Spanish music as in the Basque culture and flamenco also has parallels with Latin-American music as well as jazz music: thisculture has been influenced by both Europe as well as Africa (in this instance North Africa, as contrasted with west andcentral Africa for the music in the Americas). An excellent jazz pianist from Spain is Chano Dominguez.(3) AFRICAN MUSIC AND JAZZFrom South Africa there is Abdullah Ibrahim (aka Dollar Brand) who produces fascinating music with strong roots in the folk traditions of South Africa, at the same time he is influenced by jazz music and its process. In fact Duke Ellington wasimpressed by hearing a young Abdullah Ibrahim. A parallel path to Abdullah Ibrahim is the work of American jazz pianist
Randy Weston who is listed above, however Randy’s work is far more connected to the main threads of jazz music, perhaps
because culturally Randy is an American: Randy lived for a very long time in Tangier (Morocco) and soaked up thevibrations of that place. He not only has a connect to the music of north Africa, but he also has deep roots in the blues,strongly influenced by both Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk, thus to me he is definitely an important jazz musician, andone of the most individual voices in the history of jazz.(4) OTHER CULTURES AND JAZZ MUSICWhile it is tempting to think that Indian music for example can find connects with jazz, unfortunately nothing deep hashappened so far at all. Coltrane was not so much influenced by Indian music forms as the idea behind some Indian musicforms: using pedal points to anchor the tonality as well as provide a steady frame of reference, and the goal of music beinga conduit to higher states of co
nsciousness. Coltrane’s music by and large is rooted deeply in the blues and even his socalled “modal” or “scalar” improvisation has roots in his extensive knowledge of harmony and chord progressions.
There is one crucial reason why Indian music and jazz music is by and large incompatible: jazz music is a product of alargely Judeo-Christian culture which has a different conception of the individual and what an individual is supposed to do,as opposed to Indian culture that is definitely non Judeo-Christian, and the relationship of an individual to a collective isextremely different to that of America. Thus even within a music form, the group organization of a jazz music form is ideallydemocratic even if the group has a leader, but the group organization of say a Hindustani or Carnatic group is feudal: thevocalist for example is the leader of the group, and the percussionists are lower down in the hierarchy. The principle of democracy as it works today in the western world has very deep Christian theological roots. There are also tricky issues withtuning systems (jazz music uses instrumentation which is constructed from an equal tempered tuning system, of coursewhen one plays the blues one uses frequencies in-between the notes). Also the approach of taking some scale from Indianmusic, translating it to the piano, and then using a combinatorial approach to generate chords out of that scale is extremelyfaulty: it only shows that the practitioner does not know anything about the development of western classical musicharmony that (a) had a connect with counterpoint and (b) used chromatic harmony as in the music of Bach and Chopin:
chord progressions that lie “outside” the “main” scale, but can generate movement and suspense. Also harmony in western
classical music and jazz music is mainly functional: chords function as markers of musical events. In fact if one uses chord