Aug 21, 2012 Features
What are the points of demarcation for the era of jazz that we love and write about here on Jazz Collector? When people ask me about the jazz I love, I generally characterize it as the period from around 1945 to 1964 or 1965. Not that there hasn’t been great jazz — and great jazz records — before or after that period, but those are the years I use to describe the era of jazz I collect and love. The 1945 starting point is pretty clear — the birth of bebop and the first bebop recordings. But what about my arbitrary end point point of 1964/1965? I was thinking about that today and three things came to mind: 1. A Love Supreme was recorded in 1964 and in some ways, that’s the end of the era for me. After that Coltrane went way avant garde and his recordings started to veer away from music I could relate to. To me, A Love Supreme kind of feels like a coda musically to the period that started with Bird and Diz and the other boppers; 2. Blue Note was sold to Liberty in 1965. Talk about the end of an era! The third reason hadn’t occurred to me until now, but I think it has to do with The Beatles and the dramatic changes taking place in pop and rock music. The jazz guys started thinking they had to cross over to make money and be relevant and the music began shifting as well. I look at the DownBeat covers from the late 1960s and by then pop music had even usurped jazz in the industry’s leading jazz magazine. Anyway, it was something I was thinking about while fishing on the lake today and I was curious what others think. Others?