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Horizons: Jazz in 1984
But the important thing is this: you know how thin the line is between jazz and other music already. Twenty-five years from now it's just going to be that much more so. Just one big music, with everybody believing exactly what I ve always believed—that if it sounds good, it's good music.
Woody Herman takes a somewhat less sanguine view of the outlook: "The large jazz band is on its way to extinction. Even­tually everything will be concentrated in smaller groups. I rather hope that it won't be that way, but unless there's a great eco­nomic change in our country I'm afraid it will.
"I don't think there will ever be a complete wedding between classical music and jazz, but there will be more overlapping than there is now. The supposed limitations of classical musicians in their attempts to play jazz are not as important as the jazz musi­cians would like to have you believe. There's hardly a guy in the world who can't be taught to phrase jazz correctly unless he just doesn't feel any kind of rhythm.
"I think improvisation will probably stay basically pretty much the same, with maybe a return to the scene of the more flowing melodic kind of ad libbing; at least I hope so.
"As to the international aspect, the future for jazz generally speaking looks much brighter abroad than at home. A lot of people overseas have been making great strides in terms of orig­inality, and I am inclined to think that certainly within the next 25 years there will be groups that will set up their own kind of jazz, their own styles, in many other countries.
"As for the experimental jazz of today, only time can tell. Twenty-five years from now the people who are around will know whether it had any true value or not."
Herman's views on the broadening scope in the foreign scene are shared by John Gillespie and John Lewis.
"Just as jazz moved geographically through various phases in this country-New Orleans, Kansas City, Chicago and so forth-I believe it will go through a similar series of changes on an inter­national rather than ultra-national level," Lewis observes. "The influence and impact of jazz playing and writing in other coun­tries will be felt increasingly.