A colleague passed me a link to this Mtume/Crouch debate, and it was fascinating. I am realising that in Jazz Criticism there is a sort of more conservative school lead by Ken Burns / Stanley Crouch / Wynton Marsalis, and there is a more open, modern one like Mtume. Gary Giddens gets pigeon-holed into that conservative school but I think that – having read Visions of Jazz – that he is of course closer to the conservative school but I think he remains open minded. I haven’t read “Reconsidering Genius” By Crouch but I’ll let you know what I think.
As for Miles’ influence, it is incredible – you know that he transcribed Hendrix solos to the trumpet? They were pals up until Jimi died – and that Jimi tried to incorporate Miles into his playing.
Jazz has been in crisis since the advent of rock music in the early 60s. It was never returned to its peak during the swing era. It got close in the 70s when fusion brought jazz closer to rock and r&b…I don’t know how it comes back. It is not really tuned to the ACD mentality of the millenials or to the hyperlinked society were are in. We are spoiled by melody and heavy back-beats. Miles went that direction with Live Evil, but was not really followed there and it dissipated.
I am fascinating to see what what perspective that Don Cheadle brings to his portrayal to the screen during his Miles biopic.
Anyone else wish to chime in on the debate? I think it is a good time to discuss this before the Miles film comes out so that you are all set for it!