A Conversation with David Bertrand

Whitney Curry Wimbish talks with David Bertrand at Music and Literature:

At the risk of not sounding patriotic, as I grew older, I came into some conflict with the aesthetic of Trinidadian jazz.

There was a generation that felt like we have to generate something that works in parallel with our idiosyncrasies. I think there was a bit of historical confusion. They were looking at jazz and thinking, “But we don’t want to sound American, we want to sound Trinidadian.” There was nothing wrong with that, but it meant it was as if there was no acknowledgement of how jazz was generated in the first place. The narrative that we all know—that jazz came out of the African-American experience, and the various frustrations that occurred parallel to that people—would eventually be shared with the rest of mankind. You’re creating music that recalls that. Trinidadian jazz wanted to present an anticolonial stance, but it did not acknowledge that jazz had originally been a response to a very similar force.

more here.

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