From: Peter Margasak
I think that Vijay Iyer quote sorta summed up many of the things I far less articulately attempted to express in my earlier bit. I’d like to think that everyone shares his opinion, but I’m afraid there is a generational schism; I’m sure plenty of folks would agree with his statement in theory, but reality is a different can of worms. Anyway, I think Nate’s point rings true. As the decade comes to a close this openness isn’t such a big deal, and I’m glad that’s the case. Jason Moran does indeed represent this kind of thinking as much as anyone during the previous ten years.
Looking back on the previous exchanges it seems that a few of us really focused on music that was smashing those boundaries at the expense of more traditional practitioners of jazz. I’d say great new records by everyone from Von Freeman (above) to John Hollenbeck to Matt Wilson are all in the tradition -- someone’s tradition, anyway -- and they brought me as much pleasure as any other record this year. Hell, I loved Anthony Coleman’s rather conservative spin through the music of Jelly Roll Morton on Freakish.
And while I big upped Chicago, I think there are fascinating things happening all over the country, and, of course, the globe. My beloved Chicago Reader ran a pretty good piece this week about a Thai pop singer that discusses the futility of year-end lists because there’s always more that we don’t hear. Writer Noah Berlatsky ends the piece with, “Whether or not I download that Yeah Yeah Yeahs album, the world is still going to be bigger than my list. Which is a reassuring thought.” Amen.