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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Are there any? And if so, where and what are they?

I've heard a lot of people say jazz is dead or that it's not dead it just smells funny (oh what a thigh slapper that one is) and many comments along those lines. But is jazz evolving past the hero worship of bygone giants?
 

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But is jazz evolving past the hero worship of bygone giants?
Historically, jazz depended upon the popular genre for its material. Perhaps when the composers of the popular genre write songs that interest jazz musicians, what you refer to as hero worship will fade even more quickly than at its present rate. Some argue that many of the newer players are just rehashing what the giants played. The argument has merit.

There will always be the presence of the giants of jazz overshadowing and influencing each generation of young lions. It's inevitable, and probably necessary to a large extent so that the basic vocabulary of jazz [operant word: basic] and tradition remain intact.
 

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I think it is, by pushing the borders of what is considered Jazz. One example of this is a Franco-Lebanese trumpeter named Ibrahim Maalouf. He plays a four valved trumpet to be able to play quarter-tones found in Middle Eastern music. He then incorporates these into a combination of Jazz, rock and electro.

Here is an example of his playing:
 

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I think it is, by pushing the borders of what is considered Jazz. One example of this is a Franco-Lebanese trumpeter named Ibrahim Maalouf. He plays a four valved trumpet to be able to play quarter-tones found in Middle Eastern music. He then incorporates these into a combination of Jazz, rock and electro.

Here is an example of his playing:
Let me take you on a journey into the past with Don Ellis who played a four valved trumpet to be able to play quarter tones found in Middle Eastern music. He then incorporated these into a combination of Jazz, rock and electro...

And this was 40+ years ago... :bluewink:

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It hasn't stopped evolving. The general audience just doesn't care anymore.
I think this may be true, but I need instances of where it's evolving. I'm having a friendly argument with a drummer who says jazz is dead and is going so far as to not wanting to play it anymore because quote "I don't want to feed off its carcass any longer"

It was funny at the time.
 

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It hasn't stopped evolving. The general audience just doesn't care anymore.
I think it would be more accurate to say that the "general audience" evolves faster and more easily than any one form of music does. It also goes back to something Grumps said about making money from it. The average age of the people who spend the most money buying music has always been relatively young...and the listening preferences of young audiences change faster than their shoe sizes. By the time their feet stop growing they're no longer the ones driving the commercial music market. The music they leave behind doesn't go away, but it's appreciated by a more mature audience...and that audience spends the majority of their money buying shoes for their kids who outgrow them every 4-6 months.

I always knew Disco wouldn't last very long, but I've been surprised by the relative longevity of Rap and Hip Hop. Jazz will never die. It will continue to evolve...but that evolution will be driven by the musicians who are dedicated to it as their chosen form of expression (regardless of how much bread it puts on the table)...more so than by the audience or by the commercial music industry.
 

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"I don't want to feed off its carcass any longer"
It is funny!

You need to tell your drummer friend if he's unsatisfied with how people play jazz nowadays he's the perfect candidate to keep it alive.

Edit : I don't understand the argument about making money.You would want to become a musician to make money?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It is funny!

You need to tell your drummer friend if he's unsatisfied with how people play jazz nowadays he's the perfect candidate to keep it alive.

Edit : I don't understand the argument about making money.You would want to become a musician to make money?
Hah, yeah true. But seeing as it's how the general audience who don't care anymore, the chances could be slim.

..... I never said anything about money, or is that part of your comment meant for someone else?
 

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Jazz has no longer the same role ( both as a social phenomenon or form of art) that it had from the '20 to the '70. Its role as music of a (young) generation has been completely taken over by other genres and it has become an intellectualised form of art which lives and thrives in the conservatories on the western world but has serious problems to survive in clubs where its actual place would be if it were a popular form of art.

Let's face it , unless we call jazz things that are not jazz at all........ jazz hasn't quite died , yet, but it definitely smells funny! We the generation between 40 and 80 keep it sort of alive but the young folks ( with the exception of a minority who perhaps studies music in conservatories) don't even know what it is.......there are always exceptions, but one has to ask oneself how representative are the exceptions.

These days one of the most popular gigs at " Jazz " festivals around the world (e.g. North sea 2011) is...............Prince! With all due respect for this artist, what he plays ain't jazz!

There are of course artists who practice their art and are still pushing out the boat but , unless I am missing something , the social impact of their art is very minimal and involving a very limited and ageing part of the population.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I agree with you both Magic Pig & Milandro

Let's do what Sid Vicous did in the finale of "I did it my way" at next gig.
 

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I think it is, by pushing the borders of what is considered Jazz. One example of this is a Franco-Lebanese trumpeter named Ibrahim Maalouf. He plays a four valved trumpet to be able to play quarter-tones found in Middle Eastern music. He then incorporates these into a combination of Jazz, rock and electro.

Here is an example of his playing:
Very interesting player. There's an alto player by the name of Hayden Chisholm who uses 1/4 tones in good effect.
 

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I really doubt if using quarter tones is evolving. It's just using something outside of jazz to make it more interesting. To quote the dutch poet jules deelder(which is also a huge jazz fan):"There is as much freedom within the rules as there is outside the rules."(He was talking about jazz so it's not an analogy). Progress for progress' sake is just pointless imho. i'm 100% sure that you can take various things from jazz history(from very old to new) and create something that is fresh and new
 

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yes, but the creation of anything is a supply towards filling a demand and the demand of MOST (not saying all! There is a small but lively progressive scene also within jazz ) jazz aficionados in not towards progress but towards holding on to the status quo. If and when a new generation will identify itself in this music there would be evolution, until then Jazz will, mostly, go round in circles.
 

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Jazz is no more dead than classical. It doesn't enjoy the same market size as it used to, but its' market is still very viable and isn't going anywhere.
 

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It is funny!

You need to tell your drummer friend if he's unsatisfied with how people play jazz nowadays he's the perfect candidate to keep it alive.

Edit : I don't understand the argument about making money.You would want to become a musician to make money?
I'd love to weigh in but I'm still checking in from a cell phone on the road and the main topic requires more than I care to type on it. As for the quote above, many of us who do pay bills with musical income actually set out to do so when we were very young and naive. For me- I thought it was as simple as buying an old guitar and sharing my music with a world that would instantly recognize my genius and reward me with fame and riches. I guess at 19, I was more than a bit naive. By the time I realized this was a rather optimistic goal, I was already too intrenched in it to quit. As a result I have modified the goal many times over the years. Fame is no longer a factor - and my definition of riches has changed quite a bit too. :)

As for the OP - there are two camps; One that views Jazz as a genre like Dixieland - forever frozen in time, and another that paints it with a much broader brush, including Smooth Jazz, Electronic Jazz, elements of World music, and a mess of other sub-genres in their overall definition of Jazz.

More to come on this topic...

As popular a debate as it is - maybe we should "sticky" an "Is jazz dead?" thread.... ;)
 

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Well, yes, it is as alive as classical music is,that is performance-wise (since there is no lack of both genres being performed) but classical music is not evolving composition wise .

Contemporary music is evolving though (some people call it contemporary classical music which, in my view, is a logical contradiction, something is " classical" because it has surpassed contemporaneity and has entered a realm which sets it into a tradition.

So, in this sense yes, there is a Classical music and aClassical Jazz music both alive and well, thanks to a large but limited number of people who are followers of both.

The question was, I think, if contemporary jazz is evolving as in going to other places where it has been until yesteryear, so as opposed to classical jazz.

There is certainly a part of contemporary music with Jazz roots ( a music form based on improvisation over a theme extracted and based on original composition or popular music) which is progressing and evolving but its social significance and function are very marginal indeed and are no way comparable to was jazz has been as a social phenomenon.
 

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As for the OP - there are two camps; One that views Jazz as a genre like Dixieland - forever frozen in time, and another that paints it with a much broader brush, including Smooth Jazz, Electronic Jazz, elements of World music, and a mess of other sub-genres in their overall definition of Jazz.
This is the problem.
Before you can ask the question "is Jazz dead or dying ?", you have to define
what Jazz is.

As Fader suggests, Jazz has split into many sub-genres.
Jazz will always be around. It is an art form that allows musicians to experiment.
Any musician that gets deeply involved in music and isn't making 'entertainment'
their primary goal, will eventually want to compose and or experiment.
Jazz is the art of instantanous composition and creativity. That is it's attraction.

Jazz is always evolving. That is the nature of the beast.
However, it still allows us to appreciate what previous masters have done
and attempt to duplicate their efforts today if that is what we so wish to do.

Jazz is alive and well but can often be incognito, embedded in other genres.

There are so many examples of Jazz evolving in the present day, I wouldn't know
where to begin. And I must admit, not all of these do I enjoy. Perhaps one day
my tastes will change.

Have a listen here and pick a channel such as 'Cutting Edge' or 'Best Jazz of 2010',
to get an idea of some of the current output.

http://www.accujazz.com/
 

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anyway, as far as the question " where is jazz going to", I think that we have to see where the people who are 20 today think that jazz will go during their lifetime.

In my view we will see it becoming more and more like a form of classical music with a group of followers which will intellectualise and formalise (even more) Jazz into a canon more or less frozen in time with the resistance and persistence of a small fringe of contemporary jazz based composers and musician, all of which would be completely diverted from Jazz being a part in any form or shape of the popular culture.
 
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