“Jazz doesn’t sound like jazz anymore.” That’s the criticism most often leveled at the modern jazz scene. It’s also the reason why the scene is as exciting as it’s ever been. Every day, a new album hits the shelves that takes a shared language in new directions, creating combinations of sounds never previously given voice. Still, that criticism isn’t entirely accurate: Traditional jazz is still there, it’s just hidden beneath tempos that sometimes choose not to swing, and melodic development that’s a little different from what you might hear at NYC’s Village Vanguard. You’ve just got to listen closely for it. Here are 10 new releases that proudly straddle the old and new sounds of jazz.
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