Oakland, Berkeley, And East Bay News, Events, Restaurants, Music, & Arts
The jazz community, like all arts communities, looks first to the outside to explain its predicament. Time to look a little closer to home.
1. Jazz has to loosen up a little about being such a high art. I don't mean compromising our creativity. I mean constantly drumming on this idea that it takes total attention, deep concentration. That's a barrier nobody wants to consider lowering. I wish more pre-bop jazz were still played and taught, but it doesn't get respect. Why? It's too accessible, not progressive, "over." (Yeah, like running the scales is progressive.) The irony abounds.
2. We're totally accepting of the idea that (as the monologuist/critic Mike Daisey puts it) "Buildings = Art." Putting up a multimilliondollar Jazz Center is supposed to make magic happen and never does. Just like a big new theater, you have to do mass-market blah-blah 2/3 of the time, and fly in New York people for anything artistic. The local actor, Daisy says, gets the short sked and the short bread, and yet he can't even try to speak out because it's be afraid or be black-balled. Can't musicians - who are not so subject to cattle calls - do any better?
I'm not from the Bay area, but I spent a lot of years in greater NYC. It's a raggedy scene there, too, everyone hanging by his fingernails. I left, and I don't wish it on anybody. For xxxx sake, at least TRY and make your garden grow where you want it. Don't just roll over in resignation.
East Bay Express All Rights Reserved
Powered by Foundation