Lately I been seeing a Jazz backlash. Some “famous” guy saying that because the music doesn’t have an audience outside musicians that this is bad, that there is no passion in Jazz anymore, that there is no innovation etc etc bla bla. I guess he forgot to tell this to all the amazing cats playing in NY right now. And he forgot one major issue…That is, “the measure of passion.” And by who’s standards are you measuring passion in an individual. Piece of music, interpretation etc.
EX: If RC model airplane guys do their thing, spend tons of time and money on their gear, enjoy what they do and have a community of people around them that love RC model planes, who is anyone to judge their level of passion? I think…if the case is that the music has no audience its because people are freakin brainwashed and dumbed down. You have to be trained into jazz these days, to know whats going on. You need proof? Does the average white guy know where the “one” is in Rumba? Do they even know that the genre exists? Or do they think it’s that setting on your gramma’s organ from church! Yet for many people this is a fiery music that releases all “Inner Demons”- too have a great time with and whatever else. In fact …I find that the less audience there is for a specific genre, the more passion an individual shows in learning it, when there is no incentive outside the pure satisfaction of being able to show up at a session at 3 am in a dumpy dark club and play your ass off for no one except other musicians. WHO GET IT!
Another thing I find is that there seems to be an anger in people who vent against jazz. An anger I think, that stems from not being accepted into the Jazz “pool”. In almost all these cases I notice that these are guys that do only HALF of the work required in learning, don’t live the lifestyle, don’t care to understand the culture, don’t really listen to the music, or try to solve the problems in their playing so that they would swing harder or have a more elaborate and appropriate vocabulary for the Genre. Their gear is all wrong, they don’t have the right touch and sound and etc etc. Then after a while they begin moaning about how Jazz is dead anyway and why should they play it and on and on.
The news for them is….Check it out, “Jazz doesn’t need you to still be a great way of expression” You can just move along and go play something else.
If I consider the deeply flawed “USA” general perspective and paradigm of anything having to do with success, I would say that people making a judgment on the genre should reconsider what passion is, what motivates people. And why you should care. This attitude seeps into many other countries now and It makes me want to puke in many cases.
I might keep expanding on this post as thoughts come up. Thanks for reading so far.