[JPL] Bad Plus - what I did NOT say

Bradley M. Stone bstone at science.sjsu.edu
Tue Mar 1 17:08:54 EST 2005


Thanks for your response.  Upon re-reading your original post, although the
implication was there that at least some programmers might be catering to a
more commercial sound by playing The Bad Plus (for example), I realize that
you did not mean all of us.  It was my mistake, in my response, when I said
that you implied that "any programmer who decides to play The Bad Plus...",
while clearly you were making allowances (particularly in your follow-up
message) for those of us who truly dig what this band is doing and consider
it to be progressive, original and masterfully played.

Thanks again for your thoughtful response to my response, apology accepted
(but not necessary!) and my apologies to you for misinterpreting (and
misquoting) your original remarks.

Glad we cleared the air!



Dr. Brad Stone
Music Director (Jazz, Blues, World Music)
and Faculty Advisor
1 Washington Square
San Jose State University
San Jose, CA   95192-0094

Home Office:
P.O.B. 720397
San Jose, CA   95172-0397
Music Calls: Wednesdays, 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., PT
(408) 848-6266
bstone at science.sjsu.edu

-----Original Message-----
From: MS [mailto:speaklow at earthlink.net]
Sent: Tuesday, March 01, 2005 10:49 AM
To: jazzproglist at jazzweek.com
Subject: [JPL] Bad Plus - what I did NOT say

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I regret that you feel you were insulted. However, if you reread my posts, I
hope you will see that I did not claim that a decision to play The Bad Plus
is necessarily to cater to marketers and to intend to play what is
commercial at the expense of what is good. 

I was clear that some people believe that The Bad Plus are good jazz, and
that is fine. If one thinks The Bad Plus are good jazz, then one should play
them. Also, I made clear that I recognize that every station has its own
objectives, which include appealing to its audience. 

I said that, at least for ME, The Bad Plus albums don't cut it as good jazz,
therefore I don't play them. I mentioned this primarily to point out that
one's disinclination to play The Bad Plus is not necessarily a function of a
supposed disinclination for new music or innovation in jazz. Some people had
defended (I hope I am accurately characterizing those comments) The Bad Plus
on the grounds that some detractors don't appreciate the band due to being
put off by the band's repertoire and non-straightahead style. While some
people do reject the albums for those reasons, others, such as I, have other
reasons not to like the albums. If a band plays Nirvana songs but makes
great jazz doing that, then, as long as the tracks fit the premise of my
show, I'd play them in an instant, since a track is not necessarily outside
my show premise just for being of a Nirvana composition.

But many people (not necessarily you) have argued that it is necessary to
play music that may not have great value as jazz in order to attract people
who will eventually enjoy music that has more jazz value. It was in doubt of
that argument that I mentioned that, for me, the strategy does not justify
itself and that, for me, playing tracks as part of such a strategy would be
to allow what is meritorious to suffer for what is marketable. As mentioned
above, that does not imply that I believe that anyone who plays The Bad Plus
does so for commerciality at the expense of integrity.

Aside from all of that, it seems to me that The Bad Plus trio members are
skilled and talented. And their recordings are not musically and emotionally
puerile as so much other music is. So I don't revile the band or anything
like that. And I recognize that at least their first album is not as far
away from jazz as a lot of other music that gets played on jazz radio. On
the other hand, the fact that some people report that the band gives good
concerts doesn't influence me very much to play the tracks, since I can't
recreate those concert experiences just by playing tracks. The tracks stand
or fall on their own. 

Please reconsider the exact text of the messages I posted, hopefully to see
that you've mistaken my meaning. Nevertheless, again, I do regret any insult
that was taken.


Mark Shapiro
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