«There can be no neat summing-up at this point, for which one should be thankful. If there could be, it would have to mean that jazz was complete; or, in other words, dead. But that is far from the case…»
Those words opened the final paragraph of the first (1955) edition of this book. We went on to note that Chet Baker was the choice as the subject of the final picture, although the bet was hedged by the comment: «within a year, this closing spot might better belong to someone else.»
The quickly shifting tides and emphases of jazz may very well make any new choice every bit as vulnerable as that one proved to be. However, the present selection seems not only suitable, but safe. Ornette Coleman has already spearheaded a jazz revolution. Even if time should prove his revolution less consequential than it might seem now, or his role in it less vital, Coleman can still qualify as an effective symbol of the truth that jazz is, above all, change and movement. Hopefully, jazz can move forward without losing contact with his own past -and possibly a book such as this one can help in that respect. But with or without remembrance of the past, inevitably jazz has changed, does change, will change again.
Thus it is more than reasonably certain that this is just the last page for the time being (wich was the case last time); it is not The End.
Párrafo final de la edición revisada por Orrin Keepnews de A Pictorial History Of Jazz. People and Places from New Orleans to Modern Jazz. Orrin Keepnews and Bill Grauer, Jr. Spring Books. © Orrin Keepnews, Jane Grauer 1966
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