Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New sounds from new crowds

National Public Radio's jazz blog, ABlogSupreme, posted an article yesterday with seven jazz bloggers under the age of 24 comments on who they like. The NPR blog (read it here ) includes the bloggers commentary on five recent releases: Brad Meldau's "When It Rains" from the CD Largo, Christian Scott's "Litany Against Fear" from his release Anthem, saxman Andrew D'Angelo's composition "Fam Hana" on the Skadra Degis CD, "Hat Trick" on the Soulive release Up Here, and Tigran Hamasyan and Aratta Rebirth recording of "Sibylla" on the CD Red Hail.
First, let's take a moment to note how refreshing it is have someone throwing out their new favorites -- I'm hearing so much truly terrific music, much of it very innovative and original but I don't think I trust my ears enough anymore to really say something sounds new.
I've learned there are key reference points I listen for, and consequently, it sort of pegs my music. In the list above, I didn't hear many of those points in "Fam Hana" or "Litany Against Fear," but Brad Meldau oftens hits them and I liked Soulive right away.
Were I to continue my list of new faves, I suspect it would become progressively easier to pin me down as a jazz fan originating in the late-70s.
I don't want to be pinned down in this way, but I just can't seem to fall in love with a composition that doesn't have certain beats, some dissonance (but not too much!), and somewhere, a strong melody ... you know, something Wayne Shorter-ish ...
Still, I fear my tastes are still firmly rooted in the jazz forms and harmonies that were generated in the late 1950s. Those sounds may have culminated in Weather Report or Return to Forever, but at the risk of being a traitor to my generation, I want to hear today's Jaco ... I'm not tired of the first, it's just that I want to hear something more ... and I don't even know what it is.
So it's great to hear suggestions from a younger generation, operating with fresher ears, that also appeal to me. I'll listen to these bands and performers more, and perhaps after a few more listens come to different conclusions ... maybe I'll hear my next Miles or Jaco in there.

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