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August 09, 2014


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1) Jazz just isn't relatable.

2) You realize this is the WaPo, right? It's the Onion without the attempt at satire or humor. (Or as Dean Baker likes to say, "Fox on 15th Street".)

3) I hate you for finally making me read the article after studiously avoiding it.

Steven Scott

I'm quite partial to "Blood Count" which apparently is metered to match the drip of an I.V. Strayhorn was a ferocious talent and combined so well with Ellington's genius.


1). No. Music is an aural art form. Words are completely unnecessary and I prefer it most of the time when they are not present. There are many who share my opinion. This art form speaks to people like them.

2). Labels are completely irrelevant and they are assigned by people like you, not the art itself.

3). There have always been less accessible art forms. I personally don't "get" much rap or hip hop. That is on me. This is on people like you and Moyers.


That there is some quality sarcasm.

And thanks for mentioning that recording of "Lotus Blossom," which is practically my favorite thing, ever.

Han-earl Park

Satire that cuts right to the core of what was wrong with Moyer’s piece: a tradition is refusing to conform to what _Moyer_ wants it to be.

James Keepnews

You'd think by writing ""I just didn’t get their aesthetic," a self-respecting editor would immediately recuse her/himself from commenting on what s/he admits s/he doesn't understand. As Lex would not say: NOPE. NOPE. This was infinitely worse than M. Django Gold's (one of those names you wish you'd never seen) utterly humor-free full-on embrace of the jazz-sux-who-cares-why? know-nothing meme that infects much discussion of the topic for the coming generation. And the douchebag was signed to Dischord...meantime, the Minutemen would open their concerts by playing Ascension. Bet it sounded like Phish! All that improv, Lord have mercy...sure would love it if Professors Braxton, akLaff, and/or Hoggard would deign to speak to how little this clown knew in order to flunk himself forward to the head of the discourse. Jazz lives -- as, sadly, does shamelessly vacuous dipshittery.


Wasn't it Louis Armstrong who said of jazz, "If you gotta ask, you'll never know?"

Funny you should mention the Boswells; one of the just-wrapped new Biffle & Shooster shorts, SCHMO BOAT, features the Saguaro Sisters doing a pitch-perfect version of the Boswells' arrangement of "Roll On, Mississippi, Roll On."

Chris Voss

No comment on the original article, which is probably for the best. However, a second doffing of the hat to you, sir, for introducing me to Ellington's painfully beautiful take on "Lotus Blossom", which I had not heard until now.

For the record, the first doffing of the hat was back in 2011, when you were doing the "Encounters with Great recordings of the Century" and discussed "We Three" by Roy Hanes/Phineas Newborn/Paul Chambers. That record refuses to get tired.


Damn. "Part-time post-punk" is such an exquisite stealth burn. Great post Glenn; I think #3 is especially damning.


Ben, we're going to have to agree to strongly disagree about your first point and leave it at that.

Also, having read enough condescending culture articles recently, I'm staying away from that "Washington Post" article, and taking Glenn's word for it.

Shawn Stone

The Boswell catalog (ARC/Brunswick) was split between Columbia and Decca in ye olden days. Legacy did some lovely remasters of the Columbia stuff in the 1990s. MCA, nothing. (In the US anyway) Don't know what's out there now, still have the old CDs and LPs (including an MCA import which is half Connee Boswell solo, half Sisters.)

Scott Neal

I heartily agree with point #2: too many kinds of music get categorized as jazz. The liner notes of my favorite album of all-time (Chuck Mangione "Live at the Hollywood Bowl") contain a quote by Harvey Siders of The Los Angeles Times that helps make some sense, at least to me: "There wasn't an empty seat at the Hollywood Bowl Sunday night- in the 18,000-seat amphitheater, or it's ample stage- as Chuck Mangione, his quartet and 65 of Hollywood's finest demonstrated why jazz and rock are living together so compatibly." The whole album is wonderful, except for the second tune which I never listen to, because it's too...jazzy.

Agree or disagree, one thing is for certain: Harvey Siders knew how to spell "amphitheater" correctly.

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