Journal: News & Comment

Tuesday, May 14, 2002
# 9:23:00 AM:

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Fogey swing

John Lennon once complained that jazz was useless -- "Never goes anywhere, never does anything," he said. One of the reasons jazz is so marginalized today is that, while Lennon's complaint probably wasn't true when he said it in the sixties, it is today, at least as far as the jazz any common person hears.

Jazz developed as innovative, dangerous music, and got more innovative and dangerous as it grew. But now it has an establishment, one that complains when players don't play "real jazz."

So, many people today associate jazz with Diana Krall (who's good, but a throwback to fifty years ago) or, worse, "smooth jazz" like Kenny G and his ilk. No wonder rockers, techno-heads, and hip-hoppers hate jazz now -- even while they're using jazz techniques in their sampling, recycling, improvising, and experimenting. Too bad.


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