Various Artists

What Is Jazz? 1991

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This Knitting Factory sampler features three groups operating far removed from either current extreme. The Semantics, who are featured on three of the 10 cuts, blend punk, funk, rock and improvisational material with an outside edge. The Thomas Chapin trio (two cuts) are also somewhere within the converging world of the jazz and contemporary classical avant-garde, as well as free-form pop. The Jazz Passengers are the first band since Defunkt with a genuine understanding of how to blend (rather than merge or lump together) outside and inside musical styles. Their five numbers, as well as the other selections, are music for those actively seeking alternatives and challenges to any and all current scenes.

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