Is Jazz Dead? (Or Has It Moved to a New Address) examines the state of jazz in America at the turn of the 21st century. In a recent 10-part documentary on Public Television, Ken Burns spent 8 out of 10 programs on jazz before World War II; controversially dealing with the last five decades of creative work in the United States in the final episode. Musicians themselves are returning to New Orleans, Swing, and Bebop styles, while the work of the '60s avant-garde and even '70s and '80s jazz-rock is roundly ignored. Meanwhile, global jazz musicians are creating new and exciting music that is just starting to be heard in the United States, offering a viable alternative to what many critics see as rampant conservatism here.
This book is bound to be controversial among jazz's purists and ideologues but will be welcomed by other as a celebration of renewal within the global jazz community. In looking at developments outside the United States, Is Jazz Dead? (Or Has It Moved to a New Address) will undoubtedly prompt discussion on how the music should be preserved within it, daring to ask the question on all jazz fans' minds: Can jazz survive as a living medium? And, if so, how?… (more)