NPR Music: Kurt Ellenberger: ‘It Can’t Be Done’: The Difficulty Of Growing A Jazz Audience
So in this articles Ellenberger asks the question – “How can we convince people to embrace music that is no longer part of the popular culture?”
and I ask the question is that true? is jazz not a part of the popular culture?
can the same thing be said about folk? certainly within their niches both are still vibrant, but neither have the mass appeal that they once did, can it be restored? or is it like Ellenberger says make the music you love and if you make money it’s a bonus! But while Ellenberger says you may not make a living playing jazz he does say….
.we live in a time of remarkable creative growth for music in general, and for jazz in particular. With the ability to record and distribute music independently and inexpensively, and the resultant unlimited access that this provides, we’ve seen an explosion in musical activity in all genres, jazz included. Visit CDBaby (for example) and search for jazz, and you’ll find a staggering number of accomplished jazz artists, mostly unknown, making music of all kinds under the “jazz” umbrella (including genre descriptions that defy description like “Industrial Fake Jazz”). And look at the tremendous quality and quantity of European jazz being produced, with its unabashed blending of styles which has led to many heated discussions on how jazz is defined at this juncture in the 21C. There are so many amazing musicians creating such a fantastic smorgasbord of new jazz, that one can hardly even keep up with a small percentage of it.
Anyway today was a jazz exploring day, checking out the Roots Music Jazz Chart, I checked out number 33 Michael Benedict & Bopitude and the album Five and One some pretty good stuff that I will have to go back and listen to again, because while I was exploring Benedict’s music I saw he has another group called Michael Benedict Jazz Vibes. I quickly put the album The New Beat on the iPod and I love it! After Benedict I checked out the artist at number 31 Tony Monaco I didn’t find his album Celebration, but I did find several others. Monaco is a jazz organist memtored by the great Jimmy Smith – good enough for me. Monaco’s 2004 album Fiery Blues went on the iPod and like Benedict’s album I love it! Monaco has that Jimmy Smith sound, great stuff! So I agree with Ellenberger tha the genre seems vibrant now if more people could get into it that would be great, or would it they’d probably just spoil it!
Here’s Monaco performing Jimmy Smith’s : “Midnight Special”