My Response – Is Jazz Dead?


The frequently asked question “Is jazz dead?” has been raised again. The thread is in the Jazz Forum at (which broadcasts my TomorrowJazz Radio station). Here is one of the four paragraphs I wrote in response. Please see my answer to the question and post any comments you have over at this forum (I’m tjjohn).

The most frustrating aspect is that I know some musicians are trying to bring a 21st century approach to jazz. Some of it is out there (I’m thinking Squarepusher and the Thirsty Ear’s Blue Series here) but it is the same improvisation and creativity that inspired jazz greats. There’s a new fusion happening – jazz/soul (well, this has been going on for a while but I’m thinking Roy Hargrove’s RH Factor at the moment), jazz/hip hop (perhaps beginning with Guru’s Jazzmatazz), and more. The remix compilations (Verve//Remixed, Blue Note Revisited, Re-Bop: The Savoy Remixes, etc.) have been hit and miss but they frequently arouse my interest in the original version too.

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