Though it's true that jazz thrives on forward-looking innovation, the best progress comes from artists who are as aware of their predecessors as their peers. In the eleven years since its inception, the Berlin-based collective Jazzanova has pushed the envelope as often as it has licked it and sent love letters to its influences. The six-man crew operates under the basic premise that electronic music offers the best modern means of interpreting jazz. With that approach as its lodestar, Jazzanova branches off into nearly every possible vector that jazz — music based on improvisation, harmony, and melody — can explore, from Brazilian boogaloo to broken beat, and from hip-hop to house. Bringing fellow groove-hounds under its Sonar Kollectiv label, Jazzanova has released a slew of classic twelve-inches, collaborated with jazz greats like Roy Ayers and Ursula Rucker, and remixed MJ Cole, Calexico, 4Hero, and plenty more. Forever dance-friendly and never short on inventiveness, this musical force carries the torch — and lights the way — for the true spirit of jazz.


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