I love jazz but completely understand why somebody would not. Roughly 95 percent of music in the genre is self-indulgent, regressive crap, but that other 5 percent rules hard enough to possibly convert haters. Here are the six best jazz records for people who hate jazz.
6. Mary Halvorson, Saturn Sings Of all the words in the music-critique lexicon, there is no more appropriate adjective for guitarist Mary Halvorson than "badass." Saturn Sings is not far removed from a Deerhoof record. It trades between consonant melody and chaotic abandon and is one of few current jazz albums to break into that vague territory of "heavy."
5. Bobby Hutcherson, Dialogue
Bobby Hutcherson plays vibraphone, an instrument that is notorious in jazz circles for being clunky. On Dialogue he takes turns transcending this aspect of his instrument and accentuating it. The secret weapon here is pianist Andrew Hill, who passed away a few years ago. Hill wrote the tunes for Dialogue, which range from spy-movie bossa nova ("Catta") to woozy blues ("Ghetto Lights") to classical-leaning free improv ("Les Noirs Marchant"). Everywhere Dialogue lands stylistically is dripping with cool.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.