Friday Favorites 5/6/2011

One of the possible Security Questions offered on some websites I’ve visited is What is your favorite music genre?  My tastes are quite eclectic … I try to give it all a chance, although several supposed-music genres, like rap and hip-hop, have had their chance.   My mother loved music, exposing me to Big Bands, classical, opera and Broadway musicals.   My years are perfectly aligned with the birth and development of rock and roll which makes it a primary component of the soundtrack of my life.  But were I to use said Security Question, I’d answer jazz.  That puts me in a very small group.  According to a white paper on Dyske (a website offering cultural critiques) titled Why Americans Don’t Like Jazz, The current market share of Jazz in America is mere 3 percent.  Dyske Suematsu, who is Japanese, suggests that Americans tend to focus on lyrics, while people in other countries like Japan (where jazz is still very popular) tend to listen to melody.  He also suggests that Americans are less comfortable with abstraction than Japanese, whether that be in music or painting, and that because few Americans play an instrument or write music, they don’t appreciate instrumental music like jazz.  I wonder if I could be Japanese?   It’s an interesting article if you can get past the tone of superiority.

So, here I am, sixty-six and a jazz fan in an age when a major market like L.A. has only two FM jazz stations.   Sirius XM radio has only two as well, Watercolors – Smooth Jazz and Real Jazz … these days, I tend to tune to Watercolors because I enjoy acoustic guitar-centered music like Craig Chaquico, Earl Klugh and one of my real favorites, Acoustic Alchemy.  This British group has been recording since the 1980s and pioneered the dueling acoustic guitars sound, originally Simon James on nylon and Nick Webb on steel.  Webb passed away of pancreatic cancer in 1998 and was replaced by Mike Gilderdale.   In the nine recordings since Webb’s passing, their music has become more diverse and moved beyond the primary focus on two acoustic guitars.   My favorite this week from The Beautiful Game album, recorded in 2000, is The Last Flamenco.  Please, this piece is meant to be played LOUD so you can feel the driving bass and let the Flamenco-tinged guitar work reach your soul.

In the process of writing this post, I found on The Acoustic Alchemy Website that they will be in Socal in August.  Yay!!  Maybe I’ll see you there.  Yeah, I know.  3%.  Socal.  Well, enjoy the video.

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8 Comments on “Friday Favorites 5/6/2011”

  1. Cheryl P. Says:

    Several of my good friends, as well as my daughter are also jazz enthusiasts. I wouldn’t count it as a favored genre for me, but am not racing for a radio dial if it comes on either. Middle of the road as I am on many things. Interesting point that you bring up though. Being in the small minority on musical tastes. I love (LOOVVVEEE) old time gospel music. I like the newer stuff that sounds nearly like Top 40 but I Love, the old standards. Now this pretty much makes me a freak when I play CD’s in the car. Turns out most people just can’t get into things like the Old Rugged Cross or A Closer Walk with Thee. I would bet that genre is less than the 3% Jazz gets. (the Christian stations are more than two but very few play the old standards)

    • oldereyes Says:

      I’m not a fan of gospel music but I do love many R&B or jazz vocalists that come from a gospel background. And tell the truth … don’t we enjoy being “minority listeners” just a bit as contrarians? I do.

  2. granny1947 Says:

    Hmmmmm Bud… just doesn’t grab me but I am listening on some really lousy earphones.

  3. I -like you -am very eclectic in my tastes in music and would never be able to select a genre to use in a security question. I’d probably never be able to remember later which type of music I had selected as my likes/dislikes change like the weather does, from day to day. Depending on my frame of mind, mood, etc., one day my fav might be enjoying Oldies rock stuff, the next day, I might be on a Country kick or even jazz and on and on the merry-go-round would go.

    • oldereyes Says:

      I often choose my music as my mood requires, too.
      Some is “lyrics music.” Some are melodies I love. But with jazz and classical, I get to enjoy another level of composition and musicianship than with popular music. When music engages my mind (not just my emotions) I think it’s more like meditation.

  4. Bob S Says:

    Ditto here. I would fail any question that asks what my favorite music genre was. It just seems to flow with whatever mood I am in at the time. In the 50s it was New Orleans Jazz (the only real jazz in my mind). I also got hooked on the Victory at Sea album and played it until it was completely worn out. I think I had every Les Paul and Mary Ford record ever released. Fast forward 50 years and now it is Chilean Music, some Modern Jazz, Country, and Hawaiian, along with whatever else seems to catch my fancy. The only venue that has never attracted me is Classical (but I am not dead yet).

    I love your selection by the way. Even pushed my ear buds down in my ears to get the feel of the bass. Great sounds.

    • oldereyes Says:

      I love classical but of all the genres, it requires the most attention, which is why I don’t find myself listening to it as often. Those “Best Classical Ever” CDs are good background for writing, though/

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