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Good points here. There's also the good ole liberal arts education, which unfortunately in large chunks of jazz ed culture gets pooh-poohed as not having to do with what musicians really want to do. I've witnessed this first-hand, and it's rather disturbing and depressing. At one school, I was told by a chair to not assign "a whole book" in a literature class because it would be too much work. The students took the chair's and others' lead in downplaying, even denigrating, anything not related directly to jazz studies and playing. Maybe it doesn't need to happen in college, sure, but I'm of the mind that, for any artist, to learn about all disciplines feeds their heads, makes them better. To not do that is just fatal. It's not just learning solos from other solo-makers that's valuable; it's about art, literature, anthropology, psychology, religion, philosophy. It all helps the tune.
Dam, If I would have known- to be a jazz great, that i'd have to do all that I just read in Davids Great article--Man, i never would have become one! I'll never forget the first time that i felt "Joie du Vivre" It was in the back seat of a Henry J. Kaiser 4 door and--ah-- well Like thats another story----David, you coverd Just about every possible aspect of takin care of business all that i would add (aside from flossing) do LOOOONG TONES every day. As they say in certin parts of China a be gazant. Mort Weiss
This is an important conversation and I'm relieved that I'm not the only one who is thinking about this. As the parent of a gifted college-aged musician I find myself wondering what's going to become of my son after the Berklee bubble bursts and he's out in the real world....I have been witness to the trend that Daniel is pointing out and I, too, find this disturbing. That said, I'm somewhat reassured by Dave's list - but only to a point! The future for all young people is bleak these days!
This is a great article, and there are many excellent points about how the musical skills can transfer to real life. One thing I never seem to hear addressed, however, is that in this climate of change, it will be the responsibility of the artist to create opportunity for themselves. It seems like the mentality that a majority of educators & their students have is still "let's wait by the phone for the next gig and whine when the industry declines" rather than "let's get together & really make something happen." I think if jazz education does a little more to nurture the business end of music -- communicating, booking, self-promoting, etc... -- there might actually be a lot more opportunity out there for current graduates and future generations of players. If we continue to allow the winds of popular culture to have their way with the public ear, jazz will continue its woeful regression. It is ultimately up to us to prove our place in modern society -- utilizing all of Mr. Liebman's aforementioned learned skills might be an excellent start.
Jane Ira Bloom
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