Friday, June 8, 2012

Disperse- It's Diverted!

I haven't asked the members of Diverse about the motives behind their recent punk performance at Club Mustache.  The embedded video offers insights into the atmosphere of the unlikely evening.

As someone who developed a love of jazz and punk simultaneously, the concept of successfully merging the two forms has long intrigued me.  I'm not the only one.  I once shared a moment with Black Flag's Greg Ginn when we discovered our mutual love of Sonny Rollins.  Yet as Ginn's efforts have indicated, most attempts to combine punk's aggression with the innate artfulness of jazz are unsatisfying.  A more promising (and potentially lucrative) proposition occurs when hip hop and jazz artists with nihilistic attitudes collaborate.

Traditionalists might wonder why Kansas City's premier young jazz act would opt to play punk.  I'd counter by suggesting that it's precisely that adventurous spirit and willingness to take risks that make Diverse notable. In 2012, jazz can't have too many daring artists like Ambrose Akinmusire, Robert Glasper, Lionel Loueke and Jason Moran.  Diverted offers further confirmation that Ben Leifer, Hermon Mehari, Dominique Sanders and Brad Williams are similarly fearless musicians.


Gary said...

By the way in this week's Pitch the Young Arts Ambassadors' rep this week commented on the state of Kansas City's jazz community. I believe he's a kindred spirit with you, Bill B.

Dean Minderman said...

You're right about there not being a whole lot of music that successfully combines jazz with punk-style aggression, but I think some of the things John Zorn did along those lines worked pretty well.

I also like a good bit of what I've heard from the Dead Kenny Gs, who use some thrash beats, heavy riffs, and punk-style singing/shouting from drummer Mike Dillon.

Happy In Bag said...

Could you give me a link, Gary? I'm intrigued but I can't find the piece in print or online.

Zorn is a notable exception, Dean. Good call. Kansas Citians are lucky to have Dillon around much of the time.

Gary said...
Money quote: "Kansas City needs …" To re-embrace jazz. We are known for it, yet I fear it is leaving our community, and fewer and fewer venues seem to offer it on a regular basis.