Will Jazz Survive? Thoughts on the State of the Great American Art, No. 4, 1983
Playthell Benjamin is a writer, journalist, and publicist. The following are excerpts from an extensive article he wrote for Freedomways.
The genre of musical expression popularly known as jazz is a modern, complex form of instrumental music grounded in the blues idiom and created by African American artists. Notwithstanding the late Marshall McLuhan's contention that the commercial is an indigenous American art form, or the rather extravagant claims made for abstract expressionist painting, jazz is without question the great North American contribution to fine art. No other art form embodies so many of the best ideals and characteristics to which North American civilization aspires. Jazz is democratic, values individual