Monday, November 16, 2009

Can Jazz Be Saved......

Every so often I read these posts about whether or not Jazz can be saved. The articles are mostly the same tired info recycled for the past year or two that I have read over and over. I think the question itself is erroneous. There are probably more people than ever creating "jazz" music and there are certainly more schools offering Jazz curriculum than ever before. I don't think that Jazz needs to be saved, it is alive and well. If you are talking about it's mainstream popularity and the musicians making a living, those are quite different questions altogether.

I don't think the world needs a "Neo Tin Pan Alley" songwriting movement to reinvigorate the music. When the jackasses involved in Lincoln Center decided they knew what Jazz was and everybody else was wrong, they killed their version of Jazz from ever growing and having a modern existence. It's museum music and a moldy fig indeed. It is not the 40's or 50's anymore.

There are plenty of players creating vibrant, cutting edge music: Wadada Leo Smith, Keith Jarrett, Joe Lovano, Ornette Coleman, Ravi Coltrane, Dave Douglas, Benny Maupin, Larry Koonse, Ben Monder, Tim Berne and on, and on, and on....

Jazz doesn't need to be popular to survive, it just needs to be keep being created by the musicians to survive, and survive it does. The Jazz police just don't like what it has become and try to keep it locked in its retro time loop for all eternity. Anytime Jazz is mixed with Hip Hop or electronics or anything like this, and not kept in its predetermined role, they are the first to say thats not Jazz. Like the players are supposed to ignore any music created in the last 50 years. How can you be an honest musician and block out most of what you heard to concentrate on what something is supposed to be? That is when something is dead and cannot truly be saved.

My 2 cents

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