Please choose from the articles below:
Jazz - Dividing and Conquering Itself
Jazz, as a viable
genre of music, has fallen off the Billboard Chart of percentages
of the market. The lowest figure listed is 3% and jazz is
below that, obviously.
What are the reasons? I will give you a viewpoint I think
holds water and you decide.
When jazz was the popular music of the day, it was permeated
with pairings of the best of the instrumental and vocal worlds
of jazz. Instrumentalists and vocalists played and recorded
together on a regular basis. Record producers did this to
maximize marketability and take advantage of great musicians
and great vocalists (using language) to create the synergy
by which the audience could relate no matter how futuristic
Examples of this are Billy Holiday and Lester Young, Duke
Ellington with Ella Fitzgerald and Count Basie with Jimmy
Rushing and Joe Williams. Even as bebop began changing the
dances and lessening the popularity of the music to dancers
en masse, there was Billy Eckstine, with Sarah Vaughan, leading
a band with Parker, Dizzy, Coltrane, Cannonball and Miles
to kick off the era. Later Cannonball, a former teacher and
showman to boot, learned the lesson well and had Nancy Wilson
working with him. Even John Coltrane recorded with the wonderful
Johnny Hartman. The best singers of the time with the best
players of the time - WHAT A CONCEPT!
Now, in the aftermath of bebop and Miles' and Coltrane's instrumental
explorations, we come to the DIVIDE. Players hoping to emulate
Coltrane and Miles, near-sighted record companies and currently,
many jazz venues collaborate to keep the two elements apart
and either do not use vocalists at all, or way too infrequently.
(New York's Village Vanguard has token vocalist engagements
twice a year, I'd guess. What's that - 3.8% of the time?).
Too many record companies don't even have one vocalist, while
some will tell you point blank that they don't want any, making
today's vocalists, as a lot, jazz's second-class citizens,
hiring players but not being hired by players, all at the
expense of expanding the idiom by vocal inclusion in the marketplace.
The frequent talk of the "new jazz audience" and where it
will come from brings me to my point. I dare you to count
one hand's worth of 10-16 year old kids who listen to instrumental
music at all. Try it and let me know if you can or how long
it takes you to find five young kids that do. Most all other
genres of music incorporate vocals and language and thrive
Lessons can be learned from classical music which has separated
instrumental and opera to the point where the idiom needs
constant subsidy. Jazz, too, has separated the players and
singers (with too few exceptions, Corea-McFerrin and Metheny's
use of vocals on his most monetarily successful albums) so
the best instrumentalists almost never perform or record with
the best vocalists and the greatest vocalists rarely, if ever,
get to sing with the greatest players of the day.
Players, singers, record companies, presenters and the press
need to recognize this as divisive to jazz and fix it if we
hope to compete for that future audience we all give lip service
to wanting so badly to develop.
Some of my political stress relief from the "Bush League"
George Bush stars in, "The Texas Detain Saw Massacre" and sings "Blurry with the Binge on Top" (Surrey /Fringe) and "It's My Party and I'll Lie If I Want To" (Cry), and "Still Crazy After All These Beers" (Years)
Dick Cheney sings, "Chen(ey) of Fools" (Chain)
Condi Rice sings, "Oh What A Beautiful Warning" (Morning)
Karl Rove plays Ned Beaty in, The Red State remake of "Deliverance"
Colin Powell sings to Bush, "I Only Have Lies For You" (Eyes)
John Bolton sings, "I'm Spittin' On Top Of The World" (sittin’)
Brownie sings "A Horse With No Game” (Name)
Tom DeLay sings "Does Anybody Know What Slime It Is" (Time) or "I Didn't Know What Slime It Was"
"Scotter" Libby sings, Un-Cheneyed Melody (Chain) and "Don't Fence Me In"
Robert Novak sings Johnny Mathis' "It's Not for Me to Say"
Wolfowitz sings "If I Ruled the World"
Scalia sings from "The King And I" "We Miss in the Shadows" (Kiss)
The State Of Kansas sings "If I Only Had A Brain" and "Smack Drab In The Middle" (dab)
Ted Stevens sings Herman's Hermit's "There's A Kind Of Slush (fund) Oil Over the World Tonight" (hush)(all)
Jeb Bush sings "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother"
Washington D.C. sings "Cherry Stink and Apple Blossom Blight" (Pink/White)
Rudy Giuliani sings, "America the Rudiful" (Beautiful)
The Future Is Moving Forward
The Bush Age, under the guidance of Karl Rove, has ushered in the Moving Forward of speech in the U.S.
How? By excising the single word Future and using two words instead on one, of course. We look to the Moving Forward with hope and confidence.
1. Back to the Moving Forward
2. Moving Forward Shock
3. The Moving Forward is Now
4. The Once and Moving Forward King
5. I’d like to introduce my Moving Forward Wife
6. Stock Moving Forwards
7. The Moving Forwards Market
8. A look into the Moving Forward
9. No one can see into the Moving Forward
10. If one could only see into the Moving Forward
11. Our Youth is the Moving Forward of our country
12. Moving Forward Leaders of America
13. Moving Forward Rama
14. Moving Forwardistic
15. The 74 Ford Moving Forward-a
16. A shoe-in Moving Forward Hall of Famer
17. You have a bright Moving Forward in this Company
18. There will be a Moving Forward female President one day.
19. And a Moving Forward African American President too.
20. Of course, it could happen in the near Moving Forward.
21. I worry about another Bush in our Moving Forward
22. But Bush says it’s hard work making the Moving Forward secure in America
23. I see a tall handsome man in your Moving Forward
24. There’s no Moving Forward in it.
25. It’s definitely in our Moving Forward plans
26. Energy independence for our Moving Forward
27. In the Moving Forward, we will all be famous for 15 minutes
28. What is your prediction for the Moving Forward?
29. We’ve been given a glimpse into the Moving Forward
Now that’s progress.