Is improvisational jazz to impressionism art as smooth jazz is to realism art?


So, I’ll acknowledge up front, I’m an engineer. Civilian and Warfighter lives can be in the balance depending on whether our company products perform as required or not. As a result, I try very hard to drive the entropic world we live in towards black and white as much as possible. I need to put order to chaos. When i look at art, impressionistic art requires a lot of mental work to make sense of. I just don't see it or get it, appreciate it or like it. I also find, as hard as i may try to enjoy improvisational jazz, that i don't get it, appreciate it, or like it. Instead, I love Realism art and instrumental smooth jazz!!
Reading from Audiogon forum pages for a couple of years now, i feel like i should feel inferior because 1. I don’t appreciate the free flow of expression that is improvisational jazz and 2. I love that there is a tune and thread in smooth jazz. I love the guitar artistry of Chuck Loeb, Chris Standring, and Acoustic Alchemy; the trumpet expressions of Rick Braun, Cindy Bradley, and Chris Botti; and the bass works of Brian Bromberg. 
I’m curious if there are many others out there that equate order (or lack there-of) in their music tastes to that of their taste in the visual arts?
Also, are there many other music lovers who would rather enjoy a good smooth jazz listening session than improvisational jazz?  If so, who do you listen to?
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So to be brief, you dislike interesting, and enjoy boring.
Not sure I am following your analogy. Are you saying smooth jazz is more like photo realism in painting? And that improvisational jazz is more like impressionism? I’m not sure I’m capable of answering that.
I was not listening to jazz for years, despite having shelves of straight-ahead stuff, some of it considered "important," but what got me going again several years ago was stuff in the ’70s done by some of the players who had serious credentials but no market. So, what I began to explore was more eclectic, personal, less commercial stuff that eventually became very collectible because it was only issued in small runs by small or private labels. Strata East and Nimbus West come to mind-- some great material on those labels.
Cecil McBee became one of my favorites- a very melodic bass player who appears on a lot of so-called spiritual/soul jazz and some stuff that is classified as "free jazz." I don’t like complete cacophony, but appreciate it more as an accent or element of contrast -- Pharoah Sanders is known for this multi-phonic squawk from his horn but he can slide back into a melodic line which hits the center of the sweet spot in a way that is sublime.
There’s a lot out there to explore. I think one of the virtues of modern jazz (or any type of music for that matter) is that you can educate yourself by listening and the process is pretty enjoyable. And there’s a fair amount of information out there to tap into.
For me, it isn’t an intellectual pursuit, or one that I consider an investment. But, the more edgy stuff is something I have "ears" for now, partly due to exposure and digging down into a vein that has proved to be rich, e.g. McBee’s work. I guess I like straddling the line between what would be considered post-bop and "free" jazz, although I’m always happy to listen to Art Pepper (Cecil appears on one of his late records "Today"), or Bud Powell or other greats from the earlier eras.
I totally get what you are saying. For instance, I like some Miles, but then I get lost in some of his free-form. I can appreciate what he is doing, but after one or two of his more improvisional stuff, I start to have trouble following it. My opinion is, you have to really sit and listen "hard" and not lose track of what he (or others) are saying with their improvisions - whether in art or music. In relationship to art, I believe it’s similar, for some art, you have to "study" and think hard about it to get what the artist is trying to say.
I don’t feel dumb for not sometimes understanding and I don’t put myself down for it. Some art I get (Banksy, Van Gough) others not so much (Lichtenstein, Duchamp). I get most Miles, and some other improvisional jazz guys, but some I don’t. Actually there is classical I feel the same way about, and rock. A good example of rock, I can listen to 1-2 songs of Yes, but then I find it gets "annoying". Even though I know Yes makes amazing music. Same with Jethro Tull and Frank Zappa - great music, but only a little at a time and not all of it, but that’s me, not the quality of the artist. However, as my nickname alludes too, I get all of the Dead. And I know many who can’t stand what they do (my wife sadly). I cannot explain why. But I do continue to re-try those musicians and artists every once in a while. I think someone else here called it "active listening". Some music and art are simply not for casual listening no matter what. I’d suggest to you to try it in small doses and also play one song 2-3 times in a row. Sometimes repeated listening/exposure helps to dig into it deeper.
I am not saying I am right or wrong. about this or any artist, just telling you how I hear and see it myself and understand where you are coming from.

Oh, as an add, what I listen to in Jazz that's smooth but not mush, try Stanley Clark, Return to Forever, The Modern Jazz Quartet.
To a certain extent you are on the mark when it comes to music that has obvious scales, tunes & meter being roughly equivalent to representational art.  And again, it is indeed a matter of taste whether or not you prefer your music to be straightforward. The thing is, the world is extraordinarily complex. A lot of it simply does not make sense at first or even second blush. I gotta say, though, that once you begin stretching your aesthetic sensibility and allow yourself to become comfortable with things that might not be crystal clear at first glance, you'll uncover a whole universe of treasures. 
Nice post, @deadhead1000- I don't think anyone seriously thinks they can convince a person to like a certain type of music, and the added difficulty with jazz (not quite as much as a factor with rock during its heyday) is that jazz performers appear on lots of records as non-featured artists. To a lesser degree true with rock, but some of my favorite work is actually that of the side persons/session players on a given recording. 
I grew up around people who would follow the Dead; my listening of them told me they were consummate, and could jam blues/folk/rock/ endlessly at a high level of technical and musical proficiency, but it really is a long trip, isn't it? (Some of these jazz tracks are entire sides, not making that a measure of anything). 
On Tull, having come up on them from the beginning, "Stand Up" is so much the template for what that band did in creating a men in tights medieval balladeer meets crushing rock (the guitar wielded by Martin Barre was pretty gnarly); This Was is more blues and jazz and doesn't reflect the general direction of the band (though Aqualung, commercially and musically, may be the album of broadest appeal). But, at the end of the day, just using that band as an example you can find different periods associated with different overall sounds/styles from the band. Sometimes, your point of entry affects your perception, too. 
In connection with jazz, I really didn't pay any attention to any of these records at the time they were released. They were only discovered by me after many excursions into more unfamiliar terrain, sometimes, with knowledge of one or another musicians who appeared with them for that particular recorded performance. 
Maybe my mantra should be listen more, talk less. But, then you'd never see me. :)

@edcyn- +1.
Bill Hart
@estreams: Your view of the different strains of Jazz can lead one to this fact: amongst some musicians, the more "difficult" a music is, the more artistic it is. It’s a form of snobery, one I clearly hear in the music of, for instance, Frank Zappa. The term "abstract" is, I believe, a better one than impressionism for what you are talking about.

The snobery comes from the belief that more complex and/or difficult (atonal, lack of melody and/or traditional song chord progressions/structure) music expects and asks more of the listener, requiring a knowledge of music theory, if only to discard it in practice.

If I may suggest a (non-Jazz) music which is very formally structured, melodic, and "inviting" (unlike the off-putting "difficult" strains of Jazz), give J.S. Bach a try. His music is all of the above, but in Baroque music the musician is often free to add his own improvisation embellishment to the written score. In fact, in the 17th and 18th centuries that ability was expected. It’s almost like a musician taking a solo in a song, though to a lesser degree.
Abstract Art was a CIA project. No kidding... Classified Documents revealed that the whole market for doodle art was created by the CIA, they wanted to show the west as being more advanced and progressive compared to the Rigid Soviet Union.
The agency paid curators, and bought the art to kick start the market.
I think their motives were more of an experiment, to see if they could influence people to abandon classical standards, and accept the post modernism view, that there is no objective beauty.
If you don’t get abstract art and music, don’t worry... you still have a functioning brain, and are probably smarter than the average Joe.
The key to enjoying jazz of any type is to listen to it. Listen to all of it.

My cousin introduced me to jazz around the age of fourteen. I cut my teeth on West Coast Jazz. Dave Brubeck Quartet, Howard Rumsey's Light House All-Stars, Shelley Mann, Cal Tjader, etc. It all made sense and sounded so melodic. I loved it.

My cousin loved the likes of Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, and Charles Mingus. I couldn't stand them. My cousin told me to just keep listening, and I would eventually get it. Sure enough, one night while listening to Monk, the lightbulb went on and I realized that the man was a musical genius. The rest followed suit. 

A friend of mine is an ex-studio musician (guitar). He loves opera. I couldn't stand it. My friend told me the same thing my cousin did about jazz ... just keep listening to it. So, I put a cassette tape of some opera arias in my car and started listening. Bingo! I now have a very nice collection of complete operas and opera highlights. 

So, to the OP and others who don't get abstract jazz, just keep listening. Once you realize that the players are in complete control of the music, you'll start to get it. It helps to follow the bass line. 

Frank
Thank you all for sharing your thoughts and insights on this thread. I wrote the OP piece last night after many bourbons and a cigar enjoying being down at Auburn’s  campus with the anticipation of going into a stadium to see a college football game for the first time in 2 years!  So I’m glad that the post made sense to some and apologies to those whom it didn’t. I do enjoy other music like the classic rock I grew up with in the 60’s and especially 70’s (Led Zep and Steely Dan especially).  I also listened to a lot of Funk & Soul back in the 70’s which may have laid the groundwork for my later in life Jazz enjoyment.  I do like some of Stanley Clark, Dave Brubeck, and definitely love the Miles led Kind of Blue album!I’ve found that as I got into my late 50’s and early 60’s, i can only “take” small doses of “cacophony”.  That said, I like the advice, many of you provided, to try a little harder dig deeper into improv jazz to appreciate the artists skill and interplay for what it is and don’t focus on lack of melody.  
@bdp24, you suggested J. S. Bach. That reminded me of the music appreciation class i took in college. Our professor told us at the beginning of the semester that our final exam would consist of him dropping the needle on any song on any record of 10 or more classical music composers and we would have to name the composer and the piece. I spent untold hours that semester in the library listening to cassette tape recordings of all the pieces that might be on the exam. I should reconnect with that genre. One last thought, going back to my “cacophony” complaint; i know i need better resolving speakers than what i have today. I have a feeling that hearing a better separation of instruments and notes could help open the aperture to broader jazz & genre enjoyment. 
Why such long answers for an obvious answer is curious. I know several engineers, nice guys but clueless re:abstraction.
I think I understand the OP and like him I got nothing against modern jazz, unless they play it too darn fast, which can destroy the beauty of the melody and, at worst, make it sound like a symphony.  That's why for me, and I'm only speaking for myself here, just give me that rock 'n' roll music -- it's got a backbeat, you can blues it.
I much prefer Dixieland jazz to the sometime cacophonic free-form style. 
"One last thought, going back to my “cacophony” complaint; i know i need better resolving speakers than what i have today. I have a feeling that hearing a better separation of instruments and notes could help open the aperture to broader jazz & genre enjoyment."

Try avoiding the "genre specific" speaker mindset that some appear to have. Your "perfect "speaker will sound good for everything.

"Smooth Jazz" can be broken into categories. Just keep the drum machine, synthy, processed Kenny G. stuff out of my collection. Not that there's anything wrong with that...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-mjt1ypiF8

Are you familiar with Jeff Golub? He was Rod Stewart's touring guitarist during Rod's corny years in the late 80's
Another good "Smooth Jazz"  artist. 
tablejockey ...

I have the same feelings about Kenny G. as you do. However, I saw him one night as a guest on the old Arsenio Hall show. Kenny G. played his soprano sax without all of the electronics backing him up. It was just Kenny G. playing straight-ahead jazz. Believe it or not, the man kicked butt. Why he didn't cut recordings like that is beyond me.

Frank
Endless scope for inexact analogies.

Like: Kenny G. is to Andy Warhol as Charlie Parker is to......................


As a professional musician, these posts make me want to kill myself.
Song title on the debut album (entitled Gorilla) of The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band:

"Jazz, Delicious Hot, Disgusting Cold".

More facts about Jazz: The music requires the most technique of all non-Classical musics to be able to perform well. Lots of music requires no more than average in that regard, but lots of Jazz is not only difficult to listen to, but also to play. That is---I contend---part of it’s snob appeal.

Jeff Hamilton (Diana Krall’s drummer) gave a talk at a late-90’s Los Angeles Custom & Vintage Drum Show, and talked about he and his Dad watching The Beatles’ first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, and laughing at the playing of Ringo Starr. There’s some of that Jazz attitude: Technical ability alone defines the quality of a musician’s playing, and the combined technical abilities of a musical ensemble the quality of the music they make.

Would the music of The Beatles have been "better" if Hamilton rather than Ringo was their drummer? Or could it instead have been less good?
@bdp24  Yeah, there are more than a few out there who listen to difficult, non-straightforward music simply to demonstrate how "intelligent" they are. I have to say, too, that my first exposure to atonal, polytonal, rhythmically complicated music (using the word "complex" would be too snobby) did hurt my sensibilities. 

I was still close to the single digits in age when my dad gave me LPs of Stravinsky's Petroushka and a "Divertimento for Orchestra" by Nicolai Lopatnikoff.  I put 'em on and hated them. I think my dad hated 'em, too, which is why he pawned them off on me. The thing is, it wasn't long before I was enjoying the heck out of them. They expanded my mind. I'd drive my friends crazy by putting them on the record player. Long story short --  If the music speaks to me on an emotional level I'll listen to it no matter how noisy, crooked or straight it might be. For me it's the art not the science that counts.  But still -- Live and Let Listen!
Ive played with good technical players who's playing left me cold. It lacked life. It was sterile, w/o emotion. What good is music if it doesn't connect with the people. And most of them are going to judge the music on emotions...how it makes them feel. Simple music is what most understand the best.
Well…..lemme see….as a person who quite enjoys classical, jazz, and various forms of ‘rock’….and also studied art through my youth and fine arts in college….

I would equate (if that is possible) improvisational jazz to ‘abstract expressionism’. Think DeKooning, Pollock, Gorky, etc.

’smooth jazz’? probably horrid ‘black velvet’ paintings you used to see being sold on the street corner. Certainly not ‘realism’.

That is all 😛

@estreams:

" Impressionistic art requires a lot of mental work to make sense of. I just don't see it or get it, appreciate it or like it. I also find, as hard as i may try to enjoy improvisational jazz, that i don't get it, appreciate it, or like it. Instead, I love Realism art and instrumental smooth jazz!!"

Nothing wrong with that-- each to his/her own.

I am confused by your choice of Impressionism as "difficult", however. Most Impressionist works are very pretty with easily recognizable subject matter.  No doubt these are some of the rerasons why it's probably the most popular style, world-wide. Think Monet, for example. 

Perhaps what you mean is Expressionist Art -- especially Abstract Expressionist. Art, such as Pollock, De Kooning, Gorky, etc. ?
Scrawly, chaotic, messy stuff-- the "my kid could do that with fingerpaints" stuff. 

As a right-brained person who's made quite a bit of art and who enjoys both abstract and representational approaches, I'd suggest to you that abstract art cannot be "made sense of"-- it's simply not designed to fulfill that function. It is designed to communicate but not in a literal manner. It's not a puzzle to be figured out, logically. If you approach it in this way, it's understandable that it feels like "hard work". Abstract art implies rather than replicates. There is a fampous quote about this by Paul Klee-- "Art does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible".  What does it make visible? That which is otherwise hidden. Here is another of his quotes: "Art should be like a holiday; something to change his point of view". 

Please understand that I'm not saying "This is the truth"-- I'm only attempting to convey to you the spirit of abstraction. 

I very much hope this does not sound patronizing or elitist to you because it's not about "High Art" or "Low Art".    

We could think of art as a spectrum, with photography that has no aim but to represent optical reality perfectly, at one end and the most abstract painting at the other end. 

On the photography end of the spectrum, think of a newspaper photgraph. All you notice is the subject-- let's stick with a bridge across a canyon. There's no mistaking what the subject is and the medium used to convey this information is entirely transparent. It's like an audio system that's so perfectly resolving that it adds no coloration to the music. You see a bridge crossing a canyon and you give little thought to the quality of the medium communicating this image. What you see is what you get. 
This is your "black and white" world. 

Now, as we move across the sprectrum, we come to a Photorealist artist, such as Chuck Close, known for enormous and enormously life-like, portraits. In fact, you might at first assume they're photographs. At the same time, once you learn they're not photographs, youbegin to pay more attention to the medium or mark-making. You may marvel at the artist's technique, for example. You're no longer wholly focusing upon the subject; you're beginning to also focus upon how the image is being delivered to you and perhaps, how that shapes your expereience of the subject. 

Next, moving just a bit futher along our spectrum, we might encounter a drawing of a bridge across a canyon, executed by someone with incredible draughtsmanship. You still recognize the subject -- bridge across a canyon-- with no difficulty but you do notice certain aspects of how the image is presented. You may marvel at aspects of the technique-- a masterful use of shading, perspective or varying line weights, for example. Because it's arguably more difficult to create a "photographic" quality with pencil, you may marvel at how the mark-making creates such a convincingly representational image and thus, you pay more attention to the "how" as opposed to solely focusing upon the ""what". This doesn't detract from you capacity for comprehending the subject -- bridge across a canyon-- but the medium (pencil drawing) and the qualities of mark-making it employs are beginning to take on more weight in your process of perceiving what you are looking at. they are being to exert more of an influence upon your experience of the art-work. 

In the middle of the spectrum, we find art in which the subject-- bridge across a canyon-- and awareness of the marks that convey the subject take on equal weight in the experience of perception. You notice the brush-strokes as much as you notice what they're conveying or constructing-- an image of a bridge across a canyon. Furthermore, the mark-making aspect begins to convey more than purely optical information. It begins to provide information on other levels. For example, you may get the sense that the artist has a very comfortable association with the bridge- Maybe he crossed it many times as a child on his way to see his favorite uncle. Or, perhaps the mark-making gives you the sense of danger and foreboding-- it's a bridge you might easily be swept off by the wind toward a rendevous with death on the jagged rocks below. 

You get the point, I hope. When we eventually reach the complete other side of the spectrum, there's very little representational reference to a bridge crossing a canyon. The marks simply do not provide any easily recognizable clues to anything we recognize. On that  side of the spectrum, we expereince the very opposite of what we saw in the newspaper photograph-- the medium or mark-making utterly dominates and the subject seems to have competely left the building. . . er canvas. 

This is where the most Abstract visual art and most abstract music lives.
What you get is what you see/perceive. But the method of perceiving what is being conveyed by the artist is very different from the method that worked on the opposite end of the spectrum. There is black and white but ther are also many shades of gray... and they're not neatly arranged-- they're all jumbled up, together.

The rational mind is of little use, here. It is instead about sensing or "feeling into" what's on the canvas. And I'd argue that such sensing is pretty much impossible if you are, at the same time, trying to "figure it out". You cannot simultaneously engage the left and right sides of the brain!  The need to "drive the entropic world we live in towards black and white as much as possible" and "...put order to chaos" falters here. In fact, it is only by surrendering the above drives that one can "get" the art on this end of the spectrum. 

Some people prefer hanging out on the "black and white" side of the spectrum; others favor the middle while some prefer the chaos of the other side. 

It's a very human drive to praise what pleases us and reject what does not. This extends to embracing those who share our inclinations and demonizing those who do not. 

If you feel entirely satisfied by Smooth Jazz and representational art, enjoy your preferences!  Don't listen to those who tell you are wrong.

At the same time, we can all feel somewhat dissatisfied at times by exclusively focusing upon that to which we're most naturally attracted. 
At such times, it can be enlivening to reach out beyond our habitual
comfort zones and explore something a bit different. But when someone tells us we should be listening to something more sophisticated, hip or whatever, that's not much of an incentive. 

I hope this is helpful in some way. 
Sorry for the typo... the second Paul Klee quote should read: "Art should be like a holiday-- something to give a man the opportunity to see things differently and to change his point of view". 
One more thing... I didn't actually attempt to answer the question you posed: "Is improvisational jazz to impressionism art as smooth jazz is to realism art?"

Realism is not monolithic. Nor is abstraction.

Compare a newspaper photo to a photo by Edward Weston. 

They are arguably equally "realistic" yet what they convey varies enormously. 

I'd suggest that what's most helpful in the end is what Louis Armstrong said: "There is two kinds of music; the good and the bad". 

If we remember this, it can help us avoid getting too hung up on what's most naturally appealing to us and keep us focused instead upon what's  being communicated and the skill/invention that's on display, whatever the style.

Needless to say, this is often difficult! 

 
I’ve been “around” a fair bit of visual art/discussion of visual art and I find the OP’s premise certainly rings true on a lot of levels although with a lot of room for alternative analogies…IMO the musical genre commonly known as Smooth Jazz strikes me sorta like Monet’s water lilies and a lot of Renoir’s figurative work.  Coltrane & Miles, evoke the visual art of, say, a Robert Motherwell or a Jean-Michel Basquiat to me.  It’s very subjective, of course, and who knows why one genre is one person’s cup of tea and another’s cue to turn off the sound system?  I find Smooth Jazz very likable and have recently discovered/rediscovered the rather sizable catalogue of Grover Washington Jr.’s music.  Certain moods have me listening to other subcategories of Jazz with less frequency but with equal enthusiasm.  Listened to two of Eric Dolphy’s earlier albums yesterday and plan to listen to more (Tidal) in the coming days whilst working on a fairly representational (realist) charcoal piece.
Smooth Jazz.  An oxymoron?  
Actually a misnomer. It's neither smooth nor jazz.
But I think the OP is on to something. The elevator in my building has a picture on the wall that would qualify as realism. And smooth jazz comes from the speaker next to it.
... as smooth jazz is to paint by numbers.
I don’t mind those who feel compelled to make fun of my enjoyment of the smooth jazz genre. We are each individuals who have been shaped by how our parents raised us and then by the life and environment we have lived in after we left the nest. If my musical enjoyment is considered “paint by numbers” by some then that’s their prerogative to judge me.  I do feel however that judging others based on our own personal experiences and norms is kind of selfish and a seems to be a source of some of the problems our society currently faces. Why cant we just get along? I wont judge you and you dont judge me; deal?
One last thought, and this may be the most important. My lovely wife of 41 years enjoys the smooth jazz artists I’ve discovered and will spend time with me in my mancave enjoying early morning coffee and smooth jazz. This is the only time she’ll come sit and listen to music with me. That is a treasure no critic can critique. 
Just like any other genre, it breaks down at a certain point. You could go into funk, or fusion, traditional or period, and within period (much respect to the players I mentioned above-- the people that made these recordings in many cases were the real unsung heroes); you like what you like. 
As I mentioned, I got back into jazz in say the last 5 years largely because I was enjoying the music, both composition and performance (as well as the recording) of more offbeat stuff. My direction isn't yours or anyone else's. But it affords me with an entire body of material that I've found rewarding through further research and listening. As well as the acquisition of older copies of records or at least a preferred reissue if one exists. 
@edcyn, i love your observation “If the music speaks to me on an emotional level I'll listen to it no matter how noisy, crooked or straight it might be. For me it's the art not the science that counts.”  To me, that hits the nail on the head. 
@stuartk, you are a deep thinker, who tries to see things from an others perspective, which i love. Thank you for you insights.  
All jazz is improvisational, and there's no reason why "smooth jazz" couldn't be. It's sort of the definition of jazz. Are you perhaps confusing "improvisational" with "free jazz" or "harmolodics"? 
In the Soviet Union, there was a joke-saying:
today you play jazz - and tomorrow you will sell your homeland (everything sounds in rhyme).
Surprisingly, years passed and it was these people who turned out to be traitors ...

Behind abstractionism and improvisation (most often) hides anti-art, chaos, mediocrity, dehumanization - it is easier to realize there for those who do not know how to create a masterpiece, but know how to sell themselves ... a fool - you need to convince that this is cool! - to play on his vanity and pride ... he is not like everyone else! - and for this you have to pay a lot of money))))

When people discuss works of such creativity (for example, Malevich's "black square") ... it seems as if art critics gathered around a puddle of urine in an elevator - and everyone fantasized what it was like, what an artist's inner world ... what he wanted us tell this ...

There are probably exceptions, but there are very few of them, and most likely - the melody turned out to be similar to the classical one.
@serjio Couldn't have said it better myself. This Post Modernism view of things is the death of Objective Beauty, it is debauchery and is Anti Life. Up is down  

  We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." William Casey, CIA Director 1981-1987



Jazz is simply inferior to classical music.  Jazz musicians don't know where the right notes are and "hunt" for them by trial and error, while classically trained musicians find them instantly.  Just look at Jazz bassist or guitarist - they "walk" all over fretboard until they find right note.  Sure, it looks like improvisation, but don't be fooled - it is lack of proper training.
Jazz is improvisational, all jazz is improvisational.

If it is not impro than it's not jazz, maybe pop or lounge or you name it, whatever but not jazz.

In other words what I get from your post is "I don't like jazz". No objection there, personal opinion. I studied jazz piano 3 years and came to the conclusion that I just don't like it. I like order and structure and purpose and overall sense of a composition. I don't judge those who dig jazz and I understand those who dig it, I just don't.

If you like order as you say try Bach !!!
Jazz is simply inferior to classical music. Jazz musicians don't know where the right notes are and "hunt" for them by trial and error, while classically trained musicians find them instantly. Just look at Jazz bassist or guitarist - they "walk" all over fretboard until they find right note. Sure, it looks like improvisation, but don't be fooled - it is lack of proper training.
I'll bite:

ROTFLMAO!
@marklings, i was about to take umbrage to your ‘if its not impro than its not jazz” comment. But i first went to the Musical Dictionary and found this under the heading What is Jazz:
“Jazz also inspired the development of “smooth jazz,” which is a form of pop music that has some similarities with jazz. Smooth jazz uses many of the same instruments as jazz – saxophones, pianos, double basses, etc. – but musically it’s quite different. Smooth jazz has little or no improvisation and limited poylphony, which are the defining features of jazz. It also has much simpler rhythms. If you listen to the drums in a smooth jazz song, you’ll notice that the beat is very straightforward. Critics find this boring, while fans of smooth jazz find it easier to listen to. But they agree that smooth jazz is musically distinct from “real” jazz.”

i think there is room for both of us to enjoy the form of jazz that gets our toes tapping. 
No, but "burnt" is to "baccarat" as "icon" is to "teeter-totter."
Why don’t y’all just go to the next step and fit in with today’s America, stop arguing and start blaming… unbelievable comments on this thread.
@estreams - At the end of the day whether or not others disdand smoothjazz doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t enjoy it, I sure do.

A partial list of groups/artists I enjoy: Rippingtons, Four Play, Roman Street, Lyndsey Webster, Gerald Albright, Quentin Gerard W. , Brian Simpson, Steve Oliver, Jeffrey Smith, Randy Scott, Chris "Big Dog ’ Davis, Marc Antonie, Tom Braxton , Braxton Brothers, Randall Clark, Tony Saunders, Darryl Williams, Nate White, Boney James, Marrion Meadows, Blake Aaron, Billy Ray Shepard, Norman Brown, Silk, Streetwise, Julian Vaughn, Acoustic Alchemy, Stanley Clarke, Blair Bryant, Special EFX, Smoothjazz Alley, Patrick Bradley, Four 80 East, Paul Brown , Roberto Vally, Jeff Lorber, etc. Likewise some "in-between" the two - Steve Khan, John McLaughlin, Alex Skolnick Trio, Simon Phiilips




@kijanki:

"Jazz is simply inferior to classical music. Jazz musicians don't know where the right notes are and "hunt" for them by trial and error, while classically trained musicians find them instantly. Just look at Jazz bassist or guitarist - they "walk" all over fretboard until they find right note. Sure, it looks like improvisation, but don't be fooled - it is lack of proper training".

I'm assuming this is a joke.


@facten:

I'm curious: which John McLaughlin recordings qualify as Smooth Jazz?????
@serjio:

"In the Soviet Union, there was a joke-saying:
today you play jazz - and tomorrow you will sell your homeland (everything sounds in rhyme).
Surprisingly, years passed and it was these people who turned out to be traitors ...

Behind abstractionism and improvisation (most often) hides anti-art, chaos, mediocrity, dehumanization - it is easier to realize there for those who do not know how to create a masterpiece, but know how to sell themselves ... a fool - you need to convince that this is cool! - to play on his vanity and pride ... he is not like everyone else! - and for this you have to pay a lot of money))))

When people discuss works of such creativity (for example, Malevich's "black square") ... it seems as if art critics gathered around a puddle of urine in an elevator - and everyone fantasized what it was like, what an artist's inner world ... what he wanted us tell this ...

There are probably exceptions, but there are very few of them, and most likely - the melody turned out to be similar to the classical one"

What a load of reeking garbage you've served up, here. 
@stuartk   Of course.  I love Jazz.
Good one, then!

I wasn't sure, given some of the other posts on this thread.
@marklings:

 I studied jazz piano 3 years and came to the conclusion that I just don't like it. I like order and structure and purpose and overall sense of a composition. I don't judge those who dig jazz and I understand those who dig it, I just don't.

I don't know where you studied but they seem to have managed to avoid conveying to you the whole point of Jazz improvisation, which is to SPONTANEOUSLY create something that does display "order and structure and purpose and an overall sense of composition" !  

Classical musicians do have lee-way in interpreting the pieces they play, but they are performing someone else's composition. Jazz masters operate on a whole 'nother level. 

I'm not saying what you "ought" to like or not like-- I'll leave such behavior to the resident music fascists who've posted on this thread.

But it seems a terrible shame that you've castigated Jazz for purportedly lacking what in fact lies at its very heart.