We all have them. You know the friend who naturally affiliates the term jazz with WW2 swing, Kenny G, or New Orleans. “It’s just too antiquated’ they bemoan, neglecting the music as stuffy, and unrelatable. To often Jazz is overlooked because it seems that since Trane there have only been a handful of musicians really pushing and expanding the genre in new and innovative ways. We all know what Davis and Hancock did for Jazz, but are you really gonna throw on ‘Bitches Brew’ for a person who won’t stop talking about how Arcade Fire redefined pop music? Nope. It’s just not going to happen. They’ll write it off as incoherent noise and as you argue about the merits of musical invention, you’ll realize that starting in the middle and working out to the fringes is a doomed approach. Some people just need to be brought in gently, like an old man being lowered into a hot bath.
So here it be … Our top 3 … for those who don’t like Jazz.
Bad Bad Not Good
Toronto trio BBNG have a deftness for pushing music to a place where classification would be misleading and meandering. So we’ll make it simple. If you’re into; Bonobo, James Blake, Odd Future, Toro y Moi, Caribou, Four Tet, Neon Indian, Rjd2, DJ Shadow, Squarepusher, DJ Krush, or Similar Artists check um out.
CMYK // James Blake Cover
Bad Bad Not Good2 was released // April 3 2012
And they be // Matthew A. Tavares – Piano, Electric Piano, Prophet 08
Chester Hansen – Acoustic Bass, Electric Bass
Alexander Sowinski – Drums, Sampler
Crowned and Kissed
The metephoric Rise of Esperanza Spalding within the lexicon of American music can be attributed to a tireless work ethic, and an intimate understanding not only of jazz but classical, hip-hop, and funk. In 2011 – Spalding won the Grammy for best new Artist which was unprecedented as it was the first time a jazz musician had won the award. Radio Music Society – which was released in March of this year – peaked at 10 on the U.S music charts. Esperanza is playing the TD Toronto Jazz Festival this year. Be sure not to miss her! If you’re into; Soul, Funk, R and B.
John Zorn – Saxophone
Bill Laswell – Electric Bass
Mick Harris – Drums
Hmm. Where to begin with John Zorn? To be honest I have no clue, his discography is absolutely monstrous. He sifts through countless genres, sometimes 5 in a 2 minute song. Zorn is the perfect guy to get a stubborn Metal head or relentless Punk fan into Jazz. Why? Because Zorn himself is Metal. He is Punk. He is Country & Western. And he is Jazz. A perfect example of his broad range is the concert footage below featuring Mike Patton on vocals:
To be noted: Painkiller (the first Zorn track above) features Mick Harris, the drummer of Metal band Napalm Death. That should lure in some people enough to at least take a taste. From there, hopefully they check out Zorn’s other outfit Masada, which IS Jazz. Sometimes all people need is a familiar face to get them in the door.