What I have found with the majority of the readings for today’s class was a huge step up in accesibility, mostly due to the increased name recognition (Guthrie, Ray Charles, Pete Seeger, Quincy Jones). I think as we go on through history, I will be more and more versed in what I am reading about.
I loved the essay about John Cage. I had not previously known about his work, and the idea that somebody was making electronic music/sampling and foretelling the rise of electronic music is astounding to me. I wonder if our library collection has a good amount of Cage’s work, or where I can find a definitive set. This may be a cool project idea if the collection is lacking.
The jazz essays from history link are a very satisfying length, with some reiterating the same histories regarding Quincy Jones and the Jackson Street scene. I am curious about what Jackson Street looks like today. Is it aware of its jazz backgrounds? What are the current demographics? If it is aware of its jazz history, is it openly proud of it? One interesting thing about Quincy Jones, and something that may just be true about musicians or workers during the depression, is the sheer number of directional and career changes these artists made in their careers. Quincy Jones sacrificed schooling at the Berklee School on the East Coast to travel with a band; the guts of these jazz and music pioneers in Seattle are astounding.
I always wonder how different our music scene would be without racism and segregation. On one hand, African Americans would have been able to play anywhere they wanted, able to earn a greater income and possibly increasing the number of black musicians and thus the number of great musicians. On the other hand, maybe some of the greatest parts of jazz and its development comes from it being born and raised in African American houses and minds, unadulterated. We’ll never know I guess.
The lasting success of Quincy Jones and Ernestine Anderson speaks to how the jazz music never really did die out, there is always a place for it. Even Anderson became disillusioned with the music industry, even trying to change with the times flirting with rock and roll records, until she came back in the 80s and 90s with a huge secon and lasting wind. If jazz has continued to be successful, which demographic has carried it? Presumably not the youth, as I think this would be easily seen. I guess what I’m asking is why aren’t a majority of kids listening to jazz, why aren’t people wanting to become jazz artists more than hip hop artists?
Questions for De Barros:
1) How did/does innovation in jazz work, especially in the jazz age? I understand we weren’t as big as other cities during the roaring twenties, but did this allow us more creative freedom? As far as innovation goes, were there clear individuals with clear differences in chronological recordings that could be heard, or was it more of a broad based, multi-person change that was harder to pin down? The evolution of music even into the modern day is something I am curious about.
2) Are there any new jazz artists that you are especially siked about? Where can I go (label and store and website wise) to learn about and purchase this music? Where are the quintessential jazz venues for today? Differences in “modern” venues and “classical” venues? Are these venues in similar locations as the past Jackson street venues? If not, why did they move?
3) How important was it that the pioneers of NW jazz/music such as Oscar Holden ended up here? What if different musicians that are pioneers for different areas (New Orleans, New York) were transported here back in time? Is jazz a genre that would not have much difference based on geography, or would this completely change the direction? Are there areas of jazz being probed today or in relative modernity that would be laughed out of a room in the 1920s? Or is the jazz genre a pretty closed of category without much wiggle room or boundary pushing?