Friday, July 8, 2016

Jazz & Me - Part 8 - The "Me" part of "Jazz & Me"

My story about jazz and me has been more about jazz than about me. If you’ve made it this far, perhaps you’ve asked yourself why a person would dedicate this much effort into studying music without wanting to make it. It’s a question I’ve asked myself as well. So after years of thinking about all this and months of trying to figure out how to write it, I tried to put a proverbial coda on all this modal contemplation.

I bought a bass.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Jazz & Me - Part 7 - The New Sherriff in Town

Jazz’s evolution toward rock fusion naturally generated a backlash among musicians, but none were more damning that a young New Orleans trumpet player named Wynton Marsalis. A rising star in the 1980s who played with Herbie and Wayne while also showing impressive talent as a classical musician, Marsalis led a revival of the traditional jazz as it was known between the early swing days through the bebop era and into the 1960s.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Jazz & Me - Part 6 - The Twilight of Modal and the Dawn of Fusion

A musician doesn’t owe eternal allegiance to any style of genre of music any more than a listener is required to pay lifelong obeisance to any artist. This tends to generate cantankerous outrage among fans who accuse musicians of “selling out” when the fact is they simply wanted to do something different. It’s one thing for a fan to fall so head-over-heels for an album that they listen to almost nothing else for weeks on end, but it’s quite another to be that musician who has to eat, sleep, breathe and dream those same songs for months or years on end.