The death knell has often been sounded for jazz and many would argue that the last revolution in jazz took place as the '60s handed the baton to the '70s, with the electronic-influenced jazz typified by trumpeter Miles Davis' ground breaking albums In a Silent Way (Columbia, 1969) and Bitches Brew (Columbia, 1970). Many believe that jazz has stagnated, or simply lost its way since then. On the other hand, there are those who believe that this era is the most exciting in jazz's 100-year history. If jazz did die somewhere along the way, then it sure ...Read More
Things have got to change! That is the cry being heard in the five boroughs of New York City, across the United States and, increasingly, in European cities too. All sorts of people from all sorts of social classes are at the protests--because the realization has dawned that eventually everyone will be impacted by the self-serving machinations of the Wall Street greed merchants and their allies in the world's other financial centers. It's great that jazz is becoming more of a component of the demonstrations. For too long, the music has been marginalized, even ...Read More
It's becoming almost pandemic for jazz festivals around the world to be challenged for deciding to broaden their programming into areas either peripherally related to jazz...or, in some cases, away from jazz entirely. Festivals like the near-iconic Montreux Jazz Festival, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and the Ottawa International Jazz Festival have become easy targets for purists, who are loudly proclaiming This isn't a jazz festival" because artists like Robert Plant's Band of Joy, Daniel Lanois' Black Dub, Seal and Deep Purple are showing up in the schedules. But the important questions are: why is this happening; and, ...Read More
Why is it that jazz music," and even the word jazz" itself, is so offensive and polarizing to the average music listener today? The word jazz" instantly turns many people off... immediately saying they don't like jazz at all. The fact is, that a very large part of the US population won't listen to jazz, period. Even further, the word jazz" is, for many people, a dirty word!. Why is this? Here are the top five reasons why people think and feel this way, and have already written jazz music off: 1) It's ...Read More
I've been a jazz fan since I was a teenager in the late forties, growing up in Southern California.
From grammar school on, I listened to pop tunes of the day--the hit parade songs and big band music that were in the air on the radio. As I entered junior high, I became aware of rhythm and blues, at that time called race music."
My friend's father worked for a record distributor selling music recorded by black musicians to record stores, principally located in central Los Angeles. He gave us kids samples. ...Read More