Music: Crow Jim

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Most Negroes, says Negro Saxophonist Julian ("Cannonball") Adderley, "felt that swing had to be there for the jazz to be valid. They weren't much interested in the new West Coast music. They were convinced that Brubeck's music was not jazz." Result: few Negroes were involved in West Coast jazz. As its popularity increased, so did the resentment of Negro jazz leaders, who were getting fewer and fewer dates. "The irony of the thing is," says Stan Kenton. "that this group of musicians, who never had any problems before, all of a sudden were at odds and started boycotting on the basis of color rather than music."

"Uncle Tom." West Coast jazz is no longer an important consideration, but Crow Jim is, especially among the angry young men who are passionately involved in the rise of Negro nationalism. Jazz compositions these days bear titles like A Message from Kenya (Art Blakey), Uhuru Afrika (Randy Weston), Africa Speaks, America Answers (Guy Warren), Afro-American Sketches (Oliver Nelson). Max Roach's Freedom Now Suite—We Insist includes tunes like Tears for Johannesburg, a lament for the Africans shot down in the Sharpeville massacre. To younger jazzmen, a great musician like Louis Armstrong is suspect—instead of hopping on the freedom bus he has been content to remain an "Uncle Tom."

Charlie Mingus denies that Crow Jim exists: "How can you talk about Crow-Jim and look at Mississippi?" And, adds Negro Pianist Horace Silver: "The whites started crying Crow Jim when the public got hip that Negroes play the best jazz." Nonetheless, believes Silver, the differ ence between soul or "funk" music and other varieties of jazz is the difference between talking "colored" and ordinary English—and only a Negro musician can feel it. "It is murder today for white jazz players. Negro clubs just won't play them." says Impresario George Wein. White Pianist Paul Winter, 22, who has three Negroes in his sextet, agrees: "We're right in the middle of a Crow Jim period. Out in Chicago they told us, 'Don't go to New York—you're ofay.' "* Echoes Drummer Cal Tjader: "I don't think I'd very much like to be a white boy just starting out in New York now."

Colored Cats Bitched. For all that, most Negro jazzmen are as concerned as the whites about the effects of prejudice in either direction. Querulous Trumpeter Miles Davis has always insisted on hiring his musicians on talent only, although he concedes that "some colored cats bitched" when he added white Saxophonist Lee Konitz to his group. (In jazz argot, the pressure applied by Negro bigots to Negroes who will not subscribe to Crow Jim is called Crow Crow; its opposite is Jim Jim.) Says Negro Saxophonist Sonny Stitt: "Man. if a guy can play, that's all that counts. I don't care if his skin is purple, orange or chartreuse."

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