Wednesday, June 18, 2014
'Can Starbucks Save Jazz?'
Everytime I walk into a Starbucks I am impressed that there is some good quality Jazz music being played. I especially remember when one time 'Freddie Freeloader' from Miles Davis's album Kind of Blue was on and I got so overexcited that I told the barista 'Hey that's Freddie Freeloader!' while he looked at me in bewilderment.
While I thought it was a nice way to get people to hear jazz, I also thought that most people would just use it as ambient music while sipping their frappachinos; afterall, jazz is is no longer the music of the people. It's become music of the sophisticated, and these days people couple sophistication with coffeeshops.
What about an expert opinion on the matter?
Jazz historian Ted Gioia is a leading jazz critic and author; he has written several books on jazz and blues, as well as being active on the internet by starting up and co-chairing several jazz websites.
Most recently he wrote an article for the Daily Beast where he asks 'Can Starbucks Save Jazz?' or 'Jazz (The Music of Coffee and Donuts) Has Respect, But It Needs Love'.
In it, he argues:
'Jazz helps sell millions of cups of coffee, but sales of jazz records are in dire need of a caffeine jolt. Jazz festivals flourish by tapping into this allure of jazz—but increasingly fill their stages with artists from other genres.
So even if I applaud Starbucks and other retailers for exposing the general public to jazz, I still can’t take much comfort from its prominence in these settings. Let me be blunt: I don’t want the next generation of music lovers to associate jazz with Frappuccinos and frosted donuts.'
What do you think? Are we taking the matter too seriously (for more about purism read by article Blues Purism vs Evolution)
Posted by Ali Sleeq at 12:21 PM