In the early 90s (how long ago it seems!) Jazz music was in the grip of a dictatorship: the Jazz Police were on patrol, conducting raids and dispensing summary justice on any music that sounded even remotely post-1967, non-blues-based or - lord help us all! - electrified. Little did they know that one man had a vision of huge scope for Jazz, matched in proportion by his sheer nerve. Bugge Wesseltoft burst free from the shackles of this dictatorial system with a brand new project he had the daring to call a "New Conception of Jazz". And for 10 years this project burned across the landscape of Jazz, issuing a call to arms that many followed. And the rest, as they say is history: The freedom of Jazz was restored ...
OK, this is a flippant simplification of the whole situation; but there is no denying that Bugge Wesseltoft's New Conception of Jazz made a huge impact when its first eponymous Jazzland release came in 1996. Fearless hybridizing, experimentation, and inventiveness were the key elements of this project, giving Bugge and his collaborators, as Samuel Beckett might have said, "a license to fail". However, failure wasn't on the agenda, because another element was also present: accessibility. This was music that was radical in its intent, yet did not require explanation or dogma to make it listenable. Melody and harmony were ever-present, accessible grooves (and not just 4-to-the-floor, either) drove much of it along, and the spirit was generous. Even humour was welcomed (think of "(Come On Buddy-You Got) Green Light" from "Sharing") This was Jazz for the people.
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