by carl wilson

Conference of the Nerds


A bit late, but good to see The New York Times catching up on one of the most interesting niche-corner musical developments of the year: The jazz-blog massive's amazing group effort over the summer, led by Dave Douglas and Ethan Iverson of the Bad Plus to correct the jazz historical record, by creating its own canon of significant jazz albums released from 1973 to 1989 - basically a period that typical jazz talk has shoved off the map as some sort of barren and benighted age. You can read the full list here. (Or in wiki form here.) It's by no means definitive (for instance, as someone notes in the comments, the disc shown above, one of my favourite jazz albums ever, is missing). But it provides most of the signposts needed to decode what the hell happened in this supposed Jazz Dark Ages - and a nice reminder of what blogs collectively can accomplish when they're not just snarking at (or ignoring) one another.

| Posted by zoilus on Wednesday, December 06 at 5:51 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (6)



Many thanks for highlighting this. I'll second DJA's suggestion and invite all comers to highlight their neglected or otherwise overlooked 70s/80s faves at

Will also second the Crisis nod; the nerds at Destination: Out have plans for this one....

Posted by Drew LeDrew on December 8, 2006 12:28 PM



Thanks Darcy. I missed the wiki link up there.

Posted by Half on December 8, 2006 10:01 AM



Agree with you re the Holland record. Bloody great it is too. Several of my fave jazz records are actually from the mid seventies and even the nineties ("Air Lore", Murray's "Ming", and Charles Gayle's "Touchin' on Trane" to name a few), so it's nice to see someone else is championing that era as well.

Posted by Chris on December 7, 2006 5:08 AM




That's what the wiki is for!

I must confess, I've never even heard of Mike Westbrook, but if you think his music deserves notice, by all means add the record, and make a case for it in the "discussion" section.

Nobody's list was intended to be canonical, least of all mine, which is just a bunch of stuff I happened to have listened to a lot. But I think we all recognize the superiority of the hive-mind approach -- hence the wiki.

Posted by DJA on December 7, 2006 5:01 AM



wow. one of the specialest of specialest albums for me. made my heart leap to see it unscroll on the page this evening. wish it could've been accompanied by a handscribbled note in scratchy brown ink on paper.

conference of the birds.

Posted by spitz on December 7, 2006 2:07 AM



I started listening to jazz pretty exclusively in the seventies so this is pretty familiar territory. Nonetheless, there are tons of great records I don't see here from Roscoe Mitchell solo horns to some of the British innovators, (especially since they seem to like big bands, I would certainly add Mike Westbrook's Metropolis at the very least). My favourite Ornette disc of all time, Crisis, isn't here either. Oh well, I guess that's what lists are for.

Posted by Half on December 6, 2006 10:57 PM




Zoilus by Carl Wilson