Thursday, June 23, 2011
I'm always traveling and participating in different situations all over the world and the one thing that still amazes me is how musicians, of all people, can be so prejudice sometimes. We have a lot of isms as it pertains to the music we play. For instance: I recently had a conversation with a guy that pretty much plays Jazz all the time and he commented on how he didn't play many Blues gigs because that wasn't his thing and the music was watered down and simple. I then had a conversation with another guy that was asking my opinion about forming his own Blues band but he was concerned that the so called Blues purist would not accept his sound because it may have a little different slant. All of this to me is ridiculous because the truth be told, we are all pulling from the same musical bag. No matter what type of popular music you play whether it's Blues, Jazz, R&B, Pop, Funk, Country, Hip/Hop or Rock & Roll, they all are fundamentally based in the Blues. So to say that you only play this or that only limits you. To fully grasp any American musical art form you must have an understanding of the Blues in form, feel and emotion. All of the other forms of American popular music are derived from the Blues so if you don't master it you are truly "faking the funk" in whatever music you are playing. Music is not about prejudice, it is about freedom. The freedom to play what you want the way YOU hear and feel it and as long as it is done with quality, sincerity and respect, you can do no wrong. All of those people with hang ups about what they can't play or who is or is not the greatest this or that are just full of crap. Drop all of the isms and realize that ALL music is good music. You should be able to find and respect the groove in everything. George Clinton says that everything is on the one and this is true both literally and metaphorically. The one is that thing that connects with people's soul and there is a one in all music. You just have to be open to find, explore and appreciate it. So remember the Blues is the foundation on which we all stand. Let's respect it, study it and grow it by understanding that there is no need for isms. Just play and enjoy this gift of music.
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