martes, 18 de noviembre de 2008

Historia del jazz según Gang Starr

Transcripción de la letra del tema "Jazz Thing", de la banda sonora de la película de Spike Lee, "Mo' better blues" (1990), con The Brandford Marsalis Quartet en el soporte instrumental y el rapero Gang Starr en la voz. En este tema se hace una brevísima revisión de la historia del jazz citando los principales músicos innovadores que han impulsado su evolución gracias a su creatividad. Asímismo, se trata de un alegato en defensa del jazz como un producto cultural auténticamente "afro-americano". Como consecuencia de este énfasis reivindicativo del protagonismo afroamericano en la historia del jazz, se omiten nombres de célebres músicos "blancos" que también tuvieron un papel relevante en la evolución de este género musical, como fueron Glenn Miller, Gerry Mulligan, Chet Baker, Stan Getz, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Steve Lacy, Lee Konitz, Joe Pass, o Bill Evans, por citar algunos de los más representativos. No obstante, debe admitirse como indiscutible que los principales hitos en el desarrollo del jazz hasta la década de 1960 fueron músicos afroamericanos. Tan sólo a partir de los 60-70 empezaron a ejercer influencia notable diferentes músicos blancos (e.g., Joe Pass, Joe Zawinul, Chick Corea, Jaco Pastorius, Pat Metheny).
En definitiva, esta brevísima historia del jazz escrita por Gang Starr representa una buena muestra, en orden cronológico, de quiénes fueron los grandes maestros que han ido revolucionando el jazz con sus propuestas creativas. Lógicamente, como en cualquier enumeración o resumen, falta algún nombre importante (e.g., Duke Ellington, Miles Davis), y también podría considerarse que sobra alguno que no está a la altura del resto (e.g., Betty Carter). Pero, aún así, es un buen resumen sintéticamente conciso. :-)


JAZZ THING *[* original version appeared on the "Mo' Better Blues" soundtrack ]

"And now I would like to play a.. little tune I just composed not so long ago"
"Ms. Billie Ms. Billie Ms. Billie Holiday"
*drum roll* *piano keys played by Thelonious Monk*
"Byrd..?" *Parker’s solo* *group horns*
"The music called jazz.." > Guru

It's roots are in the sounds of the African
or should I say the mother.. bringin us back again
From the drummin on the Congo, we came with a strong flow
and continue to grow
Feet move, to the beat of the t'balo
Now dig the story and follow
For then it landed, on American soil
Through the sweat, the blood, and the toil
Hear, "Praise the Lord," shouted on chain gangs
Pain they felt, but it helped them to maintain
Scott Joplin's rags, Bessie Smith's blues
St. Louis blues, they were all the news
Ringin smooth.. in all the listeners ears
Fulfillin the needs, and plantin the seeds
of a jazz thing

King Oliver's group was a train comin through
to Chicago, bringin the New Orleans groove
And when Satchmo blew, the audience knew
Basin Street blues was the whole house tune
it was music.. great to dance to
Great to romance to with a lot to say to you
Relaying a message, revealing the essence
of a jazz thing

* DJ Premier cuts "jazz music" *

In the 40's came be-bop, the first be-bop
The real be-bop, so let me talk about
Diz' and Byrd, giving the word
Defining how a beat could be so complete
Playing with ferocity, thinking with velocity
About ornithology, or anthropology
and even ?, and this is real history
Theolonious Monk, a melodious thunk
No mistakes were made with the notes he played
His conception, was ?re condite?
A star glowing bright among dim lights
The critics did cite that he sounded alright
Charlie Mingus, such nimble fingers
Droppin the bass, all over the place
and Max Roach, cymbals socking
Bass drum talking, snare drum rocking
Restructuring.. the metaphysics
of a jazz thing

John Coltrane, a man supreme
He was the cream.. he was the wise one
The impression of Afro Blue
and of the promise, that was not kept
He was a GIANT step, and there was Ornette Coleman
He was another soul man
The original invisible, playing great music
I wonder why the ?Bangles? couldn't use it
Now listen see
The real mystery is how music history
created by white men or any other white man
that pretended he originated…"uh-huh.."
and contended that he innovated… "uh-huh.."
a jazz thing
("Of course we know who can really blow")
Scheamin on the meaning
of a jazz thing

And this music ain't dead, so don't be misled
by those who said that jazz was on it's deathbed
Cause when Betty Carter sings a song
ain't nuttin going on, but simply good music
And you won't refuse it
She's takin her time, making the nuances rhyme
Sonny Rollins, tenor saxophone
with a big old tone, reciting poems
with notes as words, and haven't you heard
Now there's young cats blowing
And more and more people, yes they will be knowing
Jazz ain't the past, this music's gonna last
and as the facts unfold, remember who foretold
The 90's, will be the decade of
a jazz thing "I love jazz music" (3X)

* Primo scratches "I love jazz music" *

A jazz thing...

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