Saturday, October 5, 2019

Make Spontaneous Improvised Music Cool Again

How to make Spontaneous Improvised Music (formerly known as "Jazz") Cool Again

After many, sometimes very spirited, discussions on the subject, I've arrived at one possible solution to the image problem that plagues this music that many of us hold dear.

Behold, the REAL reason that the music has suffered a decrease in popularity. It has nothing to do with trends, the death of the music industry, online streaming services, institutionalized music education or "Neo-Conservatism,"

I would assume that the decline is actually because no one has creative and catchy NICKNAMES anymore! Colorful nicknames, whether self appointed or acquired, added to the mystique and lore of the idiom because the question of their actual origins was always at he center of discussions. In fact, I don't know ONE musician under the age of 70 that answers to "Sonny" and there are very few players on the current scene that I can identify by nickname alone at all. There are many fine artists that are active, to be certain. But few have names that are actually quirky and memorable enough to warrant a double take. It's time to fix that.

Let's update things a little. Give a friend a nickname.

Need #nicknames

Here are a few off the top of my head that I can think of. Feel free to submit any that I may have missed. (For some, I don't know their actual given names.)

Zoot Simms
Flip Phillips
Sonny Stitt  (Sonny was a nickname but "Stitt" sounds like one as well!)
Charles Mingus   (See above. Again, an actual name that sounds like a nickname.)
Sonny Rollins    Newk
Sonny Red
Sonny Clark
Sonny Simmons
Sonny Chriss
Herman Blount   Sun Ra
David Fathead Newman
John Coltrane   Trane
Charles Parker   Charlie, Yardbird, Bird
Lester Young      Pres   The President
Count Basie
Duke Ellington
Cab Calloway
King Oliver
Cootie Williams
Johnny Hodges      Rabbit   Jeep
Coleman Hawkins   Bean, Hawk
Louis Armstrong   Pops, Satchelmouth, Satch, Satchmo, Dippermouth
Roy Eldridge     Little Jazz
Fats Waller
Fats Navaro
Chet Baker
Slide Hampton
JJ Johnson
Tricky Sam Nanton
Baby Dodds
Kenny Clarke   Klook
Buddy Tate
Harry Sweets Edison
Eddie Lockjaw Davis
Red Holloway
Red Garland
Red Mitchell
Red Norvo
Milt  Hinton   The judge
Billie Holiday      Lady Day
Sarah Vaughn     Sassy
Julian Cannonball Adderley
Earl Fatha Hines
Gene  Ammons   Jug
Leon Chu Berry
Ben Webster   Frog
Bix Biderbecke
Buddy Bolden
Cat Williams
Clifford Brown     Brownie
Dizzy Gillespie
Milt Jackson     Bags
Philly Joe Jones
Papa Joe Jones
Art Blakey   Bu
Jelly Roll Morton
Baby Dodds
Joseph Nanton --- Tricky SamNanton
Hot Lips Page
Harry Sweets Edison
Willie The Lion Smith
Slam Stewart
Eddie Cleanhead Vinson
Blue Mitchell
Earl Powell   Bud 
Booker Ervin
Bunky Green
Buck Hill
Tiny Grimes
Jean-Baptiste "Illinois" Jacquet 

(Folks, please don't take any of this too seriously. I truly think that we all need to laugh a little bit more. Thanks.)