04/12/13 By Nate Chinen
The jazz generation gap (excerpt)
Depending on whom you ask, today’s young musicians are either overburdened by the jazz tradition, in foolish rebellion against it, or blithely ignorant of its depth and beauty. Of course the truth isn’t that clear-cut, and varies case by case. I’ll simply point out that in my experience, it’s the rare artist who delivers something compelling and vital without first figuring out his or her relationship to the continuum. The most rewarding musical experience of Winter Jazzfest, for me, was a prickly-quiet collective improvisation by bassist Eric Revis, pianist Kris Davis and drummer Andrew Cyrille—musicians respectively in their 40s, 30s and 70s. The music was entangled with an avant-garde tradition stretching back to Andrew Hill and Cecil Taylor in the ’60s, but also flush with a sense of discovery that seemed, dare I say, essentially youthful.