It’s a must-read for anyone curious about the longer term of the variety. If jazz is ever visiting be popular again, it must regain its cool.
Jazz was popular when it had been intimately connected to popular culture. within the early-middle part of the 20th century, jazz was popular culture. The last significant jazz work to essentially communicate with pop was “Rockit” by Herbie Hancock.
Jazz since then has mostly tried to ignore popular culture entirely, or investigate it condescendingly.
People don’t hear music to be dazzled by technique unless they’re in music school. It’s a rare contemporary jazzman who can write a melody you’d want to listen to over once, and being attentive to people run difficult changes is about as interesting as watching them play video games.
In order for jazz to be popular, it must humble itself before the most important improvisational sort of this generation: hip-hop. Jazz snobs that belittle hip-hop’s simplicity are missing the purpose. What hip-hop loses consonant and melody, it over makes up for in sonic innovation, wordplay, social realism, and a way of fun. Remember when jazz was fun? Remember after you could dance to it? Remember when it spoke to the emotional reality that almost all people live in? Or any emotional reality? That’s what jazz needs.
Here are two suggested directions for the future:
This series produced some excellent electronic music in its claim, brought a bunch of classic recordings to a full new set of years, and opened plenty of jazz fans’ ears to contemporary music. quite an achievement! I wish every jazz label would fling the vaults receptive remixers and not just the pros. I remix jazz tunes anyway, but it’d be nice to own the labels’ blessing, instead of having to observe my back for lawsuits.
Even though he’s supposedly a comedian, Reggie Watts comes closer to the important spirit of jazz than any contemporary player I can think about. His songs are completely improvised, but instead of sounding like free-jazz mush, they’re tightly structured, catchy, and funny. rather than trying to sound like it’s still 1959, I wish more jazz musicians could sleep in this culture as Reggie does.