Thursday, March 8, 2007

Wynton Marsalis on the Daily Show

Wynton Marsalis's appeared on the Daily Show last night.

I have not always been a fan of Wynton Marsalis's music, but I have a great appreciation for his ardent defense of jazz. A met him one night at the Elephant Room and they had an interesting talk. (A even told him why he stopped playing.)

I don't disagree with his opinion about rap (i.e., going from a drummer to a drum machine). From a jazz musician's perspective, the musicality of (most commercial) rap is frankly offensive. Not for lyrical content, so much as lack of musicianship. I had high hopes a few years ago that rap, even Houston rap, could succeed with tracks based on actual music. We did a couple of experiments, which failed. Of course.

Most commercial rap is club music -- the kind of songs we used to dance to until the wee hours when my friends were all single and hitting Fez regularly. Club music needs to be catchy with a propulsive beat. You can easily accomplish that with a keyboard and drum machine.

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