[Dixielandjazz] Re: Listening to Dead Musicians

Tim Eldred julepjerk at surewest.net
Mon Feb 2 21:55:38 PST 2004

Time to emerge from the lurker closet and offer my two cents worth....

Do I listen to musicians from the past?  Of course!  Do I listen to them as
much as I used to?  No, because I know most of the albums by heart and can
hear them in my head without having to hear them with my ears.

But, there are some current musicians whose music is, to me, more "dead"
than the recordings of the past.  I am willing to listen to almost anything,
but if the music doesn't have life and spirit, I won't stick around.  Yes, I
appreciate that some of the individuals are re-creating the
arrangements/sound of the past, but unless there is a "spark" it is, to me,
as lifeless as a physical record/tape/CD.  Find something different -
arrangement, rhythm pattern, etc. - that makes it your own.  Music is
supposed to be alive, energizing, emotional, and reaction-inducing.  If it
isn't, then it is, indeed, dead.

And yes, I realize that each listener reacts in his or her own way so that
what is dead to me may be vibrantly alive to someone else....but to survive,
any music genre must have a sufficient number of folks who respond to the
life of the music and want to continue to hear explorations, variations, and
innovation within the framework that defines the particular kind of music...

So bring on every type of OKOM - one is not better than the rest, it just
appeals to different preferences.  But, if a band wants to thrive and expand
its appeal, it must be attuned to the audience reaction and what works and
what doesn't...take some risks and expand your style, song list, and
arrangements.  (Nothing says you have to play a song with the same tempo,
key, solo patterns, and coloration every time...)

Give me the musicians whose music is alive, whether they are currently
performing or not or never will again....

Tim Eldred
Roseville, CA

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