[Dixielandjazz] Lincoln Center Blues?
TCASHWIGG at aol.com
TCASHWIGG at aol.com
Wed Oct 27 10:14:07 PDT 2004
Unfortunately it seems like my post of last week about their being more
tuxedos in the audience than on the stage has already begun:
In my opinion this is exactly what has happened to most of Jazz around the
world, when the academics and the critics and ethnomusicologist get in positions
of presentation and promotion of Jazz & Blues. Always attempting to make
good simple enjoyable music into a higher level of Elitist ART for their private
This sounds like a classic case of it right here in Ben Ratliff's review.
Somebody is trying to make more out of the music than what it is "BLUES."
Why the Hell can't they just play it and leave it alone, It ain't Broke, it
is simple music for general unwashed or greatly musically educated listeners
and loved all over the world in it's simple earthy form.
They would have served the purpose much better in my opinion if they had just
called Taj Mahal and told him to Play the Blues. Taj is a musical Genius in
his own right and having worked with him over the past twenty years I know he
could and would have turned that audience upside down if they had just left
him alone and let him do it his way.
His genius showed through in Ratliff;s review anyway, since apparently he is
the only artist that knew what he was doing with the instrumentation they
chose to present with him.
While the Blues no doubt has some roots in Africa, it was Black American
slaves and their decedents that developed it with the English language as they
heard it and understood it with very limited education. They were able to inject
their innermost feelings into the music itself no matter what the lyrics
were, (which sometimes did not even make sense) whether it was a cry out for help,
a cry of loneliness, or a shout of joy and jubilation these early Black
Americans created a music that put this country on the World Culture Map with a
music that is uniquely American.
I am afraid that the elitist are again trying to make much aDo about it and
dress it up for the Tuxedo crowd to come out and see and be seen, with not much
intent or interest to actually listen to or like the music. Hence they will
attempt to distort the music to sound like they think the audience wants it to
sound "More Sophisticated" and worthy of $100.00 a seat donations to be bored
with alternative dissonant noise, rather than real music that will move them
if they but loosen the girdles and bow ties and take off the high heels, let
their hair down and have a good time.
Just book B.B. King in there or Taj Mahal, Keb Mo, Buddy Guy, KoKo Taylor,
Etta James, Bobby Blue Bland, Bobby Rush, etc. and let em play the Blues, It
ain't broke, don't fix it and it will sell out too, a lot faster than trying to
create a new African Blues sound.
If you give those folks enough money to experiment they will soon try to have
us listening to Blues ont he Sitar, and Kojo, and all sorts of strange
sounding Eastern instruments which cannot be tuned to western scales for the most
part. That ain't the Blues and it Ain't Jazz either and hopefully never will
More information about the Dixielandjazz