Question: What values does a jazz education offer beyond the music itself?Artists have always had a supply and demand problem. Since time immemorial there have been more people with creative ideas than an audience to communicate them to, especially if the art demands more than a cursory attention span. In the current world of jazz education, the situation vis a vis graduating more and more of the most equipped musicians in history (every year more so) in stark contrast to the scarcity of paid performance and recording opportunities has assumed epic disproportion. To deny this would be like ...read more
The History, Care, Feeding and Booking of the Jazz Jam SessionFusion and the new stuff? It doesn't offend me, but a lot of the soloists sort of sound alike, like they all learned the same licks from the same school. When I was coming up in the 1940s, it seemed that every corner bar had a piano, a set of drums and some kind of jam session happening. That's how I learned to play, and that's what I think is missing today." --Zoot Sims, to the author, 1981.What Zoot said was missing" more than 30 years ...read more
There is no rule book, reference work or formal set of regulations that club and restaurant owners can consult about how to book and present jazz.There was a quasi-model of sorts in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, given the proliferation of cafés, boites, bistros, bars, ballrooms, and all types of nightspots that used live jazz, whether local or national. Whatever the template was back then, if there even was one, it no longer applies.However, a rather singular era in jazz history, which lasted roughly from 1955 to 1965, is worth looking at today. Jazz--all kinds of ...read more
Futurecasting is a time honored sport, ranging from questionable store front fortune tellers to Pulitzer Prize winners, giving us both hope and despair and always trumped by 20/20 hindsight. Jazz is a particularly difficult subject, given to voracious crosscurrents and turbulent discussions. Ask ten people, get eleven opinions. This year we have witnessed the heated questioning of whether the word jazz is even appropriate. Is jazz a force of nature or the result of nurture? Does jazz have an invisible footprint or is jazz stuck in the mud? Is jazz inclusive or is it exclusive, leaving it isolated ...read more
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