10 Reasons Why I Hate Jazz, By Miriam Nerval, A Pretentious Classical Musician

8 August 2008

1) Jazz Musicians. You know me, I’m not one for blatant prejudice, or horribly sweeping statements (evidence backing this is currently unavailable), but Jazz Musicians as a whole really get under my skin. All such people I have EVER encountered have all turned out to be pretentious idiots, who seem to be living under the impression that they are God’s gift to music. They’re really not. “oooh look at us, we can improvise and play our quavers with a dotted rhythm”. Sweet. I hate you.

2) “The ability to play good Jazz is the only true measure of character”. A musician told me that, but not just any musician a JAZZ pianist, would you believe. How on EARTH could you back this up? For a start, where’s the line between “good” and “bad” jazz? I could spend weeks arguing the point that there is no such thing as GOOD jazz, but suppose for a minute there is, you’re not necessarily a better person for being able to play it. In fact, if you turn into a Jazz musician, there’s the destruction of your character right there. Besides, I bet Charlie Mason played some sick Jazz.

3) Being directed to swing my quavers. Arrrrrrrrgh! I DO NOT appreciate being told this. What’s wrong with straight quavers? I happen to be rather fond of straight quavers. I do NOT dig this swingin’ rhythm it creates. If you’re going to play a dotted rhythm, at least play it properly; as our favourite Baroque forefathers would have intended.

4) 12 bar blues. I once had a music teacher who raved about 12 bar blues, about what a notion of musical genius the structure was. ARE YOU KIDDING? Effectively, the basic 12 bar blue structure is based on the chords : I I I I IV IV I I V IV I I. That’s 8 bars of chord I, how can you be excited about 8 bars of the tonic chord?! Simple things I suppose, but still, what a bangin’ party. I wouldn’t blame you for thinking you CD player was stuck on repeat. Sometimes (if they’re feeling really wild) musicians can substitute the last chord for chord V, or even, wait for it IV, what CRAZY kids. Occasionally, they’ll replace the third I chord for any other chord of the scale! WOW! They really live on the edge, that DOES make for exciting listening.

5) Pitch bending on the clarinet. It sounds horrible enough on the sax, but really, was there any need to drag the clarinet into the “off the wall jazz techniques” it’s been exposed too. It has such a beautiful tone! BEAUTIFUL. Why do it? WHY?

6) The pieces have stupid names. One of stage band’s favourites to whip out when we let our guards down was entitled “Green Onions”. There’s a big difference between quirky, and shit. Somebody needs to tell them.

I think that alone establishes my point.

7) Jazz arrangements for non-jazz instruments, for example recorder. My teacher used to make me play these ear-sores in concerts, announcing to the audience it was to “prove recorders can do jazz too”. Why prove that?! I’m happy NOT to be associated with such things. I love recorders, but there’s no way they can compete with saxophones, you’ll look like a joke. Like all the other “jazz musicians” in town.

8 ) Blues scales. Never has a genre been less deserving of its own scale. Apparently diminution of intervals is pretty exciting, off the wall even. Since when has flattening a couple of notes been the signal of a revolution?

9) Improvisation. Woop woop, how flashy. How hard can it be? Really? Swing some quavers from the notes of their precious blues scale, over a chord like to be I IV or V (especially if you’re in 12 bar blues, my absolute favourite). Musicians have to improvise across the genres, so why is it considered so very new and exciting when in jazz?! I HATE it.

10) Jazz fusion. Jazz should not be allowed to “fuse” with anything. Containing it quickly and safely is the ONLY way we can stamp it out completely.

In the next episode of reasons why jazz ruined my life, more bitching’ on the topics of trumpets, stop time and Miles Davis.

I hope Malcolm doesn’t read this, I love a bit of Knapp.

In other news, I’m watching JFK with Kevin Costner in at the moment. I’d forgotten how fucking good this is, Lee Harvey Oswald was such a dish!

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189 Responses to “10 Reasons Why I Hate Jazz, By Miriam Nerval, A Pretentious Classical Musician”

  1. Ducky Says:

    I love you!
    xxx

    • RT1711 Says:

      This is so “over the top”, I’m suspecting it might actually be a humorous piece. If it isn’t, I would simply paraphrase the Blues tune, “I Pity [This] Fool”.

      • Raj Says:

        Jazz is shit. Blues as well.. Especially boring ass middle aged white man blues….

    • Capt. Asstastic Says:

      Jazz sucks!!
      If you like it yer a retARd!!!!!!!!!

  2. Archibald Cyril Urquhart Says:

    To be completely honest, just the fact you have bothered writing this enormous load of bollocks makes you a pathetic loser. Who cares at all about what other people like or dislike, if you don’t wanna play or listen to jazz music – then don’t and tell who ever is making you to fuck off. There are lots of good things about jazz music, the same way there are lots of good things about any kind of music. I listen to classical music too, and i listen to jazz, and folk, funk, whatever… i don’t particulary like screamo, thrash metal, teeny pop, mum-rock, minimal electronica but that just means that i won’t buy any albums or go to a show. i don’t think there should be a rivalry or a constant battle going on between styles of music and the people that listen to them.

    In addition to this, and in particular reference to the comments about you being asked or made to do something – such as swinging your quavers – get a new teacher or teach yourself.

    Ta ta x x


    • Hip..its hopin”…its slamin”…its bopin” give that cat some Milk. DIG!

    • JohnS Says:

      “Who cares at all about what other people like or dislike”

      Evidentially you care about what this guy wrote otherwise you would have not replied… so in answer to your question: you care.

      There is no rivalry being mentioned here. The author has simply stated some reasons as to why they don’t like Jazz. I am sure that as someone who does like Jazz you could come up with a similar list to the contrary. The only person causing a conflict here is you with your “fuck off” attitude.

      You have apparently read something that you disagree with on a personal level and you have attempted to slate and insult the author because of it. That is causing conflict that was not there before you stuck your oar in. In the same way that you suggest the author should not be forced to listen to Jazz… no one forced you to read the article and yet there you are, shouting your mouth off and being a dick for no reason.

      Let people disagree with you without calling them names.

      • Dustin Says:

        “The author has simply stated some reasons as to why they don’t like Jazz. I am sure that as someone who does like Jazz you could come up with a similar list to the contrary. The only person causing a conflict here is you with your “fuck off” attitude.”

        Really? So the author didn’t write:

        “All such people I have EVER encountered have all turned out to be pretentious idiots, who seem to be living under the impression that they are God’s gift to music.”

        That’s simply stating a reason as to why someone doesn’t like jazz?

        Not that it matters since this is incredibly old.

    • Navid Zamani Says:

      Thank you… for this perfect example of exactly what’s wrong with snobs in general.
      Your “comment” contains so many ridiculously obvious knee-jerk trigger reactions to your own blind spots, one does not even have to actually reply. It suffices to just let it stand for itself.
      Get a therapy for your rampant insecurity, you debilitated pretentious snob.

  3. Ted Says:

    I thought you were a decent person once. 😦

  4. n01d Says:

    just because people like jazz, it doesn’t mean that mizzee shouldn’t write a post about why she doesn’t like it.

    you can’t hate on someone for writing down what they think.

  5. MizwAh Says:

    haha! I hadn’t seen these comments alan!
    I can’t WAIT for part two to come out now (no, really)
    even my friends are hating on me (poor old ted)
    ha ha ha ha

    yours sincerely
    Pathetic loser.

    hahaha

    ps thanks for defending me alan!!

  6. MizwAh Says:

    Also
    “In addition to this, and in particular reference to the comments about you being asked or made to do something – such as swinging your quavers – get a new teacher or teach yourself.”

    Was in reference to performance directions at the beginning of a piece.
    idiot 🙂

  7. n01d Says:

    i can’t wait for part two either

    thanks again for letting me put this up

  8. Matt Says:

    What is this “mum-rock”???

    Hi Mizzee! 🙂

  9. tweedledee Says:

    You’re a moron. Improv is not easy, and there is such thing as good and bad, although it’s not objective. And you’re complaining about it having stupid names? Like what? What kind of music do you listen to?

  10. mike Says:

    im taking both classical and jazz piano lessons. and i absolutely had a fucking blast reading this. i think its quite funny i really do. bravo lol

  11. Lynch Says:

    I could not agree more.

    Thanks for supporting the cause!

    ~Lynch

  12. gottabehonest Says:

    gotta be honest, i’m currently attending berklee college of music, and i don’t exactly like jazz. i might even hate it.

    BUT there were some things in this article i couldn’t stand. you don’t seem to understand jazz, and bashing on it is pretty silly.
    for example, the “swing” feel isn’t a dotted feel. it’s a triplet.
    other things like substituting a bunch of chords for the 12-bar blues.. there are so many other possible substitutions other than the ones you mentioned. you can substitute in so many different chords.. even diminished chords.
    also, improv isn’t as easy as putting in the blues scale. that’s amateur improvising. a true player has total control of his instrument, and if he chooses to use only a pentatonic scale, then he’s pretty good at it.

    it seems maybe you’re thinking of “jazz” as if it’s “blues,” which is false. blues and jazz are two different things. there’s a whole lot more to jazz than you think you know it to be. if you want to hate something, know what it’s about first.

  13. Jake Says:

    Hello,

    You have an interesting perspective. I am a Jazz musician, but I love Classical as well. I think that music is similar to language, genres are like dialects; so what ultimately determines good music is the inner character of the musician as opposed to the dialect they speak. I’ve known some shitty Jazz musicians (arrogant), but I’ve also known plenty of shitty Classical musicians (presumptuous). Hopefully, as time goes by, your temperament will cool a bit. After all, life is short, why risk a heart attack bashing things you hate when you can risk a heart attack doing exciting fun things, living life to the fullest.

  14. Jean-Fr Duhé Says:

    SEE! YOU ARE A FUCKING ASSHOLE. WE, JAZZ MUSICIANS, RESPECT THE DISCIPLINE THAT IT TAKES TO PLAY CLASSICAL MUSIC. WE THINK THAT YOU ARE GREAT MUSICIANS. WHY THE FUCK CAN’T YOU RESPECT US TOO? GO TO A FUCKING JAM SESSION AND TRY TO IMPROVISE OVER “GIANT STEPS” TO SEE IF “IMPROVISATION IS NOT SO HARD”. FREAKING CHICK COREA AND WAYNE SHORTER HAD DEDICATED A LIFETIME STUDYING IMPROVISATION. OF COURSE, EVERYBODY CAND IMPROVISE, BUT NOT EVERYONE CAN IMPROVISE SOMETHING WITH SENSE. SO PLEASE, IF YOU WANT MUSIC TO PROGRESS, DON’T BE ANOTHER ARROGANT CLASSICAL MUSICIAN AND LEARN NO TOLERATE AND SEE THE GOOD THINGS THAT ALL GENRES HAVE ( THE BEAUTY AND LYRICISM OF CLASSICAL MUSIC, THE HARMONY AND INTERACTION OF JAZZ, THE RHYTHM OF THE LATIN MUSIC, THE INTENSITY OF A GOOD ROCK SONG, COME ON MAN!) AT THE END OF THE DAY EVERYTHING IS MUSIC AND IN EVERY GENRE YOU’LL FIND AWESOME THINGS

    • Me Says:

      Yes but how do you really feel? How dare her state her opinion. Sick her!!

      • Deez Says:

        You’re an idiot. When someone’s “opinion” is self-deluded and putting someone or a group down, expect a backlash. Please don’t procreate.

  15. MizwAh Says:

    hahahaha
    i absolutely love the non-sense of humour on the internet
    and
    big up all the “arrogant classical musicans”
    which as a recorder player, i’m definitely one of..
    orchestra’s 4eva..
    ididots!

    much love and wells big band bootlegs. x

  16. fatmammycat Says:

    Hee, I thought it was just me who got the ‘You can’t say THAT ON YOUR OWN BLOG!’ crowd. How satisfying. I too hate ‘the jazz’ having been enforced to endure Captain Beefheart or what the doodlie deep hell it was one fine summer evening. Vile.

  17. Joe Says:

    Apparently you never heard Bill Evans…

  18. ihateclassicalmusic Says:

    Your take on the 12 bar blues was…quite frankly a load of BS. The 12 bar blues in jazz is based off the I IV and V chords yes yes yes…but there are substitutions upon substitutions, chord alterations, pentatonics, pentatonics based off the chord alterations, turnarounds, turnarounds based off tri-tone subs. you can also imply coltrane matrixs over the blues,theres more jeesus christ etc..not that all these substitutions really matter,in fact some of the best improvisational artists I have heard, play with simplicity. The fact is, you sound like a dorky classical hard head who probably can’t groove to anything, probably can’t dance, and has never been laid.

  19. ihateclassicalmusic Says:

    o yea jazz isn’t based off that dotted rhythm you were talking about. Thats a huge misconception. It is actually based off the triplet. once again proving my point you probly have no rhythm and can’t dance.

  20. MizwAh Says:

    hahaha
    god this still keeps me entertained when i can’t sleep.
    alan i have another one, although haven’t finished it almost 3 months after i wrote it.
    i’ll get on it, if you would like it, it’s yours.

  21. n01d Says:

    I kept checking your MySpace but nothing ever appeared (although ’10 Men I know I really shouldn’t find attractive, but totally do’ kept me entertained!)

    I’d love to publish another if you can finish it; This remains one of the most read, and definitely most commented, post on this whole blog.

  22. Mike Says:

    Someone emailed an excerpt from this to me, and my first thought was that the blog poster really didn’t have much of a grasp of what jazz is. Then I came to the actual blog and read the whole thing. I just wasted 15 minutes of my life bothering with this drivel. If you have some actual problems with jazz, then say them. There’s nothing here. This is like one of those 10:00 news teasers. “The milk you’re putting on your cereal could kill you!” Then you watch the news, and it’s a story about someone who’s lactose intolerant.

  23. The man Says:

    RIGHT ON BRO!
    I hate jazz too, I tried, tried hard for years, even went to Berklee College Of Music STUDYING MUSIC, but still hate Jazz!!! Jazz, Jizz, semen, disease, death, rotten smell… kinda related if you ask me.

    What’s to like anyway? First off, it’s a place for literally all sorts of socially, musically, financially or whatthe@^&#*ly sorts of hypocritical, imbalanced minorities that due to having been (for whatever reasons) reduced to the state of a minority found true (ha ha ha funny) expression only in the most pathetic of all supposedly “genius” hoaxes.
    Actually faking parts of the bible and adding the once-heathen festival “julfest” as christmas into the christian calendar was probably even more lame…
    HOWEVER: Jazz stinks, I wasn’t kidding earlier, I def. went to Berklee but I still (no, wrong, EVEN MORE NOW THEN EVER) hate Jazz and everything that jazzers would attribute to being “jazzy”

    Also, it should be stated that Jazz at no point in time made anybody (artists) rich and there’s certainly a reason for it..:) And unlike works of true genius’ like Mozart and Beethoven who died poor as well, Jazzers shoudn’t delude themselves into thinking that just because nobody would be willing, able or fucked-up enough to actually PAY for a Jazz gig to see (unless you can smoke indoors or get shit-faced while having your ears tormented) they would belong into the same category as the afore-mentionedclassical geniuses.
    Last not least, ever wondered why the majority of Jazz clubs are ‘clubs’ and not arenas, because nobody would have ever went to listen in the first place if it hadn’t been for the liquor, or prostitutes or what not. just like fucking baseball, football and all that disgusting shit, would anybody, ANYBODY EVER go to a game if there was no beer, hot dogs and shit…??? NO they wouldn’t

    -Amen

  24. rideforever Says:

    I agree, jazz is bollocks. At least the pretentious anything goes kind of jazz, it’s just an amateur lazy mess that pretentious people justify by saying they are “free”. It’s not free, it’s just lacking in the effort to create something.

    It’s like modern art => make a big mess and put something fancy into it (like an upside down urinal) and then justify it by saying “is it art or isn’t it, that’s an interesting question” ! No it’s not an interesting question, it’s lazy.

    You can be free to piss your life away or you can make an effort to construct something.

    … sure there is some music that falls into the ‘jazz’ category that is honest – that’s not what I am talking about.

    • Mike Says:

      I hope you’ve least taken an art history class. You obviously don’t understand anything about (or refused to pay attention to) the interesting transition that occurs between Cezanne and DuChamp. The transition to “modern art” is interesting not only on formalistic grounds, but also from a philosophical perspective.

      DuChamp’s urinal (as well as his readymades in general) might be a viewed as an interesting Mereological / Ontological question about the nature of macro objects (Do macro objects exist?) In a way, they also sort of foreshadow the Functionalist perspective that emerges within the Philosophy of Mind. For example, does a table exist because of the functional role it serves, and if so, would using a new object for the same purpose create a new metaphysical object?

      If you think this is bullshit, take a metaphysics class for yourself and find out. It’s pretty interesting.

      Some people like to sit around and complain about things anytime the focus shifts from craft to other things. While it is commendable to ensure that history is preserved, there is nothing inherently “unlazy” about dedicating your life to a craft. What is your criteria for a good example of art? Realistic modeling of form? Are you going to suggest that somehow takes precedence over the underlying concept of a piece? That sounds like a personal value judgement.

      “Lazy” is a term that is tossed around to describe others in relation to the self. What you are saying is that those who emphasize different elements of a given piece are somehow lazier than you. Can you come up with a reliable way to quantify something as vague as effort?

      Why are you complaining about people pissing their lives away? Are you somehow worried that you are pissing your own life away? Do you really believe that if you somehow make something “great” and enduring that it will justify the time you spent here? Are all these frauds and hacks stealing your thunder? Are you really that motivated by external recognition?

    • Applejack Says:

      You should that jazz has its forms and structures. It’s okay to hate or love it. It’s your choice but when it comes to being a critic or waxing your philosophy on it, you’d better know about it before you say anything. Otherwise, it just make you look stupid.

  25. Handsome Pete Says:

    Hi,

    I hate and like lots of jazz (and every other form of music), but you really don’t know what you’re talking about technically. Learn something, do it, and then criticize if you want. When your knowledge isn’t on the same level as your spite, you just sound arrogant and pretentious — like the jazz you hate. Is that why you hate it?

  26. jazz musician Says:

    if it is a joke then it’s not funny..if it is for real you are a very stupid person!

  27. steph Says:

    hahahaha.
    Oh Mizzee you never fail to lighten my day!

    I love the people criticising you for having an opinion, ‘cos everyone know thats wrong 😉
    Also loving the pure anger in people whom feel the need to rant and rave hahaha.

    You should be proud, not many people can cause such a reaction.

    Love youuu

  28. chris reeve Says:

    Finally, someone that understands that jazz is crap. I call it masturbation with an instrument. I cringe when I hear a saxaphone. It might have defined 1950’s TV shows, but that’s about it. I like the comment from the person that compared it to modern art. Same thing. Crap. Crap. Crap. I almost stopped listening to NPR because they play Jazz in the evening……

  29. Spudman Says:

    I love this article! Great job Miriam.

    I’ve been a working, academic, Jazz sideman and lounge pianist my entire life. This sad field is full of lazy clowns and arrogant vagrants with a little bit of skill; at best, obsessive compulsive martyrs who think something as worthless and goofy as classic “jazz” can be used as a weapon against the ignorance of the world and even against their own circle of friends. They therefore think it incumbent upon themselves to proudly belittle and berate others on and offstage. In reality, no one cares, and it’s not important. That’s why they’re financially “dependent” for most, if not all of their life.

    The best improvised/innovative jazz music is born from a reaction against itself, and deserves a better term than “Jazz.”

    Spudlee-Op, Zot, ba-Zop gobble Gooble drizzle!!

  30. Thomas White Says:

    I don’t like jazz myself, but sadly the integrity of the point you’re making is completely undermined by your shit grammar. Such a shame – yet again, lazy spelling and punctuation letting down what could have been rather a funny piece.

  31. robert Says:

    I completely agree with everything you wrote on this topic, however I would extend those sentiments to all forms of music, and to the vile musician types that create it. The whole bit of nonsense that is music is totally disgusting.

    Robert,
    composer, life long devotee

  32. Scott Says:

    Jazz is definitely stupid but so are you. Go suck a fucking clarinet and choke.

  33. Ronnie Says:

    There isn’t a lot to say about your comments on jazz. I took several courses on jazz and play an instrument. It sounds to me that you are just ignorant. Learn all the facts about something before you put it down.

  34. Mike Says:

    Pathetic posting, from a philistine with a real chip on her shoulder, and a complete inferiority complex.

    Your are the loser darlong !

  35. Johnny Says:

    How dare you criticise jazz music! If it weren’t for jazz what would I listen to when I’m travelling in an elevator or when I’m wondering around aimlessly in a shopping mall. I know most jazz music sounds the same and is about inspiring as a kick in the genitals but some of us do like it.

  36. tz Says:

    I agree with this blog entry.

    In fact I just found this entry via Google using the keywords “I hate jazz.”

    I’ve been trying to work in a cafe where these “jazz musicians” just showed up for the past two hours. It just sounds like random scales to me, and warbles with no structure! It may be high art, but I can’t think or write!

    I guess I would need to take an art history-like class to appreciate it, but I just want to chill out and do my writing! This is so bad that I need to clear out of this establishment for the evening!

  37. John Says:

    Your an idiot. 12 bar blues is not jazz. Every genre has stupid names. And improvisation is EXTREMELY hard. You just don’t like jazz because you can’t play it.

  38. Allen Lowe Says:

    you’re all idiots. Know nothing about jazz blues or dog poop, though you have most in common with the last.

    love,
    Allen

  39. Dave Says:

    I agree – jazz blows ass. It’s repetitive without being groovy and improvisational without being original. Basically it’s elevator music. You’ll always get people who say “hey man, if your taste was better cultivated, you’d like it/get it/be able to appreciate it (like I do).” I’m sorry but if jazz were better music, I would like it, whether or not I could evaluate it on an intellectual level. I don’t know about African American jazz fans, but the white ones are almost uniformly pretentious and uptight. In jazz they’ve found a way to appear sophisticated without being too controversial or risque.

  40. Jazz is not music Says:

    “And improvisation is EXTREMELY hard. You just don’t like jazz because you can’t play it.”

    Hi!

    I dont like jazz because I cant listen this kind of annoying noise. And improvisation is EXTREMELY SUCKS!

    Bye!

  41. Infamous B.O.P Says:

    Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin
    they were jazz musicians
    when they cut a record, they wrote it on paper
    Your training is incomplete, so called classical musician. I can read english, recite english, and luckily I am able to carry on with a conversation with the english language. We aspire to do the same with the language of music. Swing, baroque, straight eighths. Play the one that is most appropriate for the peice. Cats that play baroque period music usually play dotted eighths the wrong way. As far as the improvisation of baroque ornamentation, again, most do it wrong. What is a cadenza, really? You think Paganini would do it the same twice? The world needs to figure this out so that we may embrace the next Bach or Mozart.
    One more note. As far as adding many substitue chords to a blues form. Didn’t Beethoven get off stretching the common musical forms of his day?

    Sorry, my english is not very good. It is a second language for me.

  42. Applejack Says:

    You hate it because you can’t do it.
    Besides, what type of jazz are you referring to? Go listen to some more recordings and revise the article. I hate this article; it’s bullshit.

  43. Abe Says:

    How much do you know about jazz?
    There are plenty of snooty musicians in all genres of music. My observation tells me that many classical players look down on jazz players. One thing I might want to say to classical snobs is: “When are you going to stop depending on what’s written on a sheet”?

    Improvisation in classical music is a lost art. I think people who hate improvisation are secretly insecure about their inability to do so. They can’t handle it and they have to find an avenue to justify. Ask most classical players to improvise, they will give you that weird look like you make them feel like a fish out of water.

  44. AMber Says:

    You don’t have to swing the quavers all the time, their are plenty of jazz pieces that are just straight/

  45. Buddy Says:

    I agree with all your points.

    I would also add that the solos at the end of each piece are boring, repetitive and annoying. Why does everyone have to do a solo? You get some ensemble act where everyone is “acclaimed” and each piece runs like twenty minutes. I saw one show in Toronto on the Danforth, one piece was pure genius, but then they ruined it by a bunch of wanking at the end.

  46. H Says:

    How dare you criticize Jazz? Priceless.

    I double dare ya.

    This post is an opinion piece, I agree with the sentiment.

    Jazz appears to be a catch all for pretention. There are plenty of other genres that are pretentious, it’s just that they have failed as yet to turn their self-important self-indulgent samey nonsense into a semi-respected art form with the possible exception of Blooze.

    I have played Jazz, and I have listened to it, I have studied it, at Dankworth’s Stables courses, and I still just don’t get it. This is fine, I’m not into lots of other music too, but what irritates the crap out of me is the apparently common notion, that Jazz is supposed to be some kind of pinnacle of musicianship and/or music.

    Ding dinga ding dinga ding on the ride – EVERY SINGLE TIME.
    Random snare hits – do NOT mean you are improvising.
    Orthodox grip – WHY? what the hell, it isn’t hard enough already, so we’ll hold one stick in a weird way, better known as traditional grip, because that’s the only reason anyone uses it, and the argument is that you can do a single stroke roll one-handed. Wow! I can play one-handed, but I have TWO arms, so I don’t bother much.

    Horn sections – hideous, with the bastard cousin of the trombone – the saxophone.

    But that is my personal dislike. There is- however one absolutely horrific reason to dislike Jazz, which was alluded to earlier.

    Jazz is seeping out into music that I like, unchecked and without sense or reason. Jazzers- please play Jazz so that I can Identify and avoid you, do not misappropriate other genres, you are not welcome. Do not pretend to be something you are not, and subvert other music. Stay in your Jazz world, you will be safe there.

  47. Dil Says:

    Had great laughs off the article and some comments…

    I feel like i was born for hating jazz..

    I have a few acquaintances off facebook who make a big deal out of what jazz songs they are listening to… they all sound shit to me… i have a feeling that they secretly hate it too

    Some of u guys say u cant critic jazz without having knowledge/understanding about it…. Understanding?.. if it sounds like shit, its shit

    I dont like it coz i cant play it?.. why would i want to play it?

  48. John Pollard Says:

    Haha. Shows what you know, Miriam. Your simplification of “blues” is wrong. Hahaha. You blabber on about IV V and I…shows what you know. You never even mentioned ii V I or iii VI ii V I. This is what I expected to find when I was trying to find some folks who want to write bad things about Jazz musicians. Let’s talk about “classical” music: Anyone can put a sheet of tracing paper over a masterpiece painting and create an exact copy.

  49. Ziya Says:

    just spent two hours enduring a saxophonist… there was zero divinity in his music..technically advanced but dead sound. jazz is like abstract painting.. a complete fascination with form.

  50. buzz Says:

    Oh, the irony

  51. Douggie Says:

    One of the most pathetic things I’ve ever heard was an operatic tenor singing “I hates to see…. dat e’vening sun go down…” complete with warbly vibrato and elevated classical delivery. And the poor sap actually thought he was “singing jazz!” Jazz isn’t for everybody; if you don’t get it, then you don’t get it. Trying to explain the blues to a classical-only musician is like trying to describe shades of color to a blind person. So I must take with a grain of salt any criticisms of jazz that come from classical-only musicians. A classical snob saying he doesn’t like the blues is just like a blind man saying he doesn’t like red.

    • Brad Says:

      yup..from the sound of this writing, this douche has no idea what jazz is..For starters, I would agree that in certain music schools, what they teach as being “jazz” is shit..a lot of them don’t get it either. Its living breathing music and once you put it on the shelf it gets dusty and can go bad. Go on and think what you want..no one cares. I won’t stop liking classical music just because you’re such an idiot though

  52. Seoulimprov Says:

    You seem to have a strong need to hate something. This usually indicates mental health issues, of which, you probably suffer from several.

    There are so many fallacies in your statements about jazz, it’s almost laughable. 1) Jazz does take incredible ingenuity and effort to play well, especially improvisation. As Miles Davis once remarked, “Most classical musicians of today couldn’t improvise their way out of a paper bag.” 2) You lump all jazz and blues together; this is absurd. There are as many different sub-genres of each as there are different categories of European classical music or pop/rock/soul. 3) Your likes and dislikes are not the same as what constitutes music of a high or low quality.

    Try looking at the world with less contempt, fear, and hatred. Open your heart and mind. If you can’t do these things, then you are truly damned and deserve the pathetic live you appear to be having.


  53. I don’t want a world without either.

  54. Jim Says:

    Everything you said here displays such a high level of musical ignorance, its baffling. Even if you don’t like jazz, you, as a musician, cannot even begin to deny the virtuosity and artistry that exists within the genre, nor can you deny the effect that the development of Jazz and the Blues has had on every aspect of American music. I am a Jazz Pianist with many years of classical training under my belt. I can appreciate Dizzy and Charlie Parker just as much as I can Beethoven or Clementi. Its ok to not like Jazz, but you cannot call yourself a musician when you dismiss the entire genre based on a few ignorant misconceptions about what it is jazz is all about.

    • renato Says:

      hi i like jazz and many other styles what i hate are the deuchbag players who look down on other musician who dont play jazz and make it seem as its the end all be all of music and its that bad attitude that turns off many players from jazz so while i dont agree with this article i can see where he is coming from

      • FuckJazzHaters Says:

        No jazz musician I’ve ever met behaves like that. There are probably a few like that, but there are a few like that in any genre of music. You’re just making shit up.

      • Brad Says:

        There are classical musicians, rock musicians, hip hop musicians etc..who do that. Most of them are not real great musicians but cheap posers. There are lousy people and lousy sounds in all forms of music. My guess is that some of those musicians don’t actually believe that they are “gods gift to music” but they do think they are cooler than you, which they probably are


  55. dig! Too much bop in the hop, and the baby’s groove is getting sick, slap that cookie! give those cats some hot milk. they’ll simmer down.


  56. DIG, its hot, its hot, the secret to jazz is hot milk, heat that milk in the microwave, 5 seconds, 5 seconds only, not 6, or 4 and a half, 5. yep 5, feed that baby a cookie, and some milk because big baby like milk. …Now walk that kitten.

    • Maverick Says:

      What a puerile idiot you have been on this whole page. I bet you’re still much the same way today, some four years later.

  57. renato Says:

    while i love many styles of music i can see where you´re coming from. many jazz players are complete dicks! who think one must play jazz to be considered a top level musician,.. and that does turn me off of jazz i mean is Steve Vai a crap guitarrist just because he wants to play his own unique style?? and i bet steve can play some sick ass jazz but thats not in his heart. and then ther´e are the ones who put it on top of a pedestal and make it seem as the only music thats worth listening to well fuck that when will we learn that MUSIC IS A TREE WITH MANY BRANCHES!!! and jazz just happens to be one of them just like any other music style look up guthire govan if you want to aspire to be a real musician not a musical cancer! who plays for his own ego.


  58. […] Mirial Nerval gets no love for hating jazz, but scores serious honesty points by publically drinking her Haterade. Share and Enjoy: […]

  59. Daan Achmad Says:

    Your arguments are very weak and childish. You keep on saying that Jazz sucks (with constant vulgar language) and yet you’re not able to give strong evidences to support your arguments. Actually, your arguments are not arguments; they’re just hate speech from a bigot.

    P.S. My drum teacher is a Jazz musician and he’s smarter than my high school music teacher (who’s not qualified as a teacher).

  60. Ihatescumbagslikeyou Says:

    Hey Anusbrain? In case you didn’t know, Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart were all superb improvisers. Improvisation is indeed difficult to do well. However, most of today’s classical musicians have failed to learn this challenging art form.
    Your knowledge of music is so superficial, it’s embarrassing. You’re probably a 35-year-old who’s never been laid. You probably have never given or received any act of kindness in your life. Please just go to a discreet little corner, curl up, and die.

  61. FuckJazzHaters Says:

    Anyone who doesn’t like jazz doesn’t have a fucking soul. What utter horseshit of a post. If you can’t tell good jazz from bad jazz and you’ve trained in music all your life, you need to take up a new occupation.

  62. Sense Says:

    I aggree in the fact that SOME jazz is bad(I Cannot stand jazz from the late 50s-modern times) but the good old Glenn Miller sound? How could you possibly hate that? OR THE STAR WARS CANTINA BAND.

    You also cannot go along classifying people due to the type of music they play. As a Saxophonist I have been discriminated against by you can guess who, classical intrumentalists calling my instrument and my music not legitimate.

    I enjoy classical music, but loathe the people who think they are better than everyone just because they play in a Symphony Orchestra.

    Jazz Orchestra for the win

  63. Zippy S. Says:

    Hi,

    I am a jazz as well as a classical saxophonist, and I have much appreciation for both genres. They both have there own unique and special qualities that make them fun to listen to and play, and in all truth, even though these two styles of music are thought to be extremely different from one another, they do have a lot in common. I’ve learned so much theory about music in general just from playing jazz, and some types of jazz like “Cool Jazz” have hints of the classical style in it.

    There is nothing wrong with disliking jazz, but insulting the every person that plays it and speaking so obnoxiously about it is really not cool. Jazz musicians practice their butts off (as do all musicians) to be able to play what do. Improvisation is no easy task, and it takes a lifetime to really master it. Sure jazz is more free flowing and more expressive to you as an individual, but jazz is structured. You can’t just go off playing anything anytime you want to. There is a form you have to follow; a chord progression; and if you don’t follow that and completely understand the rhythmic style and articulation/phrasing and sound of jazz than forget it. You may be improvising (as in playing notes that fit), sure. But are you really play jazz? I was a classical musician before I became a jazz one, so I know first hand the transition from being a strictly classical player to a jazz one is definitely not easy!

    Before you completely disrespect and put down another style of music (or anything of that matter), you should definitely do more research. It doesn’t seem like you know that much about jazz to actually talk about it in such spite. At least have some respect.  Maybe if you focused on not HATING it so much and actually tried to really get a better understanding of it, then you might find that you actually enjoy improvising. It is a very enjoyable and rewarding skill to be able to do PROPERLY. 

    Anyways, wishing you all the best.

    Zippy S.


  64. First Off.

    “You have an interesting perspective. I am a Jazz musician, but I love Classical as well. I think that music is similar to language, genres are like dialects; so what ultimately determines good music is the inner character of the musician as opposed to the dialect they speak. I’ve known some shitty Jazz musicians (arrogant), but I’ve also known plenty of shitty Classical musicians (presumptuous). Hopefully, as time goes by, your temperament will cool a bit. After all, life is short, why risk a heart attack bashing things you hate when you can risk a heart attack doing exciting fun things, living life to the fullest.”

    I think that guy pretty much won this thread.

    Next,

    I’ve been playing the Double Bass for about three years now, and having encountered many, many Jazz players, arrangers, and conductors with the attitudes you’ve described, I cannot help but agree with some of the points you’ve made. I should add, though, that I prefer to play Jazz over almost all forms of Classical/Orchestral music. Truth be told, I was first attracted to Jazz because of the closed environment that the Orchestra in my school presented; it consisted [almost] entirely of upper-middle class caucasians who would give me dirty looks whenever I would pass them in a hall, and so when i decided to join an ensemble, I thought that the band would be more welcoming. If you could tell where I was going with this, then you’ll know already that it wasn’t. While the Classical players were passive aggressive and very unfriendly, the Jazz/Concert Band players were mostly openly hostile toward me. It really became apparent (to me) that the way I had been evaluating the ensembles had les to do with the quality of their playing, and more with their general attitude, and once I found that my judgement of one was wrong, and that both acted in much the same manner, I began to realize that at it’s heart, it had been less a collective problem, and more an individual on massed in one area. Honestly, some people. I for one have an aversion to Trumpeters, because almost every one I’ve met has been self-centered and pig-headed. I also tend not to like Cellists, because many I’ve met have been snobbish pot heads.

    I know that, for personal reasons, I don’t enjoy playing Classical music, but whenever I do I try and appreciate the function of the counterpoint (if present) and the structure of the instrumentation. I know that there are many pleasant things to be found in Orchestral music, but I for one simply do not like playing it nearly as much as I like playing Jazz overall. I should probably say that I don’t like Jazz because I find it super-duper impressive all the time or think that every single “Jazz” song is groundbreaking and brilliant, I like it because it feels natural for me to play that way, and the way my brain functions when I think about and play music lends itself better to Jazz than it does to Orchestral music, which to say that I work better with chordal motion and and rhythmic precision than it does with melodic structure or functional harmony. This is not to say that those musical traits are exclusive to either grouping (I KNOW that rhythmic precision is necessary and important in Orchestral music, but I don’t think that it gets nearly as much emphasis as say, a melody and its many recapitulations would.), but that they tend to lean in those directions, from what I’ve seen.

    I’m glad you expressed your opinion, and I’m sorry that so many people expressed such mindless hostility toward you. I do hope that your experiences with anything “Jazz” in the future os much more tolerable, and that you can maybe bypass the prejudice you developed from your interactions with douche pianists and shit arrangers, and gain a better opinion of the genre as a whole, even if there are several aspects you dislike.

  65. Jazzissexy Says:

    What a pathetic shit of list you’ve got here.. Jazz is all about creative improvising so the title can be anything. Green onions, purple rice, the chicken, etc. If you can’t appreciate jazz, then stop playing music and go listen to some justin bieber songs. Peace

  66. metaeve Says:

    Um, “Green Onions” is NOT jazz. Not even close! That song is by Booker T and The MG’s. They played soul, moron.

  67. robin Says:

    et les mec il faut se calmer… du moment que la musique dure dans le coeurs des hommes ! j aime le jazz, je l’etudie depuis quelque annee et est loin d avoir fini.
    si tu n’aime pas le jazz, garde le pour toi. zen.
    bonne journee.

  68. Soulman Says:

    Booker T and the MGs play soul, and green onions is THE best song ever written, other than that yes i agree with these reasons

  69. Kameron Reiter Says:

    People like to have fun. What is wrong with changing it up, relaxing, and just doing what ever you want. Jazz is about relaxing, not about stress.

  70. Problem? Says:

    Let’s look into your points…

    1.) So your saying classical musicians don’t post articles online bashing on everything they hate so are in no way pretentious and arrogant?

    2.) What exactly does character definition have to do with hating a genre of music?

    3.) Quavers? Really?

    4.) Blues and Jazz are considered different genres… Just saying.

    5.) How beautiful to have a flat sound. Keep it expressionless. That’s the way to go.

    6.) We try to be creative when naming music so we don’t have 50 melodies named “Allegro”

    7.) We try to bring ignorant music trolls a sample of what we do so maybe they could understand. (Most likely not right)

    8.) Didn’t I already talk about Blues being a different genre?

    9.) “How hard can it be?” Try it some day when your not yelling at the Germans because you hate good beer. Then you tell me how hard it is.

    10.) I don’t like Jazz Fusion, so you can have this one.

    I guess jazz really sucks. But I am fine with that because your opinions suck more.

  71. anthony Says:

    lol you guys are all silly. :P. you know, i just like the music. the jazz scene has always seemed like something amazing imo. i’ve not seen any jazz players before and i’m just trying to see it out. i like classical too. the music, it’s just great. the piano sounds so beautiful. :). i’m not sure why you hate jazz so much :/ i understand it’s your opinion of it or whatever, but is it really worth it to be angered over? O.o i mean…idk, i’m just saying, maybe….it’s not worth it? O.o

  72. anthony Says:

    and why there’s so much hostility? O.o i don’t understand that either. it alludes me honestly.


  73. You either play classical or folk music.
    Probably classical judging by by the theory talk.

    Which explains everything

  74. Bob Young Says:

    You are pathetic and I feel sorry for your quavering life.

  75. The only protein sheikh. Beware of the fakes. Says:

    I love Jazz , I play Jazz. I love this article. So true lol..

  76. Michael Says:

    I find this post really interesting. I assume you are a classical musician, and that is why I can sympathize with you, and also a great portion of why I feel you have lost the spirit of music. I’ll start by saying I appreciate what classical music is. Personally, I am not a fan but I recognize the skill level and certain aspects of it which are very difficult. However, in learning all of this complicated theory, you have forgotten of the sheer beauty of music. SIMPLICITY is beautiful. The 12 bar blues is a simple beautiful form with endless potential. By generalizing all of jazz music to playing an extremely simple form with the absolute most basic beginner technique is just ignorant. Even if you think that all of improvisation in jazz is swinging over a blues scale (which is only the slightest fraction of what jazz improv is) why is it that we as musicians cannot appreciate that? Example. BB king was not especially knowledges in theory. He was not a jazz musician, nor could he have been seeing as he did not possess the required jazz chops to do so. He is a man who plays a blues scale 99% of the time. However, as a musician, can you not appreciate HOW someone can use their instrument to create art? Something that is wonderful, and unique and soulful without being incredibly complicated? If you cannot appreciate simplicity, I think that is your first problem. On to my next point. As a studied jazz musician, I GUARANTEE that there is not a chord, nor a scale that you could ask of me that I could not spell on demand. We do need to know our stuff, possibly to the level of classical musicians, and possibly BETTER. You mentioned blues. Have you ever attempted to improvise over a complicated bebop head using only the tonic’s blues scale? Regardless
    of that fact, jazz was not made to be bette than classical. It is MUSIC. It is ART. Besides being an intricate art that takes countless years to master, it is a form of expression. The point I’m really trying to make is that we all express ourselves in different ways through our music. I respect those who play classical, blues, rock and roll, and even pop music. As long as someone is playing what they love and playing with emotion. Anyway, you are entitled to your opinion and I am entitled to mine. No disrespect.
    -M

  77. lynn Says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for saying it. What is it with people who like jazz? If you don’t like it and you express the reasons why you don’t like it, they get so offended and defensive. It’s like people with apple computers. There really is this attitude that they are some how more “with it” or evolved then others, when really they are just annoying. It’s like chefs on TV who eat anything. We are supposed to think they have a sophisticated palette, but really its just a garbage disposal.

    Jazz is annoying. It is all over the place, and I always feel like they just made it up as they went along because they forgot to get together and practice,and now they are trying to fool me. There is no melody, no real rhythm … and, yes, I can sing and like most music. But I hear jazz and am immediately annoyed and just waiting for it to end!


    • If you have legitimate reasons why you dislike Jazz, that’s one thing. The difference is that the majority of people who claim to dislike Jazz don’t even have a basic grasp of what jazz is.

      It’s like saying you dislike hip-hop because you listened to 10 songs and the words were too fast for you to understand them.

      You probably dislike jazz because you can’t follow the solos.

      You say there is no melody… the whole point is to improvise a melody

      You say there is no rhythm… jazz is extremely rhythmically complex, possibly the most rhythmically complex genre of music

      You don’t perceive the melody or rhythm because it’s simply too complicated for you to perceive.

  78. J Says:

    Wow. You are soooo missing the point of jazz music. I really hope you are trolling but if not, you are one pathetic loser. Have you ever tried to play jazz? You probably wouldn’t hate it so much if you really knew how hard it was and actually had good ears and were more open minded. Jazz you aren’t relying on muscle memory and technique alone. You actually have to think in real time and be creative on the spot. You are so close minded its hilarious.

    Have fun always playing what someone else wrote out for you. You are a trained mechanical puppet that only knows how to copy and imitate others and not speak for yourself.

    If you really think the 12 bar blues is as simple as I I I I IV IV I I V IV I I then you are an idiot. Obviously you don’t know any of the possible substitute chord changes one could super- impose over that progression. You’re hatred is based on pure ignorance.
    “Improvisation. Woop woop, how flashy. How hard can it be? ” Obviously you have never tried it or else you know how hard it would be to sound good while doing it. You hate on improvising because when you tried it you SUCKED at it and couldn’t pull off a single sophisticated melodic phrase to save your life.

    But Quavers? Really? You must be trolling.

  79. J Says:

    Oh and guess what? Most all master composers such as Debussy, Chopin, Beethoven and Bach were all MASTER IMPROVISERS! Bach improvised 4-point counterpoint, Debussy would improvise for hours over chords, Chopin would always have trouble settling on “the best take” for composing. Beethoven was a highly skilled improviser. Don’t believe me? Look it up. YOUR LOGIC IS FLAWED AND MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON YOUR SOUL.

  80. bob Says:

    Why are you putting music into categories? Nowadays, music is music. The skills required to play music are whatever the skills are needed to express music in a specific genre. I have encountered people from many genres of music that have ruined it simply by having a misdirected attitude. All music a great. Sometimes musicians make it wonderful and sometimes their attitudes take away from it. Your statements are so full of ad hoc logic that it boggles the mind. You should shed your negative perspectives and get down to the task of making a joyful noise unto the universe.

  81. mark Says:

    youre a dumb bitch

  82. mark Says:

    stupid cunt

  83. ILikeWoopers Says:

    Hilarious, I loved it

  84. Paul hates jazz Says:

    Jazz sucks, anyone can do it, it’s not difficult! Get over yourselves! Jazz musicians are lower forms than what the x-factor churns out because although I’m not a fan at least it has a rhythm. If I kicked a drum set and threw a trumpet down the stairs it would make better music then anything with a jazz label on it. So there!

  85. martin Says:

    I agree. I just decided to try and get into some Jazz, so I put on some Miles Davis, and I think to myself I could do this shit, and all I was was a shitty garage bass player back in the grunge days.

    Maybe just playing a bunch of shit was brilliant back in those days, I don’t know.

    Oh and for all you lot, music is a bit like the media, whoever owns the media owns the opinion of the people, so what ever music is the most popular at the time also massively influences the culture, ever heard of the hippy movement and all that music? So it’s kind of important. Dumb asses.

    Now days it’s all slimy hip hop and shit, stick it up yo ass.

  86. Andy Says:

    Wow. See thus is why I am all for an intelligence based genophage. If you disagree, post a valid counterpoint. If your argument is calling someone a faggot and acting like a four year old, go drink bleach. You will never be anything but a stain. If you’re an adult and can’t comprehend a concept as simple as difference in opinion…you are trash.

  87. Chris Says:

    This article is basically defense mechanism. Would love to hear you play a charlie parker solo.

  88. Alexandre Says:

    If I want to do a comparison. Jazz is to music what dub-step is to electronic music. Meaning Jazz is living it own movement by not pushing the limits of the rules but by creating its own rules in order to have the musician doing whatever they want pretty much.

    I am a passionate of music, I have just listened to 2 very classic classical pieces liebestraum and Elise wrote 150 and 200 years ago, what a joy! I cannot say that I have ever felt joy listening to jazz.

    Jazz was born in the USA 60 years ago, it is an evolution of the Negro-Spiritual that made its march threw blues and improvisation during the 50’s 60’s in a planetary way.

    Blues is good because it is structured by a tempo in 8 bars and 5 main notes. Know that the human brain only can understand a maximum of 12 notes played in less that 1 second, more than that it becomes a cacophony to the ear.

    And believe it or not House music, Trance, acid-techno, Hip-Hop and Drum-n-bass are also based either on the spherical or pentatonic scales and they are very structured, duh! Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom. Electronic music is good! Yes Sir!

    To me dub-step is horse shit that goes not only against all of these previously mentioned rules but it also goes against and by creating its own laws too! by pushing the limit of mastering and distortion by pushing the compression and the limiters. Just because 1 first idiot did it without knowing what he was doing, 1000 more idiots did the same thinking: -“Wow! that’s so loud!” It’s not loud, it’s distorted. If they want louder by more amps and speakers! By passing the ‘limit’ of the limiter, there is now nowhere to go after this you idiot!

    Well jazz is the same. Limits have been passed and now the only one able to understand that fucking music played by these pretentious is E.T. Only an alien can get it!!!

    The proof that jazz cannot be understood is verifiable and you’re going to like that if you truly respect music like me, just do the test and ask a 50 year old person that you already knows that he or she knows shit about music what genre of music does he or she listen to? 99 percent of the time the answer is jazz why? why? why does a music retard should understand such a very elitist jewel of music as he doesn’t know the difference between a 6 string and a 12 strings!!!

    Done, I am done talking about that stupid “music” I don’t want to give it more advertising. Just to finish, I want to express that it is ok to tell to the world that we don’t like something, this is called freedom of speech and I agree with our host by saying that jazz sucks and it is a reality.

    Music has already been entirely explored during the 17 and 18 century with the classic baroque period if jazz would have been acceptable to play then Mozart would have opened a Blue Note bar in Vienna!

    Thank you.
    Alex


    • Bach was basically a jazz player… He’d improvise his songs and then later write them down.

      What do you think of Jazz musicians like Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, MJQ etc.? Have you even heard of them? Their music is extremely tightly controlled and well-defined. They are by no means “playing whatever they want.”

      I could understand if you just hated free jazz, because no limits are defined, but there are many styles of jazz in which the idioms are very well defined (and also classically inspired).

  89. Alexandre Says:

    Oh! I forgot to mention.

    Jimi Hendrix said that he hated jazz too! HaHAHAHAHAHA!

    He said that jazz is like blues just played very fast!

    Now I let you jazz lovers meditate on this!

    HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Fuck Jazz!!!


    • Actually, Jimi Hendrix never said that he hated jazz, and it’s actually more likely that he was a fan of Jazz.

      He did state that he was partially influenced by Charlie Christian and Wes Montgomery, two Jazz Guitarists.

  90. alex Says:

    Where is my fucking reply???????????????????

    • trevor davies Says:

      Music genres have different purposes.
      Jazz is about improvisation.
      Pop is exactly that ,music for popular consumption without allusions but sometimes illusions to levity.
      Serious music or classical has also many faces which had it’s beginnings in the church as had all art at that time.
      improvised music can be very satisfying because the spontaneity it shows. However, art music usually has a purpose or an implied meaning which is eschewed by the lack of control that improvised art implicitly contains.
      As has been said, composers often had the gift of improvisation but would use it as a vehicle for their initial creative attempts after-which the polishing and honing might begin. To some extent ‘spontaneity’ could be lost which could result in a dull or unimaginative work.
      Matisse has the answer when he writes about spontaneity in that it must be preserved even if one has to work for hours to do so. There are some interesting sculptures of his which took days to complete but look as though they were made in minutes .
      So much for Jazz. It has great improvisational potential but lacks (mostly) its ability to refine. This to some is its charm.
      Secondly, since the emancipation of artists at the time of the French Revolution. Painters and composers were able to make their own personal statements about ‘art’.
      ‘Meaning’ became the raison d’etre for the artist.
      The Eroica, ‘The storming of the Bastille’ or ‘Jane Eyre’ are examples.
      Jazz by its nature is restricted here not only by its improvisatory nature but by the intentions of its genre.
      Looking at the origins of jazz will exemplify its intentions.
      for me Jazz is not good enough. It does not satisfy the criteria given above.

  91. moe Says:

    These comments really fit the personality of the person who wrote the article: shallow and utterly uninteresting.


  92. Yes,

    Finally someone feels The same way I do about Jazz! I had to do a quick web search because my wife and I were having this exact conversation. We are you Mimi’s café right now and Jazz is blaring in the background. It is so hard for me to concentrate with the randomness of squeeky, annoying saxophones screaming their imprecise chords on the background. Jazz musicians lack discipline and seem to be cheating to me.


  93. I love this!! Cracks me up. How true.

    • Deez Says:

      True in that you don’t understand shit about music. Please don’t procreate; the world is already full of stupidity.

  94. Alop Says:

    Jazz is a 12 bars blues? laugh or cry? ignorants!
    This loser sounds like a big frustrated musician
    that tried to get into jazz and found himself with a lack of talent.

  95. Alaska Says:

    Ugh.

    I had this coming, I suppose, I am the one who google “why does classical hate jazz”.
    I guess I’m just shocked though, really. Half because it feels like I’m being personally attacked, and half because pretty much all your “insight” into jazz (and the reasons you hate it) are wrong.
    Don’t get me wrong here I’m not a huge fan of the blues either, but anyone who’s ever even heard a jazz blues would know that your form is f***ed. 1111? Not since ancient times has it just been 1111. Also all the chords are dominant so even if it were four bars of 1 it hardly feels that way.

    I’m not gonna sit here and pick apart everything you said, and I’m also not going to sit here and dis the screaming sopranos and pointlessly over complicated theory that comes with your… Taste?… In music caaaaause

    Ain’t nobody got time for that!

    God why am I even commenting? Whatever… it’s the Internet it’ll be fine

  96. tissaphernes Says:

    Did Hendrix really say he hated jazz? Because Hendrix’s style is pretty much the result of jazz music. Even his music sounds like a sort of vulgar interpretation of sort of jazzy styles of playing. He’s also sort of overrated as a guitarist and usually lauded as the end all be all of musicianship by people who chain smoke joints and consider themselves musical authorities for having a crapload of Rolling Stones albums and art rock in their collection.

    Oh, and all of your legendary composers were famous, first and foremost, as improvisers. You can’t be all that serious of a musician if you find improvisation boring and uninspired. Playing composition is good to do, and there’s a lot of good composition to come out of the past several hundreds of years of Western music, but that’s only part of the equation. Besides, how do you think people score music?

  97. tissaphernes Says:

    Oh, and jazz musicians were indigent because musicians don’t make any goddammed money. Never have, never will. Even if you’re touring with one of the handful of megastars you’re unlikely to see much money. Some of the people touring with the big names have even had to sue to get a living wage in the first place.

  98. TheCarMan Says:

    One year while I was teaching high school I happened upon the music teacher during lunch and asked if he could recognize a classical piece of music I was tring to identify (it turned out to be Hayden’s Trunpet Concerto in E flat). As I started to hum a few bars of the often heard 3rd movement he interrupted with “I don’t know or teach classical music — all I teach is jazz.” I was near floored by this comment, asking the inevitable, “Why?” His answer was even more absurd … “All that’s possible with classical music has already been written — there can be nothing new.” And this from a high school music teacher. Those poor kids.

  99. JT Says:

    Well, I HATE Brad Melhdau, and I think he represents everything you’re talking about. I will listen so many pianists before I ever even think of Mehldau: Herbie, David Sancious, McCoy Tyner, Richie Beirach, Victor Feldman, and so many others.

  100. peter luck Says:

    first.. you realy suck and youre creativity must be very low… then .. an old chinese man once told me this : no matter what you hate, if you got it Inside, all your opinions will be wrong and biased by this negative feeling, so no matter what.. you are wrong to hate

  101. Clay Dana Says:

    you seriously are an idiot! just cause you can’t play jazz. you have to write this stupid post. what an idiot. “if you can play jazz. you can play anything” it’s not easy playing jazz.

  102. John Says:

    Being a jazz musician myself (as well as funk, rock and many other styles of music) I am here to inform you that you sir, are a dumb ass. I am one of those people who believe there is no such thing as bad music because someone out there likes it. The points you talked about to fuel your argument show how uneducated about this music you are. You have a right to your own opinion but I feel that this article was useless and just makes others as undereducated as you. No you don’t need to study a music to like it, but if you want to write an argument about it, you should get your facts straight. I can talk all day about how classical music is just scales (like you talked about the blues scale) but that’s false.

  103. Denis Moulin Says:

    About bending notes on the clarinet, you must have come across this composer at some point.

    Piano soloist is a hack jazz player (Michel Camillo), sorry, couldn’t resist…

    Are you for real ???

  104. Brendface Says:

    This all leads me to the question, what the fuck is a “quaver”???

  105. Antonio Cresta Says:

    I can only read this as a comedy piece. I guess maybe the author is serious in his opinion,nonetheless, I find it humorous. I wish the author all of God’s blessings. I only hope that the author like God and doesn’t feel about Him as he/she does about tjazz, jass or jazz.
    tonyv (jazz lover)

    • Antonio Cresta Says:

      After reading so many negative opinions against jazz music, It is evident that much of the criticisms reflect a lack of understanding of what abilities are learned and mastered in order to perform what would be considered a truly great jazz performance. It is still agreed and accepted that everyone is entitled to their opinions and no one has to like jazz or anything like it. It normally requires much education, study and performing experience to truly accomplish and master the skill. Many opinions don’t reflect this understanding and are presented in a very ugly and repugnant way showing incredible ignorance. Very appalling!
      TonyV


  106. I like the genre, however, it is annoying when jazz musicians are too focused on technical skill instead of what art should be about…… Expression and Emotion. For instance, a filmmaker like the completely-shitty Michael Bay has brilliant and slick technical skill in his films– from the photography to the editing etc.– it’s just to bad that this skill does not convey an emotion or obviously symbolize anything, while the movies are cliched, horribly written, meaningless, and unmoving pieces of junk. In my opinion, that is why Jazz has been on steady decline for so long. It fails to connect to most people.

  107. Deez Says:

    Let me guess, if you are a musician, then you’re one of those who are pigeonholing themselves into finding another career. If classical was so “perfect” and popular, then why are orchestras failing and music departments folding? I’ll tell you why; it’s because it’s become so “progressive”, much like “free jazz”, that the majority of audiences don’t want to hear it. Here’s a fact: the correct way to learn jazz leads the majority of professional modern jazz musicians to be able to play almost any style idiomatically correct. I wish I could say the same about classical musicians…in the unlikely event one was hired for a jazz, rock, blues, latin, funk, country, etc. gig or show, it would probably be his or her last.

  108. clydefrog1121 Says:

    What a terrible misconstrual of jazz. All of your points are invalid, but the two most blatantly untrue are 8, and 9, dealing with methods of improvisation.

    First, the blues scale is generally an amateur device. Ask any professional player or educator and they will say the same. It seems though that you can only attack the amateur devices of jazz seeing that you have only superficially explored it, given that you reject it so strongly.

    Your attack on jazz improvisation in rule 9 is also representative of either misinformation by someone else or your wanting to see jazz in a hostile manner. If the only jazz you have listened to is the music of people like Kenny G, I can see how both of these possibilities could hold true. Looking at known professionals, however, we can see a very clear method and practice of diligent work and persistence in the paragons of jazz. John Coltrane for one, was known to have practiced Slonimsky’s Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns. Keith Jarrett, one of the most respected jazz pianists of today, was invited to study with Nadia Boulanger while he was only 13! Needless to say, he turned the offer down, but his skill has persisted.

    Improvisation is not uncommon in other genres and no one has really ever denied it. What can be seen as true however is that in jazz, every player or almost every player in a combo improvises at some point in a session over chord progressions that often contain multiple modulations within any 32 bar section, while in classical, or even rock music only a select few musicians will improvise.

    I’m not trying to make this a contest. The fact is some art forms are replicated and some are spontaneous. Neither is better in its nature.

  109. PB Says:

    You play the recorder. Nothing more to be said.

  110. charline Says:

    pretty frustrated musician you are..

  111. Yet Another Jazz Musician Says:

    This is all insensitive drivel.. But unfortunately this seems to be more or less a common opinion among dumbfucks like the author of this article nowadays. This is why I have absolutely no respect for society nowadays

  112. Jack johnson Says:

    You are clearly a dumbass who has no respect for “music”. I’m sure you listen to rap. Rap has no talent at all. I don’t want to hear someone ranting about his bitches and hoes.

  113. Jaohni Says:

    These aren’t real reasons to dislike Jazz; only the people who play it.

    I don’t personally consider myself a Jazz pianist, though I can play Blues, Swing, Jazz and Latin and even Funk music, simply because I’m not good enough.

    I’m assuming this is a joke, but in the (unfortunately not so) off chance that this isn’t, I’d like to offer ten counterpoints to balance out what you’ve said.

    1) I’m not sure what you mean by pretentious. Free spirited, perhaps, but that’s one of the main principles in Jazz, so it kind of comes with the territory. Unless you’re the sort of person who blames birds for flying like the pompous imbeciles they must be, you have no reason to blame Jazz musicians, especially since many of them probably aren’t pretentious.

    2) This is very much an opinionated point, and while I wouldn’t say that Jazz is the only measure of “True” character, per say, I would argue that it is a perfectly valid means to discern one’s ability to think on the spot and skill. Much as any other improvisational genre is.

    3) Well, by that logic we shouldn’t be using sheet music. We should be playing notes as triangles and dots as our Greek ancestors intended. We should use all seven modes equally, without impunity, with the wide variety of emotions that come with them. SOMEBODY SHOULD FINALLY USE THE LOCRIAN MODE! As our Greek forefathers intended, of course.

    4) I suspect that you’re exaggerating about the teacher. Just a bit. With that said however, it is an interesting idea. Think about it, if you look at Latin, and more pertinently, traditional Spanish Flamenco music you might notice the vi ii vi III is a common chord progression, and Blues took something from the same book and did a very similar, thing, in a very unique way, as opposed to most other music. It offers a well-made buildup, followed by a possible resolving of the piece or a just as easily performed continuation. For what it is, it’s rather clever.

    5) Arguably there is no one objective beauty in this world, but I say this. I might not know what notes the clarinet can hit normally, but I do know that the harmonica has a limited range and can only hit the notes in a specific scale with the standard tuning, and I imagine that clarinet is similar, and, with harmonica at least we bend to get strange notes that we’re not supposed to be able to hit. Even if the clarinet can hit any note anyway, it is a valuable technique worthy of note, much as any other. Even if I still haven’t swayed you that point applies to both Celtic Flamenco and medieval music, since they used fluid transitions between notes much as we do in modern day Jazz, Blues, Funk and Latin music.

    6) In all due fairness, “Green Onions” is a named I’m willing to bet was chosen as the result of a very poorly chosen bet.

    7) I notice an interestingly bigoted opinion that’s often shared by musicians who solely make music with physical instruments, and most especially in classical style. An instrument has to have a perfect tone that has been used in a particular genre of music for the life of the beholder in question to be considered a valid option to use in that genre.

    Not only that, but I notice that the same opinion applies to electronic music with bad quality instruments.

    My friend won’t listen to music made with “bad” instruments solely because he’s used to his normal ones, and despite any musical merit the composer may have had, my friend still won’t listen to them.

    That is to say, maybe you should consider for a second, that an instrument only seems bad for a particular genre because you’re not used to it, rather than any fundamental flaw in it.

    8) The Phrygian Dominant scale, for one. That aside, the blues scale is quite interesting, if you look at it.

    Something you’re not taking into account here is that while you have the standard six notes of the scale that everyone sees on scale charts everywhere, there is a seventh note to it, that most people don’t know about. It equates to a raised fifth, in other words the semitone directly below the tonic of an Aolian, Dorian or Phrygian or Locrian mode. Or the note a semitone below the blues scale, by extension. The “Blues note” and the raised fifths are interesting notes, because in some ways, they’re the same note. Both can be used in “Stab-Breaks”, a Funk and Jazz technique, to keep music interesting, both function as a form of dissonance. They are important notes, and anyone whom may forget them is doomed to have lost a very powerful tool.

    9) Actually, there’s more to it than that. This, coming from the perspective of somebody who plays Swing and Latin music, is perhaps a bit beyond the theory you’re used to, but in the improvisational genres we tend not to use anywhich odd note, or at least I don’t. I generally only use notes from the chords I’m playing. This means that I have to get very creative in how I use what notes I have available at the time, and I have to be very careful with my chord progressions. Plus, there are other things like Stab-breaks, harmonies, and other mechanically complex techniques to consider.

    10) This is, again, an opinionated argument. Still, I’d say that many good things have come out of Jazz fusion. For example, we wouldn’t have Latin Jazz, if not for the African and medieval influence that eventually built into things like the Rumba.

    Something to consider though, is that Jazz is really the combination of semi-modern Greek music (that is to say, classical music and its derivatives), African music and a bit of everything else that nobody was willing to use in any other genre. Jazz is like the soup kitchen of music. That is to say, Jazz could very well be called a fusion soup-kitchen.

    Say, that sounds like a good name for a piece…

  114. Russ Allert Says:

    This is GREAT!!!! I’m a Dirty Filthy Rock & Roll Drummer, with my head unashamedly stuck in the 60s and 70s. There’s lot of music I like and lots that I hate, and jazz is definitely on my hate list. I’ve never liked it, and I especially got to hate it when I tried my hand at “serious” music study at a music college. The rules there were essentially: 1) The only Real Music is classical and jazz; 2) all other music is commercial crap; 3) rock & roll is the lowest form of commercial dog feces; 4) if you are a Real Musician, you will love jazz and be eternally devoted to it – otherwise, you’re just a faker. The drum teacher that I had forced on me specifically told me, “Rock & roll is all right, Russ, if you’re fourteen years old”. Another instructor (a self-styled jazz purist) often hinted that if you hated jazz, it meant that you were prejudiced against black people…..

    I’ve read both this and the second posting, and I have only one real quibble. You seem to be confusing blues with jazz at times. Both are related forms of music, and I’m not a big fan of blues either (although it is an important building block of rock & roll), but Howlin’ Wolf was definitely a blues singer, not a jazzer, and Green Onions is a 12-bar blues/R&B instrumental originally done by Booker T & The MGs (probably in a better arrangement than your school stage band had to play). If you’re not keen on blues, that’s fine, but mixing it up with another form of music gives all the jazz wankers more ammo to attack you.

    By the way, all the hate-on comments from angry jazzers simply prove the point you’re making about pretentious idiots. The ones I knew at music school were just as pretentious and snotty, and took their cues from their big jazz hero of the 80s, the unbearably arrogant Wynton Marsalis.

  115. Russ Allert Says:

    One more point: why the hell do jazz fanatics spell it as “Jazz” with a capital j? Do they actually think that the “music” is as sacred as God or Jesus (or their pronouns) or any other deity? Jazzers actually remind me of evangelical born-again Christians, believing that their type of music is The Only Way, proselytizing it to “non-believers” and generally having their own weird little sub-culture.

  116. shiggidy Says:

    Jazz is the only genre of music that can express every single human emotion.

    I was in stage band and I know a lot about music, and this was said to me by a typical pretentious jazz musician. I would agree, but I’d add ‘at the same time’ lol. The funny thing is, he didn’t even know the chords in twelve-bar blues. The truth is jazz picks up a whole lot of wannabes, and it gives the genre a bad name. But the real jazz musicians are usually the coolest, chillest, nicest people’ and are just really enthused by music. Not just jazz, but they come to jazz for its possibilities.

    A real jazz musician doesn’t play altered chord noise pollution and inform his listeners that it’s good. Duke Ellington said if it sounds good it is good. Likewise, if it sounds bad, it is bad. However, jazz isn’t supposed to sound good. Not to normal listeners. Jazz is music for musicians. A real jazz musician isn’t playing to annoy listeners, he’s not even playing for listeners. He’s playing for the sake of the music itself. He’s going outside the lines, not to annoy people, but because he is compelled to explore every possibillity.

    The reason there is so much improv is not because they’re trying to be cool. You’re right in a way, that improvising is actually very easy. But that isn’t the point. The point is to use the limitless tool of improvisation to discover music never heard before. It’s not supposed to be hard per se, but the truly explorative improvisation of the great jazz musicians is something that the majority of musicians can’t even follow. Anyone can improv on the blues scale, but that doesn’t pertain to real jazz improvisation.

    And there is good jazz and bad jazz. There are hundreds of genres. Check out gypsy jazz, Ethiopian, or west coast. Stay far away from big band and smooth. Guys like Harry Connick Jr. and Kenny G. are the most well known ‘jazz’ musicians, but what they play is a pop bastardization of jazz that only serves to annoy everyone alike.

  117. meredith Says:

    I just wanted to say I love jazz and im learning to be a jazz pianist and
    IMPROVISATION is NOT as easy as you think
    Sure anyone can improvise a blues scale
    Its learning to improvise like real jazz musicians thats hard!

  118. Wayne Absalom CK Says:

    How imbecile and pathetic you are. Your 3rd point made you look so immature, ignorant, and childish. If you live in Mozart’s time where Classical music has just begun, are you gonna say, “Why must your pieces be homophonic? Why can’t you do contrapuntal like our Baroque forefathers did?”

    • Wayne Absalom CK Says:

      In addition to my comment, I’m a classical pianist, but I find this child an idiot. Respect Jazz, dumbass!

  119. Wayne Absalom CK Says:

    seriously dude. you fail as a musician. you do not even know the term of respect.

  120. Wayne Absalom CK Says:

    Get off the music industry if you still have this kind of attitude.

  121. i love it lol .. Says:

    Man lol.. .ur kinda mean and i doubt how many friends u keep lol…and u hear me play probally start running lol….but definitly cheer me up…lol. U should read how i let out my frustration on the topic….i love simple harmony melody….simple art expression that is sooo sooo simple its complicated….weird ehy? But if u got rhythm and pentatonic that makes butterflys dance in ur belly and makes your soul smile….i heard the sax in these songs conscious rythm rythm sax played so little but sweeee spot hit evrrynote…ooh….i just stayed in and listened danced and smiled chased my deppression away kept myself out so much trouble other lifr choices temptations were taking me. I didnt care about not sounding same good or jaszzzy well when ever i did i dream day i sound like music i listen to and the artist playing. Jazz cool sophisticated can come in handy but nothing compares to music found me….i stopped all weed leading me to scisophrenia…i stopped steroids and lusting….i stopped and seriously found myself well again and deal with family better .. brought me to God. Anyways i wrote this on a sax forum on monday night after all summer busking scraping byy….kids know they dance when they hear me….jamacans love me too and lot of old ladys who love Jesus lol. …just in general people who love happy music. Well this pro base got excited hear me play give me opportunity but he loves funk and jazz .. thought i was needing of schooling ….humber schooling …left me hopeless down thinking just give up go get real work. Listened to his sax star i didnt fancy it simply comes down to taste guess and i asked the forum do i have to learn jazz to be good at sax when i hate99 PERCENT of it …i was serious and opened up like right now .. and next day i checked for answer and they deleted lol my question right off the saxopgone org lol so upset i wrote book all week lol ah man illustrated it too saxguys are i dunno what say…..lol ah man sae thing is i naturally sound jazzy blusey kind a country swing hick lol with now bit more popy afro rhythm not all the perfect sweet spots yet still dreamin and dont have my questiin answered. But i read all the threadds your questiin opinion feelings havr opened discussion too and learned doo do and truth and philosophy spirituality and i feel good again. Learned shouldnt hate and at same time be u…rrespect others talents….and just rock on man bc well they all hated us in the beginning rrembrr lol….and we all hung in there until they loved us…..i lovr some jazz….over rainbow….and i know even tho i dont lovr jaxzz i do sound jazzy at times and equally annoy and please everyone…..all that rrrealy matters is that u dance lol and smile….laugh and try maybe to be nicr to those who push u or help u or even spit on u…..thank u for ur post

  122. Lisa Rodriguez Says:

    Jazz sucks asshole and so do all the assholes that think they are better than just because they speed up a song somewhere in the middle and then go back to the original tempo just before they end the stupid thing. I played in a jazz band with a couple of old farts who thought their shit didn’t stink and believe me it did. They were such losers that they couldn’t get a gig if they laid across a railroad track and begged for one before the train ran over them. It was me that got gigs for the band and once I realized that these old fucks thought THEY were better than ME, I dumped them like the dump they are. Now I have a cool band, cool sound and now these old fucks are rotting in their jazz shit at home with their old stupid wives who hate them too.

  123. Bob Says:

    What a dumb ass cunt bitch

  124. rararar Says:

    I can say from what i have heard now from the supposedly “Greats” , that Jazz, SUCKS. I can play Guitar, Bass Guitar, Drums, Trombone, and currently learning Piano. And plan on learning as many instruments as possible. Every time i get told “Today we are going to play some Jazz” from my teachers, i think to myself FML. And i hate it when people say you need “talent” to play jazz. The noobs in my music classes could play Jazz better than half the douches doing it professionally, the problem is it just sounds so horrible no real talent wants to play it. Here’s to the hope jazz dies. Cheers.

  125. Denis Moulin Says:

    can you die now ?

  126. jose uribe Says:

    Anyone notice how this article against jazz is written with terrible grammar and punctuation? Any coincidence that these comments also chastising jazz are mostly written at a second grade writing level, while the comments defending jazz are mostly written with decent writing skills?

  127. BumpingOldBlogs Says:

    Love how butthurt jazz musicians still get four years after the blog was posted!!!!! All arguments were pretty much covered in the first few comments yet you continue to carry on. Jazz sucks

  128. weja Says:

    Jazz is okay but fusion is for Martians with anoraks.

  129. David Repulno Says:

    The problem with jazz is that it isn’t legitimate music. It’s actually anti-music and those that play it are washed up old farts with no life and no clue. Studies have shown that jazz rots the brain, while classical improves mental function.


  130. Jazz sounds like jiberish, has no emotion, it’s like masturbating and never coming. It’s bullshit that you need to understand the complexity in order to apreciate it, it sounds like a musician fooling around to warm up, the guys have some good technical ability but absolutly lack the talent to come up with a good melody or show deep emotions. I’s simply lazy ass sounds.

  131. twisties Says:

    Life would be straight without jazz.

  132. Jacob Says:

    You are truly a terrible journalist

  133. Florian Pöschko Says:

    If we can forget for a moment the chauvinist statements that provoked your reaction, I´d like to point out that you´re judging the mountain by a postcard (meaning mediocre experience with mediocre people on mediocre levels)… Or to be more crude, you´re judging the possible pleasures of sex from the experience of pedophile harassment. If you don´t like the genre, please stay away (we still love you), but if you´re attempt making judgements about it´s actual nature, please dig into the real thing, not some lame 5th grade music teacher… Brad Mehldau´s records might be a good starting point… Doesn´t have to swing, isn´t played on a recorder, doesn´t have funny names, no walking bass lines, no 12-Bar Blues,… still jazz…

  134. Billy Says:

    He didnt even get tje 12 bar blues form right XD

  135. Maverick Says:

    I can’t quite tell l whether this piece was written in jest or just poorly candid. But you seem to be serious, to some degree. This might’ve been tongue-in-cheek, but it seems you truly have a distaste for jazz, which is fine for your own personal opinion, but terrible as any claim of authority on the matter of “proper.”

    You also have a pretty limited understanding of jazz. A lot of your description is surface level stuff. Which is funny, coming from a white gal who plays the recorder. Even in the world of classical music, you’re a joke. Not many in classical music take the recorder seriously. There’s a bit of irony here, of you down-nosing Jazz, being a recorder player.

    Funny enough, most of your points about pretentiousness could be well applied of classical composers and musicians who seem to think they’re the sole authority on what is “proper” music. Even in your own sphere of music, many of your own would rather snicker at the fact that you’re a recorder player–I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen recorder players in the New York Philharmonic, among the flutes and clarinets. Some would probably laugh that the recorder is what they teach elementary-school children.

    Though, I personally would not brand all of classical music as such. I do appreciate quite a good deal of classical music–even if many classical composers and musicians have been some of the most pretentious musicians on Earth, always boasting over the world like they’re the standard in music.

    Jazz wasn’t “pretentious” until white people appropriated it and started using it to boast their own brand of musical “intellectualism,” reducing jazz into a series of stereotypes and bland imitation, failing to attain any of the spirit of jazz’s roots.

    Jazz originated as an expression of self-preservation and social survival for black Americans, minding its own business as a cultural legacy. Just as blues was, just as soul was, just as house music was, and just as hip-hop once was.

    It all used to stay in black clubs, black venues and black culture, geared to black audiences. Not that it had much choice in the matter, since the neighborhoods were outcasts of American society. All black creations were largely created as a way to deal with an ugly reality in America, resulting in a natural preservation of cultural roots. Jazz musicians were among the first to embody such for black Americans.

    Of course, jazz musicians had to face reality: They lived in a white world, and money makes the world go round. Soon came promotion of black music beyond their own venues, and fierce competition arrived, fighting to appropriate their cultural keepsake. Paul Whiteman and such, coming to take black jazz for white audiences, and receive lauds as “Kings” of jazz. People bent on removing black fingerprints from a black art form.

    So, largely out of survival and cultural preservation in a racist envious nation, at the height of social and racial oppression, you saw black jazz musicians starting to market their music (or often, started to get marketed by white producers more), just to survive as both a culture and a people. Market became both a social platform and a cultural contest.

    Out of it came some of jazz’s finest innovators (Miles Davis, Charlie Mingus, Charlie Parker, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, etc.), as well as some of jazz’s worst imitation. A few respectable white jazz musicians arose (i.e., Bill Evans) and even a few brilliant innovators (i.e., Django Reinhart), but most white crooners were poor imitations of their black counterparts, and most white jazz musicians were second-rate imitations bent on converting jazz into a brand for the white collegiate and the global “intellectual.”

    It isn’t jazz’s fault if much of white America and Europe had largely hijacked it, exploited it, utterly reduced the life out of it, and promoted it the world over as black music tells everyone’s story. Once scorned as “devil’s music,” jazz and other black music somehow always finds its way into mainstream popularity, where black musicians are subject to how well white audiences approve of it.

    Who the hell cares if you, someone who has no personal taste or much knowledge of jazz music don’t like jazz? It wasn’t meant for you. If your white teachers laud it as a standard you need to learn in music, take it up with them–not the true culture of jazz.

    Jazz has always told the black American narrative, and explored their experiences, and was never truly meant as something for the world to embrace. I shiver at the claim of jazz being “America’s” music–no, it’s BLACK America’s music.

    Of course, I wouldn’t expect a white American or a recorder player to truly understand any of it. Where your predecessors appropriated jazz as something of value, you go to the other extreme of denying jazz as something of value at all.

    So, basically, you can just go stuff yourself. It’s really your own “intellectual” white ego which you contend with–not jazz itself.

  136. Jason Says:

    From one pretentious classical musicican (saxophonist, in fact!) to another–I couldn’t have said it better myself.


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