Sunday, June 06, 2004

Village Voice Jazz

The Village Voice is running a jazz mini-series. Let's see.

Band in My Head by Greg Tate
I'm in the middle of a post that crosses paths with this article once or twice. I feel very small right now. Go read this. Wynton Marsalis as P. Diddy: isn't it obvious?

Darn That Dream by Martin Johnson
OK, jam bands, again. Next.

Crossover Realities by Larry Blumenfeld
We learn that there are three kinds of crossover: musical, commercial (ie. shifting/expanding fanbase) and institutional (ie. getting a job because the music isn't paying the rent). A few straw men are burned down (Louis sang and played? Miles never let fans hold him back? Really? Oh yeah: Was Miles interested in Sly & the Family Stone simply because he envied their income?: where's the contradiction? (cf. the Tate article: Miles's greatest enemy was good taste, and vice-versa))

Miles's post-Bitches Brew music inspired an endless wave of fusion, occasional glimmers of creativity subsumed within a sea of banal sound, and in the years since, jazz has not successfully crossed into non-jazz venues.

You might not hear much J.A.Z.Z. on commercial radio, but I hear a lot of snatches (and sometimes more) of it in lots and lots of music: Radiohead, St-Germain (and busloads of house music), Prince to name a few.

So we needn't run from the crossover impulse. It's cursed us with some miserable music. But trust me—it's a blessing.

Oh, Greg Tate said this so much better a few links earlier.

Fleishedik and Milchedik by Francis Davis
I've been reading a lot of Davis (Francis) recently: cf. his archives at The Atlantic (you have to lowercase the D in the URL to get the article to appear. Someone notify the webmaster). That famous Ernest Ansermet quote has me thinking that he understood Tate's Ignant 85 years ago.

The Joan Baez of Jazz by Tom Smucker
Smucker's by now, we've got plenty of distance from Coltrane—too much
Davis's Anthony Davis's X—not a jazz opera, whatever that might be, but a legitimate one in which jazz from ragtime to Coltrane and beyond played an integral part. Given the decelerated pace of jazz evolution, that period feels like just yesterday.