[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
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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