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Girls Don't Like Real Jazz: A Jazz Patriot Speaks Out

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Walter Kolosky
Girls Don't Like Real Jazz: A Jazz Patriot Speaks Out
Abstract Logix Books
Hardcover, 186 pages
ISBN: 0-9761016-0-2
2004

Thirty years ago, Frank Zappa commented that "jazz is not dead, it just smells funny." Today, no one seems very interested in the overall fragrance of jazz, but many still seem somewhat concerned about its survival. Rest assured, jazz is alive and well. Unfortunately, it doesn't always get the recognition or promotion it deserves. Nobody is more aware of this fact than Walter Kolosky , and he would love to see more people develop an interest in jazz. With his new book, Girls Don't Like Real Jazz , he does his part to help broaden the fan base.

Kolosky, a long-time jazz fan and allaboutjazz.com writer, definitely knows his stuff when it comes to music. He's also an extremely versatile writer who provides a good deal of serious information, infused with a healthy dose of humor. With Girls Don't Like Real Jazz , he offers readers a journey through the jazz world quite unlike anything else. A great deal, however, depends upon the reader. As Kolosky puts it, "I just want to give you some road signs for your jazz trip. You choose the exits."

Kolosky maintains that since jazz is a truly American artform, we should treat it as a national commodity. "Imagine if France decided to stop production of wine and cheese. Then imagine that Belgium stopped making chocolates and Russia said goodbye to marketing caviar." He goes on to argue that jazz helps to promote America's identity, and it can also play an important role in the global marketplace.

While Kolosky definitely takes jazz seriously, he also shows that it can be a lot of fun as well. Girls Don't Like Real Jazz takes an unorthodox and humorous approach to the subject. The first order of business here, though, is that the reader must be willing to suspend reality at times in order to fully experience the message. For example, Kolosky discusses fantasy albums such as Frank Sinatra Sings Weather Report or Three by Three , featuring John Medeski, Jonas Hellborg, and Gene Krupa.

Kolosky presents several other cases where the reader needs to play along in order to get the joke. He suggests certain ways to increase audiences for jazz music. Taking a tip from reality TV, he proposes Jazz Celebrity Boxing. This event would allow for jazz players to face off in the ring against fellow musicians. Some of the possible matches he recommends are Dennis Chambers vs. Billy Cobham, Diana Krall vs. Cassandra Wilson, and Pat Metheny vs. Kenny G. Another method of broadening the jazz audience might be for jazz musicians to adopt rap names.

Not all of Girls Don't Like Real Jazz , however, is humorous. Kolosky manages to incorporate serious material as well. A very effective example of this comes in a chapter describing how jazz can provide a common bond. He tells a story about when his friend, Michael, was a teenager. Like many kids, Michael didn't always get along very well with his father. After discovering that they were both fans of Miles Davis' album, Kind of Blue , though, the two quickly became a lot closer. Kolosky manages to tell this in a sentimental fashion without sounding something like Chicken Soup for the Jazz Lover's Soul.

Girls Don't Like Real Jazz: A Jazz Patriot Speaks Out offers readers a look at jazz from a distinctive viewpoint. Kolosky manages to combine fact and fiction in order to present his material. This unique collection definitely provides a worthwhile reading experience. Kolosky undoubtedly knows how to entertain readers, but he also makes some interesting arguments concerning jazz.

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