Big +1 on Bob Mintzer! When CD's 1st came out (mid 80's), Tower Records used to carry Japanese imports of releases unavailable in the states (of American artists!). I own Mintzer's 1st 2 records (recorded just prior to his excellent Big Band recordings on DMP); 'Horn Man' & 'Source'. The musicians on these sessions included; Jaco Pastorius, Don Grolnick, Peter Erskine, John Tropea, Will Lee, Randy Brecker, & Lou Soloff. Great Stuff! Never seen him with a Big Band but I've caught him 3 times with the YJ's, Tremendous musician!
- 545 posts total
"This made things embarrassingly clear that the Grammys have become all about television ratings and very little about the music."
Ya think? I mean, I'm all over Mintzer and his work with the Yellowjackets, but this statement isn't exactly groundbreaking.
As P.E. said so many years ago, "Who gives a **** about a g*dd*mn Grammy?"
This has been an interesting thread, though IMO some of the responses have been a bit unkind.
As I mentioned in my post on 5/28, Im one of the folks who believe that popular music is getting worse. I think theres been a bit of confusion on the thread about whether people are saying
(1) POPULAR music is getting worse.
(2) ALL music is getting worse.
My impression is that most of the people who agree with the OP, myself included, are saying (1) but not (2). And so the assumption that we who believe that popular music is getting worse are (a) old, and (b) unwilling to explore new music is, IMO, false. FWIW, I am 40 and I explore new music regularly, including some of the artists that have been mentioned on this thread as examples of good contemporary music.
In my view, the observation that, as people age, they relate less to contemporary popular culture is an accurate generalization. But, IMO, that fact alone does not invalidate their opinions about popular culture, including popular music. In fact, there is some reason to believe that older people are in a BETTER position to judge the relative merits of eras of popular culture, for the simple reason that they have far more experience with multiple eras than younger people do.
And finally, the view that those who believe that popular music is getting worse are simply out of touch seems to be based on the assumption that cultural and artistic regression isnt possible. But even a casual look at the history of art, science, and politics will reveal that cultural regression in all three is not only possible, but a common historical reality. If you need an example of that, look no further than the middle ages, when many of the artistic, scientific, and political achievements of the ancient world were lost, hidden, or destroyed. That is cultural regression. And if youd like more recent examples, look at the artistic, scientific, and political regression in virtually every totalitarian state in the 20th century, and there were plenty of those.
Yes, I know, Im being dramatic. We dont live in the middle ages, or in North Korea. But the point Im making is that there is absolutely no guarantee that music, or art more generally, or science, or governance, will progress over time, or even stay constant over time. On the contrary, all of those domains of human affairs are vulnerable to regression, and when they regress far enough, they collapse.
But now Im being dramatic again. Happy listening.
I have had an interesting and eye-opening experience concerning "pop" music over the last several months; "pop", as defined by what gets a lot of radio play. The only radio that I listen to are the jazz and classical stations in the NYC area. I have been spending a fair amount of time doing landscaping and other outdoors work at a weekend property in upstate NY far from any major towns and I listen to local stations while I work. The choice of radio stations is very limited and my choices are either current pop or country/western; there is classic-rock station that is difficult to pull in most days. I have never liked country music (to put it mildly), but the surprise for me has been how much better contemporary country music is than the vast majority of current "pop" music. There is no comparison when it comes to how well songs are crafted or the level of musicianship and singing. Most of the pop that gets air play is pretty dreadful IMO, while I find myself actually enjoying much of what I hear from the country music stations. I almost can't believe I am saying that, but it's true.
Frogman, you're statement about modern "country" music is not surprising. The majority of today's country music sounds like soft rock from the 1980-90s. It's a long way from Hank Williams.
Byroncunningham, thanks for alerting us to the threat to our civilization, although you're not the first with that observation. Let's face it, music designed to appeal to young people probably won't make much sense to adults.
- 545 posts total