On 04/04/2013, Cary Ginell wrote:
> I agree completely with you. The 1960s marked the first time since the
> Swing Era that jazz permeated through to the mainstream,
Not the case in Britain, where revivalist traditional New Orleans style
jazz was extremely popular in the fifties, and there was also a skiffle
craze (arising out of the jazz bands) which laid the foundations
for British blues and rock music.
Notable names are Chris Barber, Acker Bilk, Kenny Ball, Lonnie Donegan.
I believe the Dutch Swing College band was popular on mainland Europe,
> not as
> all-encompassing as swing did, but through the appearance on the pop
> charts of hit singles like "Mission: Impossible," "The In Crowd,"
> "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy," Wes Montgomery's Verve stuff, etc. (I talk
> about this era in my new book on Cannonball Adderley.) Along with
> Brubeck's "Take Five," Adderley was one of the first to hit the
> mainstream with a jazz single with "African Waltz" in 1961.
The Stan Getz bossa nova album was a mainstream success too.
> Some jazz
> historians, however, seem to be embarrassed by jazz acts that actually
> became popular in the 1960s and discount their importance or even
> their presence during this time. Because of the crossover popularity
> of smooth jazz, they react the same way. Although Kenny G makes my
> stomach turn, other artists, like Chris Botti and Preston Reed,
> actually did some good things in recent years. Smooth jazz, like the
> soul jazz of the '60s, was a portal through which non-jazz novices
> could be introduced to the music through performers that wouldn't
> alienate them.
> Regarding the jazz revival of the '40s, most of this was the product
> of smaller labels like Jazz Man and Good Time Jazz, and served as a
> backlash to bebop. I imagine that part of the reason for ignoring this
> music was because indie labels were responsible for them. (The majors
> reluctantly latched on to the revival, but didn't have much success
> with it.) Swing splintered into these two camps (trad jazz and bebop)
> between World War II and the beginnings of hard bop in the early
> 1960s, but all you hear about today is Bird, Miles, and Coltrane
> because they were the darlings of 1950s jazz. I might also add that
> the early world music efforts of Herbie Mann and Stan Getz and the
> bossa nova movement are also excluded from these so-called
> representative anthologies, more detritus from the ill effects of Ken
> Burns' "Jazz," which ignored all of this, probably because the trad
> jazz, world music, and boss nova movements were all spearheaded by
> white performers. You'd think Wynton Marsalis, a traditionalist
> himself and the Svengali behind Burns' myopic rewriting of jazz
> history, would have embraced the coming of Lu Watters, the rediscovery
> of Bunk Johnson, and the British trad movement of the 1950s, but I
> have not seen acknowledgement of this period at all from him.
I think what we see is one of the bad effects of college courses in
jazz. The Ken Burns/Marsalis story is a typical study curriculum.
The standard story of 20C art history is a similar simplification. But
one has to start somewhere.
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