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

see end...
> 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.
> >
> > Aaron
> > steven c wrote:
> >> 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...
> >>
Okeh...I missed answering this due to the premature death of my computer!

I didn't specifically say that Dixieland, New Orleans Jazz or Swing was
"better" than the newer forms of jazz (although I happen to enjoy the
former more than the latter...as a PERSONAL choice only!).

What I meant to point out was this:  Prior to the coming of be-bop and
its later successors, jazz was (in many cases) a bouncy, rhythmic form
of pop music, which encouraged dancing (and other rhythmic pastimes)
and, as well, seemed to encourage good times and mingling amongst its
listeners...just as rock'n'roll did when it appeared. Another similarity
between the two was the youth of the fans involved..."Jazz" (which often
wasn't jazz in a techical sense) was beloved of the college crowd; "swing"
drew the "bobby-soxers" and their male partners, often high-schoolers;
and "rock'n'roll" was, of course, marketed alnost exclusively to the
teen-ag demographic (The stock line of "American Bandstand" was "I'll
give it an 85...It's got a good beat and you can dance to it!").

Now, as jazz became more "introspective" (meaning one had to think
about it to enjoy it fully...as with much classical music) it lost
the quality of being "immediately entertaining." Instead of a room
full of dancers, there was a room full (to some extent) of serious
listeners, pondering the significances in the performance.

Where the problem lies is that there are many people (mostly,
but not all, younger people) who are looking for "good time"
music...music they can dance to (which encourages the chances
of picking up a member of whichever sex is preferred) and music
they can enjoy, at least superficially, without having to think!

As well, jazz more or less "crossed its final frontier" with the
coming of abstract "avant garde" forms of the genre. To me, this
would appear to be the result of a practice of getting rid of
things that are assumed to be vital to anything that could be
called "music." Originally, jazz jettisoned written scores
for improvisation (successfully)...so then "ultimate" jazz
has to jettison fixed rhythms, playing in fixed keys, amd
all the other items that can be viewed as restrictive to
the players.

The question then becomes "At what point does a collection
of sounds become "music?!"...

Steven C. Barr

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