Bobby Jackson ftapache1 at sbcglobal.net
Mon Apr 24 22:09:49 EDT 2006

Ed wrote...

" His  (Ken Burns) intention of the entire trilogy (Baseball, The Civil War, 
and Jazz) seemed  to be to present a cultural history of America, and viewed 
through a black
American's perspective. "

That is not altogether accurate Ed.  First of all, I don't think Ken Burns 
is truly capable of telling a story through a Black American's eyes since he 
is White.  The entire trilogy was really the about the same story much like 
spokes that lead to the center of a wheel.  It is the story of how we as a 
country learn to live together as Blacks and Whites.  These distinct and 
different lenses that he chose were appropriate.  There would be no Baseball 
series if it were not for the Major and Negro leagues.  There would not be a 
Civil War series if not for the peculiar institution of slavery and the 
fight which ensued around the liberation of people who were enslaved under a 
government that built itself on the ideals of freedom and justice for all. 
There would not be a Jazz series if it were not for the coming together of 
these two races who had a stake in creating this music (the latin tinge was 
not adequately discussed in this but that's another topic that sorely needs 
to be discussed as well).  On my television screen I saw a white man with a 
Ken Burns font underneath his screen image.  He did a masterful job and he 
made some jazz converts in this process including himself.  As Jae pointed 
out, we need to keep cultivate that seed and find other opportunities to 
make this happen.  Going down the same road we're travelling is not going to 
cut the mustard.

Bobby Jackson
----- Original Message ----- 
From: <EdBride at aol.com>
To: <jazzproglist at jazzweek.com>
Sent: Monday, April 24, 2006 9:04 PM
Subject: Re: [JPL] WBEZ

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> In a message dated 4/24/2006 8:52:33 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
> jaejazz at yahoo.com writes:
> <<..Ken Burns' fundamental intention I think with the series  was to bring
> more into jazz that otherwise wouldn't be here and not to sell  records. 
> In that
> regard it was a success. I for one remain positive. There's  enough 
> cynicism
> in this industry.The other downside to this is that there was  such 
> tremendous
> criticism towards "Jazz" that I doubt very seriously if any TV  outlet 
> would
> want to take the chance on producing something like it and  presenting it 
> in a
> primetime slot again. It's a classic case of shooting  ourselves in the 
> foot.
> ..>>
> Well, we see it every year on PBS, during fundraising, so it can't be all
> bad. And there's the new series, so ditto my remark.
> I'm not sure that was his fundamental intention, by the way. As a 
> historian
> first, he came to love Jazz during the process of researching the series. 
> His
> intention of the entire trilogy (Baseball, The Civil War, and Jazz) seemed
> to be to present a cultural history of America, and viewed through a black
> American's perspective. Some of the resentment of his work is racist, 
> other is
> based on the absence of post-1965 music.
> I think his series was not necessarily aimed at a knowledgeable Jazz
> audience, and I think that most of the resentment has been expressed by 
> the
> already-converted. For the masses, I think he did better than a credible, 
> creditable
> job of presenting a survey/anthology of Jazz.
> Ed
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