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Less thrilling was how little the best musicians of the Young Lion school (all of whom were black) seemed to care about the previous generation of black innovators connected to free or experimental jazz.Henry Threadgill, Julius Hemphill, Roscoe Mitchell, Sam Rivers, Dewey Redman, and Oliver Lake would suddenly have less work due to the attention given the Young Lions.
” For some, those experiences were discouraging, but in most cases they helped the younger musician get more serious. Every serious artist has to find their own path; listening inside yourself is the only answer.
After learning from minor tyrants or irritable legends, it is up to the artist to metaphorically kill them off and pursue their own aesthetics.
Dizzy told me this around 1980, when I wasn’t thinking about integration at all. “We don’t need to be integrated.” No one has paid heavier dues for being an angry young interviewee than Wynton Marsalis.
He has since changed his mind about needing to be integrated.
Minor tyrants who really know their subject and make their students learn itare important.