Michael Lake recently wrote a post called, Is jazz becoming a caricature of itself. I left a comment and a couple of replies to comments that I disagreed with - okay, that I REALLY disagreed with!
The topic of the post brought to mind something that I'm really fired up about. From my perspective there is no jazz happening now for the simple reason that to me ,in my humble opinion unless there are people in the same room as the jazz musicians playing - in other words a live audience - not streaming, but real visual and aural contact between the audience and the artist, there is no jazz happening at all these days because of the pandemic.
These streaming things are pathetic attempts to keep the art form going, and I totally understand the heartfelt attempts to at least salvage something to keep our musical and spiritual lives going. But they are in the end not only unsatisfying for both the audience and the artist but more importantly, they set a very bad and dangerous precedent. Its not a big step to imagine that the audience might say to themselves, "Hey, why should we go out and spend a bunch of money on tickets for a jazz show, pay for a babysitter parking, etc. when we can sit in our own living room and watch the same bands for free and avoid all costs all inconveniences?"
The streaming puts a big distance between the player and the listener which is not a good thing. I am worried that live performances will diminish to the point where it will just be the biggest names performing and actual live audiences will be a special rare thing.
Remember when there were only horses and trains used for traveling? Well ,the automobile put millions of horse breeders saddle makers and blacksmiths completely out of work - irrelevant and obsolete. The car replaced the horse. Ok, progress is inevitable right? I just don't want to see the Village Vanguard go the way of blacksmiths!!!!