Thursday, July 27, 2006

bridge over troubled pond

visionsong has joined the fray:

Americans, especially black Americans feel a justified feeling of ownership of jazz, and I can see how seeing E.S.T get press in the New York Times ahead of Marcus Strickland or whoever can hurt. It’s not necessarily a rational emotion, but it’s a pretty understandable one.

Second, the roots of jazz are, above all else, African rhythm. Traditionally, jazz has been what one of my teachers calls “gut music”, connected to a groove that you feel in your loins. Groove is the main connecting line in all American black music, from Louis Armstrong to Bessie Smith to Ornette to Fats Domino to Prince. (Yet another reason the JALC crowds’ rejection of fusion is so absurd, but I digress…)... When I think about the “Euro-jazz” albums I go back and listen to a lot, groove is not the main reason I listen to them.

So in a way, this is an argument about cultural ownership and nomenclature more than it is about music.
Note that Ken Waxman's column at One Final Note is called Unamerican Activities. Tongue in cheek, sure, but still indicative of something.