Why don't drum corps play jazz anymore?


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I was watching Crossmen 1997 the other day, and I was thinking......no one really does shows like that anymore, and it's really unfortunate. It's not like jazz is low-brow music, there's certainly a lot of complexity in jazz music, but it doesn't even seem to be about that, no drum corps is truly doing a JAZZ show this year, or anything remotely groovy. The closest I can remember in recent history would be Bluecoats 2005 and 2006 (who doesn't love that 2nd movement in Bluecoats 06, with the trumpet feature and all that, oh it's great!) But not even the Blue Devils seem to really be playing jazz anymore, the last true show they did was 2004, and a bit in 2005, Dance Derby definitely had a lot of cookin moments in it, but overall everyone is just doing a lot of bland neo-tonal symphonic "drum corps music" (you know...I don't mean this as a bash, but it gets to a point where a lot of shows sound the same. The same approaches to tonality in every arranger, except for Wayne Downey and at times Bocook, but it gets tiresome. Every corps begins their shows with the same fanfare thing in Bb), and it's kind of disappointing. Not that I don't like classical music obviously from all eras, I love Phantom's show, and I LOVE BD's show this year, but I really don't see why there is a lack of delving into the world of jazz repertoire. It's kind of sad that corps have been playing 80s pop songs but not a lick of Duke Ellington or Charles Mingus. That's all I have to say, talk amongst ya selves :(

Edited by jeterbeater
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Even in the music industry "real world" this manifests every few years in the following statement: "Jazz is dead, man." Then, somebody comes along to literally blow that fallacy out of the w

Jazz requires A) feel....and in todays metronomed to death DCI world with crazy visual requirements....it's a challenge many don't want to take. B(....melodic development can often take longer than th

2010 BD is a good example but the naysayers don’t mean “that kind of jazz”.  I love that they totally threw down and rubbed it in everyone’s face. Yeah, I’m petty that way. Lol

Probably because it can't win.

Take a look at all the top shows in World Class ... They are composed of bits and pieces of different (or the same) composers' works stitched into a new mini-symphony to support some overall theme.

It's the ultimate bastardization of recognized musical compositions, but that's what it takes to win. So that's what corps do.

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I think the crossmen arranger could probably throw together a pretty cool jazz show... their ballad this year is pretty good, and they are one of the corps that played jazz previously.

but yea, I agree with your post... and I really like jazz too =(

Devils doing Buddy Rich and Mangione was always good.

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Probably because it can't win.

Take a look at all the top shows in World Class ... They are composed of bits and pieces of different (or the same) composers' works stitched into a new mini-symphony to support some overall theme.

I HATE THEMES. :tongue: SCREW THEMES. :hehe: NO MORE THEMES!!! :tongue:

Sorry - just had to get that off my chest, and for exactly the kind of reason you're talking about....

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Probably because it can't win.

Take a look at all the top shows in World Class ... They are composed of bits and pieces of different (or the same) composers' works stitched into a new mini-symphony to support some overall theme.

It's the ultimate bastardization of recognized musical compositions, but that's what it takes to win. So that's what corps do.

Now that I refuse to believe. Bluecoats did just fine in 05-06, BD won in 03, and there are countless other examples, but it just seems to have been dying in the past couple of years. Really I just want variety back in shows. Some of the lower corps are trying to be another BK or Cavaliers or whatever it seems, and it just doesn't work. The variety is dying, what's with Spirit and their shows the past couple of years? They're almost not even the same corps anymore.

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I HATE THEMES. :tongue: SCREW THEMES. :hehe: NO MORE THEMES!!! :tongue:

Sorry - just had to get that off my chest, and for exactly the kind of reason you're talking about....

If a corps wants to use programmatic material to wove things together let them, plenty of corps do it very well and then there are times when it doesn't work. I can excuse this, but I think some of it falls on the ability (or lack thereof) of some of the arrangers. How many of the arrangers in these corps are actually professional composers/arrangers/orchestrators? How many have degrees?

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I love listening to 80s + 90s BD

I always think of '76 and '80 myself, but I'm old....

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