Jazz gets its 15 minutes of fame every couple of years, and it isn't always pretty. Last month, jazz was thrust into the headlines because angry 13 year-old girls had never heard of Esperanza Spalding.
Why should they heard of her? She's Joe Lovano's bass player.
But she's also an up-and-coming crossover star in jazz, a solo artist with sinuous tunes, an elastic voice, and a following among folks—including President Obama—who like soulfully smart jazz. And, after being nominated by the Recording Academy for "Best New Artist," she was the upset winner over Drake, Florence & the Machine, Mumford & Sons, and—oh, yeah—Justin Bieber. Hence the derision of a generation of girls named Brittany.
Read my reaction to this, which includes reflections on the treacle of Glee and the stunning Arcade Fire victory in the new Jazz Today column The Blessing and the Curse of the Grammys on PopMatters.