Recently rereading the interview with pianist Chick Corea in the June 2010 issue of Downbeat Magazine, I came across what may be my favorite interview question I've ever read. I wish that more interviewees would be asked this question, or asked to react to it's preceeding statement. While that is obviously impossible, I figure I'd ask it here, in hopes of hear from you - whoever that may be. Here is the question, asked by Downbeat's Marius Nordal.
"During your 1950s early roots period, Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown, Erroll Garner, Ahmad Jamal and Dave Brubeck won polls and critical acclaim, filled stadiums and generally seemed to "own" the piano or piano trio scene at the time. Recently I was astonished to see that some of the most prominent and influential college jazz history texts today have literally excised most of those names and replaced them with George Russell, Lennie Tristano and Cecil Taylor. That would seem similiar to banishing Elvis, Chuck Berry or the Beatles from pop music texts.
Do you think univiersities, to some extent, might be erasing the common street history of jazz and replacing it with an alternative, academic, fantasy universe?"