Tuesday, March 16, 2010



back during the outrigger days, i could clear my apartment of 15 or more hipsters by putting on anything by coleman or taylor. these kids, who took such pride in listening to loud, sometimes dissonant pop music, would run screaming from the hard musical truths of jazz. jazz requires some intellectual engagement; that was not something that the outrigger crew had in abundance.

i can guarantee that some of the jazz dilettantes that i know don't have a single recording by coleman or taylor in their "jazz collections". they'll follow miles up until bitches' brew or sonny rollins up until his great solo work but they can't or won't make the effort to follow coleman or taylor. like art snobs who "like" picasso but don't get barnett newman's zips or flee from the sight of donald judd's objects, they approach art not as a challenge to be engaged but as some delectation to be consumed. jazz ends up being pleasant background music.

you can't use these guys as pleasant background music. these guys have taken it upon themselves to engage w/the history of music & extend & deepen it. there is a deliberateness to their approaches even while their methods differ. they have continued the difficult expansion of possibility that jazz has explored since its beginning. born just a year apart & still actively working, they continue to explore & articulate their individual journeys.

we should really be listening to them.



Blue Train said...

Not only dillettantes - remember the comments on Cecil by Branford Marsalis in Ken Burns' ill-conceived "Jazz" series: "self-indulgent BS." Curious as Branford is the more experimental of the two eldest brothers. I believe that he also dissed Albert Ayler on that episode and probably would not have nice things to say about Coltrane's last works either. Free jazz ain't beanbag.

bataille2 said...

well ken, branford had been doing his "tonight show" gig for a while by then, yes? i'm pretty sure that wynton wouldn't evince the same 'tude towards coleman & taylor. i've never thought of branford as the experimental one(for chrissakes, he played w/fucking sting!). wynton is tricky because he operates on so many different levels but never on one that would reject what ornette & cecil so generously gave.