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la times: is jazz dead?


To access the Highland Park recording studio Linear Labs, you have to walk through a combination record store and hair salon and cross a hallway. Behind a heavy, soundproof door, you’ll likely find producer, soundtrack composer and sharp-dressed businessman Adrian Younge, who oversaw “Jazz Is Dead,” a collection of new music by a groove-oriented roster of intercontinental experts including Roy Ayers, Marcos Valle, Azymuth, Gary Bartz and Brian Jackson.

Alongside his longtime collaborator Ali Shaheed Muhammad (best known as a member of A Tribe Called Quest), Younge has built the analog recording studio of his dreams. The pair, who record and tour as the Midnight Hour, also promote and host a regular Jazz Is Dead live event at the Lodge Room, a second-floor club near the studio that has become one of the central draws of the bustling neighborhood. This symbiotic relationship has helped generate “Jazz Is Dead,” which serves as an introduction to a forthcoming series of releases — even as it disproves the premise of its title.


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