[Dixielandjazz] Another NY TIMES Jazz Review

TCASHWIGG at aol.com TCASHWIGG at aol.com
Sat Oct 30 17:38:24 PDT 2004

In a message dated 10/30/04 3:35:32 PM Pacific Daylight Time, 
arnieday at optonline.net writes:

> Steve, knowing your respect and admiration for the talents of Marsalis, it 
> is with some trepidation that I say "Amen" to most of Rothstein's comments.

Hi Arn:  

I tend to agree with many of them as well, and I do not personally agree with 
using a major public venue which was funded and built for the presentation of 
JAZZ to be used as a major means to push social issues of one kind or 
another.  It should be used for the preservation and musical exploitation of Jazz, 
otherwise change the name of it and make it the World Social Center or something 
similar and see how many paying customers it attracts.

I share Steve's professional opinion about Marsalis' talents as a player and 
also as a spokesman for Black American Musicians even if he does tend to go 
over the top from time to time which comes from his academic education and 
agenda side.

I don't know whether taxpayer dollars are involved or not, but think what 
$128 million 
> could do for jazz in the USA if not all (or much) of it were spent at the 
> whim of Mr. Marsalis.
> Perhaps so but unfortunately that comes with the territory when you are 
> instrumental in obtaining the financial support and funding, you get to call the 
> shots, right or wrong.

Almost every program he presents seems to be more a matter of social 
preaching and 
> activism than of music.

I tend to agree with this thought as well, and hope he learns quickly to 
abstain or at least retrain himself in such a way as to not over reach his goals 
while alienating the hand that feeds him (rather well).

Other than a begrudging nod in the direction of Bix, he appears to totally 
disregard the 
> contribution to jazz of any and all non-African-American musicians.

I am sorry but I can't fault him much for this, since history provides us the 
knowledge that the White American Musicians did it to the Black ones who 
invented this music in the first place, and suppressed them and greatly restricted 
their opportunities to take it out to the mainstream public for many years.  
And I might add, in some cases still do so today at every given opportunity.  

Marsalis is simply taking his well earned position on the stump and 
campaigning for Black Music and the rights to have those pioneers finally brought to 
the forefront of recognition for their creativity and work to bring the world 
America's Only Contribution to World Culture.

Of course, this is music to the ears of the Starbucks-and-Fondue crowd, those 
> denizens of New York City. I am not voting for him on Tuesday....so there
> Arn
Well, Arn:  I don't patronize Starbucks,  and I do not eat fondue, and I may 
not be as PC as many folks would like me to be, but being a bit moderate on 
both sides of the street sure beats the Hell out of being PW for so many years.

Interesting to note that the musical piece which seemed to get the most 
respect in that review was one by Jimmy Heath, a fine Black Jazz Man getting long 
in the tooth as they say, but along with his brothers have contributed much to 
the advancement of Black Jazz and musicians being accepted in the mainstream, 
albeit without a lot of PR that seems to surround Marsalis.  Perhaps the Black 
musicians just never had a Politician to front for them before.  Louis he 
ain't but Marsalis is a fine player and has proven he knows his way around the 
Funding circles for the arts as well, other wise he would not have gotten the 
nod and the funding for his Whims.   

In my opinion we should all get behind the movement as Steve said, and 
capitalize on what it is doing Nationally and Internationally for Jazz, If you can't 
beat em Join em and get some of the money and enjoy playing the music before 
everyone gets tired of the bickering and relegates Jazz back to one step 
behind spoken word and other recordings again.

That Starbucks crowd you refer to are the JAZZ OBLIVIOUS who mostly never 
heard of Bix or any other White Jazz Guys like Kenton, or even the Precious 
Original Dixieland Jass Band, and that is not Wynton's fault, it is the fault of 
the Jazz societies and Preservationist who have spent more time keeping it a 
secret society than doing a proper professional job of Public Relations to the 
general Jazz Oblivious Public.

Now what do you think might happen if somebody went to Starbucks head office 
with a proposal to have them play OKOM CDs in all their coffee shops (about 
7500 of them as I recall) maybe even have a gust appearance by a Dixieland Band 
to promote and sell their CDs to those coffee sucking fondue slurping misfits 
shelling out $3.50 to $5.50 for a cup of coffee two or three times a day?  
Whoops exposure to new Music just might spark a new trend in Dixieland music 
sales, But we certainly don't want that to happen now do we, because it would not 
be cool any more and everybody and his brother and sister and cousin would be 
dancing to Tiger Rag again.

And let us not forget that all those folks who now patronize the Jazz 
Societies once a month private parties would now go to Starbucks for free to hear the 
same bands play for the mere price of a cup of coffee.   

Marsalis may not have any NEW CLOTHES but for the moment anyway he is the New 
Emperor of Jazz.  Would you rather have Kenny G. ?


Tom Wiggins

More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list