[Dixielandjazz] trends

James Kashishian kash at ran.es
Thu May 29 11:27:03 PDT 2003

I've been noticing, more & more, a trend towards percussion based music
in what is being produced for, and listened by young people.  I say
percussion, meaning:   vs. melodic.

In my studio, I prepare music for one of my customers who puts on over
400 modelling shows a year.  He brings in the most up to date music on
the market, and we cut & splice it all to bits to fit his choreography
(he's a dancer himself).  This is where I've mostly been exponed to this

While in Boston recently, I went to see Blue Man Group, which is 100%
percussive based.  It's an interesting experience, if any of you are in
an area where they are playing.  Very professionally done.  Two hours of
very dynamic drumming!  Felt like we were in the year 2030 or 2050, and
I daresay the "music", if it keeps going as it is, will end up just like
what you'll hear in this show in the future. 

Strangely enough, from time to time, to contrast this trend to the
percussive, an artist, such as Rod Stewart comes out with an album like
his latest.....An American Song Book, I believe it's entitled, where
melody is 100% important.  Is it frustration of being linked to the
boom, boom, boom thing so long that draws these artists to these
beautiful songs?  Robbie Williams does a swinging rendition of Mrs.
Jones.  Singers such as Chris de Burgh, Cher, Elton John, Lisa
Stanfield, Sting, have all made attempts at melodic songs, particularly
choosing Gershwin tunes, to mention just a few. 

Any of the Jazz groups I hear around Madrid (not Dixie) have a heavy
load of percussion tied into them now, and most are very Carribean/South
American influenced (mainly due to the fact that most of the musicians
are from those areas).  

Perhaps we need to add a percussionist to our usual drum setup (egad!  2
drummers!!) to be modern?  Just kidding.  Or, maybe get our drummer to
put bright floodlights into his drums, aim them up at his blue masked
face, and squirt paint on the drum skin before hitting it...as in Blue
Man Group), to get with "the scene"!  Again, just kidding.

I just think it's very interesting that all these folks eventually come
back to what is good melodic music, when they've expended their caffeine
drive on all that rhythm.


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