The Book Of Jazz - online reference book

Its Nature, Instruments, Sources, Sounds, Development & Performers

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was played up to 1940. It applies to barely 10% of what is being performed and generally accepted as jazz today.
To some this may mean that the incidence of valid, authentic jazz has diminished in direct proportion, Among the vast ma­jority of professional musicians, however, the consensus is that while jazz of the folk or semi-folk variety has its place on the contemporary scene and will endure, the tremendous strides in harmony, melody and rhythm—and the increasing indications of a wedding, or at least a flirtation, with modern classical music-mark a logical and desirable outcome of the jazzman's attempt to achieve musical maturity.
These developments have been anathema to many writers who have made a lifelong study of their early heroes and condemned as charlatans tbose who attempt to rescue jazz from the musical strait-jacket to which it was confined in the early stages. One writer, denouncing the swing music of the mid-1980s as a bastardization of jazz, and summing up the genius of Charlie Parker and his colleagues with the conclusion that bop "appeals only to the analytical musical mind and evokes about the same amount of emotional pleasure as a Euclid theorem," described himself "as a purist and proud of if and announced that jazz would remain jazz only if it remained "steeped in the virile tradi­tion of New Orleans." In effect he was speaking for dozens of self-styled "purist" critics who have been trying to place road­blocks in the path of jazz evolution.
Most of the leading jazzmen today are products of a new tradition of musical literacy and restless ambition. But to the traditionalists, from the moment it began to strain at its folk roots, jazz was no longer entirely jazz. When it could no longer be re­strained, they announced that it was now a different animal: one French critic has gone to ludicrous lengths in an attempt to prove that bop is not jazz. The more time goes by and young musicians dominate the scene with naturally more advanced ideas, the less traditional or "New Orleans revival" music there will be for the traditionalists to cling to; they will be forced gradually to the conclusion that jazz as they understand the term is dead.
The realists, on the other hand, are faced with a converse