[Dixielandjazz] Things that make me cringe

TCASHWIGG at aol.com TCASHWIGG at aol.com
Wed Jul 28 11:32:13 PDT 2004

In a message dated 7/28/04 10:53:34 AM Pacific Daylight Time, 
paul.edgerton at eds.com writes:

> Tom, with all due respect, you are using a very broad brush here.
> Right here in Northern California we have a Christian Jazz musician of the
> highest caliber, a pianist cut from the same cloth as Oscar Peterson. He
> plays lots of churches, presents home concerts featuring guest artists and
> even slums with the Dixieland crowd if he's available.
> His name is Jim Martinez, and he is a treasure. Make an effort to hear him
> if you ever get the chance. He's what the folks on this list would call a
> "modern" player, but with taste and fire and universal appeal. I assure you,
> Jim can compete in the real Jazz World. And win.
> Paul Edgerton

Hi Paul,

I have heard Jim and he is indeed a great artist, but simply being a Jazz 
pianist would have been fine he should not have needed the title (unless of 
course he could not play churches without it) There is a lot of that going on in 
the Christian Church.  Religious organizations are often just as bad as Jazz 
Societies, when it comes to making requirements for musicians to get employed by 
them.  Play what we want you to play the way we want you to play it or you 
can't play here.  Many of them require letters of approval about your faith and 
Christianity from the pastor of your church and at least three other churches 
to attest to the fact that you are a good enough Christian to be able to 
perform in their church.

The caliber or professionalism of your act has little or nothing to do with 
it, only the fact that you are a True Believer and one of them.  However it is 
perfectly all right for a Christian Jazz Artist to play on a big Secular Jazz 
Festival for big money and spread the "Message of Jesus through his musical 
Ministry of Instrumental music."   

Perhaps I am painting with a broad brush, ( the last time I looked the world 
was pretty broad, not to mention broad minded), but I was trying to point out 
the marketing aspects of the so called Christian Musicians, and the creation 
of yet another splintering and dissemination of Jazz music.

I find it ironic that a few years ago and in some Christian Churches today 
Blues, Jazz and Rock music was constantly railed upon by the clergy and 
forbidden for their followers to listen to this Devil's music.

Since they found they could not lick em' they found a way to join em'

I never said that or meant to say that there were not some excellent 
musicians playing int he field, only that they went there to avoid competing with the 
millions of other regular Jazz musicians fighting for survival and gigs around 
the world.

I have a few recordings by some of these artists who are actually great 
players, I simply cringe at their marketing approach and find it reproachful 
personally as they tend to isolate themselves again into a little corner of the 
world and further divide jazz and it's audiences.

Does this mean that I can't listen to their music because I may not be a 
Christian?  Or that I must go to a church to hear them because they don't perform 
in the Secular world?
Worse yet, it implies that it is more acceptable jazz because it is 
CHRISTIAN, well what the Hell makes Instrumental music Christian, where PRAY tell is 
their message?

Not that everyone wants to hear it anyway?

Inspirational music pretty well covered that genre very well.

What's next?  Gay Jazz?  Obesity Jazz?  Republican Jazz?  Demo Jazz?  Green 

We already have Hot Jazz, Acid Jazz, Fusion Jazz, Funk Jazz, Trad Jazz, 
Modern Jazz, Be Bop Jazz, Jazz Rock, Hill Billy Jazz, Country Jass, Smooth Jazz, 
enough is enough already.


Tom Wiggins

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