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Old 03-29-2010, 02:56 PM
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Default Re: Pat Metheny on Kenny G and other Jazz greats

Originally Posted by aydee View Post

On the gateway thing, I think you are right, wider acceptance is a huge issue with jazz, but someone ( I think it was Steamer or Ken ) questioned that very premise itself. Why should everything be so easily accessible? and does anything that is that accessible ever be that special?

Thanks Abe, I hear the general message, but I don't see how accepting "jazz lite" as a gateway to the genre takes anything away from "jazz pure". The good stuff can still be special, revered even, whilst harmoniously existing alongside performances of less depth. How can something ever be regarded as special when there's nothing to compare it to? In my experience, especially with younger people starting their musical appreciation journey, an interest is sparked by something attractively transient. Once a surface interest is established, many are motivated to look deeper in a never ending search for greater gratification. It's along that journey that newcomers to the genre eventually encounter the best of performances & concepts. It's the barrier at the start of the journey that would worry me if I had an interest in the future of jazz.

Imagine, if you will, that all jazz lite material was wiped from the face of the earth. Only the purest, most progressive, most competent material remains. A younger listener with no previous exposure to such material is likely to find it, as a minimum, perplexing, and at the other end of the scale, dismissed as rubbish. Why, because to those with simplistic taste, either by age or preference, there's no hook, no discernible melody.

The likes of Kenny G offer something that is easy to access. It might not be great, but it does at least offer an introduction to a different sound than the electro puke computer processed garbage that rules the airwaves. Real instruments played by musicians and a "flavour" of jazz is surely preferable to the younger generation regarding jazz as untouchable technically motivated stuff played only by those permitted into the inner circle.

I think that jazz, as many other minority interest genres such as classical, can only exist by evolution & that can only happen with new blood. New people and new ideas are essential to progression and keeping the genre fresh & challenging. Gateway music has a vital part to play in that IMO.
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