There’s nothing like crossing cultures to push artistic boundaries and to help you experience something different and unique. Japan has long been a creator of some of the world’s finest jazz and has many wonderful experimental jazz artists, whose work spans the entire spectrum of jazz! Listen to Japanese jazz and hear what’s possible in this as yet barely tapped musical genre!
My Swedish friend Marcus recently introduced me to some Swedish Jazz and the music of pianist Jan Johansson in particular. Jan combined Swedish folk music with jazz in a very unique style of composition and piano playing, which I find very refreshing ! Jan’s music has great power and transcends many of the traditional boundaries of jazz ! Fans of the likes of John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk will enjoy Jan’s unique approach to jazz !
I first heard Philip Glass’s music in 1989 when I was 19 and at that time I’d never heard anything like it. My girlfriend insisted on playing Einstein on the Beach while we developed film in the dark together. It certainly made the dark room interesting ! In 1992 she begged me to go and see Einstein on the Beach in Melbourne but I was too poor and too lazy to go. In hindsight I wish that I had. Since then I’ve continued to enjoy Philip Glass’s music now and then. My favourite album is Metamorphosis, which I feel is a minimalist master piece. Followed by Etudes 1-10. Einstein on the Beach is very interesting and clever but like a lot of minimalism lacks any real depth of feeling. Still, I like it. Glass has been one of the great catalysts of minimalist music and I suspect his music will continue to be listened to and to influence people for centuries to come.
John Cage is no longer with us but his legacy will remain for a very long time. John Cage had a lot to say about silence and sound and questioned the very nature of music.
More on John Cage here :