Jazz in a recession

Two lines linking the J-word and the R-word reverberate in my mind.

-One good friend of mine often re-iterates the opinion that “jazz is in permanent recession.”

That’s too bleak.

-The romantic lead in the Kander/Ebb musical “Flora the Red Menace” about the rise of Communism in 1930’s, who is also a clarinet player, at one point says his shoes have worn so thin that he can feel if the coin he has trodden on is a nickel or a dime.

-That’s too wacky.

But Evan Davis, the animated BBC economic pundit, in yesterday’s Guardian, has a go at a few predictions of likely consumer behaviour of the “fans of pop culture” HERE

I think there are several pointers here which make me think that the immediacy and of small scale live music might just fit the bill……:

Davis (1): “Music (by which he means recorded music) will get cheaper. Music downloads will get cheaper. Most industries that have the pattern of very high fixed costs and very low user costs will change… “

Reaction: Jazz has never had bloated marketing costs associated with mass-market music. A chance of a more level playing-field?

Davis (2) “People will go out less. I’m guessing that people will trade down.”

Reaction: You can’t get a cheaper feel-good evening than some of the things I’ve been writing about for LondonJazz.

Davis(3) : “There’s going to be less TV. We were seduced by the boom years and the advertising revenue produced a television sector bigger than the economy can truthfully sustain.”

Reaction: It’s those bloated costs again.

Davis (4) : ” We all need to find cheap hobbies. My advice to people is to try and find a hobby that doesn’t involve spending vast amounts of money. […]If people can think of themselves as not just defined by their material wealth, that’s a good thing. Being excited by things that don’t cost money – that’s the key.”

Reaction: George Gershwin, Tommy Dorsey and Judy Garland got there first:

Categories: miscellaneous

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