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Re: [ARSCLIST] CD versus Download was "All hail the analogue revolution..."

See this: very interesting story on NPR yesteday, re-creating the kind of music from the Birth of the Cool:

Cool jazz is very much alive today! and the comments abotu how the new cool was accepted when it first came out is fascinating - the world agreed with Mr Barr at that time - but look at the legs on that music now, getting longer and stronger all the time...

Lou Judson • Intuitive Audio

On Oct 2, 2006, at 7:09 AM, Aaron Levinson wrote:

I must take issue with Steven's dubious assertions about modern Jazz. To suggest that the music of Miles Davis, Charlie Parker,
Thelonious Monk, etc was somehow inferior to "Dixieland" is simply absurd. Dixieland does NOT survive
in any meaningful way while "Kind Of Blue" continues to sell to every successive generation that discovers its
unearthly beauty. One man's opinion may be just that but to denigrate all developments in jazz after Benny Goodman is an
insult to many listeners the world over and to the contributions of the artists themselves. If you like Dixieland
fine but do not use this archaic form as a pedestal to disparage the work of hundreds of artists who are among
the most talented people that America has ever produced. Anyone that has heard Coltrane with Johnny Hartman
would immediately agree that Steven's suggestion that he eschewed "familiar, ear-catching tunes" is not just
a shallow statement it also patently false. Finally, Steven damns modern jazz for its "introspection". In an age
as loud, abrasive and glitzy as today music or anything for that matter, that encourages introspection
seems to me an excellent antidote for the self-absorbed materialism that has suffused our culture. When I need a respite from a
world gone quite mad, Miles Davis playing "Someday My Prince Will Come" is a guaranteed moment of clarity,
profound introspection and ageless wonder. I suggest it to anyone that appreciates great art.


steven c wrote:
----- Original Message ----- From: "Don Cox" <doncox@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

In rock and pop, by and large the performer is the focus, and most of
the material is composed by the performers. So one might buy a studio
recording and a live concert recording, and that is it.

That is a practice which has only existed for just over (about) forty
years! IIRC, the Beatles were the first pop artists to write the vast
majority of the tunes they recorded (and they had the advantage of
being talented songwriters...one not granted to most of their ilk!)
Prior to that point (even during the heyday of "rock'n'roll!") if
one was a song PERFORMER one contacted a WRITER to see what songs
might be available to record. The problem to-day is that for the
most part being a talented performer does NOT guarantee that one
is an equally talented songwriter!

For a Beethoven sonata, or a Cole Porter song, each performer has
something different to tell you about the music, as each actor does
about Hamlet or Macbeth. Add to that the changes in performance styles
over the years, and it does make sense to own several versions of a
major work.

See above...

Whether it makes sense to buy the latest offering by some young "star"
at full price, I doubt.

It probably doesn't. Many "stars" are selected by record-industry
"honchos" for reasons that have little or nothing to do with their
musical talent (or, usually, lack thereof...) but simply seem to
offer a possibility of selling large amounts of "product!"

As well, as recorded music more and more becomes a product of
technology, as opposed to any extant musical talent, the resulting
"product" takes on a distinct similarity...again, aimed at saleability
as opposed to musical quality. At some point in the not-too-distant
future, it may be possible to create "superstars" that exist only
as bytes and bits somewhere in the half-vast "IT Division!"

I think the number of listeners to classical music is increasing, not
decreasing. Comparing an issue of The Gramophone from the 70s to a
current issue, there are far more releases, ten times as many labels,
and no shortage of excellent new recordings. After all, there is more
money around today than there was then.

But...the demand is primarily for the same relative handful of familiar
classical works! I assume there are still classical works being composed...
however, I would guess they are either extensively derivative of older
classical music...or so experimantal as to sail over the heads of the
potential purchasers. Most of what is heard on classical-music radio
is at the very least close to a century old...and generally two to
four centuries old...

Hey, my sympathies are with you. It's the same with jazz -- aside from
the fact that the genre has been hijacked to large extent by the
"museum music" crowd.

I think jazz pretty well died when it became a genre.

Jazz began to die out when be-bop made it 1) more introspective than
entertaining, and 2) effectively impossible to dance to! In fact, that
is why "dixieland jazz" still survives...simple, often familiar tunes,
an obvious and ear-catching rhythm listeners can dance or clap their
hands to...and a sense of fun! Note that all of these qualities are
either absent or hard-to-hear in, say, a Coltrane album/performance...

One interesting side thought (on which I have so far no opinion...)
As a "survivor" of the sixties, I lived through (and enjoyed, as
near as I can remember) the musical developments that were both
inspired (for the artists) and enjoyed (for the listeners) by
the "mind-altering" drugs of the period. Now, the "drug of choice"
for jazz musicians for most, if not all, of the pre-WWII period
was, of course, good ol' C2H5OH (or, during prohibition, occasionally
CH3OH...). During the "bop era" and thereafter, many jazz musicians
were into heroin and similar opiates. What effect did that have on
how jazz developed...?!

Steven C. Barr

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