[JPL] Ornette - the truth can finally be told

Rev. Bob 'Bob' Crispen revbob at crispen.org
Tue May 1 01:36:49 EDT 2007


I've left y'all in suspense long enough. I've revealed the true answer 
on my blog. It goes something like this:

The WSJ gotten into the act as theater critic Terry Teachout asks the 
musical question, "did Ornette Coleman deserve the Pulitzer?".

<http://online.wsj.com/public/article_print/SB117770477769485173.html>

I think we can safely ignore Teachout's jaw-dropping solecism "most jazz 
is improvised, not notated". And while the vehicle is unreasonably 
tempting -- the WSJ can always be counted on to step up to bat for the 
majority over the minority, the overprivileged over the underprivileged 
-- perhaps we can hold our fire briefly, because Teachout does make an 
interesting point: classical music deserves all the help it can get.

The point is interesting under any circumstances. The point is *valid* 
if you accept the notion that there's a place for everything (*one* 
place for each thing of everything) and everything in its place. Do you 
accept that notion?

Me neither. If the 20th century was the century of hierarchies and 
genres and nested subgenres, the 21st is the century of tags and genre 
bending.

That piece you just played -- what is it really? Classical music? Jazz? 
Uhhh, *really*, it's nothing. It's just itself. It's got some things in 
common with jazz (you can stick that tag on it) and some other things in 
common with classical (so you can stick that tag on it too), and the 
animals playing accordions and nude clog dancing plumbers are a lot like 
that weekend I spent in New Jersey.

Tag, Terry Teachout, you're old.
-- 
Rev. Bob "Bob" Crispen
revbob at crispen dot org
Ex Cathedra weblog: http://blog.crispen.org/

The things one says are all unsuccessful attempts to say something else. 
- Bertrand Russell


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