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Thread: Jazz club pulls CD due to lack of black musicians

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    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Default Jazz club pulls CD due to lack of black musicians

    Shamed, Yoshi's pulls CD, apologizes

    Shamed, Yoshi's pulls CD, apologizes / Club hit sour note with lack of black musicians on record


    The managers of Yoshi's jazz club said Friday that issuing a 10th anniversary CD with no African American musicians was "a huge mistake" and "a major oversight." In the wake of complaints by some African American musicians and community leaders, the club issued an apology and withdrew the disc.
    With "Live at Yoshi's: Anniversary Compilation" off the market, the club plans to create a new recording that more accurately reflects the musicians who play the 340-seat venue at Oakland's Jack London Square, said Joan Rosenberg, marketing director for the club.
    Yoshi's had sold about 500 of the 1,000 CDs it began offering on its Web site last month. The disc, the first made by Yoshi's, was not distributed to stores.
    "We really messed up on the CD," said Yoshi's owner Kaz Kajimura. "We apologize to anyone who feels slighted by this omission, as that was never our intention."
    The musicians on the disc include pianist Marian McPartland, singer Madeleine Peyroux, the late guitarist Joe Pass and Latin percussionist Poncho Sanchez.
    Kajimura and Yoshi's artistic director Peter Williams attributed the botched CD to haste and expediency. "This was done on the spur of the moment, and we didn't have a lot of time and research to put into it," said Kajimura. Yoshi's began working on the project in late March to mark the club's 10 years in Oakland in May.
    Eight of the 10 tracks, from four different musicians, came from Concord records, one of the world's largest recording labels. The other two came from San Francisco radio station KFOG's archives.
    "That was the easiest, quickest thing to do," said Williams. "We assumed Concord would have the most music recorded live at Yoshi's." When the new CD is made, he added, it will include African American musicians recorded live at Yoshi's on such labels as Verve, MaxJazz and Blue Note. That will involve more elaborate negotiations for rights and licensing fees.
    "If Yoshi's is calling this an oversight, then maybe there needs to be a larger discussion about the dynamic of what jazz is all about," said Glen Pearson, an African American musician and College of Alameda instructor. "Diversity is a word that gets kicked around a lot these days. But how sincerely or honestly is that concept really being applied? Or is it just a politically convenient term to use?"
    Williams said race and ethnicity are "things that I just never think about when I'm booking the club. It always comes out that we have a great mix. I'm very comfortable with what we've done."
    Kajimura said that more than half of the musicians who play Yoshi's are African American.
    Orrin Keepnews, the famed Bay Area-based jazz record producer who put out classic albums by Thelonious Monk, Sonny Rollins and many others on his Riverside label, calls the Yoshi's CD affair "an embarrassingly small deal.''
    "With all due respect to the venerable Marian McPartland, whom I love and have always loved, there's nobody on that record of major current importance," said Keepnews. "The club put out an anniversary record that was thoughtless and not very well put together. They limited themselves to material recorded live at the club. You have a half-dozen things here that don't have the making of a significant or representative record, regardless of what color anybody is.''
    As for Yoshi's pulling the CD in reaction to the controversy, Keepnews said: "It's become very customary when you make a big public mistake to then withdraw as much as you can. It's been going on at all the networks recently. It's childish. If you're insulted, you haven't removed the insult by removing the product. I don't think Yoshi's necessarily insulted people, but it wasn't a very bright thing to do. But I don't really think it's any kind of fatal mistake.''
    Black saxophonist Howard Wiley thinks Yoshi's had no choice but to pull the CD. "I think it's the right step, to turn a negative into a positive. Let's all come to the table now and play some beautiful music together."
    The racial mix of musicians in this summer's Downtown Berkeley Jazz Festival also came into question this week. Susan Muscarella, who is booking the festival through the sponsor, Berkeley's Jazzschool, was in a diversity committee meeting there Friday afternoon. "We're addressing the issue across the board, in all our education and performing programs," she said, calling charges of racial imbalance "unfair and ungrounded." Muscarella said the Aug. 22-26 festival is about halfway planned. "My problem now is how to book African American artists when they might think they're only being invited in response to the controversy."

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    Elite Member Just Kill Me's Avatar
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    The title of this thread made me fall out of my chair in a fit of laughter!

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    I have an idea:

    How about a compilation of the BEST jazz musicians who played at said club, regardless of skin color?

    Morons.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member JamieElizabeth's Avatar
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    I heard on this on the radio the other night... something about the identify/roots of jazz being lost if its identity has turned to whites.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Oh wtf ever.

    Fucking racist bullshit.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by celeb_2006 View Post
    They limited themselves to material recorded live at the club.
    What's wrong with that? It's not like they mislabelled the CD, it was called "Live At Yoshi's", that would imply the music was recorded live at the club.

    This is one of those things where if you don't like the damn CD don't buy it. Why it has to be taken as offensive is beyond me.

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    Elite Member darksithbunny's Avatar
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    I call reverse racism. Can we play that card too? LOL.

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    I don't think it's a matter of them being racist. Jazz music was born from black musicians, so they should have thought about that if they were going to do a compilation. That's like somebody deciding to do a hard rock compilation CD without any white artists on it or a hip/hop compilation CD with no black artists. It just seems strange.

    It's like when the People Choice Awards had the best R&B artist nominees last year I think and there were no black artists. There was just Mariah Carey, Justin Timberlake, and Christina Aguilera.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    lol

    I had no idea musical talent was based on skin color. So no black R&B artists got awards, who cares? They've gotten them plenty of other times, is this instance suddenly racist?

    Gimme a break
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    lol

    I had no idea musical talent was based on skin color. So no black R&B artists got awards, who cares? They've gotten them plenty of other times, is this instance suddenly racist?

    Gimme a break
    Who said musical talent was based on race? I didn't. If that were the case you wouldn't have white rappers like Eminem or black opera stars like Marion Anderson or Leontyne Price. And did I say it was racist? No.

    Now the R&B award I used as just an example about the original topic. And since the vast majority of R&B artists are black it seems odd that you wouldn't nominate a black person in that category. Just like it would be strange, not racist, if you had a hard rock category with no white people. It has nothing to do with skin color, but about who is usually associated with a certain type of music and what the demographic is. Nothing more.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Not really, if it was based on talent.

    Maybe the black R&B entries just sucked ass that year.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    [quote=Grimmlok;692407]Not really, if it was based on talent.

    Maybe the black R&B entries just sucked ass that year.[/quote]

    That would be a valid point, if Justin Timberlake and Mariah Carey weren't two of the nominees.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Stop poking holes in my theory
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  14. #14
    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    Stop poking holes in my theory

    Hey, I couldn't have you getting a big head.

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    Elite Member JamieElizabeth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingcap72 View Post
    not racist, if you had a hard rock category with no white people. It has nothing to do with skin color, but about who is usually associated with a certain type of music and what the demographic is. Nothing more.
    Change surely takes a lot of time?

    Right now, America is STILL stuck on appearances and equaling races through hollywood glamour.

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