Growing up (hmm...I'm only 18 now, but still...) , I listened more or less solely to jazz. I sat around after elementary school and listened to my father's vinyl copies of Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, John MacGlaughlin, Ravi Shenkar, Herbie Hancock, and Miles Davis.

I still love that music very much, and although there has been some underground advancement in the world of jazz, by musicians like Pat Metheny, Medeski, Martin and Wood, King Crimson and the Brecker Brothers, i have found that the music that most similarly follows jazz agression, technique, and complexity on a mainstream level is some of the heaviest, most agressive music out on the market.

Bands such as System of a Down, who incorporates operatic and classical influence into their music, Rage Against the Machine, whose guitar player Tom Morello has played studio guitar for everyone from Jimmy Page to Class of '99, Soundgarden, whose deep lyrics and super-complex time signatures and guitar tunings are without equal, and especially Tool, who play possibly the most complex music on the mainstream market. It's odd for me, to think that possibly the most talented musicians in rock and roll today also must bear the brunt of the elder generation's attack on modern music. This attack to me seems highly misdirected. If one wants to complain about modern crappy music, why not attack bands like Third Eye Blind, who use the same repetative chord changes in every song, or the Pop-punk explosion bands like Blink 182, NOFX, and MXPX, who all sound the same and seem to have all the same message, if we could only deduce what it was. I admit that there is a lot of non-musicianship crap in the hardcore market as well, but one must take the good with the bad in all things, yes?
Jazz isn't about intensity or aggression, and while technique is important I don't believe jazz can be boiled down to it. Jazz is comprised of two things:



Let's examine where Miles, Coltrane, Sonny, Jelly Roll Morton, et al really came into their own. While every single one of these gentlemen were or are fantastic instrumentalists, they are known for variations on themes already established (Someday My Prince Will Come, Greensleeves), experimentations in structure (Kind Of Blue, A Love Supreme) and then the experimentations which featured the total disregard of structure (Ravi Shankar, anything from Miles' last five years.)

It is of my opinion (which while practiced, educated and experienced is just an opinion and should be taken as such) that jazz is about structure, the same way classical music is, at its very foundation, about structure. As such, I do not believe that what we call hard core is the new jazz.

While Soundgarden may use time signatures that aren't divisible by two, that hardly constitutes them being super-complex. Complex meters and figures and the ability to perform them does not delineate an artist as a genre unto themselves, nor does it necessarily lend validation to the product. Rage is aggressive but they aren't really doing anything new or reshaping an old form. Lyrics are important to all good songwriting but words with deep meaning should hardly be associated with jazz; take a look at most jazz lyrics and you'll discover very little introspection. It happens, but its rare.

There has been an influx of excellent music which almost entirely owes its roots to either jazz or classical, and its what I like to call symphonic rock and roll. Radiohead and Tool are both in this group, and they earned their places there:
  • Radiohead is constantly utilizing forms, meters and modulations which positively reek of classical music. Paranoid Android is a perfect example: It has the classic A-B-A2 sonata form, with A2 being the fully developed line of A and B acting (both structurally and modally) as the development. Treefingers features modal composition. Anyone Can Play Guitar features both canonic motion and chromatic tendency.
  • Tool is once again a classical structure bandit. Sober is built on a jazz structure. (A-B-A-B-C-B-A) Each Tool album could be categorized as a song cycle. Aenima features all the elements of a symphony but in a single movement. Of course, A Perfect Circle is quite similar.

It's also important to remember that these are not the only examples of symphonic rock but the ones I have off the top of my head.

In conclusion, the "new jazz" or "new classical" will be music approached from a compositional standpoint with thought given to structure, harmonic progression, and development.
Expanding upon Beltane's and responding to nocodeforparanoia's writeups, jazz is a musical genre like any other. It is comprised of structures, techniques and instruments. It's not just about complexity, and just because a musical piece is complex does not mean it is jazz. Jazz evolved at the onset of the Harlem Renaissance, coalescing in the murky nights of New Orleans, drawing upon Appalachian, folk, classical European, African tribal traditions, and Creole among other things before exporting itself and becoming a cultural marker for African-Americans. Jazz is an existing, definite genre.

The claim of hardcore becoming the New Jazz is a dangerous generalization since hardcore and jazz are separately existing genres, both with their own cultures and styles. Even within both genres, there are multiple schools of thought as to the theory and purpose of their existence. Hardcore bands range from Hatebreed to Boy Sets Fire to The Refused, all varying in lyrical subject, purpose, and musical style and complexity. Just because a hardcore band experiments or plays in awkward tunings or time signatures does not make them jazz.

The importance of lyrics in a song is a difficult subject to approach. It is up to the listener to determine the intent of the composer. It is unfair to listen to a piece with "poor" lyrics, label it crappy music, and tell all your friends when the composer had no intention of the lyrics being something meaningful. In fact, a number of jazz pieces are lacking in lyrical depth but that's ok because the voice as an instrument is what's important. Likewise, some bands prefer the music to be the vessel for the lyrics; it's the meaning of the words that matters.

In conclusion, hardcore and jazz have evolved as two separate entities with defined attributes. If you're looking for new jazz, I would look to the experimental and progressive jazzmen that dabbled in fusion or acid jazz or the emerging European style, the European.

http://www.encyclopedia.com/html/section/jazz_RecentTrends.asp Where I got the info on fusion, acid, and the European

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