John Coltrane – One of the greatest
Some people ask if there will ever be another like him. The answer is no. The answer is no with Miles Davis. The answer is no with Herbie Hancock. and his music is still alive though John passed away in 1967.
People just don’t have the kind of passion about jazz that Coltrane had. He came from a different time and era where the music spoke volumes. People play around with jazz right now, but more of the jazz music that is out there is secular.
There aren’t any bands like the band that Coltrane had. No one is doing the 8-minute drum solo. No one is playing the trumpet with a madman-type of fury that made the jazz come alive. Only Coltrane had that in him. He could do this with great ease.
Today more jazz musicians revert to vocalists and smooth sounds to get a larger following. It has been like this for many years. People don’t have the same exact zest for the music in the jazz world anymore. Lots of people love John Coltrane and his jazz movement during that era. He will not be replaced though. No one can fill his legendary shoes.
Why America doesn’t appreciate the blues like Europe does
There is a long-held appreciation for niche musical genres in Europe, especially American jazz and blues. To an extent, it was fed by the travels of earlier generations. Jazz and blues musicians began seeking out new venues in much the same way that American literary figures and artists did when they moved to Paris during the 1920’s and 1930’s as “the lost generation.” The Harlem Renaissance was similarly appreciated by American and European creative figures from that era. Regardless of origin, the love for jazz and blues took root in Europe and it has endured.
There has always been a tendency to be attracted to what is foreign to us, whether it’s the idea of vacationing in distant places, the huge surge in popularity for the “British Invasion” during the early 1960’s, or even the cross-attraction for American and European brands. Of course, American jazz and blues musicians didn’t travel to Europe based on abstract longing. They went for the opportunity to play to receptive audiences and to earn a living.
Jazz and blues music has always been personal and provoking and doesn’t necessarily play to audiences that are enamored of what is immediately popular and accessible. The blues in America had something of a crossover resurgence during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s as British rock musicians collaborated with blues legends on albums such the “Howlin Wolf Sessions in London” or “Fleetwood Mac’s Blues Jam in Chicago”. Regardless of popularity cycles in the U.S., the connection to American blues music continues abroad, where the arts in general hold validity, and historical significance.
Has the blues run its course?
The blues are still around, but it has somewhat run its course. Much of this has to do with the artists that are no longer alive.
Johnnie Taylor and Marvin Sease were big players in the blue industry. Both of these guys could sing the alphabet and get people to come running for them. They are both deceased now, however, and no one has really stepped up the way that these guys did.
A lot of this has to do with longevity. Johnnie Taylor had a long career that rooted all the way back to gospel music. Marvin Sease has decades in the business with many albums and hit singles. There are still some industry veterans like B.B. King around to carry the torch. The problem with this is that B.B. King is no longer. His health was pretty bad, and the number of new albums releases was getting more and more spaced out. As all older artists, he lost momentum as he grew older. People will still remember him for live performances, but he’s not around anymore to dominate the charts in album sales
It’s up to the new kids on the block like Keb Mo, a true legend in the making. The blues is old news. Rap and pop have people spending their money, but that is honestly about it in music.