Saxophone Forum


by BariSaxplyr
(35 posts)
9 years ago

America and jazz? Did we ever TRULY listen to it?

Everyone talks about how America's greatest art form is jazz music. This is not really an understatement. In terms of music, it is the pinnacle of spontaneous composition and emotional expression. HOWEVER... jazz music was popular in the "Big Band Era" in the 1930's. After that, with the beginning of the Be-Bop era, America's interest in jazz diminished GREATLY. Shortly after, with the emergence of post-bop harmony a la Coltrane, Jazz basically fell off the America Music scene. It was always a presence, but never popular again. In my opinion, it suriveved mainly because of international support. Go to the village vanguard, the blue note... almost the entire crowd is from out of the country. People don't go to see live music in the states anymore, hell, we barely buy the CD's. My question/point is: Can we really take credit for the emergence of the great art form that is jazz music? While it was a commercial money maker, Benny Goodman/Artie Shaw... we loved it, becuase we danced to it. When it became more about music, we renounced it, and it was sent over seas, appreciated more, and now we claim credit for it. Anyone agree or disagree? (im not trying to offend anyone, or get some argument started, just curoius what everyone was thinking.

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  1. by kneejerk52
    (397 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: America and jazz? Did we ever TRULY listen to it?

    agree now i think people are going in the direction of jazz because of default. there is not other REAL music. it's the olny form that actually plays, performs, composes, and oh yea they still starve. the "artist" now don't know what it is to struggle to be able to play. but the jazz people i know still seem to follow that hard knocks path. i listen now more than ever. sorry to say i too don't buy enough, esp. with the digital music on cable it' unbelievable what they play.

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    1. by jamterry
      (573 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: America and jazz? Did we ever TRULY listen to it?

      I listened to jazz before I could walk. When I was exposed to Coltrane, I really took off on tenor and alto. That led me to Adderly, Dolphy, and Stitt. When I was 19, I had the honor to meet Sonny Stitt and Gene Ammons. We jammed at at the "Apartment" on Chicago's southside. I wil never get over that. Those guys were monsters, but they treated me really nice.

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      1. by BariSaxplyr
        (35 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: America and jazz? Did we ever TRULY listen to it?

        I must admit, thats one of the most bad ass stories i have ever heard. Out of curiousity, did you come from a musicla family that was into jazz and exposed you young, or was it just something you were always intersted in? Personally, my family has nevr been too musical and I often attribute that to why i didnt get into jazz until later in my life.

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        1. by jamterry
          (573 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: America and jazz? Did we ever TRULY listen to it?

          We had a very musical family. My Grannie, Great uncle, Mom , and Auntie all played piano. My Great uncle was a famous piano tuner in Chicago. My Mom had a great ear which I inherited. I started piano at 6, and sax at 9. My Dad was a really good singer (tenor). My sister plays well . but has no feeling. We grew up with jazz and old big band standards. I love the new rock and jazz, and I jam a lot. I miss my parents so much. I owe it all to them.

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        2. by barimachine
          (323 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: America and jazz? Did we ever TRULY listen to it?

          thats awesome cant say i dont hate/envy you i am the least musical person in the world with the least music background everything i do has to be a grudgingly difficult uphill fight but i still love it

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        3. by jazzyjedi
          (13 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: America and jazz? Did we ever TRULY listen to it?

          And I bet you play like a monster man! Alot guys always say the same thing you said, and they could go on tour right now. Im very much the same way.

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        4. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: America and jazz? Did we ever TRULY listen to it?

          I have to agree with you BariSax. It seems like we Americans don't embrace culture like other countries. This could be partly because we are such a diverse nation with so many different cultural back-grounds coming together. Many people listen to what's cool at the time. Back in the 1930's and 1940's jazz and big band was the thing. Then came the be-bop, and the 1950's brought us rock and roll. Then in the 1960's, we were all listening to the Beatles and wanting to play guitar. The end of the 70's we got into Disco (I still remember the K-Tel Super Gold Records!). Then, in the 80's we let our hair grow long, wore parachute pants (those things were the worst ever for chaffing) and learned to break dance! (I think they called it break dancing because of the many bones that were broken by those who tried to do it!) But, did we ever really listen to the music? I remember the first time I heard Foreigner, "I Want To Know What Love Is". I was 11 and it was at a school dance (Jr. high, 6th grade), and I was dancing with Missy, the cutest girl in school, looking into her eyes, my palms sweating, nervous, and wondering if I dare kiss her or not! I wasn't really listening to the music at that moment, but a couple days later when I was listening to my stereo in my room while doing my homework and that song came on the radio, I remembered the song and the dance! Have you ever noticed how simple some of the music today is? A lot of it is just bass and drums; a beat you can dance to and that's about it. I think this is partly because we as Americans have become so detatched from our culture and have such a poor understanding and appreciation of music that THIS is all we can relate to! To answer another post I saw here on this same topic, I do think that Jazz is making a comeback, and partly thanks to you; the many people of this forum who appreciate jazz for it's complexity and originality as an art form. Jazz has always been considered "music for other musicians" because it takes a fair knowledge of music to be able to understand and truely appreciate jazz. I think we have reached the point where much of the music has gotten so bad that people are looking for alternatives, and digging through their parents, or maybe even their grandparent's record collections. I'm tired of country songs about tractors, drinking, loose women, horses and having sex in the hay! I want to listen to a song and actually understand the lyrics, not a bunch of screaming by some strung-out punk who has issues with his father! And as for the whole hip hop gangsta rap scene.......I'm not even gonna go there!

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        5. by brace_face
          (43 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: America and jazz? Did we ever TRULY listen to it?

          I absoloutly agree!!!

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        6. by jazzyjedi
          (13 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: America and jazz? Did we ever TRULY listen to it?

          AMEN!

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