Post Miles Paradigm
Basically — I mean in one way, the whole astonishing jazz centers around post Miles Davis School, because most of the significant careers — even going back to the ’50s, most people that had significant careers, whether Bill Evans, Cannonball Adderley, whoever, then Coltrane played with Miles Davis. But since then, it’s just got kind of — I mean this is 2015 now. And we just had the Grammys. Who won for best jazz soloist? Chick Corea. Now, for best jazz solo. How could a Chick Corea solo be the best jazz solo on a record in 2014? You know, I mean it’s just absurd. And it’s just that that whole post Miles paradigm is just still so active in a kind of hierarchical sense of how people see who’s important.
So, I don’t even mean by making stars. I mean there is that period in the ’70s where Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock were able to join a certain like kind of machine that allowed them to have semi rock star status. And that’s cool, that’s what it was in that period. That’s what it was, and that’s cool. But I mean why should that paradigm still, in 2015, be so active? And if somebody says it’s not, they’re kidding themselves. I mean, there really is kind of a hierarchical sense, the pianist that get the most — and I will talk just about my own instrument, but the pianist that kind of get the most oomph from the whole jazz system are the three Miles — I call them the three Miles, who is Keith, Herbie, and Chick.
And there is a machine set up that allows that to continue. And it really is a machine. Some people would say, how can you say that? But I’m in the business both as a performer and I kind of work for a record company, Thirsty Ear Records. And you know, I’m kind of a student of the game, and I see kind of every piece of data, and every aspect of every brick. I will say, beyond a doubt, it’s a machine. Because I also think that there’s a built-in mechanism that the Ken Burns jazz series really encapsulated, that the golden age of jazz has ended, and now we’re kind of in the post jazz era.
Even though we all get reviews and there’s a lot of talk about myself and other musicians on the scene, what we do. But there’s a general overall paradigm in people’s heads that the golden age of jazz is over, and we’re kind of just afterthoughts. And then you ask what’s the golden age? And to most people, that would be like the ’50s or ’60s. And those people from the ’70s, like Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock, they got to play with Miles at an earlier period, and even though they’re not like in the “golden age” of jazz, they are in the Miles Davis paradigm. So, they get to partake of that, but there’s kind of a general perception over here, that — and that the Ken Burns jazz thing really played into, and helped perpetuate that anything after it is just an afterthought. And myself and people of my generation are all kind of victims of that, and we’re constantly having to fight our way out of that perception.