Jazz Record Center

Playing Changes - Jazz for the New Century


273 pgs.
Pantheon Books, Publ.

By one of the most respected critics of jazz, an invigorating, authoritative book arguing that, far from reaching a terminus at the end of the twentieth century, the genre has embarked on a bold new evolutionary phase, exhilarating for its rich, cosmopolitan multiplicity of trends and variety of virtuoso musicians. Nate Chinen analyzes how a new generation of elders (Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Henry Threadgill, Terence Blanchard) have through their example and active mentorship effected profound changes in the soundscape of the music. He also investigates how the establishment of a pedagogical model for jazz in high schools and conservatories has been a catalyst for the music's development, as well as the rise of influential interdisciplinary jazz studies at major universities. 'Playing Changes' includes profiles of musicians such as Brad Mehldau, Steve Coleman, Jason Moran, Vijay Iyer, Esperanza Spalding and Cecile McLorin Salvant, visionaries who call all manner of orthodoxy into question.

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