There's no accounting for tastes, they say. But then again, you must have taste to begin with, I say!

Since the end of the eighties, beginning of the nineties there is a subculture, called Acid Jazz. This is made up of several music styles, varying from jazz to funk to hiphop to house -- as long as it got soul. Acid Jazz, or as I call it, JazzDance, is synergy in full effect: the sum of the parts (jazz, hiphop, disco, soul, funk, pop) is bigger than the whole.
The group Incognito is the ultimate example. On this page you can read more about Incognito.

As I mentioned before Hip Hop is part of what is Acid Jazz. Recently a very good hip hop CD was released: Michael Franti & Spearhead's Stay Human. This is already the third studio CD of this former member of The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprecy and it is a concept album. This sounds terribly 70s, but the content is incredibly solid and the music is very, very funky.
The message of this CD is:

It goes without saying it chronicles the current situation in the USA, where governmental policy is getting more and more right wing since George W. Bush was appointed president.
Buy this CD! The booklet tells you the whole story ... read it and weep.
I don't think that Brother Soulshine will be the only one who will "revolt" against the regime of Dubya. I certainly hope not.

The fact that music is more and more going underground is best measured by the enormous popularity of Napster and comparable mp3 databases. I personally think this is a very good and healthy development.
My opinion is being shared by someone from the music business, namely Janis Ian, the singer-songwriter you may know from, for instance, At Seventeen. She wrote a most charming essay about this phenomenon.
What worries me more is the ongoing commercialization of the music trade, which is leading to further trivializing this form of art.

Check back soon for a new column.

Some Links (or actually they are rights ...)

Michael Franti & Spearhead


New Cool Collective

Janis Ian

© René Wirtz 2000 - 2006