[Dixielandjazz] Another view of "Tribute" Bands

Mike Durham mikedurham_jazz at hotmail.com
Sun Nov 2 23:42:29 PST 2003

"They wail like wounded animals, afraid and brutalized...."  well, well: I 
think it was Kenny Davern who described this kind of "jazz" as "fire in a 
pet-shop music". Seems he hit the nail right on the head!

Mike D.

>From: Jazzjerry at aol.com
>To: barbonestreet at earthlink.net, dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com
>Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] Another view of "Tribute" Bands
>Date: Sun, 2 Nov 2003 18:32:00 EST
>In a message dated 2/11/03 2:45:12 pm, barbonestreet at earthlink.net writes:
> > That being
> > said, it offers one man's view of one of the things he thinks is wrong
> > with jazz these days and parallels can easily be drawn about OKOM. IMO,
> > worth the read whether you agree with it or not.
> >
>It seems that the writers who make the sort of comments have one very
>important premis behind all of their thoughts and that is that jazz must 
>reach out
>for 'new music'. As the anonumous writer says "They're pursuing a 
>gentle-age ideal, and stubbornly refusing to engage what's happening around
>them." I will always dispute this premis and would go so far as to say that 
>trendy outlook is what is actually killing the music. Why is it that a
>performance of Wagner's 'Ring Cycle' at a music festival is considered as 
>great music
>and 'art' whereas the performance of the complete recorded works of (For
>example) King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band would be considered as "like a 
>threat to the
>very health of the form." Very odd.
>I mentioned that I had promoted a gig the other night which was billed as a
>'Tribute to Chet Baker'. It consisted of a singer and quintet (all 
>musicians) playing their interpretations and variations of original 
>of tunes associated with Baker. They were not copying his playing   but
>paying a tribute to him. It was really a peg on which to hang a selection 
>of tunes.
>This evening I attended an excellent concert by a lady jazz singer and
>quartet at a local theatre which consisted of her singing a selection from 
>the Great
>American Song-book. No original material but just over two hours of 
>jazz singing and playing. To suggest that these sort of gigs are killing 
>is absolute poppycock.
>What is killing jazz is the sort of Emperor's New Clothes music described
>from the same article as:-
>"The strings and horns are tangled in a heap. They wail like wounded
>animals, afraid and brutalized, in an outburst designed to decisively
>punctuate James Carter's version of "Strange Fruit," the Billie Holiday
>classic about racial lynching.
>The sonic punishment lasts more than a minute, and as you listen, one
>thought is inescapable: This is, without a doubt, the 2003 edition of
>"Strange Fruit." Loud and outsized. Raw. Extravagant in tone and
>temperament, it's a sharp contrast to the desolate, sorrow-filled
>silences Holiday used more than 50 years ago to tell the tale."
>Judging by these couple of paragraphs an evening listening to this
>pretentious tripe sounds to be about as much fun as a bout of dysentery and 
>it is highly
>unlikely that it improves one iota upon the masterpiece it allegedly
>dedicated to!
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>Dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com

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