The Book Of Jazz - online reference book

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

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Voucher Codes

Share page  Visit Us On FB

Previous Contents Next
effects are employed by such modern jazzmen as Gerry Mulligan and Bob Brookmeyer, bop has invaded the supposedly "pure* Dixieland territory of Eddie Condons band and the New Orleans ramparts of the Louis Armstrong combo. Traditionalists listening to a bass solo by Leonard Gaskin with Condon in 1957 apparently failed to observe that it was played exactly as Gaskin would have played it when he worked with Gillespie; nor did the Armstrong fans seem to be disturbed by the unmistakable bop nature of Arvell Shaw's solos. Bop, the death of which was gleefully and erroneously signaled by its opponents several years ago, is more alive today than ever, having become a part of the very blood­streams of contemporary jazz; its innovations are heard in the work of almost every young soloist. It is reasonable to suppose that a new cycle, starting in 1970, may meet with violent critical opposition, will be proclaimed dead in 1975, will have shown a similar tenacity and will form an indispensable part of whatever passes for jazz in 1984. And the Law of Diminishing Repute in due course will bring the product of this cycle to the level of mass acceptance and employment on esthetically inconsequential levels; the critics will begin to dismiss it as of minor importance and not really jazz at all; by 1990 it will be classified under "Popular Music."
Jazz today is a young man's art and a young, immature art in itself. Though some of the major creative figures are men of middle or upper middle age, they are the exceptions; the mam force of new ideation will always rest with musicians young in mind and body. Similarly, though a few of the performances committed to records by the founders of jazz three or four dec­ades ago have some intrinsic listening value to the present day era, most of what we hear in our retrospective survey of the first days of jazz recording has failed to survive the passage of time and can be examined by musicians only in terms of its antiquity and nostalgic interest. One can only speculate whether the jazz of today will have shown greater durability and will render itself susceptible to subjective enjoyment a generation hence.
Chaucer summed up the nature of every art, of every field of learning, of the whole evolutionary process, with these lines: