this is a really old interview, but this section is fantastic:

aaj: most jazz purists frown on rock. they seem to be adverse to acid jazz or fusion. do you find that kind of mentality is healthy for jazz or does it convey an elitist message?

bm: you said it. it's elitist. the thing about jazz that i see, looking at it through history is that people consider it high art, in the sense that they only like miles davis 'kind of blue' or john coltrane. there's a whole legacy of recordings. there's a whole canon that's going to stick with us forever. that's unquestionable, so why do we have to have such bad faith in it? because historically what jazz has done is borrow from all sorts of genres and have an almost sacrilegious approach to what it takes. that's not unique in jazz. classical music has done that, borrowing the minuet dance forms and making it the third movement in some of the greatest symphonies in the world. taking folk songs and turning them into these beautiful lieder. the same with jazz, dizzy gillespie borrowing from the cuban music, then borrowing from classical music, art tatum, going over debussy. jazz is always not been afraid to take from anything and then transfiguring it and really raise it up to another level. i think that's what can keep on happening now. that's what attracts me. you can take a pop song from any period and if it's a good song and it's got a good strong melody, you can express that melody and you get to improvise and sort of throw it away if you want and turn it inside out. there's no need to keep it inbred and away from everything else. it only alienates the audience. it's very elitist. it turns people off.
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i agree, music is music, i've never understood the "purist" viewpoint.  personally, i have more fun playing reggae than i do coltrane :)
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i keep coming back to duke ellington's perception of only two kinds of music.  "good" and "bad".  however, in street terminology today, "bad" can actually mean "good".  so it's all "good"?
...and don't forget "sick" :)
...and "ridiculous"
i've just recently been informed that "rough" is now a positive adjective.  it took me forever just to get used to "sick".
i just recently learned that "murder" is a positive thing to do to music.
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Volume 1 of this educational jazz piano book contains 15 jazz piano exercises, tricks, and other interesting jazz piano techniques, voicings, grooves, and ideas Scot Ranney enjoys playing.

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