"The world doesn't take kindly to jazz artists, and before long they find their ideals displaced by bitter cynicism. At best, one percent
of them will eventually realize their dreams, and only after years of paying
dues. These are the Chosen Ones, whose success results from a
rare combination of often freakish talent, perseverance, good looks,
personality, ambition, geography and an ability to skillfully navigate
unpredictably changing public tastes."
"Why so few Chosen Ones? Simple economics: People who want to play jazz
actually outnumber those who enjoy or even tolerate it, let alone pay to hear
it. Consequently, in the microscopic jazz economy, there isn't nearly enough to
go around, though competition for the crumbs is relentless and sometimes brutal.
This simple financial reality underlies virtually all of the infighting,
backbiting, and doomsaying that define the jazz condition."
"But when the jazz bug bites, it's hard to shake. Of the remaining 99%, the
vast majority continues the battle, even in the face of shattered dreams and
personal defeat. How do they get by? By compromising their music, their
lifestyle, their self-respect, or any combination of the three."