10 March 2010

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Via two tweets from Nate Chinen, Christian Scott had this to say about the latest "Jazz is Dying" meme:  
If anybody says that jazz is dead, you should kick 'em in the teeth, for me. And when they're passed out and they wake up swallowing their teeth, leave a note saying that it was from me.
Strong words, which I think readers of this blog will appreciate. With that in mind, allow me to implore you to help secure the future of the music: Buy stuff! Purchase an album on Amazon, go to a live jazz show in your hometown,or do some web 2.0 commerce. Jason Parker is running a pledge drive of sorts to help fund his quartet's West Coast tour, and he's offering some choice donation gifts. You can also donate to support The Jazz Session, a Hot House favorite. Here in America, we depend on the private sector to keep jazz thriving, so do your part to support the music you and I both cherish.

Image via Smithsonian

1 comment:

John Salmon said...

The question isn't whether jazz will cease to exist, obviously, but whether it will ever have a sizable audience again. Too many schools are pumping out too many jazz instrumentalists and singers for the music to disappear...even if there's nowhere for the bulk of them to play.

It would be enormously helpful if jazz musicians would take certain steps to improve how they are seen by their audiences, and how the msuic is understood. First, No More Bass Solos!

I'm being (a little) facetious, but there is no reason for the bassist (and drummer) to have a solo on every tune, and start people immediately to chatting with each other. Second, the bandleader should actually introduce the musicians before the concert, and tell us the name of each tune. Too many jazz guys think the music should simply "speak for itslf." No. You've got to promote it.

It would also be helpful if players explained a little bit of what it is they're doing up there on the bandstand, as people need to understand that improvisation isn't a matter of random note chocies. They can keep develop what Chet Baker called "chordal hearing".

Wynton Marsalis' attempts at jazz education are helpful, even if his tastes are ridiculously narrow.