Tag Archives: Miles Davis

New jazz conceptions

We have multiple varieties of jazz, or jazz-influenced styles of improvisation, and it would nice to be able to distinguish them more clearly. Because what you call “jazz” in Brazil, say, is different from what we call jazz in the US, and not even in the same ballpark as what they call jazz in Europe.

There are people in different parts labeling jazz music by the name of their country, e.g.: “Bolivian Jazz” (jazz boliviano). Such new jazz conception hardly makes sense… Bolivian music + jazz.. It is something that happens in every country in the world. Bolivian jazz, argentinian jazz, brazilian jazz, european jazz, german jazz, etc. But still there are lots of bands that make music inspired by elements of jazz music, but we cannot call it necesarily jazz. It is a label that has stayed through years not only in my country but in many countries in the world.

Many musical forms and colors have emerged and evolved, but some people still call it jazz, just because it has been influenced by it or it has used jazz elements.

Jazz (traditional US jazz) has a lot more things going on than the musical aspects. Non-musical aspects,, such as feeling, meaning, authenticity and more things that cannot be properly described, but only living the experience of Jazz, live and direct.

Anyways today, jazz has evolved so much, and also has been relocated and dispersed throughout the world thanks to music industry, that the initial meaning and concept has changed. Cultures are dynamic, so we can say that jazz today has adopted different meaning and interpretations.

But we still call it Jazz, but I think a new word is needed. Maybe not. But Jazz today is a label that is still used for economical reasons (music labels and recording industries need to sell that music with some label), and also people cannot find another word. Jazz is ok.

Maybe Jazz is more than music. It is a creative attitude, freedom, and innovation. As Miles Davis once said: “The only tradition that Jazz must have is innovation”.