A good friend coined the title of this post during several exchanges prompted by trumpeter Nicholas Payton’s blog posts. Strong words indeed in parts but well argued with passion and an obvious love for the music and it uses and abuses in the mainstream media leading to his conclusion that Jazz Isn’t Cool Anymore.
Payton’s Open Conversation with the bassist Christian McBride introduced me to the Daddy Warbucks analogy which I immediately related to my JazzFM Dilemma and I love his request, nay demand, that artists “need to separate from the idea that we depend on donors and endowments to survive”.
My initial JazzFM Dilemma post contains regular updates about kowtowing to increasing sponsorship by UK “business leaders” who have an “interest” or even a “passion” for jazz. The ultimate ego-massage so far has been the promotion of the free-market economics of the Adam Smith Institute by Eamonn Butler on Jazz in the City. It is not necessarily the content that is most annoying on these shows but the arrogance, with which the content is presented, highlights the offensive bias of JazzFM’s sponsorship strategy. At the risk of repeating myself, JazzFM over-steps the mark as a music station by encouraging people to take up business rather than encouraging people to take up an instrument. I have difficulty expressing my frustration at the abuse of the term jazz in this respect and Payton’s blog gives plenty of arguments to express that frustration.