• easydog

    Shamarr Allen's talent and the mere existence someone as wonderful as Paul Sanchez is pretty good proof that there might actually be a God.

  • Glen Andrews

    seem to me Offbeat doesnt check its facts,regarding the story on Shamarr, He never ever Never played with me or Trombone Shorty coming up in Jackson Square that a bold face lie futher more he didnt play with tuba Fat because I was the front man from age 15 until our last trip in South Africa and I dont remember him playing with us on the streets are on gigs.I find this very offensive that someone can lie so much an Offbeat would allow this,I have played with him in the past but we have never been members of any band togther,I was the band who started the music with Baty Landis at Sound cafe or maybe hes just a great story teller.( great at telling lies).Now let the readers know the truth.Glen David Andrews

  • Jazzevangelist

    As someone who truly loves the totality of the jazz continuum – from it's origins in blues and ragtime through trad, swing, bop, fusion and all other future funky incarnations – I just want to applaud Shamarr for doing exactly what those who founded jazz were doing.

    Those who wish to lock jazz down to a single codified genre forget the gumbo which created it. There were approximately 69 cultures making music in New Orleans around the time that Buddy Bolden first blew a new sound through his horn . . . and these cultures continued to boil and produce new flavors as Satchmo, Jelly Roll, King Oliver, Sidney Bechet, and so many others established the foundations that came to be known as “jazz”.

    As it grew and expanded up the Mississippi and crossed over to New York, new elements were introduced and the bands got bigger – but it was still jazz. When small ensembles started experimenting with all that improvisation had to offer – it was still jazz. When new electronic instruments were introduced and the 12 bar blues bred a harder edged sound – it was still jazz. When rappers sampled the syncopation and put a rhyme where a brass solo should have been – it was still the same essence that created jazz in the first place.

    To embrace jazz is to embrace all the sounds and cultures that surround us – just as Louis Armstrong did – in an effort to bring them together and expand them.

    Jazz is not just a singular style of music – it isn’t today, and it wasn’t when it started . . . It came out of a century-long slow boil incorporating blues, spirituals, ragtime, marching bands, opera, classical, French, English, Spanish and Italian folk tunes, African, Haitian, Caribbeen & South American rhythms, as well as Turkish, Jewish and Celtic improvisation, and many other ingredients arising from many different cultures.

    If you leave out any of these cultures, or any of the influences and evolutions which have blended into the continually evolving jazz continuum for the past 115 years . . . you lose the essence of the gumbo from which jazz emerged.

    Many musical styles came to it, and many have emerged from it. If we stop the evolutionary process to worship the style of any particular era and stop incorporating every sound from the churches, bars, cars and street — jazz becomes nothing more than a nostalgic time capsule, reduced to the worship of a dead genre.

    So, more power to Shamarr, Trombone Shorty and many others like them. They are keeping the true essence of jazz alive without ignoring it's traditions. They know where it came from, and they can see where it's going . . . and Shamarr doesn't have time to stop along the way for those that think he should embrace the very stagnation that has caused America's only original art form to become our most ignored and least popular.