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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2003 6:39 pm
by Shepoid
Believe it or not, Ken Burns did not even mention Django! Nor did he mention Joe Pass, Pat Martino, or any other guitarist who was or still are, seminal figures in the jazz idiom and guitar playing. He had to give lip service to Eddie Condon and Eddie Lang because he had to, very begrudgingly of course, because of his short bit on Bix Biderbeck whom Lang and Condon played with and recorded with. But he made sure that Bix was portrayed as an alcoholic, drugged out nit wit who by chance, "had a unique style" while he swept Charlie Parker's, Dexter Gordon's and others of that era's drug and alcohol abuse with a very brief mention. He called the Bix bit, "Wake Bix up" which was written on a score for others to in fact get Bix up and play at his solo spots.
He called Parker's bit something like, "Risks". Which went into the whole business of the undenighable genius of Bird and Diz and all those who were playing at that time but as I said, gave very little insight to Parker's absolute pain in the ass habitual sickness and his influence in getting so many other musicians hooked on heroin because they wanted to be like Bird..
There's only one difference between Diz, Bird, and folks like Django. You connect the dots.
Had Burns been more open and less racist, Django would have had to have been looked into. Let's face it, Django Reinhardt was one of the most innovative artists to ever produce jazz. Problem is that in the Marsalis/Burns liberal Fascist racist enclave, if you are white, you ain't right.
Unfortunately Burns really dropped the ball while he was as my mother in law said , was obviously fantasizing and infatuated with Winton Marsalis.
On this I agree with my mother in law, a rarity indeed!
Bottom line is, it's a shame that this music, the gypsy jazz idiom, gets such a pass in favor of Wes Worshiping sonic drudgery.
It's a real shame.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2003 10:10 pm
by djangology
then again, it seems that Burns had a bias in the documentary to maintain jazz as an "American" invention and bypass anyone who might be from or influenced by forces outside of the U.S. ??? in this case, it wouldn't be racist; rather it would be just nationalistic or something... :?

i love my country and i don't think Americans think this way, but its unfortunate when someone like this comes along and revises history when he probably didn't yet know quite enough about the subject to have any business making a documentary. i find it hard to believe that any ONE individual could reliably represent such a vast amount of history. fortunately for Mr. Burns, the Public Broadcasting System in the U.S. is naive enough to believe whatever he says as the truth.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2003 4:16 am
by justjack
From Shep:
"Believe it or not, Ken Burns did not even mention Django!"

While I've got some problems with Burns' stuff as well, anyone interested in watching his films should know that Django is in there (brief as it may be). I think it's episode seven, "Dedicated to Chaos".

And while it's obviously not an in-depth or particularly long-reaching history, I do think Jazz does a good job of giving the non-listener a few entry points. Hopefully, by focussing on Louis and the gang, people will be intrigued enough to delve deeper on their own. I know it had a good effect on my dad.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2003 3:15 pm
by djangology
thats interesting that they would put Django in the "Dedicated To Chaos" section... as if he did not contribute at all to jazz itself... :-(

PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2003 5:46 pm
by justjack
Well, it is still called Jazz, Django's inclusion in that particular episode has more to do with chronology, Djangology, than musicology. That is, it covers the war years, which provides a convenient device for ocean-hopping. (Not to mention swing as metaphor for liberation.)