January 23, 2016

Modern Jazz vs. Trad Jazz

Imagine a pie. 

Now imagine you get a piece (yay!), but not 1/6th or 1/8th of the pie, but rather 1/70th of the pie. How would that piece look? Could you even remove it from the pie? Now picture taking your thin slice and trying to slice it even further, into say a dozen pieces. Could you do it? What would those tiny slices look like? Now imagine gathering all those wispy micro-slices on your plate in a sad little pile.

That’s jazz.

At a whopping 1.4% of American music consumption1, jazz is that slice of 1/70th of the pie, and its subgenres—traditional, Afro-Cuban, modern, fusion, etc.—are those all-but insubstantial slices of slice.

1. Nielsen 2014 U.S. Music Year-End Report: http://www.nielsen.com/content/dam/corporate/us/en/public%20factsheets/Soundscan/nielsen-2014-year-end-music-report-us.pdf

I say all this to demonstrate the microscopic scale on which we operate when we talk about  TRADITIONAL JAZZ vs. MODERN JAZZ.