For some reason today my Glasper post got a ton of comments.  Some were really silly and others were very informative and thoughtful.

Let me state a few things. I don’t believe I ever once questioned Glasper’s musicianship or talent.  Although I haven’t spent a great deal of time listening to him I realize that he is supremely talented and a stellar musician.  I did refer to him in a round about way as a ‘moron’ which is not cool and I take that back.  I was simply trying to say that what he said in my opinion was ‘moronic,’ not that that makes it any better. There are better words that I could’ve used.

I don’t have anything against Robert Glasper as a musician other than his music is not my cup of tea or as a person (how could I, I have never met him.)  One comment said that perhaps I overreacted to the article and that person may in fact be right. After re-reading the article I still took what he said as offensive and still stand by the thought that he could of worded things differently.  The other thing that I never stopped to consider is perhaps the interview was edited and the full context of his comments were not presented. Who knows.

Anyways, I do appreciate the thoughtful and insightful comments by those that chose to comment even if I do disagree with parts.   I learned something.



2 thoughts on “GLASPER REDUX

  1. I’d be the last person to ask you or anyone else to dial your shit back, since a lot of jazz discourse these days has gotten awfully polite. I actually find your shoot-from-the-lip opinionated stance rather refreshing, even when I’ve gotten splashed with it. But in giving yourself license to be opinionated, you ought to give others that freedom as well.

    I’ll confess I haven’t read the Glasper interview, but I know the guy slightly (he went to high school with my colleague here in New Orleans, Jesse Mcbride) and his vibe actually reminds me a little of yours. So it’s kind of interesting you’d take umbridge with remarks that are, at least from what I can see from the quotes you reproduced in your original post, not particularly over the top. Regardless of how well the Cellar is doing (and hallelujah twice over that it’s doing well) that’s probably more a matter of astute marketing and hard work on your part that any big straight-ahead jazz renaissance. It’s just a fact that the audience for that stuff in the big picture is very, very small. I wish that weren’t so, but it is. And the ddisconnect between young people and the Great American Songbook is also very real. Youth culture has become very segregated, the students I dealt with at Tulane often seemed to have grown up on a kind of Planet Teen, where any music outside of their own narrow demographic might as well be from mars. Sure “I Got Rhythm” was already an “old” song by the time I was 12 (in 1966), but it was also a hit in a “rock” remake by the Happenings, as well as the harmonic basis for all kinds of contemporary pop stuff, like the theme from the Flintstones. The first time I heard Cannonball’s “Mercy Mercy Mercy” was on top 40 radio that same year. That is absolutely not the case now.

    As for “arrogant,” well, bring it on. Miles was arrogant. Jelly Roll Morton claimed to have “invented” jazz. The list goes on and on. And these people weren’t quiet about their opinions either, they voiced them loudly, often in publications like Downbeat, inspiring flurries of letters to the editor, pro and con. As my father used to say, argument and discussion are signs of intellectual health. Bring it on. The interview you apparently wanted out of Glasper would have contained none of that.

    And speaking of controvery:

    “Especially the last part about Bop musicians. I’ve had a jazz club for 12 years who’s bread and butter are bop musicians and there are 100′s that are in the same boat. to make a generalized statement like that is ludicrous. what’s happening in NYC? Smoke, Dizzy’s, the Vanguard, Blue Note, Smalls…what are they booking? I would say 80 to 90% straight ahead music and everytime I go there which is at least 3 times a year those places are packed.”

    Oh really? I guess we’ve got nothing to worry about then, regardless of what Glasper says. By your lights, straight-ahead jazz is such a hot ticket, the future of the genre is pretty much assured. Packed jazz clubs, thriving festivals, broad popular appeal. It sounds great.

    • The problem with these discussions is that sooo much text gets taken waaaaay out of context. I’m as guilty of it as anyone else and in your case you have taken much of what I said waaaay out of context.

      One day I will learn to not blog, not read, not talk etc. I did manage to get Sports radio out of my life for good, maybe it’s time to get all jazz mags, Facebook, twitter etc out of my life.

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