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A Thread for New Jazz

Discussion in 'music' started by kjb, Feb 6, 2016.

  1. MUTTY1

    MUTTY1 Waste of bandwidth

    My bad, though I did try. Once I’d purchased I couldn’t get the original page up, just feedback/contact seller/buy another/etc.
  2. jagdesign

    jagdesign pfm Member

  3. Graham H

    Graham H pfm Member

  4. Seanm

    Seanm pfm Member

  5. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    My view is it is in the best of health since the ‘70s with young multi-ethnic musicians of extraordinary talent taking back the music of their ancestors and making it relevant in a modern post-rap/hip-hop context. Jazz has meaning again. It is once again a young dynamic protest music that draws influence from everywhere. A music that should be danced to in clubs as much as intellectualised. I just love that so many of the jazz albums I’ve bought over the last 12 months, and there have been a lot, are from folk in their 20s and 30s. That is exactly as it should be.
  6. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

    If it sounds like old jazz it proves jazz is dead. If it doesn't sound like old jazz it's not jazz.

    Or at least that's that some folk will always claim *shrugs dismissively*
  7. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

    On the other hand Anthony Braxton is still being criticised, sixty years on, for not having any swing*, for over-intellectualising his music. Would a white contemporary of his be told what they were doing wasn't jazz? Would it even be an issue? Why would anyone care?

    At the end of the day jazz is a broad church and it's edges are blurred. That's one reason why it's fun :)

    *anyone who saw his recent Standards tour knows this is a ridiculous assertion.
    poco a poco likes this.
  8. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Anthony Braxton is really interesting and I view him as his own thing rather than jazz in any usual sense. His early stuff certainly swings, but he also ventures very knowingly into Schoenberg/Webern territory, even Stockhausen. I guess anything can be jazz. I certainly like a lot of it.

    I’m just delighted to see a lot of young folk who aren’t afraid of a political/protest message and I really like the way there is a huge crossover with modern musical forms, e.g. a lot is clearly influenced by rap, hip-hop, electronica, Krautrock, minimalism etc as well as ‘70s soul-jazz, and all the earlier eras. Jazz has always been a fluid form that absorbs what is happening around and before it e.g. the visceral funk of Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock etc clearly absorbed what was happening at Stax, Motown, Hendrix etc, and vice versa. It should be a melting pot. It should be culturally relevant. It should exist in our time.
    Hook and paulfromcamden like this.
  9. Seanm

    Seanm pfm Member

    Did it lose its meaning? I dunno…not completely convinced by much of the new London stuff, have to say - the odd thing here and there. Thinking about it, the new stuff I’m enjoying most is by really old people: Roscoe Mitchell, Henry Threadgill, Carla Bley, much of it barely jazz. I need to branch out a bit. That book looks like it will help.
  10. Seanm

    Seanm pfm Member

    Yes I think I’ve absorbed this take on some level.
  11. hockman

    hockman pfm Member

    I am on exactly the same page. Most of the UK scene leaves me cold and unimpressed. I do believe though that "Jazz" is a broad church and constantly evolves and incorporates new stuff but I just don't agree that that's the case with a lot of the young UK jazz. But if you enjoy it, who cares?

  12. Space is the Place

    Space is the Place pfm Member

    For those that fear Jazz...

  13. Graham H

    Graham H pfm Member

    I'd argue this is a huge issue, taking in social injustice, racism, freedom, equal rights, opportunity, education, discrimination, feminism - issues (as Tony has pointed out) that are still being aired by young musicians today.

    Graham Lock wrote a very well researched and enlightened book called Blutopia covering Ellington, Braxton and Sun Ra which has your questions at its very core - as relevant today as it ever was. Apologies if you have already read it.
  14. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

    Thanks @Graham H Blutopia is on my 'must get around to reading' list.
  15. Tantris

    Tantris pfm Member

    I can thoroughly recommend Mike Heffley's Northern Sun, Southern Moon, for its analysis of the interaction between American and European jazz musicians in the late 60s and early 70s, and the wider political and intellectual context. Much of it seems prescient for a France where Zemmour is a presidential candidate.
  16. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

  17. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Interesting list, and likely excellent as I’ve got four out of ten! I haven’t heard the other six, so I’ll check them out.

    PS My four are Sons Of Kemet, Floating Points, Damon Locks and the Indaba Is compilation, all on coloured vinyl!
    paulfromcamden likes this.
  18. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

  19. kjb

    kjb Losing my edge

    Its interesting how jazz tastes seem to be dividing into micro-climates that don't always overlap. One one hand there are those enjoying the new British stuff, more rooted in a fusion of UK and Caribbean dance culture and on the other those who like their jazz a bit more cerebral. The US reviewers tend to the latter, liking often more established artists, more intricately composed knotty themes and more avant garde approaches ( and old school chops). Fordham, whose reviews I like, seems to be in the latter camp. Dave Kelly who reviews for the Observer seems even more traditional and often seems to exist in a time before 1967.

    I'm not sure where I sit tbh, liking both. I read a piece in All About Jazz that pretty much defined jazz as music in the American tradition. For me its' more about instrumental craft and prowess, improvisation and that spontaneous interplay between musicians: it doesn't necessarily have to have that direct connection to the tradition.

    Some of the British stuff ( GoGoPenguin are an example) seem to copy the form of a jazz trio with a heavy focus on groove but, as far as I can tell, have little if any improvisation. They've taken what EST or Nic Baertsch do but without the improvisation and interplay. I like their stuff but I'm not sure how far it's jazz.

    It is, as ever, a broad church but it was interesting how Fordham's list had none of he new British stuff a lot of us have been enjoying this year. Lots of it sounds worth seeking out though.

    PS - Richard Williams, who has his list here:

    2021: The best bits |

    seems to have a much broader overview of things.

    And, as either Ellington or Armstrong said, “There are only two kinds of music—good music and bad music”
    Seanm and paulfromcamden like this.
  20. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

    Yes that was the thing that struck me too - though I'm very happy to see Ruth Goller included.

    Have you seen this book of John Fordham articles from the 70-90s? Lots of interesting stuff and a great one to dip into.
    kjb likes this.

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