Jazz and Other Music

Ive just finished writing an email to my good friend in the NORTHWOODS IMPROVISORS, discussing the merits of intellectual music. And the thought occurred to me, where IS all the other intellectual music? Call me old, [oldish anyway], but in the 70's, groups like Can, Amon Duul or Mahavishnu Orchestra were all getting mainstream releases on major record labels, and as a consequence, their input into the development of musical ideas is profound and inspiring. Their influence on current musics, whether groups or electronic musicians, is there for all to see. Even though those artists I mentioned are all markedly different from each other, they all found a niche in the great history of artistic and intellectual music. I have a terrible suspicion that those artists, were they around today, would not even get signed, let alone be given the chance to see out long contracts, releasing several albums, and develop along the way.

If the current large conglomerates that call themselves record labels were to look at the back catalogues they had inherited when they bought those labels, they might see the creative risk taking that those labels had undertaken to bring such diverse types of music to a wider public. Instead they only see unnecessary work/low profit/ignorant public attitude/ as acceptable excuses for not investing in a more diverse selection of musical areas. As Billy Bragg onced said to me: 'They'd all just love it if you could only buy one record, from one artist...' I really believe this is the direction the modern record company executive believes is best for their company. But it signifies the death knell of a vibrant music industry. It may well be the reason that music buyers are shrinking in number.
Perhaps we should all 'get real' and start buying Justin Timberlake.


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