Originally Posted by Hijodelbrx
Calling Ken Burns Jazz documentary 'disgraceful' because it neglected to focus on European Jazz seems harsh. From what I've read, for as long as it was, it left out quite a bit like Latin Jazz, Fusion, and just about everything that happened after the 70's! It's a great way for a novice/beginner to get a lot of exposure and info about Jazz!
I didn't say "because it neglected to focus on European Jazz" rather I say it was disgraceful "since there was almost no mention of any European jazz musicians". The focus of the series was clearly on American jazz.
Originally Posted by Buddhahacker
Agreed. When you take a broad subject such as jazz as the target of a documentary you need to establish the scope to conform to your available time. Here is a quote from Wikipedia about the series, "The documentary concerned the history of jazz music in the United States . . . " That's the scope of the documentary and what was delivered. I don't remember any statements providing an impression that this was a definitive documentary on the topic of jazz around the world.
Funny the name of the documentary was "Jazz" and not "American Jazz" or "A History of Jazz in the United States". And since the name was just "Jazz" there should have at least been a few mentions of:
But there wasn't since Ken Burns did two things when he made the series.
First he filtered his version of the history of jazz through the prism of racism (as he does with all his documentaries) and that prism really doesn't work for jazz since it and has always been relatively free of racism, at least from within. The racism in jazz was imposed from outside, such as the Jim Crow laws which adversely impacted the black jazz musicians.
Second he based almost the entire series on the gospel of the great Wynton Marsalis, who was made to appear as the grand savior of jazz, who rose like a phoenix from the ashes of fusion to save "real" jazz. Never mind all the other great jazz musicians who started their careers in the 1970s - they were not mentioned since including them would have spoiled the Wynton as savior narrative. So the 1970s loft jazz scene was ignored along with such outstanding artists as the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Muhal Richard Abrams, Sam Rivers, Anthony Braxton, David Murray and many, many others. And the 1970's fusion scene was also ignored so great players and groups were also ignored: Weather Report, The Brecker Brothers, Pat Metheny, Ornette Coleman and Prime Time and many, many others.
In any event this is an old fight and it has hashed and rehashed on various internet forum ever since the series first aired so I will say no more on this subject.