Music/Jazz/Opinion/Comments/Business for your comments

This has been an exciting week because I met some new friends in HK and my situation in Shenzhen might be getting better.

Also, I will leave my HK Cell Phone number on all week so you can call me anytime. (60875590 from HK)

Music: I was asked the question what is jazz to me. Well, here it is. First it has to do with the rhythm section playing at a high level. This means the drummer must understand the tension of the swing feel from the ride cymbal to the high-hat and the relationship to the bass. The bass must place the notes in the pocket on top of the beat, behind the beat or in front of the beat whatever the situation allows for better performance. The piano player must place his or her chords in the best possible rhythmic pattern to produce the swing feel and generate a blend of the group.

When everybody is in tune with the other means a great feel and a great group.

New music: I believe jazz is based on the rhythmic feel that Louis Armstrong created in his style. Now, is jazz a rhythm or is it just improvisation? A lot of musicians call it improvisation, jazz. Well, I think that it is, but not traditional jazz. What really gets me upset is when they call rhythm and blues jazz. This is not jazz but a pattern type music. (POP Music) Jazz is a music where one is allowed to go away from the tradition of the harmony and the melody. In Blues, one is not allowed to do that.

So, from this viewpoint avant garde music is jazz, but for me it gets away from the traditional rhythmic feel so I would have to call avant garde music avant garde free form improvisation rather than avant garde jazz.

Jazz has stopped changing, very much, since the 80 when Miles left to create his fusion music. But his solos did not change so what did he really do with that. For me nothing, he did not change anything  the orchestration and the harmony. He still played the same solos. So the solo is the jazz not the orchestration.

Solos: For me the jazz solo is what jazz is. It is like a violin concerto the soloist tries to create a concerto through improvisation in a rhythmic pattern of jazz. For me it is the form of the solo that makes jazz.

So this idea that Miles had ‘I do not want to play that shit anymore’ is wrong, because jazz is the solo just like a concerto is a solo. Music does not always have to change to be creative.

When a soloist has established his own identity it is creative and modern jazz in the tradition of jazz. It does not have to be fusion, avant garde, or classical forms of improvisation to be new and different.

But the problem with this is that few musicians understand this so clearly in my opinion. What is jazz can be an on going discussion with your help! Your comments would be much appreciated.

People: Well I met a great Alto Player Blaine at Gecko’s Bar and a great bass player Rickard Malmsten. Rickard is the leader of the band and also has two other jazz bands a trio with guitar and a fusion band called Motion. It is great to know that musicians in HK are interested in the creative side of jazz. Not like here in Shenzhen, I am sorry to say. I cannot even form a band here to practice that is how serious the problem is.

Robert Lee Scott: Who has a fusion show band playing in Wan Che at a placed called Venue from Wednesday to the week-end. If you like a disco style place with a modern show band playing fusion and pop hits this is the place to go. You can call Robert at 9103 5994 for directions. They start playing about 10.15 p.m.

Education: We must always be educating ourselves for the future on a daily bases.

Business: Doing business in China is very tough. The Rolling Stones with all their money could not reach a deal with the Government. So what about the little guy who gets sucked in. This is my situation.

A group of three musicians here in Shenzhen were left homeless by a businessman with no money and no way to return to their home country. This is why the government has set up booking agents to prevent this kind of abuse. But the other side of the coin is that it is very difficult to make arrangements with this organization, it takes months and there is so much distrust from all sides.

But if you have patience's and are willing to work hard at it you can make it happen. Anyway, "I am hoping for this one."

You have a lot of independent businessmen trying to exploit the situation. When I talk to people about this situation they say he is a businessman. Here in China it means one is allowed to exploit the worker as much as possible. This is their job.

My friend said, “watchout for the blood suckers.”

Greg Henry Waters top 100 list:

Life is a maze that we walk through.

We have so many allusions.

Propaganda does not work it is not the truth.

We have to work hard at being humble.

We have to work at love everyday.

Let it go.

We have to be willing to accept loss.


When the world is based on exploitation how can we have peace?

Sharing this planet with others is the goal.

When people refuse to educate themselves how can we have a great society?

All countries face the same problems in different degrees.

When record companies exploit the mind of the 14 year old how can we have serious music?

No news is good news when you are waiting for bad news.

Being creative is the supreme goal of life.

Greg Henry Waters

Thanks so much. If you have any complaints or comments please let me know! OK OK OK


Objective: This newsletter came out of my experiences dealing in a new culture and a new history. The purpose of the newsletter is to provoke serious thought about musical art. What is it? Where should it be going? In addition, what is going on in China? I write about my personal experiences and my thoughts about them.

All Rights Resevered 2003 (for personal use only not for commercial publications)

Greg Henry Waters

Shenzhen, China (86 755) 8353 2883 Mobile Phone 13510896962 Shenzhen

Mobile Phone HK 60875590


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