Rants

Overrated? Underrated? Experts have spoken.
By March 12, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

Overrated? Underrated? Experts have spoken.

(left to right) Ornette Coleman, Stan Kenton, Miles Davis, Keith Jarrett. While scanning the web-o-verse for jazz comments and opinion, we kept running across phrases like “Coltrane never really impressed me”, “Miles is way overrated” and “Ornette simply couldn’t play”. While most comments like these were anonymous ones in forums or comment sections, there are […]

Posted in: Jazz, Rants
By February 26, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

Individuality: a lost art, and a video

As we’ve discussed the death of individual style in American music, we’ve provided some (hopefully) demonstrative playlists to support our rants. Today, we’ll provide an audio-visual example, in the form of what we consider to be one of the great filmed performances featuring musicians from jazz’s second and third generations. This clip is from an […]

Posted in: Jazz, Rants, Videos
News items that just kill us. Dead.
By February 21, 2013 2 Comments Read More →

News items that just kill us. Dead.

Musing away on a sunny. cold day in Michigan, we figured an aimless web search was in order. It’s amazing what one can turn up. First—and we’re filing this under the “Are You Serious? I Must Have a Closed-Head Injury!” column—news comes to us that Molly Ringwald—yes, that Molly Ringwald—is accepting payment as a jazz […]

Posted in: Blues, Jazz, Odds & Ends, Rants
Individuality: another swing playlist
By February 12, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

Individuality: another swing playlist

To provide audio support for our last post, “Individuality: a lost art, part 3”, here are some more items for your listening pleasure. These tracks will give you a taste of the artists we talked about. As always, click on the song title to hear a sample at Amazon.com, or to buy the music, a […]

Individuality: a lost art, part 3.
By February 10, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

Individuality: a lost art, part 3.

We threatened to continue this diatribe, and so we will. Our contention is that creative American music all seemed to die at roughly the same time around 1980. We don’t mean that it disappeared. We simply mean that genres like jazz, country and rock all stopped evolving and either became repertory, classical forms, like jazz, […]

Posted in: Jazz, Rants
Individuality: a first listen
By February 6, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

Individuality: a first listen

In our last few posts, we’ve begun a lament about the demise of individuality and easily recognized styles among musicians. Here’s a suggested playlist to support what we’ve discussed thus far. As usual, hit the song titles, which are Amazon links, to listen to a sample, and to purchase the songs individually. We mentioned Count […]

Individuality: a lost art, part 2
By February 5, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

Individuality: a lost art, part 2

We mentioned in our last post that individual style, wherein a musician’s general sound is so unique and recognizable as to be unmistakably his alone, is a dead commodity in modern American music. We went on to say that one of the most fruitful periods and environments for this sort of individuality was that transitional […]

Posted in: Jazz, Rants
By February 4, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

Individuality: a lost art

To an attentive jazz listener, and one who’s into arcane and archaic music, the tenor saxophone playing of Ben Webster is immediately recognizable, and sounds nothing like that of Lester Young. Or Sonny Rollins. Or even like a less-ambitious player such as King Curtis. Similarly, none of the these players sound like any of the […]

Jazz is dead, man: another view (part two)
By February 1, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

Jazz is dead, man: another view (part two)

(continued from part 1) Gioia’s book begins to make the point that pop standards, which are now ambitiously and pretentiously called “The Great American Songbook” by most historians of 20th century American music, and jazz are inextricably linked. Although Porter, Arlen, Kern, Gershwin, Berlin and company relied heavily on an African-American musical vocabulary that included […]

Posted in: Jazz, Rants
Jazz is dead, man: another view (part one)
By January 28, 2013 8 Comments Read More →

Jazz is dead, man: another view (part one)

Just as we were getting started with the long, arduous defense of our position that jazz—and all other creative forms of American music—died sometime before 1980, we caught wind of an article from the November, 2012 issue of The Atlantic that agrees with us in principle, but takes a wildly divergent view of the mechanics […]

Posted in: Jazz, Rants

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