[JPL] Christian Scott & playing jazz

Paul Combs pcomb at comcast.net
Wed Jan 11 14:44:30 EST 2012

For what it's worth, here's my take. This is an old problem, but the 
word "jazz" has survived the controversy before. It has come to mean, at 
least to me, an approach of music making that grows out of the 
African-American experience, and a long collaboration with folks who are 
not African-American.  It is an approach that is open-ended, and yet 
always has something of its "dna." There is something about Christian 
Scott's music, or Nicholas Payton's music, or Maria Schieder's music, or 
the late Paul Motian's music, or Cecil Taylor's music, . . . (I hope you 
get my point here) that we hear as "jazz."  I propose we do is work hard 
to get the public-at -large to realize that when we say "jazz" we are 
talking about this large open-ended medium, that carries its history in 
one way or another.

Yes, I prefer to be identified simply as a musician, but folks don't 
seem to understand that. Saying that I am a jazz musician, helps them to 
a certain extent, although there are times when one or another are 
disappointed when I stray from there concept of "jazz." That being said, 
I remain comfortable with the word in a general, and I am proud to 
continue walking down the path trod by the "jazz" musicians who have 
come before me, where ever it may lead me, and whatever I may produce to 
pass on to others.

Paul Combs

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