Fred Seibert on the MTV Logo - JazzWax

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August 01, 2011


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Joel lewis

Excellent story about the birth of our present music era -- you know we are all getting very old when people bemoan the lack of videos on tv.

There is an excellent wikipedia entry of Oblivion records. One of the great forgotten early fusion efforts was the album Friends, led by electric saxophonist Marc Cohn -- who later transformed into the evanezque pianist Marc Copland (!)-- features a very early appearence by John Abercrombie. Thjere is probably a story about those hardy indie jazz labels of the early to mid-70s who operated in a pre-internet era where it was so difficult to the get the goods out to customers. It is worth noting that Joe Lee Wilson's first LP was on oblivion, got a lot of radio air play but was mighty hard to find in stores.

also, isn't Message to Garcia Bill Evans's first appearence on record? (according to discogs I've run across)

Ed Leimbacher

Well, that silly symbol saga from the Mad World of Ad suffers, like MTV's veejays and deadening reality shows, from a terminal case of logorrhea. The cablers started out wild and free, but too quickly became desperate and boring. Yes, MTV managed to stretch its 15 minutes of fame into 15 years, but the later 15 was just logo-rhythmic, and all that's left now is the Leg-AC of N-Fam-E and C-Rap. (Running the mouth is just too EZ.)


The clip shows how far that MTV has come from creative exposition of popular music to promotion of the slacker lifestyle.

Bill Kirchner

I have a copy of the "Friends" album, which is quite good--it got a five-star review in DownBeat at the time.

And Copland (an old friend and colleague of mine) was originally Marc Cohen, by the way. He changed his surname to avoid confusion with the country singer Marc Cohn.

And calling him an "evansezque" pianist doesn't do him justice. That's like calling Michael Brecker a "Coltranesque" tenor player.

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of 55 More Songs," "Anatomy of a Song," "Rock Concert: An Oral History" and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax has won three Jazz Journalists Association awards.
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