Wynton = Punk!!!

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Come on, it's obvious. Employing a scorched-earth policy that works retroactively back to the point where the music takes a turn from the functional to the primarily aesthetic/political in focus, how punk is that? Making a 10-hour documentary the hidden subtext of which is "the last 20/30/40/200 years were a complete mistake but here I am!" - even better than 'Who Killed Bambi'! As for people who claim his look and manner is ridiculous - it's like the boomer scum complaining about their punk kids looking like ROTC trainees ("We were into burning draft cards back then, man") Complete lack of respect for any elders who aren't actually dead - now what's wrong with that? (Stanley Crouch v. Jamie Reid?)

dave q, Wednesday, 5 June 2002 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I was worried that Branford would turn out to be a fake punk like Billy Idol (I like Idol but BM's music isn't as good), but he honored the fire when denouncing Cecil Taylor as "self-indulgent bullshit" on the Ken Burns doc! Never mind the coolness factor of using a massive public platform to denounce a vastly less-succesful and longer- serving figure [ALL publicity is good. Having a famous detractor is always better than having a famous booster] - but isn't it similar to the legendary "I Hate Pink Floyd" t-shirt? (Perhaps Cecil Taylor's equivalence in 'jazz' to Pink Floyd in 'rock' just says something about the difference between jazz and rock audiences in terms of both size and discrimination but I'll leave you all to determing what that 'something' might be)

dave q, Wednesday, 5 June 2002 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

hah! christ, they showed 'jazz' over in the UK too? sorry about that - it's the tv station i work for here in the states that was responsible for it, but if you're going to blame someone, blame ken b.

burns is more punk than wynton, wouldn't you say? he was the one who selected wynton, poss out of laziness, as this sole arbiter of what jazz was even though w.m. is hardly a historian - burns is also the one that decided the scope of the project and how much history to truncate/revise. also i am not sure if w.m. knew exactly how much he was gonna be used in the doc when he agreed to be interviewed - how these interviews were edited together was up to burns, after all

documentary film ppl are the true punXor assholes of this world: ph34r me dave q, one day i will mis-/"selectively"-quote you in the current piece i'm working on for pbs (which is about 'the global population crisis in the year 2050' in case you were wondering)

geeta, Wednesday, 5 June 2002 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Branford and Wynton are both fakes. Jason Marsalis is the real deal.

DV, Wednesday, 5 June 2002 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

less facetiously, there is a lot to be said for the idea that jazz stopped being any good at some random point in the past. However, this also applies to Wynton Marsalis. While I liked what I saw of the Ken Burns series (blah blah notwithstanding standard criticisms blah blah blah) the Wynton Marsalis tracks on the accompanying CD are pretty lame.

DV, Wednesday, 5 June 2002 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

interviewed in wire mag in 1986, branford noted that he had been when young, and to a degree still was, a YES FAN!!

mark s, Wednesday, 5 June 2002 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Wynton Marsalis plays Cosby jazz.

J Blount, Wednesday, 5 June 2002 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

That's all I'm sayin'. Undeniable chops and articulateness aside, does anyone actually buy those umpteen albums he puts out every year, much less listen to them for pleasure and enlightenment?

Lee G, Wednesday, 5 June 2002 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

K. Jarrett is much more likely to be the Pink Floyd (or the Roger Waters) of Jazz than Cecil T.

Andrew L, Wednesday, 5 June 2002 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Black Codes from the Underground is good.

The Wynton thing is funny because he pisses off people who don't give a fuck about jazz. People whose only jazz record is Kind of Blue get all huffy about Wynton's conservative approach.

Mark, Wednesday, 5 June 2002 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Mark S -- what is your take on the respect Marsalis is accorded in the Penguin guides? I know you know C*oke & M*rton. Are they generally conservative or do they see something others don't?

Mark, Wednesday, 5 June 2002 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I'm not pissed, but I am struck by the irony of a jazzman who comes out loud for tradition as the True Path and then proceeds to drop after album of prissily pristine and unmoving music. For my money, players like James Carter and David Murray have done more to validate the traditional values of jazz (for what that's worth) than Wynton's historical reenactments. I actually have more respect for Brandon, because he has at least shown himself willing to try fairly bold experiments, even at the risk of failing and/or looking like a trendy ass.

Lee G, Wednesday, 5 June 2002 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

i don't have a recent penguin, mark, only edn one, which predates burns and the lincoln jazz centre stuff: my guess is, RC reviewed it, absolutely rigorously straight-faced as regards content => he is pretty much completely impervious to cultural politics w/i jazz in any direction, *except* the politics of shoring up his own projects, as it were (viz who to put on the cover of wire in 1984 when it was selling like nine copies a month), and calmly go on to give a good review to alex schlippenbach immediately after, then louis armstrong

(rc = armstrong fan at age 12!!) (i sort of totally admire this, in a OMIGOD! way)

mark s, Wednesday, 5 June 2002 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Ulp, uh, excuse me. BranFORD.

Lee G, Wednesday, 5 June 2002 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Branford's "that's bullshit" quote about Cecil Taylor was actually placed in a derogatory (sp?) context by Burns's weak editing job, but if you actually read the transcript of the entire interview he gave, he was praising Cecil. Unfortunately, I'm not sure where you could find that online, but I know it's out there.

hstencil, Wednesday, 5 June 2002 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I just started watching the Burns series on tape, having been forewarned that it leaves out most of the "free" developments. What I WASN'T warned about was Wynton. So I was really squirming through the first episode (all those GUMBO metaphors for crying out loud!) but I've started to warm up to Wynton now: given that the series is entirely concerned with trad-jazz, it could do worse than to have a trad-pundit for a mouthpiece. Geeta's right, he's no historian; but he is a Nostalgia Enthusiast and his ability to mimic, say, King Oliver's coronet lines does serve the purpose of sketching the progress of particular styles over those early years; styles which could seem quaint or hackneyed are approached with wonder ("see he could make his trumpet sound like it was talking!" etc).

I'm dreading the end of the series though. I'll be bracing myself for that quote about C Taylor. I wish they were a little more up front from the get-go about the trad bias: "this is only the first half of the story chronologically" or something, anything. Their "definitive guide" is the same version inflicted on hapless bistro diners the world over by D Krall soundalikes, the stuff of hep late nite smooth- voiced public radio hosts. Wynton's version is the popular version is the idea that jazz is for Torchbearers not Mavericks and implies that he is the real smooth deal and people like Ornette and Coltrane somehow lost the plot (hmm gives me a thought for that Ornette vs. Lydon thread). His concern is with preserving a museum-piece= decidedly not punk.

If C Taylor= Pink Floyd of jazz then Wynton= Sha Na Na

The Actual Mr. Jones, Wednesday, 5 June 2002 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

No, Wynton's even more of an aesthete Art-worshipper than the free dudes he hates so much. Those Bach records he made? The way he *talks* about older jazz? Dave, *you* might see his scorched-earth thing as denouncing the non-functional, but I doubt he would ever sully the Great Jazz of the Past with the word "function". Wynton is like a rock crit who denounces prog, but in so doing, props up the older stuff as unassailable. Not punk.

Clarke B., Wednesday, 5 June 2002 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Branford makes some good records. Really good, sometimes (like the last two).

Jordan, Wednesday, 5 June 2002 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Going back to the subject: Yes, Wynton is a punk: a punk-ass bitch.

Dan Perry, Wednesday, 5 June 2002 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I think the actual quote went something like this: interviewer says C. Taylor says people should come prepared to understand his music cuz he can't be bothered to meet them halfway, and then Branford sez blah blah blah because he's partly an entertainer and performer. Or something like that (really, see the transcripts).

Josh, Wednesday, 5 June 2002 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

keyboard magazine compiled a book of interviews (keith emerson, keith jarrett etc.) and the last interview in the book was with Cecil who treated the interview like a fascist interrogation -- i think he's the one worth chasing up quotes of, or 'spoken word' or 'free speech' or 'poetry'

rec.music.bluenote (the jazz newsgroup) has almost kill-file policy on Wynton and various never-say-die brain-dead Lincoln-centric trolls, as set out in the group FAQ

remember "Born in the USA" Springsteen ? -- someone told me that the same a&r record co. man who masterminded that was the guy who originally took "neo-classical" or "real jazz" or "Wynton Marselis" to the marketplace and re-sold jazz (complete with Marselis in back then rare "the real shit" tv interview pointing out that Stravinsky was "a back-beat kind'a guy, dig ?")

that Wire magazine with that guy Byrne on the cover, didn't it have Cecil and Wynton in the same issue ? successive issues ?

George Gosset, Wednesday, 5 June 2002 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

''I'm dreading the end of the series though. I'll be bracing myself for that quote about C Taylor.''

When they broadcast the series in the UK they took the stuff on Cecil. Did they have any footage? Damn the BBC!

In some ways its good they took Cecil out. If you're not gonna do both sides then you might as well not do it.

Julio Desouza, Thursday, 6 June 2002 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

sixteen years pass...

Going back to the subject: Yes, Wynton is a punk: a punk-ass bitch.

― Dan Perry, Tuesday, June 4, 2002 7:00 PM (sixteen years ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

🙏

Dan I., Sunday, 6 January 2019 03:54 (five months ago) Permalink

namaste

errang (rushomancy), Sunday, 6 January 2019 04:43 (five months ago) Permalink

Damn, I really need to see that Ken Burns jazz doc. I’ve shied away from it all these years because Wynton is an ENORMOUS jazzist purist rock-hating asshole, but I think I’d warm up to it these days. I hate rock music too!

Mr. Snrub, Sunday, 6 January 2019 17:31 (five months ago) Permalink

Black Codes from the Underground is good

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Sunday, 6 January 2019 18:05 (five months ago) Permalink

This thread makes me want to listen to all six of the Marsalis Standard Time albums and maybe write about them.

grawlix (unperson), Sunday, 6 January 2019 20:09 (five months ago) Permalink


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