A while ago I had a chat with Vytautas Labutis
, an influential Lithuanian saxophonist, educator and, at the time, curator of Vilnius Mama Jazz Festival
. He said: "The list of players with top skills is almost endless. Today we have kids who can do amazing things on their instruments, but the world is waiting for a new Coltrane." This phrase set my mind to thinking about this nearly religious aspect of contemporary jazz reality. If He arrives, how will we know? Is there a guarantee that we will recognize his unmatched talent? How can we tell if an icon among us? Or is there any solid criteria?
I think there are quite a few artists whose musicianship can be described as deeply original, technique as exceptional, and who have created a formidable body of work. That's enough for me.
What do you think?