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Does Anyone Actually Listen To Jazz Anymore?


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I know this forum is a little more particular than most, and I would assume there are avid Jazz fans on here. But generally speaking I feel like once 1970 hit, Jazz kind of died out being most closely replaced by funk in the popular realm and then later Miles released albums like Bitches Brew and On The Corner, which I can see why the mainstream wouldn't like it at all.

 

But I feel like today if you see Jazz being played, its by wanna-be sophisticate douche bags who thing they're of a higher cognitive existence than the rest of humanity, or as Andre Previn once said- "hotel bands in funny hats". There are some of the original people left from those days, like Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter who still can command a bit of an audience, more so in Europe, but still. I mean unless you're going to listen to somebody singing popular "jazz standards" which you can kind of just have on, I feel like for the most part to appreciate it you have to actually sit and listen to the playing, like Brubeck, Miles, Coltrane, Bird, etc. 

So I often wonder if all of that music was just "a la mode" at the time and people listened to it but didn't truly appreciate or like it, or what. I mean I feel like Jazz has more stereotypes than any other music genre and I just feel like Jazz in any form is extremely niche now.

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You shoehorn your extremely narrow definition of jazz into a puzzling conclusion. Basically, irish folk music and negro work songs from the cotton fields of the Old South (having their roots in Africa, of course) coalesced into modern popular forms, gospel, jazz and swing first, beat and rock 'n' roll later, right up to glam rock and new wave.

 

Unfortunately in german, but here you get an idea of what jazz actually is (and influenced):

 

 

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9 minutes ago, Bespin said:

It's not my fault if Miles Davis seems "dated" compared to Django Reinhardt. That's life!

 Yeah a dude playing like that with two fingers is a f*cking legend in his own right.

7 minutes ago, publicist said:

You shoehorn your extremely narrow definition of jazz into a puzzling conclusion. Basically, irish folk music and negro work songs from the cotton fields of the Old South (having their roots in Africa, of course) coalesced into modern popular forms, gospel, jazz and swing first, beat and rock 'n' roll later, right up to glam rock and new wave.

 

Unfortunately in german, but here you get an idea of what jazz actually is (and influenced):

 

 

 

Well, I didn't shoehorn anything. If you ask people what they think jazz is they're going to mostly say Sinatra and Ellington, maybe Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock because they're famous. I think Jazz is primarily considered to be the end of swing through beebop and cool jazz. Blues for example has always been considered a part. Obviously there is a lineage but if I said does anybody still listen to glam rock I'm not expecting them to mention Charlie Parker, even though the lineage exists.

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I just can't get enough of this boxset, for me this is the summum of Jazz from the 30s and 40s.

 

https://www.discogs.com/master/1669697-Django-Reinhardt-The-Classic-Early-Recordings-In-Chronological-Order

Primary

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1 minute ago, Bespin said:

I just can't get enough of this boxset, for me this is the summum of Jazz from the 30s and 40s.

 

https://www.discogs.com/master/1669697-Django-Reinhardt-The-Classic-Early-Recordings-In-Chronological-Order

Primary

 

 

 

Have it and love it!

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6 minutes ago, WilliamsStarShip2282 said:

Well, I didn't shoehorn anything. If you ask people what they think jazz is they're going to mostly say Sinatra and Ellington, maybe Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock because they're famous. I think Jazz is primarily considered to be the end of swing through beebop and cool jazz. Blues for example has always been considered a part. Obviously there is a lineage but if I said does anybody still listen to glam rock I'm not expecting them to mention Charlie Parker, even though the lineage exists.

 

I mean, you use the term 'jazz' and then go off on a tangent into what people think of it according to...you asking three guys? I wouldn't expect a sound academic theorem on a messageboard, but the way you mix all these musical and sociological things into one question like this kind of boggles the mind. 

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2 minutes ago, Naïve Old Fart said:

Of course people still listen to jazz.

JWfan has an entire thread dedicated to it.

 

Of course, but I meant more mainstream. I guess I could say that about any genre though. I feel like the average person doesn't really "listen" to things anymore and just have some sort of aural experience with whatever is fed to them by spotify and youtube.

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For me there is two important categories of jazz: the one without electricity (a part from the recording gear) and the one with electricity.

 

(That's just to pump publicist) :lol:

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Fuck Spotify, and fuck YouTube.

At best, I use YouTube as a jumping off point.

If I want to listen to some jazz, I'll buy the CD, and sit down and listen to it.

Please define "mainstream" jazz.

Miles? Ella? Quincy? Something a bit more modern? Metheny? Corea? Zawinul? Pastorius? Carr? Bellamy? Marsalis? Shorter? Smooth jazz? Jazz rock? Washington Jr.? Sanborn?

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Just now, Bespin said:

For me there is two important categories of jazz: the one without electricity (a part from the recording gear) and the one with electricity.

 

(That's just to pump Publicist) :lol:

 

Actually I've heard that a lot! Isn't that why a lot of fans got upset with Miles Davis? Although it wasn't really the plugging in that was probably the problem, but anyway. Although I guess no fans will ever be as pissed as the ones who got mad when Bob Dylan "plugged in".

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Well Reinhardt got his plugged years too.

 

For a little history of jazz (in music) and more serious than mine (but not too), Charles Aznavour wrote a song in 2000 called "Le jazz est revenu" (Jazz is back).

 

image.png

 

CD / CHARLES AZNAVOUR - JAZZNAVOUR / ALBUM 14 TITRES | eBay

 

English lyrics here : https://www.musixmatch.com/lyrics/Charles-Aznavour/Le-jazz-est-revenu/translation/english

 

image.png

 

😎

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2 minutes ago, Naïve Old Fart said:

Fuck Spotify, and fuck YouTube.

At best, I use YouTube as a jumping off point.

I I want to listen to some jazz, I'll buy the CD, and sit down and listen to it.

Please define "mainstream" jazz.

Miles? Ella? Quincy? Something a bit more modern? Metheny? Corea? Zawinul? Pastorius? Carr? Bellamy? Marsalis? Shorter? Smooth jazz? Jazz rock? Washington Jr.? Sanborn?

 

I completely agree with you, although I like youtube to watch live stuff. So I guess a jumping off point too.

Well that is hard to say I guess maybe this should have been prefaced with what people consider "jazz" to actually be. Like I said, I feel like its just turned into a giant stereotype. Like my girlfriend when I first met her said she liked jazz, and I said oh nice which artists and she said Kenny G, which of course induced wildly violent vomiting on my side.

 

I feel like avid fans will have the same reaction as you, but sometimes if its based on age too, like if I ask a standard 80's kid what kind of rock they like their selection will be all 80's.

I feel like the stuff Herbie Hancock plays in a standard set is what i guess the average person might consider jazz. Its kind of all over the place with flash stuff like beebop, but its a little funky and still has a tune you can remember.

 

2 minutes ago, Bespin said:

Well Reinhardt got his plugged years too.

 

For a little history of jazz (in music) and more serious than mine (but not too), Charles Aznavour wrote a song in 2000 called "Le jazz est revenu" (Jazz is back).

 

CD / CHARLES AZNAVOUR - JAZZNAVOUR / ALBUM 14 TITRES | eBay

 

English lyrics here : https://www.musixmatch.com/lyrics/Charles-Aznavour/Le-jazz-est-revenu/translation/english

 

Actually, this is kind of what I had more in mind when you ask a standard person what Jazz sounds like.

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BTW I recommend this 1998 Jazznavour album.

 

It may unfortunately have the voice of Aznavour :lol:, but it have the magic of many jazz legends like Michel Petrucciani, Richard Galliano, Jacky Terrasson, Eddy Louis and Pierre Dreve.

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3 minutes ago, Bespin said:

BTW I recommend this 1998 Jazznavour album.

 

It may unfortunately have the voice of Aznavour :lol:, but it have the magic of many jazz legends like Michel Petrucciani, Richard Galliano, Jacky terrasson, Eddy Louis and Pierre Dreve.

 

I will have a listen! All the French jazz icons I see, although you are from Quebec. I only got to know their music when I was a student there but Petrucciani was certainly a legendary icon. That also reminds me of an album I have that is from a live show with Wynton Marsalis and Richard Galliano called "From Billy Holiday to Edith Piaf". It sounds kind of cheesy in spots but its a nice listen.

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3 hours ago, AC1 said:

 Stranger Things did wonders for Kate Bush by using a song of her (Running Up That Hill) in one of the episodes so maybe next time they should play some Jazz ...  

I can just see everyone boogieing along, to Watermelon Man :lol:

 

Kenny G. is not jazz! At best, it's after dinner wallpaper. I agree with Pat Metheny.

 

 

4 hours ago, WilliamsStarShip2282 said:

Actually, this is kind of what I had more in mind when you ask a standard person what Jazz sounds like.

As somebody once said: "If you have to ask what jazz is, you'll never know".

 

 

Ps, I don't ever - ever! - want to see, or read about, Kenny G., on this thread, again. Ever!

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TBH most of the jazzy music I listen to is on soundtracks.

All these guys can swing!

Schifrin

Grusin

Nelson

Ellington

Isham

JW

Barry

Goldsmith

Q

Previn

 

 

On 11/06/2022 at 7:14 AM, AC1 said:

 Stranger Things did wonders for Kate Bush by using a song of her (Running Up That Hill) in one of the episodes so maybe next time they should play some Jazz ...  

Wow!

I was wondering why

she's been.mentioned lately!😍

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7 hours ago, WilliamsStarShip2282 said:

I know this forum is a little more particular than most, and I would assume there are avid Jazz fans on here. But generally speaking I feel like once 1970 hit, Jazz kind of died out being most closely replaced by funk in the popular realm and then later Miles released albums like Bitches Brew and On The Corner, which I can see why the mainstream wouldn't like it at all.

 

But I feel like today if you see Jazz being played, its by wanna-be sophisticate douche bags who thing they're of a higher cognitive existence than the rest of humanity, or as Andre Previn once said- "hotel bands in funny hats". There are some of the original people left from those days, like Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter who still can command a bit of an audience, more so in Europe, but still. I mean unless you're going to listen to somebody singing popular "jazz standards" which you can kind of just have on, I feel like for the most part to appreciate it you have to actually sit and listen to the playing, like Brubeck, Miles, Coltrane, Bird, etc. 

So I often wonder if all of that music was just "a la mode" at the time and people listened to it but didn't truly appreciate or like it, or what. I mean I feel like Jazz has more stereotypes than any other music genre and I just feel like Jazz in any form is extremely niche now.

Jazz lost its mass audience in the Fifties when it began to consciously cater to a " sophisticated" audience.

It fetishized technique and alienated audiences who didn't care how fast the saxophonist could play.

It stagnated into a form of music that was listened to, not danced to.

It killed itself

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On my summer listening list:

  • Louis Armstrong, “The Complete RCA Victor Recordings” (RCA, 2001; tracks recorded 1932-33 and 1946-47).
  • Fletcher Henderson, “Tidal Wave” (Verve, 1994; tracks recorded 1931-1934).
  • Jelly Roll Morton, “Jelly Roll Morton: 1926-1930” (JSP, 2000).
  • Coleman Hawkins, “The Bebop Years” (Proper, 2001; tracks recorded 1939-49).
  • Billie Holiday, “Lady Day: The Master Takes and Singles” (Sony, 2007; tracks recorded 1933-44).
  • Teddy Wilson, “The Noble Art of Teddy Wilson” (ASV Living Era, 2002; tracks recorded 1933-46).
  • Lester Young, “The Lester Young/Count Basie Sessions 1936-40” (Mosaic, 2008; available direct through Mosaic).
  • Lester Young, “Kansas City Swing” (Definitive, 2004; tracks recorded 1938-44).
  • Count Basie, “The Complete Decca Recordings” (Verve, 1992; tracks recorded 1937-39).
  • Benny Goodman, “At Carnegie Hall—1938—Complete” (Columbia, 1999).
  • John Kirby Sextet, “Night Whispers: 1938-46” (Jazz Legends, 2005).
  • Charlie Christian, “The Genius of the Electric Guitar” (Definitive, 2005; tracks recorded 1939-41).
  • Duke Ellington, “Never No Lament: The Blanton-Webster Band” (RCA, 2003; tracks recorded 1940-42).
  • James P. Johnson, “The Original James P. Johnson: 1942-1945 Piano Solos” (Smithsonian Folkways, 1996).
  • The Nat King Cole Trio, “The Best of the Nat King Cole Trio: The Vocal Classics, Vol. 1, 1942-1946” (Blue Note, 1995).
  • Charlie Parker, “The Complete Savoy and Dial Sessions” (Uptown Jazz, 2005; tracks recorded 1944-48).
  • Charlie Parker, “Best of the Complete Live Performances on Savoy” (Savoy, 2002; tracks recorded 1948-49).
  • Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, “Town Hall, New York City, June 22, 1945” (Uptown Jazz, 2005).
  • Dizzy Gillespie, “The Complete RCA Victor Recordings, 1947-49” (RCA, 1995).
  • Thelonious Monk, “Genius of Modern Music, Vol. 1” (Blue Note, 2001; tracks recorded 1947).
  • Miles Davis, “The Complete Birth of the Cool” (Blue Note, 1998; tracks recorded 1948-50).
  • Bud Powell, “The Amazing Bud Powell, Vol. 1” (Blue Note, 2001; tracks recorded 1949-1951), Vol. 2 (Blue Note, 2001; tracks recorded 1953).
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I think there are a handful of evergreen hits that everybody loves, your Take Fives. A well-produced easy listening album of standards can still get ears, like Tony Bennett or a Christmas release or something. I think it's fair to say "serious" jazz isn't especially popular in 2022. 


Obviously people still listen to jazz, learn to play jazz, attend live jazz concerts and festivals. In the post-monocultural society we live in and speaking as a moderately jazz-appreciating US citizen, I think it's still extremely easy to get into, enjoy, participate in jazz however you want. Easier than ever. The music's available and there are a ton of musicians presently committed to the art.

 

I mean, I think jazz fans have an easier time finding their tribe than movie soundtrack fans! And yet here we are. 

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Jazz is my most listened to genre, even moreso than film scores/classical.  If you ever glance at the main Jazz thread it's obvious that I mostly listen to "classic" jazz from the 20s-50s, I'm left pretty cold once things get too artsy fartsy (that said, there's tons of great groovy jazz in the 60s).  For me, jazz has to be rooted in the blues and the rhythm of black American music from the early 20th century or I'm not interested in it.  All that Swedish or whatever ECM stuff just isn't for me.

 

However, I do listen to plenty of contemporary jazz as well.  I listen to all kinds, but for anyone curious I'd wanna spotlight a great scene in NYC of composers/conductors still pushing the big band form forward.  Here are a few albums from the last few years that I absolutely adore:

 

Alan Ferber teaches at NYU these days, he put out some great albums in the 2000s as a nonet before graduating up to full big band. Jigsaw, his most recent album from 2017 is legit one of my favorite albums of any genre of the past 10 years.

 

Here's two albums by young east Asian women who came to America to study in conservatories like Berklee and became jazz composers in college. They both bring a classical sensibility to the form in an interesting way.

 

Jihye Lee

 

Miho Hazama I posted about a couple of years ago here because she included a really cool interesting arrangement of Williams' Olympic theme.  Her own compositions are also great!

 

Jared Schonig is an amazing drummer and composer.  His Two Takes big band album was my favorite album of 2021.  The groove is hot!

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7 hours ago, Naïve Old Fart said:

I can just see everyone boogieing along, to Watermelon Man :lol:

 

Kenny G. is not jazz! At best, it's after dinner wallpaper. I agree with Pat Metheny.

 

 

As somebody once said: "If you have to ask what jazz is, you'll never know".

 

 

Ps, I don't ever - ever! - want to see, or read about, Kenny G., on this thread, again. Ever!

 

Well with Herbie it depends if he plugged or not, i meant more unplugged but I agree the head hunter album is so incredibly tedious for me.

And you know what I was really surprised, I was watching the new season of Stranger Things yesterday and out of nowhere I hear this violin concerto in the back and I'm just shocked to hear orchestral music, and then after a minute I realize, thats Korngold!

 

4 hours ago, bruce marshall said:

Jazz lost its mass audience in the Fifties when it began to consciously cater to a " sophisticated" audience.

It fetishized technique and alienated audiences who didn't care how fast the saxophonist could play.

It stagnated into a form of music that was listened to, not danced to.

It killed itself

 

Yeah makes sense, I feel like with beebop it started to go down hill.

So then here is a question that people seem to also fight about. What genre is Steely Dan (like Pretzel Logic and after). People say its pretty much just rock, others say like if you really listen to the Aja album, it sounds much more jazz styled.

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2 hours ago, Kasey Kockroach said:

Now you must acquire a taste for freeform jazz!

Such as?

I really like IAN CARR'S NEUCEUS.

 

6 hours ago, WilliamsStarShip2282 said:

What genre is Steely Dan (like Pretzel Logic and after). People say its pretty much just rock, others say like if you really listen to the Aja album, it sounds much more jazz styled.

The Dan is definitely pop, but with very strong jazz idioms.

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22 hours ago, Andy said:

Sure, I listen to jazz. 
F79B345B-70DC-4AE1-A249-DFA546B2E931.jpeg

@Andy, I owe you thanks for introducing me to Empire Jazz, a hitherto-unknown-to-me gem of an album. I've been playing this basically nonstop on YT since last night, when I first read your post. Why this isn't on CD yet (so I can add it to my JW collection) is a mystery.

 

p.s. Huge respect to Ron Carter, who managed to get probably the greatest SW-themed album art that isn't part of SW canon on the front of his album.

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6 hours ago, Sweeping Strings said:


Yep. When it comes to 'being made up on the spot' performance, I'll stick to improv comedy. 

 

Even then you kinda have to know what you're getting into seeing it live lol. It goes down easier watching edited highlights like a Christopher Guest movie or Whose Line. 

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I like composed jazz with improvisation.

Which is what the best movie jazz is.

Vince Guaraldi's PEANUTS scores are a great example which is probably why the are so popular..

Unfortunately, most jazz combos are still stuck in that tired formula of one verse and then everybody takes a solo- with the inevitable audience applause 😒

13 hours ago, Kasey Kockroach said:

Now you must acquire a taste for freeform jazz!

Written on the Gates of Hell:

Featuring free jazz music

 

😜

 

 

 

My favorite artist is Herbie Mann.

I just love jazz flute#

Mann might have been the first jazz artist to explore world music .

Check out his Afro- Cuban recordings.

He was very progressive.

" Memphis Underground" is incredible...rock, jazz, soul, funk.

That's modern jazz done right!

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47 minutes ago, bruce marshall said:

Unfortunately, most jazz combos are still stuck in that tired formula of one verse and then everybody takes a solo- with the inevitable audience applause

 

I don't think the formula is tired, certainly not with great solos and backgrounds, but for live recordings I also don't like the applause after each solo.

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9 hours ago, Jurassic Shark said:

Ella, Billie, Louis, Glenn, Fats Waller, The Duke, The Count, Benny, Django, they're all still relevant.

Add Miles, Bird, Coltrane, Hancock, Quincy, Sarah, Chick, Joe, Benny, Frank, Mingus, and Evans, to this list.

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On 12/06/2022 at 1:58 AM, WilliamsStarShip2282 said:

 

So then here is a question that people seem to also fight about. What genre is Steely Dan (like Pretzel Logic and after). People say its pretty much just rock, others say like if you really listen to the Aja album, it sounds much more jazz styled.

 

Wikipedia lists Aja under Jazz Rock / Yacht Rock / Pop Rock / Jazz.

 

With other words, an album not easy to catogorize. 

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