Monday, December 5, 2011

On Why Jazz Isn’t Cool Anymore . . . . | Nicholas Payton

On Why Jazz Isn’t Cool Anymore . . . . | Nicholas Payton:

Nicholas Payton is a grumpy man with some spiky opinions geared to get readers to first read and then decide which side of the polarized divide they want to pitch their temps as regards agreeing or disagreeing with his opinion. This is definitely a man after my own heart, and it is something valuable in having an African American intellectual cut through the decades of codified crud and crust that has passed as jazz-criticism, mostly written white critics. In this case I happen to disagree with Payton's unsubtle declaration that jazz is dead and it died in 1959; I think the music , as all art must do to survive generations beyond it's origins and first bursts of creativity, must enter a larger tapestry of a dominant culture: it needs to belong to everyone over time. That is a argument that could on forever, I realize, but let me cut to the quick here and say that I understand Payton's point, that "jazz" is a corporate label over all, and that being called a jazz musician identifies who you are and dictates, sans black jacks and brass knuckles and rabid white cops, what you can do.