[JPL] Jazz Insights | Jazz Vent by AJ Smith BOYCOTT THE GRAMMYS!

Jim Eigo jim at jazzpromoservices.com
Mon Jan 9 16:40:13 EST 2012


http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/latinjazzatthegrammys/


On 1/9/12 3:52 PM, "Latin Jazz" <LatinJazz at amigosmusiconline.com> wrote:

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> Very good Jim.
> Just a litle reminder:
> Trujillo was a dictator in the Diminican Republic
> Batista was in Cuba.
> 
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Jim Eigo" <jim at jazzpromoservices.com>
> To: <jazzproglist at jazzweek.com>
> Sent: Monday, January 09, 2012 3:26 PM
> Subject: [JPL] Jazz Insights | Jazz Vent by AJ Smith BOYCOTT THE GRAMMYS!
> 
> 
> THIS WEEK'S SPONSOR: The JazzWeek relaunch -- JazzWeek 2.0 -- crowdfunding
> project has launched. Visit http://www.indiegogo.com/jazzweek for more
> information. Become part of the solution.
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>> 
>>  http://jazzinsights.net/
>> 
>>  BOYCOTT THE GRAMMYS! <http://jazzinsights.net/?p=101>
>>  Posted on January 5, 2012 <http://jazzinsights.net/?p=101>
>>   <http://jazzinsights.net/?p=101#respond>
>>  NOW THAT I HAVE YOUR ATTENTIONS
>> 
>>  the 2012 Grammy Awards is the first one to eliminate many categories, the
>>  most
>>  prominent being Latin Jazz. there are those who argue that Latin Jazz is
>>  not a
>>  separate genre but a substratum of other music. why not then, they
>>  suggest, a
>>  category for bebop, or swing, or Dixieland. the answer is simple:
>>  trad-jazz,
>>  i.e. Dixieland, or New Orleans jazz, Swing, Chicago-style, Kansas City and
>>  bebop are cogs in the evolution of contemporary, or modern jazz.
>> 
>>  IN THE BEGINNING
>> 
>>  Latin Jazz evolved uniquely and independently from Spanish influences in
>>  that
>>  great multi-cultural gumbo that is New Orleans combining with the African
>>  Negro diaspora. Scott Joplin used the habañera in his ³Solace² in the 19th
>>  century; Jelly Roll Morton called his fusion ³the Spanish Tinge² in the
>>  early
>>  20th; the original rhythm of W.C. Handy¹s ³St. Louis Blues² was, you
>>  guessed
>>  it, the habañera. it all seems to have emanated from Georges Bizet who
>>  called
>>  a selection from his opera Carmen ³The Habañera.² the rhythm eventually
>>  became
>>  the basis for the tango.
>> 
>>  let¹s get back to that diaspora thing. all African slave ships did not
>>  land en
>>  masse in one place. some were sent to Argentina, where the music fused and
>>  became the tango. others went to Colombia where it became cumbia. in
>>  Brasil,
>>  the samba, then bossa nova. the Dominican Republic gave us the merenge.
>>  yes, i
>>  know i¹m over simplifying.
>> 
>>  the most important landings were in the Caribbean where it eventually
>>  became
>>  reggae and, most importantly in Cuba where African-Latin percussion fusion
>>  was
>>  born. but why and when did this jazz combine with Afro-Latin music? to my
>>  mind
>>  the West-supported Trujillo dictatorship in Cuba and the entertainment
>>  Mecca
>>  that it became encouraged jazz bands to play there. remember, jazz was the
>>  popular music of this country right through the Swing era. Al Capone was a
>>  big
>>  trad jazz fan and his successors ­there is no such thing as the Mafia,
>>  right?­
>>  loved to use Cuba as their playground, if you believe what you read and
>>  see in
>>  the movies and on television.
>> 
>>  flash ahead to 52nd St. in the late ¹40s & ¹50s. the original Birdland was
>>  on
>>  Broadway near the corner of W. 52nd with its sign reading ³Through these
>>  portals pass the most.² one block north was the legendary Palladium
>>  Ballroom
>>  featuring Latin dance bands with names like Tito Puente, Machito, Jose
>>  Curbello, both Tito & Arsenio Rodriguez (not related), Eddie & Charlie
>>  Palmieri (brothers), Chico O¹Farrill, Perez Prado. during set breaks the
>>  jazzers from Birdland would walk the block to hear what this rhythm was
>>  all
>>  about. (according to Dizzy Gillespie most jazz players couldn¹t figure out
>>  where ³one² was.) the dancers were inventing ³breaks² and wanted something
>>  more so the bandleaders went down the stairs to Birdland to hear what the
>>  improvisers were saying. love at first phrase!
>> 
>>  LATIN-JAZZ MISCEGENATION
>> 
>>  marriages are hastiy arranged (pun intended). Machito records with jazz
>>  musicians such as Charlie Parker. O¹Farrill writes for Gillepie who also
>>  records with Machito as his brother-in-law Mario Bauza arranges things.
>>  Woody
>>  Herman partners with Puente. on the westcoast Stan Kenton hires latin
>>  percussionists and his brother-in-law Johnny Richards to write
>>  Cuban-tinged
>>  music for his band after he has a hit with a Cuban street song called
>>  ³Peanut
>>  Vendor.² (El Manisero²)
>> 
>>  meanwhile back in the Apple Dizzy discovers congero Chano Pozo in Havana,
>>  brings him to New York and, voila! Latin Jazz spreads like a brush fire in
>>  a
>>  drought. soon every jazz group ³needs² Latin percussion. (not-yet-Dr.)
>>  Billy
>>  Taylor steals Candido Camero from under Dizzy¹s nose and expands his
>>  Birdland
>>  house band; cool and tight George Shearing adds Armando Perazza;
>>  percussive
>>  pianist Erroll Garner hires Jose Manguel; the Nat¹King¹ Cole Trio becomes
>>  a
>>  quartet with the addition of Jack Costanza; and congero Ray Barretto
>>  becomes a
>>  ubiquitous presence on many contemporary jazz recordings, having already
>>  become a star in the Latin community. (Ray¹s love for jazz was so deep
>>  that he
>>  was also a walking jazz encyclopedia.) in fact, if you took away the
>>  latter
>>  from those recordings they would sound hollow, something missing. and i
>>  have
>>  only just scratched the conga skin: Herbie Mann¹s groups, Willie Bobo, Cal
>>  Tjader (on red vinyl no less), the surprise praising and acceptance of the
>>  Brazilian flick ³Black Orpheus,² which catapulted bossa nova never to look
>>  back.
>> 
>>  CON-FUSED JAZZ
>> 
>>  i¹ve omitted more than i¹ve included so in my next posting, say in a
>>  fortnight, i¹ll include commentary by drummer, educator, bandleader Bobby
>>  Sanabria who is spearheading a grass roots movement ­and a law suit­ to
>>  bring
>>  the NARAS Latin Jazz category back to the Grammys. also, why has the Jazz
>>  Journalists Association removed the category from their awards? i¹ll also
>>  show
>>  how young artists proudly continue to use the phrase ³Latin Jazz² in their
>>  bands¹ names and their songs¹ titles. it must carry some caché. your
>>  assignment for next time remonstrate on this: isn¹t the Recoding Academy
>>  supposed to expand the understanding and exposition of all music? why do
>>  they
>>  spend money on full page ads denigrating someone¹s art simply because of
>>  the
>>  lack of crass financial gains? (i refer to the New York Times ad on last
>>  year¹s Best New Artist Esperanza Spalding ­boo hoo Justin­ which also
>>  included
>>  insulting remarks about Herbie Hancock.) btw, that ad just spurred more
>>  interest in Spalding proving once again that there is no such thing as bad
>>  pr;
>>  just spell the name correctly.
>> 
>>  later!
>> 
>>  - arnold jay smith
>>  January 2012
> 
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