Monday, May 16, 2005

And Apple is out of business

My buddy Carl Abernathy points out yet another jazz is dying column over at Cahl's Juke Joint.

Personally, I think the column's author has missed more than one point. Jazz musicians, except for a few big hitters at any given time, have almost always had to labor to make a decent living. The big band era, when there were plenty of jobs to fill, might have been the one exception.

Still, I'd venture to say there's more good jazz being produced by young players (and some older ones) now than at any time since the early 1960s, certainly more than at any time in the past 25 years. (All those jazz musicians who had to become jazz educators to eat have had an impact, and that's a good thing.)

There's also significant demand for jazz, and lots of clubs, all over Europe and in places like Japan, so I wouldn't focus on the U.S market alone. It may have started as America's music, but it's the world's now.

Moreover, the industry sells about $11 billion worth of music total in the U.S. annually (USA Today). That's $330 million in jazz sales at 3 percent of the market. You should be able to support a whole lot of musicians on that, if they're getting the money they deserve. Which is the real issue.

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