How are closing jazz clubs changing the music and the profession?

Pat A Flafla

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My doom-and-gloom money's on young people falling in love with silicon valley's soma tablets and choosing to live as much as possible in and through the fake minecraft social media world that's been constructed for them instead of the real one. It's shinier and the laws of physics don't apply.
 

Tornado

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I kinda wonder how intense the pendulum swing the other way will be when restrictions are finally fully lifted. Could the boom created by all the delayed desire be strong enough to build another golden age of live music?
My feel is that it's going to be so gradual in both the lifting of restrictions and the re-opening of venues that there won't be some big wave. The landscape will be fresh for remaking, I think. Something will rise from the ashes. I don't think we're in for a new golden age any time soon, perhaps ever.
 

Tornado

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My doom-and-gloom money's on young people falling in love with silicon valley's soma tablets and choosing to live as much as possible in and through the fake minecraft social media world that's been constructed for them instead of the real one. It's shinier and the laws of physics don't apply.
Well, this is probably right. Dystopian themes aside, people, especially young people, have many more options to spend their free time on. Games and social media are the two big ones. Music just isn't that front and center thing like it was for many of us. There was already a deeply imbedded trend heading into the pandemic, it's not going to reverse course without other cultural factors changing.
 

squidart

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In my neck of the woods live music venues of any kind are far from plentiful. Every one that has or will fail will just make it that much more difficult to even find a place to play no matter what you play. You thought youngsters playing for free or on the cheap ruined things for pros before this mess? Just wait.
 

Pat A Flafla

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In my neck of the woods live music venues of any kind are far from plentiful. Every one that has or will fail will just make it that much more difficult to even find a place to play no matter what you play. You thought youngsters playing for free or on the cheap ruined things for pros before this mess? Just wait.
We may be seeing the reamateurization of vernacular music. Retuning to its previous equilibrium after a boom. Sort of like a market correction. Historically, things like self rule, mass prosperity, and arts practitioners being able to expect a decent wage are statistically rare. People almost never realize they're in market bubbles until they burst. Teaching has been a hedge against that for some musicians until now, but look at the universities now. *pop!* Hopefully more musicians than I suspect have been maxing out their Roth contributions and avoiding frivolous debt. Whenever possible, be your own hedge.
 

Ian S

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You win.. I'm looking at the future through rose colored heart shaped glasses.. all I've got.

I have to believe I'll be able to play music for a live audience at some point, and I guess it doesn't bother me too much if I don't get paid a lot of money to do it. For me, I just love playing music and I'm happy if people are enjoying it. If it puts food on the table then that's a bonus.

Yeah, I guess I'm sentimental.. and romantic.. :binky:
 

poetman

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As far as jazz, jazz music long ago turned away from being a “popular music,” based on what I read. It became “art.” I am not 100 years old so I didn’t experience the changes myself.

I prefer jazz with vocalists with melodies and stories. I don’t want to critically listen to something that I have to study. I am a commoner and not a jazz enthusiast. I used to go to jazz clubs but haven’t gone for a long time. If you want higher attendance, you need music that anyone could walk in and enjoy.

Jazz for dancing needs its own posting. Not much of it going on except some niche times and usually slow dancing where what is being played is not important.

Bottom line. Current jazz is not popular. By sales, it is pitiful. Even if it free, the general public doesn’t want to listen.
Barry Harris talks about the need for jazz music to become, again, dance music. He--and many others--mention how Bird used to play dance halls all the time.

 

JimmySticks

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Barry Harris talks about the need for jazz music to become, again, dance music. He--and many others--mention how Bird used to play dance halls all the time.

I’d have to agree with this.

Swing jazz is easily digested by pretty much everyone. It has a beat, it makes you snap your fingers, it makes you happy and yeah, it makes you move to it. Swing is also timeless, any generation can pick up on it. It can also be a gateway to more complex jazz, but if it’s not, that’s fine to.

Jazz might have been its own worst enemy when legends like Coltrane and Miles really went deep and avant-guard and just started blowing hard for the sake of blowing hard, with zero groove, sense or rhythm. Even hard core jazzers were at a loss to get what that was about.

But swing jazz could be the ticket to a resurgence.
 
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Pat A Flafla

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I'll just say that my 2 1/2 year old granddaughter LOVES Max Roach's bop record Pictures in a Frame. It's drum heavy and the out, manic tracks make her wiggle and dance silly. She asks me to spin it almost as much as Cobham's Spectrum, Bruford's One of a Kind, and anything by Albert King (yes, he's the odd man out here). She likes Max's bop more than Blakey's, the way she likes Albert's blues more than BB's. She seems to prefer fire to refinement. Must be hereditary.

Anyway, I don't think swing will take bop back up with it if it were to get popular again. They're only similar in instrumentation, not in vibe. My granddaughter and I get just a little bored by slick swing. I still spin it, but it's more background.

TL;DR: Swing and bop aren't really intertwined, and I share musical taste with a toddler.
 

Pat A Flafla

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Sure, that's nice, but when they print money to do that, it just ensures long term tough times through extra inflation.
 

BennyK

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how is the lincoln center making ends meet ? that's a huge payroll ...
 

Ian S

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Thanks poetman for posting this thread, and everyone for their observations and opinions. This is a really important conversation. It's good to be aware of the work ahead.

Maybe I'm deluded, but I don't think jazz needs to become dance music to survive or even thrive. Like any art, it just needs nurturing through tough times, some TLC and maintenance.
 
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JimmySticks

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So to you, do you like all jazz in the last 100 years? I’ve given my point of view on which types I like and which give me no enjoyment.
No, I don’t like it all, I think that’s almost impossible. That’s like saying do you like all the rock that ever came out. Of course not.

As I mentioned the later Coltrane and Miles was pretty dreadful stuff. I think even hard core fans were at at a loss for what they were doing. I know jazz stretches boundaries, but sometimes...

I don’t like prog jazz/prog rock, whatever brand it is, very much either. It’s very serious stuff, and not much fun. Like I never really got Weather Report music, great musicians but the music didn’t resonate with me. Some rag time and New Orleans stuff is good, but swing and be bop are my thing for jazz.
 

jaymandude

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Thanks poetman for posting this thread, and everyone for their observations and opinions. This is a really important conversation. It's good to be aware of the work ahead.

Call me deluded, but I don't think jazz needs to become dance music to survive or even thrive. Like any art, it just needs nurturing through tough times, some TLC and maintenance, someone who cares enough to stoke the coals and add some mossy driftweed, and roast some s'mores.

Whether bebop, swing, modern abstract, fusion, whatever. Adventures in musical improvisation.

Call me naive, stupid, childish, fine no problem, I'll cop to that. I won't give up on live music or jazz.
Dazz dazz disco jazz
 

dyland

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Welcome to the forums Loud.

I think folks brought up on pop and rock would simply be blown away if they walked into a jazz club and heard a big band blowing or a cooking jazz quartet was just kicking it.

The music just needs exposure. People just need to be open to it, and most will get it immediately, but for some reason most reflexively just go, ahhh jazz? No thanks. I got into that way. I was a rocker, but I walked into The Birdland one night for kicks and I was blown away by the talent, the sound, the musicality, it was just so different. It was an awesome night and I got it immediately. And I think that’s how jazz and jazz clubs survive, people out on the town and they just walk in as part of a night in the city, and they dig it. Jazz clubs are an urban thing for that reason. May they survive this mess...
When I was 13 there was a hardcore punk scene and I, being a Zeppelin t-shirt wearing classic rock kid, HATED the idea of it. I thought all the "screaming stuff" was stupid, required no talent, and made no sense.

One day I ended up at a local hardcore show and saw how the bands all played on the floor, not the stage, and how the live experience was full of energy, something that didn't translate listening to the records. All of a sudden I "got it" and I was hooked. I went to shows until my early 20s and look back on some of those days as the highlight of my teen years.

My long winded point is that seeing music performed live can completely change one's perspective on it and I think this certainly applies to jazz. A casual music fan could head into a club for a nightcap with a preconceived notion about what jazz is and leave with a completely different outlook. In fact I'm willing to bet that that happened many times over, nightly, in clubs before March 2020 and will continue to happen so long as there are clubs to attend.
 

dsop

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A casual music fan could head into a club for a nightcap with a preconceived notion about what jazz is and leave with a completely different outlook. In fact I'm willing to bet that that happened many times over, nightly, in clubs before March 2020 and will continue to happen so long as there are clubs to attend.
I have to disagree. A casual music fan suddenly digging jazz in the last 15 years? Never happened. Jazz has become much more abstract and dense ever since at least 2000. Appreciation requires a lot of attention, background info, and even education. Is that a good thing? Heck no. If jazz paid more attention to melody and song form, it would have attracted way more fans. Instead, jazz now requires frequent time signature changes and strict avoidance of anything approaching a singable melody. There are exceptions (of course), but not enough of them.
 

Tornado

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I have to disagree. A casual music fan suddenly digging jazz in the last 15 years? Never happened. Jazz has become much more abstract and dense ever since at least 2000. Appreciation requires a lot of attention, background info, and even education. Is that a good thing? Heck no. If jazz paid more attention to melody and song form, it would have attracted way more fans. Instead, jazz now requires frequent time signature changes and strict avoidance of anything approaching a singable melody. There are exceptions (of course), but not enough of them.
I don't personally know many people, hell, maybe anybody, who likes jazz that don't have some formal education in music. How do you go back? I don't think you do. Once someone develops a taste for the complex and "out there", I don't see it changing. So audiences will continue to be fellow musicians and other music school dropouts who "get it" and also enjoy the fact that they do while others don't.
 


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