Monday, September 24, 2012

#BAM! - The Price of Fame and Failure...

So...Whatever happened to #BAM?

Had an interesting day today, a cyber "chat" with one of about 4 jazz musicians willing to put their name behind the failed publicity stunt from a New Orleans based trumpet player known as #BAM. The names are being left out of this piece both as a professional courtesy to some and because others simply do not deserve the attention.

For those of you playing at home that may have missed what #BAM is all about then let me catch you up. Essentially there is a small and incredibly racist group of musicians that are working the jazz genre that decided they were going to "take the music back." Hmmm...sounds oddly familiar as though something the Tea Party movement might say. Music education is on life support at best in this country but allow me to explain one key element in their flawed logic. The word Jazz much like the various sub genres such as hard bop, smooth jazz and free jazz were essentially created by and for the record labels to better categorize what they felt was "their" music in an effort to aid the consumer. So far I am not finding a great deal wrong with this as taste is subjective. If we re-name Jazz, then if one knows any music history at all we should re-name soul, r&b and rock and roll as well.

What is troubling is that a small group of naive, narrow minded, and racially biased musicians better off on the island of misfit toys want to re-name Jazz "by any means necessary" in an effort to seek out publicity no matter how bad it is. Make no mistake, #BAM has nothing to do with a cultural revolution or movement but is instead a direct self serving attempt at publicity that these handful of artists would struggle to get elsewhere.

This calculated and intentional effort to upset the apple cart if you will is nothing more than a movement that has stiffed faster than "Hope and Change" and "Occupy Wall Street" combined.
The difference is the artists involved use their own brand of racism and polarization of the music community in an attempt to further their own self serving cause.

Most of you are familiar with the musicians I refer to, take a long look at their record and their use or abuse of social media and if you can not find a direct correlation between their racially bent attitudes and their intended goal then you are not looking hard enough.

Much like the career and last record of one New Orleans based trumpet player, #BAM has long since died. This same individual threatened me with legal action back on 12/06/2011 yet nothing has come of this veiled threat. Perhaps because my source was an article from Jazz Times where the individual in question was quoted confirming statements I previously posted. Perhaps the editor of All About Jazz was correct in calling his actions a "publicity stunt" either way - Swing and a miss...Most of us in the jazz community are well aware of the history and roots of the music. To have artists that insist on riding the coat tails of masters whose cases they are not worthy to carry simply makes matters worse.

The more controversial an artist becomes, the more desperate they are.

As always...I Blog. You Figure It Out.