Ken Vandermark, Tim Daisy at the USC School of Music Recital Hall

This upcoming show is previewed:

Ken Vandermark, Tim Daisy — USC School of Music Recital Hall: Tuesday, July 3

In a sense, jazz music has been dumbed down by being academically intellectualized — the emphasis (or over-emphasis, perhaps) on theory has stagnated creation and innovation, yielding compositions that are either painfully intellectual academic headaches or abhorrently insipid elevator-music butt-jazz. What you essentially have is innovation for innovation’s sake co-existing with tradition for tradition’s sake — and either is equally boring. Make no mistake — there’s plenty of theory involved in avant-garde jazz, especially improvisational avant-garde jazz — but avant-garde jazz, and free jazz especially, is the punk rock of jazz music: loud, aggressive, dissonant and full of sound and fury. And while some avant-garde’s musicians get lost trying to reinterpret jazz in a “post-modern context,” the geniuses remember that the most excitement and greatest joy isn’t in the destination; the reward comes from the adventure — the thrill of the hunt, if you will.