3966Re: When did Jazz die?
- Mar 19, 2007Howard 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."
"Jazz `died' when its avant-garde decided that they didn't want to
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.
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