Reader's Notes - PN 2.17 - Overrated Jazz Musicians?

In a silly exercise in trolling that, in his words, "will almost assuredly enrage or alienate segments of the readership by concentrating on who is overrated," Canadian journalist Rob Vanstone has taken it upon himself to name what he judges to be the most overrated jazz musicians in history. While I might agree with Rob Vanstone's assessment of George Benson, Kenny G, and even Diana Krall and Chet Baker as a too "poppy" for my undying admiration, I can't say I agree with his dissing Ron Carter, Chick Corea, Bill Evans, and Bud Powell, much less Ornette Coleman and Miles Davis. All right, Ron, so you don't like Bitches Brew, but what about the previous 50 albums from Miles? Did you give those a listen?

Rob Vanstone does much better with his unsung artists column that appeared two weeks earlier. You see, his is a biweekly jazz column that appears in the Regina, Saskatchewan newspaper. Ron writes this when he's not covering sports in the provincial capital and Canada's 24th most populous city. Anyway, first and foremost among Rob Vanstone's unsung artists is Oscar Peterson (A Canadian! I call Canuckery!), a choice that I would agree with completely. Oscar Peterson is truly great.

I'm disappointed that Rob Vanstone's editors at the Leader-Post didn't discourage such an obvious troll as his "overrated" column. I'm not sure that it really engages debate when you lump Kenny G into the same category as Miles Davis. Is this how you troll in Regina, Saskatchewan, Rob Vanstone?

I know I'm not supposed to feed the trolls, Rob Vanstone, but you had me from the phrase "designed to engage and enrage." I'm in.

I mean, I might not be one of the seven people who read your magnum opus on the 1966 Roughriders, but I feel pretty confident in writing that even you, a prominent journalist in a city that plays second fiddle to Saskatoon -- even you could do better than your conservative grumblings about free jazz, commercial jazz, and fusion. But I suppose coming up with lists like this is something to pass the time when you're stuck indoors at the Ramada Inn bar, trying to remember what sunlight feels like on your skin, yearning for the hijinks of Gainer the Gopher and grousing with the local musicians about Ornette Coleman.

And, Rob Vanstone, if you're going to write a trolling column like your "overrated" broadside, at least let readers respond with comments on your work.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Vanstone says he dislikes Corea because he was disapointed with him in concert. He says that Bill Evens is overrated because he lets the bassist solo. Come on!