3972[RedHotJazz] Re: When did Jazz die?
- Mar 19, 2007Although 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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