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Horizons: Jazz in 1984
addition, I see a renascence of sectional improvisation, in which four- to 16-measure melodic phrases are exactly repeated—in other words, more formalized improvisation.
"The use of the techniques of traditional music is already extensive among some people in jazz. Sufficiently extensive, I think, that it can be said that parts of jazz have already become absorbed. At the present time, however, I can foresee nothing approaching a merger, although this is more an historical than musicological point.
"Jazz is going through a tremendous and dangerous reaction in this period. The reaction has been strong—strong enough to sweep people like Tristano with it. The reaction is dangerous because it emphasizes those characteristics of the music which we were well rid of ten years ago. It is dangerous because it is anti-formal. It is dangerous because it stresses a feeling, emotionalism, and impact, over order, sanity, and morality.
"If this reaction is not ended, the future of the music seems very bleak to me. And I don t think the reaction can be stopped.
"It is possible, though, that even if the music—as such—continued to decay, its effect on a new music will have been enormous and healthy/'
Benny Goodman does not share Russo's gloomy feelings about the future. Asked whether he felt that classical music and jazz might move closer, he replied, "Well, that trend has been here, in a sense, for quite a long time. Musicians are developing a higher degree of proficiency, all the new conductors are influenced or 'tainted' by it—especially the American ones, at least— and this must rub off on the musicians that grow up in this country.
"AH the young kids playing in symphony orchestras think so, according to my experience in talking with them recently. Well go to a place like Birmingham, to play with the orchestra and the oboe player will start talking about Charlie Parker, or Harry James, and who did this and that, and seems to know all about it. I don't know to what extent they're influenced by it, but obviously they are well aware of it all. All the kids who listen to music nowadays, including my daughters, they play all kinds of music, and they'll listen to jazz and they listen to Elvis, and