There’s a trend emerging in this economic downturn. See if you can spot it: Kanye West is recording with Brandon Flowers and Jared Leto. Arctic Monkeys and Diddy are collaborating. 50 Cent is going on tour with Fall Out Boy. And in defiance of god’s will, Limp Bizkit is back.
In 1981, Blondie’s rock/rap/disco song “Rapture” hit number one during that recession and I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the possible rap/rock mashups mentioned above tops the charts before the Dow rebounds. Is there something about a crumbling economy that brings unity to music genres? Sure.
Jazz, in particular, became hugely popular in the decade following the 1929 stock market crash.
“As far as jazz is concerned we can generally say that the rhythm came from Africa and the harmony from Europe. But what about the melody?” Sound Junction wrote on the oft-discussed subject of jazz’s diverse origins. “Melody was derived from many sources; the songs that the slaves from Africa sang had distinctive melodies and they were also exposed to many melodies through the hymns of the slave masters… Although harmony was predominantly European, one of the most important characteristics of jazz is the ‘bending of pitch.’” Bending of pitch? That makes me think of two things: the blues and Auto–Tune.