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3966Re: When did Jazz die?

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  • Robert Greenwood
    Mar 19, 2007
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      Howard wrote:
      "Frank Johnson in his book Australian Jazz Explosion rather pithily
      identifies two types of fool: Those who think something old is always
      and those who think something new is better. One of our problems is
      since the 1940s so much of the jazz audience has consisted of one or
      of these types! It has made it very difficult to sell innovative work
      seeks to develop the jazz idiom rather than render it obsolete."

      Too true!

      "Jazz `died' when its avant-garde decided that they didn't want to
      play for
      dancers any more. By so doing they flung away at least 80% of their
      base and ensured that jazz would become a niche market."

      Something similar may be said about the well-intentioned project
      known as Preservation Hall. Sadly, this laudable attempt to provide
      some employment for those musicians still playing the older styles of
      New Orleans music meant (among many other more positive things)
      removing those musicians from their accustomed audiences, for whom
      they provided a music to dance and socialise to, and placing them in
      front of serried rows of tourists and admirers. Kid Thomas Valentine
      is said once to have remarked about the punters at Pres Hall: "They
      just sit there an' stare at yer!" The inescapable paradox may well be
      that the older styles died out precisely because of an attempt to
      preserve them, but no doubt it's much more complicated than that.
      Robert Greenwood.
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