It’s obviously a slow weekend when this story about what makes a prodigy is on the front of CNN. Not that CNN is really a relevant news source nowadays with their Twitter usage and general lack of a cohesive professional face.
So, we see these “prodigy” stories ever few years. Grace Kelly is the current one with that mantel (from whomever hands them out). Previously it was Alex Hann, then probably some people before him. I remember as a high schooler Amani A.W. Murray as being THE next big thing. The prodigy of the 90s. Charlie Parker reincarnated. Yet I can find just one CD of his? But he was all the rage…..heck, he made me hit the practice room with more zeal than ever before…..
Anyhow, so, big piece on Grace Kelly. The most interesting comment though was from John Renborn which was
How much did Grace’s parents pay CCN to write yet another publicity stunt for Grace? Her parents have paid Lee Konitz, Phil Woods and others A LOT OF MONEY to play with her. Think Jessica Simpson on sax. Why didn’t CNN ask her about this? She is not a prodigy. She is self centered. Ask her why no one at Berklee wanted to be involved with her. She is not a musicians’ musician. With Grace, it is a carefully organized and well funded campaign by her parents to promote a semi talented performer. Ted Gioia, the noted critic and jazz historian, saw right though her as did the NY Times and others. Take a pretty Korean girl, dress her up in tight, low hung leather pants, high heel sneakers and a tank top, give her a sax… You get the picture. Now she wants to go viral aka like Britney Spears. Pathetic.
As a manager and long time jazz promoter I can tell you she is not a prodigy, not even close. She is a somewhat talented kid who plays decent sax, sings so-so, has parents who have spent hundreds of thousand of dollars promoting her by paying well known sax players, and is not deserving of the another poorly researched article.
I think the better example would have been Lana Del Rey or Rebecca Black but whatever. Grace sorta reminds me of Saori Yano, but Saori Yano is way way hotter. Same sorta thing though. Semi-talented to talented performer using sex appeal. Not like that never happens….gosh, using sex appeal. Though Grace has none for me….maybe that is why they are using the Prodigy approach?
Did the parents pay for this? I know that there is another local music store that frequently gets little lame ass write-ups in the newspaper about what they are doing. Like their stupid group Uke classes. Or that they are selling plastic trombones. So yeah, maybe Grace Kelly’s parents did grease the way for this story on CNN. Would not surprise me in the least. When she gets into Newsweek or Time then I’ll be impressed. CNN? Not impressed.