The question of whether classic period jazz from the 50s and 60s is better than contemporary jazz is one that is widely debated among jazz enthusiasts. While some argue that the music produced during the classic period is superior due to its authenticity, others maintain that contemporary jazz is just as innovative and creative.
According to renowned jazz historian Ted Gioia, the classic period of jazz in the 50s and 60s was marked by the emergence of several significant figures, such as Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Bill Evans. These musicians created some of the most enduring works of the genre, including Davis' "Kind of Blue" and Coltrane's "A Love Supreme." The classic period is characterized by a distinct sound that is heavily influenced by blues and swing music.
On the other hand, contemporary jazz has seen a fusion of different musical styles, including rock, hip-hop, and electronic music. This fusion has led to the creation of new sub-genres such as acid jazz, jazz-funk, and jazz-hop. Artists such as Kamasi Washington and Robert Glasper have gained popularity in recent years, pushing the boundaries of what jazz can be.
While some argue that classic jazz is superior due to its historical significance and cultural impact, others point out that contemporary jazz is just as innovative and creative. It is essential to note that there is no objective way to determine which era of jazz is superior, as personal taste and subjective opinion play a significant role in determining one's preferences.
In conclusion, the question of whether classic period jazz from the 50s and 60s is better than contemporary jazz is one that cannot be answered definitively. Both eras have produced outstanding works that have shaped the course of jazz music. It is up to the individual listener to decide which style resonates with them the most.