[Dixielandjazz] Where is Jazz Going?

DWSI at aol.com DWSI at aol.com
Fri Dec 2 04:36:18 PST 2005

In a message dated 12/1/2005 11:06:15 PM Eastern Standard Time, Steve  
Barbone writes:

Otherwise, this is an interesting article on how a couple of jazz bands  are
>gathering in a younger, Indie-rock oriented  audience.

Steve, et. al.
You raise a very big and, in my opinion, very important subject for  
professional musicians, but hardly work through the answer options. Allow me to  quote 
one of the best jazz historians I've read on this subject: Ted Gioia, in,  
The History of Jazz, Oxford Press, 1997, New York, p.394.
After raising the question, are we at the end of the history of art (all  
art), Ted continues with a focus upon jazz:
"The music's past threatens to dwarf its present. Only in  the last few 
years, visitors to jazz record stores have encountered a novel  situation in which 
most of the music for sale is by artists who are no longer  alive..(and) the 
rise of movements to propagate the jazz repertory (he includes  various fusions 
of jazz)...are all symptoms in the same tectonic shift  underlying the 
structure of the jazz world..any new artist attempting to make a  reputation in 
today's environment must compete not just with other young  talents, but with the 
entire history of the music. This is a heavy burden  indeed!"
And, if you will permit me to add my own observations in this august  company:
What we may have is the type of big change referred to in scientific  circles 
as a paradigm shift. This is when entire systems of thinking,  performing, 
with all the underlying assumptions, shift or change, to move  in a totally new 
direction. An example would be moving from Newtonian  physics to Einstein's 
physics. In other words, we can no longer define what is  coming and happening 
now, using the same terms and perspective we have been  using in the past. The 
rules are changing. We only need to see the new rules. By  the way, I submit 
this is what early ragtime and blues oriented jazz did to  conventional music 
at the turn of the last century. At the turn of this  century, perhaps we 
should look at rap, hiphop, and the other forms  of (what I call) chanting and 
dancing like they do, and try to see  what the new media and new rules might mean 
for the future. Isn't it just a  cop out to say the same old forms will just 
to merge together to create  something new? Ragtime and early Dixieland were 
not welcomed with open arms, any  more than this new stuff is by us now. But who 
knows? We may get to love it  someday.

Dan (back up piano man) Spink   

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