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lownote12

The cats are back

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Eight years ago I went to a jazz club to try out on bass. What I found was mostly middle-to-old -age stiffos playing very well but very seriously to rules set in stone. Where’s the joy gone, I asked myself? Answer: jazz died in 1959, according to trumpetist Nic Payton. Anyway, fast forward to last year and I stumble across a YouTube vid with crowds of yoof enthralled by a black girl saxist called Nubya Garcia. Turns out the cats are back, only this time multicultural, grass roots, experimental, young and real. Fast forward again to this Thursday and I’m taking pictures at a funk jam in Norwich and red hair invites me to take pix at the Cactus Jam this coming Thursday. Wot? Apparently, The Scene has even got to Norwich and I didn’t know. So cool, so looking forward. Might even take my bass as well as my camera – and swop my hearing aid for an earring.

cactarse.jpg

Edited by lownote12
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What does them being middle aged have to do with it? Im middle aged and still headbang to Motorhead. Causal, off the cuff ageist remarks are an irrelevance - these people were most like born as squares.

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One look at the average age of the big audiences drawn by instrumental 'jazz-ish' bands such as Vulfpeck and Snarky Puppy will show that the cats are definitely back. Jazz has, I think, a bright future.

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1 hour ago, Rich said:

Jazz has, I think, a bright future.

It always had. 😉

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6 hours ago, Bassfinger said:

What does them being middle aged have to do with it? Im middle aged and still headbang to Motorhead. Causal, off the cuff ageist remarks are an irrelevance - these people were most like born as squares.

I didn't read it as ageist, just more surprised that there was a youthful audience for jazz. I read it more as amazement that anything cool could happen in Norwich! 

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It is in the eye of the beholder, but I personally read it as ageist. If it wasn't then why mention their age at all?

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8 hours ago, Bassfinger said:

What does them being middle aged have to do with it? Im middle aged and still headbang to Motorhead. Causal, off the cuff ageist remarks are an irrelevance - these people were most like born as squares.

Middle aged people a less likely to be part of an exciting live music scene. You may not like it but it's a fact. 

UK Jazz is amazing right now, Cardiff has an excellent scene thanks to the courses at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. 

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The reason I mentioned age was both what I observed then and observe now. I see very few young people at traditional jazz clubs. At my local club 70 counts as young, and the music is preserved in aspic, ossified in a time warp. The new wave both attracts young people and is being forged by them. Is what they play jazz? That’s a question of semantics as much as anything. At 65 I appreciate the old music but I’m a lot more excited by the new frontiers the new players are exploring. 

Edited by lownote12
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when I was 20 ( I had moved to Norwich for the art school) A drummer I'd befriended and I went along to what was then the main sunday jazz jam.

 

we introduced ourselves then decided to go back the next week and play.

We were a little dismayed that it was exactly the same bunch of late middle age plus musicians playing exactly the same music as the week before.

I took out my 5 string and was told rather hurriedly that it would be best if we just listened this week to "see how the sessions work".

Drummer and I never went back.

The other music scenes I encountered there were very progressive across all ages though.

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1 hour ago, Woodwind said:

when I was 20 ( I had moved to Norwich for the art school) A drummer I'd befriended and I went along to what was then the main sunday jazz jam.

 

we introduced ourselves then decided to go back the next week and play.

We were a little dismayed that it was exactly the same bunch of late middle age plus musicians playing exactly the same music as the week before.

I took out my 5 string and was told rather hurriedly that it would be best if we just listened this week to "see how the sessions work".

Drummer and I never went back.

The other music scenes I encountered there were very progressive across all ages though.

+1. Exactly the same experience at the Ipswich club. I also had a 5 string (Peavey). You could see his teeth the top lip curled so much. Mind you I’ve had gyp for a six string and fretless at the local blues club. You only get a reluctant nod if you can absolutely make that sucker dance. 

Edited by lownote12
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The cats are alive and well at every GoGo Penguin gig I've been to.

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