Saturday, June 9, 2012

My case against smooth jazz...

I have none...

It is that simple. Now I will admit that I am not reviewing certain smooth jazz format artists due primarily from a lack of interest from the readers not necessarily because of a personal axe to grind on my behalf. (Incognito, Najee etc...)

Recently I have either interviewed or done stellar reviews on Peter White, Richard Elliot, Acoustic Alchemy, Gerald Albright/Norman Brown, David Benoit, Darren Rahn and get the idea. I LOVE their music. I have also done the same with Steve Khan, James Carter, Sara Gazarek and a few others as well.

Units sold.

They call it the music business for a reason! Much in the same vein the best "technical singer" (who decides that by the way) never wins and much like the record business it is the "it" factor or as a popular television show would call it - "The X Factor." Having working production on American Idol I can hopefully make reference to either show without a legal nasty gram showing up in my in box.

Critics have favorites and they have certain parameters of taste with which they try and operate in. If I had a specific axe to grind with the above mentioned artists I would not waste my time, their time or the record labels time. Above are an example of the cream of the crop. Call it anything that allows you to sleep better at night but it is great music with a loyal following and certainly deserving of critical review. Ignoring these artists will never make them go away.

Let us be clear on one other key point. Smooth jazz is instrumental format driven jazz that is a hodge podge of easy listening jazz lite, rhythm & blues, and watered down fusion - FOR SOME. Smooth jazz also boasts incredible talent such as Jeff Lorber who can hold his own with any group and on any bandstand you can toss together.

Never throw the baby out with the bathwater. Remember the mantra here: "Taste is subjective but tone dead lasts forever."

What I review is jazz. I try to not break it down any further. I do not review vibe. I do not refer to a "good hang" which takes my mind in a slightly more twisted direction. Pretentiousness and self absorbed artists are not my thing. Real musicians trying to crash that glass ceiling are the people I am interested in. Hopefully you are too but there is plenty of room for everyone.

I noticed a nasty remark made by someone calling themselves Lory G. A smooth jazz groupie incapable if of making a complete sentence without the use of the "amazing." So I will simply take my own advice a grow a thicker skin. Working as a critic is a 24/7 learning curve much like life. If you do think the jazz musical world revolves around a radio format allow me to leave you with one piece of advice. I can add and subtract and that does make me an accountant any more than getting that 40 something crowd primed for the easy listening tunes that they refer to as "chill music" makes it viable jazz.

Just an opinion. I blog you figure it out.