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Sitaroman1

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Reply with quote  #1 
hmm.. I've been wondering about this for a while. I have been told that sitar and jazz are very different , and even Ravi Shankar says on one of his albums that ICM should not be confused with jazz. Even though there is a lot of different things about the styles of music, arent there some basic similarities too? For example, the whole concept of improvising is in both ICM and Jazz. I have been studying ICM for a very short time, and i know there are a lot of differences between the two. But ,is there a way to combine these styles of music, with both styles being prominent in the fusion?

I'd just like to hear your thoughts and opinions on sitar and jazz.
thanks
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trippy monkey

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Sitaroman1

As Raviji says Jazz is very different from ICM & he should know as his earliest fans were jazz players in the 50s.
You might as well say Chinese music is like ICM.

I have quite a few fusion vinyls from the 60s & while the Indian musicians keep within the framework of the raga or ragas generally, the jazz musos are running up & down any scales they like. Though this is not necessarily unattractive.

My favs are the mid/late 60s Indo-Jazz Fusions group from the UK with the late Joe Harriot on trumpet? as well as other Brit jazz musos with John Mayer pulling it all together. Diwan Motihar on sitar & Keshav Sathe, at some points, on tabla.

I could make a list of the ones I have if you like.

Nick
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David Fahrner

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Reply with quote  #3 
There are basic similarities in that both are improvised musics, and you learn to play by listening to and imitating great musicians. The differences are probably more important that the similarities: ICM has hundreds (thousands?) of years of development, tradition, and formal structure that must be learned, while jazz has less than 100 years and not much in the way of specific formal structure (though based on European classical music). It takes many years of study to be able to improvise freely and creatively in ICM while maintaining the structures and traditions, while in jazz, once you have a rudimentary technical understanding of Western melody, harmony and rhythm, you can start improvising right away and learn as you go. Improvisation in ICM is perhaps more subtle, in that individual expression is always done within the framework of the tradition, while in jazz, there's a premium placed on improvisation that is less obviously related to tradition.
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David Fahrner
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AbdulLatif

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Reply with quote  #4 
The first records given to me that set my direction in music were an old World Pacific recording of Ravi Shankar and a John Coltrane record, "A Love Supreme". That was the late 1960's. In the 1970s a Europeon label ECM http://www.ecmrecords.com/About_ECM/History/index.php?rubchooser=103&mainrubchooser=1 Released a catalog of wonderful recordings in what was to become the "World Music" genre. ECM is still at it and IMO is still releasing some of the most interesting collaborations between Jazz, Classical, and Indian classical music available.
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trippy monkey

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Reply with quote  #5 
Forgot to mention the obvious 'Shakti' too.
Although I wouldn't say it was Jazz as such but 'wild' improvisation nonetheless.

Nick
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barend

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "David
It takes many years of study to be able to improvise freely and creatively in ICM while maintaining the structures and traditions, while in jazz, once you have a rudimentary technical understanding of Western melody, harmony and rhythm, you can start improvising right away and learn as you go. Improvisation in ICM is perhaps more subtle, in that individual expression is always done within the framework of the tradition, while in jazz, there's a premium placed on improvisation that is less obviously related to tradition.
I don't agree with this....improvising in jazz is the same level of difficulty as improvising in ICM. The hard part in Jazz improv. is that you have to follow the chords..in ICM you obviously don't have to do this.....also there is a lot tradition in Jazz that you have to study before being able to improvise in a good way....so the above statement is a little bit too oversimplified.

You say in Jazz you learn as you go...the same goes for improvising in ICM.
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trippy monkey

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Reply with quote  #7 
We must also all remember there are many kinds of Jazz too like ICM.

I prefer the Big Band sound rather than 'free-form' of running up & down scales/the instrument.

Nick
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jaan e kharabat

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Reply with quote  #8 
My two bobs worth:

it seems that the only similarity between the two is that both contain elements of improvisation. Apart from this, the divisions are as deep seated as those generally between Euro/Western and Indian music.

1. Rhythmically couldnt be more dissimilar: one is free formish with much latitude for experimentation and variance, the other anchored to rhythmic cycles and a whole body of theory on accepted modes of rythmic play

2. Tonally again very different: jazz is mostly free form and can at times sound cacaphonous, raga music is raga music and can at times feel stiflingly rigid in the wrong hands

3. Philosophically even further apart: one is held up as a spiritual ideal by its most thoughtful exponents, the other is steeped in the lore of the nightclub and 'swinging' ways (not that the practitioners of either cannot personally be classified in the opposing camp in this regard )

Frankly i find more similarites between Western classical music and Indian music than with the latter and Jazz.

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David Fahrner

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "barend"
Quote:
Originally Posted by "David
It takes many years of study to be able to improvise freely and creatively in ICM while maintaining the structures and traditions, while in jazz, once you have a rudimentary technical understanding of Western melody, harmony and rhythm, you can start improvising right away and learn as you go. Improvisation in ICM is perhaps more subtle, in that individual expression is always done within the framework of the tradition, while in jazz, there's a premium placed on improvisation that is less obviously related to tradition.
I don't agree with this....improvising in jazz is the same level of difficulty as improvising in ICM. The hard part in Jazz improv. is that you have to follow the chords..in ICM you obviously don't have to do this.....also there is a lot tradition in Jazz that you have to study before being able to improvise in a good way....so the above statement is a little bit too oversimplified.

You say in Jazz you learn as you go...the same goes for improvising in ICM.
You're right, barend, the above statement is a bit oversimplified. And "learn as you go" is true in both musics (or all music) - I think that I meant that you can "teach yourself as you go" in jazz, without the formal training that is required in ICM, because there isn't nearly the amount of traditional material that must be learned, and playing your own thing outside of the tradition is a valued element of in jazz. But good improvising is good improvising, in any kind of music, and it takes time to develop the skills (following the chords, intentionally not following the chords, staying within the raga, etc.).

And I have to agree with jaan that there more similarities between ICM and Western classical music.

df (a jazz musician)

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David Fahrner
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adunc069

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Reply with quote  #10 
Hi, since you mentioned Shakti... When John Mclaughlin plays the ICM, which in my opinion is actually dressed up Carnatic music, the ICM rhythmic elements are there. However, if you've ever heard him play in a non-ICM sounding band, the Indian rhythmic elements are still prevelant. I saw a tape of J.M. playing with Zakir and Dennis Chambers. It was a piece called "Tones" dedicated to Elvin Jones. It was in Jhaptal. Obviously Dennis Chambers (drummer) was not playing the bols for jhaptal, but if you watch, both the ICM and Jazz rhythm's are there. In any of JM's electric bands, you hear veena type slides as well. So, I think in both traditions, the same things are there. Melody and rhythm, just different traditions. 8)
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trippy monkey

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Reply with quote  #11 
John Mclaughlin is a good old Yorkshire boy.
I saw an interview with him many years ago where he said he learnt karnatik veena style on guitar & even redesigned his own guitar with a fretboard like a veena so he could pull/push the strings too.

Nick
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barend

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Reply with quote  #12 
A few weeks ago I bought this new Shakti DVD...and it is absolutely amazing...many live performances from old and new Shakti and interviews with John Mc Laughlin and zakir Hussain.....without doubt the best DVD I have!

Great musicianship.
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Drew

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "barend"
A few weeks ago I bought this new Shakti DVD...and it is absolutely amazing...many live performances from old and new Shakti and interviews with John Mc Laughlin and zakir Hussain.....without doubt the best DVD I have!

Great musicianship.

I couldnt agree more.... that DVD has inspired me so much. I just love the interview section. It is by far my favorite DVD as well !


Just to jump on the ICM/Jazz topic....

I think its safe to say that they are very different yet, a little the same.

I would think that a Jazz musician would probably do better or learn faster in ICM than any others just due to the improv factor.

Just remember though, the jazz guys have to deal with key, chord changes where the Sitar is just in 1 key. So, when it comes to learning I think the Jazz guys may have a little more "music" ground to cover from start to finish but, the ICM guys deffinately have more of the traditional stuff to learn.

Also, I think they may be the same when it comes to the different tempos as jazz is all over the place as there are so many different styles of jazz and we all know the ICM tempos can be pretty complex at times. Both more so than just regular old western music.

Maybe to compare the 2 as a whole would be a little difficult.. but, to maybe compare 2 songs (1 ICM & 1 Jazz) you may find more things in common than you would think.

either way, Im just glad to be privy to both

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jazzman1945

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Reply with quote  #14 
Yes, I thought to open such a topic; but since it already exists, although it ceased 11 years ago, I decided to join; and as a jazz professional pianist to present some specific points.
The first question to ask: why do jazz musicians like the ICM, and for example classical musicians - basically  not (I was there and the main tastes are not secret)? I don't have statistics, so I will speak for myself.
  It is clear that the presence of improvisation in  the process of musical development is very appealing to jazzers ; but in the world there is a huge variety of musical cultures, where improvisation also takes place; and yet were not interested in them  in either the 50's, 60's, or 70's (today the situation has changed a lot). Exotic musical  cultures that influenced jazz were African,  Arabic, Spanish - where there is a large contribution of Roma musicians who themselves originate from India and actually Indian.

The first thing that attracted me first was instrumental music and groove, but when I listened to the singing, I felt something in tune with blues - in a   sounding, not in  spirit. This contains intonation not blues and jazz something else; but I felt that they could be included in the vocabulary of modal improvisation. These intonations deeply penetrated me , and I want to give them a way out. 
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Sanjeeb

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Reply with quote  #15 

Hi Jazzman 1945,

Interesting...

Am a professional classical Sitarist but was quite a bit into Jazz and other forms earlier.

I have tried to play some 'Jazz' on sitar in a fusion style you might like: Used to play rock and then gradually graduated towards Jazz and other forms. Play guitar and Piano /Keyboards also.

Wish I had some serious Jazz piano player to team up with here to put out some stuff.

Do you have some videos I can see of yours.

Here are some recordings of mine you might like to see:

 

This recording was made about twenty years ago:

'Oh when the Saints go Marching in.'

 
It Came Upon the Midnight Clear - Christmas song on Sitar in Jazz style by Sanjeeb Sircar.



An informal home session....
Gospel, Jazz, Fusion 'Down by the Riverside'. Saxophone - Glenn Stone, Sitar- Sanjeeb Sircar.

A revised version of what I had posted earlier...

)


With regards

Sanjeeb Sircar

http://www.sanjeebsircar.com

(One of the very old members of this forum).

 

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