IN A PERFECT WORLD:
Here's something I've been thinking about for a while. Recording has ruined the music business for the majority of living, working musicians.
Recordings have kept alive the music of the great musicians of the past so we can keep them in our living rooms and enjoy and study them and play them at parties for our friends. It's always great to turn someone on to someone they've never heard before and watch their reaction. This is good...but it is too easy.
Music, and Jazz in particular, is alive. Recorded music is dead. I sometimes think at the end of a great performance: "It's too bad we didn't record THAT!"...but the fact that it wasn't recorded makes it more special. The people who witnessed the performance shared something personal that would live on in their memory. If it were recorded and mass produced the value would be greatly lessened...supply and demand.
Imagine what it was like in Beethoven's day when someone would hear a piece maybe once or twice in their lifetime! It would be like magic. You can only take it home in your memory. You better be paying attention. In Beethoven's time musicians would sit in the audience and transcribe sections of the concert as it was going by....no slowing down the tape recorder!...I only know a couple musicians who would be capable of doing that today (and I ain't one of them).
In some ways I think we have arrested the development and evolution of the music, and pretty much killed off the apprentice/mentor relationship.
Imagine: If there were no recordings people would have to go out to hear living musicians. There would be many more local pockets of creativity developing and finding their own sound paths. I wonder how many original thinking singular minds would emerge. The fabric of improvisers would be richer by far. If you wanted to learn you would hook up with more experienced musicians. Your ears would have to grow because you would have to get it on the first listening because there might not be another chance.
There would be more musicians working and making a better living because if people wanted to hear music they would have to either play it themselves or go out where it was being played. People of today's generation wouldn't still be trying to sound like Coltrane or Monk or Bill Evans or Miles because they would never have heard them...except through legends and stories told by people who did hear them and through their written work....and they probably wouldn't be worried about the "correct" changes to a tune because every region would develop their own sound...
Musicians of today's generation would be trying to sound like the great local players who play regularly in their area...the music would be evolving on a local level in hundreds of regions around the country at the same time.....that would be exciting.
I got a CHALLENGE for you!
Go 2 months without playing your cd's or records or the radio. Then go to a club where there is live music.....the music of your choice and see how you like it. This means you have to avoid recorded music.....listen to talk radio or no radio...get to know yourself again....Watch sports on tv instead of sitcoms......I bet only 2 percent of the reading audience can do it.....maybe 1 percent. I'd say it's the equivelent of quitting smoking...and almost as important
Take me out coach!
I'm just ranting...
by the way...if you want to buy MY CD's send me an E-mail !!!