Death of Jazz

I’m so disappointed in the way this whole Ken Burns film ended, so dismissive of everything that happened after the 70s. True, jazz lost its direction in the 70s and no longer counted for more than a fraction of total record sales — it wasn’t driving the heart of the nation. But it took off into so many exciting realms, so much exploration, so much inspiration, and they characterized it like it just petered out into nothingness. Sun Ra never even got mentioned. It was oddly respectful, even if it was dismissive and missed the mark so widely. Ugh. Makes me depressed on two counts — that people forgot how to listen to great music, and that the most important historical document ever made on the music got its final conclusions so wrong.

I blame Wynton Marsalis, both for embodying that “worship the retro, nevermind what’s happening today” atmosphere, and for being given too much creative control over the direction this film took. It would have been so much better if it had had more voices contributing perspectives.