[JPL] The travesty of American Masters' Atlantic Recordsstory.....

Phillip Greenlief pgsaxo at pacbell.net
Thu May 3 15:48:01 EDT 2007

-----Original Message-----
On Behalf Of davispro at nyc.rr.com
To: Jazz Programmers Mailing List
Subject: Re: [JPL] The travesty of American Masters' Atlantic

I've heard so many Jazz musicians, including the late Herbie Mann (an
Atlantic recording artist), tell me that if it weren't for Asia and
Europe they wouldn't be able to make a living.  Maybe the "great
American artform" truly is more popular there than here and the "Catch
22" I'm talking about is a big part of that problem.
Russ Davis

Sadly, a lot of the money that used to flow freely in Europe isn't
flowing so freely these days.  All of my European musician friends are
commenting on it. The Deutsche Bank, for example, put so much money into
the re-vitalizing of the City of Berlin, for example, that the economy
there, while being stronger than ours at the moment, has tapped its
financial resources for the arts. Travel money that I used to receive
for concerts over there isn't as prevalent as it was a few years back.

It's not unlike what happened here in the SF bay area during the dot.com
boom - investors bought up lots of buildings thinking money was going to
flow freely - and when the dive happened in the computer industry out
here, the money went away and we had all these art spaces that had been
torn down for new developments...now we just have empty lots where they
used to be. 

If you're a big name you can get healthy guarantees in Japan, for
example, but for the rest of us, it's "yeah, come over, there are some
door gigs you can play!" - so it's become more and more difficult to get
to Japan. Once you get there, there are a lot of gigs and people come
out to hear them - but it usually isn't enough to fund a tour with a
band - thankfully I've been doing a lot of solo tours over the past
several years - makes it cheaper to do your thing and take it to other

Back to Europe, the whole improvised music scene there has kind of begun
to eclipse the jazz thing. In short, they have "their own music"
now...of course folks like McCoy Tyner and other big names (and great
players!) can go over and make something happen - but the younger
musicians are competing with lots of venues that offer (European style)
improvised music - and that has largely replaced the jazz club scene
over there. It's happening here as well, but of course over here,
improvised music is the bastard child jazz once was...in particular, the
style of improvised music that connects with the improvised music scene
in Europe (lower-case style - the "Dutch Big Band" thing, and other
uniquely formed styles that have come out of jazz). So improvisers are
just as underground as they ever were, and the Europeans have something
of their own to support.

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