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While it makes a little bit sad to admit this: I think this author makes some valid points.

Why Americans Don’t Like Jazz http://dyske.com/paper/778

The current market share of Jazz in America is mere 3 percent. That includes all the great ones like John Coltrane and the terrible ones like Kenny G (OK, this is just my own opinion). There are many organizations and individuals like Wynton Marsalis who are tirelessly trying to revive the genre, but it does not seem to be working. Why is this? Is there some sort of bad chemistry between the American culture and Jazz? As ironic as it may be, I happen to believe so.
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31 comments
 
I resonate with this article. I appreciate music despite the lyrics, and most of the stuff I listen to tends to be instrumental. I find that most of my friends and family are not interested in the music I listen to or enjoy playing, beyond polite interest.
 
I love Jazz!! Then again I have played Saxophone for 18 years!
 
Also consider that many of us don't trust our emotions. Having to use them to connect with anything is problematic.
 
I feel Jazz is more for people who understand music or play music and understand what it takes to play at a Jazz level. Most people do not listen to the music but listen more for the lyrics and since Jazz tends to have a more complex beat does not move the less musically inclined to want to listen to it.
 
Americans are responsible for destroying Jazz with people like Kenny G and David Sanborn. That aint jazz, its instrumental soft-rock, and much of it sucks. Then you have the horrible cover artists like Najee who take R&B with a soprano sax and call that mess Jazz too.

Anyone wanting the difference, should listen to Miles Davis' "Ascenseur Pour L'Echafaud". You wont go back.
 
The dumbing down of America...also explains the rise of the 'Santorum'
 
+Will Kriski I'm still trying to wrap my head around that one. If breathing was not automatic, that dude would be in trouble.
 
Good question, Music is an appreciation of sound and creation. I cannot understand how people make the distinction between the given slotts ! Classic, opera, rock, ballad, Jazz or swing. I must be lucky to be able to appreciate all.
 
I love Jazz... I've played in a Jazz band, drums and percussion.. I'm part of the 3 % !!!
 
My band's completely improvised music is probably listened to by 10 people on the planet. That's probably enough. :)
 
As a vocalist, I've always placed a lot of importance on lyrical content. But it's not like I don't listen to instrumentals. I think when Jazz stopped being music made for dancing is when Americans stopped being quite as in love with it.
 
+Lunar Asylum Esperanza holds the record for artist most played on my systems this year. Love her. Ponta De Areia is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard.
 
+Will Kriski I think a 'dumbing-down' of American culture at-large is a very real phenomenon.
 
Dumbing down and laziness of the ears, yes. But also perhaps mainstream tastes constantly desire spectacle and excess and cultural spoonfeeding.
 
Art and music often reflect the time they are in. At least it ain't disco. :)
 
I'm not an expert, but a lot of Brecker Brothers has disco elements to it, and it sounds awesome!
 
The best way to get intro'd to and appreciate jazz is to see it performed live. That's what we did with our boys when they were very young and as teens now, they don't think of it as old people music....
 
I think part of it might be exposure. I'm not very familiar with Jazz, as my parents never listened to it, and growing up there wasn't any jazz on popular radio, and I didn't have any friends into jazz. As such, I don't know where to start in exploring the music, or even how to listen to it.

On that note, though, thank you +J.C. Kendall for the Miles Davis suggestion. Listening now, and it's.... very hard to concentrate on anything else. Not something that wants to be in the background.
 
+Marty Bonner We all come to art via different avenues. It's not how you get here that matters, it's that you arrive.
 
+Marty Bonner LOL. Dude, just wait until you add darkness, your favorite woman, and your favorite Scotch to it. At that point, you are in musical nirvana...
 
+ J.C.Kendall, thank you for the info, Esparanza has now been added to my play list. Many thanks again....
 
It's sad that it's not appreciated more. As a truly great and indigenous American art form, it should be taught and discovered in school, not just in music class, but from the approach of national historical significance.
Adding to the list of best albums discover Jazz :Kind of Blue - Miles Davis
 
Great comment I got RE:this article. Reposted from here:
http://www.facebook.com/lionel.valdellon/posts/316495441739632?comment_id=3422589

Tad Ermitano: "On the other hand, there is a huge flood of instrumental electronica. Also, maybe the writer is hasty in defining "good music" as "music that can be played on the piano without a vocalist". By that definition, a huge chunk of African drum music is "not good music." A lot of electronica relies on variations in timbre, stuff a piano can't explore."
 
This is just sickening to me. The stuff most Americans consider jazz is akin to what most consider food, when they go to Chili's or Applebee's.

I love REAL jazz. And almost all forms of music that steal from or get inspired by it.
 
I too can identify with the lyric "blindness" or "deafness" - even as a kid - I just dont hear the words - it's all just scattin' to me...and when I try to understand what is being said - I lose the music...I'm wondering if people are also putting all "improvised" music in the Jazz category...?
 
not sure i buy the premise. alot of the " great jazz" is so sophisticated that only other players really appreciate it and, lmho, the average listener would not have a clue about reharmonization, secondary scale application etc. i am more of a rock and pop player/songwriter but i aspire to play jazz. my friends also ask to hear my tunes and less than a minute later will be talking and not listening. i, on the other hand, will stop a conversation to listen to good music. it is all about what you know and what interests you.
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