Quincy Jones Calls Wynton Marsalis Out On His Musical Myopia


According to the New York Daily News, Quincy Jones recently cited famed trumpeter Wynton Marsalis as having a narrow-minded view of the varied musical landscape. Jones was quoted as saying "Wynton doesn't want to hear any other kind of music" and asserted that Marsalis won't allow his students to play any other kinds of music but his own type of Jazz. To add further insult, Jones said that all other trumpeters, himself included, have found inspiration from other greats but that "nobody wants to play like Wynton." Q's further gullyness was exemplified by him stating "[Wynton] knows how I feel." Oh snap!

When told about Quincy's rant, Wynton replied that nothing could be further from the truth. Marsalis claims that not only have they not ever had this conversation but that he does encourage his students to play all kinds of music so that they can develop their own style and prejudices and not be subject to simply his own. But let's keep it real. Wynton not only stated that "Hip hop is a form of music for which I don't have much respect" in the same NYDN article, but that Jazz musicians should not be the ones who should be approaching the Hip Hop community for starting the dialogue between the two art forms. So while Wynton did elaborate on a project he and Jam Master Jay were collaborating on to have a DJ academy in Wynton's House of Swing, it can be expected that no one need ask when another collaborative effort will be in the works.

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The sad part of all of this is not the fact that Wynton Marsalis has a negative view of Hip Hop music. The sad part of all of this is the vice grip that Wynton Marsalis has on wanting to preserve the past by not being willing to accept that progress is a necessary part of any type of art form. Some have even argued that Wynton glorifies Jazz music's past at the expense of nearly eulogizing it.

Change is a necessary and, yes, frightening part of life. But being only willing to entertain Hip Hop if its ambassadors come to you just smacks of ignorance. While I am inclined to agree with Wynton's view that Hip Hop has become "ghetto minstrelsy," he was referring to Hip Hop artists whose music would never even be mentioned on this website. And the Hip Hop artists who have the greatest reverence for Jazz music, those who have either created their own music without sampling or those who have successfully collaborated with Jazz musicians, will not want to have the opportunity to educate someone whose view of Hip Hop is still stuck in its early days when it was being argued that it was a fad. But yet the saddest thing about Wynton Marsalis is that he is the equivalent of Uncle Rico: unwilling to accept change and stuck in his glory days while the world continues to pass him by.

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Quincy Jones: When it comes to hip hop, Wynton Marsalis blows it [NYDN]

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