Nextbop: 'Insular and Diminishing...' and '...Covertly Agreeing'

While I'm mentally going over a few other posts for Nextbop and other things on the horizon, I figured I shouldn't let too much time pass without noting the last couple of things I've written for Nextbop.

There was a great deal of controversy in the jazz blogosphere in teh last month and I ultimately addressed things with my post, "Insular and Diminishing or Liberal and Proliferating."
Who the hell do we think we are to equate disagreeing with newcomers with the possible loss of pedigree of a publication or the destruction of the genre (or at least its nomenclature)? Why do we so often get up in arms when a contradictory idea rears its head when our own fold is floundering for its own vitality? Why do so many of us require a wide breadth of knowledge on the history of jazz before truly accepting new musicians and commentators?
I’m not suggesting we give equal credence to the opinions and talents of the glaringly ignorant, but I am saying it’s equally not as encouraging to newcomers of the genre to say they cannot appreciate the genre until they hear the first hundred years of music and commentary.
The subsequent week, I fought not to get into a writer's block and "A Brief Word on Us Covertly Agreeing," a short commentary on a recent piece by Jason Marsalis in the Los Angeles Times, was born.
Truthfully, there isn’t much one can say on Marsalis’ analysis outside of what’s been said already. As I’ve often done in the past, I’m deferring to [Peter Hum’s analysis] on the post. I pretty much agree with Hum in this regard. The calculating, mathematical, cold approach to music does happen here and there in this modern mainstream jazz that’s floating around, but without Marsalis’ naming true culprits, the video and subsequent post sort of continues more ill will in the community, at least if we weren’t all tired of fighting and complaining.
When it’s all been said and done, there will always be people who complain about what they find to be bad music. Marsalis is doing so in a rather open forum and because of that, there has been outcry from various sources. Because we’re dealing with something as subjective as art, this isn’t necessarily out of the question and this is certainly creating the public, controversial discourse that [some] have stated we need. But what’s most important is Marsalis’ comment at the end of his post, “…I’m glad we are having this conversation.”

I have three ideas for my next few Nextbop columns (two of which I actually think are pretty good) that I'm going to work on so I suggest you look there in the next coming weeks.


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