• Vijay Iyer: Reaching out or looking down?

There’s a lot of uninformed shit written about jazz these days, but a piece nominally about pianist Vijay Iyer published today by Seattle Weekly music blog Reverb might win the 2012 prize for idiocy (you might have seen it already—it was linked in this morning’s “Did you read?” post). Few topics bore me more than “growing the audience” for jazz, as if listeners were some kind of produce: Sometimes marketing is alleged to be to blame, while on other days I’ve heard that jazz players lack good fashion sense. Sometimes it’s the fault of musicians who don’t properly contextualize or explain what they’re doing (or of musicians who explain too much). Sometimes it’s agents who book artists in overpriced, formal venues that keep away young potential fans.