Jazz ain’t dead – it’s flour­ish­ing out of the spot­light

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Music -

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

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