Why don't drum corps play jazz anymore?


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On 1/11/2021 at 8:51 PM, Jeff Ream said:

B(....melodic development can often take longer than the current design trends allow for.

I spent a few decades in Drum Corps exile.  Around when did the tail start wagging the dog?

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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

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

Speaking of Jazz.... Wow!  

Jazz never went away. See the modern day blue devils and bluecoats

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3 hours ago, greg_orangecounty said:

I spent a few decades in Drum Corps exile.  Around when did the tail start wagging the dog?

when visual became more and more important

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20 hours ago, Cappybara said:

Jazz never went away. See the modern day blue devils and bluecoats

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

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On 1/11/2021 at 2:23 PM, gregory11 said:

I remember BD winning DCI with a nice Chick Corea show, I forget the year.   Also, don't forget Xmen playing some successful Pat Metheny shows.

Bluecoats’ Down Side Up opens with Heat of the Day by Pat Metheny. Session 44 is essentially about a jazz singer. But do the programs allow improv jazz as an idiom? No, because it is impossible to do improv on a strict BPM visual cycle.

Edited by MikeRapp
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3 hours ago, MikeRapp said:

But do the programs allow improv jazz as an idiom? No, because it is impossible to do improv on a strict BPM visual cycle.

I agree with Mike for the most part, but there have been exceptions. In Garfield's 1977 opener, "Primal Scream", Ron Kruzel's 8-bar sop solo was improvised at every performance, though it was over blues changes (in tempo, on the move) and always ended on a nice, fat high "G".

These days, Ron is the pastor of a church. He always aimed high.

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On 1/13/2021 at 11:03 PM, Cappybara said:

Jazz never went away. See the modern day blue devils and bluecoats

And to cross musical genres further, they do a jazz interpretation of Rite of Spring.  One of the most complex shows performed to date and one of my favorite BD shows of all time. 

 

Edited by Continental
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16 hours ago, Continental said:

And to cross musical genres further, they do a jazz interpretation of Rite of Spring.  One of the most complex shows performed to date and one of my favorite BD shows of all time. 

 

And of course it was widely hated by most at the time it was being performed. 
 

because people only want jazz in the small little shoe-horned version of it they have in their mind 

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"because people only want jazz in the small little shoe-horned version of it they have in their mind "

Cappybara makes a good point.

Jazz is a very big tent, with a great variety of styles that can fall within its definition, but many folks define it quite narrowly. My parents dug swing, but be-bop didn't do it for them. If you are a trad-jazz fan, Metheny ain't your man.

But all the categories are timeless, and recur in our music landscape in a cyclical way. A new Hollywood movie or Broadway show containing any of these will spawn derivatives on the field and guard floor almost instantly.

"Pop" jazz is the entry drug: Vince Geraldi's "Peanuts" score, Mangione's "Land of Make Believe", Maynard's "Rocky"...etc. all produced a new awareness of the form and led to broader popularity even of the more complex styles.

Another factor is that, generally, most current corps show designers are not as exposed to jazz (in all its forms) as they would have been 40 years ago. It's just not on the current media landscape to the same extent.

When I worked as staff producer for Concord Jazz records in the '80s, industry research regularly compared categories like Pop, Rock, R&B, Country and Jazz with reference to commercial market share. On the weekly pie graph, jazz accounted for about 5%, and this was at the height of Chuck and Chick's popularity.

That said, the art form always had a far deeper influence on our culture than record sales alone can indicate. Besides, as we all know, "Ellington is Forever".

 

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2 hours ago, Cappybara said:

And of course it was widely hated by most at the time it was being performed. 
 

because people only want jazz in the small little shoe-horned version of it they have in their mind 

I eagerly listened to the original recording when the show was announced in '13.  Gotta admit, at least in this one case, most of the actual "jazz" part of the album got cut and the conventional RoS was used in the show.

Mike

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