Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

4

July 2015

July 2015
Mr. P.C. By

Sign in to view read count
Dear Mr. P.C.:

Frank Zappa said Jazz wasn't dead, it just smelled bad. If players bathed more frequently would Jazz be more popular?  Thanks.

—Jacques


Dear Jacques:

Check your thesaurus! If something smells bad it is "funky"; Zappa's quote can be paraphrased as "Jazz isn't dead, it's just funky." Funk, in his eyes, is the opposite of death; the funkier the jazz, the more full of life.

Reflect on that for a moment, if you will. Zappa's imperative to the musician is not to bathe, and at the same time to emphasize the groove, even at the expense of melody and harmony.

If you really want to keep jazz alive, smelling better is the last thing you should consider, right after bebop lines, Coltrane changes, and metric modulations.

Dear Mr. P.C.:

I think it's time we admitted that today's generation processes music visually, not with their ears. Every hit song has a video and every popular singer is beautiful, highly choreographed and perfectly costumed. What can a group of old, awkward and unattractive middle-aged jazz men do to stay relevant?

—Uncoordinated Gents Look Yucky


Dear UGLY:

Stop selling yourself short! There are plenty of jobs behind the scenes, so there's no reason to think you can't to work your way up to being a videographer, publicist or roadie. Just be sure to stay off camera, and remember that under no circumstances are you to mingle with the talent.

Dear Mr. P.C.:

We often hear of  certain people being called the "father" of stride, or bop or free playing, etc.... no specific mention of the mother is ever made.  This looks like male chauvinism at its most blatant! Yet, in countless other cases, this or that great player (usually a male) is called a "Mother."  In a music community that prides itself in its NFL class macho qualities, there seems to be a lot of gender confusion going on here.  And where do totally anti-macho players, such as Bill Evans and Paul Desmond, fit in to all of this?

—Sleepless in Seattle


Dear SIS:

What you're saying is that those who gave birth—to stride, bop and other styles—are called fathers. This is a classic manifestation of "birth envy," a male complex arising from inadequacy around fertile women. Most men would give anything to be able to give birth to an actual child; the next best thing—a distant second—is claiming paternity when they birth a style.

Birth envy also explains why male musicians call their most promising peers "Mothers." It's the greatest compliment, an honor elevating the designee to the apex of the collective male fantasy.

"Anti-macho players" Bill Evans and Paul Desmond simply embraced their own feminine sides; a more direct, individualized and perhaps hermaphroditic way of becoming Mothers.

Have a question for Mr. P.C.? Ask him.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Practice Makes Imperfect, The Pursuit of Nothingness, Challenging the Originalists Mr. P.C.'s Guide to Jazz Etiquette... Practice Makes Imperfect, The Pursuit of Nothingness,...
by Mr. P.C.
Published: October 26, 2017
Read Bits and PCs, The Cosmic Loop, Fake Gigs Mr. P.C.'s Guide to Jazz Etiquette... Bits and PCs, The Cosmic Loop, Fake Gigs
by Mr. P.C.
Published: August 9, 2017
Read Booze in the Night, CD or Not CD?, and Malodorous Microphone Mr. P.C.'s Guide to Jazz Etiquette... Booze in the Night, CD or Not CD?, and Malodorous Microphone
by Mr. P.C.
Published: May 3, 2017
Read Solving the Audience Equation, The Fix is On, and It's a Setup! Mr. P.C.'s Guide to Jazz Etiquette... Solving the Audience Equation, The Fix is On, and It's...
by Mr. P.C.
Published: March 24, 2017
Read Best of Mr. P.C. 2016 Mr. P.C.'s Guide to Jazz Etiquette... Best of Mr. P.C. 2016
by Mr. P.C.
Published: December 10, 2016
Read Easy Swing, Fours and More, Medicinal Jazz Mr. P.C.'s Guide to Jazz Etiquette... Easy Swing, Fours and More, Medicinal Jazz
by Mr. P.C.
Published: December 1, 2016
Read "Solving the Audience Equation, The Fix is On, and It's a Setup!" Mr. P.C.'s Guide to Jazz Etiquette... Solving the Audience Equation, The Fix is On, and It's...
by Mr. P.C.
Published: March 24, 2017
Read "Booze in the Night, CD or Not CD?, and Malodorous Microphone" Mr. P.C.'s Guide to Jazz Etiquette... Booze in the Night, CD or Not CD?, and Malodorous Microphone
by Mr. P.C.
Published: May 3, 2017
Read "Bits and PCs, The Cosmic Loop, Fake Gigs" Mr. P.C.'s Guide to Jazz Etiquette... Bits and PCs, The Cosmic Loop, Fake Gigs
by Mr. P.C.
Published: August 9, 2017
Read "Practice Makes Imperfect, The Pursuit of Nothingness, Challenging the Originalists" Mr. P.C.'s Guide to Jazz Etiquette... Practice Makes Imperfect, The Pursuit of Nothingness,...
by Mr. P.C.
Published: October 26, 2017
Read "BAN BAM: Music Talking" Live Reviews BAN BAM: Music Talking
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 7, 2017
Read "Mat Maneri and Tanya Kalmanovitch at Korzo" Live Reviews Mat Maneri and Tanya Kalmanovitch at Korzo
by Tyran Grillo
Published: August 18, 2017
Read "Ronny Jordan: A pioneer of Acid Jazz, a Staple of Smooth Jazz" Talking 2 Musicians Ronny Jordan: A pioneer of Acid Jazz, a Staple of Smooth...
by Alan Bryson
Published: November 16, 2017
Read "Yoko Miwa Trio at Scullers" Live Reviews Yoko Miwa Trio at Scullers
by Doug Hall
Published: November 3, 2017
Read "Ambrose Akinmusire at SFJAZZ" Live Reviews Ambrose Akinmusire at SFJAZZ
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: July 3, 2017
Read "Motel Shot: Expanded Edition" Extended Analysis Motel Shot: Expanded Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: July 16, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!