So why should jazz Players support Obama ?

When we think of jazz, we think of cool. The Obamas ooze the jazz lifestyle. They are smooth. They are classy. They are not soft rock kind of people. We can't imagine them doing the two-step in a country western bar or jumping up and down to heavy metal. Yet we can see them jazzed up over a concert by Wynton Marsalis or Sonny Rollins. President Obama once said jazz music is a democratic art form. If music itself could vote it would bypass all the clumsy attempts at style and rhythm by others and vote for Obama.

The jazz world was becoming increasingly alarmed at the dwindling appreciation for its music. In a society plagued with attention deficits and instant stimuli, jazz music's complex nature seemed to take too much effort. Along came the ultra-modern Obamas with their Blackberries and ipods. Could this new face of American politics rejuvenate an ebbing art form? Jazz players seemed to think so. They printed t-shirts, designed "Jazz for Obama" buttons and rallied the troops. They prayed that Obama's music list included Miles Davis and John Coltrane.

 

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It did. Jazz lovers were ecstatic when the president went so far as to say jazz was America's indigenous art form. The sound of saxophones and trumpets rang out across the land in hope of rebirth. Then Obama really hit the high notes in the jazz world when he went on to say a jazz ensemble was the perfect example of the democratic process. It incorporated individual freedom and responsibility to the group. The spirit of Sir Duke smiled happily from his Cabin In The Sky.

The First Lady's excitement about the arts prompted her to host a music series in the White House. Her first choice was classic jazz. The Obama's recognition of the genre and their enthusiastic references to its historical influence did not go unnoticed by the jazz players who voted for them. They wrote blogs, organized jams and kept their fingers crossed. Now they can only hope it catches on, rekindles interest and gives way to a music world beyond hip hop. It would count to Count Basie and all that jazz.