29. August 2005 · Comments Off on Just What Is Jazz? · Categories: That's Entertainment!

Most of my regular readers know I am a huge jazz fan, and am again watching Ken Burns’ eponymous documentary. And, while I must say that, while this is a far better treatment of the subject than has ever been done before, it is still sorely wanting. What irks me most is that Burns is rather Afro-centric, and loses scope in the post-Bird era.

I mean, he pretty-much dismisses the whole west-coast “cool” jazz genre as being hardly worth listening to. And, while he gives passing recognition to Ornette Coleman, and Dave Brubeck, no mention at all is made of Les Paul. And should we even mention Toots Theilman? And surely, any of these four are more important to the evolution of modern jazz than Miles Davis, whom Burns dots on.

And what of the promoters? Only passing mention is made of Quincy Jones, and none of Hugh Hefner. These two men can, arguably, be credited with having “saved” jazz in the ’60s and ’70s.

Something is seriously lacking here.

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