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!