Originally Posted by Pollyanna;
Ken, I don't disrespect Pat Metheny as a musician. It strikes me that he's angry because a competitor in his market is cutting in on his market share with a less sophisticated product, and a product he doesn't believe belongs in his marketplace. So he tried to discredit his main competitor - a common business practice. I expect his attention-seeking rant will have boosted his sales while gaining him extra brownie points with those who value romanticism more than logic. Not a bad coup. I think Larry's idea of a satirical number would be more dignified and effective. Maybe even use wit instead of abuse?
Yes, there's more plastic in the music scene today than suits me but plastic is all the rage. Never mind jazz - rock's gone 10 times more plastic. I would love organic qualities to become popular again but perhaps in an increasingly synthesised, plastic world it makes sense that people are increasingly responding to more machine-like music?
I don't think you are one coming from a perspective of disrespect; but if you feel 'guilty' who am I to say otherwise. lol
I hope it doesn't sound like we are being too harsh. But Pat Metheny has a very valid point whether you agree with it wholeheartedly or not. I think he really doesn't go into what he means enough and gets stuck on the commercialism of it all, perhaps he didn't realize it was all for charity.
I don't know that you would find Kenny G in the jazz section. In the Best Buy near me, the CD section is so small now but the jazz section has never been more than one small section of the shelf. There you would find David Sanborn, Fourplay, Diane Krall, Kind of Blue, and perhaps a copy of A Love Supreme or Time Out. I don't think the Wal-Mart or Target near me have a jazz section. That's where many people get their music and they find Kenny G in the pop section where he belongs, and where his easy listeners would look. They would never look for him in the jazz corner of the room.
Kenny G is easy listening and as you rightly pointed out, has more in common with Otis and than jazz. What really happened was that Smooth jazz took up the mantel left when Muzak fell out of favor in the early 80s. As Bob said, it was nice office music. It set the background but did not get in the way. It's nice; but ya gotta mix things up to keep them interesting.
I have to be honest though. You will find as much 'snobbery' in the listeners of Kenny G or David Sanborn as anywhere else. There is a reduction of all value to marketability and accessibility that becomes ludicrous quite quickly. I've had students who wonder why I am not attending the David Sanborn show, Why is my teacher who loves jazz not going to David Sanborn? Maybe he's not really a jazz aficionado after all. Or you're perceived as a snob just simply because you don't like music that really has not substantive interest.
Bruford talks about this with Earthworks. When the marketed the first CD they had that tune Up North, which could get Smooth Jazz airplay. They had major label interest because of that song; but the majors wanted them to do a whole album fixated on that one type of tune and he said 'no.' So he went with EG. God forbid you should do a tune in 5/4 or how about 19/8. Ya gotta mix things up to keep them interesting. You know that as much as any one.