Pinning an exact birth date on any genre is a tricky business, but 2017 has been deemed the 100th anniversary of jazz, in recognition of the first recordings released back in 1917. A century after the earliest jazz, “jass” and “jazbo” groups entered the studios, though, where does the music stand today?

Damien Chazelle’s hit musical “La La Land” depicted jazz as an art form on the verge of extinction, but the reality is much rosier. The recent successes of Robert Glasper and Kamasi Washington — as well as albums such as Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp a Butterfly” and David Bowie’s “Blackstar” — have brought a defiantly modern version of the music to audiences that would never think of stepping inside the Blue Note.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.