[Dixielandjazz] Things that make me cringe

Edgerton, Paul A paul.edgerton at eds.com
Wed Jul 28 12:27:01 PDT 2004

Tom Wiggins wrote:
> 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)

I'm not taking Tom's bait and won't debate about marketing "Christian
Music." I do want clarify that Jim Martinez is often hired because he is
willing to play music for church services or about Christian ideas. I don't
think Jim markets himself specifically as a "Christian Jazz" pianist.
Neither does he hide from jobs that bill him as such. 

If somebody thinks it needs to be called Christian to make it acceptable in
church, I say, "Make it so." That way folks in church get to hear some
really great music, and might even decide to explore it a little more
deeply. Maybe they'll buy a few CDs or even attend a jazz concert. Who

> What's next?  Gay Jazz?  Obesity Jazz?  Republican Jazz?  Demo Jazz?
> Green Jazz? 
> 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 is basically arguing that special-interest labeling is breaking our
already tiny market into microscopic pieces. I don't know if that's actually
happening. Either way, I don't care a bit about all of those labels. Jazz is
truly big-tent music: there's something for every taste and room for all.

Jazz doesn't have to be about anything. It doesn't have to have a label. It
doesn't even have to be in English! A swinging chorus of the blues would be
okay for a bunch of serious alcoholics in the local bar, or a bunch kids at
a street festival or even a bunch of white-an-uptight folks just learning to
feel the backbeat for the first time in a church service.

The music stands pretty much on its own. All the rest is marketing. Tom
seems have an endless supply of ideas on how to go about doing that. There
will always be musician, greater and lesser, who go it on their own. Some of
them will fashion labels they think will get them more work. Whatever. The
good stuff is almost always instantly recognizable.

-- Paul Edgerton

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