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3972[RedHotJazz] Re: When did Jazz die?

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  • PDQBlues@aol.com
    Mar 19, 2007
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      Although I have little to add to this tremendously interesting discussions on
      such an abstract concept of "when did Jazz die," I did wish to thank those
      who have added their opinions to the discussion.

      I now forget who wrote something to the effect that Jazz died when some well
      meaning people decided to preserve it. There may be no more accurate and
      highly astute observation that I have heard in a very long time. I do agree to
      a point with Robert Greenwood that "Preservation Hall was more a symptom than
      a cause of the older styles dying out," and there is much to be said about
      attempting to "freeze and preserve" feelings. And the thing to say is that you
      cannot successfully accomplish maintaining a feeling in a healthy manner any
      more than you can capture the wind. To put the music under a looking glass or
      bell jar is to job it of feeling, which ultimately will kill it.

      Like all art forms, Jazz requires feelings and evokes feelings. And it is
      those feelings that makes the music live and alive. But like any life form,
      even art must evolve, progress, change with the human elements or parish from
      the face of the earth. And like languages, the words and phrasings of Jazz
      will change even if the basic structure is maintain. Why is Latin a dead
      language even if it's still taught in school? It's dead because it is being
      artificially preserved. It can no longer change, evolve or reflect the feelings
      of its people. And that is so true about any music, including Jazz. Like
      the wind, that very attempt to hold onto it and somehow the preserve the exact
      feelings it can evoke will lead to its death.

      I am a tremendous fan of the pre-1934 Jazz music, and have been 'religiously'
      listening to the recoding for over 35 years now. And I am also a big fan of
      many of the newer bands that play in the styles of the older Jazz, for which
      I believe I recognized several of the artists' names here on this list who
      have made such recording for labels like Stomp Off. Bands, such as the
      Barrelhouse Jazzband, South Frisco Jazz Band, Peruna Jazzmen, Kustbandet and many of
      the Keith Nichols groups, to name but a few. The ones of these newer bands
      that I enjoy best are the ones that, although they play in an older style, they
      make no absolute attempt to play note by note the music that has been
      preserved on the recordings. That is, they allow their own emotions to be felt
      within that music, for which keeps the music alive.

      Again, I thank all of you for such a wonderfully intelligent conversation
      that got me to respond.


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