I recall seeing a comment by Burns that the series was meant to be "a" history of jazz, not the definitive history. I guess he was pointing out that it was "his" view.
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From: "Tom Fine" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: [ARSCLIST] revisiting an old thread -- jazz anthologies
Date: Thu, Apr 4, 2013 8:46 AM
I haven't had time to do this.
Here are transcripts of some of the Burns interviews for "Jazz":
It would be interesting to analize them by date, because I think it's reasonable to surmise that those who spoke first had more influence on the shape of the emerging documentary than those who spoke last -- unless Burns went in with a fully-baked pre-supposition and did interviews just to fit his "narrative."
Regarding Don Cox's statement:
> 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.
I don't think it's ever a good idea to start at a place of misinformation or agenda-driven opinion masked as "history." Regarding art history, one thing that I've noticed is how the promoters and gallery owners get to write this history, if they live long enough. I guess that's no different from record label owners and A&R folks.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message ----- From: "Arthur Gaer" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, April 04, 2013 2:20 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] revisiting an old thread -- jazz anthologies
Just a quick note: I saw Ken Burns speaking about his Jazz series on a panel with Stanley Crouch at Harvard at the time of the initial broadcasts.
Burns was pretty emphatic that Wynton Marsalis had little to do with the content or structure of the series. That they didn't talk to Marsalis until they were well into the production of the series when the content and structure had already been established, and that they basically just did one three-hour interview that was interspersed throughout the series.
I probably have some of the details wrong (the talk was twelve years ago) but Burns was quite adamant that Marsalis did not guide the series. So Burns may have adopted Marsalis's outlook as part of his conventional narrative, but unless Burns was deliberately dissembling in his discussion, Marsalis wasn't the one who was controlling the history in the series.
So it may be that Marsalis *would have* or (even did) discuss the traditional revival movement, Bunk Johnson, etc. but if so, it was likely Burns who wasn't interested in putting that in his series, rather than Marsalis.
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On Apr 4, 2013, at 12:38 PM, Cary Ginell wrote:
> 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.
> Cary Ginell