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#1487532 - 08/03/10 06:27 PM Jazz is withering away in america
Jeffrey Preston Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/21/09
Posts: 90
Loc: Elma NY


I don't know how it is anywhere else in the world for the only country I've ever traveled to is Canada.

What I've noticed is the remarkably low interest our nation has in jazz music. I'm 18 years old, and I'm watching my generation get lost and stupefied by the electronic music flooding our radios, with thought-less lyrics.. no emotion.

Jazz is pure emotion, every member of a trio to an orchestra has an important role in captureing the feel and the sound of the song.

A computer does not posses this ability.

What's wrong here? Does anyone have any idea?

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#1487548 - 08/03/10 06:56 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: Jeffrey Preston]
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1208
Loc: London UK
Don't upset yourself! Jazz is alive and well. It isn't mainstream, particularly for kids. So what? YOU listen to it, YOU play it. Tell your friends, some will listen.

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#1487550 - 08/03/10 06:57 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: Exalted Wombat]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
Get Chick Corea to dress like Lady Gaga and all will be well. smile
_________________________
Play New Age Piano
http://www.quiescencemusic.com

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#1487658 - 08/03/10 09:31 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: Exalted Wombat]
Little_Blue_Engine Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 1239
Loc: Ohio, US
Originally Posted By: Exalted Wombat
Don't upset yourself! Jazz is alive and well. It isn't mainstream, particularly for kids. So what? YOU listen to it, YOU play it. Tell your friends, some will listen.

Sometimes it is just a lack of exposure. My best friend has said she probably would not have ever listened to such a wide range of music if it wasn't for me constantly finding stuff and telling her "Hey, listen to this!" when we were teenagers. Twenty years later I'm still doing this to her. Of course, some people will stick with just what's familiar and have no interest going beyond their "genre comfort zone" and that's sad.
_________________________
I'll figure it out eventually.
Until then you may want to keep a safe distance.


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#1487663 - 08/03/10 09:38 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: Little_Blue_Engine]
charleslang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 2084
I think it is linked to the general decline in music education in the US. Jazz is not accessible to people who aren't musically trained, for the most part. Huge hats made of silver cubes are, though (Lady Gaga).
_________________________
Charles Lang

Baldwin Model R; Hardman 5'9" grand; Rieger-Kloss vertical

Jazz, pop and classical

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#1487682 - 08/03/10 10:40 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: charleslang]
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1208
Loc: London UK
Originally Posted By: charleslang
I think it is linked to the general decline in music education in the US. Jazz is not accessible to people who aren't musically trained, for the most part. Huge hats made of silver cubes are, though (Lady Gaga).


No, it's just marketing. Kids will crowd a jazz bandstand, swooning at the instrumental solos, if you tell them to. Remember when Frank Sinatra was considered a threat to the morals of American Youth? (Well no, neither do I, but my grandmother told me about it:-) I certainly remember British cinemas being ripped up by kids watching middle-aged men play "trad", basically New Orleans revival music.

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#1487766 - 08/04/10 01:55 AM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: Exalted Wombat]
AJF Online   blank
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/18/06
Posts: 1664
Loc: Toronto
I think we like to think that these are unique times, but it's pretty much been like this for jazz since the beginning.
Jazz music lives on the fringes of popular music. The popular music of the 20's, 30's and 40's was what we call jazz but even back then a lot of what was thought of as 'real' jazz was on the fringes--Mary Lou Williams, Elmo Hope, Lennie Tristano, Bird.

Some people would say jazz is popular today. Just look at Diana Krall, Michael Buble, Nora Jones and Kenny G. The thing is that 'real' jazz fans don't consider those artists to be playing 'real' jazz. Bird, Dizzy, Monk, Mingus, Tristano etc etc weren't popular in their day compared to the popular music of the day.

Even many of the people today who say they are jazz fans because they listen to Diana Krall, George Benson, Pat Metheny, Wynton Marsalis and Keith Jarrett's Koln concert haven't even heard of most of the real innovators of today like Brad Mehldau, Chris Potter, Dave Holland, Dave Douglas, Vijay Iyer etc.

Popular music is largely driven by a desire for mass appeal. Jazz is driven mainly by a need for honest self expression and exploration. It wouldn't really make sense for jazz to be widely popular. I demands far too much of the 'not commited' listener. Unless someone is willing to put the time and effort into training their ears and consciousness into BEING able to actually get what's going on in jazz it doesn't make much sense that they'd appreciate it enough to support it. Pop music requires less of it's listener. Push play, feel the groove, relate to the lyrics, there ya go!

Jazz to most people is like Cantonese poetry; it may sound phonetically interesting but who knows what the hell any of it means (unless of course you speak Cantonese:)

This isn't to say you can't have the best of both worlds. It's just really challenging to do with integrity. Some artists manage to do what they do with full self expression AND incorporate elements into their music that has a (relatively) mass appeal. Herbie Hancock has managed to do this by combining his 'heavy' harmonic and rhythmic approach on the piano with pop grooves and pop singers that have mass appeal. It's almost like he's 'sneaking' the jazz into a popular context.

Jazz, to me is a very meditative music. It's asks me to look within. It's rings with every cell in my body and keeps me feeling alive. I've loved this music ever since the very first time I heard it. Why doesn't everyone love it like I do? I don't know--I could speculate but why bother, it isn't going to change things. I love pepperoni, anchovies and green olives on my pizza. My wife hates all three. But she loves Jazz as much as I do. So I feel lucky:)
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#1487767 - 08/04/10 02:07 AM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: AJF]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
I read an article about how the average listening age of jazz in the 70s were mid to late 20s and now days its more closer to 40s, which is very similar to the average listening age of classical music. The article went to talk about how jazz nowdays is pretty much considered to be art music.

Well I can say the same thing about classical music.. It really isn't dead, there are a a lot of great composers alive today but you won't know about them and think classical music is dead. The only reason I have some knowledge about that is because I sang in choir in high school and got exposures to works by Morten Lauridsen, Eric Whitecare..etc.

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#1487838 - 08/04/10 07:06 AM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: AJF]
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1208
Loc: London UK
Originally Posted By: AJF
Popular music is largely driven by a desire for mass appeal. Jazz is driven mainly by a need for honest self expression and exploration. It wouldn't really make sense for jazz to be widely popular. I demands far too much of the 'not commited' listener. Unless someone is willing to put the time and effort into training their ears and consciousness into BEING able to actually get what's going on in jazz it doesn't make much sense that they'd appreciate it enough to support it. Pop music requires less of it's listener. Push play, feel the groove, relate to the lyrics, there ya go!


I'm currently reading a book of journalism by Humphrey Lyttleton (British jazz band leader, writer and broadcaster for any colonials who might be watching :-) He tells of visiting American jazz stars being given a cool reception by diehard British fans because they put on the sort of entertainment-slanted show that pleased mass audiences in the US, they just didn't take it SERIOUSLY!

I've been at jazz performances (or with jazz fans listening to recordings) who were only interested in the "train-spotting" aspect. The minute a track started they went into earnest discussion of line-up, who'd played with who, what colour socks the drummer was wearing... didn't listen to the music at all!

The pop guys think they're expressing themselves too, you know!

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#1488143 - 08/04/10 04:26 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: Exalted Wombat]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
What's wrong with jazz piano in the US is that the same forces that have infected
classical piano have taken hold in jazz piano, that is, the forces that want
everybody to play the same way and sound the same. When everyone sounds
the same, what's the point in listening to it anymore? Jazz and classical piano
becomes an exclusive club this way, where only people who "appreciate" the
technical "nuances" of the performance are "qualified" to listen to it. The audience
gets smaller and smaller over time like this.

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#1488155 - 08/04/10 05:02 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: Gyro]
WinsomeAllegretto Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/10
Posts: 832
First of all, not everyone sounds the same. Second of all, it's not just "these days" that people are taught relatively similar techniques. There has always been a right way of playing piano. Besides, these days, we have more different music than ever to listen to in the ways of jazz and classical, because we have music from all the composers who came before, and those composing now...I don't see why you say it all sounds the same.
It's just that classical isn't the popular music like it was "back then". Mozart was like today's top 20. Now that we have so many styles of music available, it's practically impossible for every style to have extreme popularity.

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#1488170 - 08/04/10 05:27 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: WinsomeAllegretto]
beeboss Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1219
Loc: uk south
The world of jazz has never been larger. There are so many exciting different sounding musicians around at the moment its difficult to even know where to start. I don't really go with the theory that says that jazz only appeals to trained musicians as it has been my experience that when people who know nothing about jazz see it live then they quite often like it a lot. The problem is getting them to the gig in the first place. In my opinion the media has a lot to answer for, as without mainstream exposure jazz can never be much more popular than it is now.
General musical education will help as well, and that is in a pretty sad state (in the uk at least). Many people seem to think these days that musical education is really unimportant but they are so wrong in so many ways. I am always shocked that so many people such sheltered lived that they may well have never even listened to a piece of jazz.
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#1488190 - 08/04/10 06:16 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: beeboss]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21924
Loc: Oakland
Not around here! SF Jazz is building their own theater now.
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#1488201 - 08/04/10 06:27 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: BDB]
charleslang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 2084
Originally Posted By: BDB
Not around here! SF Jazz is building their own theater now.


I like the overhead view at the bottom of the page below. It looks like a shrine to the Grand Piano:

http://www.sfjazz.org/support/sfjazz_center.asp
_________________________
Charles Lang

Baldwin Model R; Hardman 5'9" grand; Rieger-Kloss vertical

Jazz, pop and classical

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#1488223 - 08/04/10 06:59 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: charleslang]
VideoTiger Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 14
Jazz will never be as popular as other forms for music because it is difficult to digest for most people. I would guess amongst jazz fans there is a larger percent of people that have direct experience with music (playing an instrument for instance) compared to other forms. You don’t have to play music, but at least it requires an analytical person to fully appreciate the level of musicianship in Jazz.

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#1488235 - 08/04/10 07:14 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: VideoTiger]
charleslang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 2084
Originally Posted By: VideoTiger
Jazz will never be as popular as other forms for music because it is difficult to digest for most people. I would guess amongst jazz fans there is a larger percent of people that have direct experience with music (playing an instrument for instance) compared to other forms. You don’t have to play music, but at least it requires an analytical person to fully appreciate the level of musicianship in Jazz.


I agree with you to a point, as indicated by my earlier post which said something similar to what you say. But the posts since then have made me reconsider.

One of the things I've enjoyed most in contemporary jazz is drum solos. I think that you really don't need much training to appreciate rhythmic innovations in particular.

Harmonic innovations are maybe less accessible, but even there, there is an 'innate literacy' (to coin a term) in most humans. It's a language they know but didn't ever have to learn.

To be sure, there is much to be gained with study of rhythm, as with harmonies (and melodies, for that matter, and history, and even biographies). And indeed, for jazz the amount that is gained by this is probably proportionally higher than in the case of more popular music.
_________________________
Charles Lang

Baldwin Model R; Hardman 5'9" grand; Rieger-Kloss vertical

Jazz, pop and classical

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#1488267 - 08/04/10 08:20 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: Gyro]
Wizard of Oz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/09
Posts: 873
Originally Posted By: Gyro
When everyone sounds
the same, what's the point in listening to it anymore?



Gyro, can you name even ten current jazz pianists who "sound the same"? You are either full of it and don't listen to jazz, or your ears so bad that you can't distinguish between players.

I can't think of 2 guys so alike that they are interchangeable. Keith Jarrett doesn't sound like Herbie Hancock or Bill Evans or Oscar Peterson.

Brad Mehldau, Vijar Iyer, Esbjorn Svennsen, Tord Gustavsen, Bobo Stenson, Denny Zeitlin, John Taylor, Taylor Eigsti, Aaron Parks, Marcin Wasilewski, Gerald Clayton..... these guys all have distinctive sounds.

Even Diana Krall sounds quite unique, as different as Eliane Elias.

You probably think Kenny G sounds like Branford Marsalis! And Wynton sounds COMPLETELY different from his brother.

Don't BS us with that "all jazz sounds the same" when you have shown that you don't even listen to it.

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#1488282 - 08/04/10 08:37 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: Wizard of Oz]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21924
Loc: Oakland
Quote:
You probably think Kenny G sounds like Branford Marsalis! And Wynton sounds COMPLETELY different from his brother.

The three of his brothers who perform, actually. I have a fondness for Jason's drumming, in particular.
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#1488283 - 08/04/10 08:38 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: Wizard of Oz]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: Wizard of Oz
You probably think Kenny G sounds like Branford Marsalis!

Kenny G. says...



I sound like Kenny G... Pure jazz!
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Play New Age Piano
http://www.quiescencemusic.com

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#1488287 - 08/04/10 08:42 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: BDB]
Wizard of Oz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/09
Posts: 873
Originally Posted By: BDB
Quote:
You probably think Kenny G sounds like Branford Marsalis! And Wynton sounds COMPLETELY different from his brother.

The three of his brothers who perform, actually. I have a fondness for Jason's drumming, in particular.


He's with Marcus Robert's group, I should listen to them more. And don't forget the dad, Ellis, heck of a pianist himself.

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#1488289 - 08/04/10 08:46 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: Wizard of Oz]
Wizard of Oz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/09
Posts: 873

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#1488298 - 08/04/10 08:54 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: Wizard of Oz]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21924
Loc: Oakland
The one I am least familiar with is Delfeayo, but I have heard all of them, including Ellis. Delfeayo use to play with Elvin Jones.


Edited by BDB (08/04/10 08:55 PM)
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#1488309 - 08/04/10 09:02 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: BDB]
Wizard of Oz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/09
Posts: 873
I think Delfeayo concentrates more on producing than playing. Have you seen the Marsalis family special show? All the brothers played to honor Ellis' retirement. Harry Connick Jr plays too, does a duet with Ellis of Caravan.

That clip is from the show, lots of it on youtube.

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#1488469 - 08/05/10 03:06 AM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: Wizard of Oz]
Jeffrey Preston Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/21/09
Posts: 90
Loc: Elma NY
thank you AJF for the exceptionally detailed response.

I also love everyone's enthusiasm, thank you.

I just wanted to mention again that I am from America, and that to hear Jazz on the radio I have to tune into a Canadian station. I am unaware of Jazz music popularity anywhere else because I don't really know people, or experienced gigs, etc. outside of my country.

I've been to a colored jazz musicians club in Buffalo, NY recently on Broadway, and I can say that no one was my age.

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#1488681 - 08/05/10 12:45 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: Wizard of Oz]
wavelength Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 340
Loc: Vermont, USA
Originally Posted By: Wizard of Oz
Originally Posted By: Gyro
When everyone sounds
the same, what's the point in listening to it anymore?


...Keith Jarrett doesn't sound like Herbie Hancock or Bill Evans or Oscar Peterson.

Brad Mehldau, Vijar Iyer, Esbjorn Svennsen, Tord Gustavsen, Bobo Stenson, Denny Zeitlin, John Taylor, Taylor Eigsti, Aaron Parks, Marcin Wasilewski, Gerald Clayton..... these guys all have distinctive sounds.
....

Don't BS us with that "all jazz sounds the same" when you have shown that you don't even listen to it.



I can't believe I'm about to defend one of Gyro's statements, but here it is... laugh I think it's telling that a non-fan of jazz thinks it all sounds the same.

Wizard, you mentioned a handful of top-tier pianists with distinctive voices to illustrate the diversity of jazz styles... but these cats are really the exception. These guys are the museum pieces, the masters whom everyone imitates. This holds true to a lesser extent for the second-tier cats (Brad Meldau, et al).

Let me suggest a categorization, a taxonomy of the surviving species of jazz:

The top guys -the stars- exist in a somewhat untouchable realm. They are visible to a large audience, and they play festivals and big clubs, and they get paid well. You are unlikely to find them at a jam session. As the Masters like Oscar pass away, is their niche filled by the next generation like Hiromi and Brad Meldau? It is uncertain. This jazz is alive, but it is stuck on a pedestal.

But the jazz stars are a very small fraction of the whole culture that is- or used to be- jazz: The small clubs, The after-hours jam sessions, The streets, The gigs that the masses of players in New York City do every night. Especially the jam sessions. At most of the jam sessions, there is a palpable pressure to play a certain vocabulary, to demonstrate all those Charlie Parker licks you learned in every key. The jam sessions are alive, underground, in the big jazz cities, and with occasional occurrences in small cities. Alive, but not the hotbed of innovation they should be. The pressure is to look to the past for vocabulary.

Then there's the music schools, teaching generations of young players the same standard bag of tricks. There's "The Jazz Piano Book" teaching everyone the same rootless voicings. And there are the Wyntons of the world saying that X is jazz while Y is not, preserving it in a glass case so it won't change. This jazz has been embalmed.

Moving outside the major jazz cities like NY, and outside of academic circles, and aside from the top-tier jazz superstars, what is left of jazz? Where is someone like Gyro- who is clearly not a jazz aficionado- likely to hear live jazz? I'll answer that question: in a restaurant, as background music. In a restaurant whose owner wants quiet, undisturbing jazz that is good for the digestion, and that won't distract people from their conversations. This branch of jazz has been restaurant-ified.


The four main species of jazz:

1. Jazz Stars.

2. Academia/Preservationists.

3. Small Clubs/Jam Sessions/The Streets.

4. Restaurant Jazz.


Much jazz either looks backwards and plays the old standards, or has moved forward and become so rarified and clever that it has severed it's ties with popular culture completely. There are attempts to make exceptions like Herbie's "The New Standard" and Brad Meldau playing Radiohead and Nirvana, but IMO they fall short. It no longer has strong ties with popular culture as it once did.





Edited by wavelength (08/05/10 12:49 PM)

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#1488682 - 08/05/10 12:46 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: Jeffrey Preston]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4441
Loc: San Jose, CA
We used to have the most wonderful jazz station in San Francisco, KJAZ (Alameda, actually, if I remember--- across the bay). Oh, how I have missed it. But, College of San Mateo's radio station, KCSM has stepped up to somewhat fill its place; it even employs some of the former KJAZ staff.

It is streamed live on the web, http://kcsm.org/ . I don't doubt there are others, if one knew how to find them.

This new jazz performance venue in San Francisco is an interesting development. Of course, finding a place to go to hear music live is always the problem in the crowded and expensive big cities. The downtown location is very prominent--- I can't think what they have knocked down to make room for it on the 200 block of Franklin Street, but at least there are the two big parking garages nearby, at Civic Center and Performing Arts Center. That is always the big pinch for any new construction in SF (that, and coming up with the cabbage to afford it).

Long ago and far away now, but my favorite place of all was a smoky little trollhole off Central Square in Cambridge, where I used to stop off late at night after work. No cover, or minimal; couple of beers got you in. No, they didn't have the top talent and it was so smoky you would have thought it was on fire, but somehow I just really loved that place.

I don't know about withering, but this stuff has always been something you had to make the effort to find--- it doesn't scream at you from behind every television commercial. Yet it lacks the chicte' (of a sort) of the classical venues, and their funding base... so it's had to struggle along on its own.

Kimball's (the club--- actually, there were two of them) was another kind of favorite jazz spot in SF. Right around the corner from the Opera House. They used to have some great performers. I wonder if it is still there; I'm pretty sure their sister facility in Emeryville is still in business.
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#1488694 - 08/05/10 01:02 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: Jeffrey Preston]
Elssa Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/05
Posts: 1601
Loc: NY
I joined a Jazz Meetup in my area last year that had just started up on line, and I was the only member who ever showed up. The meetup was begun by a local jazz group who played at and tried to get people to get together at a local restaurant. It was strange because over 30 people had joined the meetup on line, but nobody ever went to them. One person said on line she thought jazz was "over her head," but said she'd try to go. I think some people do think it's too sophisticated for them. They don't know how down to earth and just plain fun to listen to it can be. There are so many styles of jazz these days, too, so maybe people don't even know what it is anymore. How would you define "jazz"?...improvisation?


Edited by Elssa (08/05/10 01:08 PM)

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#1488709 - 08/05/10 01:22 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: Elssa]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2999
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
I put an ad on craigslist to find folks to play jazz with. I had tons of response. We've been playing every single Monday for the last 6 months or so. People love it.

As far as I'm concerned, Jazz isn't dying, it's blooming!

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#1488728 - 08/05/10 01:41 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: knotty]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Gyro

For a non classical music listener, Bach and Vivaldi sounds the same, Beethoven and Schubert sounds the same, Chopin and Lizst would sound the same. It's like saying all Asians look the same,
There is a merit in taking time to appreciate the nuances.

Also how can you discredit nuances in classical music? It's the subtle things you do with dynamics that makes melodies sing. It's how you control the volume on ever note in the chord that makes the wound rich. Or do you prefer an amateur pianist banging the piano playing Lizst with fortissimo and no dynamic contrast?

It's okay to not want to know things but don't let your ignorance be the reason for putting down other people's art, especially since they spent their lifetime on it

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#1488734 - 08/05/10 01:52 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: knotty]
Jeffrey Preston Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/21/09
Posts: 90
Loc: Elma NY
Originally Posted By: knotty
I put an ad on craigslist to find folks to play jazz with. I had tons of response. We've been playing every single Monday for the last 6 months or so. People love it.

As far as I'm concerned, Jazz isn't dying, it's blooming!


I only get spam in response to anything I post on that site -_-.

Knotty, I also want to ask was it hard finding a bassplayer? and other members? or did things come together smoothly. I want a bass player to jam with SOOOO bad

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#1488735 - 08/05/10 01:55 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: etcetra]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Well, there are plenty of great art music out there that are pretty much invisible outside the small circles that are involved in it. It could be Tango, Indian Classic music, or contemporary classical composers like Xenakis, Morten Lauridsen.. etc There are a lot of underground pop artists like that too that still make a living doing stuff outside the mainstream media... just listen to "morning becomes eclectic".

And the more I pay attention to the scene the more I realize that there are TONS of great young talents out there, and there have been plenty of great artists who go unnoticed like Clare Fischer, Richie Bierach..etc, and they will always be people like that.

It's like saying rock music is dead.. it's true that it's no longer at its height of popularity, but people still do innovate and the art form will continue to evolve. I feel like people who say jazz or rock or whatever is dead is just romantacizing the past, and putting the past on a pedestal.

I don't think any of these music will disappear, they will all be just small micro-universe existing under-the-radar, and only those who really are affected by it will seek it. I think it's the post-modern world we live in.

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#1488754 - 08/05/10 02:30 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: Jeffrey Preston]
Elssa Offline
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Registered: 01/15/05
Posts: 1601
Loc: NY
I posted an ad on Craig's list (Musicians section) and found a wonderful bass player/singer. He's mostly into the "oldies", but says he has a great interest in learning to play more jazz standards now. I also got one response from someone looking for a keyboardist for their swing band, and the rest were strictly interested in "classic rock".

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#1488761 - 08/05/10 02:49 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: Gyro]
Inlanding Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 1744
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: Gyro
What's wrong with jazz piano in the US is that the same forces that have infected
classical piano have taken hold in jazz piano, that is, the forces that want
everybody to play the same way and sound the same. When everyone sounds
the same, what's the point in listening to it anymore? Jazz and classical piano
becomes an exclusive club this way, where only people who "appreciate" the
technical "nuances" of the performance are "qualified" to listen to it. The audience
gets smaller and smaller over time like this.


This is as negative and misguided a response I've had the disappointment of reading on PW.
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#1488765 - 08/05/10 02:56 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: Elssa]
etcetra Offline
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Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
One thing I noticed is that even in small towns, you will find really great hidden talents. There are some world class, or could have been world class musicians who decided not to choose the path of a performer for different reasons.

Someone mentioned how Terry Trotter decided not to go on the road with Miles Davis because of his family. He is not well known but he is amazing piano player. I had a chance to talk to Josh Nelson a younger guy who took over the accompanying gig with Natalie Cole after Terry stopping doing it. He is brilliant too, but he decided not to go to NY, self-publish his cd and be a relatively unknown player outside his circles.

My point is that there are tons of people like that, and there are probably tons of great young players who is going through the same kind of things Terry Trotter, Alan Broadbent, and Shelly Berg went through years ago.

There is definitely no shortage of great players out there, and frankly it's unfair to compare Chick, Oscar, Herbie to Eldar and Hiromi... because Eldar and Hiromi IMO don't represent the Chick Corea and Oscar Peterson of our generation. Listening to Tigran Hamasyan, Aaaron Parks, Marcin Wasliewski, Adam Benjamin/kneebody (to name a few) gives me a very different perspective on the younger players than listening to the more well known people like Hiromi.

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#1488767 - 08/05/10 03:00 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: etcetra]
Inlanding Offline
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Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 1744
Loc: Colorado
+1, etc.

There are lots of great jazz artists around the country, playing regularly.
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#1488791 - 08/05/10 03:36 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: Inlanding]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2999
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
>>I only get spam in response to anything I post on that site -_-.
I got very little spam. And the ad and email address they assign is only valid for a short period of time, so this dies quick anyway.

>>Knotty, I also want to ask was it hard finding a bassplayer? and other members? or did things come together smoothly. I want a bass player to jam with SOOOO bad
Very easy. I put an ad, I got replies with 2 days. I told the guy to come play, he came. Very nice dude who's been coming for months now.
After I had a little band set up, I was looking for more, so I put another ad with a sample tape of us playing, and then I got a lot of people that wanted to play. People really really want to play, they don't always find folks to play with, they don't always have a spot where to play. But they want to play.

I have space. I bought a drum set to make it convenient to our drummer. Now we have a regular quintet going, we work on arrangements. We play 2 hours a week, a little bit of wine, lots of fun.




Edited by knotty (08/05/10 05:16 PM)

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#1488871 - 08/05/10 05:41 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: knotty]
Sir Lurksalot Offline
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Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 1249
Classical all day and jazz all night
http://www.wrcjfm.org/

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#1488897 - 08/05/10 06:19 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: Inlanding]
Wizard of Oz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/09
Posts: 873
Originally Posted By: Inlanding
Originally Posted By: Gyro
What's wrong with jazz piano in the US is that the same forces that have infected
classical piano have taken hold in jazz piano, that is, the forces that want
everybody to play the same way and sound the same. When everyone sounds
the same, what's the point in listening to it anymore? Jazz and classical piano
becomes an exclusive club this way, where only people who "appreciate" the
technical "nuances" of the performance are "qualified" to listen to it. The audience
gets smaller and smaller over time like this.


This is as negative and misguided a response I've had the disappointment of reading on PW.



Amen!

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#1488900 - 08/05/10 06:22 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: Wizard of Oz]
Wizard of Oz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/09
Posts: 873
Gyro has shown in his posts that he knows absolutely nothing about real jazz and hasn't a clue as to how to improvise, which is the spirit of jazz.

So for him to say what he did, take it with a grain of salt cause his ears are pretty much tone deaf when it comes to jazz.

He probably thinks Yanni is the second coming of Duke Ellington!!

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#1488992 - 08/05/10 08:27 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: Wizard of Oz]
Sir Lurksalot Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 1249
Originally Posted By: Wizard of Oz

He probably thinks Yanni is the second coming of Duke Ellington!!


Well that's just not possible - Yanni was born in 1954 wink

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#1489407 - 08/06/10 10:44 AM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: Sir Lurksalot]
HooDoo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 57
Loc: Los Angeles

I find myself caught between two different worlds as I learn piano. I love pop songs and rock, but I also love jazz. One day I want to learn a Beatles tune, and the next I want to be able to play harmonies like Bill Evans (which I'll never be able to do).

For me there's room for both, but I've often speculated about why jazz seems to no longer connect with a truly wide audience. I think it might have something to do with the transition of jazz in the 40's to (mostly) instrumental music that you can't dance to. I love the innovations of bebop and the emphasis on virtuoso playing and all the jazz that followed, but without a singer and/or a danceable rhythm jazz became a different kind of listening experience. Mass audiences want to either sing along to simpler melodies or else move their bodies and rock and roll and pop took over that role.

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#1489641 - 08/06/10 04:05 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: HooDoo]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
Originally Posted By: HooDoo
For me there's room for both, but I've often speculated about why jazz seems to no longer connect with a truly wide audience. I think it might have something to do with the transition of jazz in the 40's to (mostly) instrumental music that you can't dance to. I love the innovations of bebop and the emphasis on virtuoso playing and all the jazz that followed, but without a singer and/or a danceable rhythm jazz became a different kind of listening experience. Mass audiences want to either sing along to simpler melodies or else move their bodies and rock and roll and pop took over that role.

Hmm, I think he's onto something here. I think of myself as a pretty educated listener with wide-ranging and eclectic tastes, but when I listen to a lot of modern jazz I feel the musicians prioritize showing off their chops to other musicians over connecting with me as a listener.

This seems weird to me, since I like music which challenges my expectations. My general taste is for live music, or live recordings, as in in-person, interacting musicians, not studio/sample magic, and jazz retains that value. Perhaps part of why I love earlier jazz is because I strongly favor music with acoustic instruments, but I think it's also because it's good-time, reckless party music -- for its era, it was really pushing the boundaries, and dancing on the edge of chaos -- but dancing there.

I won't bother to dance to anything as predictable as most modern pop (my favorite dance band ever was the Art Ensemble of Chicago, if that says anything...), but there is some essence of danceability which I require for music to speak to me. If you were to limit me to a single genre of music, I would choose World acoustic indigenous musics, but I'd argue hard that early Black American jazz fit into that genre. And I think I'd choose this genre because it would give me the interesting tonalities and unusual rhythms and strange acoustic timbres that I crave, while also retaining the primal human connection to rhythm & dance.
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#1489655 - 08/06/10 04:17 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: tangleweeds]
Elene Offline
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Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1420
Loc: under monsoon clouds
Jazz, including jazz piano, is doing great in Albuquerque. We have the New Mexico Jazz Workshop, which does a huge amount of education and outreach in addition to sponsoring concerts. The Outpost Performance Space brings in world-class jazz and other performers, and hosts summer jazz festivals. High schools have superb jazz bands. My husband's Brazilian jazz band plays to enthusiastic, knowledgeable audiences. We have fine players coming out of the woodwork, and although it's hard, as always, to make a living, they all seem to be performing regularly and getting paid.

Geoff, I am completely mystified by your reference to a "colored jazz musicians club." The word "colored" has not been current for decades.... Your part of the country must be very, very different from mine. (Unless the jazz club was painted fuchsia or something.)

Elene
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#1489698 - 08/06/10 04:53 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: Elene]
Jeffrey Preston Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/21/09
Posts: 90
Loc: Elma NY
Elene- Buffalo is very segregated, but this particular part of buffalo is downtown almost into east side. It's been there for decades, I'm sure that's why the name stuck. It's a brick building with an almost mural like piece painted on the side with a piano and people jammin', it's actually pretty cool! I just live somewhat of a drive away from it.

and that's good to hear, the reason I posted this is because I want to go on a road trip to a very Jazz influence town or city, walk around, enjoy the local jazz music and such.

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#1489726 - 08/06/10 05:41 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: Jeffrey Preston]
dpvjazz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/05
Posts: 287
Loc: phoenix az
The four main species of jazz:
1. Jazz Stars.
2. Academia/Preservationists.
3. Small Clubs/Jam Sessions/The Streets.
4. Restaurant Jazz.

Having settled into what you would call a restaurant Jazz player I speak from that personal experience. I KNOW THIS TO BE TRUE

[QUOTE]HooDoo
{I've often speculated about why jazz seems to no longer connect with a truly wide audience. I think it might have something to do with the transition of jazz in the 40's to (mostly) instrumental music that you can't dance to. I love the innovations of bebop and the emphasis on virtuoso playing and all the jazz that followed, but without a singer and/or a danceable rhythm jazz became a different kind of listening experience. Mass audiences want to either sing along to simpler melodies or else move their bodies and rock and roll and pop took over that role.}

I think over the years looking back this is exactly what has happen. Unless you are a Jazz star most just want to relate to you and your music when you’re playing. Basically what we call background Jazz. Do we have to dumb it down? Or smooth it out? Play less challenging music? Or stay true to what we feel, hear, and know? Somewhere there is middle ground for folks like us. If you want to eat and pay bills playing music for a living learning on how to read an audience or the room you’re going to play is important. One of the most important things to remember is when you are hired to play music it is not about your talent it’s about fulfilling your contract or agreement with their needs be met first and then yours. Listen as best you can and try and determine what the customer really wants and if you can fulfill the requirements go for it.

[QUOTE] geoff preston
Jazz is pure emotion; every member of a trio to an orchestra has an important role in capturing the feel and the sound of the song.

When I first started playing music professionally my only concern was about me how does it sound, are me and the others cats hanging, are we getting it right? Not to mention the four to five choruses each member took during solos. Maybe if your Chick or Keith, or Herbie or of that caliber and you are in a concert setting you can and are expected to do that type of soloing with cutting edge changes and new material of fresh takes on older tunes. But if you are playing at restaurant while people are eating and trying to converse it doesn’t work. They get ear fatigue hearing all those solo’s and tired of trying to figure out just what the heck is that tune you are playing. I started playing in my own restaurant 10 years ago and we have quite a following and just about every time we play the place is pack. It took a while before I really started thinking about the audience and their needs. This year I decided to play Memorial Day Weekend everybody knows that in Phoenix by May 24th most folks are still trying to acclimate to the heat so I knew it would be slow. But I gave my best during season and felt this gig was for me. Well the Suns made the playoffs and game 5 was the same night and it was a ghost town in the restaurant that night. But I knew this was the perfect night for tunes like Speak no Evil, Dolphin Dance, FEE FI FO FUM, Windows and such and it was great. I was high on the music for a month after that plus since I always record I can always go back and relive a great night of music. By the way When Sonny Get’s Blue was the nicest sounding cut of the night on the recording and that was after we played the more modern tunes and threw everything but the kitchen sink it to those tunes. There is a very well know musician here in Phoenix and said I needed to start looking for and appreciate magical music moments because unless the whole night wasn’t the way I felt it should sound I WAS FRUSTRADED and this was coming out in my playing. Plus the audiences pick up on this or arrogance. No Jazz is alive and doing very well IN PHOENIX.

Every member of a trio to an orchestra has an important role in making sure your audience CAN RELATE TO YOUR MUSIC and if they can’t connect with you or the music well they just give up and don’t come back. Maybe that is what has been happening?
DPVJAZZ

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#1489750 - 08/06/10 06:15 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: dpvjazz]
charleslang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 2084
Originally Posted By: dpvjazz
The four main species of jazz:
1. Jazz Stars.
2. Academia/Preservationists.
3. Small Clubs/Jam Sessions/The Streets.
4. Restaurant Jazz.


Good post all around. I was actually thinking today of posting on this thread that there are two types: Restaurant Jazz and The Streets (I would have not thought of those words of course), but your four categories are better.

Originally Posted By: dpvjazz

if they can’t connect with you or the music well they just give up and don’t come back. Maybe that is what has been happening?
DPVJAZZ


There is one direction of jazz that seems almost intentionally to be esoteric to the point of being emotionally inaccessible. A lot of Brad Mehldau is accessible but some of his pieces are computer-like and distant in this way.

Somebody recently posted some compositions on PW forums which had this same quality. Something in common with Bach but dynamically flat as if written by a computer. I can't imagine that style being played for an audience other than one made of quite musically literate listeners. I'm still undecided as to whether I like it a lot. I find it attractive just because it is new and different and breaks the mold.
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Charles Lang

Baldwin Model R; Hardman 5'9" grand; Rieger-Kloss vertical

Jazz, pop and classical

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#1490319 - 08/07/10 04:53 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: charleslang]
Jeffrey Preston Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/21/09
Posts: 90
Loc: Elma NY
Charleslang- I actually listened to him (Brad Mehldau) for the first time today, I love the drummer (there's youtube videos up of him covering a radiohead song, the drumming is "catchy"). But I'm not sure what you mean by "computer like". Also, I was watching on youtube videos of highschool jazz bands, and it was very out of control, I couldn't grasp the music (only in certain parts.) So you're saying nowadays the direction of jazz is emotionally inaccessible?

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#1490320 - 08/07/10 04:55 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: etcetra]
Jeffrey Preston Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/21/09
Posts: 90
Loc: Elma NY
Originally Posted By: etcetra


I don't think any of these music will disappear, they will all be just small micro-universe existing under-the-radar, and only those who really are affected by it will seek it. I think it's the post-modern world we live in.


I agree!

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#1490408 - 08/07/10 07:02 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: Jeffrey Preston]
charleslang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 2084
Originally Posted By: geoff preston
Charleslang- I actually listened to him (Brad Mehldau) for the first time today, I love the drummer (there's youtube videos up of him covering a radiohead song, the drumming is "catchy"). But I'm not sure what you mean by "computer like". Also, I was watching on youtube videos of highschool jazz bands, and it was very out of control, I couldn't grasp the music (only in certain parts.) So you're saying nowadays the direction of jazz is emotionally inaccessible?


It seems to me that at any given time there are several directions being played out, so I wouldn't commit to saying that the direction of jazz is toward the inaccessible. But there is definitely a kind of direction towards what feels like deconstruction (in the Derridaian sense). Just like deconstruction in philosophy is supposed to lead to a state of open doubt, or aporia, and a loss of confidence in any original meaning of the deconstructed text, this direction in jazz renders meaningless the charisma of older jazz forms. Here is the piece by Mehldau that first made me think this is so:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPJYjVOH4GM
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Charles Lang

Baldwin Model R; Hardman 5'9" grand; Rieger-Kloss vertical

Jazz, pop and classical

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#1493584 - 08/11/10 03:32 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: charleslang]
Dara Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/18/09
Posts: 1046
Loc: west coast island, canada
There appears to be a vibrant jazz scene in my part of the world. Close by cities of Victoria and Vancouver have many ongoing events and jazz festivals. Even the small community where I live has weekly jazz performances, with many artists coming to visit and numerous jazz musicians on island.
Last night I went to a very special performance of Adrian Iaies trio from Buenos Aries here on the little island I live on. Adrian on piano, shone with brilliance and his drummer Pepi Taveira, was amazing. Later this week we are having our own local jazz festival.

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#1493654 - 08/11/10 04:57 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: Dara]
AJF Online   blank
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Registered: 05/18/06
Posts: 1664
Loc: Toronto
I wish I could share your enthusiasm Dara but from where I stand, the jazz scene out west is hurting pretty badly for musicians. I guess maybe as a spectator there may be some good opportunities to go out and hear jazz. But many of my musician friends from BC often lament how few gigs there are playing jazz and therefore get stuck playing a lot of insipid pop music gigs just to make a living. There's only one 'real' jazz club in all of Vancouver--the Cellar. It's one thing to have a place to go hear jazz regularly but a whole other scenario being a jazz musician trying to make a living.
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#1493747 - 08/11/10 07:13 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: AJF]
Dara Offline
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Registered: 06/18/09
Posts: 1046
Loc: west coast island, canada
AJF, in between one of his pieces in last nights concert, Adrian translated from his native tongue, into English, a rather humorous saying from his culture.

a musicians life is hard
but working is worse

His trio is playing tonight at the club you mentioned in Vancouver, the Cellar.
Anyone living in Vancouver, I highly recommend to catch this performance.

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#1493779 - 08/11/10 08:00 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: Dara]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
I think working as a musician in general is becoming much tougher. I've talked to older musicians from both LA area and my home country and they all told me how much better it was for them back then, and how they could actually make a good living playing music. A lot of them told me they were making more money 20 years ago then they are now.

I really don't think the quality and quantity of good players hasn't really changed.. in fact I wouldn't be surprised if there are more good players now then 30 years ago. One of the jazz club owner here said that the quality of musicians here are getting better and better, but performance situation is becoming more worse, and I am guessing that's how it's like for a lot of places right now.

Charleslang

Yea, that's a great point about jazz and post-modernism. I think jazz now day is much more fragmented, with now single defining movement. It's like it's going in 8 different directions at the same time. I kind of like the idea that a lot of the younger players are challenging what jazz is supposed to be. It's much more acceptable to do a jazz arrangement of pop songs than it was 20-39 years ago, and frankly I like it when people cover pop artists like Elliot Smith, because I grew up listening to that music.


Edited by etcetra (08/11/10 08:03 PM)

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#1493858 - 08/11/10 10:15 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: AJF]
Wizard of Oz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/09
Posts: 873
Originally Posted By: AJF
I wish I could share your enthusiasm Dara but from where I stand, the jazz scene out west is hurting pretty badly for musicians. But many of my musician friends from BC often lament how few gigs there are playing jazz and therefore get stuck playing a lot of insipid pop music gigs just to make a living.


As I live in Vancouver, I tend to agree. I know of several local jazz pros who have moved to Toronto and New York to find work. Honestly I am not a big fan of the Cellar, it's a cool little spot but they have made it too upscale. But I understand that is necessary to keep the business alive.

O'Doul's is a great place to hear jazz, but I wonder how much the musician can even make as the restaurant doesn't charge cover. Almost all the pros here supplement their income with teaching or pop based gigs.


If you are a diehard jazz fan you can find shows, but far less compared to Seattle where they have the Jazz Alley and tons more big name players go there simply because it's in the USA.

Top name jazzers rarely come up to Vancouver apart from the annual festival. I can only think of Diana Krall and Michael Buble ( who I consider mainstream) but they are from BC and Krall does alot of charity based shows here.

Keith Jarrett hasn't been here in close to 10 years, Wayne Shorter I'd love to see but he never comes. Branford Marsalis I saw in the mid 90's as a student but I don't think he's been back.

In reality being a full-time jazz musician is financial very difficult unless you achieve stardom.

AJF, how's the scene in TO right now? I know the Top O' the Senator and Montreal Bistro closed a few years ago. Wonder if it's as much of a struggle as in the West.

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#1493862 - 08/11/10 10:23 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: Wizard of Oz]
JustAnotherPianist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/20/08
Posts: 798
Loc: United Kingdom
AJF
do you know either the cats known as Adam Arruda or Brian Chahley? As far as I know, they are the top of TO's young jazz talent.

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#1493865 - 08/11/10 10:30 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: JustAnotherPianist]
JustAnotherPianist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/20/08
Posts: 798
Loc: United Kingdom
I think it's perfectly evident why jazz isn't doing as well as it should be doing...
Alot of jazz musicians want to play SERIOUS jazz. Hard jazz. Modal jazz. Bebop. Hard bop. Stuff like that.

Most of the public just wants to hear Diana Krall, Rick Braun, and Kenny G.

sad, really...

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#1493869 - 08/11/10 10:38 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: Wizard of Oz]
AJF Online   blank
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/18/06
Posts: 1664
Loc: Toronto
Toronto is pretty tough right now. There's the Rex which pays decently and then there are a number of other places that range from zero paying ' door' gigs to a very minimal guarantee and a 'pass the hat' option (which I hate, it feels like begging)
There ARE a lot of clubs that are featuring jazz but very few that pay like the Senator did--or Montreal Bistro. Pay aside, they were just beautiful rooms to play in. I've been relatively fortunate because I've managed to get hooked up with a couple of bands that do some touring in US and Europe and I have a teaching gig at York University. If I were trying to make a living playing only in Toronto without the teaching to supplement income, I'd be seriously struggling to make ends meet.
That being said, I love what i do. I get to play and teach music for a living. How awesome is that? I guess it's all in how you choose to look at it all...



Edited by AJF (08/11/10 10:44 PM)
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#1493873 - 08/11/10 10:43 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: JustAnotherPianist]
AJF Online   blank
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/18/06
Posts: 1664
Loc: Toronto
Originally Posted By: JustAnotherPianist
AJF
do you know either the cats known as Adam Arruda or Brian Chahley? As far as I know, they are the top of TO's young jazz talent.


Yeah. I've played with both those guys. Adam is exceptional. He sounds like a young Tony Williams. Brian hasn't been in Toronto for a few years. Good player too. There are a few young horn players here who are really exceptional world class players. There's no shortage of monster players in Toronto--young and old. It's just a shame that Torontonians don't support live music like they used to.
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#1493884 - 08/11/10 11:08 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: JustAnotherPianist]
Wizard of Oz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/09
Posts: 873
Originally Posted By: JustAnotherPianist
I think it's perfectly evident why jazz isn't doing as well as it should be doing...
Alot of jazz musicians want to play SERIOUS jazz. Hard jazz. Modal jazz. Bebop. Hard bop. Stuff like that.

Most of the public just wants to hear Diana Krall, Rick Braun, and Kenny G.

sad, really...


Even Miles Davis said "don't call it jazz, call it music." He knew to capture the mainstream audience he would have to cater to them. Yet he played jazz harder than anyone.

Herbie Hancock's last few albums are pretty much all pop based, with him doing collaborations with guys like John Mayer, Pink, Seal, Sting. Even his River album, which won Grammy of the year had Norah Jones, Joni Mitchell, Tina Turner. OK it had Wayne Shorter too but unless you read the liner notes you wouldn't have known. His playing was toned down far more than his usual stuff.

That's just life in the music world now. Shows like American Idol makes stars out of Susan Boyle, and Lady Gaga is on every magazine cover, but the real talents are toiling away somewhere.

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#1493890 - 08/11/10 11:15 PM Re: Jazz is withering away in america [Re: Wizard of Oz]
JustAnotherPianist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/20/08
Posts: 798
Loc: United Kingdom
Wizard,
C'est la vie. I know it sucks.
AJF
Adam and Brian are both good friends of mine. I don't play jazz much-I'm more of a classical pianist, but I have a many friends in jazz. We jokingly argue about which scene is worse these days... Certainly both are suffering do to the recent extreme success of mass-produced pop music.
One close friend of mine, who is doing a degree down at Berklee in jazz guitar, is so fed up with the way he feels things are going (people having to dumb-down in order to get heard, basically), that he doesn't even want to try to do jazz professionally.

All he wants to do is become a back up guitarist for greenday, or some other joke band... and he loves jazz as much as anyone I know...

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