This upcoming show is previewed:
Ken Vandermark, Tim Daisy â€” USC School of Music Recital Hall: Tuesday, July 3
In a sense, jazz music has been dumbed down by being academically intellectualized â€” 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 innovationâ€™s sake co-existing with tradition for traditionâ€™s sake â€” and either is equally boring. Make no mistake â€” thereâ€™s plenty of theory involved in avant-garde jazz, especially improvisational avant-garde jazz â€” 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-gardeâ€™s musicians get lost trying to reinterpret jazz in a â€œpost-modern context,â€ the geniuses remember that the most excitement and greatest joy isnâ€™t in the destination; the reward comes from the adventure â€” the thrill of the hunt, if you will.