Disappearing Jazz?

After years of collecting all types of music except jazz and big band I'm now playing catchup.  Looking at the recordings of Ruby Braff (trumpet), Dick Hyman (piano) Roland Hanna (piano). Art Tatum (piano), Claude Bolling even the great vocalist Sarah Vaughan I find the majority of their catalog is only available used on vinyl.  There are many other names I could have included in this list - I'm gradually getting to them (Thelonious Sphere Monk, etc ).

Beyond the lack of availability what alarms me as a new collector of this genre is that there doesn't appear to be musicians to take the place of these giants.  Not to say there are no more Big Bands or jazz pianists BUT how many new artists have the hundreds of recordings these musicians created?

Is jazz disappearing?  Will streaming services eventually include recordings only available on LP? 

Feel free to offer any suggestions for other artists to collect in the traditional jazz / big band category.  I also have collected Miles, Coltrane and Bill Evans though just starting to dive into Ellington.

Hoping to find this music soon.

Thanks for your thoughts.



There is tons of jazz out there on CD and streaming services. Some (but not all) of it requires stretching one’s tastes. That’s not easy to do in middle age and beyond -- but it can bring a lot of musical pleasure, and I think it’s got to help the brain stay younger.

But even without too much stretching, consider Ron Carter, the most recorded jazz bassist ever -- about 2300 recordings (including some with Miles) and still going strong at 85. A fabulous bassist, with a solid, beautiful tone and who plays just the notes that sound great and interesting, and nothing more. There is a PBS American Masters show about him, well worth watching. And if you want to hear his music, just look on any streaming service or YouTube or probably even Wikipedia to find albums to try. Among other things, I like his Chesky album with Rosa Passos.

For older (mostly dead) singers, consider adding Betty Carter, Carmen McRae, Abbey Lincoln, and Shirley Horn to your list. For newer (mostly living) singers, try Dave Tull, Champian Fulton, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Tierney Sutton.

If you really want to get adventurous and you have an uninterrupted hour to spend, listen to The Adornment of Time by Tyshawn Sorey and Marilyn Crispell, both incredible artists. I found the time and effort amply rewarded.

Jazz is not disappearing. It is progressing.

If demand for jazz is reducing, so will be supply of new jazz.

The few modern artists I have heard are not a match for the greats from the 50s thru the 70s.

Like many, for me most jazz is noodling (thank you FZ).

**** Jazz is not disappearing. It is progressing. ****

Exactly! Although, I might change “progressing” to “evolving”. Whether it is progress or not can be very subjective. Jazz WILL evolve as this is the nature of the “beast”. It always builds on what came before stylistically; hence my question to the OP as to what he considers “traditional” Jazz. Searching for examples of traditional Jazz performed (recorded) in the present will surely disappoint, as the best examples of traditional Jazz are almost always from the past. The best Jazz from the present will be different stylistically; an evolution of the traditional.

**** Like many, for me most jazz is noodling (thank you FZ). ****

Noodling?! Good Jazz (obviously, like any genre, not all is good) is an incredible musical feat. Spontaneous composition (improvisation) of the highest order.


WBGO in Newark NJ is all jazz, listener supported no ads.  An occasional fund raiser.

It is 88.3 on the FM dial if you're close enough (the transmitter is in Times Square NYC).






The Japanese jazz scene is alive and well. And amazing. Check out Hiromi - Alive. Or anything by Junko Onishi.