Over the past couple of decades, jazz festivals that aren’t really jazz festivals but pop music festivals with some jazz elements have become pretty popular. Fort Worth actually has its very own: Jazz By the Boulevard. Good to see that some artists whose music is technically accomplished and –– dare we say? –– jazzy get some face time in front of hipsters (a.k.a. a demographic whose members regularly purchase recorded music). Of course, to get the CD-buying hipsters in the seats, festival organizers’ve got to put a few indie-rock bands on the stage. (Telegraph Canyon, The Orbans, and Rabbit’s Got the Gun are three decidedly indie-rock bands that played this past year’s Jazz By the Boulevard.) I guess we can call jazz-festival jazz “multi-culty jazz” –– lots of white faces in the mix (Oz Noy, Garaj Mahal, Norah Jones). Is there some connection between the predominantly white genre of indie rock and multi-culty jazz-festival jazz? Sue me for even making the suggestion, I know. But we can all agree that jazz that skewers toward straight-ahead more often than not (Mehldau, Matthew Ship, Tin Hat) isn’t gonna keep festivalgoers’ attention for long. You need some pop. You need some funk. You need some Soulive. You need some Scofield. You need some Galactic.


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