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  1. #1

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  3. #2

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    Why jazz is not popular? I think that has to do with jazz having difficulty defining itself. It's cool to check out and incorporate other styles, but don't forget your roots. Many artists water down the spirit of jazz so much that you are left wondering how to define what they are trying to do: is this rock, R & B, Indie, hip hop and so on? So this article is misleading.
    "If I don't practice for a day, I know it... for two days, the critics know it... three days, the public knows it." -- Louis Armstrong

  4. #3

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    Well jazz was popular, when it was called swing, it was the pop music of its day.

    It hasn't been popular since the beboppers arrived and lowered the danceable element while raising the "art" element.

    As I write this I can think of 2 major jazz guitarists who have achieved mainstream popularity since the heady days of bebop.

    Wes was one of course, and he was attacked by the "cognoscenti" for selling out (though I'm not sure how else the poor guy was supposed to feed his kids) and he has received a fair amount of criticism on this forum too for his later work (lol).

    The other is George Benson, whose later work is described as "pop" by the self-appointed gate-keepers of this forum on its introductory pages.

    Nothing really has happened in jazz per se since bebop - in the sense of a general trend (Miles's cool and fusion periods eluded most imitators completely).

    The jazz age was well and truly over before most of the users of this forum were born ;-)
    "Really welding was my talent, I think, but I sort of swished it aside." Wes

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by sunnysideup View Post
    It hasn't been popular since the beboppers arrived and lowered the danceable element while raising the "art" element.
    That's what I like about jazz the "art element". Charlie Parker ushered in a new era in jazz that help it to progress. The beboppers influenced just about everyone that came afterwards except the rock guys. What killed jazz was Elvis. As you know he got real popular with the kids.
    "If I don't practice for a day, I know it... for two days, the critics know it... three days, the public knows it." -- Louis Armstrong

  6. #5

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    Jazz isn't popular because:

    1. Like classical music, it requires active listening and the general public is musically inept.

    2. The "cognoscenti" only discuss jazz from 1942-1960 (bebop to cool) ignoring March, Ragtime, Dixie/Chicago, et al.


    Jazz will never move beyond where it is right now (aka: THE STAGNATION OF JAZZ SINCE THE 60s):

    1. A generation of players ignore the self-imposed prison of "You HAVE to learn Bird licks", "You HAVE to be able to solo over Stella By Starlight" and begin creating again rather than reliving the past.

    2. The jazz "cognicenti" realize they are the cause of the gradual stagnation of jazz
    Last edited by TheGrandWazoo; 01-30-2016 at 08:39 AM.
    Seeking beauty and truth through six strings.

  7. #6

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    A lot of jazz that has come down the pike in the last several decades isn't readily accessible
    except to the "informed consumer" rather than the civilian public.

    It is very hard to write a good song.

    A lot of jazz that has come down the pike in the last several decades doesn't do
    tension and release very well, if at all, or tell much of a story as a result.
    Popular music depends on this.

    I am not going to address the rhythm issue, too incendiary.

  8. #7

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    The writer of that article also suggested that because a jazz musician does a more commercial type of album that resembles R & B, funk, rock, hip hop or whatever else way more than it does jazz, it should be categorized as jazz. Because the great Herbie Hancock (who I really dig btw) did it that means it's jazz. Is "rockit" fill in the blank--jazz too. That makes no sense. I like all kinds of music, but don't call something what it is not. Music is like life in that we categorized just about every thing so as to make sense of all the mess.
    "If I don't practice for a day, I know it... for two days, the critics know it... three days, the public knows it." -- Louis Armstrong

  9. #8

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    I like how he said in the article that Jazz is an interpretation of music. I see it the same way. I also see that theres a genre called jazz. I like the genre.
    But what I love the most about jazz is the interpretation of any song you hear. It doesn't have to be jazz and I don't have to use a major 7 chord or a clean jazzy tone. I would really like to be able to play jazz the genre too but what I'm really looking for is the ability to interpret music like a jazz musician. To have my bag of tricks on any tune I hear, I think thats what makes a musician special

  10. #9
    Here are my 2 cents ($0.02).


    This question really depends on one's definition of jazz. If you mean acoustic instruments playing swing, Latin, or bebop than I would agree that this is no longer popular. If you broaden the term it could be said that some elements of jazz are still alive in popular music. I think that the "sound" of acoustic jazz has surfaced in some ways in modern pop music (Norah Jones, etc.) but music based on improvisation has not really been a "popular" style for most people, save for jam band folks and electric blues fans.

    Ever since fusion of the 1960s I think there has been a fair smattering of successful artists who incorporated jazz elements, harmony in particular. Steely Dan, Doobie Brothers, Stevie Wonder all come to mind.

  11. #10

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    Jazz police. Yeah. I think it has to do with sophistication, complexity, and evolution. It's all music. It's good if you like it.
    "Songs are very interesting things to do to the air." -Tom Waits

  12. #11

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    the reason is that in our society, music is a commercial commodity.

    In the old days, the musicians had control. I mean there were maybe 12 guys in a city the size of Philly that could really blow bop so if you wanted to sell bop records you would have to deal with those guys

    now once you start pushing rock and roll, there's no end to the flood of idiots ready to be pop stars

    so the money screwed up the art of music

    for what its worth, in the 90s people were saying hip hop was the new bebop.

  13. #12

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    In the world in which we live multiplicity is the norm. I, personally, don't care if jazz isn't popular although I would like it if the kids at work would open up their minds a bit to listen to it every once in a while.

    Jazz is a broad term that contains many subdivided styles. Similar to the way that modern art painting is a term for many different styles, or movements. Is there any one particular style of modern art painting that is more popular then the rest right now? Not really. There may be brief periods of a movement's revival, but, for the most part, anything goes now. Is there any particular style of clothing fashion that is more popular than others right now? Sure designers have their models walk down runways dressed in interesting and original ensembles, but I don't see widespread uniformity among the masses dressed the same way. Most people have picked clothing styles from the past that they like and either stick to one or alternate between several. But even if they are sticking with only one, their particular style choice isn't exactly popular because someone else that is only sticking with one has decided on a different style.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by nick1994 View Post
    I agree with the author that "jazz" isn't a genre. His sponge analogy for jazz as a meta-genre isn't bad.

    His answer to the question in the title seems to be "because of the jazz police" or "because jazz aficionados define the genre (or meta-genre) too narrowly and rigidly." There's some truth in that, but he could have taken the topic much farther.

    It seems to me that historically, the popularity of the meta-genre "jazz" increased when musicians reinterpreted the popular music of the time and tried to make it attractive/interesting to the people that music was originally popular with. In other words, it started as an extension of popular music of the day. Those who want jazz to be popular in the future would need to think along those lines.

    A good example of this for the popular music of my youth is Joni Mitchell, starting with the straight folk genre and constantly reinterpreting and extending it through the "sponge" of jazz. Is any current pop artist doing this? I hope so.

    This is just a thought exercise. I'm not telling anyone what to do or making value judgements.
    Last edited by KirkP; 01-30-2016 at 01:14 PM.

  15. #14

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    'Jazz Isn't a Genre'
    No, it's not and neither is Hip Hop. They go beyond genre. Jazz was almost global culture. Hip Hop is global culture because of digital tech.
    Why isn't jazz popular? I can think of a few reasons. People might see it as the music of the establishment. It's in schools. It's in clubs too. Jazz musicians don't seem to be too interested in dance gigs anymore.
    Instrumental music is just a tough sell.

  16. #15

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    We have to check ourselves when it comes to policing genres. I think 'secular' R&B is probably gone forever. R&B was my thing.
    Time to move on to something else.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nate Miller View Post
    the reason is that in our society, music is a commercial commodity.

    In the old days, the musicians had control. I mean there were maybe 12 guys in a city the size of Philly that could really blow bop so if you wanted to sell bop records you would have to deal with those guys

    now once you start pushing rock and roll, there's no end to the flood of idiots ready to be pop stars

    so the money screwed up the art of music

    for what its worth, in the 90s people were saying hip hop was the new bebop.
    I think American music lost it's vibrancy at some point. Around 2000. I'm not saying this because that was my age group. I'm 58. People 10-15 years younger than me were doing interesting music.

  18. #17

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    1)Most Jazz as performed today does not have Vocals and Vocal Music has been the more/most popular form of Pop Music in USA and Canada ( probably more Countries) since the 40's.

    a) Most of the Jazz Repertoire are "Standards" which were Vocal Tunes but now are mostly ( #1 above) instrumental .
    Instrumental seems less Intrusive more abstract in a good way...but probably does not "grab" attention to most people as much as Vocal Music.

    2) Dance and Rhythms - Big Band and some early forms of Jazz were one of the Primary or at least well known Dance Music Styles and Forms of their 'Eras'.

    Jazz is many Generations removed from being the Dance Music of most Countries etc. with exceptions of some Latin Jazz and some Blues and some Dixieland etc. in certain locales and pockets of Society.
    Latin Jazz is played on some Radio Stations in Miami...

    But the Jazz most refer to is far far removed from Danceable to R&B , House, Reggateton, Hip Hop, Pop, Country...
    Jazz is not the "Party Music" it once was...neither is Psychadelic Rock.

    3) Some - a lot of Jazz is largely " Musician's Music " by great Musicians and highly skilled Journeymen Pros for other Musicians and very discerning Audiences and does that well and few are trying to reach out and to do so can weaken the Fabric of Jazz to some to many...

    That's my take...mostly opinion...not facts or Science.

    Why isn't 50's Rock more popular ?
    80's Rock had a lot of excellent Guitarists ...Why isn't 80's Rock more Popular ?

    Seems like a lot of Dance Styles were associated with Jazz...but those have mostly "had their Time".

    The Core of Jazz seems to still be musically evolving...with most looking back and some trying to look ahead...
    but no more Dancing Swinging Jazz Dance Clubs...Big Bands etc.

    EDIT- there is no reason why Jazz cannot encompass modern Rhythms or the other way around etc..

    In 10 or 20 years the "Rap " part of Hip Hop may be a total Dinosaur and those Rhythms and possibly more sophisticated Sub Types may be assimilated into World Beat and other Modern Styles..including new forms of "Jazz " IF the definition and Time Frame can be "zoomed out " enough in your mind....
    Last edited by Robertkoa; 01-31-2016 at 03:04 PM.

  19. #18
    Here's a great talk from ted gioia, I agree with him, music needs to be marketed towards people that have money, not teenagers

  20. #19

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    The reason that jazz isn't popular is that tastes changed. It's really pretty simple. You can elucidate the specifics if you want- jazz becoming instrumentally oriented instead of vocal oriented, increased complexity and diminished dancability, etc., but the truth was the rise of rock 'n' roll capturing the ears of the young and the jazz audience diminishing from attrition. That audience got married, had kids, cut down on drinking, got day jobs and stopped coming out to clubs and listening. And don't underestimate the high violent crime rate in the 60s, 70s and 80s as contributing to keeping people in at night.

    I think that live music of all types is down because there is much more convenient entertainment right at home. In the late 50s the lines at Birdland went around the block for people to hear Johnny Smith- he played there 20 weeks a year some years and packed the place. People went out for music in those days more than they do now. New Yorkers are probably still more likely to go out than folks around here.

  21. #20
    you know, I think it's odd that we always talk about why jazz isn't more popular but never ask the question does it need to be? to me, some of the best music and best players have come after the golden age of jazz.

    because there are more players than gigs, it lifts bar even higher. now instead of having one or 2 great players in your area you have 20, making you work harder to market yourself or play better or whatever.

  22. #21

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    Is it me or those threads pop up like every three month or so?

    I tell you one thing, judging by what I see, jazz is alive and well in NYC. Hot jazz variety, 20', 30', (40's?) is especially popular among young and not so young folks, no kidding. I guess it's got to be super old to be hip again?

  23. #22

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    This is not exactly a response, but an observation--in the late 70's-early 80's I felt I really had a handle on the jazz scene, saw many, many of the top players--Miles, Chick, John McLaughlin, Al Dimeola, even Count Basie. I also followed some of the newer trends--funk-jazz (Defunkt), punk-jazz (James Blood Ulmer), etc. I caught Wynton when he was just getting started, Pat Metheny too.

    In short, I felt like I had heard of almost everyone who was anyone.

    Nowadays, I don't know 95% of the players. Seriously, when the local NPR station plays new jazz releases, I'm lucky if I've heard of a single player or group in the list.

    Well, I've moved on, and so has jazz music. My musical tastes have expanded exponentially into so many areas--roots rock, alt country, electronica. Jazz has also moved in all different directions.

    So, I don't know, maybe this is emblematic of something? Since the old guys died off, there's no "center" in jazz today. There's some great music and great musicians, as always, just not the same core.

    There's something cohesive about a genre, whether it's early rock or rhythm n blues or whatever, a commonality, a predictability. If you can't figure it out, you're probably not going to follow it.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hep To The Jive View Post
    Is it me or those threads pop up like every three month or so?

    I tell you one thing, judging by what I see, jazz is alive and well in NYC. Hot jazz variety, 20', 30', (40's?) is especially popular among young and not so young folks, no kidding. I guess it's got to be super old to be hip again?
    I agree. There's the retro thing. Still, places like NYC and LA are the exception. In NYC jazz will always be there. In LA it seems retro R&B is popular.
    Too bad people can't play play it. Lol. It's simple on the surface. I see people posting vids doing parts of R&B songs all the time. OK, great, now put a band together stupid. What are you waiting for.
    People in LA pay gobs of money to see someone hop around with an afro wig. That's their idea of 'disco'.

  25. #24

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    Jazz isn't popular because....people don't like it. Same reason turnip flavored candy ain't popular. Musically, we live in a culture where in 2016, Justin Bieber has 3, three, 1+1+1, did I mention 3.... songs in the Billboard top 10 at this very moment....and we wonder why jazz isn't popular? Thank goodness for the Weeknd...


  26. #25

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    Because you can't sing along with Donna Lee, it has no danceable beat and is played by old people or young people behaving old.

    :: Jazz, Funk, Soul & Boogaloo: My group ::
    ::::::: Listen to Hip Jazz a Go Go! :::::::
    :: Jazz, Soul, Blues: Eva & The Tracies :::

  27. #26

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    Why isn't Cajun music more popular? I lie awake at night worrying about this.

  28. #27
    Hey this is very important. If these sort topics weren't brought up then this place would just be theory and gear nerds. Theory and gear can only keep you preoccupied so long before boredom kicks in thus Why isn't jazz more popular? And many other of my threads are created. They are important because it is important that remain occupied and more importantly not bored...important

  29. #28

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    OK being a bit more serious. Jazz has been unpopular for most of my life, so I guess it just seems fairly normal to me. I do think of it as a kind of genre like Cajun or folk music which has its own following outside the popular mainstream.

    I think there are ways for performers to reach out a bit to the audience, e.g. be professional, communicate with the audience, don't spend 5 minutes discussing which tune to play next. But I would say that having seen loads of 'big jazz names' over the last 30 years, most of them were very professional in these ways, they knew their trade.

    Some guys at work who play rock guitar have seen my YouTube videos and are vaguely interested in how I play jazz. But the actual music doesn't seem to interest them at all. I think it just sounds like a bunch of complicated notes to them. They just don't have the musical curiosity to explore something different to the same old rock solos, which I had when I was in my 20s. (These guys are in their 30s and 40s). I really don't know how you get people like that interested.

    By the way, Dexter Gordon was asked this very question in a film or documentary and his response was just to say: 'Art form'.

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post

    By the way, Dexter Gordon was asked this very question in a film or documentary and his response was just to say: 'Art form'.
    This.
    Best regards, k

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by sunnysideup View Post
    Well jazz was popular, when it was called swing, it was the pop music of its day.

    It hasn't been popular since the beboppers arrived and lowered the danceable element while raising the "art" element.

    As I write this I can think of 2 major jazz guitarists who have achieved mainstream popularity since the heady days of bebop.

    Wes was one of course, and he was attacked by the "cognoscenti" for selling out (though I'm not sure how else the poor guy was supposed to feed his kids) and he has received a fair amount of criticism on this forum too for his later work (lol).

    The other is George Benson, whose later work is described as "pop" by the self-appointed gate-keepers of this forum on its introductory pages.

    Nothing really has happened in jazz per se since bebop - in the sense of a general trend (Miles's cool and fusion periods eluded most imitators completely).

    The jazz age was well and truly over before most of the users of this forum were born ;-)
    Wot about Metheny?

  32. #31

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    I think everything is quite unpopular at the moment - it's all niches...

    I rarely get the outright hostility to jazz I did 15 years ago or so. People seem pretty open to music in general.... But the 'j' word is a problem. I lot of people see it as synonymous with pretentiousness, snottiness and an uninviting attitude to the uninitiated. With good reason too - jazz clubs can be like this.

    Also you go to a jazz club, you don't know what you are getting. Could be trad, squeaky bonk (to borrow Jim Mullen's term) or anything between.

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    I think everything is quite unpopular at the moment - it's all niches...

    I rarely get the outright hostility to jazz I did 15 years ago or so. People seem pretty open to music in general.... But the 'j' word is a problem. I lot of people see it as synonymous with pretentiousness, snottiness and an uninviting attitude to the uninitiated. With good reason too - jazz clubs can be like this.

    Also you go to a jazz club, you don't know what you are getting. Could be trad, squeaky bonk (to borrow Jim Mullen's term) or anything between.
    I see you're across the pond. Here in the states live local music just isn't popular with a few exceptions- NYC and LA among them. Jazz is always preaching to the choir saying it's not popular. Nothing is popular in clubs.
    Last thing I did was blues but that was 17 years ago. IDK what's up with that now.
    You're right. It's all niches' now.

  34. #33

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    May I try ?

    Jazz is not so popular,
    but it is more mapule
    or spuruce
    (specially guitar jazz, of course)

    OK, OK, that's all for me
    Make a jazz noise here

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by nick1994 View Post
    you know, I think it's odd that we always talk about why jazz isn't more popular but never ask the question does it need to be? to me, some of the best music and best players have come after the golden age of jazz.

    because there are more players than gigs, it lifts bar even higher. now instead of having one or 2 great players in your area you have 20, making you work harder to market yourself or play better or whatever.
    Artistically there is some truth to that, but it has to be popular enough for musicians to make a decent living with dignity. What's it cost to live even halfway decently in New York (rent, food, health insurance, income tax, transportation, clothing, musical equipment, etc.)- say $150 a day? And that's pretty much just getting by- no retirement savings, no equity being built. Gigs that pay $50 are not going to do it. Gigs would need to pay a minimum of $200 per musician to make it work. My understanding of the New York scene is that most gigs pay scraps (never been there, probably never will, all 2nd hand and maybe- even hopefully- wrong).

    A certain degree of popularity is necessary from the perspective of economics. Unless you want an army of part time professional jazz musicians working day jobs and being distracted from their art.

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo View Post
    Jazz isn't popular because....people don't like it. Same reason turnip flavored candy ain't popular. Musically, we live in a culture where in 2016, Justin Bieber has 3, three, 1+1+1, did I mention 3.... songs in the Billboard top 10 at this very moment....and we wonder why jazz isn't popular? Thank goodness for the Weeknd...

    Surely it has something to do with:

    1) What a person was raised listening to.

    2) What the music represented to them (e.g. Metal music for rebelling against those horrible parents, Blues that may remind someone of that wonderful Grandma who raised them and who used to play it all the time).

    3) What group they are attracted to; it seems many groups have their own music to help define them (Young gangsters listened to Gangsta Rap, Club folks listened to dance music, Drug users liked acid rock, etc..)

    4) What the music/entertainment industry ram down our throats over and over to brainwash us.

    5) What music their "heroes" listen to

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara View Post
    Artistically there is some truth to that, but it has to be popular enough for musicians to make a decent living with dignity. What's it cost to live even halfway decently in New York (rent, food, health insurance, income tax, transportation, clothing, musical equipment, etc.)- say $150 a day? And that's pretty much just getting by- no retirement savings, no equity being built. Gigs that pay $50 are not going to do it. Gigs would need to pay a minimum of $200 per musician to make it work. My understanding of the New York scene is that most gigs pay scraps (never been there, probably never will, all 2nd hand and maybe- even hopefully- wrong).

    A certain degree of popularity is necessary from the perspective of economics. Unless you want an army of part time professional jazz musicians working day jobs and being distracted from their art.
    What is considered a gig these days? IDK. For me it was always about 4 hours. Sometimes a little less. Overseas it was 8 hours a night, 6 days a week.
    The horror. The gig was the easy part. After the gig was when the real work stated. Glad that circuit is long gone.
    I think the era of the club musician is over. An army of part time jazz/club musicians is a reality. What's fair pay for a 3-4 hour gig? Clubs are more than happy to let musicians set up their business in clubs.

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    ...By the way, Dexter Gordon was asked this very question in a film or documentary and his response was just to say: 'Art form'.
    That was my point with post #12. Should have just come right out and said it with those two words I suppose.

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by lammie200 View Post
    That was my point with post #12. Should have just come right out and said it with those two words I suppose.
    If you speak at the same speed that Dexter Gordon did, you gotta say everything in just a couple of words!

  40. #39

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    What I find ironic is that jazzers complain that jazz isn't as popular as it should be, but then refuse to consider music real jazz if it garners mass appeal. Jazz of the swing and dance era is no less jazzy or artful than the newer bop or post-bop tunes. In fact, I would argue that artists like Benny Goodman and Count Basie are as good or better than anyone before or since. Not only did they make music that was complex, but people wanted to listen to it. In my opinion almost any good musician can make complex music, but if nobody wants to listen to it how good is that music really? its nice to push the envelope and come up with new musical ideas that haven't been tried before, but just because something is new and edgy does not mean it is good. I'm 52, and for my entire life musicians have been snobs, particularly jazz musicians. They complain that mainstream music has no heart or soul and is musically inferior, but then complain when their "art" is not widely appreciated. Jazz, or any other genre, does not need to be narrowly defined to satisfy one's ego. I like swing and bebop, and a little from other forms, but I am not saying that what I don't like is any less jazzy. Honestly, it doesn't matter to me what one calls jazz, rock, R&B, or whatever. If people love music enough to make what they like then jazz and all other forms will be just fine. I actually find jazz becoming more popular, not less, but either way I don't worry about what others like as everyone is entitled to listen to whatever they choose. It's all good!

  41. #40

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    Why Isn’t Jazz Popular?

    ...may be because of global market... not sure...

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    I think everything is quite unpopular at the moment - it's all niches...

    I rarely get the outright hostility to jazz I did 15 years ago or so. People seem pretty open to music in general.... But the 'j' word is a problem. I lot of people see it as synonymous with pretentiousness, snottiness and an uninviting attitude to the uninitiated. With good reason too - jazz clubs can be like this.

    Also you go to a jazz club, you don't know what you are getting. Could be trad, squeaky bonk (to borrow Jim Mullen's term) or anything between.
    Man - if I could eliminate the ALL the 'squeaky bonk' from my playing I could be really really good....
    I can see how featuring ' squeeky bonk' could be a serious Marketing/ Presentation error...

    ...I don't even know what it is and I already don't like it..😊
    Last edited by Robertkoa; 01-31-2016 at 04:41 PM.

  43. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara View Post
    Artistically there is some truth to that, but it has to be popular enough for musicians to make a decent living with dignity. What's it cost to live even halfway decently in New York (rent, food, health insurance, income tax, transportation, clothing, musical equipment, etc.)- say $150 a day? And that's pretty much just getting by- no retirement savings, no equity being built. Gigs that pay $50 are not going to do it. Gigs would need to pay a minimum of $200 per musician to make it work. My understanding of the New York scene is that most gigs pay scraps (never been there, probably never will, all 2nd hand and maybe- even hopefully- wrong).

    A certain degree of popularity is necessary from the perspective of economics. Unless you want an army of part time professional jazz musicians working day jobs and being distracted from their art.
    you raise a good point, it is rare (where I am) to find a local player that just gigs and makes enough money off of that. most of them teach whether it's lessons, secondary or primary school classes or tertiary classes. but that's not jazz musicians specifically that's most musicians(so that could bring up why isn't music more popular?)

    and even if you did try to get enough gigs to pay the bills, you'd have to spend the remainder of your time either trying to market yourself so that people actually buy your cds and come to your gigs or figure out why no one buy your cds and come to your gig. really after that I don't think that leaves a lot of time for practicing and composing.

  44. #43

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    I haven't read the entire thread but this is particularly germane to me right now. Jazz will probably never be as popular as it was in the 30s-40s again. But I find it so frustrating when people don't let something grow without trying to stifle and suppress and impose their old standards to something. THAT's why it's not popular.

    Jazz is amazing. I consider everything I do to be jazz. But jazz is not the 40s, 50s or the 1960s any longer. Any art has to speak to its OWN AGE. Clifford Brown was amazing but he died in 1956, the year I was born.

    I think if we create music that speaks to now it can live healthy. And that doesn't mean try and contrive something that sounds contemporary. I think it just means not forcing it to comply with the jazz police.

    For ME the challenge has been to be true to myself. And THAT MEANS not confirm simply because there's pressure to. Peers, public, jazz radio, publications all might want you to remain where you are or where it has been decided by some invisible counsel that it must conform.

    On my new CD, sorry if this sounds like advertising, but this is what I did. It's what I've always done. And I've reached people who never thought they liked jazz. I've also been one of the only artists at Jazz Connect in NYC last week every single radio programmer said they add to their regular playlist. These are straight ahead stations.

    And is it important? Yes. For the artists to continue jazz needs to viable. This means those who love it need to do their part. They need to PURCHASE the music. They need to go out and see the music they like whenever those artists come to town. Streaming and free downloads does not put money in the pockets of those poor musicians. They can't live off love alone.
    Last edited by henryrobinett; 01-31-2016 at 11:56 PM.

  45. #44

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    Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    "Jazz isn't popular because....people don't like it. Same reason turnip flavored candy ain't popular. "

    Neat comparison - but no legs, happily.

    Clearly, people do like it - or we wouldn't, for example, have this site.
    The question was why isn't it popular - or maybe "more popular".
    The answer to me is simply the lack of exposure.

    I used to enjoy meeting people who said (in that 'orrible whiny tone) "I don't like jazz".
    We would talk musical preferences for long enough for me to get a purchase on what their tastes were made of.
    Then - back at my place - I would be able to make an appropriate discriminating selection and play them some "jazz".
    Only I would never use the word "jazz".

    Sure enough - they dug it wildly - they'd just never heard it before - they hadn't been exposed to it.
    And they still didn't know it was "jazz".
    They just enjoyed it.

    All people need is a chance to hear it.

    Not sure about this common claim about dancing, post-swing - i.e. that you can't dance to be-bop.
    That is just so patently untrue that I am surprised to see it so often repeated.
    Of course you can dance to it.

    ****

    "Squeaky-bonk", Robert, is an affectionate rubric for a lot of stuff that labours under the labels of "free-jazz" or "new-music" or "modern classical" that strives to escape conventional constraints of "tune" or "melody" or "song". Sometimes, as with Cornelius Cardew et. al., they are just having a laugh. The "squeaky-bonk" label itself is also having a laugh. Even those who play it use the term - and have done so for so long that I honestly don't believe we can credit Jim Mullen with its invention.
    Last edited by Lazz; 01-31-2016 at 04:36 PM.

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lazz View Post
    Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    "Jazz isn't popular because....people don't like it. Same reason turnip flavored candy ain't popular. "

    Neat comparison - but no legs, happily.

    Clearly, people do like it - or we wouldn't, for example, have this site.
    The question was why isn't it popular - or maybe "more popular".
    The answer to me is simply the lack of exposure.

    I used to enjoy meeting people who said (in that 'orrible whiny tone) "I don't like jazz".
    We would talk musical preferences for long enough for me to get a purchase on what their tastes were made of.
    Then - back at my place - I would be able to make an appropriate discriminating selection and play them some "jazz".
    Only I would never use the word "jazz".

    Sure enough - they dug it wildly - they'd just never heard it before - they hadn't been exposed to it.
    And they still didn't know it was "jazz".
    They just enjoyed it.

    All people need is a chance to hear it.

    Not sure about this common claim about dancing, post-swing - i.e. that you can't dance to be-bop.
    That is just so patently untrue that I am surprised to see it so often repeated.
    Of course you can dance to it.

    ****

    "Squeaky-bonk", Robert, is an affectionate rubric for a lot of stuff that labours under the labels of "free-jazz" or "new-music" or "modern classical" that strives to escape conventional constraints of "tune" or "melody" or "song". Sometimes, as with Cornelius Cardew et. al., they are just having a laugh. The "squeaky-bonk" label itself is also having a laugh. Even those who play it use the term - and have done so for so long that I honestly don't believe we can credit Jim Mullen with its invention.
    Ha. OK .Well many Jazz Guys are talented and funky enough that they could just do a 5 minute Modal Funk Jam over 1 chord and get a great Groove and Solo over it inside and outside...that I might really like .

    But to give the Audience more ..some structures would be necessary to avoid monotony and ear fatigue etc to do a whole set.

    Gotta mix it up with Structure even if you're Hendrix or Coltrane to give the Audience more.....IMO

  47. #46

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    I began to develop a perception, since the late 80's, that there was an ongoing and very deliberate manipulation of the music industry, resulting in a dumming down of what's considered "musical" - packaged and sold in large part due to Corporate interests and greed.

    And Re: Dexter Gordon - He was far more than just a bebopper. Off the top of my head I can't think of another whose musical ideas just flow together and tell a story like Dex did. His ballad improvisation was like no other.

    It's not on youtube, but I've a 3 CD set of Dexter's complete 'nights at the keystone' from the bay area in the mid 70's, where in each 15 to 20 minute recording Dex' solo's go on forever, weaving lines in and out, with the grandest connectivity of one idea to the next. I've never known a more "musical" player than Dex.

    Coolest cat I never met!



    Last edited by 2bornot2bop; 01-31-2016 at 09:27 PM.

  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robertkoa View Post
    Ha. OK .Well many Jazz Guys are talented and funky enough that they could just do a 5 minute Modal Funk Jam over 1 chord and get a great Groove and Solo over it inside and outside...that I might really like .

    But to give the Audience more ..some structures would be necessary to avoid monotony and ear fatigue etc to do a whole set.

    Gotta mix it up with Structure even if you're Hendrix or Coltrane to give the Audience more.....IMO
    This is some classic squeaky bonk:


  49. #48

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    Btw., some impressions from attending a local jazz jam session last week...

    There was a house band playing before they started the session, and the cats were great musicians, I mean NYC standard great. The audience wasn't big, but there were a few couples enjoying their drink, some people who were curious and came to hear the music (the place is a dedicated jazz club), and of course a bunch of us, musicians who came to jam.

    The tunes those guy have chosen to play though, I'd say didn't make for a case for jazz to become popular any time soon. I think the last drop was 'One Finger Snap', a tune I've never heard before, (and was surprised somebody included as a standard!? ), that lasted about 20 min, with everybody taking solos forever , and, oh yeah, that was a trio!

    By the end of it their mission(apparently) was completed- the 'squares' have left the room, and there was no one but us, the musicians!! Yey, great job.

    Take it for whatever it worth, I'm just telling a story, that may, or may not have something to add to the discussion.
    Last edited by Hep To The Jive; 01-31-2016 at 09:44 PM.

  50. #49

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    ^^^
    Sounds very jazz.

  51. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hep To The Jive View Post
    I think the last drop was 'One Finger Snap', a tune I've never heard before, (and was surprised somebody included as a standard!? )
    That's a Herbie number - early '60s.