Nu jazz is a genre that emerged in the late 1990s as a fusion of jazz, electronic music, and various other genres. It is characterized by its experimental and innovative approach to jazz, incorporating elements of funk, soul, hip-hop, and electronic music. The genre's origins can be traced back to the acid jazz movement of the 1980s and early 1990s, which combined jazz improvisation with dance-oriented beats.
One of the key characteristics of nu jazz is its use of electronic instruments and production techniques. Artists often incorporate synthesizers, drum machines, and samples into their compositions to create a more contemporary sound. This blending of traditional jazz instrumentation with electronic elements gives nu jazz a distinctive and modern feel.
Over time, nu jazz has evolved and diversified, incorporating influences from various musical traditions around the world. Artists have experimented with different rhythms, harmonies, and textures to push the boundaries of the genre. This evolution has led to subgenres such as broken beat, future jazz, and electro-jazz.
Several significant artists have made notable contributions to the nu jazz genre. One such artist is St Germain, whose album "Tourist" released in 2000 became a landmark release for nu jazz. The album seamlessly blended traditional jazz instrumentation with electronic beats and samples, creating a refreshing sound that appealed to both jazz purists and fans of electronic music.
Another influential figure in nu jazz is The Cinematic Orchestra. Their album "Every Day" released in 2002 showcased their unique blend of live instrumentation with electronic production techniques. The album received critical acclaim for its atmospheric soundscapes and intricate compositions.
The impact of nu jazz on the global music scene cannot be understated.