Saturday, January 14, 2006

Jazz & Indie "Movement" - Harvard Rocker

I came across the following post on the blog Harvard Rocker making reference to a supposed "movement" that fuses jazz and indie rock, a la the Bad Plus, some of Brad Mehldau's work, Kneebody and other groups of that sort. The post was apparently spurred on by an article in the New York Times about the subject.

I'm not going to deny that there are more jazz musicians today looking to rock as source material either as covers (Mehldau) or their production values (Bad Plus), but I don't really know if it qualifies as a movement just now. Brad's trio is about as mainstream as it gets, (I mean that in a good way, not as a pejorative), it's always jazz, just sometimes they're playing a Radiohead tune.

I think The Bad Plus might fit that concept of jazz-indie rock fusion a little better, since their sonic aesthetic seems to be as much from the rock world as the jazz world, though I'm not sure if one group a movement makes. Or even two for that matter.

Add that to the idea that this is nothing new (jazz and rock have a long history together, dating back to the mid 60's). Even at the height of the neo-classic jazz movement of the 80's and 90's there were guys like John Zorn who were doing the same sort of thing (though perhaps without the effective promotion that Sony has lavished on TBP.

If anything, I think this supposed movement is more about marketing than music. The marketing (see picture for exhibit 1) people are always looking for ways to market jazz to new younger listeners, and are always looking for the next big thing.


Blogger OORANOS said...

Have a good time

5:34 AM  
Blogger Mwanji Ezana said...

I posted about this on my blog, not too long ago. Yeah, jazz-rock goes back to the late 60s, but there are different sources for it now.

It may or may not be a movement, but it's something that's happening in a lot of places (you could probably add David King's (TBP drummer) band Happy Apple to the list, for one very related example).

8:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Harvard Rocker (aka Adam Scheuer)

11:02 PM  

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