Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Good music...

Musicianship is great, but it's overrated in my book. I'll take someone with an ear over someone with "chops" anyday. Sometimes you get both as in the case of Fela Kuti. What I mean is that I seem to like music that shows deep concern for the end quality of the sounds and rhythms and their intended impact on the listener. Of course, the danger here is overproduction or preciousness, which is equally problematic. Still, nothing grates my nerves more than mindless sonic noodling (typically smooth or fusion jazz genre but prevalent all over the musical spectrum) in which each musician gets a chance to show off their sixteen years of training on an instrument that sounds like spray cheese. That sort of music completely lacks that critical enzyme which allows it to cut into the nervous system of the listener. Instead we are left with the smug expression of a plump goateed drummer railing away on a twenty thousand dollar drum kit in a Hawaiian shirt, Kangol hat on backwards... Yeah man we're making beeootiful music... Oh please... music should never be endured, it should transport in a seemingly effortless manner. A good musician is not just playing an instrument, they are playing the emotions, the memory banks, and the brain chemistry of the listener.


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