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It's the way it's played. If it's played well and you don't do to many cornball tunes alot of people do like it. You have to make it exciting though with players that can do more than medium swing, realbook reading, cornball crap and can play with soul whether they are technical or not. That doesn't happen to often at the local level. It often sounds dreary and corny in my experience. Younger people can't relate to that, it's a turn off. I'm being simplistic I realize but I have had experience with it and I think there is some truth in what I'm saying. When you make it exciting people can relate to it.
Agreed. Great way to put it.
 

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Hmmm...

I definitely agree that the amount of technical masters has gone up as time has progressed, however, I feel this is hardly the issue.

... So to me, jazz's decline isn't really on the players, it's on the audience. It was mentioned there haven't been to many "memorable" tunes put out in the jazz idiom lately, and this is due to the exact fact that was also brought up earlier, generations have labeled jazz standards as "the music previous generations have listened to", and therefore couldn't possibly be listened to by the hipsters of today. Musicians have therefore felt compelled to put out the mind blowingly technical pieces that really, can only appeal to other musicians.

Having said this, I still feel it's a damn shame that jazz has declined, and the uhh...I-I-I progressions of today's pop tunes have churned out millions. Jazz will always survive in the musician demographic, and hopefully, someone a little better than Kenny G will surface, turning at least some of the masses's heads back towards "jazz".
Eh...it IS partially on the players, actually....albeit maybe by default. Again, the technically blow-em'-away stuff, it's really not all that...for lack of a better word...accessible. So, as you say, it results in musicians playing for musicians. That becomes a very closed society....only other musicians able to appreciate what players are doing. It's a mobius strip...it becomes too precious,and yeah, listenership will decline.

That's my issue with the straight-ahead resurrection of the 80's...on the one hand, it was cool and fun to have a second-coming ...but it was already destined to hit a dead end. Not new.

So, n respect to the players, yeah...it is on 'em (us) because, once again, there hasn't been that great leap in, really, an entire generation. Just various rehashing, albeit by highly proficient players.


It's the way it's played. If it's played well and you don't do to many cornball tunes alot of people do like it. You have to make it exciting though with players that can do more than medium swing, realbook reading, cornball crap and can play with soul whether they are technical or not. That doesn't happen to often at the local level. It often sounds dreary and corny in my experience. Younger people can't relate to that, it's a turn off. I'm being simplistic I realize but I have had experience with it and I think there is some truth in what I'm saying. When you make it exciting people can relate to it.
There's a lotta generalizing going on in those comments. Depends where you are...some local scenes have great jazz players, and great local jazz scenes as a result.

Although you may not have intended it, the comments regarding 'cornball' and 'realbook reading', etc. sounds, in itself, to be the exact sort of highbrow position which actually results in the genre being inaccessible and a turn-off to those who are...uninitiated...

As has been mentioned, it's gotten so that it's really pretty difficult for the uninitiated to get excited about the high-velocity technical-prowess, heavy duty advanced-theory sorta stuff...it's not the more direct, familiar, classic stuff which turns folks off, IMHO. It is the former.

But you are correct in stating that, certainly, listeners as a whole are not excited by current straight-ahead or other forms of jazz, and why should they be ? Again, unless you are a pretty well-versed/educated musician yourself, it's not really that accessible or exciting.

Folks didn't need to know squat about music to recognize that Heavy Weather, School Days, Pressure Sensitive, Headhunters, etc. was really thrilling and inventive stuff, which just sounded good....

There has been no such giant step in the genre since.....
 

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We have great jazz players in Holland both local and visiting and they play very well, yet decline is visible if not in the size of the audience at least in its age.

Now in Summer there are many festivals and open air concerts including one of the most festivals in the world, the North Sea Jazz festival, so decline not due to shortage of venues . Het Bimhuis of Amsterdam has one of the best and most interesting stages in the world with concerts that are very cheap, some barely costing a little more than a movie........

There are still many young players but they are forming themselves not so much in the club scene (because that is declining) but at the conservatory. Few bands resist and have been fighting , such as the New Cool Collective
http://www.newcoolcollective.com/

one of the few bands able to command a very sizeable audience , but there is no doubt that the market and the interest is shrinking...........and it hasn't got anything to do with how well Jazz it is played or brought to the public, Jazz , simply, has ceased to be the music of a the new generations in the '60, from then on it became the music of an older and established generation........that's what it is now and that's why it has a problem to get fresh branches, the roots are bood but the braches are getting older and the new foliage isn't sprouting.
 

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Hmmm...

I definitely agree that the amount of technical masters has gone up as time has progressed, however, I feel this is hardly the issue.

... So to me, jazz's decline isn't really on the players, it's on the audience. It was mentioned there haven't been to many "memorable" tunes put out in the jazz idiom lately, and this is due to the exact fact that was also brought up earlier, generations have labeled jazz standards as "the music previous generations have listened to", and therefore couldn't possibly be listened to by the hipsters of today. Musicians have therefore felt compelled to put out the mind blowingly technical pieces that really, can only appeal to other musicians.

Having said this, I still feel it's a damn shame that jazz has declined, and the uhh...I-I-I progressions of today's pop tunes have churned out millions. Jazz will always survive in the musician demographic, and hopefully, someone a little better than Kenny G will surface, turning at least some of the masses's heads back towards "jazz".
Eh...it IS partially on the players, actually....albeit maybe by default. Again, the technically blow-em'-away stuff, it's really not all that...for lack of a better word...accessible. So, as you say, it results in musicians playing for musicians. That becomes a very closed society....only other musicians able to appreciate what players are doing. It's a mobius strip...it becomes too precious,and yeah, listenership will decline.

That's my issue with the straight-ahead resurrection of the 80's...on the one hand, it was cool and fun to have a second-coming ...but it was already destined to hit a dead end. Not new.

So, n respect to the players, yeah...it is on 'em (us) because, once again, there hasn't been that great leap in, really, an entire generation. Just various rehashing, albeit by highly proficient players.


It's the way it's played. If it's played well and you don't do to many cornball tunes alot of people do like it. You have to make it exciting though with players that can do more than medium swing, realbook reading, cornball crap and can play with soul whether they are technical or not. That doesn't happen to often at the local level. It often sounds dreary and corny in my experience. Younger people can't relate to that, it's a turn off. I'm being simplistic I realize but I have had experience with it and I think there is some truth in what I'm saying. When you make it exciting people can relate to it.
There's a lotta generalizing going on in those comments. Depends where you are...some local scenes have great jazz players, and great local jazz scenes as a result.

Although you may not have intended it, the comments regarding 'cornball' and 'realbook reading', etc. sounds, in itself, to be the exact sort of highbrow position which actually results in the genre being inaccessible and a turn-off to those who are...uninitiated...

As has been mentioned, it's gotten so that it's really pretty difficult for the uninitiated to get excited about the high-velocity technical-prowess, heavy duty advanced-theory sorta stuff...it's not the more direct, familiar, classic stuff which turns folks off, IMHO. It is the former.

But you are correct in stating that, certainly, listeners as a whole are not excited by current straight-ahead or other forms of jazz, and why should they be ? Again, unless you are a pretty well-versed/educated musician yourself, it's not really that accessible or exciting.

Folks didn't need to know squat about music to recognize that Heavy Weather, School Days, Pressure Sensitive, Headhunters, etc. was really thrilling and inventive stuff, which just sounded good....

There has been no such giant step in the genre since.....
I think what I'm trying to say is that it's the way the medium swing is played. It doesn't swing in most cases! It's fine to play tradition medium swing stuff if you do it well and make it cook, but it hardly ever does because people are just reading it, don't play it much and it just sounds really uninspired. Is this everyone - no, I'm sure there are fine local players everywhere but I've heard alot of corny sounding unrehearsed jazz around and have gone to jam sessions where it is being played and young people are walking out. Sometimes every tune is the same slow to medium tempo!
I'm well aware of the snob attitude in jazz and I know that you can play two notes per bar that sound great or 30 notes per bar that sound like ****.
 

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[/COLOR]
It's the way it's played. If it's played well and you don't do to many cornball tunes alot of people do like it. You have to make it exciting though with players that can do more than medium swing, realbook reading, cornball crap and can play with soul whether they are technical or not. That doesn't happen to often at the local level. It often sounds dreary and corny in my experience. Younger people can't relate to that, it's a turn off. I'm being simplistic I realize but I have had experience with it and I think there is some truth in what I'm saying. When you make it exciting people can relate to it.
There's a lotta generalizing going on in those comments. Depends where you are...some local scenes have great jazz players, and great local jazz scenes as a result.

Although you may not have intended it, the comments regarding 'cornball' and 'realbook reading', etc. sounds, in itself, to be the exact sort of highbrow position which actually results in the genre being inaccessible and a turn-off to those who are...uninitiated...

As has been mentioned, it's gotten so that it's really pretty difficult for the uninitiated to get excited about the high-velocity technical-prowess, heavy duty advanced-theory sorta stuff...it's not the more direct, familiar, classic stuff which turns folks off, IMHO. It is the former.

But you are correct in stating that, certainly, listeners as a whole are not excited by current straight-ahead or other forms of jazz, and why should they be ? Again, unless you are a pretty well-versed/educated musician yourself, it's not really that accessible or exciting.

Folks didn't need to know squat about music to recognize that Heavy Weather, School Days, Pressure Sensitive, Headhunters, etc. was really thrilling and inventive stuff, which just sounded good....

There has been no such giant step in the genre since..... [/QUOTE]

I don't have any problem with medium swing standard tunes, it's the way they are done - they don't swing! It doesn't have to be technical either - it's the feel. If it is being done right people respond to it. However most of the local "jam sessions" and jazz gigs I have heard in several parts of the country are done by people who don't play much, don't know what an arrangement is, don't really "know" the tunes, etc. The same tempo is played for every tune, etc. It's so uninspired. No wonder people hate jazz! I see young people walking out of these things again and again.
Sure it's a generalization - there are great local players everywhere - ones that nobody has ever heard of - you sometimes hear them, but there is so much "badjazz" out there.
And I am well aware of the snob factor - and I also know that you don't have to be a technician to play well. Sometimes it's what you don't play that makes it good, but in any case it's always the feel and that's just not there anymore alot of the time.
 

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I don't think it's just the lack of emotional content in the players these days that doesn't attract an audience.

We're dealing with a society that for the most part is on an even keel. They aren't going through a lot of emotional ups and downs. They know how to solve their problems without crying and carrying on.

Jazz or at least the best jazz is a very intense experience. I don't think people have a need for that anymore.

So jazz becomes a reflection of its environment as it always does, it will lack emotional content, it will be academic, it will probably be technically brilliant nerd music that will be around for a long time.
 

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Jazz started as dance music. And mankind's very earliest music was played to accompany dances or to tell a story. The audience for jazz has been declining since jazz became too refined to dance to and too complex to tell a story most people can understand. There will always be a market for intellectual music, both jazz and classical, but that market will never be large.

The public has not abandoned jazz; jazz has abandoned the public.
 

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This is quite an interesting thread and good sensible points have been made. Obviously "jazz" means different things to different people and different age groups. I would venture to suppose that for most of the "baby boomer" generation (such as myself) we associate jazz from late 1920's Louis/Bechet '30's Hawkins/Prez/Basie/Duke/Hodges,into the 1940's and the Be-Bop revolution Bird /Dizzy also the Jump Bands of that era. I suppose to my generation the "GREAT PERIOD" and what WE grew up with-- alongside R+R /R+B -- is the 1950's /'60's post-bop "Blue Note" Miles,Dexter, Rollins,Horace Silver,Cannonball, you get the picture? This is the jazz of my generation and we have all the previous stuff to dig and refer to.
Then, Miles went funky, jazz went electric, 'Trane tore up the rule book, Ornette Coleman wrote his own rule book--you all know where I'm coming from yeah? As teenagers ( hip teenagers!) early 20's somethings we took all this in our stride and bought the 'newer' stuff by the bucketful, "Bitches Brew" "In A Silent Way"( which I still love)"A love Supreme" "Forest Flower" "Weather Report".
All the time this was going on Rock and Pop was becoming the the 'new' music with heavyweight players like Clapton, Hendrix, Allman, Peter Green, Bass players and drummers like Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker the list goes on.
What is my point you may ask? Well Improvisation actually. ALL the great Composers such as JS Bach Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, were great improvisors and performed publicly as improvising musicians. Many of the great Baroque Flute players such as Quantz were expected to perform improvisations within the given structure of a piece. Many, many ethnic/ World Music players have used improvisation from time immemorial.
So, to "Jazz" the word described American 'rythmnic' heavily syncopated music with improvisation around the harmonies of the theme, roughly speaking. In my opinion Jazz will/has already become, another speciality such as Baroque,Early Music Consorts,
12 Tone, Serialism, Klezmer, Gregorian Chants-- as Popular Music I'm afraid it is finished.
Jazz, as most of us know it, will be edited, quantified, discussed in lofty circles by academics The one unique difference of course, previous aforementioned era's did not have the benefit of recordings as we have---one does wonder how Stadler REALLY played the Mozart Clarinet Concerto ! or how Quantz 'tore up' his Presto's and improvised around the keyboards playing figured bass comps.Maybe the next jazz "equivalent" will be from Latin America or Eastern Europe The Indian raga craze of the '60's did'nt last long though
Regards BF
 

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Jazz is only in decline because its no longer floating in the mainstream, and if it is its probably Kenny G bullshizz. Haha. Jazz wont die. Not until they stop making Saxophones, Trombones, Pianos and Drumset. Ect. Catch my drift?
 

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I don't think it's just the lack of emotional content in the players these days that doesn't attract an audience.

We're dealing with a society that for the most part is on an even keel. They aren't going through a lot of emotional ups and downs. They know how to solve their problems without crying and carrying on.

Jazz or at least the best jazz is a very intense experience. I don't think people have a need for that anymore.

So jazz becomes a reflection of its environment as it always does, it will lack emotional content, it will be academic, it will probably be technically brilliant nerd music that will be around for a long time.
Pretty good comment actually, and specific to the jazz audience.
 

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Pretty good comment actually, and specific to the jazz audience.
Thank you. For me at least any music is a product of it's environment, the two don't exists by themselves.

All the previous genres of jazz were played and created in an setting that supported that particular style. These people weren't sitting down and saying we're going to play this way or that way tonight, they just played what the scene had to offer and what the audience wanted to hear.

I really do think the audience wants to hear the style that prevails right now. We're in the information age, more people than ever have higher education, they're more informed, they mix and mingle and stick with their own kind.

The future audience won't be caught up in emotional music, the jazz player won't be capable of playing in that style as time goes on and the next generation comes up. There will be no more Tranes or Pharoah Sanders or any of that kind of spirtual exploration. Very few people will allow themselves the chance to go off the deep end.
 

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Jazz is only in decline because its no longer floating in the mainstream, and if it is its probably Kenny G bullshizz. Haha. Jazz wont die. Not until they stop making Saxophones, Trombones, Pianos and Drumset. Ect. Catch my drift?
He said the name, here we go...
 

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I don't think it's just the lack of emotional content in the players these days that doesn't attract an audience.

We're dealing with a society that for the most part is on an even keel. They aren't going through a lot of emotional ups and downs. They know how to solve their problems without crying and carrying on.

Jazz or at least the best jazz is a very intense experience. I don't think people have a need for that anymore.

So jazz becomes a reflection of its environment as it always does, it will lack emotional content, it will be academic, it will probably be technically brilliant nerd music that will be around for a long time.
Pretty good comment actually, and specific to the jazz audience.
yeah!! I'm a total nerd!
 

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Heath: I doubt society has been/ever will be without emotional instability. Lots of political arguments that I can't go into go here...

Retread: True in some cases, but not all. Try dancing to Ascension by Coltrane, and then Cuban Hideaway by Dave Koz. Hopefully my point is made...
 

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Pretty good comment actually, and specific to the jazz audience.
Thank you. For me at least any music is a product of it's environment, the two don't exists by themselves.

All the previous genres of jazz were played and created in an setting that supported that particular style. These people weren't sitting down and saying we're going to play this way or that way tonight, they just played what the scene had to offer and what the audience wanted to hear.

I really do think the audience wants to hear the style that prevails right now. We're in the information age, more people than ever have higher education, they're more informed, they mix and mingle and stick with their own kind.

The future audience won't be caught up in emotional music, the jazz player won't be capable of playing in that style as time goes on and the next generation comes up. There will be no more Tranes or Pharoah Sanders or any of that kind of spirtual exploration. Very few people will allow themselves the chance to go off the deep end.
Yes to the whole thing. You've hi-lighted why the whole spiritual exploration thing of those guys will probably never be relevant again......or perhaps, not relevant for a long time to come.
I like the socio-political inclusions in the way the audience is not removed from the musician in those terms. Yep, jazz in particular, because it has become cerebral.
 

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'Goin' Out of My Head' was a 1964 hit for Little Anthony & the Imperials which became a 1966 Grammy winning vehicle for Wes Montgomery (1925-1968). It represents a phase of Montgomery's career which brought him popular acclaim along with the disdain of some jazz fans who felt he had sold out. In a 1972 Guitar Player discussion (Where Are the Jazz Guitar Lps?), Kessel remarked “I remember talking with Wes Montgomery when he was playing in a packed club. He wasn't bitter, just realistic. He said, See those people out there? They didn't come to hear me, they came to see me play one, two or three of my hit records, because when I decide to do a tune of mine or Coltrane's ‘Giant Steps' instead of ‘Goin' Out My Head' they get bored and start talking." Success for a jazz musician can be a mixed blessing.

http://www.guitarvideos.com/assets/pdf/13043dvd.pdf
 

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'Goin' Out of My Head' was a 1964 hit for Little Anthony & the Imperials which became a 1966 Grammy winning vehicle for Wes Montgomery (1925-1968). It represents a phase of Montgomery's career which brought him popular acclaim along with the disdain of some jazz fans who felt he had sold out. In a 1972 Guitar Player discussion (Where Are the Jazz Guitar Lps?), Kessel remarked “I remember talking with Wes Montgomery when he was playing in a packed club. He wasn't bitter, just realistic. He said, See those people out there? They didn't come to hear me, they came to see me play one, two or three of my hit records, because when I decide to do a tune of mine or Coltrane's ‘Giant Steps' instead of ‘Goin' Out My Head' they get bored and start talking." Success for a jazz musician can be a mixed blessing.

http://www.guitarvideos.com/assets/pdf/13043dvd.pdf
Wes had a lot of mouths to feed, I can't remember how many children he had, but as I remember it was a lot for a jazz musician. Wes probably had a more working class mentality than that of a constantly searching artist. He was punching the clock as a welder if I'm not mistaken before he was making a living as a guitarist.

A better example would be his protege Pat Martino that never had any children, I believe has always been a fairly solitary musician and was deep into the art side of music as well as apart of the real world playing for a living. He didn't have commerical success, but he didn't really need it like Wes that had a family to take care of. It was said that in the early days Pat would prop his guitar case against the wall and sleep because he didn't like the cockroaches crawling on him. You can live like this and go off the deep end when you don't have others depending on you. Wes could have as well if he didn't either.

Money or Jazz you can't have them both.
 

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Come on guys. No emotional content? Irrelevant music for future generations? You talk like bitter old farts who look at the younger generation with disdain like it's happened so many times before. Sure, the music business has changed a lot and there's little place left for genuine honest art but, remember the 80's? It's a cycle. There's always been a balance between underground and establishment, between the guys who just did it and those who tried to do it right.

There is an audience for improvised music, for emotional content, for exploration, for honesty (even here in the US :twisted:). Don't you see it's actually just the right time for this kind of music to re-surface? I've been surprised to see how easy it is for people to get there's something different happening. I see signs of better times coming everyday. It just depends on how you look at it.

Victor.
 

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Come on guys. No emotional content? Irrelevant music for
There is an audience for improvised music, for emotional content, for exploration, for honesty (even here in the US :twisted:). Don't you see it's actually just the right time for this kind of music to re-surface? I've been surprised to see how easy it is for people to get there's something different happening. I see signs of better times coming everyday. It just depends on how you look at it.

Victor.
Victor I agree there will always be 'improvised music' I tried to convey that in my(rather long winded!)post, always has been, always will be.
The OP asked, or put forward for debate whether "Jazz" was in decline, I then attempted to give my personal take on the 'nature of 20thcentury jazz' I tried to give the term some tangible explanation as one would to a novice musician or non-musician who seeks knowledge of the idiom.
Basically, I would venture to say that the terminolgy must change. The word "Jazz"has murky origins starting out as a type of slang-- it is now eminently respectable.With these points in mind I sill believe "Jazz is in Decline"as a popular musical form
BTW the post mentioning Wes Montgomery and his circumstances was most informative and so very true.
Regards BF
 

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I don't think it's just the lack of emotional content in the players these days that doesn't attract an audience.

We're dealing with a society that for the most part is on an even keel. They aren't going through a lot of emotional ups and downs. They know how to solve their problems without crying and carrying on.

Jazz or at least the best jazz is a very intense experience. I don't think people have a need for that anymore.

So jazz becomes a reflection of its environment as it always does, it will lack emotional content, it will be academic, it will probably be technically brilliant nerd music that will be around for a long time.
I'm sorry but I just can't agree with this. Maybe you travel in circles where people appear to be emotionally stable but maybe it's because they are on anti-depressants? :) I don't know what the statistics are but I have been told by some reliable sources that the percentage of people of all ages on anti-depressant meds as well as other prescrip and non-prescrip(alcohol,weed,etc) drugs is quite high. Not trying to blow your perception of the world being emotionally stable or make fun of your theory, because some people may be stable but in my dealings with people I don't find that much has changed in regard to peoples emotional stability. I think the world has a long, long way to go. I'm not sure how that relates in regard to music and I don't really have a theory on that but I don't think we are going to solve much by not feeling our emotions, music is really about self-expression in my view, not some dry academic exercise. I and others think emotions still need to be expressed before they become something else and that may be some of the problem with the world. Just my bizarre take.
 
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