[JPL] Christian Scott & playing jazz

Jae Sinnett jaejazz at yahoo.com
Wed Jan 11 15:18:56 EST 2012

Paul, yes an old problem but it's never reached solutions so considering...oddly these problems remain new. In fact they've gotten worse in my view. Frustrating really. I recorded my first record over 25 years ago...with John Hicks, Frank Foster, Wallace Roney and company. I couldn't tell you how proud I was to be playing jazz. I don't feel any differently today. I play other styles of music as some here know but when I'm playing jazz there is an unrelenting feeling of exhilaration and as much as I enjoy playing different music none bring me that level of creative satisfaction.
 I've always wondered why other genres of music don't seem to have the layers of separation issues as jazz appears to. Much of this conversation has been about folks wanting to abandon the jazz mantra. Rockers don't do this in droves. EWF will tell you they're playing soul in a heart beat. They don't run from the labeling like many in jazz seem to be doing. The only reason I can think of why this happens is from a marketing standpoint. If it's rock radio...they tell you it's rock radio loudly. We should be proud to say we play jazz.  
Bobby...a bit of devil's advocate here...and just to make sure I understand your point...are you saying we should abandon the "jazz" format? Or keep it jazz and expand the boundries of what can musically fall under the jazz umbrella? If your position is the first wouldn't that be the start of wiping out the genre all together?
Jae Sinnett    

 From: Paul Combs <pcomb at comcast.net>
To: jazzproglist at jazzweek.com 
Sent: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 2:44 PM
Subject: Re: [JPL] Christian Scott & playing jazz
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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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