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July 25, 2010


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Those readers wanting to hear more of Adam Schroeder's fine playing can sample this Jack Nimitz CD, which features a previously unreleased Creed Taylor-produced Jack Nimitz / Bill Harris session from the 1950's along with a recent session with the two bari sax men.

Arnaldo DeSouteiro

Hi Marc,
Thanks a lot for your support!
Keep jazzin',
Arnaldo DeSouteiro


Maybe those are whiskers, with the gloves and hood representing fur. The other pair in her hand suggest that she eats her cat food with chopsticks perhaps.

Doug Zielke

Oh man! Marc, you sure know how to push my buttons. As a stubborn and uncompromising musical fossil, I will never understand the music beloved by Gen F. Not that I haven't tried. I have XM satellite radio, and so am able to sample lots of different music. Sorry, I just can't listen to most of what the young people are digging.

But will the Gen F'ers (unwittingly perhaps) end up killing jazz? Did rock 'n roll kill jazz?
I believe jazz will stand the test of time. Great music always does.

Denis Ouellet

Yes Marc, the question on weather generation F as you call them will make any difference on how jazz survives is worth pondering.I agree with you that at first sight it does not look good. Of course today does not compare with the golden age of Jazz in terms of audiences.
But unfortunately it's been going downhill ever since. Many factors here which I won't go into. On the other hand for people like me which over the years has bought his fair share of LP's, CD's and downloads, the digital age is the best. Because of the easy access to music. Jazz will always be here. More people can hear it.

John P. Cooper

Is classical music as screwed as Jazz is? Are are young people getting a classical music education and Jazz not?

John P. Cooper

I've never heard, until now, A Handful of Stars Jazzed before. Was credible.

Larry Kart

In my experience, very few baritone saxophonists (good or not so good) ended up sounding like Gerry Mulligan. Even an avowed Mulligan emulator like Kerry Strayer sounds like himself. I suspect this is because Mulligan (whatever his other many virtues) was not that highly skilled an instrumentalist (though he improved a good deal in his later years), and some of his key traits on the horn (that hoarse, sore-thumb register break) were his alone almost of necessity. I think that a more common model for baritone saxophonists since he came on the scene was the late Pepper Adams.

Marco Romano

Yes, yes, Gen F'ers. When I do think about it I tend to go directly to the cd player or internet radio and put on some music and turn up the volume to a respectable level.

lily kane

another F'er here. understand the note on listeners and listening. curious what you think about some new jazz - is the music itself actually suffering? jose james, esperanza spalding, robert glasper... these newbies do anything for you? Too F'y?

Ian Carey

Have to disagree with you on this one, Marc--while there are plenty of vapid youngsters these days, I'm sure that's been true of every generation. You don't mention what is to me a big counter to your argument (and you may or may not agree), but I would be very surprised if there were not more extremely skilled and creative jazz musicians, from all corners of the world, then there have ever been before, and a good chunk of them are in the age group you describe. They love their iPods, and their Twitter, and they can play the hell out of Giant Steps. Now, one could argue about the artistic merit of these players (as Jason Marsalis did recently), but I don't think you can accuse them of a lack of studiousness or attention span. Now, the fact that the demand (the audience) for jazz has been steadily dwindling as the supply (players) increases simultaneously is disturbing, and the general cultural trends you describe may play a role--but such a generalized condemnation of a generation (a generation which includes people like Aaron Parks, Ambrose Akinmusire, and countless other young monster players, as well as the people who download their music) is overly pessimistic in my opinion. (And I'm a pessimist!)

Marco Romano

One can't fault all the Gen X, Y and F'ers en masse. That's just too much of a truncated generalization. I think many people see jazz as irrelevant to the times and that is unfortunate for jazz, jazz musicians and the people who look at jazz that way. The marketing of jazz has probably done more harm to it than anything else. It's a means of free soul expression that covers infinite territory. I believe that the menu options of the digital diaspora will ultimately be good for people like Stitt, Roland Kirk et al.

Alex W. Rodriguez

Mr. Myers,
Have you ever had a conversation with a jazz fan or musician under 30? If you haven't, let's talk. If you have, I have no idea how you came to these conclusions. I am a bit offended by your gross generalization, as I have been living in the world that you are trying to describe and trust me, it doesn't look anything like what you think it does.


I have to disagree with the extreme over-generalizational premise that multi-tasking has lead to the death of a jazz-consuming populace. As you yourself stated, multi-tasking has existed for decades, in the form of performing chores while listen to radio. On the other hand, I spent most of my teens in the early '90s actively listening to the radio in my bedroom. Music was the activity, not background noise. Nothing changed as I turned to CDs and mp3s. Just because new digital formats and delivery devices are conducive to effectively ignoring the music while playing doesn't mean everyone in my generation does that. Those of us that love music continue to listen to it.

In addition, jazz--and other "difficult" music--has always been a niche. It's not like the masses ate up Mingus and Sun Ra in favor of Elvis and The Beatles. Simpler melodies--not in an of themselves a bad thing--will always attract a larger audience. But an awful lot of people in my generation like Dirty Projectors and Menomena and Konono No. 1. Not exactly simpleton music.

I enjoy some jazz, but I happen to think there are more interesting artists in the various pop and rock and roll subgenres. That's an opinion and a preference. But I think it's wrong to snobbishly enlist such extreme generalities as reasons as to why today's music-listening generation is somehow lesser than previous ones simply because we have different tastes.

Lois Gilbert

Marc, I respectfully disagree with you, on the fear and foreboding disappearance of jazz in the hands of this "Generation F that you call flighty." I think it's completely celebratory that jazz is accessible and digital for anyone of any age to put on the Ipods and mix it up with other genres and share it as well. Perhaps the F in generation should stand for free choice. And the internet and ipods and blogs like yours and websites like mine ( ensure that jazz will propser. You should hear what's on my ipod: from Fela to Franklin (Aretha) to Freeman (Von) (just keepin in stride with the F alliteration) That's the beauty of ipods, IMO. Also it should be noted that many of the Generation F you refer to are the very musicians that are mixing it up and are continuing to create improvised music and helping ensure the proliferation of jazz. I don't believe you can turn many people on to jazz by instilling that this music needs full concentration and seperating it from other kinds of music.
Isn't your blog just a series of tracks?

The very nature of your fear and loathing of new modes of distributing and listening to music is more contributory to what you seemingly feel is a lack of growth in Jazz as well as its preservation. I quite respectfully, totally disagree.
always my best

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of a Song" (Grove) and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax is a two-time winner of the Jazz Journalists Association's best blog award.

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