supaunknown wrote:Are jam bands jazz?
The spirit of jazz is probably in there somewhere, but it don't mean a thing (if it ain't got that swing).
I would say no in most cases, although it depends on how broad a definition of "jazz" you use. Swing? Fusion? Free jazz?
Very generally speaking, I see the "typical" jam band improvising on one to three chords at most, and usually in fairly defined major-minor (mostly major) tonalities, so I wouldn't call it jazz. Others might. Artists like MMW, John Scofield, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, and (long ago, and rather obscure) the Aquarium Rescue Unit blur the line a bit more.
Logjam wrote:Somewhat on topic, a few weeks ago WORT played something from the Tim Whalen Nonet "Live at Magnus" (or maybe just "Magnus") and it was pretty damn awesome. I literally didn't know that kind of stuff was being produced right here in Madison. This topic reminded me that I meant to pick up that disc.
Yep, they are/were fantastic. Tim is a band director in the military at the moment, so they're on hiatus. Hopefully they'll make a return appearance in the future, but obviously it won't be at Magnus.
Nate535 wrote:Is the burden on the audience to be entertained or on you to be entertaining?
Yes, and yes, depending on how financially successful you're aiming for. I think we could agree that if you want to take your bleeding-edge avant-garde musings public, you could play at Mother Fool's or Project Lodge and get a few people there, but you're not going to make a living at it.
But this thread is about jazz being commercially viable. Thing is, more people were entertained by it back in its heyday because it was new, groundbreaking, and heard everywhere. People's ears got used to it. It was the pop music of the time.
Nate535 wrote:Jazz has gotten progressively less popular (and by extension less profitable) since it stopped being dance music and started being about a presentation of the players musical introspection.
Hm. The bebop players of the late 60's certainly weren't very danceable but supported themselves (and their habits)
through their music.
Also, look at what a quick fad the swing/jump revival was back in the late 90's, inspired by the movie Swingers
. That's as danceable as it gets, but it didn't last. Could it be because the dances are difficult by today's dance club standards?
(Side note: Saw Big Bad Voodoo Daddy at the Majestic a few months back, and they still kill live. Go see 'em when you can.)