Jazz is now 100 years old, a venerable American institution predicated on the unpredictable. But recent signs-ranging from Ken Burns's documentary Jazz: A History of America's Music to the dominance, in terms of sales, of reissues over new recordings-have made many question whether jazz's past has now become more important than its future, or whether jazz has any future at all. In this book, composed entirely via e-mail, 10 leading jazz critics take on the various issues surrounding jazz's future — the dominance of mainstream jazz, its spread around the world, the difficulty of making a living playing it, the growth of repertory jazz, the dearth of interest among young African Americans, the paradoxically backward-looking nature of the avant-garde, and many others. Their conclusions are as surprising, witty, and edgy as the music itself.
The Future of Jazz