Lazaro Vega

Do the Math: Iverson Interviews Wynton...

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Interesting, thanks for the pointer, Lazaro!

Edited by Aggie87

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Ethan bought two copies of Nonaah from me and said he was giving one to Wynton. :ph34r:

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Ethan bought two copies of Nonaah from me and said he was giving one to Wynton. :ph34r:

You should send a copy of Wynton's latest to Roscoe! :rsmile:

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Fascinating interview. I found myself liking and gaining respect for Wynton becaues of it.

So I had to put on "LCJO Plays A Love Supreme" to re-right my world.

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Not sure why, but every time I read an interview with the "mature" Wynton, the name that keeps coming to mind is Claus von Bülow...

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:lol:

Yeah man, we still be the world.

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well, I'm going to brag that I may be the first and only person to walk out on Wynton during an interview - I had him on camera back in October for this alleged film I'm working on - basically he insulted me and I closed the whole thing down, said "thanks" and left. Yes, I know, I'm getting sensitive in my old age but what he called me was worse than calling my mother a whore -

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Got that part on tape?

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whole thing is on high definition video -

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.. but what he called me was worse than calling my mother a whore -

He called you an alto player?

Edited by JSngry

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worse - he called me an academic -

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I find it har to believe Allen had problems with anyone.

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I find it har to believe Allen had problems with anyone.

Much less that they called him an academic!

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Truthfully, I don't think that "academic" is an insult, at least not in and of itself. Academics are vital to the historical preservation and documentation process, and even if that's something that you may or may not want/need at any given moment, god knows it's far better to have it when you don't than to not have it when you do.

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I really enjoyed reading that interview. Thanks.

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Allen, do you think you'll ever eat lunch in New York again?

That whole series of articles Iverson did - the interview and the stuff on the Young Lions of the 80's, etc. - is very interesting, perhaps especially for us old folks who lived through it.

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basically what Wynton told me was that I was a cloistered academic white guy who knew nothing of the music or the musicians - I've written an entire chapter about the visit which I may post at some point - it's all very interesting to me, and it's the thing that got me started on my blues project. Suffice to say that I honestly think that W. talks a good game about open-ness to other ideas and musical/personal generousity, but when challenged he shows another side which I found troubling. To me he seemed somewhat taken aback that a) I might challenge him on something, or really, anything, and that b) I did not just listen with the usual awe of his sycophants (sorry, that sounds harsh, but it's precisely the impression I got). For a guy that attacks (as he did, through someone else, in a recent magazine article) cultural ignorance he is surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly) un-knowledgeable about various root forms of American music. The Progressive Age of American history (approx. 1890-1917) coincides, through no accident of history, with the coming together of most forms of American music; virtually everything we see as genres of music, from country to jazz, is fusing during that period from various and sometimes opposite strains. W's failure to really see that gives him something in common with the late Ruchard Sudhalter, who also had very little frame of reference on what we might call the pre-history of American pop. But it's all there (well, a lot of it is there) and W. just has to take the time and listen. Instead, he has developed a series of talking points from which he varies little and from which he cannot be distracted (there is a Crouchian element here as well, of course). There is an additional irony to this in that he regularly espouses the cause of education as it relates to historical consciousness; yet his response to me was distinctly ANTI-intellectual -

and by the way, Chuck, he will HATE Noonah - like Crouch he will see it as corruped by Euro elements -

Edited by AllenLowe

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basically what Wynton told me was that I was a cloistered academic white guy who knew nothing of the music or the musicians - I've written an entire chapter about the visit which I may post at some point - it's all very interesting to me, and it's the thing that got me started on my blues project. Suffice to say that I honestly think that W. talks a good game about open-ness to other ideas and musical/personal generousity, but when challenged he shows another side which I found troubling. To me he seemed somewhat taken aback that a) I might challenge him on something, or really, anything, and that b) I did not just listen with the usual awe of his sycophants (sorry, that sounds harsh, but it's precisely the impression I got). For a guy that attacks (as he did, through someone else, in a recent magazine article) cultural ignorance he is surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly) un-knowledgeable about various root forms of American music. The Progressive Age of American history (approx. 1890-1917) coincides, through no accident of history, with the coming together of most forms of American music; virtually everything we see as genres of music, from country to jazz, is fusing during that period from various and sometimes opposite strains. W's failure to really see that gives him something in common with the late Ruchard Sudhalter, who also had very little frame of reference on what we might call the pre-history of American pop. But it's all there (well, a lot of it is there) and W. just has to take the time and listen. Instead, he has developed a series of talking points from which he varies little and from which he cannot be distracted (there is a Crouchian element here as well, of course).

I hope you didn't take any baggage into the interview, Allen :w

Q

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no, just a sidearm -

actually I went into the interview with a friendly disposition, thinking, probably naively, that though we would likely disagree, we could have an interesting dialog - I had just read W's new book, in which he seemed, at least on paper, to indicate a new degree of personal tolerance/understanding of points of view that were different than his own - it was a quote from his own book that got him going - I expected some disagreement, but I was hoping to have a real exchange; I knew we would differ, but, maybe stupidly, I did not anticipate how he would basically say "this is the way it is" case closed I will not listen to anything you say. That's what bugged me; I wanted to talk about it but he shut down in that way of a politician (or actor) who hears only his own voice - there was a good deal of narcissism in his response.

Edited by AllenLowe

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by the way, I like Iverson a lot, as both a pianist and a person - he's very open minded and I had a nice talk with him about some of these things when he was in Portland a few months ago -

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That's much the impression I have of Wynton - that he has deep and sincere convictions that are on the order of religious beliefs. He is willing to be open to the sinners who disagree with him (as long as he has the pulpit) but not for a minute to the sin of their disagreement. And not, I think, just because they disagree and he hates to have people disagree with him. I think it's because of the nature of the disagreement - you can't disagree with him about jazz and not expect him to take it as heresy.

He will talk for four hours to Ethan Iverson, an especially diplomatic person by all accounts, because Iverson is not challenging him, but deferentially asking questions, bringing up a variety of things and letting Wynton express himself. When you, Allen, try to criticize his views, then it's get thee behind me, Satan!

It's kind of like if you had a priest or minister in your community who was warm and kind, generous with his time and energy, ran the soup kitchen, helped the poor and was a true spiritual leader to his congregation. If you sat down with him to talk about your religious doubts and your sins, you'd have all his attention and benefit from his godly advice, freely dispensed. That's kind of like Iverson interviewing Marsalis. But if you said, "C'mon, all this superstition about supreme beings and stuff - you don't mean to say you believe in all that guff, do you?" Or try to convert him to Islam. That's kind of like you, Allen, interviewing Marsalis.

Or so I imagine.

It's interesting what you noted about the anti-intellectual reaction vs. the commitment to education. Over at that other jazz board, a couple of years ago there was a thread about Crouch in which Crouch actually participated. He was distinctly authoritarian, in that his sole defense against criticism was to say "famous figures in the arts have praised me, that is the proof that I am great." And that was really it. Marsalis reflects that influence somewhat, being, as far as I can tell, wholly dedicated to a nostalgic worship of the accomplishments of older generations and dismissive of any effort to wrest attention away from their example. "They are great, we must strive to be like them. That is how we can be great. End of story." His educational efforts are all about exposing children to classic jazz and its heroes, and teaching people how to play - fine efforts to be sure. He's opposed to rank ignorance and incompetence, as are we all, I hope, but in favor of imposing "the canon" and defending it against all reassessment.

Edited by Tom Storer

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