On Pitchfork And Jazz

Hey, Joe Tangari and your editors, I'm quite glad you like jazz enough to occasionally write about it at Pitchfork Media. We "jazz people" wouldn't mind significantly more, of course, but anything we can do to get the cool kids to pay attention to even some of this stuff is OK by me. But here's a question: why do you and the team never give Best New Music nominations to jazz records? I mean, your reviews are usually so positive. It's almost as if y'all want to tell people that "Hey guys, some jazz is actually still good! It belongs in the conversation with other good music!" But when it comes time to actually appointing the next big thing in music, it's like, "How could jazz possibly wear our kingmaking crown? What would that say about our brand? I'm not so sure about this."

The critics' consensus favorite jazz record of 2009, Vijay Iyer's Historicity, was given a rave review — and a 7.8 out of 10. Is some of the best jazz really only 7.8 compared to the, uh, brilliance of the recently BNM-ed Wavves or Best Coast? You write in your latest, rather positive 7.9 review today of Dual Identity, the self-titled new album of the band co-led by Rudresh Mahanthappa and Steve Lehman, that "the era of jazz stars known outside the jazz world is mostly over." But you're in a position to help change that in a serious way if you want to, and you appear to like this record about as much as I do. (Let me just make an aside to say: I Endorse This Album.) I mean, I'll take it, but dude(s), just say what you really feel sometime? [Pitchfork: Album Review: Dual Identity, Dual Identity]



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