"I feel like there are more reasons to be excited about improvised music today than at any time during my 41 years on the planet," the jazz critic Nate Chinen tells Rolling Stone . He has a point, and you don't need to be a diehard fan of the genre to appreciate it. Crossover stars such as Kamasi Washington and Esperanza Spalding are receiving generous mainstream attention, alongside innovators like pianist Vijay Iyer and guitarist Mary Halvorson. Meanwhile, Thundercat, Robert Glasper, Terrace Martin, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah and others are seamlessly fusing hip-hop, R&B and electronica with their jazz mastery, introducing elements of a century-old art form to new audiences. And five nights a week on national television, Late Show bandleader Jon Batiste showcases his ebullient New Orleans spirit alongside Stephen Colbert. In short, the contemporary jazz scene is bursting with promise — but how did we get here? See Also Review: Kamasi Washington’s New ‘Heaven and Earth’ is Another Sprawling, Style-Hopping Epic Review: Jazz’s New-School Stars Band Together on R+R=Now’s ‘Collagically Speaking’ See Also The Beatles in India: 16 Things You Didn’t Know High Goods: Celebrities in the Weed Business Chinen's forthcoming book Playing Changes: Jazz for the New… Read full this story
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