Re: Music as a Universal Translator???
Early "fusion" was great. It featured exciting musicianship and experimentation, and (maybe even more importantly) the popular appeal lacking in JAZZ. But ask some people (..cough...Wynton Marsalis...
) and they might claim that there is such a thing as "pure jazz", while "fusion" has little if no value as a legitimate art form.
But then again, what are the origins of jazz, if not "mishmash"?
As for Gabriel and Simon, I love those guys too. But they could be accused of diluting African sounds to create listener-friendly music for western audiences. It's a valid argument, even if I feel dirty for raising it...
What if we take some Bulgarian folk music, throw in a didgeridoo and add some drum loops, are we making "world music"? Maybe not...but I would
really have a problem someone calling it "Bulgarian folk music", when it's clearly not. My conclusion is that in the context of popular music, anything goes if the end result is great.
Gypsy Jazz. What a concept!
Just thinking out loud.
As for the WWW, I've travelled a lot and lived on three continents (so far) and I can't with a clear conscience argue the "one world" point. I know the internet "reality" that we share doesn't replace the role of true belonging. But it does give us more frequent glimpses into the human condition on a global scale - including what they're listening to.
Sorry, I think I may have just added to the confusion, including my own.