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08 December 2006



I was overjoyed to see that article, as you can imagine.


Hi, I'd like to post my thoughts regarding the 1973-1990 list of jazz albums and the question of why there's a conception that for jazz (and otherwise) the 70s were moribund. I think there was great jazz then, but there was a shift from the Innovators and followers to a more individualized approach to jazz. The great innovators from the 1940s on who were not only innovators but leaders of movements were Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, and Ornette Coleman. Greats like Charles Mingus were not leaders of movements due in part to their individuality and eclectic sources. Mingus didn't even want his band members to sound like Bird ("If Bird was a Gunslinger, There'd Be a Whole Lot of Dead Copycats"). Anyway, after the 60s, these innovators had left their mark, made their clarion call, and what was left to do? Obviously, a whole lot to do as the list shows, but not in terms of definable Movements. After Bird, Trane, and Ornette, players either followed their leads in whole or in part, but there were no groundbreaking discoveries in store for a while, and maybe not even to this day. So I see the 70s and beyond as times of brilliance in existing forms, so to speak. For example, the great Keith Jarrett was influenced by both Ornette and Bill Evans and others, but what he really did was make his individual statement. Discovering the self rather than leading or following a movement. If this is true, then the 70s wouldn't appear to be jagged mountains, but neither does their Appalachian curves represent despair or mediocrity.


Hey -- CONGRATS ! on the NY Times article. Very well deserved. Nate Chinen did a really nice job.

p.s. and thanks for the link and the Deval/Sun Ra shout out a couple weeks ago. Very much appreciated. --best

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