Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Blues Is Alright

Kansas City has been called the place where jazz meets the blues.

That relationship has taken an ugly turn in recent decades. The blues has pummeled jazz into submission. It's much worse than a black eye- it's as if jazz had its kneecaps broken and its tongue cut out.

Blues' gains aren't necessarily jazz's losses, of course. But the blues is clearly dominating the battle to win converts. Just look at the stark contrast in attendance at shows, club listings, radio play and membership in the respective appreciation societies. It's no contest.

That's all right- Plastic Sax loves underdogs. I could curate a site about collecting antique toenail clippers if I wanted to be more popular.

These musings are inspired by Star columnist Steve Penn's passing reference to a blues club that's scheduled to open soon at 18th & Vine. It's tremendous news even if a note of jazz is never played inside the venue. The Blue Room, the Mutual Musicians Foundation and the two museums can only benefit from the presence of additional music lovers.

Let's not put in that Do Not Resuscitate order just yet.

(Image by Stephen Longstreet.)

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