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Rap Meets Jazz

February 14, 1993

It's great to have Calendar's insight and objectivity on the hip-hop jazz scene ("Jazz and Rap Take the Plunge," by Richard Guilliatt, Jan. 31).

The vitality of this music forms a wonderful metaphor for how civil rights-era and pre-civil rights-era African-Americans are joining forces with Generation X.

As these groups unite politically and economically to improve our communities, they are also uniting to define the parameters of a new sound. The strength and vitality of this new genre will be determined by three key factors:

* Continued cooperation in performing, recording and marketing among old-school jazzers, neoconservatives, M-BASErs and rappers who are positive, pro-black and not misogynist.

* An open-mike policy in local clubs that encourages a forum for spontaneity, creativity and originality.

* Aggressive promotion of recordings and performances of genre artists by "urban" radio stations.

If this musical force is harnessed by its creators and supported by the community, we're likely to see a thriving scene similar to Harlem in its heyday.


West Covina

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