TWC tends to dismiss stuff like this as bordering on pyschobabble, but this site might have something to offer. The schtick is, of course, a push to interest kids in jazz by providing the right kind of listening experience (buy my CD please). But the pre-conceptions are all wrong.
Photographer Carol Friedman initially wrote the book Nicky the Jazz Cat to pay homage to Nicky and the musicians she had known and photographed over the years. In the process she realized that...
Nicky could be the perfect jazz messenger for kids. Knowing that young ears would not respond to the extended instrumentals and sophistication that are often hallmarks of jazz, she began a search for jazz tunes that would have a particular appeal to kids.
And therein lies the problem. I hate to break it to Carol but Jake and the House Blonde's young ears enjoy jazz and it didn't take any special efforts to make that happen. Often as not they drift off to dreamland accompanied by mellow jazz. If it's good music that appeals to the ear kids will tune in. If it's lousy worked-over progressive disco masquerading as smooth jazz then the kids will tune out.
If you want your kids to like jazz, play it around the house. A simple, tasteful exposure to the genre as Cosby has done with his Lil Bill soundtracks works as well as anything to instill an appreciation for jazz in young audiences. Subtle exposure won't leave pre-schoolers clamoring for Stan Getz albums, but it gives them a platform of overall experience to draw from and will lay the groundwork for a broader musical palette later in life.
Jazz has a long history of turmoil and change since it's rebellious and forbidden counterculture roots from whence it mainstreamed during the 40's & 50's. Then came the near-death experience in the 70's & 80's (thanks to the Japanese, the corpse never got cold) and finally its resurgence in our era (yes all these terms and dates are loose fitting).
Tip of the glass to jazz, a true American art form that has done more for romance than any other musical styling. Come on, cozy fireplace, bottle of good red, great conversation, the promise of dessert, and what's in the CD player? Ozzie Osbourne or John Klemmer?
Shoulda called him Nicky the Cool Cat. Nicky's website is here.
Oh, that's Lionel Hampton and Nicky.
And now back to the Project From Hell......... and maybe a glass of wine in an hour or so.
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