In the meantime, regular reader Gary P. wrote something in the comments to the last post that I thought I'd reproduce here in its entirety for the purpose of starting discussion:
Are the current crop of "living legend" jazz musicians considered so legendary because of their association with the truly innovative players of the 50's and 60's? And once these guys are gone, who are going to be the "living legends" in 2040?Here's my take on the above: I think Maynard stands up on his own as an innovator, as well as a tireless crusader in the quest to keep jazz alive among young people (note how often his performance venue is a high school, and how often he hires musicians straight out of college). Having had the pleasure of playing with Clark Terry in a combo setting when he was here in '98, I think he also stands up just fine without his even more famous peers because of the players he's influenced (not to mention the whole "Mumbles" scatting style that he developed), and Golson has made his own mark as a composer ("Along Came Betty," "Whisper Not," etc.).
Not to sound dismissive at all toward guys like Clark Terry, Benny Golson, Maynard Ferguson, and the guys in that class... but would we still care about them as much if it weren't because of their association with guys like Basie, Ellington, Coltrane, Dizzy, Kenton, Brownie, etc? And once they're gone, who's going to take their place? Is the public face of jazz in 30 years going to be whomever the last surviving brother of Wynton is just because of his bloodlines?
So how about the "next generation?" There are actually a few generations below the above-mentioned artists now, but Michael Brecker definitely strikes me as one who'll stand the test of time..Joshua Redman, Kenny Garrett (yes, OK, I'm biased toward sax players). I think there are some guys (and gals, too; Maria Schneider is quite an innovative writer) out there who will still be in the CD players/iPods/chips implanted in people's brains in the future. Readers....comments?
More blogs 'n' bop: I"m a week late to the party, but ovber at Althouse, there was a discussion about jazz, or, more specifically, if you're ever in a situation where people assume you like jazz. (And indeed, how couldn't you?--Ed.)
Lucky seven: The end of camp also meant that I got to watch the last two stages of the Tour de France. Congrats again to Lance Armstrong for winning seven in a row and setting a record that will probably never be matched. You've done Texas--and America--very proud.
In case you missed it: Some interesting stories from while I was away...
- I love my flip-flops, but even I wouldn't wear them to meet the President like some college lacrosse players did.
- Some teachers in England are trying to scrap the word "failure" in favo(u)r of "deferred success." Gimme a break...
- The newest hobby from (of course) California: Mooning AMTRAK trains.
(all of the above courtesy Dave Barry's Blog)