Nu jazz and the future of jazz

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Music with rocks in.
Why am I not surprised that you're a Pratchett reader? :)

Construct asks a tricky question. Defining the difference between rock and jazz is maybe even harder because the styles have borrowed from each other so much. Still, most of the time we know it when we hear it (as per Stan's approach). If the answer doesn't come straight away, then it's fusion :)

More than definitions, I'm keen on hearing these new sub-genres because blending styles gives us such a rich vein of creative possibilities. On the minus side, artists who blend styles can find it harder to get gigs.

My current band currently plays a range of things because we deferred the musical direction discussion until we played songs that seemed fun to play and decided what worked best for us as a group. Our guitarists said he's telling people that we play in a new genre called bluesjazzsoulrockfolk. At present there are no bluesjazzsoulrockfolk venues in Sydney so we're going to have that discussion soon to work out what opportunities are out there, what we are, and where we want to take it.

Ken, due to video restrictions at work (morning tea time) I can't check out your post too closely but looking forward to digging deeper :)
 

con struct

Platinum Member
Music with rocks in.
Only rocks, though? Couldn't there also be some moss, some, oh I don't know, weeds and maybe some leaves and...vines! There should be vines in there!
Rocks, moss, weeds, leaves and vines. And tea (I'm the king of tea.). And trousers.
Goat skulls optional.
 

PQleyR

Platinum Member
Ah, but I didn't say 'music with nothing BUT rocks in'. I left it open for all kinds of other bits and pieces. Roll, especially. Moss too. Little broken-up bits of circuit boards and small stones and bits of bread...

And tea (I'm the king of tea.). And trousers.
My my, you have been paying attention, very good!

But anyway, jazz. We were talking about jazz.

It's a bit like asking...what is western classical music? You've got all these different kinds of music, and they share some characteristics but not others, but they're all still called Classical Music. If you say that to someone, they know what you mean because they have a basic idea of the sort of instrumentation, the basic form, the arrangements, and the overall feel of it. I think that's probably it, isn't it, the feel? If it feels like classical music then it probably is. Likewise, jazz. If it feels like jazz it probably is jazz. Doesn't mean you can publish that in a scientific journal and say: "Cause of Jazz Found!", but to really know, you don't need anyone else to validate it for you. Knowing in this case means knowing on a level that doesn't require external justification. Call it jazz, or nu jazz, or whatever, and just enjoy the ensuing argument.
 

makinao

Silver Member
I remember hearing stuff like this way back in the early 90's. I don't really think this represents a "future" direction, mainly because it has been around for more than a decade, is by now pretty much "established", and has already reached a point of maturity. Aside from the "jazz" elements (please no flames) Many of the styles that it draws from were pushing the envelopes since the 70's such as minimalism, modern, fusion and smooth jazz, and the 80's such as techno-electronica-trance-drum&bass.

Alas, I doubt if this kind of music has, or will ever take the music world "by storm". I don't get the sense that it comprises any kind of revolutionary artistic and/or socio-cultural counter-narrative, like Bop, Cool and Modern Jazz, Punk, Seattle-"Alternative" or Rap were in their formative years.

Like with most "genres", I only only gravitate towards a small fraction of practitioners whom I feel have a solid framework, and can execute it effectively and effortlessly. So among the OP's collection, the only one that really grabs me is the Cinematic Orchestra. In my mind, the overall mood sound like what would have been a conversation between post-bop Miles, Manfred Eicher, Tears for Fears, and 4 Hero. I like the way the CO has managed to hold this framework together for so long. And the band plays really well individually and collectively, in the studio or live. Luke Flowers is very good too. He may not be an Elvin Jones or a Jack Dejohnette, but he has a wide stylistic vocabulary, solid skills, nice sounds, and always plays in the context of the music.

So this is not the "future". It is very much the present, or should I say an interesting branch of the present.
 
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Skitch

Pioneer Member
...

Music classification is a commercial imperative. Where do you go to find what you need? Aisle 6, row 7. If you dont find there I dont make no money.
The 78 RPM record, and the 2 to 3 minute format of a pop song that fits onto a 45 we all born to address this need. It still happens to be the case in the digital age- so sure life imitates art and vice versa, and sometimes some things lag and some are ahead of the curve.
So the question here is a question of definitions. Your book, my, book, Stan's book Amazon's book, iTunes book..whos book do we go by? Who defines it for us? The market?
Musically speaking, there is no BOOK, but the market has one.
I can argue that DJs improvise. They mix tracks, overlap them, fade them in or out depending on the vibe of the audience/dance floor.

Where does one draw the line between rock and heavy metal? Was Metallica this first heavy metal band? Or were Black Sabbath and Led Zepplin heavy metal, except that no one told them back then?

Someone here said that jam-bands improvise a lot too, as why isn't that jazz?

What do I do with a great 15 minute piece of music? Nobodys going to buy it, so I either cut it up into a bite-sized piece or bury it. So now it doesn't exist, because it is undefined and not on amazon, and therefore dead. : )

Is our understanding of genres solely defined by Steve Jobbs and Jeff Bezos? I think it is Michael McDaniel's post that said there will be exceptions to everything.
I agree with your subtext, that why should jazz not also be seen as happier, more dixie, more dance hall, more fun, more accessible?
Why is it that when we say jazz we actually mean either Coltrane, or Miles, or Elvin etc... or some off the wall free stuff which has no obvious direction..
In my book ( sorry, the only one I have ) ....Jazz is its collective history and a linear, evolving, growing thread with many tentacles reaching out in different directions. Some have commercial salience some not.

And like many things, it cannot be defined. I think Jazzgregg came closest to a definition in another war o' the roses jazz thread where he suggested that jazz was an attitude. Even a lifestyle, maybe.

We all resist things we cannot pigeon- hole and categorize and are left with an uncomfortable feeling if some doesnt fit neatly. Jazz is one of those things I think.

Richard Feynman, one of the greatest physicists to walk this planet once said that he isn't uncomfortable with not knowing the answer to something but he was extremely uncomfortable with the idea of an answer that might be wrong.

" Why are we here? "... who knows... maybe for no reason at all. And maybe thats all there is to it. I can live with that."

...
Interesting points....hadn't thought of Richard Feynman in years! You make some great points that the pioneers of a genre probably didn't know that they were breaking ground - one band comes to mind Living Colour - Funky Metal, anyone? Jam bands aren't jazz - there's isn't a trumpet - lol! Could jazz be an attiude and an emotion? Regarding the 15 minute etude; you leave it the way it because there is a such thing as art for art sake! At the end of the day, even in my Pop music based world, i am not necessarily doing what I do for everyone else's pleasure but I am not also doing it solely for mine either.

Yes, the marketing does play a role. After all, if you can't find it you can't buy it either but I get your vibe here and I think it was something that Zappa struggled with late in his life during the heyday of Michael Jackson. It is the balance between what is purely art and what is commercial art.

Mike

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aydee

Platinum Member
Interesting points....hadn't thought of Richard Feynman in years!
Yea Mike, it was funny the way he said it too. All this human searching and seeking to find answers or a higher purpose for our existence, but all we have is this cloying uncertainty..

...but hey, wait a minute - Maybe thats just the way its supposed to be!

Not something neatly packed in a box and tied up with a string!
 

Deltadrummer

Platinum Member
I wasn't going to post this for fear of too much controversy; but here is an edited version.


When people ask about the future of jazz, they are often asking about the future marketability of the art form. What is the future of jazz, like hey, when are people really going to start listening to this stuff? The answer is that they are not, they never really did but for a short time during the big bands.

This is an interesting answer to the question .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHYOCOStIdQ

Jazz gets lost because people are not used to or are not interested in hearing music as music, music as elemental. We are used to hearing music that is having a social or stylistic impact. Music that is saying something in the marketplace of ideas and is essentially marketing. That is not to say that jazz could not make a social or narrative statement, or be commercially successful; or that jazz doesn't or shouldn't have a popular expression. But its goal is musically abstract, and that is not a good goal to have in the commercial world. At some point you have to take marketability out of the question. Marketability is an easy objective context, but taking out that context, music has to be judged by its merits as music.
 

Mattsdad

Member
I happened to be googling jazz discussions and came upon this one. In light of the fact that my son has been a poster here, I thought I would drop by to see what drummerworld had to say. In my opinion all of these forums make the incorrect assumption that jazz musicians even care about being popular or if their art will ever be embraced universally. Maybe some of you other jazz musicians have different experiences, but in mine I have yet to meet a single serious jazz musician who cared about his music's popularity. To clarify; I say "serious" jazz musician. Some of these people chasing headlines will not be recalled a thousand years from now in any historical text. Musical perpetuity is never decided by the general public. It is almost entirely decided by musicologists who write the textbooks and pass along the knowledge to subsequent generations. I know this to be true because I am one of those people. If my reporting and analysis are of high enough caliber, said documents will be among those searched for and shared when archeologists dig through the strata in 10,000 years, searching for clues about a culture that will be as alien to them as Mars itself. If I state a strong enough case for jazz, then all of the present day discussions will be of no consequence. If the musicologist who pushes this tact fails, then jazz will drift off into an anonymous haze.

Those are really the only things serious jazz musicians care about. Now does that mean I want to starve just for the sake of starving? Of course not. But if I have to merely survive to have it my way in deference to making large sums of money working in musical genres I feel inferior then that's what I will do. Quite often there are those who counter by saying "Well if you had the chance to make all that money you certainly would." My honest response is "No that simply isn't true." And in my personal history avoiding those scenarios is well documented. I think people make the mistake of calling this perspective snobbery. I personally believe it is more an issue of strong convictions. Still if anyone ever feels the need to call me a jazz snob, I have no problem with that.

On another note, my son Matt now resides in Europe having accepted band positions mostly in the Eastern countries where he spent his middle school years. He is toiling in the shadows for now polishing his craft. I believe next week he shares club work with jazz pianist Elaine Elias.
 

Steamer

Platinum Member
Met and heard Charlie Haden talk last night at the word premiere of the documentary film about him at the Vancouver International Film Festival titled "Charlie Haden Rambling Boy". AMAZING film by the way!

Charlie clearly indicated for him as a jazz musician it's all about listening with 'big ears" and being perfectly honest with yourself and the music as the bottom line first as a jazz musician. Fully embracing the jazz "curse" as he called it with little of no choice in the matter coming from a deep place within for one's life path as a musician.

It was both refreshing and validating to hear one of the true jazz greats i've admired for so many years say this because for me in my own small way as a serious jazz player this is all that matters to me. The other stuff that comes with it along the way is the mere icing on the cake of the pure love of playing the music coming in at #1.
 

Michael McDanial

Senior Member
Thank you for saying that Mattsdad. People don't get the fact that in jazz it's not about being popular, it's about the music. Yet, it's always taken by people as an act of snobbishness when you say this.

Nobody becomes a jazz musician because they're worried about being popular. If you want to be popular, then jazz is not the genre the you should be playing. Jazz is about individuality and individual expression. The difference between jazz and pop music is this: pop music is about trying to sound like everybody else that's doing that popular style. Jazz is about NOT being like everybody else. It's about doing your own thing. Does this mean that you can't be a jazz musician and be popular at the same time? No. Dave Brubeck proved that a long time ago. But you are certainly waaaay less likely to be popular in jazz than in more popular kinds of music.

Nobody goes into jazz because they're worried about popularity. Let's put drums aside for a second and think about the music as a whole. Do you really think that anybody would put in all the time it takes to learn how to improvise over all these different chord progressions in all these different keys because they were worried about being popular? Yeah, Kenny G has sold more albums than Charlie Parker, but would you say that Kenny G is a better saxophone player than Charlie Parker? I sure as hell wouldn't. Who do you think was a better composer: Lennon/McCartney or Duke Ellington? Well, if you're talking strictly in terms of popularity, Lennon/McCartney would win easily, but in everything else Duke Ellington would slaughter them. Their compositional skills pale in comparison to Ellington's genius.

Album sales don't make a better musician. I've seen guys walk in off the street here at jazz clubs in Chicago that would cut the pop musicians to ribbons, and they don't even have a recording contract. Why would somebody put in all the time it takes to learn how to play like greats like Parker, or Miles, or Coltrane, when they could play simple stuff like Kenny G and make a lot more money?
 
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Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Not sure where all this came from because my intention in starting the thread wasn't to diss jazz or jazzers. I like jazz. I listen to it a lot. My band plays a few ostensibly jazz numbers where I play it a bit like an elephant attempting ballet. But I am interested to see this little digression starting with acid jazz in the 90s moving to what is being called nu jazz.

The future of jazz, rock, blues or country & western for that matter need not to refer to marketability, but to new variations to the theme. However, I think those playing nu jazz have tapped into something for the same reason as rappers use jazz samples. A lot of laypeople really enjoy jazz feels, sounds and textures but are put off by the long solos. Hindsight renders everything obvious and it's the case here for me IMO, in that it was obvious that people would popularise those aspects of jazz with broad appeal and streamline it for broader tastes.

I also think it's unlikely that all jazzers will ignore the trend and leave it entirely to DJs and music programmers and from what I've heard there are some tasty flesh and blood musos getting involved in this splinter genre. So I expect an increasing number of real jazz players to get involved in streamlined forms of jazz (hopefully in more interesting ways than Kenny G). It need not be done for $$ but simply because they want to reach more people.

I see no shame in musicians playing purely for their own satisfaction and by the same token there's no shame in wanting to make a lot of people happy. Different sides of the same coin IMO.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Would it be fair to say that the Jazzers only want to be popular enough to draw enough of an audience to pay the bills??
 

Michael McDanial

Senior Member
Not sure where all this came from because my intention in starting the thread wasn't to diss jazz or jazzers. I like jazz. I listen to it a lot. My band plays a few ostensibly jazz numbers where I play it a bit like an elephant attempting ballet. But I am interested to see this little digression starting with acid jazz in the 90s moving to what is being called nu jazz.

The future of jazz, rock, blues or country & western for that matter need not to refer to marketability, but to new variations to the theme. However, I think those playing nu jazz have tapped into something for the same reason as rappers use jazz samples. A lot of laypeople really enjoy jazz feels, sounds and textures but are put off by the long solos. Hindsight renders everything obvious and it's the case here for me IMO, in that it was obvious that people would popularise those aspects of jazz with broad appeal and streamline it for broader tastes.

I also think it's unlikely that all jazzers will ignore the trend and leave it entirely to DJs and music programmers and from what I've heard there are some tasty flesh and blood musos getting involved in this splinter genre. So I expect an increasing number of real jazz players to get involved in streamlined forms of jazz (hopefully in more interesting ways than Kenny G). It need not be done for $$ but simply because they want to reach more people.

I see no shame in musicians playing purely for their own satisfaction and by the same token there's no shame in wanting to make a lot of people happy. Different sides of the same coin IMO.
I don't think anybody feels that you were trying to diss jazz or jazz musicians. I think it's been a great thread and I've really enjoyed reading everybody's opinions on the topic.

Would it be fair to say that the Jazzers only want to be popular enough to draw enough of an audience to pay the bills??
I would put it more like this: Jazz musicians want to draw at least enough of an audience to pay the bills without sacrificing their own individual creativity and style. If they can draw a larger audience, great. If they can only draw enough to pay the bills, no big deal.

Check out a jazz musician named Corey Wilkes. He's from Chicago and he's doing some real cool stuff with combining jazz and hip hop elements. Downbeat rated him as one of the top 25 trumpet players on the scene today. I always try to get downtown and catch a few sets when I see he's playing somewhere around here. Super nice guy to boot.
 

Deltadrummer

Platinum Member
Not sure where all this came from because my intention in starting the thread wasn't to diss jazz or jazzers. I like jazz. I listen to it a lot. My band plays a few ostensibly jazz numbers where I play it a bit like an elephant attempting ballet. But I am interested to see this little digression starting with acid jazz in the 90s moving to what is being called nu jazz.
I guess the other side of the coin is to ask the question, why don't people listen to jazz, rather than why is jazz not popular? The question you asked was how will nu jazz affect the future of jazz. I would say it won't. It's less about jazz artists appropriating ideas. It's about pop artists appropriating jazz ideas.

The question is where does marketing end and music begin? Plato was asking the same question in the Gorgias 2400 years ago when he asked "What is art?" So the question is as old as the hills.

In my view pop art is marketing by nature. It does not have to be marketed. Richard Hamilton and Andy Warhol knew that art and music were ostensibly a diversion, entertainment. Pop Art says something or does something in the marketplace. It can make a political or social statement, or it can be solely about style. Many tv ads are as entertaining as the show, and much of the music moves readily from cd to commercial. Even someone like Sting recognizes that he is just a pop artist and his talent pales in comparison to Stravinsky of Bartok. You're not going to hear Bartok's Fifth String Quartet in a commercial.

I would add that it is somewhat ironic that two of pop arts greatest moments Yellow Submarine and The Wall both offer a huge critique of whether pop art can actually offer anything meaningful in the modern world.
 
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Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Cheers Michael. I just felt a bit of "us and them" element creeping in and I just wanted to clarify my intent just in case some saw my interest in what's happening as anti-jazz.

I guess the other side of the coin is to ask the question, why don't people listen to jazz, rather than why is jazz not popular? The question you asked was how will nu jazz affect the future of jazz. I would say it won't. It's less about jazz artists appropriating ideas. It's about pop artists appropriating jazz ideas.

The question is where does marketing end and music begin? Plato was asking the same question in the Gorgias 2400 years ago when he asked "What is art?" So the question is as old as the hills.

In my view pop art is marketing by nature. It does not have to be marketed. Richard Hamilton and Andy Warhol knew that art and music were ostensibly a diversion, entertainment. Pop Art says something or does something in the marketplace. It can make a political or social statement, or it can be solely about style. Many tv ads are as entertaining as the show, and much of the music moves readily from cd to commercial. Even someone like Sting recognizes that he is just a pop artist and his talent pales in comparison to Stravinsky of Bartok. You're not going to hear Bartok's Fifth String Quartet in a commercial.

I would add that it is somewhat ironic that two of pop arts greatest moments Yellow Submarine and The Wall both offer a huge critique of whether pop art can actually offer anything meaningful in the modern world.
Ah Ken, love your posts. I always feel like I'm unwrapping a Christmas present :)

Over the years I've watched people's reactions to music and time and time again I notice positive reactions to jazz sounds followed by them switching off during the improv. I have read many comments on the blogosphere complaining about "boring jazz solos". The same objections tend to be made proto-prog and prog.

If musos want to please themselves, along with a minority of like-minded people, what invariably happens - and I'm not saying this is good or bad - is that more populist musos like what they here and tailor the parts they like to produce music with broader appeal. Art music is like popular music's research lab. But, like scientists, most "music researchers" don't give a toss about that because they just like doing their thing.

But there's no hard and fast line between fine artists and popular artists. That's why I think more bona fide jazz artists will get involved in nu jazz. Some will want to pay the bills, some want to try something different, some will want to appeal broadly because they want to use their skills to make a lot of people happy. I think the line between pop and jazz artists will continue to blur, and acid/nu jazz is a conduit.

Is pop really ALL about the marketplace? Pop is obviously called pop because it's popular, so there will always be musos who really, really like pop in the same way as we like any genre. Of course, if your passion is in line with the majority, you have the chance to make extra $$.

BTW, in Australia La Donna è Mobile was used in a garage door commercial. An excerpt from Bartók's Contrasts for Clarinet, Violin & Piano being used to market nappies? Why not? :)
 

Steamer

Platinum Member
Just remember the flip side of the coin. LOTS of folks out there do appreciate the honestly from the heart and musicianship of jazz music, improvised on the spot jazz music in particular played by ensemble musicians. You just have to develope the ear for it like any other more complex form of music out there for alot of folks be it musicians or listeners alike. Or at least be open to it to begin with. A bias "shut down" set of ears might miss the beauty of it altogether if "issues" stand in the way from musical enjoyment.

In my travels some people can "get it" right away and enjoy it just from connecting with some honest emotional connection they seem to have to it and pick up on without having any understanding of the inner workings and details the way musicians often do. Especially the musicians I know who pick it into pieces rather than enjoying the simple greater whole of a performed piece with lots of improvisation and surprises going on like some untrained musicians/listeners do. I strive to strike a healthy balance of both aspects for my own degree of musical enjoyment listening to and performing acoustic jazz.

Some stuff I hear really touches me in a deep place without ever the need to ask why......
 

Funky Crêpe

Silver Member
Just remember the flip side of the coin. LOTS of folks out there do appreciate the honestly from the heart and musicianship of jazz music, improvised on the spot jazz music in particular played by ensemble musicians. You just have to develope the ear for it like any other more complex form of music out there for alot of folks be it musicians or listeners alike. Or at least be open to it to begin with. A bias "shut down" set of ears might miss the beauty of it altogether if "issues" stand in the way from musical enjoyment.

In my travels some people can "get it" right away and enjoy it just from connecting with some honest emotional connection they seem to have to it and pick up on without having any understanding of the inner workings and details the way musicians often do. Especially the musicians I know who pick it into pieces rather than enjoying the simple greater whole of a performed piece with lots of improvisation and surprises going on like some untrained musicians/listeners do. I strive to strike a healthy balance of both aspects for my own degree of musical enjoyment listening to and performing acoustic jazz.

Some stuff I hear really touches me in a deep place without ever the need to ask why......
lets look back at history to answer this question. Nobody has adequately predicted what was going to come next. Nobody in the swing predicted bebop, nobody in the bebop era predicted the avangarde and nobody from the avangarde predicted fusion! the music is waiting for new talented young guns to bring their talent and flair.....fusion doe'snt sound like swing. so anybody who says that nu jazz does not sound like jazz, just remember that comparison.
 

Steamer

Platinum Member
lets look back at history to answer this question. Nobody has adequately predicted what was going to come next. Nobody in the swing predicted bebop, nobody in the bebop era predicted the avangarde and nobody from the avangarde predicted fusion! the music is waiting for new talented young guns to bring their talent and flair.....fusion doe'snt sound like swing. so anybody who says that nu jazz does not sound like jazz, just remember that comparison.

Maybe so but ALL the previous {jazz} branches along the way had elements attributed to a relationship and its extensions that could be sourced back in way or another to the firm roots of the mother {jazz} tree.
 
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Deltadrummer

Platinum Member
If musos want to please themselves, along with a minority of like-minded people, what invariably happens - and I'm not saying this is good or bad - is that more populist musos like what they here and tailor the parts they like to produce music with broader appeal. Art music is like popular music's research lab. But, like scientists, most "music researchers" don't give a toss about that because they just like doing their thing.

But there's no hard and fast line between fine artists and popular artists. That's why I think more bona fide jazz artists will get involved in nu jazz. Some will want to pay the bills, some want to try something different, some will want to appeal broadly because they want to use their skills to make a lot of people happy. I think the line between pop and jazz artists will continue to blur, and acid/nu jazz is a conduit.

Is pop really ALL about the marketplace? Pop is obviously called pop because it's popular, so there will always be musos who really, really like pop in the same way as we like any genre. Of course, if your passion is in line with the majority, you have the chance to make extra $$.

BTW, in Australia was used in a garage door commercial. An excerpt from Bartók's Contrasts for Clarinet, Violin & Piano being used to market nappies? Why not? :)
Great post. I think you've put your finger on the trigger. (so now are you going to fire the first shot?) I like your prog reference. I was thinking the same thing and actually deleted that from my first post.

Is pop really about the marketplace? Obviously I am arguing that it is. Bowie being Ziggy and 'coming out' is all about making a social statement and as such it is art. He is marketing ideas. BTW I'm straight, it was all a hoax; but my kid is caught in a helium balloon somewhere 7,000 feet above Colorado. You can wait ten years and Madonna's gonna hump the stage and woman will be sexually liberated. Take a way the social critique or controversy and what do you have left? A guy looking silly in a polyester space suit or a girl acting like an eight year old boy. It's certainly not great music. But it's fun to dance to. You avhe to ask the question, has anything really ahppened socially? There is such a cross between, news, facts, commentary, marketing, controversy . . . in contemporary culture. So what is Lindsey Lohan doing tonight? What gets me aggravated about that statement is I actually know who Lindsey Lohan is as though that were important.

It is silly to me for someone to say they get bored with improvisation. You hear musicians say this all the time. Mozart and Bach could improvise. That was part of their greatness. Bach was renowned for his improvisational skills in his life time, not for his compositional skills.

I was not making a value statement about all popular music. I enjoy a lot of it. I certainly have a pop sensibility. Bernstein is the man who I exemplify as the guy who was really able to straddle both worlds. Verdi was another one. La Donna è Mobile is popular culture. So Where do you draw the line? how do you know? who decides?There is always some one who is deciding whether it be The Church, the censor, or the stock holders. But one thing you need to is BS before you step in it.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Steamer said:
Just remember the flip side of the coin. LOTS of folks out there do appreciate the honestly from the heart and musicianship of jazz music, improvised on the spot jazz music in particular played by ensemble musicians.
Deltadrummer said:
It is silly to me for someone to say they get bored with improvisation. You hear musicians say this all the time. Mozart and Bach could improvise. That was part of their greatness. Bach was renowned for his improvisational skills in his life time, not for his compositional skills.
I'm hearing you. Some people really enjoy improv. Thing is, improv varies a lot - ranging from sultle to wild. If an improv remains fairly conventionally melodic and rhythmic it usually will speak to more people. Jazz regulars often look more for the inspired set up that leads to the song really catching fire.

Often there's a tradeoff - do you want to appeal to a lot of people or would you prefer to really touch the souls of a much smaller group? Stanjazz is shooting for the latter, nujazz for the former IMO. Of course a lot of this isn't conscious decision and usually depends on your tastes.

In my younger years I went to jazz clubs every weekend and would just drink and listen - almost no talk. In later years when I divorced myself from the music scene I mostly just listened to whatever was on the radio. My tastes changed. At that time I found that I was looking more for the familiar. I wasn't interested in music that challenged me at all.

That gave me an inkling into the way Jo(sephine) Citizen listened to music - it's all about the catchy melody or groove, the singalong hook. At the time (late 90s) some acid/nu jazz was coming through and I liked it more than I liked the jazz I used to listen to each weekend.

In my experience most people love the jazz feel and the jazz sound. It's so appealing. But when it gets edgy or goes on for a long time a lot of people switch off. As with any challenging art, it's usually an acquired taste. I didn't like wine when I was young, now I'm a fan, occasionally too much so :)

Both approaches are needed and I think Stanjazz is more important. It's a sad day if music is homogenised to the extent that specialist interests aren't catered for - only the LCD. In Australia we have ABC TV, which is funded by the government (but is independent in its content, much to governments' chagrin). It's the only free-to-air channel that caters for people with an IQ over room temperature and have more sensitivity than a brick, and it shows programs about non-popular art, music etc. There was a push to privatise it on the basis that it costs every Australian 8 cents per week. Thankfully the last time this horrific idea was floated it failed.

So, in NO WAY do I only want music that caters for the many to be the only fare on offer. So I like seeing real jazz players getting involved in nu jazz, especially drummers, because they can slip in a bit of subtle jazz edge. Most jazz improvs contain the seed for a whole bunch of new songs - just take a chunk and treat it as the opening melody, and it will tell you where it wants to go. Hey presto - you have a nu jazz composition! The scene is ripe for input from great musicians; it doesn't have to be left to DJs.
 
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