Saturday, November 20, 2010

My "think piece" for the year. . .

. . .written on the occasion of a new Quincy Jones CD: yet another tiresome pairing of elements from much "better" music combined with the inchoate, indistinct brayings of so-called rap artistes such as---I refuse to call them anything other than---Calvin Broadus and Christopher Brian Bridges. (Sorry, ahem, but the title of the damn album seems to've escaped me for the nonce.)

The 30 year crusade of "Q" (as those near and dear to Jones---all ten thousand of 'em) to lend a patina of respectability to c(rap) and other forms of music Kultural Kriminalism has done more harm to the cause of actual "good" pop and jazz music than the actions of any other professional in the history of the art form. Plus, ferkrisakes, he founded Vibe ragazine, a periodical solely devoted to promoting the cause of musical brain rot, i.e. rap and  "hop (ain't) hip" (vide John Wood).

The truth is, most of Jones' "better" jazz charts from the before time were done by uncredited others. Think Billy Byers, Oliver Nelson et al. However, to give credit where it's due, I really do like Jones' arrangements for Leslie Gore (It's My Party, Judy's Turn to Cry, etc.). .  .if he actually did write them. Good, fun disposible musical brain candy. And, really, some of the Michael Jackson stuff that Jones produced isn't all that bad.

It's not that Jones is necessarily a BAD jazz arranger, but allegedly (no names puh-leese) he works so slowly that he really isn't all that cost effective. On the other hand, Jones' ghost arrangers could do this stuff in their sleep. Much more important to those who use Jones' services is that he is "branded" to the max. And that's mostly what his buyers are paying (if I might end this sentence with a preposition) for.

To reiterate, Jones' IT'S ALLLLLL GOODDDD musical aesthetic has had an incalcuably deleterious impact on American non-classical music. After, some years back, he began to deem hip-hop and rap capital "A" capital "R"capital "T," it's been downhill all the way. Even disco is slightly more bearable than the junque that mid-to-late career Jones has trafficked in. I'll even take the likes of Donna Summer over Curtis James Jackson III any day.

I never let an opportunity go by if I can find an excuse to quote the late, great drummer Max Roach (and IMHO a far greater musician than Quincy Jones) on the subject of rap, and this seems just like one of those times: to wit, "Those who voted for defunding of music education programs in public schools are getting what they paid for."

I could go on and on and on. . ..

1 comment:

AAUndercover said...

Dont' hold back Bill. Tell us what you really think.