Sunday, September 27, 2009

Growing Up Jazz

You could say this blog is a continuation of last week's blogs on the Brantford International Jazz Festival. I was discussing jazz and brass banding, under the topic that some think it's a style of music no one is familiar with, it's a topic in churches. Some people want to get rid of or at least minimize the influence of brass banding and music in church services.

As I thought about it, I came to the conclusion that we in North America don't have a problem with brass music for one simple reason, we've grown up listening to it.

I'm not saying we were forced to listen to jazz, but it was an important part of growing up with television. I was impressed with the number of cartoons that had jazz as the music. Let me give some examples, the first is

Jonny Quest: I'm talking the original here, not the "New Adventures"

Very strong jazz influence in that theme

I could move on to Spiderman, the cartoon

Perhaps the greatest jazz influence has to be the Peanut's franchise. If you are old enough to remember the first Peanut's television show: "A Charlie Brown's Christmas". Here was the show that forever cemented the relationship between jazz and Peanuts. In fact the musical score for the show was made by Vince Guaraldi, a jazz pianist. He composed the song "Linus and Lucy", which is the most recognized song of the Peanuts shows.

In fact, a special CD was released in 1987 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Peanuts and it featured all jazz. One artist spoke of the fact that Charlie Brown was cool and how else to you define cool but through jazz.

So growing up, jazz was very influential. Probably none of us realized it was jazz, but we recognized it was cool, since all our favourite shows had this style of music.

Just a few thoughts for today.

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