I occasionally experienced
Last night's Snuff Jazz recital was doubly intense. Guest artist Brian Haas, keyboardist of the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, echoed Southerland's sound effect on a melodica.
I now know how to manage the onset of vertigo, so the combined effort of Southerland and Haas hardly phased me. They did inspire, however, thoughts about the relationship between age and music, especially in terms of jazz.
I'd spend the previous night listening to the incredible Deborah Brown. (Here's the Star's review.) About 150 people caught all or part of Brown's performance. Their median age was a relatively youthful 45. The median age of the audience of four-dozen at the Record Bar on Sunday was an even more encouraging 30.
I'm constantly wringing my hands about what will become of jazz once the original fans of artists ranging from Stan Kenton to the Crusaders succumb to old age.
Kansas City is loaded with scores of promising young jazz musicians, yet it's not uncommon for them to play for small audiences consisting of people three times their age. The jazz kids even have a hard time convincing their friends and romantic interests to attend their gigs.
That's why I invest so much hope in acts like Haas' Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey and in the artist I call The One. I also wholeheartedly approve of the crossover attempts of The Bad Plus, Vijay Iyer and Brad Mehldau. The efforts of Kansas City-based forward thinkers like Hermon Mehari and Mark Lowrey are even better.
If innovative projects like Black Friday don't succeed, I'm afraid that jazz faces a truly nightmarish future.
(Original image of Brian Haas and Snuff Jazz by Plastic Sax.)