Music types: help me identify exactly what it is that I dislike about these particular types of jazz!
Recently, a friend has been trying to get me into jazz. When exploring, though, I run into a weird hurdle: I really like jazz made up through the thirties, but somewhere in the late 40s/50s/60s, it acquires a specific harmonic quality that I absolutely can't stand. I tend to listen to music mostly for the harmonies and chord progressions, and this particular element literally raises hairs on the back of my neck.
It's not just that later jazz is more free-form and deconstructed; we're talking a particular type of chord or harmony that, in most cases, I can pick out within less than a measure. And it's not just the sheer quantity of dissonance, because (while not the biggest fan), I can listen to Stravinsky or Schoenberg forever without it bothering me in the same way.
Sadly, to say, "I don't do jazz after about 1940" sounds kind of ig'nant, like maybe I'm just an uptight fuddy-duddy who can't handle the Cool. I’d like to be able to identify the specific harmonic quality that bothers me (e.g. "I just don't like augmented fourths," or whatever) but I haven't been able to find any theory-oriented histories of jazz that specifically break down its development into nitty-gritty musical elements. So can anybody help me figure out what chord/interval/harmony/progression I'm talking about?
- I associate this with wind/brass ensembles, but I'm not sure why.
- It turns up A LOT in Miles Davis's work. As far as I can see, I hate just about everything the poor guy's ever done.
- Definitely present in E.S.P.
- Also in Giant Steps, where the opening chords after the solo pretty much typify what I'm talking about.
- And it's even in some pop, like The girl from Ipanema. You know the generic light-jazz that plays in elevators in the movies? Totally.
- But it's not (obviously) present in Take Five , even though that's later jazz
- Also not in Sing, Sing, Sing , even though that's plenty dissonant.
If it'd help, I'm happy to try additional test-cases. What is this harmony? Any ideas, AskMeFi?