(K. Brent Tomer),
“JAZZ isn’t dead,’’ Frank Zappa once said, “it just smells funny.” If he were around today, Zappa might point to the music of a London-based trio, The Comet Is Coming, with its curious scent. At the Montreal International Jazz Festival earlier this month, the fiery saxophone of Shabaka Hutchings, Dan Leavers’s pulsating synthesiser and Maxwell Hallett’s arresting percussion dazzled an audience with its mash-up of jazz and cosmic sounds. Halfway through the show, some entranced listeners rose from their seats and danced to a tune perfect for a rave. The trio calls its music “apocalyptic space funk”. More important, Mr Leavers adds, is the group’s goal: like a comet it “travels through distant galaxies exploring musical concepts”.
Jazz is evolving with the help of a new breed of musicians who are creating an innovative sound that challenges convention and defies categorisation. After originating from the streets and clubs of New Orleans in the late 1800s, the art form produced subgenres such as Dixieland, Afro-Cuban jazz, swing and bebop. Along the way, some purists scolded…Continue reading