Branford Marsalis: The Problem with Jazz

By Darlene Susco via Wikimedia Commons

“If the value of the song is based on intense analysis of music, you’re doomed. Because people that buy records don’t know shit about music. When they put on Kind of Blue and say they like it, I always ask people: What did you like about it? They describe it in physical terms, in visceral terms, but never in musical terms.”

Over at Seattle Weekly (and way back in 2011) saxophonist Branford Marsalis gave an excellent interview. He discusses the insular nature of the jazz community, self-indulgence, and the distance between casual listeners and the practitioners of the trade. There are some great lines in there, but I think this is my favorite:

Everything you read about jazz is: “Is it new? Is it innovative?” I mean, man, there’s 12 fucking notes. What’s going to be new? You honestly think you’re going to play something that hasn’t been played already?

The whole interview is worth a read, and it’s something to keep in mind the next time you’re listening to some music you just can’t wrap your head around.


Author: Andrew

The "brains" behind the operation. An absent minded, energetic, and often times overwhelming individual. He is in his early 20s. He discovered how amazing music could be in highschool, and has spent the last several years trying to absorb all of it. When he isn't writing about music, he is slinging code or playing vintage arcade games. Please don't ask him to dance. He doesn't like that.

Leave a Reply