Originally Posted by con struct
I just don't see what the greater implications are.
The greater implications were that if record companies could market smooth jazz and sell 250,000+ copies, then why should they market other forms of jazz. The basic notion has to do with the reduction of value to commodity. Nothing new here; but there is a danger in it, esp for an artist like Metheny who could sell well and now could become pigeon-holed into making more under friendly smooth jazz music. If Monk had been held to a marketing standard would he have sold well?
The other question is that if properly marketed, forms of music that record companies may not readily understand might actually do better than one would think. As an early on fan or Metheny, I got taken through a world that included his work with Dewey Redman, Ornette Coleman, Steve Reich. I got to see him with Jack De Johnette in the NY clubs. It turned me on to a lot of great players. You can't put a price on that. His success is not only due to his talent; it is due to have record executives who knew how to procure it. I think Metheny understood what it meant to young artists who could also be pigeon-holed into making radio friendly music.
As far as Smooth Jazz and Real Jazz. It's kind of a done deal that people recognize smooth jazz is not 'really jazz'. It brings up interesting debates about the role of pop culture in the history of jazz. Regardless of what my post may allude to, I wold be surely left of center in that debate, esp as opposed to traditionalists. As I said, I've longed listened to Joe Sample, George Benson, Chuck Mangione etc.You may not be able to objectively qualify what jazz is; but you can certainly say what it isn't. Black Eyes Peas, not jazz. Kenny G, not jazz.