Kitty Margolis, Bay Area jazz singer, Facebook and in-person friend, fired up followers re guest blogger Paul Lindemeyer’s comments on jazz’s historic bias towards men, which I contextualized with reference to Michelle Obama’s White House jazz night. Here’s what Kitty’s people wrote (names obscured except for her own and Alfonso’s — they ask to be id’d) –
Massive kudos to Michelle Obama for her inspiring and
personal introduction of Jazz music at the White House. As for this Paul
Lindemeyer nimrod, I’d like to individually and assertively wipe the floor with
his sorry, sexist ass on the bandstand of his choosing.
[HM: Nimrod, in its derogatory sense, is traced to Bugs Bunny’s charicaterization of Elmer Fudd)
A_M_ (woman’s name) at 9:25pm June 23
Yeah, sucks to be a woman. I so envy men, not only for their
phalli but for their “expressiveness,” “individuality” and
“that combination of proficiency and assertiveness we call
‘prowess.’” Thank you, whatsyername, for defining what I lack so clearly.
S_S_(man’s name) at 9:57pm June 23
That Paul guy’s essay on jazz encapsulates every reason I
drifted into playing everything but jazz. The (largely male) company was
dreadful! I met more Bill O’Reilly fans playing jazz than I did playing
country! The individualist ethos is not the perfect expression of jazz; it’s
just the dominant one.
Kitty Margolis at 10:02pm June 23
Surely this profound thinker had in mind lily-livered
shrinking violets such as Betty Carter, Carmen McRae, Mary Lou WIlliams, Bessie
Smith, Melba Liston, Anita O’Day, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Teri Lynne Carrington,
Carla Bley, Marian McPartland, Cindy Blackman, Regina Carter, Allison Miller
and Ella Fitgerald. Clearly they could never hold their own with someone with a
Y chromosome like…what was his name again?
Alfonso Montuori at 1:32am June 24
If this is his definition of jazz, and if he plays his horn
the way he writes, it’s not surprising it’s uncool. It’s over for jazz as a
boy’s club of grumpy old men. What jazz needs is more women, not less. More
diversity, not less. Cutting contests? Sure. But with a tight, supportive
rhythm section, not a bunch of flailing fools. The individuality… Read More
is always tempered by community–it’s unity in diversity, women AND men, black
AND white (and brown and beige and…) not either/or. In the meantime, it must
be Lonely at the Top for the (multi-) talented Mr. Lindermeyer…
Alfonso Montuori at 1:35am June 24
Go Kat Go!
And bravo, Howard Mandel:
”Isn’t Mrs. Obama sending a straight-out message that
jazz is back — enjoyable, relevant, hip, not Black and White but American
multi-culti? Is the “helping, communitarian ethic” that might be as
characteristic of jazz as it is of Barack Obama’s overall governing approach
read as essentially feminine or has jazz turned it macho? Could powerful women
such as Michelle and cool cats like Barack lead the populace back to
Kitty Margolis at 2:21am June 24
I leave home for a few hours and you guys are having a jam
session on my page. Love it. Bottom line: this exclusionary paradigm is dying
and the people that were at the top of the food chain have the farthest to
fall. Be afraid, Lindermeyer, be very afraid. The ladies are lining up to take
a few choruses in your cuttin’ contest and our chops are ferocious.
K_ G_ (woman’s name) at 4:25pm June 24
Kudo’s to Michelle and to Kitty. This guy’s head is so far
up is own *** that he will never get what jazz really is all about. This is the
exact mindset that keeps me at the microphone preaching the word.
L_ B_ (could be man OR woman’s name) at 1:38am June 24
Dizzy Gillespie reminded us all often that there’s room
under the tent for EVERYONE.
I do have very little patience for people who think THEY
have “the word” be it about music, religion or politics. That includes musicians who play music that is “too
cool for school” who grumpily complain that people who play sets that
people enjoy get “all the gigs”.
HM: Yeah, it’s a big tent, there’s music for everyone, music by everyone, now let’s chill out. Here’s the new (?) rule: Further discussion by argument, not villification ONLY. (Or is that not what Facebook is about?)