3954Re: [RedHotJazz] Re: When did Jazz die?
- Mar 17, 2007You have but to listen to Billie Holliday sing, "Strange Fruit", and Louis Armstrong sing, "Black and Blue", to know that black jazz artists--despite the "fair look" given them by supporters such as John Hammond, Benny Goodman and Dave Brubek--felt the depression and segregation and outright bigotry surrounding them. It WAS prevelent in their day-to-day life, both at the turn of the century and much later; and to say that their music "transended" the conditions they lived with is well-intended and idealistic, but not very realistic.
Robert Greenwood <robertgreenwood_54uk@...> wrote:
-Patrice, you wrote:
"... you won't force the African-American audience to support styles that were clearly
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.
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