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3951Re: When did Jazz die?

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  • Patrice Champarou
    Mar 17, 2007
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Robert Greenwood" <robertgreenwood_54uk@...>
      To: <RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Saturday, March 17, 2007 7:45 PM
      Subject: [RedHotJazz] Re: When did Jazz die?

      > -Patrice, you wrote:
      > "... you won't force the African-American audience to support styles that
      > were clearly
      > related to
      > segregation, prohibition, depression and misery, and the most incredible
      > unequality - this is purely intellectual nostalgia which only wealthy
      > intellectual whites can afford, just like regretting the good old times of
      > hard work from sun to sun on the Mississippi Delta plantations which
      > produced such fascinating blues!"
      > I'm never sure what people mean when they link the jazz of the past with
      > "segregation,
      > prohibition, depression and misery, and the most incredible unequality"
      > It's true, of
      > course, to say that the musicians who produced the music had to live under
      > these
      > intolerable conditions, but surely they produced music of such genius and
      > beauty that it
      > represents an heroic transcendence of those conditions? Would it not
      > rather be purely
      > "intellectual" for someone hearing, say, the Jelly Roll Morton Red Hot
      > Peppers recordings,
      > or the Louis Hot Fives & Sevens, only to "hear" in them the evidence of
      > segregation,
      > prohibition, depression and misery? I, for one, do not believe that
      > anyone, without some
      > effort of will, like some whining adolescent determined to make themselves
      > profoundly
      > miserable, could sincerely hear all that in the music. If they do, then
      > this is yet another
      > example of white, middle class self-loathing and self-flagellation that
      > surely dishonours
      > the music and the people who produced it.
      > Robert Greenwood

      Hum! Did I ever say that the music itself expressed anything of the kind???

      I don't even think it was "transcending" everyday life by any means other
      than being purely recreative, efficient for dancers, and usually joyful. I
      just meant that, whatever its instant meaning, music was always "dated" and
      that the memory of *that* past was no convincing reason for the colored
      audience to hold on to what musicologists consider as their necessary

      I could go on with the serious case of young ladies who dress up in the
      1920's fashion and do some role-playing, complaining that morals and
      elegance vanished as soon as the Beatles issued their first single while
      everything was so perfect in a period of time they never knew... but I'd
      rather not.

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