Saturday, April 10, 2010

Michael Moriarty Fights PC Jazz Goofs & Erroll Garner - I'll Remember April

Progressive Jazz: How the Left’s ‘Teachable Moments’ Killed Bradley’s Michael Moriarty's poignant and on-target essay on the Progressive PC poisoning of jazz focused my attention on the Great Erroll Garner Click my post title for pure genius.

Errol Garner is ignored. It seems to me that Mr. Garner is ignored because he was not angry enough - to the contrary.

Garner remains unique. Playing consistently to a very high standard, he developed certain characteristics that bear few resemblances to other pianists. Notably, these include a plangent left-hand, block-chorded pulse, a dancing pattern of seemingly random ideas played with the right hand in chords or single notes, and playful introductions, which appear as independent miniature compositions, only to sweep suddenly, with apparent spontaneity and complete logic, into an entirely different song.

Sumptuously romantic on ballads, and fleet and daring on up-tempo swingers, Garner’s range was wide. Nicknamed ‘The Elf’, more, perhaps, for his diminutive stature than for the impish good humour of those introductions, Garner was the first jazz pianist since Fats Waller to appeal to the non-jazz audience, and the first jazzman ever to achieve popular acclaim from this audience without recourse to singing or clowning. Dudley Moore acknowledges much of his style to Garner, and ‘swinging 60s piano jazz’ owes a massive debt to him. Stylistically, Garner is in a category of which he is, so far, the only true member. Since his death in January 1977, there has been no sign that any other pianist other than Keith Jarrett is following his independent path in jazz.

Michael Moriarty, a jazz pianist as well as a great American actor, wrote this

My God, the politicizing of jazz had grown to a militant exclusivity that infuriated me!
Had I not been with my director and had downed a few more drinks, I might have tipped over a few tables.
Now the atmosphere of this Nicole Henry album was inspired in one of the most jazz-addicted nations in the world, Japan.
They obviously retain a freedom within their increasingly sensitized souls more American than that most American giant of world cities, New York!!
Perhaps it was the moment the sportscaster, Dick Schapp asked me, “Michael, is there anyone in New York you haven’t offended?!”
“Yes,” I should have said, “You, Dick!”
Tighten the phones to your ears, if you’re using them to listen to the intimacy Ms. Henry maintains with herself – and that, mind you, is the first necessity of any recording … or film artist for that matter – and then let the “still, small voice” in.
Let the deep and quietly, blissfully disturbing surrender happen.
Bradley’s is no more and hasn’t lived for many years because once Bradley himself had died, his poor wife could not keep the Progressive Militants out.
That crowd of elitists, enlightened despots and intellectual supremacists had driven the regular customers like myself … had forced them out.
Eventually even they didn’t come.
They had no one to give a “teachable moment” to.
What happened to Bradley’s has now happened to all of America.
How long we will be in for this horrifyingly arrogant, “teachable endlessness” … and how long this soul-less and tragically American fascism can continue … will perhaps depend upon the depth of agony we all must feel repeatedly when the quintessentially American forms of music are fed to us as a privilege only afforded us by the Progressive dictators who claim to own it.
Big Hollywood 4/10/210

Jazz belongs to all of us. Thanks Mr. Moriarty and thank you Mr. Garner

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