Is Jacob Collier a jazz musician?


There will never be another Miles Davis but, if in the last 60 years someone could be a contender for that crown, it must surely be Jacob Collier?
Miles was someone who represented Jazz - a standard bearer, universally respected, larger than life, a force of nature able to get noticed in a media that doesn't even value music, let alone jazz.

Is Jacob Collier the new Miles Davis?


Jazz is desperate for Jacob Collier to take that role but he firmly rejects it. He is beyond genre. He emphatically said "I didn't want to be Jazz Jacob - or rock Jacob, or pop Jacob".
No matter how many aging jazz musicians are willing it, it won't happen. Herbie Hancock, another jazz giant, is one of Jacob's mentors but even he left jazz in the 70's for Fusion (and to accidentally lay down the blueprint for Hip Hop).
Jacob is a true genius on the Miles Davis level, arguably a greater genius, leaving even him and Herbie in his shade with his multi instrumentalism.

Is Jacob Collier really THAT good? Part 1


Short answer, yes.
Jacob has that next level talent - he is so far ahead he is like an alien who has just landed. This was a quality all the greats had - like Hendrix. He seemed to come from nowhere and landed fully formed. He's technicolour and the rest of us are B&W.
Like Hendrix he is also a force of nature on stage, a great performer who can take an audience on a journey with him.

Is Jacob Collier really THAT good? Part 2 - a critique


Maybe not.
The first thing I can criticise about Jacob - his dress sense! The whole boy in the pyjamas thing is, well, weird!
But unfortunately that's not his only shortcoming.
I think he has a 'plummy' voice. He is not blessed with the gift of natural tone; in the same way that Lionel Ritchie, Bublé, Ed Sheeran, or any other number of singers are. A voice that is intrinsically pleasing you just love hearing it for its own sake. Hey, that hasn't stopped him making the out of this world vocal arrangements that won him Grammys!
Will he ever break through to mainstream recognition? OK, who can these days, but in Jacob's case he has no GREAT song. Ed Sheeran should write him one. Having said that I do like his tune The Sun Is In Your Eyes.
To be truly great you need to spawn a movement. The Sex Pistols 'Never mind the Bollocks' was a great album, it didn't deserve to spawn the Punk movement but it did because it was easy to emulate.
Jacob, on the other hand is too clever to spawn a movement - having no peers means no one can jump on your bandwagon and copy you!

Conclusion


So Jacob, keep doing what you're doing and steer clear of jazz - it is more likely to hold you back than lift you up.
The same advice is true for all you other budding musicians out there!
Click this link for further reading on how no one listens to Jazz anyway www.bennysutton.com
Date: May 2022 last updated May 2022
Genre: blog fusion jazz       Benny Sutton
Keywords: jacob collier jazz musician blog fusion