Buddy Seigal Is Dead

Responses to Jazz Is Dead

I'm certainly not trying to knock the great musicians who have made the jazz tradition what it is today. I'm just saying leave some room in the pantheon or risk missing out on some incredible music 'cause the last chapter of the jazz story has yet to be written.

Greg Loughman
via e-mail

INTRAOFFICE FIGHT

"Jazz stinks"? "It is stagnant"? It's "dead"? You have come to "disdain jazz"? It bothers you that "every yuppie shitbag in America suddenly finds it fashionable to proclaim himself a jazz fan"? Of course I loved your piece, and I agree wholeheartedly with you, but I'm shocked that you, Buddy Seigal, wrote it. When I said something similar in "Do I Smell Like Grandma?" Dec. 15, 2000, some six months ago, you became incensed, calling my tame assertion ("jazz is boring") "absurd," "unwarranted," "very, very white," and "culturally retarded." You assumed I must be some lily-white fucknut whose comments stem from ignorance, instead of thinking that I—like you—might be someone knowledgeable about jazz; someone who has noticed the way jazz itself has grown soulless, pasteurized and very, very white; that everyone is so busy lining up to kiss jazz's inflated ass (so as not to appear "very white" or perhaps "culturally retarded") that they forget to stop and think about whether they're even enjoying what they're listening to. Back then, I wrote you that jazz would survive my criticism. Apparently, I was wrong.

Alison M. Rosen
two desks over

BUDDY BLEW

Seigal states that jazz sounds the same as it did 10 years ago, but obviously he hasn't heard the sonic genius exemplified by such bands as Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Royal Crown Revue, and the OC Fair's own Pinky and the Pinks. How many songs out of Nashville have the guts to chronicle the racial and social tension of a significant event in LA's history like Cherry Poppin' Daddies' "Zoot Suit Riot"? The lyrics scream louder than any hip-hop punk rocker could ever hope—"Zoot Suit Riot!/Throw back a bottle of beer./ Zoot Suit Riot!/Run a comb through your coal-black hair." Powerful stuff. Like it or not, the last decade is chock-full of jazz talent equivalent to Chuck Mangione, Maynard Ferguson and other giants of the 1970s. Contrary to what Mr. Smarty Pants believes, there HAS been movement in jazz probably similar to the movement of migratory sea sponges. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, Buddy Blew!

Jim Kennedy
Costa Mesa

BUDDY'S ROOTS SHOWING

I have finally decided to admit to myself and the world at large that I hate retro roots-rock motherfuckers. Why? It has become a status symbol, a prop, a perceived statement of advanced greasiness and musical legitimacy. This, of course, is not the fault of the music itself, but it explains the sour taste that blooms in my mouth each time some greased-back boy cruises past me in his Plymouth, sporting an I'm-gonna-smoke-a-cigarette grin as he plays a Chris Gaffney CD just loud enough so he can believe people might ooh and aah to themselves, "That man has some bitchen tattoos!"

Chris Damore
Costa Mesa
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