Wednesday, May 26, 2004

All That Jazz

An otherwise sensible blogger (whom I'll not name) adores Miles Davis. He (the blogger) says, "If you listen to nothing else by Miles Davis, buy and listen to Relaxin’. I absolutely guarantee you will not hate it, and you are very likely to love it."

Well, I just refreshed my memory by listening to a few cuts, courtesy of I hate it; it's pablum for the ears. It reminds me of the background music for "Peanuts" films. Maybe it is the background music for "Peanuts" films.

Wherever jazz went after the late 1930s, it wasn't a good place. Davis's stuff is good compared with the meandering, discordant offerings of "artists" whose names my memory has suppressed. But that's like saying a bowlful of sugar is better for you than a bowlful of arsenic. It is, but why eat it when the pantry is stocked with the pre-war offerings of Sidney Bechet, Bix Beiderbecke, Benny Goodman, Fletcher Henderson, Jelly Roll Morton, King Oliver, Jimmie Lunceford, and Fats Waller, among many others of their era.

I just love it when I get a chance to expound on the degradation of classic musical forms. Someday I'll write about the hideousness of "serious" music after 1900.