Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Cry of Jazz

1. Cry of Jazz portrays the use of music as a political statement in a very compelling way. It directly explains the reasons jazz sounds the way it does, down to some of the more minute nuances and sub-genres, and uses frank imagery to support its case. These various elements combine to paint jazz as a whole in an admirable, disparaging, bleak, then hopeful light. It is also interesting, though, to see the case it presents for the death of jazz-while the relevance is eternal, there is only so much evolution the form itself can make before it becomes redundant and, consequently, stagnates.
2. I really enjoyed listening to the more authentic jazz throughout, as well as looking at the imagery presented. Tribal idols accented the boundless creative merits of the negro people, while Jim Crow signs and decrepit project apartments portrayed their miserable state of being in 1930s America, as well as modern America. It was interesting to see how drastically using the origins and meaning of jazz as context changed the feel of the performances, a feel further driven home by close-up editing and quick scene changes that make the frantic music seem even more frantic.
3. The film is definitely still relevant. Looking at the film, it's easy to take the points raised about the death of jazz and apply them to the ever-changing, yet ever-repeating landscape of music. Perhaps rock as a whole is dead. Perhaps pop and rap as a whole are dead. Perhaps even music itself is dead, or at least dying. Besides that, more relevance is found in looking how white corporate America takes various genres of music, absorbs them into itself, and presents its own take on them, for better or worse.

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