Final Week of New Material

Yesterday’s discussion on Neo-Classicism and the Young Lions was extremely fruitful for me and everyone in attendance. In the coming days, I’ll be posting in this post’s comments reactions to the material from those who were absent (names redacted).

In the meantime, here is the final set of MP3s for the course that highlight how remix aesthetics and experimentalism have influenced jazz over the last 10-15 years. As I noted yesterday, there is no reading assignment; thus, I expect you to pay extra attention to the listening and have some concrete things to say about each example on the syllabus. Feel free to look up some information about the artists or tracks that most interest you. The reduced weekly assignment should allow you considerably more time to focus on your final papers.

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2 Comments

Filed under Course Materials, Discussion

2 responses to “Final Week of New Material

  1. Reaction 1:
    Ake’s article introduces the term “young lions” as a way to describe the new jazz cats who arrived on the scene during fusion’s development. These “young lions”, such as Wynton Marsalis, played standards; however, Marsalis would play in his own authentic performing style to distinguish himself from the greats. Ake elucidates a caveat to playing jazz standards that young lions faced, which is to present these songs with a knowledgeable context their history. For example, both Julie Andrews and John Coltrane have famous recordings of “My Favorite Things”, but a group that plays it reminiscent of Coltrane’s style will be perceived in a greater light because of the association of Coltrane’s recording as the precedent.
    This focus on the past is not only reflected through the choices of jazz standards, or jazzy interpretations – Branford Marsalis’ “Scenes In The City”exemplifies the trends and social consciousness of jazz prior to fusion. It becomes woven into a modern framework with the city recordings dispersed throughout the song, especially the break to emphasize how the sounds of “Bird, Bud, Miles, JJ, Blanton, Max…” are traditionally recognized as undisputedly jazz. This presentation of pre-fusion jazz through the context of post-production editing creates a juxtaposition of traditional and progressive approaches to jazz that are reconciled through musical prowess and cultural relevance. Actually, both of the Marsalis brothers evoke jazz of previous eras and locations (Greenwich Village, New Orleans, etc.) to enrich the jazz tradition both in its roots and in its newly spawned expanses.

    • It’s interesting to me how this response focuses not on Marsalis and the Young Lions’ divisive reputation (as shown in the Walser readings), but rather on how they work through positioning themselves with regards to the past.

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