Monday, April 2, 2018

Let The Music Play

"Jazz and rock worlds have continued to intersect and collide since the time frame of my research.  A significant part of the postpunk movement incorporated jazz and the avant-garde, while the Downtown New York jazz scene of Anthony Coleman, John Zorn, Don Byron, and others openly embraced punk.  Long after jazz discourse had distanced itself from dance music, musicians continued to make jazz for dancing using the rhythms of rock, funk, and soul, and jazz became an important ideological touchstone for popular DJs such as Gilles Peterson, who has made a career out of rediscovering forgotten and abandoned jazz hybrid records from the 1960s to 1970s and exposing them to new audiences of dance fans.  Miles Davis, a longstanding posthumous member of the Jazz Hall of Fame, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.  More recently, the collaborations between Los Angeles hip-hop artist Kendrick Lamar and electronic music producer Flying Lotus with jazz-rooted, multi-genre musicians such as Stephen Bruner (aka Thundercat) and Kamasi Washington indicate that artists continue to reap benefits from crossing the boundaries between jazz and other forms of popular music."

-- Matt Brennan, When Genres Collide: Down Beat, Rolling Stone, and the Struggle Between Jazz and Rock

My music book kick continues.  I enjoyed this one which, despite being an academic work, was short-ish and pretty easy to get through.  Brennan charts the constantly shifting definitions of popular music, blues, jazz, and later, rock, primarily in the U.S.  Interestingly, at times it was music journalism rather than the recordings themselves that managed to establish borders between genres. 

Recommended.

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