why is jazz music so under-appreciated these days?
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it's not.  it's actually experiencing a boom in popularity.
also, it depends where you live.  when i lived in korea/hong kong/japan, i was treated like a rock star, and that was fifteen years ago when i couldn't play anything.  it was a surprise when i finally came back to the states and got to enjoy the kind of cold receptions that audiences around here can have.

also, it depends on the venue. if i play in a venue that is designed for concerts, i have a great response because people are coming in to hear the music.  but if you're running a trio in some dark corner of a locals bar, treat it as a paid rehearsal, not a performance situation.
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because for the most part it is difficult to dance to.
it's just a different culture.  40 years from now we'll wonder why people don't appreciate jay-z anymore.  music has been and always will be about the current culture.  the majority of people do not flock to a particular style because of it's relevance or how "good" it is.......it's all about what their friends are listening to.  i think mike has a point about the dancing.  music leads to identity, which leads to popularity, which leads to the opposite sex, which leads to dancing.  so, basically, marvin gaye will live forever.
i think 7 is onto something about the fashionable drugs - booze, weed and herion are not popular choices anymore.  

(legal message - neither the author of this post nor learnjazzpiano.com condone the use of illegal drugs)
what is needed are some real big mouth performers who engage in public slanging matches and are implicated in high profile crimes.
let's get herbie hancock to shoot chick corea for dancing badly after shooting heroin.
back in jelly rolls' day, young pianists would cut each other in piano contests.  but unfortunately "cuts" today take on a different meaning.
the average person wants the music to jump out at him/her and hav e the music hit them over the head .jazz is something you have to listen intently to ,the more you listen the more you enjoy. rock and all other stuff in an instantly gratifying thing and most people do not want to make the commitment. shame on em
i think the musical innovators remain appreciated in their time period. we have a lot of great emulators today, but not a lot of great innovators.  for example, beethoven is still popular, but the folks who perform his music today are not.

the pop music artists of today are doing things that are relevant to today's culture and are therefore more popular now - in this time period.

same is true for movies and such...the great black and white movies of yesteryear are not as popular as the high tech  flicks we have today - i like the old ones just as much, if not more than the newer ones, but i'm not popular:)
i take that back...i don't know what i'm talking about :)
i heard a similiar argument from an electronic musician back when synthesizers were the 'rage'.  he said that in olden times skins, sticks and string were all that mankind had laying around so that is what they made  music on.  so he took the electronic gadgets that were laying around and used them to make music of his day.
if everybody liked jazz i would not like it.
exactly, mike!  ;)
as a corollary to mike's statement:  

if everyone liked me, i might not like myself.
7, the reason you might not like yourself in those circumstances, is because of the things you would have to do to make everyone like you.
if everyone liked me, i wouldn't post to boards like this:)
...now that was a weird joke...i'm not even sure what it means - been watching too much steven wright
jazz is more like art, pop is more like fast food.  a lot more people eat at mcdonald's than go to the museum.
If I'm not back in 24 hours, call the president.

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anybody remember jamie cullum. he made a big splash about 3 years ago playing jazz! i guess his 15 min of fame is over, yet he's still out- there working it.
whoa - the master (scot) has spoken, and summed it up beautifully
scot, how 'bout "jazz is more like fine french cuisine..."  or, i suppose ", pop is more like comic books..."  all that mixed metaphor stuff you know.

doc -- seems like there are two of you today: the poster and the regretter.  pull it together man (fwiw, i like the poster guy)

oh, and just to add to the good dr's point, i saw brubeck last night.  sold out house.  do any of these folks spend time in the local club (well some but not most for sure).
heh heh - thanks...i've been second guessing myself too much lately. like playing a solo, i need to just let it go and respect it for what it was - thanks for the inspiration :)
...and how cool you got to see brubeck!
jamie cullam never played jazz!  he played 'easy listening', it was never 'true' jazz, he is a watered down version of jazz mainly because no one wants to hear real jazz they just like to think they are sophisticated and 'retro' by listening to people like jamie cullum.  its musical ignorance.
"jazz is more like art, pop is more like fast food.  a lot more people eat at mcdonald's than go to the museum."

i completely disagree with this.  according to this sentiment, when jazz was popular, it would have been equated to mcdonald's.  if pop music is like fast food, why is herbie, one of the greatest living jazz artists, doing all of this collaboration with pop artists?  he seems like a healthy guy to me, so i don't think he's hitting the fast food too much these days.  it's absolutely incorrect to place jazz on an artistic pedestal to pop music.  both idioms lend themselves to artistic and commercial endeavors.
good points made by all...i even contradicted myself :)

btw, what is jazz anyway?
...wait...that should be another thread :)
if i was talking about when jazz was popular, i would have said, "jazz was more like art..."   i'm talking about today, not yesterday.
If I'm not back in 24 hours, call the president.

Scot is available for skype jazz piano lessons (and google hangouts, phone call, etc...)
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"i'm talking about today, not yesterday."

well, that's fine, but that was only part of the point i was trying to make.  it is incorrect to place jazz on an artistic pedestal.  it's a complete insult to all of the wonderfully amazing and artistic pop artists out there.  just because their choice of music is different, does not mean they are engaging in any less of an artistic endeavor.  music is music.  regardless of the style, you either go at it from a largely commercial route, or you don't.
you're kind of missing the point of the thread.  i'm not going to talk about who is more of an artist whether it be pop musicians, jazzers, or people who draw on the sidewalk with chalk or semantics of is and was, the thread is asking why people today appear not to appreciate jazz as much as people did historically.  

pop music does not require as much active listening to enjoy as jazz does, at least for me.  jazz musicians are saying a lot more than most pop artists because of the whole improvisation thing.  it takes more effort for the casual listener to "get it" when listening to jazz.

i think society today rewards people who don't listen or actively engage anything.  five second sound bytes, djs who have huge setups but play the same stuff that you can hear on the radio, music that has lost the idea of harmony and melody and instead is simply a beat with someone talking/screaming/mumbling about why the world sucks, how can art compete with that?

how can art that requires an active process to appreciate be appreciated when society today appears to actively withdraw from activities that require focus, attention, and thought?
If I'm not back in 24 hours, call the president.

Scot is available for skype jazz piano lessons (and google hangouts, phone call, etc...)
Use the contact link at the top of the page.
i agree that this "active listening" is the crux of the issue. if jazzers can play music that appeals to the casual listener as well as the active listener then they're onto a winner.
people tend to appreciate that to which they have become accustomed. in an age of instant gratification there is little time spent to develop a taste for anything that requires intellectual involvement. i have not singled out jazz as i believe that this issue is broad based and applies to all the arts and sciences. of course as always this is solely my opinion.
i also share "wdennissorrell's" opinion.  here is a fact that relates to piano in general not just jazz piano.  20 years ago there were nine different piano retailers in my area.  now the population has doubled and there are only two piano dealers.  i understand that there are many different factors in that trend but fundamentally, people just are not as interested in owning a piano.  learning to play piano takes time and effort.
in that same area, how many dps are being sold? (in store or online)
piano dealers not only need to fight the lack of interest in playing the piano, but also compete against cheaper, more reliable, less maintenance digital instruments.

both piano stores also sell digital pianos.  you are correct that the ability to purchase electronics online has lessened the need for free-standing retail stores but manufacturers are selling fewer instruments per capita regardless of how it is purchased.  

i sometimes think of how different it must have been a hundred years ago.  almost all music was live (yes, i'm aware there were music boxes).  you either made it yourself or listened to other people perform.  then came the player pianos, radio, records and now cd/mp3 etc.  i love technology and have a vast library of recorded music but i think that such ready-access has lessened its impact.

alright, i've talked myself into going out and listening to live jazz tomorrow night.
i think there's more to it than that.  

1. after the war, the construction of suburban areas invited people to stay home rather than go dance at the savoy. people live in smaller more secluded communities.  
2. the radio is one of the thing that boosted jazz to where it was in the 40s, the most popular genre selling some 70% of all records. it's because of the radio that you could hear duke play live at the cotton club. can you imagine before then how many people were even aware of duke or louis?
3. guys like bird transformed jazz so radically, revealing to everyone out there that you don't have to play in big bands. it's freedom like never before. this also means jazz becomes a musicians music. and the guys who used to dance at the savoy everyday during the recession years are thinking wtf? how am i supposed to dance to that?
4. jazz just about completely died in the early seventies. more or less when satchmo died. few folks really stuck to it.  

but it's reborn. young guys like myself dig it. kids in school have jazz bands, and they swing. jazz is our music.  
i don't think it's under appreciated by any means.
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