The power of prices

Max Roach, a Founder of Modern Jazz, Dies at 83 – New York Times

I listened to an interview with Max Roach this afternoon on NPR. His hypothesis about how jazz musicians became such good players was based on taxes.  In the 40s, nightclubs paid extra taxes if people danced, or there we singers, or the band was big.  So, the club owners had an incentive to book smaller bands, which lead musicians to respond by becoming virtuoso players.  Thus bebop, eventually.

People reallt respond to incentives; if you can set incentives, you have a huge amount of power.

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