To be clear…

April 30, 2011

So, I’ve had quite a bit of unexpected response to my blogging. So I just want to be clear, because it seems as though people are misunderstanding. First, I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything. And secondly, I wasn’t reared on Jazz, so I’m not playing “favorite genre or sub-genre” here. I listened to lots of music growing up, but I didn’t get to Jazz until 6th grade. Before that it was all classical, rock and roll, and Johnny Cash.

I am not saying that I think Bebop itself destroyed Jazz. I don’t think Jazz today is dead. I am not discounting anything musical any musician did after 1960. I am not saying that the Swing Era is the only era in Jazz that created honest music. I am also not saying that ONLY musicians can understand Bebop.  What I am saying is that some musicians, SOME, not all, had an ego problem and pushed the audience away. And there was enough of that to create a environment where someone could easily think that all Jazz musicians play music that doesn’t make sense to anyone. Of course, people have opinions on all kinds of musicians, but I do seem to hear that same generalization over and over again. I don’t think the audience is stupid, but I know that lots of people have a hard time with change. I think there was a short period of time when bebop started, where the audience didn’t matter anymore because of the intense focus on the art form. Obviously, it didn’t stay that way. But I also think that definitely helped Rock and Roll take off. It also had a lot of things going for it that Jazz had going on in the 20s and 30s. It was catchy, sexy, easy to understand, and high energy.

Look, I really like Bebop. When I started listening to Jazz I was listening to Bebop. I started with Diz and Bird, Bill Evans, Thelonius Monk, Miles Davis, John Coltrane…I’ll always love those guys. Evolution is important and inevitable. I’m just saying that music went from being hot to cool. Everyone wants to hang out with the cool kids, but it’s still a clique.  Doesn’t mean I think the music is bad. I’m not planning on writing a book about how I feel attitude affects the audience. Nor am I trying to ostracize a whole sub-genre. That would be silly.

Just something keep in mind when you’re reading; I’m not making blanket assumptions that cover many, many hundreds and thousands of musicians. I am still aware of the many exceptions.

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One Response to “To be clear…”

  1. ian said

    Lizzy…. a nice read.
    Tommy and Joe speak very highly of you… even if it’s OBVIOUS you HATE Be-bop. 😉

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