New insights on that old conundrum – is it jazz?

Dan Nicholls (Picture Scott Macmillan)

Dan Nicholls (Picture Scott Macmillan)

Pianist and composer Dan Nicholls has a new album out on the Loop label, called Ruins. In the course of a rewarding email back and forth, I asked Dan if he considered his music to be comfortably labelled “jazz”.

Here is his response:

“I find the word ‘jazz’ more inhibiting than it is useful personally, as I have no real feeling of ownership of the actual word, but rather some of the music that it refers to. I think that using a word like ‘jazz’, which ideally symbolises a democratic and peerless movement with many diverse influences, but more often than not is used as a banner for a ‘style’ that people believe they ’own’ and know the rules of, triggers a lot of negative associations in the minds of listeners. The music that we are referring to can all to often be presented in a very confusing and ill-conceived way – the musical content and manner of the performers being aloof and ‘high-art’ but the setting and presentation being more underground and down to earth.” 

Read the full interview here.

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