Welcome to 21st Century Jazz. Matt Lavelle.
One thing it's taken me 20 years to learn is that the Trumpet is a FEELING.To really unlock it's secrets you have to feel the sound that comes through it.My relationship with the horn is that sometimes there's feelings I MUST confront.I walked into a club the other day with a burning in my chest that had been building for several hours,.(no,.not heart burn).It's a feeling that MUST be released.The great trumpet players were caught live doing this,.often when they didn't know tape was rolling,.and that in 2010 we would be listening in.(As I trip daily to Lee Morgan at Birdland with Blakey telling me how the moon is really just made of paper,.as his trumpet soul just DANCES.) Trumpet you feel in your HEART.Bass Clarinet you feel in your BONES.I ask all our readers,.where do you feel the ALTO,.the PIANO,.BASS,.DRUMS? I sense actual music-sound-body relationships.The greatest moments in jazz carry that THING and are timeless,..BUT,.as I'm also starting to learn,.time has almost passed us by in Jazz.This is the 21st Century,.and we will either adapt,.or we will meet our END..
In a recent conversation with the editor of AllAboutJazz.com,.Michael Ricci,.I had my eyes PEELED open,.like oranges.I didn't want to see that like many of us,.I live in the past,..the recently deceased 20th century.As Jazz has always had trouble moving forward,.the way we relate to the world has been particularly vulnerable.
Sure,.I won't front,.when I was a young Lion,."I had a fantasy about being on the cover of Downbeat,.but as Mike explained to me in brutal,honest fashion,.the Jazz press magazines still exist,.BUT who's actually making the trip to go get and pay for a copy,.when EVERYBODY is doing their thing online? In the process of getting a website,.my second,.as the first one I ran out of money to pay a monthly fee for,.I'm seeing that at 40 years old,.I'm actually about 10 years behind in getting myself together in the public view of myself though my relationship to the world through cyberspace.
Sure I have a MySpace page and a Facebook,.and indeed,.Chris Rich has hooked me up big time by posting my Jazz Catharsis at Brilliant Corners,.but I have yet to get this right enough so that people in Europe will look to set up a tour,.or that even a major festival might show SOME interest.We all know that being in NYC just isn't enough these days.Somebody in the Jazz Industry told me,."you know you have to be extremely aggressive."This I know,.I have no problem being aggressive,.or even too aggressive,.but in 2010,.that needs to be backed up with CASH.Pure and simple. In 2010,.you need a BUSINESS PLAN to hope to have even the slightest chance at even marginal success in Jazz.There's people out there proving it right now.
Called the most difficult job in the world" in the 20th century,.trying to live as a Jazz musician in 2010,.is like waking up in a bed of FIRE every day.The survival drama is enough to extinguish most people.Ornette:"Survival is killing us all.."(Of course OC mastered this world in the 60's)
I've never for a second questioned our ability,desire,need,and will to reach those timeless moments in jazz that we all want to be a part of.The ones I spend a lot of time listening to on my IPOD every day.Ever wonder how many IPODS TRANE would be carrying around? Taking your whole collection around with you? I wouldn't have survived the last 4 months without listening to Alice Coltrane on my IPOD,.a gift that I didn't have the $ to get myself..
Taking a daily journey to Satchidananda with Alice and my IPOD as I pound the streets of NYC trying to play,figure all this out,and survive has truly saved my life.I recently read another NYC jazz,.world,.perspective that accepting that the music doesn't really mean anything is a better way to survive,.that you don't have to carry the weight of the world around with you on your shoulders.Folks like me don't have a choice in the matter though.We see to much,.and know to much to back off.Whatever gets you through the day however,.I would never challenge a musical survival system if it functions,.I just can't not look at the world survival system from a very personal music perspective.From my perspective Jazz musicians would be well served to find a way to BE HERE NOW,.and make the music that will save lives in 2075.
Hopefully the world will be a better place by then,.with or without all that cyberspace,.or more likely,.with something else we cant even envision right now.
We are going to get to 2075..
Somebody in 2075 is bound to have a TRUMPET FEELING,.
Right in his HEART.