Re: You did not get the point

by alex revell

I am not quite sure what qualifications Enrico has to instruct me in the history of jazz, or even to recommend books for me to read. Why should I take on other peoples' viewpoints and possible personal bias. I am grown up enough and intelligent enough to form my own opinions, by listening to the music and coming to my own conclusions. They may be right or wrong, but they are mine. Incidently, I have read most of the books mentioned, and as I attempted to demonstrate in my last post,the bias in most is very strong and could be very misleading. If I had listened to the many people writing in the fifties I would never had spent days, weeks, junkshopping for old records, hoping amongst other things to find a Whiteman with Bix present. Those people told me that Bix was very unhappy playing with the large commercial orchestra of Paul Whitemen and didn't play at all well on the sides he made with the Whiteman Orch. Think what I would have missed if I had followed their advice.
If I may give it, and he can take it or leave it, my advice to Enrico is that he listens to the records and forms his own opinions, without evaluating or judging them from what he has read.
I have listened to La Rocca and formed my own opinion, confirmed by people I know who also met him. Rightly or wrongly, I have concluded, purely from his own statements and attitudes,that he was a bigot and racist. I can only say that anyone listening to his statements who does not hear that simple fact is listening with rose coloured ears, to mix a metaphor. I do not know his personal reasons for being so, undoubtedly to him they were perfectly valid, and I respect that that was his viewpoint. But that does not mean I have to agree with him, or respect him for those views. He alone should be an example that one should not always, if ever, take too much notice of what people say. Their opinions, as are all personal opinions, are formed by their own likings and bias, strong or otherwise. Listen and evaluate their opinions, fine, but don't assume they are right or written in stone. In La Rocca's statements I never once heard the expression: in my opinion.
To wind up. Why does any person being a communist, negate their interest in or enjoyment of jazz. As to the question of race in jazz, or anything else for that matter, I realise that a large number of people in the US still have a problem with that. Fortunately - apart from the lunatic and uneducated fringe - we do not have that problem in the UK.

Posted on Sep 27, 2009, 8:34 AM

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