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Bebop Spoken There

Orrin Evans: “I’d like to see a younger audience and an audience that looks more like me at the clubs.” – (Down Beat November 2014).

Kevin Flanagan: "Besides, I'd got sick of playing jazz to people who looked like my father." - (Straight No Chaser Issue 0ne Summer 1988.)

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Today Saturday August 19

Radio
5pm Radio 3: Jazz Line-up. Live from George Heriot's School, Edinburgh. Includes Dime Notes; Gwyneth Herbert &Andy Sheppard/John Patticelli.
12 (midnight) Radio 3: Geoffrey Smith's Jazz. Mingus selection.
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Afternoon
?????
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Evening
Lin Lee Wong (solo piano) - Cherry Tree, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 2AE. 7:30pm. No cover charge.
Smokehouse Blues Band - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.
Sokool Band - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8pm. £5. Brenda Sokell w. quartet.
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Rendezvous Jazz - Durham Cathedral. 7:30pm. £12 (£10 - Friends of Durham Cathedral).
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Road to Hong Kong with Colin Aitchison - Part Five.

Q: For the technophobic, what horns do you play?
A: Great word Lance. Mainly I play trumpet & trombone, occasionally tuba or euphonium.
Q: The big one – how do you see the future of jazz?
A: This is a hard one and glad you left it till the last question.
The future of jazz is of course with the young and upcoming musicians. There are a lot of talented kids out there, with incredible techniques and range, but to be honest if I put on a current big band CD of a chase between 2 trumpets or 2 saxes, I can not tell who is who, they all sound the same, no individual style as in the past. On the other hand, if I put on an old album I can tell who it is without looking at the notes. Musicians had their own unique style. You could tell immediately if it was Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, Roy Eldridge (trumpets)  or Jack Teagarden, Tricky Sam, Frank Rosolino (trombones)  or Johnny Hodges, John Coltrane, Coleman Hawkins, (Saxes).

In the UK, I do not seem to find many young jazz enthusiasts in the audience. It is mainly the older generation who support the jazz bands.  This does not seem to be the case in Europe and certainly not here in Hong Kong and Asia.  There seems to be a developing interest amongst the young people here.
I also note that the term " jazz"  is used for a wide range of  of music that has nothing to do with the subject. Vocalists  are called jazz vocalists but they are really standard or pop singers. 
In my earlier days you had New Orleans, Dixieland (Trad), Swing (Mainstream) Be-Bop, Avangarde, Jazz Rock, Latin Jazz. Now we have Acid Jazz, Lounge Jazz, Hip Hop Jazz so where does one draw the line.
Another valid observation is that in the past "good old days", radio was the main media and folks would enjoy tuning in to jazz shows and big band live telecasts. The whole music industry is now marketed and enjoyed mainly through YouTube channels. I myself have created my "Nostalgia channels" and “China Coast Jazzmen” channel on YouTube and am encouraged to have over 2,000 subscribers to my channels, Ages range anywhere from young teenagers who simply love the songs and melody to 80 year olds who love reminiscing to the music they remember. There have been some lovely comments on the type of music uploaded for all to enjoy.
It's also rather disappointing to see that a lot of the famous jazz festivals, such as the North Sea Jazz Festival and Monterey Jazz Festival now feature artists who do not come into any jazz field, so  in fact,  these festivals should be re-branded as Jazz & Pop Festivals. For example, just recently here in Hong Kong we were supposed to have the North Sea Jazz Festival. This was  was cancelled due to the occupy central movement demonstrations, The main artists were going to be Joss Stone, Yuna, Laura Fygi. Now I have no idea what they have to do with jazz, maybe the odd solo from a horn or guitar, but to me they are not jazz artists.
I believe that an audience should be entertained. When you look at most bands who made it big whether it be Kenny Ball or Duke Ellington - they all had their spot to involve the audience, and at the end of the day, jazz started off as dance music, I do feel that when a musician attempts to use jazz as an art form expression in some ways it loses its appeal, but some do pull it off, I do think it is very hard for jazz to take on classical music in the concert hall.  As for myself, I will continue to entertain as well as play for the audience, and most of all have some fun.
Keep Swinging
Colin Aitchison (Bandleader)
China Coast Jazzmen
Ned Kelly's Last Stand
Hong Kong.

4 comments :

  1. Great stuff, Colin! First the bestselling book. Then Ned Kelly's Last Stand - the Movie!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well said, Colin. Most of what is marketed as "jazz" today would not be recognised as such by Armstrong, Parker, Ellington et al. I'm both amused and saddened when I read a "jazz" magazine nowadays to realise that I've never heard of 95% of the people referred to, and the other 5% are people like Jamie Cullum...........

    ReplyDelete
  3. I do so agree. The difference is that where once becoming a jazz musician was a vocation - it has now become a career move. There is no doubt that there have never been so many highly skilled instrumentalists - they have fluency - but often have nothing to say. There are of course exceptions - but they are exceptions.

    We are in an era of striving to perform - the heroic solo. Never mind any emotional content - just watch the technique.

    Jazz education is also teaching that anyone can write original material. This is complete tosh. One can learn it to a degree but there is no doubt that the ability to be able to produce original compositions is given to very few - and in fact often has no direct relationship of high level technique. For example Tadd Dameron - not a great soloist - but what fantastic originals.

    Europe is rather different to the UK in terms of audiences. Much greater age range and musically literate.

    Finally an almost complete disinterest among many younger musicians about the history of jazz, its performers, and its sounds.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I agree with everything you say, Peter, particularly your points about European audiences and musicians. I am continually astonished at the level of ignorance demonstrated by jazz musicians (actually, both young and old) and audiences in respect of the music they profess to love.

    ReplyDelete

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About this blog - contact details.

Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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