Saturday, April 23, 2011

Dirt City Graphic

If we've learned anything from the recent political turmoil, it's that the revolution will be televised, as will every subsequent revolution. Gil Scott-Heron, that sanctimonious prick, got that one wrong. He was as close to jazz as it got for me, although, I knew one guy who would sit in his dorm room listening to Lee Ritenour and Stanley Clarke while sucking on an unlit pipe. He wouldn't say a word and I would usually bail on him after five minutes of that jazz-fusion crud.  As Lou Reed once said: "If it has more than three chords, it's jazz." the music was overly complicated, boring and no fun. It was the music of finger snapping beatniks, weird beards and pipe smokers, but ultimately it was just background music. For John Coltrane and Miles Davis, jazz was the soundtrack that played inside their minds. It accompanied them as they slept, fucked, ate or fixed,  the best jazz has that narcotic rhythm and flow, you can almost feel the opiate rush. You become a hipster by osmosis, nothing says "What the fuck are you listening to, you pretentious asshole!", like jazz. John Coltrane and his contemporaries set the standard so high that it made all future efforts pointless.  Jazz  musicians pursued their art with no regard for commercial appeal, thus causing mainstream fans to drop off like flies.  That will never happen in rock music or pop because both are the domain of flawed musicians. Nobody will ever accuse dregs like Nickelback or Lady Gaga of having raised the bar. The greatest rock musicians are quickly tossed aside and forgotten. Once in a while some dumpster diving rapper will dig them up to steal, err..sample their music. Few are held in reverence and nobody but a psycho would build altars to hedonists like Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. By comparison every single jazz great died of a drug overdose and yet they are revered as saints.