What is Jazz?

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Transforming A Popular Song

Read "Transforming A Popular Song" reviewed by Matthew Sweeney


One of the most transformative experiences in my life happened while drifting around the Museum of Modern Art in New York a few years ago, standing in awe before Picasso's Seated Woman, one of the many “portraits" of his mistress Marie-Therese Walter. I was astounded at the huge discrepancy between her photograph, which was displayed along with the portrait's descriptive text, and his breath-taking interpretation of her presence in that painting. What kind of genius does it take to transform ...

13

Tuesday Night Jams at the Owl: A 25 Year Legacy in Seattle

Read "Tuesday Night Jams at the Owl: A 25 Year Legacy in Seattle" reviewed by Paul Rauch


Traditionally, the jam session in jazz has provided an outlet for artistic growth and musical connections, for younger musicians to play with more established artists. The oral tradition that has allowed the music to evolve and grow generationally lives at the community jam session. It is a fertile meeting place and proving ground for both established players and newcomers. Most importantly, sessions uphold the values of community and fellowship. While the overall vibe in modern times is infinitely more inclusive ...

11

Building a Jazz Audience: The Sisyphus Redux

Read "Building a Jazz Audience: The Sisyphus Redux" reviewed by Kurt Ellenberger


Since my controversial article on jazz education and audience development, many have asked “Well, if education isn't the answer, what's the solution? How do we develop and maintain a strong jazz audience?" Audience development is a complicated issue, and it's not limited to jazz. Every artist and arts organization is trying to answer the same question. We've identified a problem and we're going to “build" something to solve it. Sounds so simple, doesn't it? It's not ...

2

Ghosts In The Machine, Part 5: Jazz Musicians And Popular Music

Read "Ghosts In The Machine, Part 5: Jazz Musicians And Popular Music" reviewed by Kurt Ellenberger


Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 Part 5: Jazz in Academia Jazz musicians have always been acutely aware of the “byproduct" of becoming proficient in jazz. Jazz training, even if rudimentary, provides the ability to master or at least become fluent in other styles in a short period of time. As detailed in the previous installments of this series, this skillset has allowed jazz musicians to function as musical chameleons ...

2

Ghosts In The Machine, Part 4: Jazz Musicians And Popular Music

Read "Ghosts In The Machine, Part 4: Jazz Musicians And Popular Music" reviewed by Kurt Ellenberger


Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 Part 4: Jazz in the Trenches In my previous articles, I detailed the enormous influence that jazz musicians have had on popular music since the 1960s. This may, early on, have been a matter of survival; as the popularity of jazz waned, so did the income potential, as detailed in Marc Meyers' noteworthy recent addition to the social history of jazz, Why Jazz Happened. ...

3

Ghosts In The Machine, Part 3: Jazz Musicians And Popular Music

Read "Ghosts In The Machine, Part 3: Jazz Musicians And Popular Music" reviewed by Kurt Ellenberger


Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 Part 3: The GhostsIn a recent essay in Commentary, Terry Teachout, arts and culture critic for the Wall Street Journal, makes an argument for the date on which the jazz era officially ended and the rock/pop era began--May 9, 1964, the last time a jazz musician (Louis Armstrong, with his version of “Hello Dolly," from the musical of the same name) topped the ...

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Ghosts In The Machine, Part 2: Jazz Musicians And Popular Music

Read "Ghosts In The Machine, Part 2: Jazz Musicians And Popular Music" reviewed by Kurt Ellenberger


Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 Part II: The Machinery Jazz musicians have played an important role in the development of popular music from the 1960s until today (we should also remember that jazz actually was popular music from the 1920s-1940s). For those who know the history of the music, this comes as no surprise--jazz and popular music stem from the fusion of the early blues and gospel music of ...


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