April 17th, 2011
At first I didn’t know what to think about this…. I understand the problem at hand but I always try to look at something with a different angle.
If you’re not sure what is happening I can quickly brief you on the situation by telling you that the The nomination committee has decided to merge many of the smaller music categories. One of them being “Jazz.” So they have lumped “Jazz,” “Latin Jazz” and “Contemporary Jazz” into one category. I’ve noticed the details of this issue haven’t been cleared up but from what I heard discussed on the radio and in other media that is what I got out of it. I know four categories turned into two, so Contemporary might be on its own.
I can see how they would do this… looking at the fan bases and support and not seeing much of a difference in comparison to rock fan bases but our fans are very different. “Latin Jazz” fans are “diehard” and so are “Classic Jazz” fans… you get the idea.
Academy President Neil Portnow, who attended the midtown meeting, defended the shrunk list.
“Frankly, I don’t see why there has to be a distinction between great Latin jazz and great jazz,” he said. “Great music is great music, and I think our members are capable of recognizing that.”
“Justin Bieber did not win the Best New Artist award, Esperanza Spalding did,” he said.
That tells me right there he doesn’t know what Jazz IS…..
IT’S ALL OUR FAULT…
Going back to the beginning of these categories…..They all begin with the record labels cutting these styles up to categorize and sell but if you really want to break it down, I have the great Jelly-Roll Morton composing “Latin-Jazz” 1924! check out the bass lines written in “Mamanita”
It is all Jazz coming from the same source but through record labels, radio stations and preference the categories became specific. They created this and we allowed them to do this to our music.
WE LET THEM DO THIS…..AND ITS TIME TO TAKE IT BACK!
As for the Grammy’s I see “Pop-Jazz” setting in…..let it……
After rethinking this many times, I’m not so sure that Grammy winners like Eddie Palmieri, Dave Valentine, and Brian Lynch would not be recognized for their work. I don’t think the majority of the mindless population even cares about these categories. But it would be even more important, for all types of Jazz lovers, if we had our award show!
Here is what I propose.
Let us create our own Jazz Awards in our own image!
Like Malcolm X once said, “Why would you want to eat in a restaurant where they don’t want to serve you? Build your own restaurant!”
We have our own leaders in each field be the judge of their own music. Not record executives. Have the people really decide, not paid radio plays. The grammy is a clown concert anyway! Who wants to be a part of that…. lets be real. I get physically ill watching those award shows….. But to see Herbie, McCoy and Ron Carter judge on “Best Jazz Album” and “Best Artist” is something we all want to see! Eddie Palmieri and Papo Vazquez choose what deserves recognition in Latin Jazz. The people can vote on who is the judge each year!
The “Art Tatum Award” for pianists! The “Monk Award” for most original and so on… We would love it!
Of course there is more to this idea and it needs someone much smarter than i to bring it to life but this is “what’s up!”
Let’s make our own “Grammy” type of awards…. If you are still thinking that it won’t catch on, or won’t give us enough recognition a say this…. The true Jazz and Latin Jazz artists never got true notoriety at the Grammy’s…..period! With our own awards…..WE WILL! This is all possible with the internet! We don’t need the television networks anymore! Their time is over and our time is Now!
Think about it and let me know what you think……
I think its a great idea and I know it will work. How about you? -Z
Here are some articles where you can get more familiar with what is happening.
Eddie Palmieri on Elimination of Latin Jazz Grammy
Music giants rip Grammys for ditching Latin jazz category
Exclusive: Neil Portnow Discusses Grammys’ Award Consolidation
The Grammy Consolidation. What does it mean?
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