Sax on the Web Forum banner

Jazz and/or saxophones in popular media (TV, Movies, Popular music, etc...)

2580 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Swampcabbage
So, yeah, I read jazz is dead. And I suppose the fact that it's just a word means it was never alive so it can't be dead.

But, if you believe in jazz as an entity that can live and die, (the living art form I suppose becomes pertinent here), then you might have noticed that some mainstream mediums have been incorporating it into their products.

In TV I have noticed at least 3 instances of jazz related infuences.

Showtimes "Homeland" features a lead character who is a jazz fan (particularly trumpet - her character even played trumpet as a kid - this would be Claire Danes' character); she frequently listens to Miles Davis.

USA's "Covert Affairs" features another main character who goes to jazz festivals and adores Charles Mingus.

(Interesting to note that both shows are CIA/spy shows).

And last but not least, USA's Psych recently had an episode where a character had a "fear of saxophones"; Kenny G's "Songbird" was later used in the episode to disarm a potential threat whilst the main characters pontificated on how the tune was actually a good song, etc...

In music - Mos def has been performing with brass bands on and off for some time (he's also got some strong roots with young jazzers such as Ashlin Parker).

He and Kanye West even did some freestyle at the Blue Note in February with Robert Glasper.

Katy Perry and Lady Gaga have included sax on their recordings. (Probably some violins too...).

And aside from the regular features from late night live tv (Conan, Tonight, Letterman, and SNL all feature music that is charged with the intrinsic elements that make the "dead" jazz walk amongst the undead).

Wayne Escoffery did some commercials for Grey Goose I think. Esperanza Spaulding has gotten some nice press.

Is it really dead? Dying? Undead? Who cares?

But, if you hae noticed anything, I think it would be interesting to note. Even though we all know it is shrinking - there's something that's going on. Maybe it's just standard media manipulation - a way to lend "culture" to characters and elevate the artistic brow of performers. Or maybe...., nah, it's dead. Or did it ever really exist?
See less See more
1 - 3 of 7 Posts
Um....I don't get the point of this. Are you trying to suggest jazz/sax is dead or not or......

Seems like a useless exercise as jazz isn't dead, nor is saxophone, and both appear quite a bit in popular media.
Wow, you have quite a grasp on the obvious. And the point is that I do notice a trend in popular media that I have not noticed probably since the 80's.

And let's not forget the 30 Rock episode featuring the ghostly appearances of the 3 disappearing act in the work forces; the travel agent, the Detroit auto worker, and the guy who plays rockin sax solos on pop songs.

And I totally forgot about Treme.

Anyway, back to my point (ot lack there of). Though I know many would say it a large force in pop culture. It is not. Market shares and the like will tell you this straight across the board. And those who work in groups that utilize a heavy rotation of current popular music will also tell you it's nowhere near what it was. And as far as jazz in tv and commercials as a music? It's become the cliche of advertising and - today's muzak.

So when I see nods to names like Miles and Satch and Mingus. It kind of makes me go hmmmmm.

Pete. Do you really think that the instrument and the music really has the same weight in today's music and culture as it did when you were playing with Joe Jackson?

I seriously doubt anyone is going to argue that it does. It's a different market altogether. There may appear to be more demand by volume (With over 1,200 TV stations vs. 4). There's also about 3 billion more people now.

So, my point is pointless. It's a thread about nothing. My goodness. Someone call the web police - I have posted useless information on the network. Has anyone prepared for such a thing?
See less See more
Saw this little nugget recently. Me and the Mrs. love this one.
1 - 3 of 7 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.