Sax on the Web Portal - Re: Jazz is Dying Out

  • Re: Jazz is Dying Out

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Thomas View Post
    Yes I saw that, but I didn't get it, ie I didn't follow the logic of a purist being a conservative.
    Look it up in a dictionary:

    3 a : tending or disposed to maintain existing views, conditions, or institutions : traditional b : marked by moderation or caution <a conservative estimate> c : marked by or relating to traditional norms of taste, elegance, style, or manners
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Jazz is Dying Out started by OaklandBhoy View original post
    Comments 10 Comments
    1. gary's Avatar
      gary -
      I don't get it. Where's the article?
    1. magical pig's Avatar
      magical pig -
      Well, everyone's afraid of everything nowadays, it makes sense.
    1. paulwl's Avatar
      paulwl -
      I just wish everybody would stop thinking of music as a product OOH and an art OTOH. There ain't much common ground to stand on in between those two ideas, and it's always shifting.

      We need to see live music as part of the community. That will create opportunity, so there won't be so much fighting for gigs. One problem is no one wants to give away "product" to build up demand.
    1. gary's Avatar
      gary -
      Quote Originally Posted by paulwl View Post
      I just wish everybody would stop thinking of music as a product OOH and an art OTOH. There ain't much common ground to stand on in between those two ideas, and it's always shifting.

      We need to see live music as part of the community. That will create opportunity, so there won't be so much fighting for gigs. One problem is no one wants to give away "product" to build up demand.
      Paul, what are you referring to? Where's the article that's the topic of this thread?
    1. paulwl's Avatar
      paulwl -

      Thread started last April and closed after 19 pp of directionless, feverish moiling around.

      What I'm referring to, I guess (sorry it's been so long), is that jazz is caught in a corner. It is art music that is also entertaining, but it's caught in a bind here in the US. We're a big, mass-culture-oriented country, so everything has to be promoted. But the only promotion models that work do so as either art or entertainment, with no ambiguity allowed.

      It used to be a little less difficult - only a little, if you're a musician/promoter - back before the media were so consolidated and corporatized. Jazz has been a niche since at least the 70s, but back then, jazz, and a lot of other niche styles that weren't big money, still had some cool cachet and some association with sophisticated people. Nowadays, sophistication is defined more by consumption than taste, and jazz isn't upmarket enough to cut it.

      What jazz needs, I think, is to get free of the matrix and find a way to exist and thrive that doesn't rely on the existing structure of the music industry. I can tell you right now that young musicians are not being taught to think of this - or indeed anything but how to fit into the fewer and fewer pro spots available in the industry, status quo.
    1. BOPITY FUNK's Avatar
      Paul you may be right BUT! how do you --or I--or any interested party persuade average Joe who listens to the top 40 or his/hers 70's/80's/90's CDs to actually LIKE Jazz. Jazz like Rock and 60's pop was youth orientated it was risque, rebellious, it caused raised eyebrows among the older generations.
      Jazz is now perceived as respectable, slightly eccentric usually patronised by the 'professional' classes who read the broadsheets as opposed to the tabloids--sorry but this is the general view.
    1. Bebopalot's Avatar
      Bebopalot -
      I remember reading an article in the L.A. Times that I saved for a long time. It was titled, "The End of Jazz". It was all about "the demise of jazz due to the drastically different world which we live in". Full of interviews with people from Leonard Feather to Art Pepper. That was back in the late 70's......... Society worried that jazz was ending back then too. The only ones that knew it would survive were the musicians. I have a lot of faith in the longevity of jazz.
    1. saxphil's Avatar
      saxphil -
      Quote Originally Posted by Bebopalot View Post
      I have a lot of faith in the longevity of jazz.
      ... jazz and $1 beers.
    1. midlandcomputersweep's Avatar
      midlandcomputersweep -
      OK, and I recall the same was being said in the 70's about classical music. BUT has it died ? NO! Jazz was certainly, in the early part of the 20th century, then in the 50's with "modern Jazz' and then the 70's and 80' with "fusion jazz" a major musical art form, and, like classical nusic, while it will not always appeal to the "masses" there will always be a market with an audience that appreciates the musical form and the skill of the musicians practising that art form, just as has been the case with classical music, and even "blues" music. It won't probably ever reach the height of "visibility" in the market that it did during the 20's, 50's and 70's but it will always be there.
    1. whamptoncourt's Avatar
      whamptoncourt -
      The question has got to be asked: Are you being specific about one style of jazz such as mainstream? It seems that for some reason the progress of jazz (for most) has stalled and rebounded back to copying artists of the 1950s-60s. There are numerous problems with this.

      1. Art doesn't stand still, it's fashion and moves on. If you're standing still you get a label attached and become a museum piece, which is OK, but don't expect to suddenly have a miraculous resurrection.

      2. Playing "standards" and mainstream style was based on tunes from shows that everybody in the 1950s knew. This meant that those clever variations that were played had some point of reference to the masses. How many people today under 70 know any of those tunes? The artist of that time, although building on the past, had moved forward into new territory, so it was new and fashionable.

      3. Without disparaging all the fine players around, we need to consider whether audiences want to be entertained or be awed by technical prowess. Too many players are there to impress and not entertain. That's trying to TAKE praise from an audience rather than GIVING them something they can relate to. Even in the pop/rock field of music there is no longer an audience for 3 minute ego guitar solos.

      So is this a matter of just better advertising/hype that will make jazz popular? I don't think so. Jazz has survived through the musicians who play in low or non paying situations. The market for mainstream/standards jazz is pretty much dead, yet players like Jan Garbarek can fill an auditorium. He's not playing mainstream/ this a coincidence? Love or loath him Kenny G is also doing just fine. I'm not advocating that anyone should copy either of these musicians...the point is to keep moving on and develop. Arts are NOT about copying or standing still, it's is about being creative and moving forward.

      There are lots of problems with teaching systems that have influenced young talent and unfortunately probably stymied their development. Formulating art and encouraging copying is the antithesis of creativity. Do you need to learn basics and be given tools? Yes, of course! But those basic tools do NOT = learning one style form the middle of the last century and judging your students on the basis of how well they conform to that standard.

      Hopefully those with talent will (somehow) grow beyond the limited teaching that has failed so many. For now I mostly see teaching institutions turning out more teachers to continue to perpetuate a failed paradigm.

      It's very disappointing to hear anyone who thinks the problem is promotion and isn't capable of accepting that the problem is US playing music does not entertain or appeal. How to change this should be obvious.

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