Originally Posted by Pollyanna
Ken, the question for me is WHY such a strong market is there for your namesake. Why are listeners so [expletive] conservative? Why does everything have to have a pretty tune and/or catchy beat? I think most people are artistically immature so they naturally gravitate to musical "sugar".
I think they are that way because 1) many don't have time these days to get interested in the arts in any meaningful way and 2) our cultures seem to have trouble parsing egalitarianism and depth. Keen interest in artistic (or existential) depth seems to naturally attract cynicism in younger cultures ... "Who do you think you are? You fink you're better than me?" sort of thing.
This segues somewhat with my thoughts on the Euro and US music thread, although I think the cross-pollination over the years has changed both scenes dramatically.
I think the point that I've been trying to make is related to the concept of audience procurement. One could say there are two camps on the matter 1) People should get what they want, period 2) It is the responsibility of musicians to cultivate the listening palette of their audience. The Beatles cultivated a listening palette for rock and roll by making it melodious, harmonically interesting and rhythmically exciting. They created an audience for progressive rock by incorporating classical, world music and electronic elements into their songs. Miles created an audience for modal jazz with his albums of 1958 and 1959s Kind of Blue, and alter for electronic jazz fusion. They were trying to create an ear for something new.
I think what Metheny is arguing is essentially Kenny G is destroying the audience for jazz by not cultivating a listening palette for the finer qualities of discernment that it takes to enjoy sophisticated music. That leads to the "who are you to say"argument, which seems to now be limited to a youth culture.
It's funny to me that everyone has the perspective of needing to argue the superiority of their listening palette. . I took an old friend to see Bobby McFerrin years agoI had won the tickets and was taking him to see the show. Then when he saw EW&F, he had to tell me that he thought Philip Bailey was a better falsetto singer. Well, he sings out of tune, but that is besides the point. He had to tell me that my guy was not as good as his guy. I guess it's a guy thing.
It is a shame that people are immature and gravitate to musical sugar. as a guy who just rushed out to the grocery store to get an apple crumb pie at 11PM 'cause I had a craving, I am not going to argue against sugar cravings, especially with a cold glass of milk. But the thing again that baffles me is that people seem not to know the difference, and think these things don't matter. It's refreshing that you know that they do.
PS God Bless bands like Herb Albert for putting marimba players to good use . . .
I didn't know the Beatles recorded this