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The Cross-Pollinators: Jazz Meets Indie-Rock

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Retna
Brad Mehldau, above, has interpreted songs by Radiohead. James Carter and three other musicians have released an album of Pavement covers. The Bad Plus has an indie-type fan base.

Published: November 30, 2005

When the saxophonist James Carter takes the stage at the Iridium Jazz Club tonight for a five-night run, he will be flanked by several other musicians with ties to Jazz at Lincoln Center. But as on "Gold Sounds," a recent album, they will reach past jazz's standard repertory to the songs of Pavement, the influential 1990's indie-rock band.

Retna
James Carter and three other musicians have released an album of Pavement covers.

Never mind that Mr. Carter and his colleagues had barely heard of Pavement before making the record. The mere fact of their participation is the latest wrinkle in an unlikely phenomenon: the flirtation of jazz musicians with the world, or worlds, of indie-rock.

Jazz and indie-rock, if not opposites, are distinctly unrelated; what they have most in common is a vastness that strains the terms of genre. It doesn't take much cynicism to suspect "Gold Sounds" and its label, the upstart Brown Brothers Recordings, of crossover designs. You would have to go back at least a generation to find a time when jazz claimed an audience as robust as indie-rock does today, and one as socially connected, fiercely protective and doggedly partisan. ... [MORE]

              


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