Earlier this year, Take Five presented "The First Five: One Man's Introduction To Jazz." That feature saw NPR Arts editor Tom Cole talking about his personal introduction to the art. One day, he walked into a Washington, D.C. record shop and asked a clerk to pick out five great jazz albums to take home. Five LPs later, he was hooked.
That music was phenomenal, of course, but it was all recorded decades ago. Jazz today is full of vital, fresh artists who are honoring that history by making personal, original music. Which got us at NPR Music thinking: if someone came to one of us asking for an introduction to the jazz of today, which five records would we pull off our shelves?
So for NPR's A Blog Supreme, we asked seven young jazz fans — none older than 24 — to write their introductions to modern jazz. Considered together, they run five promising jazz Web sites: Search and Restore, a live jazz information hub for New York City; Nextbop, a site with music and profiles of exciting new artists; RVAJazz, which tracks the burgeoning creative music scene in Richmond, Va.; Lubricity, a jazz blog penned by a historian in training; and AccuJazz, "the future of jazz radio." These folks represent the jazz audience of the future — so who better to tell us about Jazz Now?
Below are highlights from our guest contributors. All of it is from the last 10 years, and all of it represents the many different, uncompromising directions that jazz is headed. If you're already hooked on the jazz of the present, wonderful! We'd love to hear your lists in the comments, or on your own Web sites. If you're just getting started, welcome: here's some great music.