Chick Corea's Spirit of Creativity
AAJ: The direction that music is going, do you like what you see?
CC: I have a different opinion about the quote-unquote direction of music, and it's the direction of our society. You could list numerous people who you know, who have incredible aesthetic judgment, or they sing great or they can do something aesthetically, but have never developed the talent. Being an artist is something that's natural to every human being. So the direction of music in the future has all to do with how families and communities and nations and governments treat their artists and treat the whole subject of art.
The more it gets encouraged from society's point of view, the easier it will be, the more artists will participate and grow, the more schools there'll be, the more performances there'll be, the more music will be made and everything. That's an indication of a healthy culture. Music is only made and sold for money, which is the lowest motivation there could be. Not an illegal thing, to want money, but if that's your only motivation, that's not a very spiritual thing to do. I think it's a societal problem.
As you can tell, the styles today range all the way from far left to far right. You've got success with Tony Bennett and Dianna Krall in wonderfully accessible, genuinely high-quality music, and you've also got huge success from music from groups that actually have very negative messages and cause very negative effects on society. So you have the whole gamut of it. I don't know how to predict the future of music without trying to predict the future of our society.
I'm a scientologist, so I have a very positive outlook on life. The aims of scientologists are a world without criminality and without insanity where able people can prosper. This is a positive look at life. The way that operates in my life is that I feel that our future is something we can determine, not something that's some kind of destiny. If all of us that are concerned about the future of music and the future of art actually get busy doing something about it, I think we would achieve some positive results; getting some action going in the community, supporting some young artist - anything. Even devoting some time and energy to some young family member who shows interest in music. My encouragement is for all of us who love music and art to create our future and make it real positive, make it a new Golden Age.
AAJ: Times change, but the scene that jazz people grew up in, with jam sessions and hanging out and going to Minton's, Dizzy taking people to his house and showing them things, doesn't seem to exist anymore. There's a lot of great music schools, but that kind of organic, learn-from-each-other thing doesn't seem to be there.
CC: As my lifestyle changed, when you start to lead your own band, it's very different from being a youngster and getting your face into everything you can get into. I think those scenes still exist. New York is a great example. It has a very burgeoning underground, musicians all over the city who are making things happen. Probably not in the same way as years ago. I still think that the problem is the same. The problem is both society and the environment have to make it a little more encouraging for artists to do their thing.