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Ok, here’s the thing: everyone has his or her musical preference. You have your Hard Rock, Blues and Soul, Pop (for the love of God!! Pop music?!?!?) Carnatic music, Afro Beat, Classical, and the list is endless when it comes to musical stylings. You even have those who have their indulgences in their ‘Hippity-hop- Rappity- blingity-bling “Yeah-yeah-yeah’s!” with the “You look at me and I’ll Shoot you!!” lyrics and such. If that’s your preference, then roll with it. (Although why any one would want to emulate that kind of lifestyle is debateable) Irrespective, if that’s your musical choice, then that’s how it goes.

So when some musical Neanderthals (You KNOW who you are!!) classify Jazz as ‘Elevator’ Music, well; I think some ‘Musical re-education’ is needed. All it takes to reinforce the jazz stereotype is a quick ride in a Shopping centre elevator, a jazz tune comes on, and hey, presto!! Or, “Your call is in a queue, and will be dealt with soon. Please hold while we belt out some ‘Jazz'”. Therefore, by default, all jazz is ‘Elevator’ music. But, please, if you’re going to take a dig at Jazz, then at least don’t crucify jazz by the ‘pre-heard conceptions.

Can you imagine if Miles Davis were still around, and someone shouted, “Yo! Miles!! I don’t know the name of that track, but it sure makes good elevator music!” I can think of 51 ways that Miles Davis would improvise his trumpet on anyone who would make such a remark.

And that’s another thing: If it were Classical music being played in the background, it’s never known as elevator music! Nah! It’s seen as Refined and ‘Cultured’ music that is deemed as the pinnacle to which other genres should strive to by pigeon holed music purists! And why’s that?? There is no other genre music that i know of that has been labelled as elevator music like jazz has.

Sure, Jazz is an acquired taste, and it has evolved from Trad Jazz and ‘Jazz our parents listened to!’. You’ve got your contemporary jazz acts that are many to mention, but here’s a band I will continually harp on about: Fourplay.

Hey, everyone is entitled to his or her opinion (Grrrrr!!!!I still can’t get over that title, ‘Elevator Music!’), but I can recommend a couple of jazz sites that just might kill notion of ‘Elevator Music’ out of your system. Check out Jazzreview or All About Jazz.

And if you’r a complete ninny, then here’s Jazz for Idiots. Should give you some idea of the goodness that you’re missing out on….

Elevator music indeed….

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7 thoughts on ““Jazz is elevator music?? Sacrilage!!”

  1. hehehe, another sacrilege: Kenny G is Jazz. I once had a hour long argument with my classmate that Kenny G is ‘Instrumental’ (for lack of a better genre), and not jazz!!!

  2. Love, you began with a list of musical styles–thing is, withing jazz, there are almost as many layers. And. Heaven help us all. One or two of them are actually (shudder) elevatormusic.

  3. I know! How dare they?!! I agree with bstar that there are many layer within the genre, and I think that in terms of the ‘elevator music’ tag, reference was being made to SMOOTH Jazz as defined below:

    Smooth jazz, also sometimes referred to as new adult contemporary music,is generally described as a genre of music that utilizes instruments (and, at times, improvisation) traditionally associated with jazz and stylistic influences drawn from mostly R&B, but also funk and pop. Since the late 1980s and into the 1990s, it has become successful as a radio format. Despite its apparently large following,there has been something of a backlash against the genre, mostly from jazz purists who consider its recordings bland, overly commercial and not jazz.

  4. Kenng G is NOT Jazz. Smooth Jazz is neither smooth nor Jazz. Just because there is extended instument playing does not quailify a song/artist as Jazz. Sacrilage abi sacrilage! yeye! In fact, i’m just pained, deeply pained. Kai! The beauty about jazz and what makes it distinctive is dat it is extremly organic i.e. it is a living,breathing organism. You won’t find the same song sung/played d same way, it is constantly adapting to the enviroment it finds itself in.

  5. Pingback: Start of the London Jazz Festival 2007 « Aworan’s Ak-isms

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