Daily Archives: September 28, 2008


I was having a conversation with a jazz fancier about our mutual interest, and that person said, “I like your blog, but you ignore some things you should be writing about.”

“You should be writing about the low pay for jazz musicians, who rely on the tip jar.  Where did all the jazz clubs go?  What happens when the compact disc is obsolete?  And what about the musicians who play a version of the music that isn’t all that authentic?”

All true.  And in conversations with the musicians themselves, they tell me that the reality is often worse than I imagine, emotionally, economically, and artistically.

But one of them said to me a few days ago, “If we go down into that negativity, we’ll never come back up.  Better to remember why we are doing this in the first place — the joy of playing the music.”

Joy won’t pay the electric bill — but if you don’t have it, you are sitting in the dark.  And it’s a kind of darkness that can’t be illuminated by a light switch on the wall.