Thinking back on some of the articles I’ve done for BMM, as well as a few reviews I’ve written, I was reminded of a phrase I’ve often used after writing my latest review of the upcoming Marcus Miller release, A Night in Monte-Carlo. For this CD, I once again used the reference, a “21st Century” musical endeavor, and felt it might be noteworthy to clarify this expression in hopes of potentially spinning the wheels of new and emerging composers/players.
A Night in Monte-Carlo features Marcus and his entourage backed by the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra, and the music for the evening covered a seriously wide spectrum of diversity… groove classics by Marcus, jazz classics, Latin, and operatic pieces. That approach of shall I say genre-jumping is the heart of what I’m referring to as a quote-unquote 21st Century music presentation.
Here are a few quotes from past interviews for BMM that echo that theme I’m trying to convey:
“You know, the great ones always cross over musically, like Herbie, and Miles, and Mike Brecker…it’s just about playing the music”. James Genus
“The focus of my presentation is mostly that we’re living in a multi-cultural world, and we need to find new tools to try to be able to integrate our ideas together”. Kai Eckhardt
“In my opinion, a good musician will be influenced right away when hearing different and varied musical perspectives from other cultures”. Alain Caron
So, to nail what I’m alluding to, it’s about fostering individual and compositional diversity. Beyond Marcus’ newest release, Avishai Cohen’s latest project showcases music from the Arab-Andalusian and Hebraic cultures… Victor Wooten’s last CD Palmystery, genre-wise, was all over the map… Esperanza Spaulding recorded and is touring with an acoustic trio coupled with a string trio…I think I’ve made my point.
The musical opportunities by diversifying are endless. The listening public is becoming more and more open to it, and I believe this has been a bit of a 21st century development. Maybe we can extend the concept of “playing from the heart” beyond just your note choice, or your harmonic choice, to a pure musical choice, meaning, that place where the term genre doesn’t exist, personally as a player or compositionally. Where might that take us? Or maybe the question should be, why “shouldn’t” we go there?