Thursday, July 2, 2009

AccuJazz News: Roll-Out Continues With "Decade: '80s"

It's new channel time again, and we're adding another channel to the "Jazz by Decade" category: the '80s. When I say "'80s Jazz," it probably doesn't summon a strong characteristic sound or image in your mind the way, say, "'50s Jazz" does. Like everything else towards the end of the last century, jazz was becoming more and more diverse and splintered in its aesthetic. While the '50s saw some great steps forward for the music, people undoubtedly think of classic hard bop when associating the decade with a particular sound. With the '60s, it's likely the post bop of Miles and Trane's classic small groups, and with the '70s, it's probably the fusion supergroups led by Miles alumni like Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Joe Zawinul and John McLaughlin.

The '80s saw the rise of the so-called "young lions," led by the brothers Marsalis -- young jazz musicians who took to straight-ahead bop instead of the prevailing experimental styles of the '70s. While the young lions got a lot of attention in the '80s, they were by no means the only show in town. Veterans of the avant-garde and fusion scenes like Jack DeJohnette, Paul Motian, The World Saxophone Quartet, Weather Report, and Pat Metheny were pushing forward with new music.

Whether or not you have any vivid sonic image of what "'80s Jazz" sounds like, check out the new channel. You might be surprised how much you like it.

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