Thread: Wynton Marsalis
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Old 12-19-2010, 07:13 AM
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Default Re: Wynton Marsalis

Quote:
Originally Posted by aydee View Post
great speech! Wow,they didnt make 15 year olds like this in my day!

( perhaps we can exclude Wagner ? ; )

...
I was thinking Wagner too. Wagner thought that he was forging a new musical theater and launched a Music Festival and opera house in Bayreuth to cater exclusively to his music. A cult statue grew around Wagner as people saw him as Supreme Artist, prophet, visionary. I don't remember if he believed others would follow; but the festival is a annual homage to the man himself. Such is not the same with Wynton; but one would have to ask where will it all be in 50 or 100 years.

I don't really know the history of the movement to found a Jazz Center in Lincoln Center. I remember Wynton started talking about the baroque and how in the 18th century there was an improvisational musical culture. This culture diminished in the early 19 century when composers decided that they could write in the cadenza's, coloratura and trills better than the performers. I think he though that jazz could refuel that improvisational element of the western tradition. He also felt that the brothels, and drug and mafia infested clubs of jazz's past were not the best place to develop a tradition. I really think that culturally he was right, and I am sure he got that from someone at Julliard.This was a long road coming in which Wynton was the public face. But it wasn't all done through him and I am sure someone else had that idea.

It's kind of funny to hear someone like Jarrett disparage Wynton because Jarrett was a free jazzer. Now he is an interpreter of standards. He was doing all that classical cross over like Wynton and getting good reviews Chick was also doing some of that but with less critical acclaim. Then you had that whole groups of New Schoolers that came out of Mannes. Now a lot jazzers are conservatory trained.

The point I was alluding too was the idea of the imperative of innovation. The later 18th early 19the century was a time of conflict and struggle. It saw the American and French Revolutions and the Napoleonic Wars. There was a lot of innovation and the birth of democracy and Republicanism, and you had musical innovation in Mozart and Beethoven. The nineteenth century was more tame in Europe although you did have uprisings. The music was more conservative. They really lived in the shadow of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven.

By the early 20th century people were ready for some political upheaval. You had these two world wars and the music and artistic worlds had a time of great innovation with Picasso, the Impressionists and Expressionists. You had modernism, then the invention of jazz, rock and roll, the suburbs, the A bomb, the computer and internet. So my question was, will the 21st century be a time of intense innovation and does it have to be? And are we living in a post-ideological world?

Here's a brilliant parody by Orson Welles from The Third Man, the famous cuckoo clock speech.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8i47-QBL4Qo
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