“Everyone knows vinyl has made a vigorous comeback, enjoying double-digit advances in sales nearly every year of the last decade. But more recently, a barely acknowledged, and even less likely, revival has taken place: for jazz.
Long viewed as “difficult” to listen to and poisonous to market, jazz has stealthily inched its way back up the charts, aided in key part by both star power and some clever acts of genre-blending.
The spike began back in September 2014, when Tony Bennett hitched his brand to Lady Gaga’s for their joint album Cheek to Cheek. Their tandem collection of snazzy standards opened in the premiere spot on the Billboard 200, and went on to sell more than 1million copies. Six months later, Kendrick Lamar issued To Pimp a Butterfly, an unprecedented blend of avant-jazz, rap, and funk which echoed Bennett and Gaga’s “cheeky” #1 debut. It went on to become, perhaps, the most critically acclaimed album of its year.“