Why Jazz Isn’t Cool Anymore

Singer, songrwriter and bass player Meshell Ndegeocello explained it to me in an in-depth interview. My feature about her new album „The Omnichord Real Book“ just went live over at ZEIT Online.

Jazz isn’t cool anymore, because the word has turned into a mere marketing slogan. Nedegeocello refers to musician Nicholas Payton, who published a scathing blog article in 2011: On Why Jazz Isn’t Cool Anymore.

Ndegeocello’s new album surely will not satisfy the jazz genre police. In fact, they’ve always struggled with her music. She’s been mixing jazz with influences from funk, soul, hip-hop and poetry.

For 30 years, she’s been talking about the hot topics of the day: Racism, misogyny, queerness. On „The Omnichord Real Book“, she adds Afrofuturism to her agenda. She doesn’t want to leave this powerful concept to the mainstream.

This is my first feature for ZEIT Online. They’re one of Germany’s top three news sites, and I am now working as a freelance writer for their culture department.

As a suscriber, you can read my feature here (paywall, in German).

16 June 2023