Jazz ain’t dead – it’s flourishing out of the spotlight
We’re now going to talk about jazz. It’s probably at this stage that a lot of you turn the page or click on some other link. For many, jazz is a heritage sound, a music that gave the world greats such as Miles Davis and John Coltrane, but has very little to say in 2011.
There are a handful of exceptions to this rule. You get the odd flurry of interest when someone such as the late, great Esbjörn Svensson comes to the fore and sells out big rooms, and you have the annual sneer when a jazz album gets a berth in the Mercury Music Prize shortlist. The rest of the time, jazz gets relegated to the sidelines and footnotes.
But, in these margins, jazz is thriving because a lack of attention doesn’t equate to a lack of innovation. Every year, just as is the case with indie, rock and pop, you have a new brigade of players coming to the fore who’ve learned their trade and are ready for action. Like their peers in other genres, it’s also all about playing live because, well, there are very few labels willing to take a punt on new young jazz guns.
And, just as SXSW, Eurosonic and the Great Escape provide opportunities to run the rule over new acts, 12 Points! is a chance to get familiar with new European jazz.
It’s happening at Dublin’s Project from May 4th to 7th, and there are a dozen new acts to check out. From the elegant tones of Swiss pianist Colin Vallon to the compelling rush of Copenhagen/London trio Phronesis, here’s proof that there’s plenty of exciting life in jazz yet. Listen without prejudice.
Colin Vallon Trio: the exciting new face of jazz, due to play Dublin’s Project in May