It is tempting to say that if you want to hear jazz that is not another wearying variation of hard bop but is pushing the envelope, reaching out in new and interesting directions, look beyond American shores. Tempting, but, like all generalizations, is only partly, if nevertheless substantially, true. And yes, at around the 100-year point in jazz’s evolution, conjuring new spirits out of old spells is a difficult mojo to work. But people are doing it-a case in point is The Necks, an Australian piano/keyboard trio that’s developed an enormous cult following, generating album sales in the thousands with little or no publicity.
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