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How many of the people commenting on the death of jazz have ever made a living playing music? Not just jazz, any kind of music? The thoughts of dilettantes and hobbyists have no real significance in any discussion of art. Some people devote their lives to things with no consideration for fame or fortune. More power to them.
Good point! However I bet that there are people studying sax and wishing to have a go at being a professional. If that's the case, it is relevant as there is little/no demand for jazz players. Yet there are opportunities in playing other types of music. For instance I play with DJs. Also in a Django style band (good for dancing which jazz isn't). Also in a backing band for open mike nights at a club. Dance workshops, Rock, Reggae, Blues, etc. Everything I play is improvised but none of it an a "standards" jazz style. The music comes first and making that work. No place for ego soloists. I read music, but in all of these instances nobody comes up with a part written in Eb or Bb or a chart. I'm expected to hear the music and play a part in making it sound good.

I'm sure there are others like me who see the opportunities and take them. If you're a young budding sax player who has primarily studied Classical or Jazz playing how are you going to go at joining a pop band where you are expected to come up with your own parts?

This goes back to what people are learning, which is seldom a good primer for playing an of today's music. Think about this: The clarinet was a very well represented pop instrument up to the 1950s. However it tied itself to big band music and died with it. Look around this site and others that e similar. They are a pretty accurate representation of what sax players play and study. It's 90%+ standards type jazz.

It's ultimately up to each player to find their way. However we are what we play. 10 years or more of playing cut and paste jazz riffs and arpeggios isn't going to help. I'd like to see today's young players at least given a fair chance. Having a broader education in styles of music would certainly help instead of the failed orthodoxy that's all too common.
 

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Before you started playing sax did you listen to Jazz?
I've been wondering this too. Why is it that as soon as you want to learn sax, people assume that you want to learn to play Jazz? I've seen it quite often on forums, someone asks "What's a good book for learning saxophone?" or something similar, and immediately it's assumed that they want to learn jazz, and/or perhaps classical, and the replies reflect that assumption. Those genres are not very popular with the general public, so to a newcomer, it seems a strange assumption to make.

It seems to me like Jazz is not dead, it just lives in saxophone forums now!
It's like a chicken and egg question though, which came first? Was Jazz your favourite genre, and the music you predominately listened to, so you bought a saxophone, or did you buy a saxophone, become exposed to Jazz, and then it became a favourite genre of yours?

Also, I saw a reference to Michael Buble, I've always liked that crooning swing style, and occasionally it pops up in mainstream music, Harry Connick Jr is another that springs to mind, if you label that as Jazz, then I guess Jazz could be called popular. What are people's thoughts on that?
 

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Keilwerth saxes (S/A/T), Selmer clarinets (S/B), Altus Azumi flute
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Before you started playing sax did you listen to Jazz? I suspect that if most of you are honest you'd recognize that you didn't. The appreciation came through being taught/exposed.
That's one hell of an assumption, and I don't understand what one should conclude from that anyway. Most of us started playing saxophone at a fairly young age. I listened to jazz before I played saxophone, mostly because my parents (who were not musicians) did, but I don't know how much real appreciation I had for any music then (i.e., as an 11-year-old).

Appreciation of almost anything (beyond basics like water, shelter, sex) is acquired via learning and exposure. It's certainly true for any art form. There's nothing about your statement above that's specific to Jazz.
 

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That's one hell of an assumption, and I don't understand what one should conclude from that anyway. Most of us started playing saxophone at a fairly young age. I listened to jazz before I played saxophone, mostly because my parents (who were not musicians) did, but I don't know how much real appreciation I had for any music then (i.e., as an 11-year-old).

Appreciation of almost anything (beyond basics like water, shelter, sex) is acquired via learning and exposure. It's certainly true for any art form. There's nothing about your statement above that's specific to Jazz.
Why do you assume that most people learn sax at an early age? That's a strange assumption to make!
I'm guessing that learning saxophone at school is common where you live, that's certainly not the case worldwide.
Your answer is basically, yes, I was conditioned to like jazz at a young age. Which was the assumption you're objecting to in your comment. :/
 

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I actually learned to listen to Jazz after I had been exposed to Rock (mostly Progressive Rock but also other types) and Disco Music ( I was a DJ at a radio station in Italy when I was 18). As a child my encounters with jazz were mostly limited to some New Orleans style and some Jazz used on Italian TV as soundtrack or the occasional TV program. When I was a radio DJ there were colleagues doing a Jazz program and I was listening. I had been introduced to Roland Kirk from the playing of Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson and that got me curious.

I owe a lot to the TV of those years!

Television, back then, was not so much entertainment as it was education (those foolish times! :unsure: :oops::cool:) I am not sure that Jazz is alive and well, but like so many things that I like they are a part of my history. My 34 years old son, has all my records and will have all my CD's.

I have mentioned this before, once he told me that he listened to Lenny Tristano's " line up" and couldn't stand it... . It is not that he wasn't exposed to good music , he just doesn't like everything I liked (he likes other things which we both like).

Intermission Riff ( the piece is by Stan Kenton but this in this is an elaborate version with Sitars!) was certainly one of my favorite, was on a 1968 program TV7


then there was Nunzio Rotondo on flugelhorn on these title music from the Nero Wolfe series


this was a program on Gentlemen's players


this was a 1980 progran on Chet Baker (He spoke Italian, lived in Rome and was in Jail in Rome too)

 

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whatever you do, find a trend that's ongoing, and follow that. don't choose something that speaks to your soul if it's "over" – you'll find yourself paying the price again and again...collect the records, but don't let that be the reason you play.
 
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