[Dixielandjazz] Things that make me cringe

TCASHWIGG at aol.com TCASHWIGG at aol.com
Wed Jul 28 14:26:45 PDT 2004

In a message dated 7/28/04 12:31:17 PM Pacific Daylight Time, 
paul.edgerton at eds.com writes:

> 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. 

Not a thing wrong with that, I have a very excellent pianist friend who 
happens to be an Armenian Muslim from Iran, who plays piano for a Methodist Church 
(three years) and their services as well as choir director.  Why because he 
was the best qualified musician at the time they needed one that applied for the 
PAYING position.  He did not tell them he was a Muslim or a non Christian, he 
simply played the music and did the job they asked him to do.

I don't think Jim markets himself specifically as a "Christian Jazz" pianist.
Neither does he hide from jobs that bill him as such. 

I hope not, as it would definitely limit his employment in some other 
circuits by folks thinking he was coming to the gig to evangelize their audiences.

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 knows?

Folks in church (at least of the Christian Faith) have grown up hearing some 
great music in church, (That is where a lot of great jazz actually came from), 
yep that's right good old Southern Gospel Church music which got all Jazzed 
up.  Even though many Christian Ministers quickly moved to abolish it as the 
Devil's music.   

However in Italy for example Black American Gospel music is considered Blues 
and greatly appreciated and often performed in beautiful Cathedrals as well as 
the Vatican.

I never once heard it referred to there as The Devil's Music.

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.

Yes indeed, no argument here except from a Sales -Booking - Marketing aspect 
of our industry,  Major record labels always want a category for the music so 
they can brainwash the promotion guys into brainwashing the radio programmers 
into beleiving they have a new hot musical product that will be the next wave 
of money and success for them.

That is how we got  so called Christian Jazz in the past few years, when the 
major labels saw acts like Amy Grant, and Steven Curtis Chapman, D.C. Talk 
selling millions of recordings they finally realized that there was a segment of 
the music industry that they had not yet  bastardized and exploited for  
maximum profit.   

They immediately started sending representative to the Gospel and Christian 
music conventions and recruiting the hottest acts they could find for the new 
market, much like they did Folk music, Jazz and Rock over the past five 
decades.   Big theme parks started putting on Christian Music Concerts to attract the 
Church folks to the Amusement parks like Six Flags, etc.  By the way I have 
no objection to that either, gives folks with families choices that may have a 
more positive influence on their children than some of the over the line Rock 
acts that had been preented at the same theme parks.

Bottom line is that they will market and promote anything that they think 
there is a market with substantial numbers for to extract money from.

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. 

I agree,

Tom seems have an endless supply of ideas on how to go about doing that.

I hope so after forty years of selling music, I would hate to think that none 
of those ideas ever worked.

 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. 

No doubt about it.   I still march to the beat of a different drummer myself, 
and often encourage others to do the same, It's the Burger King Generation  
"Have it Your Way"

 The good stuff is almost always instantly recognizable.

Unfortunately so is the Bad stuff. :))


Tom Wiggins

More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list