welcome

I can understand why it happens: jazz is a serious art form that needs huge technique and skill. Does that mean, however, that it should be treated as a proxy for classical music or in the case of the long running BBC Young Musician of the Year brand a branch of it? Yes, there is a healthy chamber jazz strain in contemporary jazz; labels like ECM have produced many records over the years that have codified the style in certain respects, often built on the style of classical sound, audio perfection, discreet mastering and nods in the A&R-ing towards classical models. String quartets in jazz records are common place. Jazz musicians like Bruno Heinen (Vivaldi, Stockhausen), Uri Caine (Bach) and to look decades back to Jacques Loussier and Dave Brubeck (Bach and Milhaud) have accommodated classical music as an element of their artistry. My point is it's only one of many hybrids and often the least relevant. And it's not necessarily just about accommodations or inspirations: hip-hop, African music, flamenco, pop, show songs, tango, Brazilian music, klezmer, folk music, Indian music, chanson, Nordic strains, and so many more elements are contributing to jazz on an ongoing global basis as well as the great traditions of Western classical music. And so it does not necessarily mean what we get in the end is classical/jazz as an orthodoxy, a brand to satisfy the establishment. Maybe the process is inevitable as we now expect our future jazz stars to emerge from conservatoires, something I'm not completely comfortable with. The whole nature of the gigging discipline in jazz is different, the rites and rituals of a jam session, attitude towards the notes on the page, rhythms, technology, and of course fundamentally the presence of improvisation. Jazz in symphony halls, yes, by all means, but the halls are only venues after all. The music retains its own identity and should not, even when notions of exploring its own repertory arise, just become dull and becalmed like an orchestra trotting out a version of a Beethoven symphony just because it has to. SG