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Discussion Starter #1
Every time I go out to hear the best players in town, there's no one there but other jazz players. It seems like jazz is largely a cult of academia now, no longer fit for public consumption. The oppressive bopper **** I hear people playing gets cheers and high fives from the all-player audience, but is inaccessible to the average listener, as evidenced by the fact that they stay away in droves. Kids study jazz thinking they are going to make a living playing jazz, then end up teaching other up-and-coming kids with the same delusions. It's a pyramid scheme.

This is one of the reasons I switched to trad jazz as my area of focus. I went back to the source, a genre of jazz still appreciated by almost anyone who hears it, and you don't need a music degree to appreciate it. It's wholly visceral, not cerebral. It requires no active listening, it reaches out and grabs people by the heart and that's how music should be, in my humble opinion.
 

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Well, all I can say is that seems like a pretty negative mentality. And it only invoked negative things in me that I want to say.

Instead I'll just say good for you. Find what you like. Stick to it. Be happy. And maybe try to not rip on anyone while you do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I know where you're coming from. Any thoughts on good 'trad' sax players to listen to?
Well, if you're talking players that are still alive and working, Ewan Bleach is one of my favorites, and Craig Flory. Evan Arntzen is a fantastic trad player in NYC. Jacob Zimmerman is a working trad player in Seattle who is very good, and there's Joseph Abbot in Vancouver, BC. All these guys are more known as clarinet players, but their saxophone work is just as good.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, all I can say is that seems like a pretty negative mentality. And it only invoked negative things in me that I want to say.

Instead I'll just say good for you. Find what you like. Stick to it. Be happy. And maybe try to not rip on anyone while you do it.
If I'm wrong, I genuinely want to know why. So if you have some counterargument that might persuade me to think differently, don't worry about hurting me feelings.
 

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Then again: you kind of contradict yourself, don't you? Or else you answer your own question. 'Jazz is dead, change my mind.' Then - I don't like what the college kids are playing, so I'm going more traditional. Seems to me like you've decided to keep playing jazz, so by definition it can't be dead, because you, at least, are still playing it!

;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Then again: you kind of contradict yourself, don't you? Or else you answer your own question. 'Jazz is dead, change my mind.' Then - I don't like what the college kids are playing, so I'm going more traditional. Seems to me like you've decided to keep playing jazz, so by definition it can't be dead, because you, at least, are still playing it!

;-)
I was referring to the mainstream definition of jazz. I am playing trad jazz, a genre most players won't touch and in fact look down their noses at, I think because it doesn't lend itself to the ego-driven competition that more boppy kind of styles do.
 

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I have so much to say; some that would agree, some that would disagree with what you're saying. Ironically, the 'trad jazz' that requires no active listening, likely isn't doing anything to push forward, just like a lot of the bop-****, or whatever you called it. Sometimes the shovel crushes some bugs/slices some worms when breaking ground.

I'm curious; what do you consider bop-****? What are your thoughts on 'experimental' music, etc?

For the record, I go through periods where I hate "jazz", which is ironic given my background in my other life (read: composer/guitarist). There are times where I'll hear it and think, "ugh, there they go with their cutesy little turns and bouncing around on the Jungle Gym (changes/form)". I'm sure this could lead to an explosion of responses, but "it's complicated".
 

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I was referring to the mainstream definition of jazz. I am playing trad jazz, a genre most players won't touch and in fact look down their noses at, I think because it doesn't lend itself to the ego-driven competition that more boppy kind of styles do.
Are you sure it's ego-driven? That's a pretty wide net you're casting.
 

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Every time I go out to hear the best players in town, there's no one there but other jazz players. It seems like jazz is largely a cult of academia now, no longer fit for public consumption. The oppressive bopper **** I hear people playing gets cheers and high fives from the all-player audience, but is inaccessible to the average listener, as evidenced by the fact that they stay away in droves. Kids study jazz thinking they are going to make a living playing jazz, then end up teaching other up-and-coming kids with the same delusions. It's a pyramid scheme.

This is one of the reasons I switched to trad jazz as my area of focus. I went back to the source, a genre of jazz still appreciated by almost anyone who hears it, and you don't need a music degree to appreciate it. It's wholly visceral, not cerebral. It requires no active listening, it reaches out and grabs people by the heart and that's how music should be, in my humble opinion.
First, we'd need to define what we mean by "jazz," and then we'd need to define what we mean by "dead."
 

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/deleted/

i agree with above posts, basically - you like what you like; no need to rip on others. There's loads of great bebop and post bop musicians, obviously.

But like I said, I also know where you're coming from.
 

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Come out to NYC and I'll show you crowds of non-musicians loving the current jazz scene!
No doubt, but that is not exactly what goes on in most parts of the world.

I think there are bound to be a few isolated spots and niches, but I get the premise of this thread when looking at the wide picture of music in the world. Contemporary jazz seems to have become very academicised.

I miss both the danceability and rawer emotion of the trad/swing/R&B genre and the cutting edge danger and creativity of the free stuff that was way more prevalent in the 60s/70s.
 

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Every time I go out to hear the best players in town, there's no one there but other jazz players. It seems like jazz is largely a cult of academia now, no longer fit for public consumption. The oppressive bopper **** I hear people playing gets cheers and high fives from the all-player audience, but is inaccessible to the average listener, as evidenced by the fact that they stay away in droves. Kids study jazz thinking they are going to make a living playing jazz, then end up teaching other up-and-coming kids with the same delusions. It's a pyramid scheme.

This is one of the reasons I switched to trad jazz as my area of focus. I went back to the source, a genre of jazz still appreciated by almost anyone who hears it, and you don't need a music degree to appreciate it. It's wholly visceral, not cerebral. It requires no active listening, it reaches out and grabs people by the heart and that's how music should be, in my humble opinion.
I don't know, I look at videos of Snarky Puppy and Bob Reynolds concerts and there seems to be a hell of a lot of people there digging the music. By the way, what are you calling "Trad Jazz"? Dixieland?
 

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Jazz evolved. I like very much some jazz. I don't listen to old style jazz – playing over changes on standards that are 75 years old. I play in a regular jam that's mostly blues and rock but the house band and some of the jammers like to play some more recent (but still old) jazz tunes – Herbie Hancock, Crusaders, Joe Henderson, Cannonball, Wayne Shorter, Horace Silver, Oliver Nelson, and funky instrumentals like the Chicken and Cissy Strut, etc. The audience dances, applauds solos, and has a good time. But when it gets very much into running fast scales and loses the theme, it loses the audience. This audience and the players are older. I don't think younger people listen to or care about old school jazz. But there is jazz they listen to, it just isn't called jazz. Or they don't think of it that way. And it doesn't sound like playing over the changes of 75-year-old standards. Google something like jazz in 2018.

I feel I've written posts similar to this one maybe a dozen times, always in response to threads about jazz being dead, on this forum and others I'm on. Please enter the 21st century. Open your mind and your ears. There's a ton of music out there. There is a lot of jazz.
 

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I don’t think that instrumental music was ever as popular as music based on vocals. Even in the big band era, the vocalists were the main attraction. However, the addition of the Jazz elements to Pop, Rock, Country, Bluegrass etc. seem to be strong to this day.
 
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