Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Brilliant Corners

After catching a link on another blog, I have been reading the Brilliant Corners jazz blog by Chris Rich out of Boston. While I certainly admire the passion he shows for the music and musicians in the free jazz community, I have to wonder if his extremely caustic tone and confrontational attitude really help the musicians he supports. I just don't think the best way to promote the music is be denigrating people of the baby boom generation, NPR and other easy targets.

When he writes with a positive approach, he does quite well:
"To me, one thing that makes 'Free Jazz' so fascinating is the astonishing differentiation of style and method within the big tent of the idiom. The AACM and its colleague entities from the Midwest opted for a significantly different array of elements from the emerging New York community and the large LA Community had yet another array of approaches."
But the problem is that fine prose is offset by cringe inducing screeds like this: (writing about impresario George Wein)
"Now the rotten old bastard plans to trot out yet another crappy Newport show. I bet that stupid bimbo Diana Krall will be there or someone like her. Boycott this shit. Make the disgusting old bastard retire with his millions sucked from people like Duke Ellington. Get rid of the bitch and force him to know the ignominy he justly deserves."
He certainly grabs your attention, but at what cost? Does the jazz blogosphere really need the equivalent of a Sean Hannity or a Glenn Beck? I think this kind of venomous language actually works against him, because it makes it all the more easy to ignore his comments even when there is a substantive argument at its core. Better to temper the language and focus the argument on the root cause of the problem rather than wasting valuable energy on vitriol.

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