I posted this in my journal, but I thought It'd be cool here too. Enjoy!
But this is something I've been meaning to talk about for along time...
As Americans, this is our music. Jazz. Our own homegrown music, encasing our trials and tribulations, as well as our victories and our celebrations.
It also tells the story of a people, the African-Americans, and what they had to do to be seen as equal human beings and in many ways still are. They are American in every way, shape and form and its sad that it has taken this long for it to be realized. I have friends who are Black, and although I live in a city that is thankfully tolerant in comparison to the majority of others, its very obvious that they are still often singled out because of the color of their skin.
Jazz has come to "blur" these colors, as the greatest jazz greats come from all creeds and colors.
Louis Armstrong Arguably the most influential jazz musician to ever live...Miles Davis also comes to mind.
Buddy Rich, a drummer who is labeled "The World's Greatest Drummer" and recorded hundreds of songs with all the greats. His skill and musicianship are considered paramount among the best.
Toshiko Akiyohi, Japanese American pianist who was one of the first women in jazz to become successful and respected; her compositions are considered to be some of the best in the world.
You can also look at my avatar for Maynard Ferguson.
I'm saddened that a lot of Americans, while respecting jazz, don't listen to it very often or don't appreciate it on a deeper level. Listen. Even if you don't understand, listen. I'm a jazz musician, and I myself have only begun to completely understand the implications of this art form. We need to learn our own history and appreciate what we have, perhaps in the process learning how to love our brothers and sisters, not because they're "different" but because they're beautiful people and share our history.
Jazz is mixed. Jazz is complex. Jazz is difficult to understand. Jazz is beautiful. Jazz...
Here's a few more Jazzers to look at:
Frank Sinatra (The crooners are jazz too!)
Norah Jones...listen to her music and see that this is jazz.
This isn't even scratching the surface; there are so many more artists out there. Listen, and learn.
Discuss jazz in any way you see fit guys. Keep it hip and keep it cooking! I myself would like to hear some stuff about the new jazz scene and what's going on...the more the listen to, the better.
Post edited 11/30/07 7:40PM