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While I agree that the term Jazz is not going to change, I didn't get the sense that Payton was seriously saying Jazz should be deleted, and replaced with BAM. However, even as a white musician who plays Jazz, I don't feel any more excluded, much less offended, by the term BAM, any more than I am by "Latin music", or Indian, Japanese, Irish, Russian, Brazilian, or any other style of music named for the people who created it. We in America don't seem to mind when any other culture or nationality self-identifies itself, whether it's a genre of music, chamber of commerces, or even beauty pageants, but bristle when the black community does.
Let's face it, Jazz, R&B, Rock & other American styles of music, even Country, have their foundation in the Blues & Gospel music of blacks/Africans in America. Acknowledging that seems natural, and in no way implies one must be black to play it, any more than one must be white to play Classical, Latino to play Latin, etc....
And I recall a number of great Jazz artists, (Duke Ellington, Nina Simone, etc) referring to Jazz as "Black Classical Music", or "African-American Music" which I also find completely non-alienating, exclusive, or offensive. While entertaining, I think any controversy created about these labels, aside from the good in generating discussion & publicity, is not something to be seriously concerned about. Hell, we've debated the "What is Jazz" question for many decades, so what's the big deal?
I can tell you what the big deal is. I know for a fact that there are many young black players feel that white musicians don't have the right to play jazz. It hasn't happened to me, but to friends of mine. Many black musicians feel that the name jazz is racist. I always thought by playing jazz, I was honoring my heroes. I did not make it a big deal, but I am responding to what's going on out there.
Nicholas Payton announced as of March 7th he is going back to calling it Jazz.
"Nicholas Payton announced as of March 7th he is going back to calling it Jazz."
I anxiously await the press release.
Well, I don't know how widespread this scourge of "many young black players who feel white musicians don't have the right to play jazz" is. I'm white, been playing jazz with hundreds of young (& older) black musicians over the years, and not seen that occurring. I'm sure there are some, just as there are white players that don't want to play with black musicians. But I can't help but think some of those complaining to you may be attributing race to what is more about their playing &/or vibe.
Hey steven, what planet did you say that you were playing on?? I just looked at what you listen to---For get it--I saw & got the awsner. Man! why do I look at these things. Old chinese expression tells it true----OY VEY! Mort------Out
Beautiful Dom-just happened on this article of yours-Parall's my own experiences very closly. Hell, I couldent have writen it better--even though i tried :( Must now read part 2. Mort
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Jane Ira Bloom
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