Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

Brian Dee: "I feel my generation had one advantage over today's players in that we were not musically educated in colleges, so we all sounded different. I could tell who it was just by the sound." - (Jazz Rag, Summer 2020).

Archive.

The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".

Postage

11,783 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1023 of them this year alone and, so far, 50 this month (Sept. 17).

Coming soon ...

SEPTEMBER

IT IS ADVISABLE TO CHECK IN ADVANCE WITH THE VENUE THAT THE GIG IS ON

THURSDAY 24

Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Maine St Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Sunniside Road, Sunniside NE16 5NA. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:00pm - 10pm. Free. Note earlier start/finish.

FRIDAY 25

SouLutions Sistas - Hoochie Coochie, Pilgrim St., Newcastle NE1 6SF. Tel: 0191 222 0130. 8:30pm (7:00pm doors). £10.00. SOLD OUT!

SATURDAY 26

Boys of Brass - Tyne Bank Brewery, Walker Road, Newcastle NE6 2AB. Tel: 0191 265 2828. 7:00pm. Free.

SUNDAY 27

Vieux Carre Hot 4 - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 12 noon. Tel: 0191 691 7090. Free.

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 :

Brian Bennett said...

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

Steve Andrews said...

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...........

Peter Maguire said...

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.

Steve Andrews said...

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.

Blog Archive