.
Sometimes I’ll fit in an outfit
in a 10 minute practice if I can.
It’s not really about how long you practice,
it’s about what you practice, really.
If you can concentrate on something for 20 minutes,
15 minutes, 10 minutes, just concentrate on it.
Sometimes that’s better than practicing 10 hours.
But sometimes people say they’re practicing 10 hours
and they play for 10 hours, but they didn’t learn anything.
It’s really about the concentration
and how much you put into the small amount of time
you allot yourself to practice
A certain time to do this a certain time to do that.
Everything’s on a schedule, the timetable,
loosen up, tight ass.
Let me explain something to you.
Life is short, okay?
I need it like this to do all the things I’ve got to do,
I like order.
Order is fine, but you’re ridiculous.
There is no clock-out time.
You don’t clock out when you do music.
It’s 24 hours a part of your life.
It’s the love of your life.
It’s hard to fit another person in there.
And a lot of times it doesn’t work.
Sometimes people can find love and it works out.
The balance is perfect.
That person understands where your passion is
and they can know how to navigate with you through that.
But a lot of times it doesn’t work out,
because sometimes, you know,
music is the other partner, you know,
music’s your life partner.
So it’s like you gotta compete with that.
Can be definitely hard being in a relationship.
Next up, ‘Round Midnight
It’s always about music
and playing the saxophone.
First off, this is Dexter Gordon we’re watching here.
He’s one of the masters of the music,
tenor saxophone player, very influential in jazz.
And this is him really just talking about real life,
about how music in general, when you’re a musician
and that’s really what you do.
It’s not just a hobby, but it’s really what you do.
There’s no breaks from it.
Even when you sleep, think about music,
you’re dreaming about some music.
It’s a constant thing in your life all the time.
I bet this particular part of the movie,
probably wasn’t even scripted.
So, you know, authentic.
And also let’s not forget, the other master teacher,
Mr. Herbie Hancock.
He scored this film.
This was a definitely an important movie.
My love is music,
and it’s 24 hours a day.
Music consumes you because if you’re a composer,
then a lot of times you’re composing based off
of what you do in your life.
You get influenced by all of these different things
and you start writing music based on these things.
I’m always constantly singing melodies in my mind,
coming up with melodies or humming them
that come out of the blue, becomes one with your life
because one feeds the other.
So there’s so much, you have to know.
Even to be a bad jazz musician,
you gotta be kinda good just to play the music.
It just requires so much because it’s a music
that you improv and you come up with things on the spot
every time you play.
That’s really what the thing about jazz,
is more than any other music.
I look at my mouthpiece
and it’s all bloody, but I haven’t felt a thing
For saxophone players, like Dexter Gordon
and they’re playing with a reed or a wooden reed.
And so, therefore you can cut your lip, you know,
I’ve seen it happen.
I’ve had an injury,
’cause I’m always having hands in this position.
So I’ve developed something called golfer’s elbow.
Whatever instrument you have, you can have a certain
over time, you know, have an injury because of it.
Like how he just kinda put it all in one thing,
like basically he’s saying his life is music
and his love is music.
He loves music so much
that it’s a constant part of his life, 24/7.
And any real musician will feel the same.
I think anybody feels the same
with whatever your passion is.
If you’re a person that’s fortunate enough
to find your passion and have a passion,
you probably think about that passion all day, all the time.
Thanks for watching The Breakdown,
with me watching these cool clips.
These jazz movies, appreciate the hang, but I gotta go.
So, I’m out.