Blogs > Liberty and Power > Branford Marsalis on the Death of Merit

Jan 4, 2009 2:37 pm

Branford Marsalis on the Death of Merit


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Jonathan Dresner - 1/4/2009

I've said my piece against grade inflation before, but Marsalis is extrapolating from his experience into realms about which he is clearly ignorant. Ever heard From the Top? It showcases young classical musicians, kids who study their craft for years and get great joy out of being excellent musicians.

Marsalis' problem is jazz: the valorization of "authenticity" and "experimentation"; the modernist assumption that "new" means "better," especially if that "new" is also "shocking." I know that's not all there is to modern Jazz, but the rhetoric is overwhelming common sense.