spangalang

Ken Burns' "Jazz" seems pretty "Silly"

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I'm in the midst of watching the PBS Ken Burns documentary that you all have most likely loved, hated, or perhaps judiciously avoided.

My most recurring thought is: "Can Wynton Marsalias sound profound while spitting out any random cheesy platitude for any subject at a moment's notice?"

You can imagine him giving the commentary for some Ke$ha documentary and earnestly shaking his head, smiling wistfully: "Man, she is a lady with all these thoughts. And she sings those thoughts... just like, like she's talking to you. Like you ain't never heard such thoughts. And the whole time, there are so many words and you have this person saying things to you, saying things to your ear, but they are coming straight from her brain. Those words, you just gotta listen man. You gotta listen in your ear."

Edited by spangalang

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Wynton and Stanley are painfully opportunistic, Burns is a dishonest "documentarian", and the huge amount of money spent on this production was a sad waste.

The film footage, however, was great, but—considering the budget—no feat.

Silly? Yes, but "sad" describes it better, i.m.h.o.

I've said it before and I will undoubtedly say it again :cool:

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You can imagine him giving the commentary for some Ke$ha documentary and earnestly shaking his head, smiling wistfully: "Man, she is a lady with all these thoughts. And she sings those thoughts... just like, like she's talking to you. Like you ain't never heard such thoughts. And the whole time, there are so many words and you have this person saying things to you, saying things to your ear, but they are coming straight from her brain. Those words, you just gotta listen man. You gotta listen in your ear."

You made me laugh!

Now I have to go find out about this ensemble you mention called Ke¢ha. :tophat:

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My recurring thought about the interview blurb uttered by certain persons was:

"Imposter"

Yes, "spitting out chesy platitudes" is a nice way to describe it. Stating the obvious while pushing one's own (alleged) importance up front was how I felt about it.

But the historical footage is really priceless and worth the entire documentary any time. To those who already have a substantial knowledge of the history of jazz anyway. They can hear and see between the lines. ;)

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I'm not among the haters. So many hours of jazz on tv, a great thing. I enjoy the series.

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Recently available via Netflix Streaming.

As is Baseball!

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I'm not among the haters. So many hours of jazz on tv, a great thing. I enjoy the series.

Ditto for me as well. As with many things, good points and bad points but better made than not.

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Do we need to go into this AGAIN?

Q

Yeah we've run this topic into the ground more than once but I for one am not going to implicitly slam a new member who wants to post about the things she's interested in.

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If you do a search, you might find the discussion. My recollection is that each episode had its own thread.

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Would you rather have nothing about jazz put in front of the American public for its consideration or Ken Burns' "Jazz"?

Don't anyone take this personally, but if you can answer that question, "yes", then you're as biased in your own way as Marsalis and Crouch. Burns had no intention of satisfying the needs of people like us. He was interested in introducing a subject most people knew nothing about in as accessible a manner as possible.

Edited by Dave James

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He was interested in making money and keeping his name out there. PERIOD!

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He was interested in making money and keeping his name out there. PERIOD!

And in terms of what the rest of us do for a living, whatever that might be, how does that differentiate him?

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For the record, I thought Spangalang's caricature of Wynton was hilarious!

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Might hilarious!

Ke$ha is a running joke on a baseball board I lurk at, a shorthand for all things trahsy, whorish, and just plain WRONG. So the notion of Wynton pimping Ke$ha and referencing KB's Jazz as the context, was indeed ROTFLMFAO funny!

The most indelible image in my mind of the Burns series was the montage of all the smack casualties while the Miles/Gil "Moon Dreams" played underneath. That was some manipulative-yet-still-powerful stuff.

Nevertheless, better than nothing, I suppose, but with nothing being all there is to compare it too... hmmmm....

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I'm a fan of the series and, in my opinion, think it is a tremendous asset to the world of jazz. I never really understood all the vitriol aimed at Marsalis and Crouch. Even though they may have been presented as authorities on the subject by virtue of both being featured as talking heads, I never considered what they had to say as anything more than their particular opinion coming from someone who has had a lot of experience in the field and who had a passion for the subject matter. I can take or leave their opinions and it's as simple as that. I'm not going to condemn the series for it if I happen to disagree with a few things. If there's something else out there that covers jazz on this scope as well or better then I'm not aware of it. I honestly don't think it will ever be equaled or bettered. Of course, that's just my opinion.

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I honestly don't think it will ever be equaled or bettered. Of course, that's just my opinion.

That's a sad thought.

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I guess I'm sorry that you feel your life has been so diminished for having watched all or part of the series. I honestly can't understand how anyone who is willing to be honest and objective about the series can come away from it thinking it is such an abomination.

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"Abomination" is too strong...but "disappointment" isn't.

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Do we need to go into this AGAIN?

Q

I apologize. I did do a "Ken Burns" search but did not click over to the second page of results because I am lazy and impatient. Surely there is a mod somewhere that could move this to a more appropriate place.

Also, I didn't mean to give the impression that I don't appreciate the series in general. I am actually in the midst of watching it for the 3rd time all the way through. I do love a lot about it, and I feel grateful something as ambitious and mainstream has been done on jazz. Much of the little I know about jazz has come from the series. Having said that, some of it is... well... silly. I won't go further for fear of rehashing things people have probably mentioned a million times before.

Again, my apologies.

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No need to apologize. It was worth it for: "Man, she is a lady with all these thoughts. And she sings those thoughts... just like, like she's talking to you. Like you ain't never heard such thoughts. And the whole time, there are so many words and you have this person saying things to you, saying things to your ear, but they are coming straight from her brain. Those words, you just gotta listen man. You gotta listen in your ear."

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No need to apologize. It was worth it for: "Man, she is a lady with all these thoughts. And she sings those thoughts... just like, like she's talking to you. Like you ain't never heard such thoughts. And the whole time, there are so many words and you have this person saying things to you, saying things to your ear, but they are coming straight from her brain. Those words, you just gotta listen man. You gotta listen in your ear."

Absolutely!

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LOL It's funny, my original sentiment was totally sincere. Wynton Marsalias can make anything sound profound! His commentary always seems so charming and impressive and then (many times) I realize he hasn't said all that much. My point was that he could ramble semi-eloquently about even the most uninteresting artist, and I think Burns takes full advantage of it. But with 20 hours of commentary, I wanted a few more experts, rather than just relying so heavily on Marsalias.

Oh and incidentally, I would watch 20+ hours of Gerald Early talk about jazz in a heartbeat.

Edited by spangalang

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His commentary always seems so charming and impressive and then (many times) I realize he hasn't said all that much.

Never has the old maxim that "you play the way you talk" been more true!

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