Bebop…Part 2

April 29, 2011

I’m not saying that it was all bad. Of course there were still people who were entertaining. If there weren’t, we wouldn’t know Bebop or Jazz today. Not only were people pouring their love of music out to us, but new musicians were being influenced by Jazz and musicians who really cared. Just a few good examples of these groups are The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Elvis, Muddy Waters, and Led Zeppelin. All of these people knew what it was about. They loved music too, and brought it out where the audiences who were starving for a real connection could eat it up. They even kept the blues alive with some of their tunes. And it wasn’t just showmanship or musical ability; they were drowning people with their passion, and everyone wanted to die that way.

Frank was keeping it real, and so was Ella

What I am saying is that Jazz wasn’t honest anymore. It became a vehicle for bragging. There was too much ego involved. I have seen bands where there is no audience connection. It feels like the band is sucking all your energy away. Nobody wants to go home exhausted after a show. You want to go home excited, inspired, filled with joy and desire. You want to feel like you were a part of something. Especially if you have no musical ability yourself. When you play music at a jam with a bunch of other musicians, being totally involved in what your doing is fine. You’ll have more fun if you’re using your passion, but it isn’t required. Showing off is probably fine, too. But you don’t need to be a jackass about it. If you are playing in public and you don’t give a piece of yourself to the audience, they’ll leave feeling like something is missing, even if you are the baddest player in town. We are all people, no one is better than anyone else. Music brought people together in the beginning, and now it’s driving people apart. And keeping people from discovering true gems in our nation’s history. I’m an American, and I don’t think we have anything to brag about. Whatever this country is supposedly great for is nothing compared to the one thing we can claim and be proud of. Jazz.

I don’t think Bebop is bad. I love it, actually. What I think is bad is the attitude it fostered. The canyon it dug between those who played and those who listened. Music is for everyone…period. Why would anyone want it any other way? So, we have a lot of work to do, my fellow players. I’m doing my best to share my love with everyone, but I can’t change the world’s view of Jazz on my own. Remember that tune you used to play that always made you happy no matter what? Bring that one out the next time you have a gig. Share it with your audience. Play a song people know and do it the way they want to hear it, not the way you think it should be played. Tell a story. Make people laugh. Life is hard enough without all of us pushing our egos on others. Relax. It’s just music. It’s only the closest we can get to Heaven on Earth.

Share that joy, you have no idea how you might change someone’s life.

One Response to “Bebop…Part 2”

  1. Many thanks for writing

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