Limit to limitations

by Andy Vaaler

On one hand I agree that the skill of an artist is more obvious when you are aware of the problem they must overcome to produce something good.

On the other hand, the limitation can be so severe as to be stifling -- as in just about any Whiteman recording where Bix is not audible (IMHO).

Limitation, shackle, or something like that doesn't describe it well (although the paradox is fun). For me, it's a question of recognition, common ground. I think it's easier for people to appreciate artistic achievement when it arises frame of reference that the audience can identify. Find something familiar to people, and then: bend it, shape it, improvise it, make it into something new. The People will dig that.

Long solos, "free" jazz -- there is no law against such explorations into outer space, and they may be interesting for a while. But after a time I will say "you've lost me." That is, I've lost the frame of reference that allowed me to appreciate what you are doing.

Posted on Feb 12, 2018, 10:43 AM

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