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Hipsters Like Jazz??

By August 18, 2008

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Aaron Parks' dramatic debut as a leader, Invisible Cinema, has been heralded as a combination of indie rock and jazz. Jazz today, and perhaps since the 1930s, has had a strained relationship with popular audiences. Throughout the decades, artists have tried to bridge the audience gap, with varied degrees (and types) of success, by incorporating elements of popular styles into their music.

Even in the most challenging, avant-garde veins of jazz, especially (to my knowledge) in the New York scene, the influence of rock and hip-hop is extremely prevalent. Have we reached a pinnacle of post-modernism in jazz, or does this trend reflect a collective yearning among jazz musicians to appeal to hip, young, hipster crowds? Are hip, young, hipster crowds ready to meet jazz half way, in all of its inaccessible beauty?

Some people I've talked to are wary of advertising certain jazz as having an indie rock aesthetic. Others claim it's an important step towards bolstering the jazz market share, or at least to let people know that jazz, although challenging, does in fact reflect the values of today's general audience. Where do you stand on the issue? It's late on a Sunday night, and I'm more confused than ever.

Image Courtesy of Mamoru Kobayakawa


August 18, 2008 at 12:51 am
(1) jazz says:

NYT article on the subject from 2005:


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